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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Hey folks.

A few days ago, I dropped a fucking gigantic writethread on the board, consisting of forty pages of writing from my newest story, ROAD TRIP!. I think maybe I threw out more than the board could chew in that regard. Darkmage and Ahriman's Aide posted a bit of writefaggotry too, but the thread didn't take off, and it sank off the board when nobody bumped it overnight.

What I'd like to do is post the newest chapters as I write them. So I'll be posting in real time, from now until about 0200 EDT.

Please enjoy!

As ever, the /tg/ writefag channel is #writescribbles on the Rizon networks. Feel free to drop by!

Special thanks to user The Editor. Please drop by.

I got you something nice~
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Previously, the part arrived on Nocturne's orbital space station Prometheus. Venus underwent a formal greeting by a Company Captain, Ir'Sem, welcoming her home. Now the group beds down, ready to go groundside tomorrow.

Mainly I wanted an excuse to post this fucking radical pic by Muju of his interpretation of Venus kickboxing with her bloodpaint on.
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.
I completly missed that thread. Archive? Or is the new chapters up on 1d4?
I'm gradually uploading them to the wiki. Look on the Warhammer High page.
Sweet, going to do that tomorrow.
Muju's a her? The deviant art profile says Male.
>The deviant art profile says Male.
I was 100% sure before you wrote that, now I'm only 99% sure.
Only since March. Before, it said "female", and her self-portraits are undeniably female.
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 under large ceramite disks, 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 overwhelmed. 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, neither would he.
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, Princess, now would be the right time.”
>mfw muju is a FtM trans

Fuckin' finally, all we've had are traps on this board forever
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 you.”
Venus slowly tilted her head down. Another tear escaped her endless red eyes. “And I await them.”
Jake stirred in his bed. It was ice cold, which meant Venus was long gone. He struggled to sit up, looking around for a clock. The greed LEDs on the corner of his table caught his eye. It was 0720 exactly. He swore and vaulted out of bed, hustling over to the bathroom to get started.
By the time he was finished, Venus was back, and they quickly switched places in the little suite. As he held the door open for her, though, her clothing gave him pause. “Wow. What’s with the uniform?” he asked.
“I had to speak with the Council, and they kept a duty version of my formal uniform around,” Venus said hurriedly, closing the door with no further explanation. Jake shrugged and pulled the nicest clothes he had brought with him on, and hastily checked his hair in the mirror.
Outside, Remilia leaned against the bulkhead, tapping her foot. Alex and Freya wandered out of their own room, dressed and ready. “We just waiting on Their Majesties?” Freya quipped.
“I think so,” Remilia said. “Unless you guys want to go get something to eat first?”
“Nah, we’ll go together,” Freya replied. Jake opened his hatch, stepping into the corridor.
“Morning, guys. Venus will be out in a sec,” he said. “We all ready to roll?”
Venus clipped her earrings into place in the restroom, and gave herself a quick once-over. Satisfied that nothing was out of place, she grabbed the last of their bags and followed Jake into the corridor. “All right, we travel,” she announced.
A Salamander serf arrived at the entrance to the corridor, right on time. “Princess, are you and your companions ready to go?” he asked respectfully.
“We are, but I think we have time for a quick meal before we go down to the planet,” Venus said.
“Then please come with me, your Highness,” the serf said, bowing shortly. He lead the group, baggage and all, down the corridors of the station, deeper into the massive structure. The corridors were lit with a mixture of socketed lights overhead, and flickering fires in braziers on the walls, but as they entered the more utilitarian portions of the structure, they gave way to brighter, artificial lights set into the corners of the ceilings. They entered a large, open room, with great rows of seats and tables. Clearly a cafeteria or dining hall. A few Salamanders were busily moving about at the far end, clearly finishing their own breakfasts. The tables themselves were surrounded by serfs, all munching away. Their guide lead them to the head of the room, and seated them with the Space Marines, to Alex and Jake’s distinct discomfort.
“Princess Venus, I’m honored you could join us before you departed,” one said, starting to rise before Venus waved him back to his seat.
“Just stopping for a bite before we head down, Brother,” Venus said, sitting at the table. Jake and the other guests sat beside her, with a few apprehensive looks at the Power Armored giants around them. “And thanks for getting my armor sent up so fast. I appreciate that.”
“It was an honor,” one of the Marines said. “Did it function properly?”
“It did. Thank you,” Venus said, snagging a sauroch skewer from a plate. She and the others dug in, finding the rough fare to their taste. “If I may, Brother, which companies are stationed on-planet right now?” she asked.
“Some of each company are here now, but nearly all of Fourth and Sixth,” the Marine explained. “Most of the other companies are out dealing with the recent resurgence in greenskins on the fringes.”
“Should I make mention of it in the speech?” she asked.
“If you wish, Princess, then of course you may,” the Marine said.
“All right…then I think I will.” Venus downed some filtered water and looked over the crowd below. The serfs were filing out to begin their daily duties, with a few reverent glances her way. It was funny, really, she realized. She resented it when Terrans treated her like royalty. Even though a few Terrans were serfs here, she actually enjoyed their respectful glances. How funny that the respect of her father’s servants and warriors was less repulsive.
Remilia was watching from her seat. Venus was barely eating. She was spending more time reading the people around her. The quiet, obedient respect of the Marines was alien to Remilia, whose surprisingly few interactions with Imperial Fists Marines had been largely ceremonial and private.
She turned to her own food and finished it. She wasn’t going to make an issue out of it. Certainly her cousin had always been the one who had had the most trouble fitting in outside of school, save their psyker cousins of course. She deserved to feel at home.
Venus polished off her own food and returned her attention to her party. Remilia and Freya were ready to go, and Alex and Jake were…holding back a spate of the giggles. She tuned into their conversation with half an ear.
“‘What do you want with diamonds?’” Alex asked, in a voice that suggested he was caricaturizing someone. Jake pursed his lips, trying not to laugh in front of a row of Space Marines. “‘Why, I wish to be immensely rich!’” Alex finished. Jake gripped the edge of the table with one hand, clearly exerting a great deal of effort not to erupt in giggles.
“What in the world are you two giggling about?” Venus asked.
“Nothing,” Jake squeaked. Alex leaned over, smiling wanly.
“I’m seeing how many rumors about my father’s partners I can prove accurate, apparently,” Alex said.
Venus stared, but decided not to ask. “…Okay. Well, anyway, shall we went?”
“Indeed, let’s went,” Alex replied, cutting his eyes sideways at their hosts.
Venus took the hint. She stood, brushing crumbs on a napkin. “Brothers, thank you for your hospitality. We are going to depart,” she said, in Old Nocturnean.
The Marines stood, bowing to their Princess. “It was our pleasure, Princess,” one said. “Have a safe journey.”
Venus inclined her head as the party stood up, and began making their way out. On their way through the room, Jake leaned over to her. “What language was that?” he whispered.
“Old Nocturnean. The language of the Earth Shamans, the spiritual guides of the people before the Emperor arrived,” Venus replied. “It’s an incredibly easy language to learn, but only Salamanders and scholars really bother to learn it.”
“Cool.” Jake suddenly frowned. “Will I be expected to know it?”
“No, of course not,” Venus said. “Don’t worry, I’ll let you know what’s expected of you.”
Jake nodded in relief. “Good.”
The group carried their bags back to the massive, sprawling hangar complex, where a small group of Space Marines were waiting for them. Venus walked straight up to one and acknowledged his bow. “Brother. Is the shuttle ready?”
“It is, Princess. An Aquila-class passenger shuttle has been prepared,” the Marine said. “Your cargo is aboard. The tank prototype has also been transported to the surface for testing.”
“Very well. Let’s go,” she said over her shoulder, in Gothic. The group moved up to the ship, and filed aboard. To Venus’ surprise, the Marines didn’t follow them. Instead, they formed rank at the base of the ramp, saluting their Princess until the rising ramp closed off their view.
Freya settled into a cushion on the nicely-appointed little ship, awaiting a long and boring flight. Alex immediately claimed the seat next to her, as Remilia wandered the ship, taking in the details. She had never been in one before, after all. Venus and Jake settled in on a crash couch and buckled in, dropping their day bags on the seats beside them. Jake noticed the earrings Venus was wearing and didn’t recognize them.
“Those new, baby?” he asked, peering at the little gold studs.
“No, but I’ve never worn them in front of you,” Venus said, removing one for him to see. He took it and examined it.
“Hmm…I don’t recognize the little symbol in the middle,” he said.
“It’s the city icon for the city we’re going to visit first, Hesiod,” Venus explained. “They’re probably the only pieces of jewelry I own that I didn’t make myself. Dad made them.”
“Nice,” Jake said, passing it back. “What’s this city like?”
“It was one of the tribal meeting places way back when, and it’s the center of governance on the planet,” Venus said. “It’s also the place with the second largest spaceport.” Venus reinserted the little earring, and settled back against the cushion. “I think you’ll like it. I hope so.”
The ship shook as it lifted off, then rumbled as it passed through the atmospheric shield of the vessel and dropped towards the planet. The inertial compensators kicked in, and all five teens relaxed as the g-forces faded. Freya pulled a ration bar she had secreted somewhere from the folds of her clothes and ripped into it, while Alex and Remilia flipped open personal dataslates to watch holos on the one-hour flight.
Jake leaned back against the cushion to relax. His world turned red as Venus glanced over at him, clearly a little nervous. “What’s wrong?” he asked as he caught her expression.
“Just…I don’t want you guys to go into this blind. Nocturne is a terrifying place. Even in the middle of the cities, I can’t guarantee your safety, from criminals or the environment or animal attack. Entire townships get swallowed up by lava every fifteen years, if they’re outside the void shield generators,” she confessed.
Jake squeezed her hand. “I’m not scared.”
“Maybe you should be.” She grimaced. “Now I’m nervous. I’m wondering if we should have gone to a resort or something like Miranda and Petra, instead of flying into hell.”
Jake looked at her askance. “You’re not…ashamed of your own planet, are you?”
“No, but I’d never forgive myself if something went wrong while we were here,” Venus admitted.
Jake shrugged. “We’ll deal with it when it happens. So,” he said, trying to change the subject, “what’s this speech of yours?”
“Well…I’m the first member of the Royal family on the planet in a very long time,” she said. “And…I’ll be expected to make a Royal address. Nothing…TOO ornate, but it’ll be uncomfortable for you and the others. I’d recommend you stay at the castle, actually,” she said. “Three hours outdoors in Nocturne heat, starting the moment you arrive? You’d drop from heatstroke.”
“Oh. Well…what will you talk about?” Jake asked.
Venus shrugged uncomfortably. “Well…I’ll speak first of how proud I am to see the people Nocturne overcoming the trials their own world supplies, and the pride they should feel for it. I’ll make mention of how the bond between the Salamanders and Nocturneans is rare and valuable, and that I count myself amongst both without hesitation.”
“Sounds good.”
“Then…probably mention that the Salamanders and the rest of the Imperial military are the bulwark between our population and the alien menace, just for the cameras,” she continued. “I’ll wrap it up by saying that while I may have spent my childhood away from Nocturne, I will always think of it as home.”
“Is that true?” Jake asked. “You were a tiny kid when you were here last.”
“It is, Jake. I know it sounds hokey, but…this is home for me, and I suspect it always will be,” she said quietly. “I love Terra, the cities, the Palace, the art, but Nocturne…Nocturne is my blood.” She looked up at him with a little smile of contentment. “I’ve looked up at it on my ceiling for ten years and wanted it.”
Jake slid his arm across her shoulders and hugged her gently. She snuggled into his shoulder and stared at the deck of the shuttle. “I was wrong. I’m glad I picked to come here.” She glanced up at him again. Her eyes were dim, but from contentment, not sadness. “Thanks for coming with me.”
“Nowhere else I’d rather be,” Jake said truthfully. He leaded down and brushed his lips against hers, held her there for a moment. “If I weren’t, I’d just be home right now, watching holos, jacking off, and wondering if it was too early to ask my boss for a promotion so I could work better hours,” he whispered against her lips. She giggled.
“Wise words.” She pulled back and looked at him curiously. “So…what exactly WAS your old job, anyway? Somehow I don’t think we’ve EVER talked about it.”
“Well…I resigned the day before we left. Part of me still instinctively tries to put on the uniform when I get up,” he ruefully said. “I worked at a corner store in my hab.”
“Right…what did you do? I know you hated it,” she said.
Jake grimaced. “I did hate it. My job was basically the lifting servitor role. Pick up boxes, stock shelves, tell the Slide dealer out front to fuck off every so often so the Praetors didn’t raid us…I hated it. Not my boss’ fault,” he said reluctantly. “He was just a little old man, he couldn’t do any of that himself. But man…talk about a waste of time. I’m pretty sure he was actually paying me LESS than minimum wage, too.”
“Wow. You had drug dealers right outside your workplace?” she asked, eyes wide.
“Yep. Three of them. They’d do shifts, too, completely open. Like clockwork,” he grumbled.
Venus shook her head. “Must have been scary.”
“It was. At first. They openly ignored me after a while. Assholes. Scared off a bunch of customers.” Jake crossed his arms over his chest, remembering the subtle fear that had filled him every time he had gone to work. “I’ll never miss it.”
“How did your boss take you leaving?” she asked.
“Well, I gave him two weeks’ notice, but he was pretty indifferent. When I told him I was going on summer vacation with a girlfriend, though, he flipped out.”
“What? Why?” Venus asked.
“‘What? You’ll never get anywhere with that attitude!’” Jake said, trying to imitate his boss’ voice.
“He was wrong,” Venus said smugly. “You’re a noble, now.”
“Well…not officially, right?” Jake shrugged.
Venus looked to the side for a moment. “Right.” Jake cocked his head, but she pressed before he could ask. “So, did you ever actually tell him that we were an item?” she asked quickly.
Jake nodded. “Yeah, I did.”
“What did he say?”
“Well, this was after he found out I was leaving on vacation. I just sort of mentioned it, indirectly. When I mentioned that bloody tabloid. Remember?” Jake asked.
Venus immediately laughed, leaning away from him and throwing her head back. “You didn’t!”
“I did,” Jake said. “‘Mystery Consort.’”
“Ah ha ha ha ha, I love it! Then what?”
“He grabbed the holomag and opened it, all grumbly and mad. When he got to the right page, he froze.” Jake grinned as he recalled the look of stupefaction on the man’s face. “He just sort of looked at me.”
“Hah! Did he even say anything?”
“Yeah. ‘Jake…what the hell, man?’” Jake recalled. “Then he just turns GREEN with envy.”
“Well, who can blame him?” Venus said airily, flicking her gorgeous hair over her shoulders.
Hey, if you guys want to see the thread, it's got some bits by Ahriman's Aide and Darkmage, on top of the awesome stuff Someone Else posted.

The ship shook a bit as it exited the stratosphere. “Princess, we will arrive at Hesiod in twenty minutes,” the pilot announced.
Venus nodded to herself, thinking over their schedule. “Okay…we’ll land at the Castle of the Tribal Kings…we’ll be quartered there. We unpack, then I have to go to the Square and give my speech…then I come back and we go be tourists for a while. I’ll have to wear something that conceals my eyes if we don’t want to get mobbed, but there’s plenty of dark-skinned people on Nocturne. Anyone would be if they grew up exposed to THAT much radiation,” she said drily. “But you guys will be fine if we don’t spend a few years here. Hmmm.”
“Venus, why do people on Terra call you Lady, people on the ship call you Lady Primarch, and people here call you Princess?” Jake asked.
“Oh. Well, I don’t hold the same rank everywhere,” she explained. “On Terra, I’m the Emperor’s granddaughter, but I haven’t been assigned to leadership over a specific region of space, so I’m a title-less noble. A Lady. In the military, I’m the heiress of an Astartes Legion, so I rank just below a normal Primarch. A Lady Primarch. And here, I’m the daughter of the man who rules the entire system as its King, Dad. So Princess.”
“Oh wow. I hadn’t even thought of that,” Jake said.
“It’s not that big a deal. Technically I’ll answer to all three in any place. But nobody likes protocols more than nobles, soldiers, and bureaucrats,” Venus said drily.
The ship suddenly jolted as it passed through the lowest levels of the clouds above Hesiod. The hull sizzled faintly.
“Oh damn it all, it’s pouring rain outside!” Freya groaned loudly. Venus looked over at her in alarm.
“Really? Shit! Rain on Nocturne is super acidic. We’re going to have to get you guys indoors as fast as we can,” she said worriedly.
“Why is it a problem? Rain on Terra can be acidic if the weather machines fritz out,” Alex pointed out, unplugging his headphones.
“When I say acid, I mean ‘Oh holy fuck my skin is melting,’” Venus said. “Even Furia couldn’t survive these rains. We’ll have to arrange a car,” she added under her breath.
The PA crackled again. “Princess, we are five minutes to skids down. The weather is acidfall fifty klicks lateral. I recommend that you and your guests land at the castle landing bays,” the pilot advised.
Venus tapped the call button. “Good idea, Pilot, consider it authorized,” she said. The ship tilted a bit as the pilot moved to the new heading. “Problem solved,” Venus said in relief. “Heh. Welcome to Nocturne. Don’t drink the water.”
“Sounds like sage advice,” Remilia said, turning her slate off and cinching her restraints. “So who do you think will greet us?”
“Oh, a few Salamander honor guards at the most, especially since the original landing was scrubbed,” Venus said casually, as if dismissing an Inferno Guard was par for the course. “Maybe a few really brave reporters.”
“Works for me!” Remilia said.
The ship shook again as it left the driving wind, and bucked as it sat down on the pad. After a few seconds of near-silence, the whole ship rang with the sound of the hull being hosed down with water, scouring the acids away. Nearly a full minute of nervous waiting later, the ramp suddenly lowered, admitting the ozone stink of the hangar.
A Salamander in full Fire Drake Assault Terminator armor stood alone at the base of the ramp. As the party descended, the colossal warrior held both hands over his hearts and bowed low, as Terminator armor doesn’t permit kneeling. “Princess Venus…welcome home.”
“Brother Lieutenant. It is good to be home,” Venus replied in Old Nocturnean. The Drake looked up, apparently surprised she could speak it. “My friends and I are weary from our travels, but eager to see my world. Can you show us the way?” she asked.
“It would be my honor, Princess Venus. Shall we employ Gothic or Nocturnean? It pleases me greatly that you have learned it, but I do not wish to exclude your friends,” he said, gesturing to the other four teens.
“Nocturnean. I need the practice,” Venus said. “And we will discuss nothing sensitive,” Venus said, in an air of undeniable command that somehow sounded like she was discussing nothing at all.
“Of course, Princess. Please follow me,” the warrior said, gesturing to his side.
The bay was absolutely packed. The entire chamber was full of air and space craft, and ground vehicles that had driven into the castle to escape the weather. The Fire Drake parted the crowds of people around the vehicles like an armored prow. At first he drew all the attention, as the massive Space Marine was of far greater initial interest to the crowds of serfs and civilians than the quintet of somewhat tousled-looking teenagers in his wake. Soon, however…
“Princess Venus! An honor!” someone said excitedly as she passed. And the gates were open. In moments, the group was surrounded by excited well-wishers, whom Venus bypassed with remarkable poise.
“Please, folks, I’m glad to be home, but I’m exhausted. I’ll be happy to address you all as soon as I can, but I have unpacking to do,” she said, slipping gracefully between clouds of reporters. Her companions hovered nearby, unsure of what to do.
The Drake turned and slid his armored hand behind her, guiding her through the throng. “Give Her Highness some room,” he ordered, his voice far from the respectful request it had been moments before. The crowd evaporated.
All right, it looks like the thread's pretty much died, so I'll be back in a few hours. Thanks to the three or four of you who might be reading.
Keep writing damn you!!!

(Great so far, i like Kines)
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I'm still here, but I will adjourn to the bar. Great work so far, I'm enjoying it quite a bit. When I return, however, I may not be capable of reading.

Hey, it's always good to read something interesting.
Thanks, guys.

All right. A bit more, then I think I'll be taking a break of a week or two. I'll try to get a bunch more of the Nocturne visit done. I think the guys on the IRC were right: I post too damn much. The backlog of things to read to get all this is just too big.
Finally, the group reached the exit, and the Drake lead them away from the Nocturneans who had gathered for a glimpse of their Princess. “Well, that was exciting,” Venus said.
“My apologies, Princess. Normally we would never have allowed civilians into the bay, but with acid rain that strong…we could not let them die outside. You understand,” the Drake said in Old Nocturnean.
“I do. You made the correct decision,” Venus said. “Now…to our rooms, I think. Are our personal belongings already distributed?”
“They are.” The Drake stopped as the group arrived at a lift. “However…there may have been some confusion.”
“Oh?” Venus asked.
“You shall see. For now, please, rest.” The lift opened, allowing all five to enter the structure. “Farewell, Princess.”
“Thank you for your assistance, Brother-Lieutenant,” Venus said, as the lift doors closed.
Alex blew out a sigh. “Wow.”
“Yeah. Sorry if the crowd got to you guys,” Venus said apologetically.
“It’s to be expected,” Freya said. “Where do you practice Old Nocturnean? I didn’t understand a damn word you said back there,” she pointed out.
“Sorry. We speak it around the house sometimes, but I wanted to be sure I remembered how. I’ll use Gothic now,” Venus said. “While we’re here, you guys want lessons?”
“Nah, I’d never get good in a month, thanks,” Jake said.
The lift opened, and a pair of Salamander serfs in full combat gear stepped back, clearly having summoned the lift for themselves. “Princess Venus, welcome home,” one said respectfully as the group passed.
“Thanks, soldier,” she said. “Which way are the suites we’ve been given?”
“Uh…I do not know, Princess, but I have to imagine it’s the VIP suites,” the serf said awkwardly. “End of the hall.”
“Thanks,” she said, and lead the group past the serfs, looking for their rooms.
Sure enough, there were a few maintenance serfs bustling about the rooms at the end of the small hall. One spotted the group and bustled up. “Princess Venus, welcome to Hesiod Castle,” he said, taking a reverent knee. “I hope you will find all the suites to your liking!”
“Thank you, serf, I hope so as well,” Venus replied in Gothic. “Which rooms are whose?”
“Your room is the one at the end of the hall here,” the serf said, rising and gesturing behind him, at the room out of which several more serfs were emerging with cleaning implements and EMP sweepers. “The two rooms on either side of the hall before it are also available to you.”
Venus tilted her head in confusion. “Four rooms?”
“Is that not enough, Princess?” the serf asked worriedly.
“It’s too many, Sieur,” Venus said. “We will only need three rooms including mine.”
“Oh!” The serf’s eyes flickered from side to side, clearly doing math. “I see. My sincerest congratulations, Princess. I did not realize that you and your cousin Princess Russ had wed.” Jake choked on his tongue.
Venus glanced back at him and Freya and winked. She turned back to the serf. “We haven’t. But thanks. Are the rooms ready?”
“They are, Princess. Please, enjoy your stay,” the serf said, and bowed out.
The group dispersed amongst their rooms and found their possessions piled in each. Apparently the serfs had already selected which rooms would be which. Alex and Freya consolidated their cargo in the room on the left of the hall, while Remilia just stayed in the room to Venus’ right.
Jake sank down on the bed. It was gigantic, nearly as big as the one in Venus’ room back home. He kicked off his shoes with a sigh, spreading out on the mattress. “Mmm…nice. Just soft enough.” He glanced over at his girlfriend, who was busily spreading their clothes through the cabinets and drawers. “You and Freya, huh?”
“Har har har, wiseass,” Venus said. “And she meant me and you, and Alex and Freya.”
“Really? Pretty presumptuous of him,” Jake said.
“Not really, Nocturne matrimonial law and Terran matrimonial law are very different. I’ll explain it later. I gotta change,” she said, grabbing several odd-looking pieces of leather and metal out of boxes in the corner. “Awesome, it’s here. Be right back, baby,” she said, disappearing into the bathroom.
Freya tossed her bag in the corner of the room, and it landed on the small mountain of cargo containers and suitcases that she and Alex had brought. Remilia wandered into the room behind her, and sank into a leather chair by the door. “Well, we’re here,” she announced.
“I know. I am so stoked,” Freya said, tugging her extreme weather gear out of her bag. She examined the thermoreflective plastic weave of the shirt and grimaced. “I really hope I don’t need this.”
“Freya, if we’re not in the Pyre Desert, why would we?” Remilia asked drily. She brushed her blond hair out of her eyes and stretched, sinking into her seat. “Is anyone else feeling short of breath?”
“I think Nocturne has Terra-plus gravity, or atmo, or both,” Freya said. “We won’t notice it for long, the discrepancy’s tiny.”
Alex stripped his outer shirt off and threw it into the hamper in the corner, waving a hand over his face. “Would it be appropriate to wear shorts here? Because DAMN, it’s hot.”
“Indoors, maybe, I dunno. We’ll ask Venus,” Freya said. “Is there a map in here?”
Alex looked around the room for one, but neither of them could find it. “Uh…nope. Fuck.” Freya tapped her finger on her chin. “Well…Venus won’t know either, she’s never been here. We can ask where stuff is.”
just got back from work, so add one more to that.

And I'm a regular reader, first time poster in these threads. Not one to post unless i actually have something to say. Probably some others like me lurking, never discount us.
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Well, I do appreciate that.

The problem is, 4chan doesn't let me know if people are lurking. And I don't mind bump posts at all.
Venus opened the door to the main room, nerves catching her breath. Jake was just lifting the remote for the holo, and hadn’t seen her yet. She felt weirdly self-conscious in her formal uniform. Why, she wasn’t sure. He had seen the duty version already, of course.
Whatever. It was just clothes. She cleared her throat and stepped into the room. “What do you think?” she asked.
Jake was just picking up the remote to turn on the holo in the corner when he heard her question. He turned to look at her-
He dropped the remote.

Will do Boss
I'll read this when I get back home in 7-8 hours. I'll bump it when I can though.
A late night post from me. If this lasts till morning, I'll dump the next part of 'Trip into Hell', the ork Invasion itself.
Rumping for later read
She was clad from neck to bootsole in dark grey leather that shone to brilliance. Her pants were covered in front with what looked like a fully centimeter-thick layer of drakeskin scale over leather pads, and they wrapped nearly halfway around her legs. The boots she was wearing were drake leather too, and had an incredibly intricate red flame pattern etched into the surface that wrapped around her calves. They were tucked under her pant legs at an inch or two above the ankle, and the pants had the same pattern on them, though he couldn’t see all of it since the scale didn’t carry the pattern. On her hips and the front of her upper legs, the scales slowly turned from the dark grey they had been to a reddish grey instead, and a Power Rapier and Conflagration Pistol that looked both ceremonial and fully usable were strapped to her hips.
The armor plates on her hips were a deep red scale over tiny ceramite links over adamantium plates, as thin as a hair, over the leather that constituted the entire outfit. The thick belt over her waist was also drake leather from the look of it, but the entire surface was completely covered in flat, wrought-adamantium chain links, the size of pinheads, that had been linked together and hammered flat.
By contrast to her leg armor, her torso armor was somewhat more utilitarian. Her stomach was completely covered in thin, interlocking pieces of adamantium plate, though in deference to the outfit’s intended appearance, a few bright red drake scale links had been arranged in a V-pattern. It started right under the plate over her breasts and ended at her belt buckle; which was, now that he saw it, a wrought silver coil, with a tiny flame pattern etched onto the metal, and a single ruby set on the middle. The plates of armor over her upper chest were visibly thicker, but more ornate, with embossed and raised patterns in a language he couldn’t read rimming the rib and breast plates. The plates on her upper chest continued the same pattern. The words were polished brilliantly, and the metal beneath less so.
The plates themselves were lined with almost invisible rivets holding the adamantium plates to the leather beneath. The segmented metal was arranged with such artifice that it didn’t make a sound as it slid over the other pieces. Between the leather being nearly the same color as her skin and the brilliant silver of the metal, the effect was such that Jake’s eyes were naturally drawn to the red scales that covered her flanks, and the ones down her stomach.
Her arms were thickly padded with drake leather, but here the scales were a dusky orange, almost brown, and the adamantium plates on her shoulders and upper arms were painted the same color. The forearm plates were not, and were left a dull grey. Into the metal, more words were etched, and the raised words were shined to a brilliant silver. They, like the words on her chest, were inscrutable. Her gloves were a brighter grey, and tiny circles of adamantium decorated the back of each finger, leaving room for the joints.
Jake stared. He traced his eyes over the uniform, taking in every detail.
Venus tilted her head a little. “So…what do you think?” she asked. She crossed her arms over her armored chest and leaned to the side a bit. “Well? Nocturne to Jake?”
“…Wow.” Jake slowly sat up, still staring. “You look…wow. It’s beautiful.”
Venus smiled, somewhat relieved. “Thanks.”
“What does the back look like?”
She obligingly turned, revealing a few small, black leather pouches on the belt. Probably for ammunition for the weapons. The outfit had deep pockets, he saw, running invisibly under the armor on her hips, which was probably not as thick as it looked. The backs of her legs were covered in the wafer-thin flame patterns up to her knees, where they tapered away into blank leather. Her back was armored too, but with more drakescale, not metal plating.
“It’s amazing. You look gorgeous,” Jake said. “I’ve never seen you wear THAT at state dinners back home,” he said.
“It’s not for Terrans. I told you, I’m just a noble there. Here, the mantle of leadership means I have to look the role.” She walked back into the bathroom, and some rattling noises started. “Hang on, let me show you the accessories.”
“The weapons aren’t accessories?” Jake asked.
“Nope, they’re for idiots who think Vulkan Forgefather has stupid children. Hang on…okay,” she said. She emerged with a few little boxes in her hands. “Here…we go,” she said distractedly. She pulled some small metal bits out of one box and set the others down. “I made these myself, when I was ten. I promised Dad that I wouldn’t wear them until I came here,” she said. Jake stood and walked over. She extended one leather-clad hand to reveal a pair of tiny platinum earrings, each of which had been set with a little yellow corundum.
I have wanted to make a character with a cape for years.

“Pretty. You made those when you were TEN?” Jake asked.
“Yep. Solid platinum. Which means nothing since they’re just engine parts Dad was about to throw out. I melted them down and made these instead.” She smiled as she inserted them. “I like my use more.”
“Me too.” Jake glanced into the boxes and saw more shiny metal. “What’s that?”
“The rest.” She reached into the boxes and extracted a thin necklace, with a familiar pendant on it.
“Hey, I remember you,” Jake said, running his finger over the little drake’s head icon. The tiny rubies glittered under the light from her eyes as he held it up. “You sure you want to wear this around?”
“Shouldn’t I?”
“Well, I’d be scared of losing it,” Jake said.
“Well…I’m not, but it does contrast with the uniform,” she said, sliding it back into the box. “Okay…two last things. I think you’ll like this part.” She grabbed a bundle of cloth from the next box, and unfurled it into a flowing, blood red ankle-length cape, with the Nocturnean hammer icon set into the middle in yellow. She slung it on over her shoulders, and fluttered it to rest. “Huh? Huh?”
Jake took a step back and looked her over appraisingly. “You pull it off, Venus.”
“Thanks.” The last item was one of the reasons for her shyness, but she also could never justify not wearing it, and she had to admit that it was beautiful on its own.
She reached down into the last, larger box, and extracted a sparkling crown. A band of solid gold encircled her entire head. No mere tiara this, it extended to cover her head almost entirely. A square slot at the back allowed her hair to flow out. The front of the crown was decorated in an Imperial Aquila, whose wings were spread back over her temples. The forehead stretched down to halfway down the bridge of her nose like a battlehelm. The brim flowed out of the nose above her eyes, back down in front of her ears. A row of truly massive rubies decorated the band. The top was a gold dome, but it was low, almost resting on top of her head.
In the very center, above the Aquila on her forehead, a ridge extended back over the dome, and a few small diamonds were set on either side of it, in a symmetrical pattern.
Venus slid the crown on and stood back. “Well…there’s the complete picture. How do I look?”
Jake looked up and down. The effect was magnificent. The martial appearance of the chest armor and the elegant artistry of the crown blended perfectly. The brilliant red glow from under the crown was frightening and enticing. “You look like a queen,” he said. He felt dumb, trying to encapsulate the way she looked in words. “It’s…it’s beautiful.”
She smiled under the crown, and somehow it didn’t diminish the effect at all. “Thank you, Jake.” She moved her head from side to side, testing the crown’s balance. “Hmm. Bit topheavy, but it doesn’t move…good.”
“Uh, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t there serfs for this sort of thing?” Jake asked. “Helping you dress and such?”
“Eh. Maybe if I was in the Residence, up on Prometheus, but the Regent lives in it and I wasn’t about to throw him out for one night.” Venus cricked her neck, trying to get used to the weight on her head. “Besides, why would I want some serf to help me when it gives me a chance to play dress-up with you?” she playfully inquired, running her gloves over each other.
Jake coughed. “Such lack of decorum, Princess.”
She nodded, all business again. “Now…do you think I should show the others, or just head out now and surprise them?”
“Why go anywhere? The rain will kill you,” Jake pointed out.
“All the major cities have some sort of underground tunnels between major civic buildings, but I don’t know if the Castle in on the network,” Venus said, tapping one gauntleted finger against her chin. “It’s earthquake insurance. Hmm…I can ask.”
“And I think you should show the others,” Jake said. “Blow their minds.”
“You think I should, huh,” she said, biting her lip. “All right…I want to save this, though,” she said. She pulled the crown off and set it into its box, closing it up and sealing it with a thumbprint. The tiny electronic lock clicked.
“Okay…let’s show them.” Venus peeked out the door, verifying that the hall was clear, and listened for voices. Sure enough, she could hear the others talking in Freya’s room. She and Jake walked up to the entrance and knocked.
“Come,” Freya called. Venus pushed the door open and struck a gallant pose on the threshold.
“Well?” she asked pointedly.
Jake peered over his shorter girlfriend’s shoulder. Venus was sprawled out on a couch, paging through a dataslate. Her jaw dropped when she saw her cousin. “Venus, you look awesome! Where did you get the hardware?”
“It came with the outfit,” Venus laughed, walking in.
Alex wandered out of the bedroom and froze in his tracks. “Oh wow…Venus, what’s that?” Remilia sat up in the corner, staring.
“My formal outfit. What can I say, we like leather on Nocturne,” Venus said with a happy little shrug. “What do you think? I’ve never actually worn this before.”
“I think it’s awesome,” Alex said. He walked up to her with marked hesitation, and gently rubbed his thumb over the drakeskin on her shoulders. “Is this all real drakeskin?”
“Yep. And that’s real scale,” she said, tapping a scale on her hip.
“That outfit and the weapons cost more than a system patrol boat,” Freya said, flabbergasted.
“Not at all. That drake probably just wandered in front of a Salamander mining crew and got toasted for its incaution,” Venus said. “It’s all from the same animal.”
“Is that a Conflagration gun?” Remilia asked from the corner.
Venus hefted the weapon, balancing it on its trigger guard. “I think so. It was in the kit. It’s not even loaded,” she said. She slid the power pack out. “Yeah, this is a placeholder. Plastic.”
“You’re not going to be incinerating any paparazzi with that,” Remilia scoffed.
“True.” She slid the plastic pack back in and checked the pack on the Rapier’s hilt. “Also plastic. Well, who stores weapons loaded?” she asked rhetorically.
“Yeah…don’t load those here, huh?” Jake asked, coming up behind her.
“Don’t worry,” she said, reaching behind her and pulling the contents of the little leather pouches free. “All plastic.”
“Good.” Jake looked at the golden hammer on her back ripple with the slight movements of her cape in the draft from the hall. He had seen her martial side before, of course. On the ship, when dealing with Custodes and Treasury back home, the incident with the Palace PDF…but this was new. She wasn’t just being military, she was being a leader.
He had thought that this inevitable day would be overwhelming to him. Strangely, though, he felt excited instead. This side of her was new. He was actually looking forward to seeing how she acted. She turned around and hugged him quickly. “Gotta go. It’ll be on every news channel,” she said over her shoulder as she went.
The door closed behind her. All four other teens stared at each other. “That was unique,” Jake said.
“I know. I’ve never seen that before. Makes my formal outfit look tawdry,” Freya grumbled.
“What’s yours?” Alex asked.
Freya waved her hand overhead, trying to visualize it. “You’ll see. Furs and tribal markings. Fenris is still a Feral World. I guess a world that’s actually a part of the greater Imperium gets to be fancier.”
“You’re not jealous,” Alex said.
“No, I’m just thinking aloud. Hey, let’s get the news on,” she said, grabbing the remote.
I don't know if I'm relaying it well, but Freya's more self-conscious than jealous.
Finally back home, will try and wade through the archive of the last thread. Will probably take a day or two of casual browsing. I just wanted to let you know, that I'm reading it and up to at least this point, enjoyed it.
Bump for the bump god
Outside, Venus checked to make sure she had the right box, then hurried down the corridor to the lifts. A pair of serfs waiting outside the doors fell to their knees as she approached.
“Rise, gentlemen, I’m going to need help here. Has the rain stopped?” she asked, tucking the crown case under one arm.
“It has, Princess,” one serf said, climbing to his feet. He stared at her in open awe. “The scourers should have the Square ready for you in an hour if you wish to make an address.”
“I do. How do I get there fastest without walking?” she asked, stepping into the lift.
The serfs walked in after her. “By an aircar or the tram, but I’d suggest an aircar, your Highness,” the serf continued. The other one piped up.
“I’m sure Regent No’dan will arrange something, your Highness.”
“Sure.” Venus descended in silence, rehearsing her speech in her head. She glanced down as the rapier’s scabbard bounced off her leg. “Oh. Actually, which way is the armory?” she asked.
“Er…two floors below the hangar, your Highness,” one serf said carefully.
“Okay, I’ll stop there first,” she said to herself, and tapped a different button on the controls.
The armory guard was leaning on the security counter outside when a blob of red caught his eye. He glanced up from his holomag and lurched to stiff attention as Venus came to halt before him, her cape billowing in her wake. “Sergeant. Might I pop in for a moment?” she asked quickly.
“Of course, your Highness, what can I get for you?” he asked.
“Seven standard power packs, Sergeant, for a Conflagrator and a Power Rapier,” she said, gesturing to her weapons.
“Of course, your Highness. Seven standard MPC40s, coming up,” he said, scurrying over to the armory and tapping the call button.
“Make that eight, actually,” she called after him.
“Yes, your Highness,” he said back.
Someone answered the call button on his PA panel. “Yeah?”
“Eight MPC40s, pronto,” the Sergeant called.
“Eight? You starting a war out there?”
“I’m starting a discharge form with your name on it if you get between Princess Venus and her ceremonial weapons’ ammunition,” the Sergeant said under his breath.
The PA went silent. Moments later, a turnstile in the wall next to him spat out eight little black boxes. The Sergeant scooped them up and bolted back to the desk, where Venus was waiting, fists on her hips. “Your ammunition, Princess,” he said, depositing the packs.
“Good.” She hefted one and ejected the pack from her Rapier’s pommel, sliding the pack into place. The tiny red light on the pommel blinked twice to acknowledge the charge and went dark.
“Do you need a place to test them?” the Sergeant asked.
Venus thought. “I suppose I have time. Where do I sign?” she asked, looking over the assorted slates and papers on his desk.
“I can do the paperwork for you if you’re in a hurry, your Highness,” the Sergeant said.
“No, that’s fine, I should do this…myself…” she said, her voice trailing off as she caught sight of the holomag he had been reading. She slowly tilted her head, trying to get a better angle on its content.
The Sergeant hastily turned the mag off. Venus looked up at him and raised one eyebrow.
“Nothing worth mentioning, your Highness,” the Sergeant managed. “Er. The sheet. Yes. Here you are,” he said, pushing the range sheet and armory sign-in at her. She nodded and signed both. “The range is that way, just please let us know if you need more ammunition or something. Your Highness.”
Venus nodded. “Thanks, Sergeant.” She glanced down at the blank holomag and back up, a smile quirking her lips. “As you were.”
She ignored his panicked salute and strode quickly down the hallway to her side, ammo boxes balanced on top of the other box. Idly, she wondered why the Royal Outfitters had chosen such a non-descript way to ship the crown, then decided it wasn’t worth asking.
She blew into the range, finding it nearly deserted. A serf at the counter stood, having clearly heard her approach over the PA. “Princess Venus, welcome. A little Q before the speech, your Highness?” he asked.
“Nope, testing something. Thanks. Set me up for a CQC stationary and mid-range thermo, please,” she said, wiping down some earmuffs and taking her place at the nearest lane.
I don't know why, but the idea of Venus walking around an armory in full uniform, cape billowing and arms full of weapons, scaring the shit out of people, amuses me greatly.
The cape is the best part
“Yes, your Highness,” the serf said, keying it in. With a whining of pneumatics, a meter-thick block of metal with a human outline rose from her lane, about fifteen meters away. Venus set her box and ammo down, popping the placeholder cell from her Conflagration gun, and settled the new pack into place with a *click*. “Clear,” he called.
The green light over the lane flicked on, and Venus depressed the trigger once. With almost no recoil, the muzzle of the gun pulsed orange light. The metal block half-melted in an instant. Venus blinked, staring at the gun in shock. “…Oops.”
The serf gaped. “Uh…cease fire,” he said, and tapped the button again. The light over the range turned red again, and the hydraulics pulled the metal block back down.
Venus set the gun pack in its holster and stepped out of her lane. “My sincere apologies, Rangemaster, I had no idea this thing had that kind of punch.”
“I…yes. Well. It’s a Conflagration gun, your Highness, they…all do that,” the serf said. “Well. Nothing a little time in the shop can’t fix. The CQC one?”
“This won’t demolish it, will it?” she asked, tapping the Rapier.
“Not unless it’s ultracharged. Is it?”
Venus checked the tiny letters around the pommel. “No.”
“Then you’ll be fine,” the serf said. “Er…whenever you’re ready,” he said, gesturing her to the melee-weapon chamber.
She walked over and opened the door, wrinkling her nose at the stink of promethium. A metal and plastic model of a human with a plastic lasgun in its hands rose from the floor. The speaker overhead blared once, and Venus lunged at the model, skewering it. She withdrew it and looked closely. “Perfect. No melt,” she said. She tapped the door and the speaker blared again as the model sunk into the floor.

I KNOW, right?!
She stepped out into the range, picking up her things. “Thanks, Rangemaster, it works fine. Sorry again about the thermo,” she said. “I should have specified.”
“It shouldn’t be a problem, we replace them every week anyway,” the man said. The casual tone of his voice spoke volumes about his station. On an Astartes range, the Rangemaster could talk down a Terminator. “Thanks for dropping by, your Highness.”
“Thanks for having me,” she said, scooping up spare ammo and dropping it into the pouches on her belt. She said her goodbyes and hefted her box, walking back to the lifts. As she arrived, she found her nerves returning. She was looking forward to speaking before her people, of course. She was apprehensive about the way she would be perceived. She hadn’t been home in a long time, and her first act was to take a vacation. How would that go over?
She stepped into the lift, tapping the button for the hangar floor. As the lift rose, she breathed deeply, trying to banish her ill feelings. Whatever happened, happened. Nothing to do but go on as well as she could.
In the hangar, she paused, noting the streams of air and ground cars leaving the building. The sky outside was a bruised purple, as the reddish light from the sun poured through the acid blue clouds. A Salamander noticed her standing at the door and immediately marched up. “Princess Venus. Are you ready to depart?”
“I am, inasmuch as I can be,” she replied. “Do I have a ride?”
“Of course, your Highness, an aircar has been called. Will your companions be joining you?” the warrior asked, glancing around.
“They will not.” Venus watched as an aircar pulled up across the back of the room. “Good. We’re a little early.”
“Then let us depart, and avoid crowds that may pose a security concern,” the Salamander said. “Of course we suspect no risk to your Highness here, or the event would not occur…but as recent events have shown…”
“Of course,” Venus said. She really didn’t need to be reminded of poor Morticia at that juncture. The Power Armored warrior opened the door for her and she climbed in. The car lifted immediately, and soared off to the City Square.
She craned her head, staring out the tinted windows. The view was amazing. The buildings were all acid-swept stone and metal – not a piece of wood in sight. Statues of the Salamanders, meticulously protected from acid, decorated the corners. The acid clouds were boiling away under the desert sun. The star burned a bright, painfully intense red…not unlike her eyes.
She looked below. The streets below were soaking from scrubbers, spraying the acid rain away, but already there were people below, hawking wares, fixing buildings, and going about their business. Signs of new construction were abundant, too, but no building rose above the spires of Hesiod Castle, which was really nothing more or less than a Governor’s Palace with an in-built Salamander shrine.
Venus fingered the box with her crown, and she lifted it out, staring at it. She had inherited her father’s disdain for exercising authority in front of blood relations. But her father had also never felt more comfortable than he did leading his brothers into war, and had loved the responsibilities of leadership. Had she inherited those too?
She didn’t know. Certainly her cousins and friends were confident in her.
She put the crown back in its box, sealing it again. It clinked against the little pendant as she did.
...WHAT? Dude, this is some fucking godtier writefaggotry from a god tier writefaggot.
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I haven't run a quest in nearly a year. You must be dumb.
The car settled on the scoured roof of a building adjacent to the square. Ranks of Salamander serf snipers and what looked an awful lot like an artillery spotter were assembled nearby, camouflaged with varying levels of obtrusiveness. The square, to her astonishment, was nearly vacant. But then, the skies had been bleeding acid minutes before.
Venus stepped out of the car, one arm wrapped around the box, the other resting on the sword scabbarded at her left hip. One good thing about rapiers, she reflected, was that it didn’t matter which way you drew them.
A row of Salamander Serfs and Hesiod PDF knelt as she emerged and shook her hair loose. “Hail, Her Royal Highness, Princess Venus,” the Sergeant at the end of the rank said reverently.
Venus bowed slightly and lifted her hand, palm up. “Please rise, soldier. I’m about to address my people for the first time since I learned to speak. Get on your feet.”
“Yes, your Highness,” he said, scrambling up and gesturing the others to do the same. “No security threats have been reported. Even the Underground is quiet.”
“Underground?” Venus asked.
“A small smuggling organization that gets around the customs offices in the Sanctuaries by utilizing mining tunnels, your Highness, hence the name,” the PDF Sergeant reported.
“A smuggling organization on a Space Marine homeworld,” Venus said.
“To our endless shame, your Highness,” the Sergeant admitted. “But we can’t collapse the tunnels without risking active mine shafts, so…”
Venus nodded. “A matter for another time. From where shall I give the speech?”
“Right here, your Highness,” the Sergeant said. “Should the swell return we need to be able to get you out of here quickly. And you can address the Square directly from the balcony one floor down.”
“Lead the way,” she said. The Sergeant saluted and gestured to his men, and they fell in rank beside her as she walked to the access stairs. Fortunately, it seemed the building saw use as a landing pad with some frequency, and the stairs were wide enough to admit them all. The group escorted Venus to a small room at the back of the building, where they left her to prepare.
Venus set the box down on a table and opened it. She removed the crown, setting down on the table, and sat backwards in a chair, facing it. She crossed her arms over the top of the chair and stared at the Aquila on its face, measuring her thoughts. “So how are we gonna play this, Dad?” she asked quietly. She reached out and gently rubbed a thumbprint from the gold face of the crown with her leather-clad finger.
“I guess we see how it goes…and we’ll see how badly I want to stay after school,” she whispered. “What will Mom think? What will Grandpa think?” She set her head down on her crossed arms. “What will Jake and Uncle Ir’Sem and Farah think?”
The crown didn’t answer. She gripped it and set it on, feeling its weight on her head. As she did, she moved to close the box, when the little pendant caught her eye. She stared at it, wondering. Finally, she lifted it out and put it on, carefully disentangling it from her hair and the crown. “Can’t hurt,” she said.
While SE is busy, I'll dump a small segment of 'Trip into Hell'
The skyscraper sized barrels of defence lasers poked their iron snouts out of massive underground bunkers, the shadows they cast lying long and heavy over Port Huron. That seemed a fitting allegory to Julius as he made his way through the now deserted streets of the Old City. A once shining city of light and colour was now under a shadow, the shadow of the approaching Space Hulk, and the millions of Orks within, all lusting after the planet. All day civilian transports had departed from the Spaceport and the Seaport, carrying thousands away from the planet and the city respectively. Once again he wondered why he wasn’t on board one of those transports, leaving the planet with the rest of the civilian population, and why he was about to do something which many would construe as ‘stupid’, and which could easily get him killed. Duty. It was always duty, duty to his father, to the Emperor, and to Isis. No matter how many ways he cut it, it always ended in duty, something which had been drilled into him from the moment he could understand what it meant, and everything he had done he had done in its name. But the last time he tried that, it ended up in the dark alleyways of the Petitioner’s City. Now he didn’t know what to think anymore, his world had been turned upside down in more ways than one.
At least he didn’t have to worry about choosing a University when he returned to Terra, Isis would choose for the both of them. He had long since got used to the idea that they would remain together, they fit together like the two moonstone pendants they bore, and while they were not as intimate as Michael and Angela (then again, who wasn’t?), they knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and each acted as an anchor for the other one. And now he was cut loose from that anchor, had cut himself loose to be precise after he had nearly got her killed, and now he was drifting with no idea where he was going, apart from the office building a short distance up the road.
The queue outside the offices was relatively long but fast moving, and it wasn’t long at all before he was inside and standing before a short, plump man in a PDF Officer’s uniform.
“Name.” he said without looking up.
“Persson. Oll Persson, Ser.” Julius used his mother’s maiden name and his father’s long standing nickname.
“Ser? You’re from the Thousand Worlds?”
“Yes Ser. I was on my way back, but the damn Greenskins have interfered.”
“Weapons proficiency?”
“All standard patterns of Lasgun and Autogun, as well as Hellguns, Bolt weapons and Needlers.” He was actually trained in far more than these simple weapons, but best to keep that to himself.
“Bolt Weapons?”
“It’s the Thousand worlds of Ultramar, Ser. The XIII trains us well.” What Julius didn’t mention was Vulkan’s Hellpistol, concealed beneath his Greatcoat. Though that weapon now had several bad memories attached, it was still a perfectly crafted and deadly firearm, and would serve him well in the unlikely event an Ork came at him.
The PDF officer rapidly scribbled on a sheet of paper, before handing it to him for his signature. Julius paused, pen held over the paper. He could still back out, get on a transport and flee to safety. What would Isis say, were she here with him? They were each other’s moral compasses; every time Isis had to do something on the student council she would seek him out first, to get his opinion on the matter. Throughout all her struggles with Roberta, it was he who had stood by her, and never let her down. She wouldn’t back down then, and neither would he now. He signed his name.
“Congratulations.” the Officer said in a less than congratulatory tone. “You have just been enrolled in the Civilian Defence Auxilia, for the duration of the Emergency. You are assigned to Munitions Escort, please report to inner wall gate 1-5.” He handed Julius an armband with ‘CDA” monogrammed in gothic script. And just like that, Julius was a soldier.

Done. moar later, after my Lectures.
Bump for staying alive.
Gotta go make some of my own (admittedly rather shit-tastic) writefaggotry now.
The crowd outside had swollen considerably when she finally stepped out to the balcony. The privacy screen was still in place, so they couldn’t see her yet, but she could see them, and she swept the crowd with her eyes. The balcony was only two stories above the square, and the techpriests were busy setting up microphone. A few serfs swept the place, searching for snipers or lesser troublemakers. A trio of local law enforcement were station every ten feet along the sides of the square, which was really only a large, flat piece of exposed bedrock near the physical center of the city.
Venus cleared her throat, pushing away last-minute nerves. She was ready. She had to be ready.
“Your Highness, we are prepared,” a techpriest by thy microphones said.
“Thank you,” she said, stilling the nerves in her hands. She flexed her fingers irritably. “Lower the privacy shield.”
The techpriest did so, and the shimmering light around the balcony disappeared.
The crowd below caught sight of their Princess and erupted in cheers. Venus walked up to the edge of the balcony, beside the microphone but not behind them, and waved. Several servo-skulls floated by, recording the whole affair. A perfectly timed breeze blew past her, rustling her hair and snapping her cape.
After acknowledging their applause for several seconds, Venus stepped up behind the microphone, inaudibly clearing her throat.
“My friends…it is good to be home,” she began.

Go man go.
Jake sat back in his seat, watching the news. As soon as Venus walked out in front of the microphones, he beckoned the others over. “Hey, hey, she’s starting!”
Alex, Freya, and Remilia found seats around the holo and sat. “Wow. She didn’t show off that headgear before,” Remilia said.
On-screen, Venus was looking out over the crowd. “I’ve been gone a long time. I lived on another world entirely. And I’ve wanted to come back for a long time, too.”
She tilted her head back, staring out at the facades of the buildings across the square. “No excuses. School, life…they kept us apart, Nocturne. But now…I’ve returned.” She looked back down at the crowd, and smiled. “Inclement weather notwithstanding, I feel welcomed. I thank you for that.” The crowd dutifully chuckled.
She gestured at the moon, massive in the sky. “When I arrived, I was glad to see that the stories I’ve been told about how things work here were correct: the Salamanders and their kin are close. Family. That pleases me to no end. Terran or Nocturnean, Salamanders and Nocturneans are bonded by history and blood. I am truly honored to be a bridge between them.” She paused to let a ripple of applause cross the square.
“I wonder how much she rehearsed that,” Alex said.
“I didn’t hear her rehearse once,” Jake said.
Venus slowly ran her leather-clad fingers over the railing of the balcony. “I may not have returned to take up the reins…yet. But know that one day I will, and when I do, I will be infinitely proud to shoulder the responsibility of leadership.”
She held up one hand, gestured to the sky above them. “Terran skies are blue, for those who can afford to see them. Our red sun scorches our world, and illuminates the trials that lurk within it. But Nocturne has supported ten thousand years of human life, despite monsters and the best efforts of the environment itself. Few people possess Nocturnean strength, resilience…and those few who do rarely possess the unity and selfless dedication of the Nocturneans. Even now, your friends and family lend that strength, that unity, to the purging of the Imperium of the aliens that come to threaten our shipping. Your thoughts and pride support and uplift them.” Venus lowered her hand and closed her eyes for a moment, showing her respect for the warriors of the Salamanders and their auxiliaries. The crowd went quiet as some shared in her respects.
She raised her head and smiled, fingers splayed on either side of the microphone. “I will visit all the Sanctuaries in my time here. Here I shall begin, and Themis next…The Jewel, The Spire, The Beacon, The Fire Spike, the Merchant Sprawl. Though, again, I do not turn to leadership in my time here, I will also visit those who live beyond even those scant protections of walls and shields, and see the lifestyles of ALL my people.”
Remilia nodded slowly. “She’s not doing a speech. She’s improvising.”
“How can you tell?” Jake asked.
“Her voice. She’s not pausing between sentences as long as she would be if she had rehearsed,” Freya said.
Venus turned to the side slightly, glancing over the rows of serfs and PDF on the rooftops. “I know that my arrival was…somewhat disruptive to the city. In that spirit, I will keep my remaining comments short.”
She gripped the railing on either side of the microphone and leaned forward slightly. The wind rose again, sending her hair and cape flying. She spoke over the noise. “My friends, I can not overstate the depth to which I felt alive and comforted as I arrived. Nocturne is more than just the place I was born and the place where my father built a Legion. It is home, on a level as satisfying and certain as anything I can imagine. I may leave once more, to complete my schooling, but I will not stay gone. My future is hear, as a Princess or a General, and I can and will not forget it.” She inclined her head, hand over her heart. “I will carry the memories I build here with me always…and I will carry your aspirations, your own desires and futures with me, as I do.”
She leaned forward again, her endless red eyes staring over the crowd, meeting several people’s gazes, an easy and confident smile on her lips. “Thank you all for your kind welcome, and for having me here. Farewell,” she said. She turned off the microphone and bowed as low as she dared without letting the crown fall off.
The crowd erupted in cheers once more, and she bowed again, slowly stepping back. Once she was out of sight of the crowd, she walked briskly back into the building, bulling the heavy gold crown off as soon as she was out of view of the servo skulls.
I have no post, and I must bump.
Sorry, I got sucked into the Steam sale.

I'm sort of back.

I think I'm going to let this thread die and just make a new one in two weeks.

Once more, The Editor, do drop by.
She blew a stray strand of hair out of her eyes, sighing in relief. “Whoo…that was rough.”
“That was inspired,” a voice said behind her. She glanced over her shoulder. A serf stood there, his hand locked in salute. “You did wonderfully, Princess Venus.”
“Thank you, serf,” she said, placing the crown in the box and sealing it. She cricked her neck and groaned. “I was sweating bullets. I hate public speaking.”
“You didn’t show it,” the serf said.
Venus nodded. “Well…time to head out.” She hefted the box and walked back to where her escort was patiently waiting. “Gentlemen.”
“Well said, your Highness. Are you ready to return to the castle?” the Sergeant asked.
“I am.” Venus followed the escort back up to the roof, and crisply returned the salute of the Sergeant leading the group. “Thank you, Sergeant. Back to the Castle, please, and let’s move immediately before we get caught in traffic from people leaving the square,” she added for the driver’s benefit.
She climbed in and they took off, heading back to the massive metal structure. Venus settled back in the seat, trying to relax, and wondered what her friends would say.
>Steam Sale

You mean the Wallet Destroyer?
I've been good. All I bought was the Space Marine pack.
You done good. If I had any money and got on Steam during a sale...well, I wouldn't have any money.
No kidding.

So, what do people think of Venus' new kicks/speech? I don't mean from a literary perspective necessarily, I mean at all. Too vague?
It's politics. Vague is right on point.

But yeah, I dug it. Liked the detail of her making it up on the spot instead of rehearsing, as well. Was very in character.

Kinda reminded me of an old mental image of Abe Lincoln on the train to Gettysburg going, "Shit, SHIT, what the hell do I say?!"
First was a squeal. “Eee! Venus that was amazing!” Remilia said. She wrapped her cousin in a bear hug. “I was so impressed!”
“Thanks,” Venus managed, disengaging herself from her cousin. “Could you tell?”
“I could tell, but nobody else will, Venus, trust me,” Remilia said.
Freya added her own hug to the total. “You did fine.”
Alex spoke up from the bed. “Nice job, your Highness.”
“Nobody in this room calls me that, all right?” Venus groaned. “Except where protocol demands it.”
Jake set the crown on the table and sank into a chair. “Well…baby, I thought it was great. Concise. Leave them wanting more.”
“That was the plan, yeah. So glad I didn’t stick to the speech,” Venus said, powering down her weapons. “It sounds so corny now that I think about it. All ‘From the bottom of my heart’ and ‘Endless gratitude,’ etc.”
“Eh, you would have made it sound good,” Remilia said.
“Suuure. Anyway. Who’s hungry?” Venus asked. Jake snorted at the total incongruity between her appearance and question.
Alex levered up out of his chair. “Ravenous. What time is it?”
Freya checked her travelers’ watch. “Uh…around local noon.”
“Perfect.” Venus stood up and stretched, the scabbarded power sword waving dangerously. “Lemme change, then we can go grab some food and be tourists for a few hours. Then back in uniform for part three.”
“What?” Jake asked.
“Oh, I won’t be having dinner with you guys. I need to meet the Governor and reassure him I’m not taking over his job or anything.” Venus shrugged, grabbing the box.
Jake followed her into their room and Venus disappeared into the bathroom. Jake eyed the clothes he had brought with him in the closet. “Hey…Venus, what clothes do we have that are appropriate for here?”
“Uh…pretty much anything. Nocturneans don’t give much a fuck about fashion, really, from what I know.” Venus stuck her head out of the door. “Just….dark pants, any length, and a shirt you mind having sweating on.”
Jake selected a few items and hurriedly changed, then passed her recommendation on to the others. As he returned, Venus emerged, pushing her armored clothing on a mobile rack. “Okay…I want to leave this on a rack so I can war it tonight.” She cast an appraising stare over her boyfriend. “You look fine.”
“Good.” Jake grabbed his sunglasses, a going-away present from his parents, and carefully slid them on. “Awesome. They fit perfectly.”
“Looks good on you. Are those from your parents?” she asked.
“Yeah.” Jake grabbed his wallet. “Guess I don’t need this,” he said, pulling his Terran drivers’ license out.
“You should always carry an ID on another planet.”
“I mean I won’t be driving any more,” Jake said. Venus looked up at him, confused. “I sold the car, remember?”
“Oh…yeah. Why did you do that, anyway? You’ll need it at Kouthry. And your parents might need a car too.”
Jake shrugged. “They paid for half the car, and I sold it for a third of what we bought it for, so I just gave them the money.”
Venus laughed. “Man…that’s a shame. We have history with that thing.”
“We did,” Jake said. He half-smiled as the memories came back. “Ah well. So long, we hardly knew you. Oh hey, before I forget…” he wandered over to the door, as nonchalantly as he could. Closing it, he let his hand rest on the handle, trying to phrase his question. “How, uh…how exactly are you going to come back?”
“Come again?” Venus asked, struggling into her walking shoes.
“In the speech, you said you were going to come back and take leadership of the planet. When, exactly?” Jake asked.
“At some point in that nebulous blob of time called ‘the future,’” she said, but she didn’t sound like she was joking. Jake turned around to see her sitting on the edge of the bed, looking up at him. “Look…I know we haven’t discussed it. To be honest, I had barely even thought about it. But…Jake, it’s going to happen.” She immediately screwed up her face in regret. “Shit. Let me revise that.” She rubbed her eyes, thinking hard. “See…Dad was really generous. He knows that I didn’t really know what to do with my life after we graduate. Military, private business, travel, politics…I don’t know. I DIDN’T know. But when we arrived here…it was like my blood had been too cold my entire life, and now it’s the right temperature. I feel physically different here, Jake. I feel better.”
Jake crossed his arms. “Wow. Venus…that scares me.”
“That sounds like this planet’s a drug to you, or something.”
Venus looked up at him, hurt. He stared back, clearly intimidated, but not backing down. “It’s…” She tried to find words. “Damn it. I did make it sound that way, didn’t I?”
Jake didn’t respond, knowing from experience that it was better to let her work it out on her own. She fidgeted. “Jake, I can’t explain it. When we stepped off the Tide, it was like coming home in the weirdest way. You know?” She sighed. “No. You don’t.” She stood, rubbing her hands. “I don’t want to sound arbitrary. But…I do have a responsibility here. It’s not the part of my life you saw back on Earth, I know, but…I do. I’m a Princess here. Even if I didn’t feel…whatever the hell I feel here, I would STILL have to come back. All the time. I might not have come back permanently, but…Jake, technically, I AM the system Overlord. Dad’s acceded his position to the Regent, and as the highest noble in the system, I’m the Imperial System Overlord until we leave again. I will be every time I visit.” She finally met his gaze again. “Does that help?”
Jake drew in a long breath, and unclenched his arms. “A little. I admit…we haven’t talked about it much.”
“Well…we’ve got time. Kouthry. Maybe grad school.” Venus sank back on the bed. She looked over at her armor on the stand. “I won’t do anything permanent without asking. Of course. But Jake, this place is home to me,” she said. She looked up at the burnished breastplate, inscribed with Old Nocturnean words. She read them to herself, finding some odd comfort in their design. “It probably always will be. These are my people.”
Jake nodded. “In honesty, I think…if it weren’t for the gravity, I could learn to like living like a noble here.”
“Well, first off, the gravity differential is so small that with a little exercise, you genuinely won’t even notice it,” Venus said. She looked up at him again, smiling coyly. “And you are a noble.”
“I’m your boyfriend, hon, and nothing more formal than that,” Jake said with a laugh.
Venus considered telling him, but didn’t. She decided to save that particular bombshell for later. “Well…I hope this isn’t too distracting for you,” she said. “Personally, I think you’ve done an outstanding job at ignoring how completely weird my life is.”
“Not ignoring, disregarding,” Jake said. “I would be ignoring it if I pretended it wasn’t weird.” He grinned. “There are benefits, too. I don’t live in a hive any more, and I probably never will.”
She stood up and grabbed her wallet. “Do you miss it?”
“The sense of community? All the time. The locale? Fuck that noise,” he said. “I’ll live surface as long as I can.”
“I bet,” she said, passing him his license back. “Here. Let’s go.”
Im humping it
Oh wow, a single bump kept it going all night? I'm impressed.
As long as you bump every 8 hours the page wont fall of into 404 oblivion on /tg/.
They rejoined their companions in the hall, dressed and ready. “So…Venus, what do you recommend?” Alex asked.
“How should I know? Let’s ask someone downstairs,” she said.
Alex snorted. “Right, sorry.” The group made their way down the hall to the lifts, and Venus was just considering asking random strangers in the hangar when a chambermaid serf emerged from a nearby room.
Freya angled straight up to her. “Excuse me. Can you recommend a place around here to go eat?”
The serf looked over at them, pre-packaged smile on her face, and did a quick double-take as she spotted Venus at the back of the group. Venus put a finger to her own lips and winked. The serf stared, but struggled to answer. “Er…there’s no place to eat around here for three blocks…but I would recommend a cafeteria five blocks east if you don’t mind a walk.”
“Great, thanks,” Freya said, bounding away. Venus slid some mirrored sunglasses on, and tugged up her collar. No sense in tempting fate.
The group emerged from the lifts in the public hangar, and made for the ground exit. A small group of Salamander serfs in plainclothes followed them at a discrete distance, just for safety more than anything else.
As they stepped out onto the streets beyond for the first time, Jake and Alex both paused to stare. The sky was red. Deep, burning red. “That’s going to take some getting used to,” Alex murmured. Jake nodded his silent assent.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Venus asked.
“It is…” Jake said. He looked up at the volcano rising in the distance. “Wow…that’s what a mountain looks like.”
“That’s Mount Deathfire,” Venus said. “To the Salamanders, it’s the most sacred place on Nocturne’s surface. It was in the shadows of Deathfire that Dad first fought back against the Dark Eldar. There’s a massive shrine and forging complex in its magma tunnels.”
“Sounds amazing,” Alex said. Jake snugged his new sunglasses to his face and craned his head back, staring at the blue clouds in amazement.
“I feel like my world has been palette-shifted,” Jake said. He stared up at the sky, watching the clouds move. “Aren’t skies supposed to be blue? And clouds gray?”
“Welcome to Nocturne,” Venus giggled. “But yeah…it’s pretty amazing.”
The little group let itself get pulled into foot traffic, and they headed east. The storefronts were still wet from the scourers, and the group carefully avoided the pools of water that were sluicing away into the drains.
After less than a block, Jake was already sweating. “Man…you weren’t kidding about this heat,” he said. He loosed his collar with a finger. “This is crazy.”
“Are you going to be all right?” Alex asked. Jake glanced over at the stocky rugby player. Damn it, he wasn’t even sweating a drop.
“I think so, as long as we can get something to drink at this place,” he said. “Aren’t you hot?”
Alex modestly shrugged. “Compared to summer practices, this honestly isn’t so bad. We had one guy drop from heatstroke once.”
“That’s encouraging,” Jake grumbled. Venus, naturally, hadn’t even slowed down, and he made an effort to keep up.
As they walked, they people-watched. The buildings were all squat, compact things, reinforced heavily. They had little of the sweeping and spired architecture of Terra. Instead, they seemed to be more focused on maximizing floor-space without compromising their considerable integrity. On an earthquake-prone world, that was wise.
The people were an interesting mix. Most tended to muscled and compact, with dark skin and reddish hair. Eye colors spanned the whole rainbow, and nearly all clothing was loose leathers and artificial fabrics. Venus’ companions drew some attention with their clearly Terran clothing, but the Nocturneans kept their comments to themselves.
As they approached the restaurant, the streets narrowed. Buildings were taller here, presumably because they wouldn’t be threatened by the turrets on the castle. Narrow alleyways formed between the buildings, too, and to Venus’ pronounced distaste, many were littered with half-dissolved refuse. Apparently the locals just dumped anything damaged by the acid rain out back.
They arrived at the restaurant, which was really more of a food court. As the group dispersed throughout the open room to select whatever reached their fancy, a few excited whispers began as someone recognized Venus despite her admittedly flimsy disguise. By the time the five rejoined at a table, several people were openly staring.
Venus steadfastly refused to acknowledge any stares, and the few who looked like they were building up courage enough to actually approach and interrupt were quickly dissuaded with a quick glance. As the group tucked into their fare, Remilia leaned over to her fiery cousin with a conspiratorial whisper.
“You appear to have a few fans.”
Venus rolled her eyes behind her shades, which she had not removed. “I expected as much. People seem pretty well-behaved, though, by and large.”
“No worse than when we went out for dinner on Terra,” Jake said. “Remember that time at Ciordello’s when that dude started hit on you?”
“Oh man, that was so dumb.” Venus ruefully shook her head.
“What did he do when he figured out who you were?” Freya giggled.
“Oh, if anything, this activated him further,” Venus said.
Alex glanced over at Jake. “What did you during all this?”
“Try not to laugh,” Jake said. “It didn’t work. He’s just sitting there, trying to put moves on her, she’s just glaring at him harder and harder, and I’m on her other side trying not to inhale my soda.”
“Then, he hears Jake laughing and starts getting all angry at him, trying to glare at him over my head,” Venus continued. “Jake is just sitting there giggling-”
“I was not giggling!”
“-And finally the other guy half-stands in his seat, bobbing his head like a fucking rooster. Jake is cracking up, and finally I reach over and get about an inch from his face and tell him that I’ll turn every bone in his torso to sawdust if he moves an inch for the rest of the night,” Venus finished.
“I love it,” Alex chuckled. He smirked over at Jake, who was still looking indignantly at Venus for her affront to his manhood. “So who wears the pants in this relationship?”
Jake turned to gape at his friend, all indignation. “Hark who speaks!”
Alex slowly raised his eyebrows, but glanced over at his wolf-girl, Amazonian girlfriend and had to concede the point. “…Touché.” Freya batted her eyes innocently as Remilia laughed into her napkin.
As lunch wound down, Venus brought the check up to the counter, and the other four nursed their drinks in anticipation for heading back out into the heat. “I’m surprised water isn’t rationed on a planet with toxic oceans and murder rain,” Jake said as she returned.
“I was too, until someone told me the size of the ice deposits on Prometheus. They just rip glaciers up whole and drop them into purifiers in Clymene, one of the cities we’re going to visit,” Venus said. “Then they just send them wherever they’re needed on the planet. They don’t need to do that much, now, though, the population is pretty stable.” She sank into her chair at the table and sighed contentedly. “We chose well.”
“Yeah, this place was great. I can’t even pronounce what I ordered, though,” Alex joked.
“It was sauroch flank. A massive herd critter from out in the deserts,” Venus said. “Good eats. Dad brought some home once.”
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw one of the plainclothesmen at their own table slide his fingers across the butt of his needle pistol. Venus looked straight at him and cocked her head in silent question, feeling her heartbeat pick up. He saw her glance his way and shook his head as the other serfs visibly relaxed.
Her shirt moved. Venus glanced down to see a young girl – couldn’t have been more than three – standing awkwardly next to her chair, tugging her shirt. She had one hand on her mouth, and was staring up at Venus in evident confusion. Venus stared back through her shades. “Hi. Can I help you?” Venus asked.
“Stop that!” her mother hissed at the infant, grabbing her and lifting her up. “Leave the Princess alone!” The weary-looking woman took a few respectful steps back before starting to take a knee.
“Stop,” Venus said quietly, her voice hard as steel for an instant. The woman froze. “Sit down. I don’t mind. And I wouldn’t be here in disguise if I wanted people kneeling.”
“Uh…all right, sorry, your Highness,” the woman said, sitting back down at the table next to the little group.
Venus smiled to take the sting out of her words. “She’s a cutie. What’s her name?”
“Ly’Sung,” the mother said.
“Nice.” Venus grinned broadly at the baby before turning back to her own group. “You guys ready to head out?”
“Sure,” Freya said, standing and stretching. “Where to now?”
“Dunno. Castle first. Then I want to go see the shops a bit,” Venus said. She leaned over to Ly’Sung, still clinging to her mother. “Bye.”
The baby stared silently at her as her mother managed a nervous smile.
Outside, the group started back to the castle. Jake turned to look at Venus through his own shades. “You made a friend.”
“I did.” Venus smiled. “I don’t remember her making a sound the entire time. I wish all kids were that well-behaved.”
“She still grabs strangers,” Jake chuckled.
“Eh, can’t win ‘em all.”
Remilia slung an arm around her shorter cousin’s shoulders, gesturing broadly. “They just want to acknowledge their Queen.”
“Bah,” Venus scoffed, shrugging her cousin off.
As they walked back to the castle, the wind picked up considerably. The temperature rose with it, until Jake and Alex both were panting. Freya and Remilia – iceworlders both – were looking pretty overheated as well. As they arrived at the castle, Jake actually stopped to lean on the doorway. The serfs on either side of the entrance both looked at him askance.
“You all right, baby?” Venus asked, glancing over her shoulder as she heard him stop.
“No,” he managed. “This…this is bad.”
“Do you need to sit down?” Venus said worriedly, walking up to him and taking his free hand.
“I need to lie down,” he said, sweat pouring off of his head. “and a haircut, and an ice bath,” he continued as he slowly followed her to the lifts.
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I read as far as the gang having had their first dinner aboard the ship in the archived thread. Enjoying it so far, bro!
Excellent, I hope you enjoy and leave comments.
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I think I was being optimistic when I said I casually read it in a day or two. This is massive and I generally hate reading off of a computer screen, but I make an exception for you.

And fucking warp sex how does it work
I'm glad you are addressing the potential conflict of Nocturn Vs. Jake for Venus. (if thats what you are doing here) I can see lots of potential for character setting development.

Also, I dont know if you have planned it yet, I think it would be a good contrast to have Alex fit right in on Fenris. just my two cents.

keep it up!

Well yes, Alex is going to take to Fenris better than Jake to Nocturne, certainly.

Whether Alex and Freya's relationship does, however...
Venus guided both boys into the lifts and hit the button for their floor. Before the door could slide shut, however, a man outside slid a hand into the closing door. “Just made it,” he sighed.
Freya tapped the Open butt and he slid in. “Thank you…oh. Your Highnesses,” he said, inclining his head politely. “Adjutant Governor Enike, at your humble service.”
“Ah, Governor, nice to meet you,” Venus said, shaking his hand. “I expect we’ll see each other at the dinner tonight, then.”
“Indeed.” The Governor peered at the two swooning men at the back of the car. “Are your companions well, your Highness?”
“No,” Alex managed. “You people are tough as nails to survive in this heat.”
“Where are you from, Sieur?” Enike asked.
“Terra,” Jake supplied for both. He wasn’t looking dead on his feet any more, but he was still looking pretty grim.
“Ah. Yes. That would do it,” the Governor said unapologetically. “Well. Good thing you’re here in winter time, eh?” he asked. Jake boggled.
Still alive I see. good. I have a lecture now, but after it's done, I'll post some more of 'Trip into Hell'
I think your pic is how it usually works.
You know what, I feel like discussing this in greater depth.

Venus's defining character traits aren't all good. She's a great kid, sure, but she tends to take things for granted. She took it for granted that her wealth and influence wouldn't put Jake off. She took it for granted that he would be ready for sex when she was. She took it for granted that she would emerge from the branding uninjured. She took it for granted that the hives had an infinite water supply. She took it for granted that the security protocols she was so used to would never inconvenience Jake. She took it for granted that Nocturne would be where she eventually wound up no matter what she chose to do with her life, too, and it never occurred to her that Jake might not like it there.

He's a patient guy, and he thinks she's worth shitty weather, but to some substantial degree, she made the decision without his input. It's maybe the one thing that could break them up; that is, him choosing not to live on a Death World. She's living there whether he's with her or not. Now, Jake is a decent human being and he loves her very, very much, so I can see him choosing to stay with her even if it means bearing awful climates and uncomfortable gravity and atmospheric pressures until he gets used to them.

But she shouldn't take that for granted...

Okay, I lol'd
The lift opened, and Enike walked out. “See you tonight, your Highness,” he said, bowing out now that he had room to do so. As the lift doors closed, both men rounded on Venus.
“Winter?!” Jake asked.
“Yeah, it’s the dead of winter outside. Didn’t you wonder why so many people had long pants on?” Venus asked. Alex slumped back against the cool metal of the elevator.
“You people are insane,” he muttered.
“I will admit, any colony group that looked at Nocturne and concluded ‘Yep, that’s a good idea!’ was probably high on something,” Venus said. “But then, the planet was nicer in the ancient past. There were actual forests in some places. We should fly over the Petrified Forests if we have time.”
The doors parted. The group walked back to their rooms. Jake flopped unceremoniously down on their bed the moment he unlocked the door. Venus walked in behind him and gestured at the air conditioner. As the frigid air wafted over his prone body, he groaned into the covers. “Outstanding. Thank you, baby.”
Venus sat down on the mattress next to his head. “Are you going to be all right?”
“I need to change and shower, badly. But…yeah.” He turned his head to stare at her shapely backside. “Listen…baby…I’m sorry about before.”
“What do you have to be sorry for?” she asked.
“I may have sounded like I can’t appreciate what Nocturne means to you.” He sat up. “I’m saying I didn’t mean to insult you by saying you were addicted to the feeling of coming home. That’s all, really.”
She nodded once. “No apologies necessary. You’re right. It did feel like a physical change. The one who needs to be sorry is me. I didn’t even think of how a hiver’s body would react to the ambient heat here.” She squeezed his hand. “I’m afraid this month is going to kind of suck.”
“I brought thermo gear. I just wasn’t expecting to have to wear it in the cities.” He kissed her on the forehead and squeezed her hand back. “Are we both done feeling sorry?”
“I think so,” Venus said.
He squeezed her hand again. “Great. Make-up sex?”
“Oh, shut up,” she sighed, melodramatic. “Go have a shower and cool down. I’m going to go explore the town a bit.”
“Will you be all right by yourself?” he asked as she stood.
“Sure. There’s a plainclothes detail with me. And Remilia and Freya will be coming with me,” she said. “I’ll be back after dinner. This isn’t a hotel, exactly, but they house dignitaries all the time here, so just order room service. Or, hell, come to the banquet if you want.”
“I didn’t bring anything formal,” Jake pointed out.
“Mmm.” She looked back at him as he wearily peeled his shirt off. “You’ll let me know if the weather really is too much, right?”
“I will. It’s the gravity and pressure that are making it unbearable, really. The air in here now isn’t bad at all,” he said. “But with heat on top…”
She pursed her lips, trying to think of a solution. None came to mind. “Well…I’ll be back as soon as I can get away from the dinner. You might want to just watch some holovision or maybe write a letter to your parents. Didn’t you promise that you were going to write when you arrived?”
Jake nodded. “I did.” He turned to the bathroom, and Venus took a moment to admire his back.
“Alex’s workout routine did you a turn,” she said approvingly.
“Yeah, I’ve lost six pounds since we left Terra,” Jake said. “Probably gained it back with lunch, though, oof.”
“Hah! Well, working out in 1.3G would be hard on your system, so if you guys go to the gym in the basement, take it easy, all right?” she asked. She grabbed her wallet and slid it back in her pocket.
“Is that where it is? I’ll let him know.” Jake paused with his hand on the bathroom door. “You go have fun.”
“I will.” She blew him a kiss and closed the door. Remilia wandered out of her own room, looking freshly scrubbed. “Hey! You want to go out shopping for a while?” Venus asked.
Remilia thought. “Uh…sure. That sounds fun. Shopping for what?”
“Oh, just hitting the city. It’s hardly Startseite, but I want to see what people on my planet wear and eat and do for fun,” Venus said eagerly.
Her cousin nodded. “I’d love to. Freya in?”
Venus listened for a moment, heard the telltale sound of someone putting shoes on from Freya’s room. “I think so…yep,” she said as Freya opened the door.
Remilia looked at her. “You heard her coming?”
“I heard her get her shoes on. You didn’t?” Venus asked.
“I didn’t hear a thing,” Remilia said, an odd tone in her voice. “Must not be used to the air pressure yet.”
“What’s up?” Freya asked as she wandered up to the others.
“We’re going shopping, I think. You ready to go?” Venus asked
“I’m in!” Freya exclaimed. “What’s that about hearing something?”
“I heard you getting ready to come out,” Venus said. “That’s odd, apparently.”
“Well…it wouldn’t have been odd on Terra,” Remilia allowed. “Maybe you’re just used to Nocturne already?”
“I guess,” Venus said. “Anyway. We passed some stuff I’d love to check out on our way to the restaurant. Where do you want to go first?”
Freya thought for a moment. “That little market on the first street we passed, I think.”
“Works for me,” Remilia said, putting her cousin’s preternatural hearing aside.
Jake stepped out of the shower, toweling off. The steam in the bathroom wasn’t dispersing, even with the fan at full blast. He opened the door into the bathroom, and the mist started to clear. With a sigh, he finished drying and grabbed some clean clothes. “Volcanic worlds, man.”
Bathroom rituals accomplished, the tall hiver walked into the main room and pulled his slate out. He tapped a few runes on the front of it and dropped it on the bed. “Record,” he said aloud. The slate’s screen blinked and a large red circle filled the middle of the screen.
“Hey, Mom, Dad. We’re safe on Nocturne. We’re on the closest thing the planet has a to a formal capital, Hesiod. It’s incredible, you guys. The sun here is RED. The sky looks like blood. The clouds are blue. It’s fucking Opposite day up there.” He stood in the middle of the bedroom speaking clearly for the transcription package. “The flight was fine. I took exquisite pleasure in unnerving the senior crew with my humble origins. They never see it coming. Apparently you need to be a noble to date a Primarch’s daughter, who knew?” He crossed his arms, thinking of the flight. “You would have liked a lot of the guys we met, though. The actual ride was smooth, except for the Warp transitions. Those completely sucked.
“We’re safe and sound, though,” he continued. “Alex has been a complete bro. He’s given me all kinds of workout advice. Lost six pounds in nine days, fuck yeah.” He grinned at the slate. “Not much else to do on a ship.”
“I dunno if Venus has already sent home a message, but if she didn’t…you guys need to see the speech she gave the people here. It was breathtaking. And that uniform! Holy shit, you guys, that uniform of hers is fucking awesome. I seriously need to get one of those.” He paused as someone rapped on the door. “Pause,” he said aloud. When the slate beeped, he walked to the door and peeked out. Alex was waiting outside.
Jake opened the door. “What’s up, man? I’m composing a message for my parents,” he said.
“Shit, sorry,” Alex said. “I can come back.”
“What’s up?” Jake repeated.
Alex sighed and walked in. “Jake…this shit is out of hand.”
“What?” Jake asked.
“This weather is going to fucking kill us. What do we do?” Alex asked, slumping into a chair by the door. “I’ve seen athletes drop from heatstroke in this weather without even getting hit, man. Terrans can not handle this planet.”
“And this is winter,” Jake added. “I don’t know. Genetic conditioning is all I can think of.”
“You can’t afford that,” Alex pointed out.
Jake closed the door. “I know.”
Alex sighed heavily. “All I can think is that we stay on the ship.”
“For a MONTH? Not acceptable. We’d be wasting a fortune in Navy assets just moving from surface to space that many times, and I’m not trusting my soul to a fucking teleporter,” Jake said emphatically. “I say we gut it out as long as we can, and if it’s really unbearable, we stay on Prometheus.”
Alex squinted at him. “Jake, when I was in freshman year, I saw a junior on the soccer team fall over, out like a light, in practice. We all ran up to him. He was out from heatstroke. When he woke up in the hospital, he said he remembered feeling over-heated and dizzy. How did you feel in the street today?”
“Pretty much like that,” Jake admitted.
“Right.” Alex fidgeted. “Look…we all brought thermoprotective kit. I thought I’d only use it in the deserts, but…”
“Yeah.” Jake glanced over at the thermo gear in his bag. “Yeah. We wear it around, then.”
“It’ll be a little embarrassing, but it’s better than hospitalization,” Alex said. “Well. Anyway. I should let you get back to your letter.”
“Unpause,” Jake said aloud. “Sorry about that, guys. Alex just dropped by to say something.”
“Uh, hi, Seager family,” Alex chuckled. “Alex Carlin here. Dunno if we ever met.” Jake winked at him as he stood up to go.
“Shit weather aside, Nocturne itself is amazing,” Jake said as Alex walked back to his own room. “The people here live so closely with the Salamanders. It’s not a thing like back home with the Imperial Fists. We had breakfast with a few Salamanders this morning, and they were just chatting with us like…well, like normal people. It was great.” He glanced at the timer on the slate’s screen. “I don’t want to take up more than my fair shot of Astropathic time. So…I guess I’ll talk to you later. Goodbye,” he said. “Stop.”
He bundled the message and hit Transcript. In a few seconds, the slate beeped, and the transcription popped up on the screen. After fixing a few errors, he tapped into the line on the wall, grateful for having the master suite, and sent it off to the Astropathic temple in Aethonion.
Venus ran her hands over the fine fabric of the shirt on the rack. “Oooh. I like,” she said under her breath. She glanced at the price tag and lifted an eyebrow above her mirrored shades at the cost. “Cheaper than dirt! Awesome.” She lifted the shirt and carried it up to the vendor at the front of the tiny market booth. “I’ll take it,” she said happily.
“My honor, Princess!” the vendor said.
Venus sighed patiently. “I mean I’ll buy it,” she said, brandishing a money card like a sword.
“Oh…well, I would be…all right, your total comes to seventeen credits,” the vendor said hesitantly. Venus swiped the fifty thousand cred card through the reader.
“Thanks,” she said, walking out before the vendor could complain.
“Oh ho, refusing graft, are you, Princess? How principled,” Remilia joked from the door.
“Bite me,” Venus grumbled. “Why do I even wear these shades if people can see my eyes through them? I should just get a bionic visor or something.”
“You best be kidding. I would kill for those eyes,” Remilia said.
“Eh. I was. And it’s my own fault for thinking people wouldn’t recognize me after a speech like the one today,” Venus said. Freya meandered up from the next booth over, some little icon in her hands. “What you got there?”
“A ske-run sculpture,” Freya said excitedly. “Check this out!” She passed the tiny stone sculpture to her cousin.
“That’s a sa’hrk, not a ske-run,” Venus said. “It’s for the better, trust me. Ske-run are what sa’hrk eat.”
“Oh.” Freya’s face fell. “Well, that’s good too.”
“I will outlive him by a million years if I outlive him by a day. I care not,”

Explain. This.
Yeah, that was...pretty cold.
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I went and searched for an image just so I could post it to add on to this particular question. Feel honored that I like your writing enough to do so.
Venus is gifted with eternal youth. He's mortal. She'll outlive him by some amount, who knows how long.

She doesn't care. She's determined not to let that get between them. She's accepted that she can't stay with him forever, and he knows that some day he'll break her heart...but with augmetic technology, cybernetics, and good lifestyles, that day may be far in the future. They're both determined to make the best of it while they can, even if it's doomed to a painful end.

The Emperor didn't really think that part through. I may have said it before, but that's far and away the darkest part of the entire setting. Angela and Miranda will get some closure on their families, as they outlive generation after generation of lovers and offspring. The others won't.

Don't dwell on it. Venus won't. She's cried her eyes out about it a few times already, to her father. Misja will die within a few centuries, and Vulkan knows it very well.
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Fuck that shit.
>Fuck that shit.
[tghasnospoilers]Fuck that shit.[/tghasnospoilers]
Write for the Black Library.
It would give me a reason to buy their books.
Man, thinking fucking stupid settings like WHH out to their natural conclusions is my specialty. If it's any consolation, I'm not cruel enough to actually write the scene of Jake dying in a hospital bed. I planned it out, you know, down to the clothing they're wearing.

I halfass NOTHING.

ANYWAY! Back to Venus haggling with some dude.
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Why thank you.

There is a phrase that, when consolidated down to what I am about to tell you, represents everything that classic fantasy writing, roleplaying, and player interactions stand for. It is something so powerful that it draws in the minds of scores of thousands of people to its sound. Its what keeps us rolling dice, instead of playing dice, its what keeps our eyes on the adventurers, instead of on our homeworks, its what keeps us up all night thinking and what makes us beg for sleep and dreams.

It is hope.
"There is always a solution."
If I could whisper even the slightest thing into the ear of those girls, it would be this.

Cheers and more good writing.
There's always Dreadnoughts, but that's a somewhat...impractical solution.
My mind briefly covered that too.
The effort to get Jake (or alex) to fucking earn one would probably mean what mortal life they did have to spend with their woman would be sparse and most likely childless.
They may find a way less macabre than Farah's half-hearted suggestion of presvering their ex-husbands' minds in cogitator banks, but I haven't thought of it.

It's irrelevant.

Maybe. Who knows if the Daughters are even genetically compatible with normal men?
Venus grinned. “You want to head back now, or keep shopping? You appear to have…acquired some lucre already,” she noted, staring at the bulging fanny pack Freya was wearing.
“Let’s head back, actually,” Freya said. “I feel bad for ditching the boys. And I want to get this stuff packed.”
“Okay. You know the way?” Venus asked.
“You’re not coming with?” Remilia asked.
“No. I want to stay a bit longer and just…talk. You know? Find out what my people are like.” Venus smiled at the processions of people on the street.
“Sure thing. See you after dinner,” Remilia said. Both of the paler girls walked back to the castle, a plainclothesman discreetly breaking off to follow.
Venus turned back to the crowds, watching in silence. A group of merchant trawlers was hawking their wares at the large table in the middle of the market. As she watched, one swept a pile of goods into a black plastic box and passed it along to family that had paused at their table.
“My Princess?” a voice at her shoulder murmured. She glanced back to see one of the plainclothesmen standing behind her. “If you’d like to explore the market, we could have someone send your purchases back to the castle.”
“Thanks. I think I’m good,” she said. “I won’t be out too much longer before the dinner.”
“As you wish, your Highness,” the man whispered, disappearing back into the crowds.
Venus turned and walked along the rows of booths along the outer edge of the market. The beautiful assortment of exotic jewelry in one booth caught her eye. A natural jeweler herself, she cast her stare over a row of magnificent silver coins. They were blank in the middle and had tiny sparkles along the edges – diamond dust, maybe.
“Remarkable craftsmanship,” she said softly.
“Thanks, dear,” the fellow behind the counter said. For a miracle, he seemed not to recognize her. “I can emboss your picture on one for six hundred credits extra.”
“By hand?” she asked.
“No, no, that takes forever. I use a press and scrape the details by hand, though.”
“Heh. I like those too,” she said, gesturing at a coiling silver necklace on another table. “Is that electrum? What’s it’s proportion?”
“Good eye. It’s electrum, all right. The hacked the rocks out of a lode my sister sent me. 40-59-1, gold-silver-copper,” the man said. “Try it on.”
“Really?” she asked. She ran her finger gingerly over the coiled links. “Well…” she set her shirt down and lifted the beautiful necklace, holding it over her chest and glancing in a mirror on the cloth wall of the booth.
“It’s gorgeous,” she said quietly.

Just gotta step on an old man's heart, don't ya.

: (
Don't worry. I hate making my character suffer. Even Furia and Petra and Victoria get a fair shot at a happy life with me at the helm. I'm a gigantic softie like that.
“It’s yours for forty thousand credits,” the man said.
Venus set it down on the stand again. “No, thank you, sir. But…ooh. Is that a heliotrope ring?” she asked.
“It is. You know your rocks, dear.”
“I do.” She lifted the ring. “The balance is perfect. How did you balance the set with such an asymmetric rock?” she asked.
“Patience. Lots of patience.”
“Bloodstone is my birthstone,” Venus said.
“I live on Terra. On Terra, certain gems and rocks correlate with your birth month. I was born on March 20th, so I’m bloodstone, heliotrope,” Venus said. “My boyfriend was born on June 29th, so he’s Catseye,” she explained. “Don’t suppose you’ve got any yellow cymophanes?”
“I just might,” the man said, reaching under the display case and rooting around. “Hmm…no rings…just a stone,” he said, pulling a gorgeous yellow gem from under the counter.
Venus smiled. “Name your price, sir, on the ring and the stone.”
“Hmm…the stone is cut, and ready to balance. I’ll say five thousand six hundred. The ring was a lot of fun, and you don’t see heliotrope this far from the Dragonspire…I’ll say four thousand five hundred fifty. Comes to ten thousand, one hundred fifty. Taxes make it ten thousand, nine hundred sixty eight and eight cents.”
“Sir, please. The stones aren’t even symmetrical. I’ll give you ten thousand even for the set,” Venus said.
“Miss, you might be able to haggle with the meatmongers across the way, but I know the value of my wares, and your total is 10,968.08 credits,” the man said patiently.

OP is not a 100% pure, pasturized happy ender.

But he is still a pretty cool guy and I would buy him not one, but two beers.

Carry on.

If I can make people care about characters in a setting this stupid, I'm doing alright.
Okay, I couldn't sleep, and I just thought of something. Is there an imperial version of a camelbak? Because that would REALLY help with Jake and Alex. They're having trouble adjusting to the heat, and one of the things they need to do that is water. Same with adjusting to elevation, you need more water. Hell, if you're adjusting to a different gravity, you probably need more water.

That and sunburn, which they might pick up.

If you get sunburnt, and not even badly, with the blistering, you'll find yourself drinking twice as much water, just to keep up.

That and electrolytes. A bit of salt, the table kind, will actually help a bit with the kind of heat problems they're having.

Now to be fair, that's assuming they don't go so far as heat exhaustion/stroke, which Jake was skirting earlier. For that, you just need to get them in the shade, cool them down, but DON'T go straight to cold. Ice baths? That'll actually give them hypothermia. I'm not kidding.

Oh! This is also a chance for Jake and Alex to get huuuuuuge floppy hats. Those'll help too.
The Imperial army does have something like Camelbak. That's part of the thermo gear that they were talking about earlier.
Alex is also a career athlete, he knows how to hydrate. They should be OK if they don't do something stupid.

Like, say, go to see the Igneans...
Venus shrugged. “I can’t argue with that.” She swiped her card at the reader and lifted the gems. “So…where did you study, sir?”
“Under my father. My family’s been turning chunks of this misbegotten little piece of hell into artworks since you could count the stars within the Imperium with two hands,” the man said, with the quiet pride of a career craftsman. “My son and one of my grandsons are just as good.”
“Truly? Good for you,” Venus said.
“Yes…my youngest grandson entered the Salamanders, he did. He’s a Techmarine now,” the man said with unmistakable delight.
“Wow. Good on him. What’s his name?” Venus asked as she slid both jewels into a pouch and tied it shut.
“Hasdreth. Tech-brother Hasdreth Liun,” the craftsman said.
“Oh yeah! He studied on Mars, in the Seminary of the Guiding Machine,” Venus said as memories returned. “I met him once at a dinner party.”
“You…met him?” the old fellow asked, baffled. “How?”
Venus looked at him over the edge of her mirrored glasses and winked cheerfully. “I’m a Salamander too.”
“Oh my…Princess Venus, I’m deeply honored,” the man said. “I…suppose I don’t have to ask where you made all your jewelry, at least,” he joked weakly.
Venus laughed warmly. “Indeed. I’m following the family craft as well. Of course Dad’s creations tend to kill things instead of make them pretty.”
“Present company excepted, I’m sure, your Highness,” the jeweler said.
“You’re too kind.” She stuck out a hand to shake. The jeweler hesitantly took it, and Venus shook his hand briskly. “Thank you, sir. Good day.”
“I’ll treasure this day, your Highness. And welcome home,” he said, bowing his head as she left his shop.
finally caught up on the story, good job so far sir. You might want to double check some things before you upload to the 1d4chan article; IE venus entering Freya's room to find venus lounging about. Other than that it's a good story. Thanks for the writefaggotry.
Nice catch, thanks.

What parts did you like?
Venus glanced back at the sun, high in the sky, and grinned. “It does feel good,” she said softly.
A loud rattling noise from in front of her drew her attention back down to the surface. A group of local police – Enforcers, they were called, Venus remembered, like in the Hives back home – were cordoning off a small road bridge between two parts of the market. She wandered over to take a peek.
“Come on, folks, move along,” one Enforcer said.
“What happened here?” she asked the man next to her.
“Robbery,” the man muttered. “Nobody got hurt. Some tourist with a pistol slid in to a booth on the far side, demanded money, ran for it.”
“Revolting,” Venus said coldly.
“Yeah. Fucking tourists,” the man grumbled, surprising Venus. Before she could say a word, he had turned on his heel and walked away, cloak billowing.
Venus stared. He was more upset about the foreigner than the robbery? She looked for a detour around the bridge and found one, skirting around the Enforcer quarantine and emerging in a similar section of market, this one focusing more on the essentials; food and housewares predominated. Venus casually meandered up to the Enforcer line, which was now brimming with locals looking for answers.
A few Enforcers were gingerly guiding a clearly shell-shocked stall owner to a sheltered seat, while some others were examining the booth and asking questions of a witness. Venus stared. That sort of crime was all but unheard of in Startseite. From the reactions of the people around her, it was rare here too.
“Ought to hang the vermin by his balls from the Walls of Hesiod, let him fry,” a woman next to her growled. “Offworlders don’t know what it’s like trying to hack a living from the crust of hell.”
“Or just don’t care. I suspect foreign criminals are just as greedy as Nocturnean criminals,” joked the man to whom she was talking.
Venus backed up, sensing that her presence would have been unnecessary. Even as she started to leave, however, the woman who had been robbed glanced to the side and spotted her. Her eyes flew open.
Venus’ finger shot to her lips, gesturing for quiet. The woman stared, clearly traumatized, but nodded. Without a word, Venus turned and slid back across the detour bridge, making for the castle. Suddenly, she didn’t feel like shopping.
Well for within this thread, Nocturne isn't just palette-swapped terra. People notice the variance in air pressure and gravity. Salamanders are awesome. The heat actually does something noticeable. Salamanders have the coolest homeworld ever. I like the idea of exploring the famous worlds of the imperium. Salamanders are my favorite loyalist legion. I like just reading about daily life in the imperium, interactions between folks in it. Stuff like that. Huge 40k fan, read a lot of the novels, play the TT, the rpgs, games. Your story is also giving me the urge to buy a new army (guess who) when, even as I speak, the fragments of the army I just bought come to me.
So yeah, feeling just a little inspired to like salamanders even more than I already do. Really liking the atmosphere of the story so far.
>all of what you said.
I am greatly pleased, that's the best kind of feedback.

Thanks very much for pointing out the differences between Nocturne and Terra. It's a big theme of the story; allowing the girls to find the causative factors in their fathers' developments and how they impacted their own upbringing.

I'm actually planning on making this next bit quite Alex-centric, since we see relatively little of him.
Jake was reading his slate when a knock came on the door. “Come,” he said, setting it down.
Venus opened the door and walked in. “Afternoon, Jake.”
“Hey, baby. You’re back early,” he said. He stood up and walked into the sitting room. “Thought you’d be out mingling.”
“I was. Lost my appetite when I saw a robbery. I wanted to come back and give you a hug,” she said, squeezing him tight. He planted a kiss on her forehead.
“Sounds scary.”
“Nobody was injured, but yeah, it was.”
“Well…I sent a message to my parents. I’ve got the afternoon free if you want to do something else,” he said.
“No, thanks, I need to get dressed for the dinner,” Venus said, dropping her shirt on the couch. “But…look at this,” she said, pulling the bloodstone ring from her pocket.
“Oh, wow. It’s pretty,” Jake said, taking the ring. “What stone is that?”
“It’s bloodstone. Heliotrope. My birthstone,” she said. “I was thinking I might wear it to the dinner if I decide not to wear the gloves.”
“It’s really cool. Where did you get it?” Jake asked, following her into the bedroom.
“A jeweler’s shop in the market.” Venus halted when she saw his thermoreflective gear and water pouch on the bed. “You going spelunking in a lava vent, baby?”
“Yes, it’s called ‘walking outdoors in Hesiod,’” Jake said. “No offense, Venus, but I nearly had a heart attack on the way back from lunch. I’m wearing that tomorrow.”
“Oh.” Venus shrugged. “Your call. We’ll just be tourist-ing again.”
“No problem in looking like a tourist if you are one,” Jake said.
“Aye aye.” Venus grabbed the armor stand and rolled it into the bathroom. Be back in a bit.”
As she shut the door, Remilia poked her head in the door to the sitting room. “Knock knock.”
“Hey, Remilia, come on in,” Jake said. “You just get back too?”
“No, I’ve been back for a while. It’s getting close to dinner time, you want to go grab something?” she asked.
“Love to. I’ll call room service,” Jake said.
“I meant out. In the city, “ Remilia said.
Jake winced. “Uh…well, I didn’t handle the heat so good today.”
“We’ll take a car. Come on, my treat,” she said insistently. Jake gave in, his hunger outweighing his reluctance.
“Sure, let me just tell Venus where I’m going,” he said. He raised his voice. “Venus, I’m headed out to dinner with Remilia.”
“Okay, I’ll see you tonight,” Venus’ muffled voice came from the bathroom.
Jake reclined in the spacious seat of the diplomatic car Remilia had requested. How she had convinced the castle staff to let them borrow it, he didn’t care to guess. Remilia herself was sitting beside him on the backseat of the car, trying in vain to encode her portable vox to the local network. “No good,” she grumbled. “The bloody local nets are all four generations behind on cell codes. I’ll never get a signal.”
“I had the same problem.” Jake glanced over at Remilia, who had selected a nicely cut silver shirt and conservative pants for the occasion. “You look nice. How are you not dying of heat? You’re from Inwit!”
“Good genes,” she said with a shrug. “I’ll still be wearing thermos tomorrow.”
“Me too,” Jake said emphatically.
The car halted in front of a small restaurant by the very outer edge of the city walls, and the servitor at the drivers’ seat turned the vehicle off with a clatter of cooling metal. Remilia and Jake emerged to find the air much cooler, but still boiling by Terran standards. They walked the short way to the restaurant and entered, and to Jake’s infinite relief, it was even cooler inside.
“My Lady Dorn, my Lord, welcome,” the woman at the front desk said. “How may I serve you?”
“A table for two with a bit of a draft,” Remilai said, smiling politely. “And a steady flow of ice water.”
“Yes, indeed…do follow me,” the hostess said, leading the pair into the building.
Alex finished changing and slid his wallet into his pocket. “As soon as you’re ready, babe,” he called.
“Hold up…there,” Freya said from the other room. She emerged decorated with the single tiny sapphire she had decided to purchase that afternoon hanging from her neck. “Where do you want to go?”
“Somewhere close to the castle,” Alex said. “Maybe that steakhouse you saw at the market?”
“Sure, let’s head out,” Freya replied. As she said it, a familiar red light filled the main room.
“Hey, kids, I’m out of here,” Venus called. “You two sure you don’t just want room service?”
“We can save that for a rainy day. For now, let’s experience Nocturnean cuisine,” Freya said. She eyed her shorter cousin’s formal uniform, replete with weapons. “No crown this time? A shame.”
“Oh hush, that thing is for times when I need to look regal instead of just important,” Venus chided. “Besides, I’m going to replace the guy I’m dining with tonight, I want to be able to look him in the eye.”
“Right.” Freya nipped her cousin’s ear on the way out the door. “Knock ‘em dead.”
“Not yet, they need to stay active until I take office and fire them all,” Venus said nonchalantly. Freya started. “A joke, a joke.”
You know, the whole lifespan thing earlier got me thinking...

It would really suck to marry one of these girls. Because you would get the in-law from HELL.

Think about it. Her dad's the size of a factory that exclusively produces brick shithouses. He can break your back with his little finger--or in one notable case his BRAIN--and make it look like an accident. He knows everyone who's anyone in the Imperium, including the nice men and women in the black jumpsuits whose job it is to erase anybody who says, "Fuck the Emperor," a little too loudly. And if you break his little girl's heart he has the authority to quite literally break the heart of your freaking PLANET.

And barring a catastrophe that would shake your society to its core, he will always be there. You could be two-hundred years old and bed-ridden for the last ten, with more titanium conduits in your body than blood vessels, and he'll still be there. A mountain made of biceps, not looking a day older; and perhaps now more than ever capable of erasing you from the physical universe with a careless gesture.

Ask me, that sounds like a freakin' raw deal.
Ah, but the money, and the sex, and the power...

And who knows? You might get one of the nice guys like Horus and Fulgrim, or the ones who are never around like Guilliman and Perturabo, or the ones who can prescreen you like Magnus and Sanguinius.

And if it turns out you are genetically compatible, hey! You get to contribute to the Royal House of the Emperor! Can't get a higher honor than that.
Jake dug into his appetizer, grateful that Remilia had chosen a place with Terran-style food. “Good call, Remilia,” he said.
“Thanks. Apparently this is The Place To Go when Terran diplomats are in town,” Remilia said. “I think a Lady Primarch qualifies.”
Jake grinned over his riblets. “Man…that gets me.”
“At what point did rubbing shoulders with the most powerful people in the galaxy become something I do over dinner?” he laughed to himself. Remilia half-grinned.
“When you got a scholarship to Imperator.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Jake leaned back, sipping his water. “Thanks for this.”
“My pleasure,” Remilia said with a smile. “So…what do you think of Venus’ homeworld?”
“Amazing place. The weather, the people, the architecture…amazing.” Jake nodded at his own wisdom. “It’s a proud world.”
“It is.” Remilia nicked one of his riblets and chewed. “I want to go see the place they call the Jewel. It’s a city in the middle of an acid ocean.”
“We’re going there soon, though, right? Four days per city, then two extra in the last one and then off to Fenris,” Jake said from memory.
“Yep.” Remilia finished the rib and wiped her fingers. “I’m glad to see you taking to Alex’s tutelage.”
“Mmm. Muscles, flex,” Jake said deeply, clenching his neck. Remilia snorted into her drink.
“You want to get into a contest, buddy, you ain’t gonna win.”
“Hmmph. No fair. You can kick a hole in rebarred concrete,” Jake grumbled.
Jake cut a piece free from his sauroch flambé and bit in. “Delicious,” he said.
Remilia started her wine, nodding appreciatively. “It is.” She finished her starter bread and started in on her own entrée. “To answer your question, no. I would like to be able to play after college, but I don’t have a team in mind. Frankly, I’ll probably just go into politics.”
“You hate politics,” Jake pointed out.
“I completely loathe politics,” Remilia grumbled.
“Then don’t! Start a business or something,” Jake said. “You get to pick. You know how few Terrans get to pick? Go into the private sector.”
“Like what?” Remilia asked.
Jake shrugged, biting into his sauroch. “You’re awesome with money. You could start an accounting firm. Or go into the Army and lead the Quartermasters’ Corps. You’re too smart to waste your time on something you hate.”
“Thanks, Jake,” Remilia said, touched.
“I mean it. Go travel. Find a world inside Imperial Fists territory that’s in the middle of an economic downturn and build it back up. Or hell, go Rogue Trader. Live like a queen,” Jake continued.
“‘Remilia Dorn, Corsair Queen,’” Remilia said aloud. “That…is amazingly appealing.”
“I can see it. You could have a servo-skull follow you around and record it all. Sell holos on the Network and make trillions,” Jake joked.
“Stop making sense!” Remilia said plaintively.
Venus held her plate of nibbles with one hand, the other resting on the hilt of her scabbarded Power Rapier. “Governor, as much as I’d like to say that that’s in the cards, no.”
“Ah, your Highness, you wound me,” the Governor said sadly. “I suppose you have your heart set?”
“I do indeed,” Venus said. She had decided to tie her hair back in a ponytail that night, and had been laboring to project a feel of complete confidence to her audience. “Kouthry. On Terra.”
“I see,” the Governor said. He and the leaders of all seven Sanctuaries, plus nearly a hundred lesser dignitaries, had assembled that night. “Well, I’m sure it’s a good school.”
“My father and mother are both proud graduates, and my boyfriend is staff there,” Venus said proudly. “I’m looking forward to it.”
“We had been hoping that you would pick a Nocturnean school, your Highness,” the well-muscled Governor said. The man had been a PDF trooper in his youth, and had clearly kept up the exercise routine. Venus found herself liking the man.
“Graduate school may happen. We’ll see,” Venus allowed. She plucked an hors d'oeuvre from her plate and bit in. “I don’t know.”
“Ah well,” the Governor said.
“Governor Erd’Chel, please, do not misinterpret my intention,” Venus said. “Nocturne is my home, and though Terra may house me, I will not forgo my heritage.” She smiled tightly. “I’ve not felt so alive as I have since I arrived. Not in a long time.”
A robed man bearing the stylized I of the Scholastica Psykana walked up to the Governor and whispered something. Venus’ supernatural hearing detected it verbatim. “Governor, the echo is back. I recommend a level five alert.”
“Do it,” the Governor said. The psyker backed away, leaving the Governor grimacing.
“Something require an alert, Erd’Chel?” Venus asked mildly.
“Not at all, Venus,” the Governor said, deftly assuming the same informality as his guest. Venus nodded contritely. “At least not an alarm.”
“Do tell,” she said, downing another bite of imported Septiim liqueur fruit.
“A small radio echo. We suspect that a Tier Y energy spike may be building in the sun,” the Governor explained. “Nothing fatal, but worthy of immediate observation.”
“Of course, I apologize.” Venus set her tray down and wiped her fingers clean on a napkin. A paper napkin. How much did THAT cost to import? Finishing off her plate, she wandered off to the center of the floor, seeking a new speaking companion.
She spotted her old teacher Isaac across the room and smiled conspiratorially. He returned it, winking over his drink, before resuming his conversation with the robed Salamander beside him. The warrior had been silent for much of the night, including the toast to Venus, and Venus ambled over, wondering if he was familiar.
He was not. The robed Space Marine nodded his respect to his Lady Primarch. “Princess Venus. An honor,” he rumbled.
“As you were, Marine.” Venus inclined her head. “I do not believe we have met.”
“I am Fletsun, my Princess, Master of Sanctity,” he rumbled, surprising Venus deeply. The fifth highest-ranking member of the entire LEGION was on-planet and she hadn’t been notified?
“I surprise you?” the Marine asked.
“Somewhat. I had expected to be notified of your presence, Master,” Venus said. “Do not mistake that for displeasure. It is an honor to be in the presence of he who keeps the souls and discipline of my father’s Legion to task,” she added, genuflecting with her hand across her heart.
“The honor is mine, Princess.” The ancient war cleric closed his eyes for a moment. “I was overjoyed to hear of your return to us. You were the size of my hand when you left us,” he said with the ghost of a smile on his coal-black lips.
Venus nodded ruefully. “Indeed I was. I have found my time on Terra to be both surprisingly trying and greatly rewarding, however. I deem it time well spent,” she said, effortlessly switching to the Old Nocturnean tongue. Fletsun nodded his approval of her mastery of the language.
“Good. You have had the luxury of formal schooling?”
“Some. I will return to Terra to complete it. Or, rather, gain more. I am genuinely considering graduate school here. Medicine, perhaps, or the sciences. I have the luxury of time as well,” Venus admitted.
“A luxury the Emperor’s gifts grant, and one few embrace properly,” the man said. He smiled once more. “Your Old Nocturnean sounds of recent practice.”
“Father insists that I maintain total fluency and literacy alike. There are approximately ten speakers on Terra, however, so practice is elusive,” Venus admitted. “I do not deny it.” She raised a hand to her lips. “It is a beautiful language.”
“Indeed.” The Salamander eyed her hand. “A ring of engagement, my Princess?”
Venus laughed aloud. “Were it but so! But it is not. A purchase of mine. On Terra, ancient jewelers and artificers tied times to stones for luck and beauty. The one that corresponds with my time of birth is the aptly-named bloodstone.”
“Fitting,” Fletsun said. “You bear it well. Do you pursue your father’s taste in artifice?”
“Vigorously!” Venus said proudly.
“As you should.” Fletsun bowed again. “I do not monopolize your time fairly. Go. Enjoy the adoration of your people. I will be here.”
“Thank you, Venerable Shepherd,” Venus said, bowing deeply in return. She turned back to the room with a spring in her heel.
Isaac watched her go. “She has become strong and wise, Master. She has defeated me outright in battle. She has found a family to die for. To live for.”
“Indeed.” Fletsun watched her go as well, eyes burning like torches in his face. “A fitting heir to her father.”
“No. Not yet. But when she is one, the galaxy will be bettered for it,” Isaac said quietly.
“You may be right, Isaac.” Venus was chatting with a senior noble of the Skarokk mines now, projecting an easy confidence that only the soul-speaker and the warrior teacher could see was fraught with nerves and uncertainties of youth. “But she will be soon. Her father’s concern for her is the concern of a parent who feels his job unfinished. That is a relief.”
“Better he feel he has much left to teach her, at her youthful age, than nothing more to do,” the Chaplain said. Isaac bowed his submission.
I actually googled Bloodpaint to see if it was a thing (Venus vs Isaac fightan)
Any hot sex or lesbian french kissing?
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>Well…no, it would be a structural weakness.
>his real face when
Will work my way through this thread today, I'm as far as Jake talking about his old job.

And if any lurkers are reading, be a sport and let Someone Else know. I know myself that getting no response sucks.

That moment, contrasted with the freaking braziers not one paragraph before cracked me up. It's very telling of Nocturnean/Salamander attitudes. "Sure, we'll use fire to light our SPACE STATIONS but windows? That would be crazy.

It's that mix of practicality and absurd traditionalism that I like in 40k in general really.
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And eight hours later I've read through both threads.
Damn man, you want me coming back for more. I am like a another anon commenting in this thread, I like the daily life in the IoM, it makes the setting more alive than simply MILLIONARMYDEATHSIEGECHAOS! 24/7. And I like the interactions between the characters, and conflict and arguments between them makes it feel more genuine so don't shirk on those. However, I'm like you and a softie for cute girls being happy.
Bump for more. Looking forward to Alex getting more focus
This pleases me to no end.

Awesome, thanks guys.
Alex finished his second beer and listened to the background noise in the steakhouse grow louder. “I missin’ something?” he asked.
“No, people are talking about a rad alarm outside. We’ll be fine if we’re indoors,” Freya said, her hearing providing the answer. “How’s your sauroch?”
“Awesome. These people know their grills,” Alex said. “You want a bite?”
“Oog, no, I’m stuffed, thanks.” Freya leaned back and tapped her belly. “How about you?”
“I’m good.” Alex watched as a pair of Enforcers walked past the entrance, yellow lights on their uniform vests flashing. “They must be clearing the streets.”
“Sure looks that way. I hope Remilia and Jake are all right.”
Alex nodded. “So…am I crazy, or does Remilia like Jake a bit too much?”
“It’s just you. He helped her get through some bad shit, remember?” Freya said.
“Right, that thing with her dad.”
“My advice? Let it go,” Freya counseled.
“Done.” Alex finished his entrée and sat back in his seat. “Man that was good. You want dessert, or should we headback before this radiation thing?”
“We should go,” Freya said, flagging the waitress. The woman bustled up and deposited the check, bringing a few plates back with her. Freya signed the check without even looking, dropping a card on it as she did.
Remilia stood in the doorframe of the restaurant, listening to the Enforcer beyond. “Ma’am, the city is under rad-lock. You may not exit the building,” the Enforcer said patiently.
“What’s a rad-lock?” Remilia asked.
The Enforcer bit back a sigh. “It’s a lockdown because of a radiation alarm. You’ll be perfectly safe in any building with a stone roof, but you may not go outdoors.”
“All right, we’ll wait it out. Thank you, Officer,” Remilia said, walking back to where Jake and a number of other guests were gathering. “Sorry guys, the lockdown won ‘t lift for a while.”
“Blast,” one man who looked like a merchant grumbled. “We’re stuck here.”
“Seems it,” Remilia said. Jake shrugged and pulled his vox out, flipping it on and booting a game.
“Might as well make the best of it,” he said.
Venus was making her way through the crowd, impressing various nobles, when the psyker she had noted before made his way over to the Governor again. “Sir, the rad spike is beginning.”
“Sound the alarm,” the Governor murmured, looking apprehensively out the window.
“Yes, Governor,” the psyker said, his eyes flashing. For an instant, nothing happened. Then, outside, yellow beacons lit, all across the city. Venus’ eye wandered across the sea of yellow lights, reminded incongruously of images her father had once shown her of Nocturne before the Mechanicum had uplifted the Cities to their current grandeur.
The sky turned black, for just a moment. Darker than the night that was coming, the sunset vanished behind a turbulent atmosphere. Several guests grimaced and shielded their eyes.
Venus braced herself, unsure of what to expect. Her skin prickled as the radspike hit. She felt her heart pounding like a hammer in her ribcage, and the world turned a bit redder as her eyes grew so bright that the reflection overwhelmed her contact lenses.
Power surged through her. Her armor felt constricting where before it had fit like a glove. The weapons at her side seemed to sing to her. The world around her sharpened. She could hear the heartbeats of guests nearby accelerate as their bodies dealt with the radiation’s lingering heat. The tiny cracks in the varnish in the floor refined themselves before her sight.
Her blood raced to her stomach, her arms, her legs, her eyes, her back. She was ready to fight. She was back in the ring with Isaac and spinning in Ir’Sem’s arms, and she was back before No’dan and in bed with Jake watching her world on the wall.
Her breath was loud, unsteady. A hand fell on her back as Governor Erd’Chel moved up behind her. She had heard his breath and heartbeat as he had approached, and it underved her. She normally couldn’t do that.
“Princess? Are you all right?” he asked, a note of distinct worry in his even voice.
Venus straightened up. Erd’Chel took a step back from the raging inferno in her eyes. “I am well, Governor. Thank you for your concern,” she said. Her voice was rich and resonant. Her concerns melted away. She projected an absolute confidence she had never felt, and found it real.
“Good, Princess, I was concerned when you nearly dropped your plate,” the Governor said, eyeing the plate that teetered on the edge of the table next to her.
“Sorry.” Venus’ suddenly radiant eyes searched the room, casting red across it. The other guests were all back to normal, talking, snacking, dancing. None seemed to share her exhilaration and power.
She turned back to Erd’Chel and saw every weak point in his posture. Every place she could hit him to cripple or kill.
She smiled. “I’ve never felt that before.”
“It’s a fact of life around here,” Erd’Chel sighed. Behind him, Fletsun stared at Venus, his own eyes suddenly ablaze.
Alex walked out of the restaurant as the beacons died. “Glad that’s over,” he said, a faint slur in his words.
“Yeah, that was a whole lot of no fun,” Freya said, following him down the street. “You nauseous?”
“Naw. Little drunk, but I’m good.” Alex walked carefully down the empty streets as night lamps kicked on overhead. “I am so full right now.”
“Yeah.” Freya walked up beside him and squeezed his hand playfully. “Not too full, I hope?”
“Not even a little,” Alex happily said.
“Good.” Freya released his hand and pointed up into the sky. “You see that?”
Alex squinted. “That a space station?”
“I think it’s Prometheus Station,” Freya said, focusing her eyes. “It’s big enough anyway.”
“Huh.” Alex shivered. “Is it just me, or did it get a lot cooler?”
“That bigass ball of fire over there is going away; yeah it’s cooler,” Freya laughed. “You should have stopped after one beer, featherweight.”
“Oh, baby, that hurts,” Alex said, wounded.
Jake stuck his hands in his pockets and breathed the evening air deep. “Everything smells so clean here,” he said. “How, I don’t know, with all the acid in the water and radiation in the air.”
“I suspect it’s the absence of a trillion humans underground,” Remilia joked, joining him at the curbside. “You ready to head out?”
“You bet.” She grinned at her sidelong. “Thanks for dinner.”
“My pleasure.” Remilia’s own smile faded a bit. “Do you think I should send a message home?”
“Absolutely. Warp travel is scary as hell. Let your parents know you’re all right,” Jake counseled.
“Yeah, I should.” Remilia leaned sideways on Jake’s shoulder for a sec, and Jake reached across to squeeze her back. “I like your advice.”
“Make me first mate on your pirate queen flotilla,” Jake quipped.
“Hah! You’ll be busy being Prince of Nocturne,” Remilia laughed. Jake shook his head as they walked back to their car.
“Why do people assume that I’m already some sort of noble all the time? I don’t even look like one.”
“And I do?”
“Yes! Look at you!” Jake said.
“Hmph. You should ask Venus about Nocturnean matrimonial law, Jake. It might surprise you,” Remilia hinted. Jake cocked an eyebrow.
my F5 key is going to break...
Venus marched straight up to Fletsun and spoke. “Master. What is happening?” she demanded in Old Nocturnean.
“Your blood stirred when you felt the radiation from our sun reach you,” the old Master rumbled. “We all feel it.”
“What IS it?” she asked urgently.
“The geneseed at the heart of you reacts with the radiation of our world, as it did for Lord Primarch Vulkan himself,” Fletsun said. “You strengthen. Our connection with our world is as real and visceral as our bodies themselves.”
Venus clenched an armored fist until the leather creaked. “I do not like this power. It smacks of addiction and drugs,” she said coldly.
“You do not like it because it is unfamiliar. No harm comes of it. Your father drank of this world for three thousand, six hundred years, and he is no weaker for his time abroad,” Fletsun pointed out.
He rested a hand on Venus’ shoulder, speaking quietly. “You are stronger here. You are whole here. The gifts of your father and grandfather can be used to their fullest here. Do not be afraid of it. Embrace it.”
The black-haired girl stared up at the old Master, and Isaac, silent beside them, and finally relented. “No harm comes of it? No drawback?”
“None whatsoever,” Fletsun said. “Our Librarians have studied it for the length of the Crusade, and found no downside. It is the blood of Nocturne pulsing within you.” He stood tall and spoke faintly, but with infinite conviction. “Child of the Forge, our connection to our people is more than mere altruism and pragmatism. Our world is a literal part of us. Our sun fuels our blood.”
“You can not accept your responsibilities until you understand that,” Isaac added.
God help me, I could practically hear the Mario 1-UP sound.
The image of an assault marine landing on a dude's head just put me very much in mind of Mario landing on a goomba.
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That whole sequence was stupid and accomplished nothing.
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Uh huh, alright then.
>yfw returning readers have no clue of what the fuck just happened.
Venus looked from one man to the other. “I see.”
“That is why we are kin to the Nocturneans. We are their brothers, not their masters,” Fletsun said. “Their souls and lives are forged by the unrelenting cruelties of their home. They rise above it, and become artisans, warriors, merchants. We are simply the next of the paths of the Promethian Way: the apotheosis of the Nocturnean spirit of survival. We express our world’s harshness on the fields of battle as the Emperor’s paladins, a bulwark against the ravaging of aliens and mutants, heretics and witches, daemons and thinking machines.”
Venus nodded. “I…have never thought of it that way.”
“Then you must, Princess, before you take your icon back from No’dan and rise to become our rightful Queen,” Fletsun said. “Do you understand?”
Venus clasped her hands together over her belt buckle and thought. “I…do not know. I truly do not know.”
“You will. I have confidence in your ability to make good decisions,” Fletsun said. “And no step in the process of learning is as great as admitting a lack thereof.”
“Thank you, Master Fletsun,” Venus said. “I will reflect on your words.”
SE's handed the reins over to me for a time, so have some Trip into Hell, the flipside of Road Trip!
Last time, Julius Pius (Isis Lupercal's boyfriend, and the son of Ollanius Pius) was on his own roadtrip to Ultramar, but that's been interrupted by an Ork Hulk, which is about to invade the planet of Seadelant where he's currently staying. He's signed up with the local Civilian Defence Auxilia. now, on with the story...
The outer walls of Port Huron were abuzz with activity. Normally, apart from a few PDF patrols and sightseeing tourists, the walls were deserted. But now the walls were abuzz with the sound of soldiers making ready. This particular section was being held by the PDF and their troopers stood upon the walls, some resting and awaiting the coming storm, others scanning the silent sky with spyglasses and Magnoculars, or tending to wall mounted Autocannons and Heavy Bolters as well as their own personal weapons. Heavy weapons were being manhandled into position, and several troopers were excavating Mortar Pits with Jackhammers, digging into the Rockcrete surface. In the midst of all this, Julius looked around for the CDA team he had been assigned to. He was sure he was at the right place, just east of outer wall gate 1-5.
“Are you Persson?” an attractive young woman wearing a CDA armband gestured at him, beckoning him over. She was standing beside a C-80 Cargo Hovertruck, several others offloading crates of ammunition behind her. He threw her a snappy salute.
“We’re not professional army, no need to do that. Certainly not for me. I’m Summer. You must be the offworlder, welcome to 4th section, Munitions Escort Brigade. We ferry the ammunition from the bunkers to the walls, freeing up the PDF to fully man the walls. Guys, this is Oll Persson, the offworlder recruit we were informed about.”
He swiftly learnt the names of his fellow CDA Troopers. The broad one with the thick northern accent was Flynn; the dark one was Scvott, the troop leader, the tall handsome one was Dyllion. They were all curious about the stranger who had joined them.
“Oll? Is that short for Ollanius, like the great war hero?” Flynn asked.
Julius admitted it was, leading to the others all talking about his heroics. Julius concealed his blush as best he could, even now he still couldn’t shake off his father’s influence. He convinced them to ‘call me Oll’, which set his mind at ease.
“Come on you lazy sods, back to work.” A voice came down from the walls, and the group returned to shifting crates from the C-80, Julius immediately joining them. As they worked, they conversed, most of them directing questions at Julius.
“So, Oll, you come from the Thousand Worlds of Ultramar. Have you seen real Ultramarines?”
I have seem far more than Ultramarines, he thought to himself, I have schooled alongside Roberta Guilliman the heir to Ultramar herself and her sister/cousins, they are practically family to me. But instead he made up seeing them a few times, but always at a distance. He had come out to get away from that life, and he would keep it under wraps. They were all awed by his tale, Flynn commenting he’d have made a good Space Marine, to which Scvott replied with an assumption about Flynn which made them all laugh, and Flynn responded with a string of insults. These people were growing on Julius.
Suddenly the sky was lit up by a new sun, a bright glow cutting through the azure dome of the heavens. The glow continued for a few seconds, before it began to fade and the sky returned to its natural colour.
“Some poor bastards up there just bought it.” Scvott sniffed. Later Julius would learn of the brave crew of the station who let the Orks board them, drew over a million of them into the station before overloading the station’s reactors, taking the Orks with them and earning every crewmember a posthumous Iron Star.
“That only means one thing.” Julius said as the glow died away. “The Orks have reached our orbit, and most likely will start landing within a day or two, they’ll only hang around long enough to locate where our troops are positioned, so they can get to the fight straight away.”
“Do they teach you these things in the Thousand Worlds?”
“We have the Ork Empire of Charadon on our doorstep; there are always border clashes and the threat of a Waaagh! We take precautions.”
The last crate of munitions was offloaded and stacked beside the Ammo lifts on the wall. Scvott called up. “Truck’s empty, what next?”
“We need another three cases of LG-04, two of HEFG 09, four cases of AAAFSDS, and one DVD-V LD12-0223. Then we should be done, at least until the Greenskins land and the bullets start flying.”
“Pardon?” asked Dyllion.
“Lasgun powerpacks, Frag Grenades, Anti-air Autocannon sabot rounds for the Hydra emplacements and a holodisk on standard defensive Anti-Ork tactics so the men can brush up and know what to do. I know the Munitorium use the most stupid numerational systems designed by man, but we have to live with it and you’d better get used to these terminologies, they’ll be ruling your lives for Emperor-knows how long. Now hustle up, the greenskins won’t wait around for you.”
If someone posts a link from the beginning of A Trip Into Hell (or earlier, if the characters has featured into another story. Whatever comes first in a chronological order), then I read that when I wake up tomorrow.

As fourth section clambered aboard the hovertruck, Julius thought about Venus, Remalia, Freya and their beaus, and what they must be getting up to. They only had another two days on Nocturne before they would be heading off for Fenris. Would he have a story of two to tell them if he survived this.
“They’d better be having a better time than I am.” He murmured to himself.
“Who are you talking about?” Julius realised his murmur came out a little bit too loud.
“Just some friends of mine, they’re on their own trip, but unlike me they weren’t lucky enough to have an Ork Hulk show up on their doorstep.”
“Luck is a curious thing.” Summer commented. “Just when you think you’re out of it, it comes back to you. With luck, this will all be over soon, and we can all get on with our lives. Now come on, let’s get that last shipment up here.”
Another part posted. now i have the good part to complete, the actual Ork Invasion.
AA, does the characters in Trip into Hell feature in any of your previous works? If so, which one? I don't want to jump into TiH with only a passing familiarity with the characters.
Ahriman is one of the original Warhammer High characters from 2008/09. Julius is newer.
Virtually everything about Ahriman (save some incomplete story about a field trip) was done by me.

I created Julius as well, he's in Meeting Horus and Bleeding Out (both versions)
Did you do A Morning With Cora? He's in that.
Correction, everything with him as a Viewpoint Character.
Haven't gotten through the latest stories, but I'm always moved and drawn in by the interactions of your characters -- I damn near cried in "Bleeding Out" when Remilia and Rogal Dorn had their confrontation (I was initially worried, as I came to that scene, that they'd just patch up and move on...I should never have doubted you).

Anyway, it's doubtful that I'll be able to read through this thread and provide specific feedback before it 404's (heck, the last sentence refers to a story that's a month old at least), but I want you to know that you've got an eager and avid reader in me.
Well, I appreciate it, but neither my story nor Ahriman's nor DarkMage's is more than a week and a half old. Look through the suptg archives for any thread about Warhammer High in the last few weeks and you'll be all caught up in no time.

If you want a bit of sexytimes first, start with A Pleasant Reunion on the Warhammer High fapfic page.
whatever happened to the draffags? there used to be soo many talented drawfags for WHH, and these stories need some drawfaggotry to go with them.
A few popped in last thread. Eversor and Muju are still around kind of. But yes, nearly all /tg/ drawfags are gone, or only do quests now.
Keeping the Thread alive. wish i actually had some stuff to post, but i will have, soon.
I'll give the thread a quick bump before I head to sleep.
I love you Guys. You wonderful storytelling telling faggots.
Here Have some Rapeman to pass the time.

god damn it why am I laughing
Alex turned around as he heard someone yelling behind him. He turned to see someone screaming at the plainclothes detail that had been shadowing them since they had left the restaurant. A group of surly-looking Nocturnean men were glowering at them from behind the rank of serfs, all of whom had their hands on their needle pistols.
Freya slid an arm around Alex’s waist and guided him back down the street. “Go. We shouldn’t be here,” she said urgently.
“What can you hear?” Alex asked.
“They’re pissed because they think you’re the robber that trashed their cousin’s stall this afternoon,” Freya said tightly, speeding them up. “And at least two of them have guns,” she added under her breath.
“Fuck,” Alex muttered, rounding a corner. Both teens relaxed as the reassuring bulk of the castle came into sight before them. A trio of uniformed serfs loped past them, clearly heading for the confrontation behind them.
Freya shook her head, braids snapping behind her. “Assholes.”
“Forget them,” Alex said. “Let the Salamanders handle it.”
Remilia paused outside her rooms. “All right. I’ll see you tomorrow, Jake,” she said.
“Good night. Thanks again for dinner,” Jake said, walking into his own accommodations.
The light was off, and he flicked it up, along with the AC. The frigid air washed over him as he sank into the bed. “Much better,” he said into the bedspread.
The door rattled as Venus arrived. Jake rolled over and peered into the sitting room. His girlfriend was standing in the middle of the room, hands on her temples. “Hello, Venus. How did it go?” he asked.
She spun around, eyes flaring. Jake recoiled and wondered if he had done something wrong.
“Awesome. Aside from the radspike, it was great,” she cheerfully said.
Jake sat up on the bed. “Good. You just looked a bit distracted.”
“Nope. Just coming down from an emotional high,” she truthfully said. “How was dinner?”
“Great, though I have the feeling that the place was a tourist trap,” Jake said. “It was fantastic, but I nearly choked when I saw the prices.”
“Thank goodness Remilia Dorn has more credits than there are stars in the sky, then.” Venus snarked. She walked into the bedroom and started stripping her armor off. “Where were you when the radspike hit?”
“We were just waiting to leave in the restaurant,” Jake said. “You?”
“Middle of a conversation at the party.” She powered off her weapons and hung the belt on the rack. “It felt extremely weird.”
“Really? I didn’t feel a thing.” Jake shucked his own shirt and shoes. “It was over so fast.”
“I’m still feeling it,” Venus admitted. She carefully extracted herself from the armored chest piece of the uniform and hung it on the rack as well. She rustled her undershirt to get the creases out. “Phew. That’s heavier than it looks.”
“You’re still feeling the effects of the radiation?” Jake asked. “You should see a medic,” he said.
“No, no, it’s all right,” she hastened to explain. “Here,” she said, sticking her hand out to him. He curiously took it. His eyes widened.
“Whoa. You’re red-hot.”
“Yeah. There was a Salamander at the party, he explained that this always happens to us when we’re exposed to the radiation of our sun,” she said. “It’s supposed to happen. That’s why I was feeling so strange this whole time.”
“Oh. So…it’s not bad?” he asked.
“Not at all.” She smiled contentedly, bringing his hand up to her lips and resting it there. “I promise.”
He relaxed. “Good. Want to watch a holo before we turn in?”
“Sure. Something stupid,” she said, resuming her de-armoring.
Alex finished his bathroom routine and peeked into the bedroom, hoping that Freya would be up for their game. To his considerable dismay, she was sitting up under the covers reading. Consoling himself with the knowledge that she at least slept in the buff, he made his way over to the bed and waved the lights down. “I’m going to try that gym Jake mentioned tomorrow. You in?” he asked.
“Sure,” she muttered distractedly. “You going to work out in this gravity?”
“I’ll be careful.” He lay down next to her and squeezed her knee. “What you reading?”
“Astropathic message from Dad,” she said.
“Cool. What’s he saying?” Alex asked.
“The usual. ‘Hope you had a good flight, don’t drink the water, write when you arrive, don’t let Alex knock you up,’ etc.”
“He did not tell you not to let me get you pregnant,” Alex accused, grabbing the edge of the slate and tilting it towards himself. “…Okay, he did. What the fuck? I thought we were starting to get along!”
“I think he likes you, he just doesn’t like the idea of us fucking. And I don’t blame him,” she said, turning the slate off. “And after the whole incident with the window and the nylon rope and the servo-skull, I don’t blame him for being suspicious.”
Alex scoffed. “That was awesome, and you know it.”
“You don’t gotta tell me,” she said smugly. “I planned it.” She sank down under the covers and flicked the lights off, and chilled the room with a gesture. “Much better,” she said. She snuggled up to Alex under the wafer-thin sheets and slid one arm across his toned chest. He grabbed her hand and held her tight. “So…Nocturne. Thoughts?” she asked quietly.
“Scary place. I want to see more, though,” he said under his breath. She heard him fine. “The heat is going to be a real problem, though. Thermoreflective gear for me and Jake. What about you, iceworlder? You and Remilia must both have been boiling today.”
“We’re built for it. We’ll be alright.” Freya said. She looked up at him from his shoulder. “Do you want to send a message to your father?”
“I should,” Alex said heavily. “He might drop by uninvited if I don’t.”
“He’s a Rogue Trader, not a travel agent,” Freya giggled.
“Can you tell? I can’t, sometimes,” Alex sighed. “Lord Carlin does not suffer poor accommodations for his offspring, no ma’am.”
Waiiiit. Alex... Carlin? Now I'm picturing George Carlin: Rogue Trader. And it's awesome.
Pretty much.
I'm glad I'm not the only one
are you ready for me to BLOW Jake's MIND
ready and waiting
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Good Lord, what a heck of a birthday present (for me as well as Jake). Sorry I haven't been by recently, this is more evidence than ever that I need to close a few of my billions of tabs so I can browse more freely.

I might not be able to post for a while, as I'll be reading all the backlogged work and heading to my work shift this evening, but I promise that before the night is through there shall be feedback aplenty. Love the stuff you do, guys.
And at this point, I think I'm safe in declaring Someone Else the King of the Writefriends. Ain't nobody in the history of the entire board who's done more in the name of quality OC than you, buddy.

Hail to the King!
Ah, excellent.

And here's your birthday present. Remember when I said that any romance story between Michael and Angela would be boring?

Turns out it isn't. Enjoy.


The stories I reference in this are the following:

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Oh Someone, you didn't! I'm all aflutter now. I'll save it for last so I can let the anticipation mount.

You're one hell of a guy, SE. Thank you.
Who is Michael?
>wiping his hands on a tissue.
lolwut? What a fagit.
The Reunion was a nice read, really it was, but does people really do that? I mean, wipe their hands after fingering a girl? I've never done that. Seems like a strange thing to do.

And hey, moar road trip!
Truth, I always lick my fingers clean afterwards.

I sage this post just for you SE.

I mean, when you are in the middle of it (not by yourself, but when you are two/more), you go "Hey, imma wipe my hand on a tissue!"? Not just, like, let it dry and continue with the act? There are usually more bodily fluids sloshing around the bed when you are done.
Does that indirectly mean you don't go down on a girl? For shame.

Yes, this is really important to me and Im going to derail the thread and there is nothing you can do to stop me!


Ok, my burger-rant is over and I eagerly await the next update.
Keeping it bumped
And at last it happens. the Invasion commences. this scene I rewrote several times, and even now i can't stop tinklering with it. enjoy
The Sky was falling. Explosions painted the sky, burning wrecks plummeted to their destruction, and streaking blasts of anti-aircraft fire stitched bright traceries across the heavens. Ahriman felt them all moments before they happened, felt the air part as Roks plummeted through the atmosphere, felt the heat as Plasma Missiles flew up towards the descending Roks, felt the crunch as Defence Laser beams smashed those Roks into pebbles. He was in the command centre, or more accurately his body was in the command centre, wearing an archaic helmet he’d cobbled together using materials from the Astropathic Guild, allowing him to share his precognitional abilities with the Astropaths he’d had stationed at each Defence Laser battery and the Plasma Missile silo command centre, as well as sending small snippets to individual Pilots and AA gunners should the need arise. He’s practiced with them all for several hours yesterday, and while the experience hadn’t been entirely pleasant, it was now paying off. His spirit, his body of light, his ‘mistflesh’ as the Wolves called it was flitting across the battlespace, seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
As he stood there facing the invasion, jerking images of the future blazed in his mind. Those images he used, bending and changing them to his benefit. Once, this had been simple enough to do, but now he was ever mindful of the Primordial Annihilator, one aspect of which had mastered the manipulation of the future thousands of years before man had even contemplated there being such a thing as the future. Now he had to be careful, keeping feather-light touch, and ever mindful for any sudden shifts in the currents of the future, which could suggest external influence. But his main focus was manipulating the strands of fate to his, and the planets advantage. This close to the present, such sudden changes would be easy to find, and it was a simple matter for the Master of the Corvidae to pluck them from the aether. Every time he did, he sent a pulse of warning to the Astropaths, who in turn sent it to the gun crews, who used this priceless information to ensure every shot counted. Under his guidance, not a single Defence Laser beam, Plasma Missile or AA flak burst was wasted, every shot bringing a target down. That alone couldn’t stop the invasion, but it thinned the ranks of the enemy nicely and ensured no Roks went through the shield and flanked the city walls, upsetting his complex defence plan.
Ahriman saw a flickering image of a Dakkajet shell punch through the belly of a Thunderbolt Fighter, and sent a pulse of warning into the matrix.
No sooner had his warning been sent than Thunderbolt banked sharply. Mere seconds later, a stream of shells tore empty air and exploded harmlessly above it, and the Thunderbolt responded with its chattering Autocannons, sending the Dakkajet down in flames.
The last few hours had been hectic, ever since he had felt the shift in the aetheric currents which betrayed the Roks and Landa’s leaving the Hulk, bound for the planet’s surface. Everything had to be in place, everything had to be right. He’s Many people had cursed his name, but better that then them getting killed. He had always been a bit of a perfectionist, something which had not made him popular with many of his students, but in war that perfection achieved Victory. Fulgrim and his warriors may endlessly quest for perfection, but the Thousand Sons embodied it.
This was something entirely new for him. There were occasions during the Crusade where Astartes took command of Imperial Army forces, usually during long campaigns far from support, but never had an Astartes taken command of the defence forces of an entire planet. He knew there would be an inquiry and a reckoning, but he could deal with that when it happened. As his Space Wolf friend Ohthere Wyrdmake once told him ‘burn those bridges when you come to them’. He’d heard from Wyrdmake just a few days previously, he’d been making preparations for when the Lady Freya returned to Fenris as part of that little trip she was going on with some of the other Daughters. Unbidden, the old saying, ‘There are no wolves on Fenris’ entered into his mind, and his body snorted, alarming the Vox operators clustered around him.
His heightened sensitivity to the immediate future gave him an unmatched situational awareness. He could see every aircraft and every Rok in the clear blue skies, and feel the fears of the PDF Troopers and the Guard manning the walls and watching the unfolding spectacle. When the ancients talked about omnipotent gods, they had no idea how right they were. He flew with the lone squadron of Thunderbolts stationed planetside as they busily played cat and mouse with the heavy Ork Landas, knocking down as many as possible while keeping the Ork Fightas and Dakkajets at bay. He stood with the PDF troopers as they stared up at the sky, or mentally prepared themselves for the upcoming battle. He skimmed over the shield as shells from orbit and shards of Rok clanged and bounced off of it. What on the outside seemed like total chaos, to him was a graceful ballet, every piece of the defence moving in harmony. It was a dance of potential futures, an endlessly shifting current of the possible and the real, blending, separating and combining in a tempest of time. It was as close as Ahriman ever felt to total perfection.
Slight delay on my part, anyone else have anything to add?
Editor, you back?
Back from work, still reading, stay tuned.
That last line there is probably one of the most poetic ways I've heard of describing the chaos of battle.
and who doesn't love insensitive, brutal, selfish whoremongers.

also I thought you said he was like George Carlin

>also I thought you said he was like George Carlin
>and who doesn't love insensitive, brutal, selfish whoremongers

Yes? His stage persona by the end of the eighties was basically that. I'm not basing it on him, himself.
ah, I see.
Because offstage Carlin seemed like a pretty cool dude
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>Rogue Traders
>George Carlin
Gold, solid gold, all of it.

Welp, that was quite a marathon. I apologize that it took me this long, but in all fairness you guys put out a metric fuck-ton of material, and I'm so grateful you did. Magnificent work.

Now then, to the feedback! Feedback for everyone! Let no poor writefriend go without his fair portion!
Sorry to dash, The Editor, but it's 0248 local. I have to sleep.

Please keep the thread alive as long as possible.
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SE, I hope you'll forgive me, but I truly don't have very much critical feedback this time. This is marvelous work, and your prodigious skill is shining through like little else of your writing that I've read thus far. The one thing I would say is that it's somewhat lighthearted fare after the more sober themes and general profundity of Bleeding Out, but that's merely an observation, not a comment on quality. I think this is good for you as an author, to give you a break from having to give your characters such a rough time, and good for us as an audience for more or less the same reason. It's summer! Profundity is for the rest of the year! It also gives you some practice in rounding out your skillset, as Road Trip the focus is generally on the minutiae of day-to-day activity; the deeper themes are much more subtle, implied in vaguer terms over multiple scenes, rather than focused on all at once (ref. the Emperor's conversation with Morticia).

I'm enjoying your increased attention to Alex; you're doing a great job giving him a distinct, individual voice and personality. That would be the one thing I'd be afraid of, that you'd stumble into the trap of making the Consorts too generic and similar; it would be so easy given the amount of attention required in fleshing out the Daughters. To see that you're consistently avoiding that pitfall is fantastic.

Also, a Rogue Trader father---stroke of mad genius. Little details like that do absolute wonders toward expanding the setting, and further address the different-yet-similar aspects of canon 40K and Warhammer High. It'll also throw a bit of conflict into the story, perfect for a little spice and variety to shake things up a smidge. I'm looking forward to this greatly...maybe we'll have some Alex-and-Venus conversations in the vein of Jake-and-Remilia?
Personally, Venus's 'taking everything for granted' schtik is starting to get on my nerves.
Calm down now, there's a good chap. He'll be back.

No worries, get some sleep. There'll be some nice warm feedback waiting for you in the morning.
I was enthused to hear that we'll be seeing more of Kines later; what a sweetheart. He'll be good medicine for Remilia, I have no doubt.
On a darker note, I have a newfound empathy/irritation for Remilia's situation, as a close female friend of mine recently confessed to me that she briefly took up cutting--again--following a breakup. It's heartbreaking to see someone you care about going through such pain, but then again, and I feel bad for saying this, she's not the only one with problems. I'll be there for her whenever she needs me, but I'll never be able to stop thinking about how I never gave into those darker impulses when my own ex crushed my heart some time ago. Everyone deals with things differently, I suppose...my grades suffered a great deal back then.

Sorry to go all maudlin there; chalk it down to the power and relatability of your writing and characters. Anyway.
Bloodpaint is awesome, Venus's armor is awesome, and generally all the Salamanders-specific stuff is awesome. Some of your inventions could definitely find a comfortable home in canon. It tickled me that Venus's tone and sentence structure becomes more formal when she speaks in Old Nocturnean; that was a great little detail that really drove home the weight of tradition and the more anachronistic aspects of the Salamanders' warrior-culture.

I was also intrigued to see how you'd deal with the whole death world thing in Warhammer High's considerably more reasonable setting, and you didn't disappoint. The environmental dangers are still very present, the rawness that gave rise to the Salamanders, but the advanced technology and civilizing presence of the wider Imperium is there as a mediating factor as well. Freya did mention that Fenris is still a feral world though...I'm dying of curiosity to find out how you spin that.
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*as IN Road Trip

*ARE there as a mediating factor

This isn't terribly important, but it's been bugging me for a while: why'd you indulge the shitfest that is Wardian fluff by making Venus's skin literally black? The red eyes part I don't mind so much, but the literally black skin...a nice deep brown is always how she appears in my mind, like that first drawfriend pic we have of her, or like a much darker version of pic related. Not even the darkest African has literally black skin.

Dat first thread ending. Damn. I'm glad other people picked up on the emotions there, it's the most heartwrenching theme of the whole setting.
Concerning Jake, if he's the Prince of Nocturne now, he can probably at some point afford some of those handy demi-Marine implants and augmentations that Luther and Kor Phaeron received in canon 40K, right? Maybe he won't be truly immortal, but he'll surely be able to see multiple generations of his family grow up before he goes, right? RIGHT????

>I planned out the whole deathbed scene
Christ, you really don't halfass anything. I'm not sure I could handle reading that were you ever to write it.
Something just occurred to me...is Venus's burn-scar ever going to come up in conversation here? I must confess, I'm a little interested to see how the Salamanders here on Nocturne would react to it.

The radspike and its effect on Venus was an inspired idea. I really approve of the efforts you're putting into describing her connection to the people, the culture, and the planet, it's all fascinating and part of those subtler, vaguer profundities I mentioned earlier. Makes me eager for more, and to see how you handle Freya when her turn rolls around.
And lastly, A Pleasant Reunion.
Dem emotions. All dem feels. What a birthday present.

I don't mind admitting it, there were a few smiley tears as I read through it. Absolutely goddamned adorable, all of it, especially that part where she finds a particular emotion in his head...I dunno, might start with an "L" or something.

And, of course, the delicious irony that as he's fucking her, she's mindfucking him. Too good.

I had this playing the whole time in the back of my head, really hit home for me:
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Damn. I was going to pull through and get to Ahriman's Aide and DarkMage as well, but I have to get up in three hours. Where does the time go?

I promise you two that I'll give you your fair share of feedback tomorrow in a prompt manner; it pleased me to see larger portions of your work, and I must reward such dedication to the noble craft of authorship as best I can.

'Afore I go, however, I want to get up on my soapbox and say something to my fellow audience members.

You don't have to be as crazy as me when it comes to giving feedback, but if you appreciate the efforts of these wonderful writefriends to produce mountains of OC and free entertainment for us, the least you can do is post with an encouraging comment, word of approval, question, small criticism, opinion, etc. These guys run on hearing how their work is received, and I'm sure you all have feels and other assorted reactions when you read their stuff. Share some of those reactions with 'em, would ya?

'Night, all.
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Night Haunter will watch over the thread until morning.

You know, The saddest thing i always read about in wh40k fiction was the horus heresy.

And in many ways it is like masochism for me. Reading about the betrayal between brothers, and for sons to turn their backs on their father.

This is really my absolute favorite wh40k write faggotry of all time.

Keep going, your writing is amazing.
New thread when you get going again SE? 299 posts with this one, but I will delete my older inane posts, should return another three posts or something.
I'm loving every word of this, Someone Else, keep writing!
Thanks, gents. Yes, I will make a new one soon.

I think it's more likely it'll be Remilia and Alex spending time together since they're the ones with Daddy issues, and since Jake is going to be busy learning the ropes of Nocturne (somewhat more urgently now) and trying not to die of heatstroke (since he's got the least experience with temperature). And also because Carlin might not be too sensitive, but even he knows not to step on Freya Russ' toes.

Sorry. If anything, she's getting better about it. She learns from her mistakes.

Sorry dude.

Regarding my approach to Salamander fluff: I take it as a bit of a Gnostic bent, if anything; the world sucks, so we may as well be kin and share the burden.

Warhammer High is, for me, a lot like the Emperasque in exactly one respect: I just skim the canon for parts that I like and ignore everything else, including who made it and when. I have no idea who wrote most of the stuff I consulted for the Terran scenes in previous story, for instance. As for Nocturne, there's only one author who writes books that are set on Nocturne, named Nick Kyme. And he uses the ember eyes and coal skin approach. Sure, Venus is pretty as a delicious brown girl, but that's not my headcanon, and that's the extent of it.

And fear not. He'll be royalty on a planet of godlike artificers. They'll find something.

The next few posts, actually, I only stopped because I was falling asleep at the computer.
>she's getting better about it. She learns from her mistakes.

So far it seems like she's noticed nothing, and is generally happy with Jake playing second banana to basically everything else. He's not a boyfriend or soulmate, he's an accessory to her, something to be used when it's needed, and otherwise mostly ignored.

Or conflict at all. Don't get me wrong, some people are just going to not worry about that sort of thing, but I never really got the feeling that Venus has really risked much in this relationship.

I can see her giving a Dear John speech tommorow, and then moving on with her life like nothing happened.
I don't put all their conflicts to print, but if you want me to explore it a bit more, sure.


Well that's certainly not the case. He's very important to her. I don't know how to spell it out any clearer than I have. She got that scorch mark on her back because she was trying to impress him. She's risking scorn from her people and disobedience from her Legion because he matters more.


If it seems like he's kind of just going along with it, that's because he IS. What other pathways are open to him?

Die in ignominy in the hives, or become Bond Prince of Nocturne. Tough choice.

Besides, he truly does care about her, and looks forward to spending time with her, and he understands that this is new to her too.

He respects her time. He knows she has obligations she can't escape from. If I'm not communicating it directly, it's because I want it to be obvious. She's making him a birthday present right now, after all.
Well, all right, I just don't know how I can make this any clearer.

>RCMay Virginis,
Only Remilia.
Post more, it makes everyone happy, you get to emphasize and flush out characters more and all the readers get something more to sink their teeth into.
I dunno, man, if the entirety of Venus' Burn and Bleeding Out (and the hundred twenty pages of ROAD TRIP! so far) haven't made the depth of their love for each other clear, I don't know that throwing some more characterization croutons in this word salad will help.

Oh well.

Man, now I'm all bummed out. What would drive the point home?
I wouldn't worry too much about it, bro. People might be coming late to the party, so to speak, and might not have done more than skim the admittedly vast body of previous work...in which I believe you've done a marvelous job of illustrating the depth of their relationship.

If you still want to really drive home the point once and for all, though, it would fit most appropriately during whatever celebrations occur for Jake's birthday, and the night after. Maybe the Devastator's words made Venus think a little, as the whole prince realization is probably making Jake think a little. As such, they might be a bit more aware of having to communicate and make it extra clear to each other how they feel.
Admittedly I don't know what you've got planned in terms of emotional communication/revelation for the rest of the Nocturne visit, but it might actually be a good idea to do that, as after Nocturne the focus will undoubtedly shift more to Freya.

Also, should we be giving consideration to making a new thread? We're close to autosage, it would depend on whether you feel as if there's more to do at the moment or whether you want to save it for another time.
Oh, you're here, awesome.

If you get the time, I'd love it if you could drop by the server. #writescribbles is the channel name, on Rizon, no need to register, ask for MaulMachine.
Not sure if it worked, if you get a couple posts from some guy named "The", it's because I couldn't figure out the nickname thing. Is it even letting me communicate yet?

Aaaaaaand we've hit autosage.
Dont worry about it man, I got that Jake is a high priority. I think a lot of the confusion that >>19952941
is having comes from the fact that up to this point Venus hasn't had much else to do besides Jake and school, so in comparison to that it seems like she might be putting the relationship on the back burner. I view it as a broadening of her perspective; she still cares about him just as much and now she has to step up to accept other responsibilities as well. Part of growing up is learning how to deal with how complicated life can be without sacrificing things that are important to you.
Bummed. I had so much to Post! Oh Well, next thread then.

Thank you Editor for your feedback, i hope you enjoy some of the hew stuff i have ready for posting.
Don't be, my friend, you prevented a canon collapse in the future. I've deleted about thirty posts and I'm rewriting now. I'll post the revised version a soon as it's done.
It's the author's equivalent of a ragequit.
As soon as Jake and Venus both were dressed for sleep and cleaned up, they curled up around Venus’ dataslate and absorbed an incredibly dumb holo about deep-space vampires, one of Venus’ pastimes. Jake had asked her once about why she loved such horrible movies. Her response: ‘you have to let art flow over you.’
Jake shifted a bit as the warmth from Venus’ skin started to overwhelm him. She noticed and stuck a bunched-up shirt between them, insulating him from her unnatural heat. “Sorry, Jake.”
“Not a problem.” He resumed the movie. “How can you like these? They’re so dumb.”
“Jake, a good cheese villain is one you CAN’T take seriously.” She nodded wisely. “You have much to learn, your Highness.”
“What are you calling me that for?” Jake asked. “You and Remilia both.”
“Oh ho, she figured it out, huh?” Venus asked slyly. Jake slowly turned to face her, pausing the holo.
“What, precisely, are you two talking about?”
“What did Remilia tell you?” Venus asked.
“She said I’m going to be a busy Prince of Nocturne. Present tense.”
Venus nodded. “Yep.”
“Baby, we’re not married.”
“But it’s viable, now. Remember that little contract you signed with Dad?”
Jake very slowly sat up. “Maybe you should explain that.”
Venus sat up too, crossing her legs. “Well, Nocturne basically doesn’t have a marriage law like Terra does. When you agreed to live with me at Kouthry, you were agreeing to be a roommate, essentially. Nothing more. Except here on Nocturne, people agree to what looks to Terrans like marriage with basically the same sort of deal.”
Jake stared at her. “So…people think we’re married?”
“Yeah. Well, bonded. Same principle.” Venus sat back on her hands. “Look, I didn’t tell you because it’s not your problem to clean up people’s misconceptions. We’re already going to be living together on Terra for years, and a lot can happen in that time. I don’t want you to get harassed by tabloids and shit that whole time, asking you if you’re some kind of Royalty. And realistically, you would be, if we had agreed to that sort of arrangement on Nocturne. Really. That’s the whole of it.”
Jake nodded. “Well…all right. I think I understand. Does this mean that things have changed for me?”
“Not if you don’t want them to.” She looked straight at him. He met her eyes with an effort. “Jake, this is a vacation. I’m not going to ask you to take the reins. We’re here to have fun. Tomorrow, I have stuff to do the whole morning. You and the others go be tourists. Have a blast. Explore the city where I was born. I’ll come find you at lunch and we can talk more if you have questions you don’t think of here.” She rocked forward onto her knees and grabbed his hand, raising it to her lap and resting it there. “All right?”
He nodded, staring at her hand in his lap. “…Do people really get married at sixteen on Nocturne?”
“Bonded. And yeah. Before Dad, life expectancies around here sucked. If you weren’t popping out kids by sixteen, you weren’t going to be.”
“Yeah. A different era.”
Jake left his hand where it was, deciding he liked it. “Well…that raises another question.”
“Are we…you know, compatible?”
“I think so,” she purred.
“I mean genetically.”
“Uh.” She blinked. “Good...question. I have to think so. I know that a few of my uncles are…I have no idea if Dad is. I suspect so. I’ll ask Grandpa when we get back. Why? Thinking of having kids out of wedlock?” she asked coyly.
Jake shuddered. “HELL no. But we may have to find out some day.”
“That’s sweet of you,” she said, touched by his implication.
“Then we wait, and deal with it when it happens,” Jake said with finality.
“Yeah, but I honestly think it’ll be all right. My internal temperature would be more of a problem, really,” Venus said slowly. “I’m pretty toasty inside.”
Jake grinned. “So I have discovered.” He leaned forward, running his hand over her muscular stomach. “Your thermostat is broken.” He frowned. “Now moreso than usual. Are you sure you’re all right? You’re boiling.”
“Jake, I haven’t felt this good since before Morticia,” Venus said with quiet emphasis. Jake looked over at her. Her eyes were shut tight, she was grinning broadly. “The Marine at the party said that this is supposed to happen, there’s no drawback that they know of.” She opened her eyes and grabbed his hand, lacing her fingers with his. He felt his pulse quicken as her radiant grin turned to him. “I swear my senses are sharper. I can see clearer…my hearing is better.”
“Cool. Your world is actually good for you.”
“As bizarre as it sounds, your Highness,” she snarked.
“That’s going to take some getting used to…” Jake said, letting the title ring in his head.
Venus leaned over him again. “It’s funny,” she said. “Dad never told me this would happen, but it feels amazing. I wish I could show you what it’s like.”
He tugged the hem of her sleeveless vest up and slid an enticing hand over her stomach. She nodded, as if to accept a superior argument. “I suppose that’s one way,” she said with mock reluctance. Tugging it the rest of the way off, she sank into his embrace. “Welcome to my world, Jake,” she whispered softly.
He caught her lips in a passionate kiss. “I feel pretty welcome so far,” he murmured as she slid his shirt off to join hers. He grinned fiercely as she ran her hands up his sides. “Home sweet home.”
Remilia Dorn sat cross-legged on the roof of the castle, slate in hand. The night was a good thirty degrees colder than the day here. She was actually chilly.
“I don’t want to come off like a neophyte Warp-traveler, you two, but this planet is crazy,” she said. The little recording icon on her slate took down her words and transcribed them. “I’m on the roof now, and the stars are so bright it’s uncanny. Is this what old Earth looked like? Dad, is this what Inwit looked like?” She stood up, staring at the high walls of the city. “Venus tells me that the walls here see use all the time. The city would be under siege from monsters if it wasn’t here. And the ash drifts have to be burned off with a multi-melta, they get so big.” She craned her head down and stared at the city below. “The people…the people are strong, but insular. They dislike foreigners, except when we’re spending money. But then, who doesn’t?”
She hopped down from the roof to the balcony from which she had climbed, ten feet below. “The place is built like a fortress, even the houses are reinforced all to hell. You’d approve, Dad.” She looked at where a thick column of smoke was rising from a structure built into the distant volcano. “Venus says we can’t go see the Forges of the Mountain. I’m disappointed, but I understand. She’s going to spend some of tomorrow there, though.” She lowered her voice a bit, conspiratorial. “I think she’s making a birthday present for Jake.”
The door behind her opened as someone came to see what the impact was. Remilia turned to look at him, still talking, and the serf who had guided her up there nodded when he saw that she was all right. “The Salamanders are gracious hosts. They treat their serfs…well, not like true equals, but as kin. The people here, too, they treat them nearly as well. There are Salamanders on the streets below. That sense of solidarity is incredible. I wonder if the Wolves will do it too?”
She continued as she set the slate down on the ledge. “The speech Venus gave was amazing. Truly amazing. She improvises public speaking better than I do with a script.” Remilia tapped her finger on the ledge. “You should find a copy of the speech if you can. It’s worth a watch. Maybe ask Uncle Vulkan, I’m sure he’s got a copy.” She changed gears, moving on to schedule discussion. “Well…tomorrow we’ll be wandering the city a bit while Venus is out. I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of the Castle, too. Apparently the whole city was built vertically; every few hundred years or so they’d tear part of the castle down and make it taller so local structures could expand. The walls of the city look like geologic strata in places, it’s beautiful.”
She looked back to the sky. “Have you two ever been here? You didn’t say if you had. The sky is terrible here. It’s as red as a gaping wound, and the night is as black as the depths of space…but it’s so beautiful. The aurorae from the radspike earlier today are magnificent.” She reached her hand out to the blue ribbons of light, dancing above the horizon. “Did Earth have these before the beacons on the tops of the hives drowned them out, and a million ships in orbit obscured them?” she whispered.
In the distance, a horrific roar echoed over the walls. Remilia started. “I…I think I just heard drakesong.” She listened, very carefully. The noise repeated, even louder. “It’s terrifying...is a Salamander out there earning his admittance to the Fire Drakes?” The noise sounded again, louder yet…then cut off halfway. “That answers that.” She shivered. “Breathtaking. I don’t know if you can hear that, but a drake totally got its ass kicked a second ago.”
Her slate beeped. “Looks like I’m approaching the Astropathic limit. I’ll write again soon. Bye.” She flipped the recorder off and transcribed the message with a button, then sent it off to the Astropathic station in orbit with another press. As she lifted the slate to leave, however, it beeped again. She blinked. “Oh, it sent already? That was fast.” She looked up at the invisible station overhead and smiled. “Maybe I’ll hear back soon.”
Venus’ eyes opened. She glanced at the clock-
0455. A quarter hour early …but she didn’t feel tired at all. Venus smiled to herself. “Radiation…gotta love it, apparently.” She glanced down at Jake, still fast asleep in her arms. “I doubt you’ll see me before lunch…” She leaned over and gently kissed his forehead. He didn’t stir. “Happy birthday,” she whispered.
Ten minutes later, she was dressed, cleaned, and in the gym, gingerly testing her balance in the higher gravity. Ten minutes after that, she was working away on the free weights when her cousins wandered in and walked on over.
“Morning,” Venus said.
“Hey.” Remilia selected a leg lift and started to set the weights before pausing. “Right…1.3Gs…” She stopped to remove some weights before starting the lift. “How are you feeling?”
“Awesome,” Venus said, flicking a sweaty hair out of her eyes. “You?”
“Apprehensive,” Remilia said. “The weather holo scared me.”
“Yeah. Boiling hot and bone-dry,” Freya said. “Thermos for me.” She glanced over Venus’ stack of weights. “Good for you. Keeping track of your gains?”
“No, because they’ll vanish as soon as we leave,” Venus said. “Trust me.”
“Ah.” Freya selected a pair of free weights and began lifting. “Your core catch the breeze?” she nonchalantly inquired.
Venus’ weight stack slammed back into the bottom of the machine. “How the hell did you know about that when I didn’t?” Venus demanded, eyes wide and bright.
“I didn’t. You confirmed it,” Freya replied honestly. Remilia glanced from one to the other. “I overheard a Salamander ask about something like that on Prometheus. I swear that’s the extent of it.”
“What?” Remilia asked.
“Salamander geneseed was tainted by radiation exposure,” Venus murmured. “Apparently when Salamanders are exposed to specific kinds of solar radiation, we become stronger.”
“Cool.” Remilia removed a small weight from her stack.
“That’s it? Cool? It freaked me the hell out,” Venus said. “I could FEEL my eyes getting sharper.”
“Really? That’s actually…pretty intense. Did it hurt?” Remilia asked.
“No, it feels amazing. But it makes me nervous, too. What will it feel like when I withdraw?” Venus wondered.
“Probably not bad, if your father’s done it a thousand times,” Freya pointed out.
Venus nodded. “True. Thanks. This doesn’t weird you guys? Is there a parallel for the Wolves and Fists?”
“Nope. But hey, if it allows you to approach my infinite athletic ability, rock on,” Freya casually said.
“Die in a fire,” Venus deadpanned.
“That seems likely, actually, given the day’s itinerary,” Remilia worried.
Alex sat down to breakfast a few hours later, dataslate gripped in hand. His knuckles were white. “Son of a bitch can’t tell when he’s not wanted,” he growled.
The doorknob rattled. Alex quickly tabbed to a different page. “Hey, baby, how you feeling?” he asked aloud.
“Our love can never be,” Jake replied, sticking his head in the door. “Morning, man.”
“Fuck you, I’m fine,” Alex said. Jake nodded once, man law upheld. “You want to hit the gym?”
“No thanks. This gravity is really getting to me. I think I might just go for a run before the sun comes up.” Jake appeared in the door to the tiny kitchenette of Alex and Freya’s more modest apartment. “Are you all right? You look pissed,” Jake said.
“I am pissed,” Alex snarled.
“Sorry, man. You want to talk about it?” Jake asked carefully. He had come to like the older man quite a lot in the preceding four months, but sometimes Alex’s temper got to him.
“Might as well,” Alex sighed. “Look.” He passed his slate to Jake, who spun it around to read. “My father’s ‘passing by.’”
“So…he’s going to be here?” Jake asked.
“Oh yes. The stupid son of a bitch,” Alex said darkly.
“Man, why do you hate your father so much?” Jake asked.
“Hate? I don’t hate him. I think he’s an insensitive, brutal, selfish whoremonger,” Alex said coldly.
Jake shifted uncomfortably. Alex sighed. “Man…do you remember meeting him at graduation?”
“Uh…briefly. He was talking to you the whole time, so I didn’t really meet him,” Jake said.
“Do you remember meeting my mother?” Alex asked.
“No, he wasn’t with her, I don’t think. He was with your sisters.”
Alex grimaced. “I’m an only child.”
Jake was quiet for a few moments. “…ew.”
“The man brought hookers to my fucking graduation. With Primarchs’ daughters, a Space Marine or fifty, and an army of Treasury agents in the room,” Alex said with contemptuous disgust. “He can go fuck cats.”
“Man…what do we do?” Jake asked.
Alex’s voice was ice. “‘We?’”
Jake stood there silent. Alex slowed his eyes and slowly ran his hands over his face. “Sorry. Let’s…let’s hit the gym. I have bad feelings to burn.” Jake nodded and fetched his gym bag. He followed his friend down to the gym, wondering if there was anything he could do, and deciding that there really wasn’t.
The boys walked in as the girls were making off to the showers. “Hey, guys,” Remilia said brightly. “How are you?”
“Enraged,” Alex groused. Remilia stared.
“Because my imbecile father, Lord Trader Joseph Kimball-Carlin himself, is at the edge of the system, having conveniently ‘arrived’ a few hours ago,” Alex said.
“Oh for fucks’ sake, didn’t you specifically tell the asshole to leave us alone on our road trip?” Remilia groaned.
“Yes, yes I did, a warning to which he paid precisely zero heed,” Alex said.
Venus walked up, towel slung around her neck. “I can put paid to him if he does something stupid, Alex. Trust me.”
“I know you will, Venus, and I’m sure it won’t come to th…what the fuck am I saying, he’s a Rogue Trader, he gets what he wants,” Alex said wearily.
Venus’ fingers tightened on the towel. “Not in the sight of Prometheus, Alex,” she said softly. Alex winced.
“I don’t want to cause trouble,” he said.
Venus grinned. “You aren’t. If he does…well, you’re hardly responsible.”
“Good,” Alex said. Jake walked up behind him, eying the impressive gym.
Venus walked up to him as Freya and Alex continued discussing Lord Carlin with Remilia, trying to work things out. With a deft flick of her towel, she snagged it behind his neck and pulled him into a kiss. “Glad I got to see you before I left for the Hall of Deathfire,” she said. “I’m off.”
He slid her towel off, smiling warily. “And what pleasant and safe activities does one partake of in the…Hall of Deathfire?” he inquired.
“Forging molten gold in a volcanic stack-fuelled smelter,” Venus said happily. “Home sweet home.” Jake stared.
Several hours later, Venus was standing in the closest thing to her basement she had seen in two weeks. The Forgedaughter was aptly dressed, too, with short leather pants and a normal forge apron on. A few other Salamanders were at work in the dark caverns, too, and all had paid her respectful heed. Even serfs weren’t allowed here.
Venus was tapping a few tiny pieces of gold into shape at that moment. Though her skin was a hundred times more sensitive to heat than those of the Salamanders beside her, she was far less vulnerable than a baseline human, and the sweat on her brow was exertion, not heat.
A few of the gene-modded warriors around her had cast approving looks her way as she worked, which cheered her considerably. Approval was something she didn’t seek from many people, but never found unwelcome. And the Salamanders, of course, were hardly strangers to her.
“Princess, you do us proud,” a voice beside her murmured. She glanced up to see a towering Devastator passing by.
“Thank you, warrior,” she replied in Old Nocturnean. The Salamander blinked. She switched to Gothic. “Sorry, force of habit.”
“I think you will find that aside from the Council, the Librarians, a few Chaplains, and about half the Drakes, none of us speak the Old tongues fluently,” the Devastator said, halting at her side. “A shame, I know, but it’s just not needed much these days.”
“Hmm.” Venus shielded her eyes as she poured a tiny drop of gold into a set. “What brings you by, Brother?”
“Upgrades. I need a new rail for my shoulder mount,” the Devastator explained. “Diligent repair prevents ruinous failure, after all.”
“Wise words. My Father’s?”
“They are the words of T’kell, the Artificer Lord, your father’s first Forgemaster,” the Devastator said, tapping his fingers on his cracked shoulder rail. Venus peered at the metal pieces and saw where a chain-fed stubber would be mounted.
“I see.” Venus returned to her labors, flicking a speck of ash off of the work surface. “My arrival was either announced in advance, or Dad learned a few tricks of timing, because no sooner do I arrive than lo and behold, the smallest forge is available for use,” she said drily, gesturing at the forge at which she worked, which was, indeed, miniscule compared to the ones on either side of her.
“I think that was put there for Scouts who received their Carapace before their Plates,” the Devastator said.
“Whatever, it works,” Venus said. She pulled the yellow catseye from her pouch on the floor and measured it carefully. “Hmm. Bigger than it looks…”
“A new work of art, your Highness?” the Devastator asked through his helm’s speaker.
“No. A gift. Jake’s birthday is today. I saw this in the markets the other day and thought of him in an instant.” She ran some quick numbers in her head, deciding how much gold she would need.
“I see.” The Devastator was silent for a moment. “May I inquire as to the circumstances of your meeting, your Highness?”
“School. Farah Mannus introduced us,” Venus said. “Cogitator Design class.”
“Is that right? I didn’t know.”
“You disapprove,” Venus observed.
“I didn’t voice a single complaint, your Highness,” the Devastator pointed out.
“But you harbor them,” Venus said, still avoiding his gaze.
“…A few.”
“Name them.”
“It is inappropriate.”
“Doubting your leadership is always inappropriate, Devastator, I would hear your justification rather than assuming the worst,” Venus said. She poured a few more drops of gold into the caster’s set and waited for it to cool, just a bit.
“He is not Nocturnean, your Highness. We are.”
“The first batch of Salamanders were all Terrans. So is the Emperor. I lived there for fifteen years. What’s your point?” Venus asked evenly.
“He can not know the Nocturnean way of life,” the Marine said.
“Why do you think I brought him to this hell-world on our vacation, Marine? I want him to see it. Not to give him a chance to back out – though he would if he truly thought it beyond him – but because I want him to understand a bit of my past, and my nature. I will stay with him for years thanks to the educational arrangement we’ve made. Is it my taste in men or my father’s judgment you question?” she asked, turning to meet his eyes at last.
The Devastator recoiled. “I…Princess, this isn’t a slight against your choice. I just want to have it elucidated.”
“Then what’s the issue?” Venus gingerly pushed the mold away from the simmering, molten rock. “You think my father didn’t make him jump hurdles?”
“I suppose he did. I won’t pry.”
“Hmph.” Venus set the mold aside to cool and pulled another from the pile on the left. “Too big for a ring…he doesn’t wear necklaces…ooh, I know.”
The Devastator noted a streak of gray on her bare back in the flare of light from the volcanic forge; it was only faintly visible in the dim light, but it was unobscured by the apron’s tie. “Are you injured, your Highness?”
“Injured? What?” Venus risked him a glance.
“Your back is scarred, your Highness.”
“Ah. Yes. There’s a branding shrine in the house on Terra. What you see is a product of misdirected zeal I will discuss no further,” Venus said fatly.
“Understood. I apologize for my intrusion.”
“Indeed. See you around, Devastator,” Venus said, putting the discomforting conversation firmly aside.
“Your Highness,” The Salamander said, backing up a respectful pace, before moving to another forge elsewhere in the volcanic labyrinth.
Venus shook her head, setting her ponytail sliding over her back. “I suppose I can’t blame him,” she said under her breath.
Alex sat down at the table he had selected for lunch and tried not to make eye contact with any of the people around him. The little group of Terrans and iceworlders were drawing a few stares in the little tavern they had picked, but most people were just ignoring them. Freya was trying to extract more information about his father from him. “Your Dad, you think he’s going to come here and get you?” Freya asked.
“I sincerely hope not, for his sake,” Alex said darkly. He nursed his drink and glared into its depths. “If he’s smart he won’t even contact me.”
No sooner had he said that than the vox at his waist vibrated. Alex grabbed it, flipping it open.
“You get reception on the local network? I don’t,” Freya said.
“I shouldn’t, unless it’s a frequency a family member has,” Alex groaned. “Damn him.” He stood from the table and marched out of the tavern, gripping the vox in his hands.
He emerged into the blazing red sun and pressed the call button. “Hello?”
“Alex, good to hear from you!” his father boomed. “How are you?”
Alex drew a weighted breath, let it out slowly. “Just fine. Yourself?”
“Awful, but that’s a story for later. Do you know if there’s a Mechanicum station in Nocturne?”
“A Mech…yeah, of course there is, at the edge of the system. And a single sensor pulse would have made it clear,” Alex said, surprised. “What’s wrong?”
“Like I said, long story. You go have fun. I’ll talk to you later.” The call cut off.
Alex stared at the vox in his hand, surprised. “The fuck?”
After a few finishing inscriptions, the present was almost done. Venus beamed at the results of her handiwork. “Awesome. He’ll love it,” she said. She wiped some sweat from her hands with a rag and hunched over the alloyed gold and stone assemblage. “Hmm…gonna need to find someone in town who can finish it…”
One quick rinse and change of clothes later, Venus was scurrying through the substantial craftworks market in the city, gift components in hand. Having located the shop listed in her quick perusal of the local directory, she arrived at the unassuming little shop. After an impressively short wait, the gift was assembled. She held it up to the light in the little store and inspected it. “Perfect.” She turned to the craftsman behind the counter and paid up as fast as she decently could, and hauled ass to the tavern they had selected for lunch.
She arrived just as Alex finished his perplexing call. “Alex!” she called as she approached.
He turned on his heel and spotted her, waving. “Hey! Glad you could make it!”
She came to a halt a few feet away, gift box concealed in her bag. “What’re you doing out here?”
“Taking a weird call,” Alex said, pocketing his phone. The thermo gear he was wearing made him stand out even more than his pale Terran skin, but at least he didn’t feel like he was dying any more. “My father’s apparently not here for me at all. Or, he was, and his ship broke. Or something, fuck, I dunno. He asked if there was a Mechanicus station nearby. I told him about the one in the Oort cloud.”
“Well, good, because that’s the only one.” Venus looked over her friends’ thermoreflective gear. If she tilted her head right, she could see the light glimmer off the metal and fiber strands under the thin fabric. “Your thermo kit looks good.”
“Thanks.” He shifted his shoulders a bit as they walked into the tavern. “I was worried that it’d make me stand out even more.”
“Well, who cares if you do,” Venus said. “You’re a guest here.”
“People have been glaring at me since I arrived,” Alex said. Venus cocked an eyebrow.
“Show me.” She paused just before the door to the seating area.
Alex walked up to the table where the others were sitting and sat down as normal, joining the conversation the others were having.
Sure enough, several patrons stopped to stare or glower. As soon as Venus walked in, however, the looks vanished, replaced with surprise or reverence. She shook her head as she crossed the room. “Troubling,” she said quietly.
“Hey, there she is,” Freya said as Venus approached them.
Venus paused to slide her arms around Jake’s neck as she stopped at the table. “Hey, guys. How was your morning?”
“Getting to see the Grand Highway was awesome,” Jake said. “I wish all the roads in the hives were that well-maintained.”
“That would be good,” Venus said, kissing the crown of his head and sliding into a seat. The whole room stared.

OK! New and revised version. Thoughts?
I much prefer the new conversation about jake becoming royalty. Much more... Fluid?
Yes, and Venus is not a huge bitch.
Yeah, it does flow a bit better. And the whole thing makes a bit more sense now, with the extra background info.

Glad to see the bit with the dead drake made the cut. One of the cooler/funnier bits in this thread, imho.
Any Moar?
Remilia downed her drink and caught the waiter’s eye. “I’m glad you’re here. Dare I inquire why there’s soot on your bandana?”
“Not until after the party tonight,” Venus said. “I don’t want to ruin the surprise. She daubed a few drops of water on the bandana and rubbed it clean. “Good catch, though.”
Venus’ vox buzzed. She grabbed it out of her pocket and stared at the ID. “It’s…it’s the Tide.” She opened it up and muttered into it. “Hello?”
“My Lady Venus, this is Comm Officer Wainwright. A Rogue Trader aboard the vessel Corundum Star has just arrived in-system and is burning for the Mechanicum station at the Oort cloud. Shall we hail the ship?”
“No, I knew it was coming. Just let me know if it breaks for a new heading,” she said quietly.
“Aye aye. Iron Tide out.” The line went dead.
“Well, it seems the Star is headed for that station,” Venus said. The waiter took her order and replaced Remilia’s drink.
“Good, he’ll be out of the way,” Alex grumbled. “Trust me, if he comes planetside, he WILL make this entire journey all about him.”
“With any luck, we’ll be long gone,” Remilia said.
And we are autosaging.

Good stuff SE, I can' wait to see what kind of douche Carlin Sr is.
I think we're done here. Ahriman, Darkmage, and I are chatting in the IRC and we all need a bit of time to get more done.

So, thanks, /tg/, and see you all next time.

THPOILER ALERT: here are my notes for next time:


Flash to Terra: Vulkan and Russ status updates? Seager family/Morticia?

Haarlan is very upright and buys far too much into the public images of the Daughters, exact opposite of Keiter

Alex allergies?

Remilia discovering martial side?

Projectile dysfunction

“we must stop meeting like this”

The best wall

Formal uniforms are quite atypical (and intense)


Carlin’s a douchebag


End Thpoilerth
>Carlin’s a douchebag
And the first thing that came to my mind was the pic of Eldrad with a commisars cap 'poof'ing on his head.
What a dick!
And some spoilers from my story


We're Fucked...

It's been a fun ride /tg/. See you next time

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