All right, been two weeks since I posted the first part of Bound Fate, about 50k words of material. They came out too fast at first, so I'll be going along a little slower this time, let the board get their teeth into it.Archived Thread can be found here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/23271053/And the fully formatted story-so-far can be found here: http://1d4chan.org/wiki/Bound_Fate_(Warhammer_High)Note: 4chan doesn't support italics; sudden switches to first-person present tense are the character's active thoughts.
The duty room at Precinct 23 was not impressive, at least not compared to other duty rooms in other Precinct Courthouses. Its walls described a rectangle precisely fifteen meters wide and thirty meters long, with the ceiling exactly five meters overhead. Long panel displays lined the walls and a single, massive oak table dominated the center. It had seats enough for thirty comfortable Arbites functionaries and Arbitrators, and bore the signs of long years with quiet dignity: scars, pits and discolorations abounding. It seemed alone now, even mournful as three or four tired and sunken-eyed Detectives puttered around, sipping cold, stale caf from staler paper cups. The few patrols Precinct 23 had out at five in the morning trailed along serenely on their respective holodisplays, projecting a half-meter away from the wall to encompass all three dimensions. The table sat empty, a few chairs turned around and set askew, the surface bare save for a half-empty box of old sweetened phyllo, dry and crumbly.
The morning shift began to pick up, the weary night personnel dutifully logging out before shuffling off to home for a chance to sleep. Office workers came in first, simple observers and information processors, they were bored, boring and dressed in plain clothes. They began to move about and perform vague, sometimes meaningless tasks, the room and its work unchanged in their passing. The Arbitrator-Detectives began to arrive next, and the stale phyllo disappeared quickly, eaten and replaced with fresh sweetbuns. The murmur and chatter increased; the 24 hour crime record began to pick up and the display panel promptly filled with fresh data, then began scrolling with yet more. More Detectives arrived, more crimes, the room now nearly at its thirty person intended capacity. The morning report was quickly assembled, the late night and early day's information compiled, sifted and distilled to the broadest patterns and most important actions. There was no Commander to read the summary, the man having been executed for perverting the course of Imperial law. So the report was filed away, waiting to be sent to the empty office, where it would simply wait more.
The stirring slowed, buzz and palaver dulled and ceased. Another Arbitrator-Detective entered the room. He fit in perfectly, flint gray eyes and granite chin set grimly in anticipation of a hard day's work. Recently promoted Arbitrator-Detective Idiam Thar was of average height, powerfully built–despite his unassuming profile–and younger than his worn countenance suggested. He'd worked a disturbing case involving cultists last week, and met resistance when he tried to gain warrant for a twenty block sweep of the area around school #113. It'd taken only a few minutes of questioning to realize Commander Baren was in with the Slide dealers, in deep. At-the-time-Patrolman Thar didn't think twice about pulling his pistol and ending the man. Though the investigation that followed was thorough and blame-seeking, Idiam had ultimately been absolved of all wrongdoing, then given a commendation and promotion for this fine work.
The new Detective didn't ask or think twice about picking up the morning report before it left. About putting in his own careful and thorough report of the overdose, the corrupt Commander and the discovery of the area's drug dealers following a simple domestic disturbance call. Idiam smiled bleakly as he tucked in the last addendum, on the detainment-chastening of Patrolman Ippit Agissa, which had led them to a dozen other dealer nests covering a few hundred blocks. He'd earned a Service Distinctia after that, another commendation to go with the Order of Valour he'd received for dealing with Baren, both now tucked away in his desk. Still, despite everything he'd done, Thar was looked down on, considered too new to the job. He'd brought up concern that uncut slide showed up at a school, and had done the barest preliminary footwork. It didn't take him long to find a number of other such cases, and he had the feeling it would form a pattern with proper inspection.
So Thar left, left the digital records and holodisplays, and headed downstairs. The storage room was massive, containing hard copies of nearly all the bureaucratic procedure they'd followed for twenty years. Every year anything over twenty was sent to the even more massive deep repository under Precinct 15 for final storage. An hour later, Arbitrator-Detective Idiam Thar sat in the musty conservation room, pathetically small even for a low-hive Precinct, and set down the enormous file he and the clerk had assembled. Every strange, unlikely or unexplained death in Hive Tetra in the past twenty years was in this file. Or at least should be. Thar thought as he took a cursory scan through its contents. At least fifty sheets of hard copy from the past year had been redacted by his former Commander, Baren Radador. Still have plenty to work with.
A few hours later, and a few hundred meters higher up, a conversation between student and teacher wound down. "Thanks Professor Qruze, I wasn't sure if the Caucasus Wastes were an ethnarchy or a hegemony. I'll see you tomorrow!" Isis strode cheerily out the door knowing that, like every day, Julius would be waiting for her. It was the high point of her day before lunch. Julius saw his girlfriend round the corner from the History classroom, and his eyes softened immediately, growing warm with affection. Still, he Saw something was upsetting her and resolved without question to pry the issue out of her. "Isis." Julius greeted her warmly, or at least as warmly as he was willing to in public. She shifted her books easily to her left hand, leaving the right free for Julius to take, and thought briefly about giving him a peck on the cheek. The memory of the last and only time she'd done so came to mind. Isis couldn't help giggle at the memory of the normally composed Julius suddenly turning red-faced and uncoordinated. "Julius." She settled for a firm squeeze of the clasped hand. "I trust Professor Qruze cleared up your question about the Caucasus polity?" "Yeah, I still think you could call it a hegemony, too. But history's already been made, no reason to argue about it. Especially when an A+ is on the line." Julius smiled briefly, then probed deeper. "There's something else on your mind, isn't there?" "Well, I was wondering if you wanted to go try that new restaurant in Solvang District, Galtic Ksine..." Julius' smile returned, knowing. "Not that. Of course I do. But you know what I mean."
"Well..." Isis sighed, her own composure now relaxing as they left the mass of students behind. I should've known better than to try and hide it. "I'm worried about Miranda." Julius returned the squeeze now, and the physical reassurance pushed Isis to admit her concerns. "Arthur really upset her, and then what happened at lunch yesterday. I don't know what would've happened if Simon wasn't there." Another sigh. "It feels like I'm losing her, Julius. Every time we try to bring Miranda out of her shell, she just ends up deeper inside." "She's a psyker, she can see more than we could ever imagine. She sees inside of people, and believe me few should ever have to see the darkness in the hearts of men." "But if she doesn't try she's just going to end up sad and alone. I wish she was lucky like Angela. Michael was just there for her whole life." “All we can do is be there for her, Isis. As long as she has you, Angela, Freya and the others she’s never going to disappear. There’s someone out there for everybody, including Miranda. Someone who won’t care that she has a third eye or the power of the Warp, who will love her regardless.” Isis thought for a long moment as they walked. "I guess.. I guess I already knew that. I just didn't know if it was right, if I should do more. Thanks, Julius." The hand drifted up to his face, provoking a small blush. "You're my compass." They walked in silence a little longer, before Isis noticed that same knowing smile plastered across his face. How does he always know? "You're worried about Petra, too."
"Yeah... it seems like every time we really start to get close she gets scared, runs away to Victoria or Roberta. And then a couple weeks later she's back. I just don't understand her." “More people need to realize how smart she is. She’s a genius, but no one ever sees it between you and Roberta. You drown her out.” "I don't try to, it's just... she never asserts herself. And every time we try to get her to open up, she just runs off again.” Her eyes became downcast. “It's like she's afraid to really be friends with anybody. To trust anyone." "Just give her time, Isis. Roberta's nice, and she'll be just as good a friend as you. As long as you keep her away from Victoria, Petra shouldn't have any problems coming into her own."
"Well, If she’s anything like her father, she'll be a good friend if I can get through to her. At least, that's what dad told me." Isis finished, and they walked in comfortable silence for another minute, enjoying each other's presence, but eventually Isis had to break off and head to English with Professor Oliton. Julius continued, only to find his path to Cogitator Science interrupted by something blonde. "Caroline, what can I do for you?" He said, voice polite and measured. "Hey Julius, Isis around?" Callie stood comfortably in the middle of the hall, a little too close. "I think you already know the answer to that question. What do you really want?" Callie stepped a little closer, edging a little more into Julius' comfort zone. "Just wondering where you're going?" "I have Cogitator Science in five minutes, Caroline." "Well, that's more than enough time to..." Callie waved a hand. "Talk."
"Well, despite all appearances, you are here to talk." His tone was sure: Julius had already learned to See through Callie's constant innuendo as the distraction it was. The girl let out a frustrated sigh, but saw it fail to provoke any real reaction from Julius and relented. "I'm just worried about Doug. He seems to have a thing for Furia... I don't know if it's good for him." "I think Doug can handle himself, if that's what you're worried about. He hasn't seem to have had any real trouble with her so far. You, on the other hand..." Callie's eyes bulged, but only briefly. This wasn't the first time she'd been blindsided by Julius seeing through her, but she still wasn't used to it. "Well, what do you think I should do?" "Be honest." Callie laughed bitterly, but it sounded derisive despite her feelings. "You're concerned about more than just Furia. If you're afraid of him leaving or being taken away, you should be honest with him. Be honest with yourself. This isn't just Furia taking him away, Callie. He has feelings as well, and he's acting on them. Maybe you should talk to him about it, instead of just avoiding it. You may not like the answer you get, but it's better than no answer at all." Julius saw the gears turning in Callie's head, and knew he'd done all he could. "Now, I need to get to class Caroline. Please, think about what I said." He headed off to Cogitator Science, leaving Callie alone with her thoughts and feelings.
A long and arduous day preceded Doug's afternoon, chock full of tests, extra assignments and reminders of semester projects. He'd heard whispers, bathroom gossip confirmed almost joyfully by Callie, that Furia had been in a fight with Hana at the beginning of the day, precipitated by a scratch on her bike. He had seen them talking before, like they were thinking each other's thoughts, sisters almost as close as The Twins. It seems this relationship is temperamental, the tiniest change becoming a complete swing to the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. Doug hadn't seen Furia all day and had assumed she'd been sent home for one reason or another; the news of her fight with Hana only confirmed his suspicions. Perhaps that is why Freya never showed up. She had other sororal responsibilities to tend.
He continued to put books away, trying to keep his mind busy, keep it off of what was coming after school. Doug could almost hear it, the rumble of the black car, quiet as a wraith, exuding the lines and antique dignity of the very first luxury cars from over thirty thousand years ago. He could see it now, hovering ominously in his mind, the gently rounded boxlike rear, the long, elegantly sloping vector wells, the massive grill and flat front balancing the gentle curves of the vehicle. The design was not one of performance, at least not the body, but aesthetics, almost proud in their defiance of aerodynamics. Against his will the mental door opened, the inside somehow blacker than the outside despite his experience. Of course it is a neat, charcoal gray in the real world. The darkness is a product of memory, of emotion. Doug finished placing books in his backpack and closed the locker, then turned. “Ah, Miss Russ.” His heartbeat elevated in surprise, he had expected to see her today, but not so suddenly. “I assume this is about Furia?” Across the hall was a woman, a girl, really. She was there naturally, timelessly, as if she had taken up watch long ago. As if the school were erected and the lockers installed carefully around her.
Freya Russ. Her long hair, a bright, natural red, was braided in a manner reminiscent of the ancient vikings, a major inspiration for the pre-Crusade technobarbarians. Freya was sizing him up for Furia's benefit, amber eyes flicking here and there, and so Doug did the same. She clearly possessed the bearing and presence of a warrior. Her face was sharp and feral, but a noble strain of feral. Long, lean muscle lay thick over her limbs and core. The overall effect was that of a predator. Freya's proud, domed forehead was concealed behind long bangs, hanging down past her eyes. A pair of small cowlicks stood up from the thick tresses at either side of her crown, both completing the wolfish look started by her fangs and complementing the narrowing of her face from prominent cheekbones to pointed chin. She was not made unfeminine by these traits; in fact, they created the opposite effect. The savagery seemed to break the bounds of propriety, but not dignity. Freya's body was athletic, powerful, but also carnal, balancing violence and pleasure equally. She finally moved, her vigil broken, and began to talk.
“Furia's been spending a lot of time with you. Almost since the day Coby let his libido replace his survival instincts.” “Yes, dreadful situation to be in. But, we didn't spend any... significant time together until friday.” “I don't have a problem with her being happy. In fact, after what Coby did, it's probably for the best.” Freya crossed her arms over her chest and leaned back against the lockers behind her. “Thing is, though... I don't know anything about you. Furia'd never met you before last week. So, is there anything she needs to know?” "Just that I have only good intentions in mind." Doug smiled, his face open and honest, his breathing and heartbeat normal. “Are you using her?” “No.” “Are you putting her in danger?” “No more than she was already in.” Freya stood now. “Where are you from?” “A little backwater world called Bolanion.” “What do your parents do?” “They work at the local post. Back home, of course.” “When did you get here?” “I started this year.” Doug nodded. “My senior year.” Freya's eyes narrowed. “How did you get into Imperator?” “I was brought in by a high-ranking member of the Adeptus Terra.” “Who?” “I'm not at liberty to say.”
“Stop dancing." Freya said curtly. Her hands fell to her sides, and Doug caught a glimpse of two wolf's-head tattoos on her arms before sleeves concealed them once more. “I'm asking you some pretty basic shit, here. Why are you trying to distract me?” Doug crooked an eyebrow. “Distract you from what, Miss Ru-” “Let me make something abundantly clear to you.” Freya cut him off with a snap. “You're actively avoiding answering questions here. Is that supposed to make me trust you?” "If you find my answers unsatisfactory, please, feel free to ask again.” Doug recalled details long ago cached away in his mind. Freya Russ was more than just genetically enhanced: senses wrought by the Canis Helix allowed her a level of physical perception into behavior and appearance that he simply couldn't match, and thus couldn't conceal. So he didn't. "Am I to believe there is a reason for..." He gestured comfortably. "This?"
"Sure." Freya nodded. "I don't trust you." “Of course. And how am I to remedy that?" "You could start by just telling me what I want to know. In fact." Freya said, cocking her head. "Does she even know your last name?" "Yes. I told her during our encounter with Dean Yarrick last monday. She knows most everything you know. She also knows that I have a twin brother, that I like old musclecars and that I cook an excellent pot of loseyn." Freya bared her fangs at that, the last in a long line of bullshit answers. The action had never failed to get her to the truth of a matter, and she only rarely used it. Doug rolled his eyes, and his voice came out thick with frustration. “Please, Miss Russ. If I am to see Furia again, tonight or in the future, I'll have to contend with something far worse than you.” It was Freya's turn to roll her eyes, then raise an eyebrow. “Angron?” Her voice was dripping with contempt.
Doug sighed and cringed visibly. “That will also be an issue.” He pulled on his coat, each movement bringing a myriad of scents from the garment: the reek of grime, chemicals, urban decay, meat, spices and vegetables, sweat, promethiate exhaust, astringents and a thousand other smells. Below all that, nearly four days old and only just imprinted, was Furia. Like her sisters Freya was worried about the girl, who always seemed on the edge of plunging into a world of chems and excess. Still, she was satisfied he was being honest about this, at least. "I gather it's too much to assume I'm a... member of the pack now?" Doug was calm, completely composed again. Freya gave him another once over, a quick appraising look, then nodded to herself. "No, but it's a... first step." Her posture and tone of voice made it obvious she was not wholly convinced he was trustworthy, but relented that his intentions towards her sister were good enough.
"Excellent." Doug moved his right shoulder, shifting the backpack. "Ah, yes. Furia asked me to tell you something." He waved briskly, smiled genially. "Hi." Freya's demeanor changed again, where before she was almost predatory, now she was more akin to a pup, friendly and restless. "Oh, thanks." She paused, unsure what to say. "So... how many times?" She blanched even as the words came out, patently offensive to most people. "Two nights, no more. Last friday and monday, yesterday night, of course." Doug's face became slightly surer, no implication of a particular emotion, just an upbeat posture. "Uh... Great." The conversation turned awkward as Freya realized she knew next to nothing about the man, only gleaning from Miranda today his name and a rough outline of his schedule.
>>23548738Beside the last one just being a flurry of text, It was a rather neat read. Interesting interpretation of what I have seen of Warham High. Carry on.
"It's been interesting, Miss Russ." Doug extended his right hand, firm and unwavering. Freya grasped it and he clasped his left over hers gently, pulling slightly and giving the shake three smooth pumps before letting go. "But, unfortunately, I have a schedule to keep." "Oh, alright." Freya was relieved, but not visibly so. Doug turned to leave, but stopped at the sound of Freya inhaling just slightly. He turned back to see her, a single fang bared, her look knowing. "And tell her I said hi, 'kay?" "Of course, Freya." Doug bowed lightly, "Have a fine evening." "You too!" She skipped and bounded away, all fire and furor, barely contained by a not quite mortal coil. Charming. Doug walked down the hall, around the corner, and was unsurprised to find his lunch group there waiting for him. "Ah, yes. My apologies. I had a-" "Yeah, we heard." Ev quipped. "Thought we were going to have to bail your ass out." His eyes glazed briefly at the thought of wrestling with the hard-bodied Freya, "Hoped, even."
"Who cares about that?" Callie was smirking again, even more self-satisfied now that yesterday's ignominy, the only blemish on her perfect gossip record, was erased. "I wanna hear about Furia." She stood and stretched from her seat against the locker, a single eyebrow quirking. "Or join in maybe?" Doug looked at Janus, his stare snapping the suddenly starry-eyed youth back to the present. "I doubt that. I assure you that today's Appraisal will be far more dreadful than any such evening could be worth." Janus nodded sagely, a nod that not one person in the group would doubt for a second, despite his youth and naivete. The boy was far and away the most familiar with the Appraisals. Vincent clapped Doug on the back and squeezed his shoulder lightly, the simple gesture carrying an entire paragraph's worth of empathy and support from the stoic young man. Doug looked to Chucho, somehow even more despondent than usual, and realized why: the boy had a metal plate on the back of his head. His skull had been almost entirely replaced by metal, and what little hair remained had been shaved clean off.
"Yeah, dude. Check out Metalhead. fuckin' bad-ass." Doug picked up that Ev wasn't lying about his own feelings, but that he was covering up Chucho's insecurity. "Chucho, I'd like to talk to you later about... something important." Chucho nodded at Doug, movements still slowed by gloom and doom. Doug's gaze shifted to Callie, whose distracted stare conveyed her understanding of the situation perfectly, and finally to Violet, who was tapping and swiping away on an adjustor, seeming almost like a full data slate in her small hands. "Inverted Key Lime Double Fudge Chunk... Who sent this?" Violet continued to tap away, completely oblivious to everyone's stares. "From RegCom, 68th Krieg FA, Saghalain, care of A.V.... Ohh." Violet looked up, a smile breaking like dawn over the horizon on her face. Ev's mouth and posture slackened considerably. "Ohmygod! This'll be perfect! I barely beat Isis last year!" Violet raised a quivering fist in triumph, as if she could already see the Prime Daughter and the rest of the class bowing before her culinary prowess. "Isis' Gyptian Rice Pudding Buns aren't gonna stand a CHANCE! I'll win EVERY category this year!" "Violet." The tone was whisper quiet, but carried a subtle, inherent menace that Doug found even shouting and screaming failed to match. It had served him well this past week, and would again in the future. If I'm still around after tonight. Janus smirked, he was a big fan of that tone, and more than once Doug had found him practicing, trying to imitate it. Violet stopped, her trance broken, and looked up. "Shall we?" Doug smiled grimly, arm extended in a neat gesture of departure.
>>23550005Yes, I do tend to be a bit on the wordy side. Glad to hear from a reader, though.
>>23550318Well, I was going to take a short break, but I guess Chapter 19 can go ahead and start now.
>>23550363They get here in a few chapters, actually. Or at least the one does.
The car seemed empty, even to Chucho, even though the small group filled its confines almost to capacity the car felt empty. It wasn't a physical emptiness so much as an emotional emptiness, a vacancy of feeling as they all considered what was going to happen. Even though only one of them was on the chopping block not one of them liked to think about it. Even though they wouldn't hear or see what was coming, they knew it existed. And that was more than enough. Callie lounged next to Violet and glanced at the girl, already formulating her recipe. She's on her adjutor, as much for the work as the distraction. Violet was ordering sweetened condensed milk, the incredibly rare key limes and, hardest of all, a combination of fats and oils she found almost perfectly imitated pre-Dark Age butter, cows having long gone extinct except in trader-borne rumors. Chucho sat on the other side, eyes wide, engrossed by the sheer intensity Violet was pouring into her plans, her work. Callie glared angrily at Janus, sitting between Vin and Doug, chattering animatedly. He's the least afraid of all of us. Janus had the most experience with their benefactor, but his chatter was nervous talk, anything to fill the empty space. He's not as scared, but still scared. Her stare softened a bit. As a group they'd made numerous mistakes, even in their short time with Doug.
Every mistake but one, the mistake Doug made, and the mistake we were told not to make the most. Callie shuddered at the thought. Despite her rumors, and even the actual opportunities she'd had to do so, except for one night not too long ago, she'd never so much as talked to any of the Royal Daughters outside of Imperator High. Callie looked at Doug again, face unreadable to most anyone outside this vehicle, and even as sympathy flooded through her she calculated. The indoctrination took hold and pushed aside the empathy. Callie's mind churned with all the ways she could turn this to her advantage. If Doug's released from the group he'll need a place to stay, companionship, purpose. If he's ordered into stopping the relationship, he'll be devastated, vulnerable. Callie wondered if he knew that, if he knew how much the relationship really meant to him. He probably doesn't, he's blind to it, ignoring his own feelings again. Idiot.
The thought barely entered Callie's head to talk to him about this; instead it was filed away, another tidbit, another nugget of intelligence ready to be twisted to her advantage. She continued to think, minor variations on his punishment, his reaction, on her response to both. She let the indoctrination fight away the emptiness, aware that, in nearly every situation, his misfortune was turned to her advantage. I'll comfort him. Support him. But that comfort, that support was made hollow by the fact that it gratified her physically and emotionally. The reality that it satisfied the indoctrination, the tenets of her mission and mode of operation. Callie felt bad about it, somewhere inside. But the indoctrination took that away, replacing it again with cold satisfaction. The fulfillment of achievement, of a strategic framework followed to the letter, of tactical parameters successfully executed. The indoctrination forced a cool smirk onto her face. Callie felt a familiar empty pang, buried below it all, but made sensitive by repetition.
A cut that never closes. Callie could see something in Doug, something that could help that pang. She could sense it in Vin, something that could fill the void. Callie felt it in Julius as well. Like he can see through the indoctrination, that he understands somehow. That he could help. She often talked to him, and she was sure not even Isis was aware of how much those conversations, the subtext and undertone, meant to her. Callie looked at Janus, through her peripheral vision, and yearned for him to be able to fill that vacuum. But he can't, he can't get past the indoctrination, the mission. Janus' requirements were known, his importance, his use, signed, sealed and filed away. She already had him, could get him to do whatever she wanted. Janus was useless to her precisely because he was so useful already. Because doing so wouldn't accomplish the mission any more than it already did, and so the indoctrination refused to give him any more consideration, refused to let him through.
Callie barely stopped the tears from coming. In truth, more than any of the others, more even than Chucho, she felt lonely. She'd had planned her initial foray into high school perfectly. In the first two weeks she'd slept with four different boys, one in each grade, and a single pair of girls. It had seemed daunting at the time, and the indoctrination did most of the work at first. But Callie laughed at how easy it was after the fact, at how predictable people are. Doug was right, again. Callie's reputation spread like wildfire and while her initial marks were good-looking enough and confident, they didn't quite have what she was hoping for. Maybe I was spoiled by Doug, my first taste of real dating. She'd found herself disappointed with these experiences. Soon the suitors were coming out of the walls, and she picked out a few who seemed promising, maybe even long-term. And as Callie talked to them, each and every one, she came to a horrible realization.
I didn't have to sleep with them. She'd predicated her entire strategy around using sex as her primary weapon and the initial salvo had worked well, too well. Rumors Callie started about herself were instantly, easily accepted. Boys and a some girls were willing to bend over backward for someone of her reputed skills. She didn't have to sleep with them anymore, any of them. Whispered words and careful gestures accomplished as much as it was possible to accomplish. Callie could get any information she wanted, spread any lie she needed. She knew absolutely everything about the Royal Daughters, about the social power players, about the fringe groups and loners. But she couldn't put the effort into establishing a relationship with anyone, even just for sex. It was inefficient, time better spent somewhere else, currying favor and subtly manipulating the tides of peer pressure. Callie's carefully planned social life had accelerated all too quickly, and the incredible emotional jerk had thrown her into a depression. The only people she could establish a real relationship with were in this car.
And for awhile it was enough. Unfortunately, the implants, augments and indoctrination hadn't enhanced only her body, physiology and mind. They'd also enhanced her libido. Ev would do anything for her already, they'd been part of the same Schola batch. He and Callie made it through so many travails since they were six years old that they were as true siblings as could be found anywhere. Janus is head over heels for me already, but that's the problem. That left Chucho, who saw them as family, as everything, already. He'd grown up in an area that was horrifically overpopulated, and his status as a Pariah, or as they said to avoid hurting his feelings, a 'Blank,' had made him reviled. They'd all been uneasy around him until Doug showed them how to endure his presence, that he was still a person. The change was immediate, and so noticeable for how subtle it was. Chucho threw himself into training, testing, anything and everything to keep up. He was the least experienced of the indoctrinated, but he was right in line with them because they were the best thing he had ever known. Friends, family and society all rolled into one tightly-knitted bundle.
Then there's Vin. I pushed hard on him, and it was working, too. But something Callie hadn't even remotely expected turned up. Vin was a deeply philosophical young man, prone to long and deep internal debates on weighty matters of law, justice, equality, socioeconomic class structure and more. He firmly believed in the sanctity of life, it was part of what made him such a precise killer and a capable protector. But he held many more deeply seated beliefs. Almost like some Catherics who believed in waiting for 'the one'. And Vin thought, like Doug, Callie was too driven by her indoctrination. He's right. That's why I pushed so hard, because he understands me. He'd be gentle and strong and perfect.
But since school started Vin had been getting more and more into debates with an Eldar woman, Terel'da, far older and wiser than her looks would make her seem. Callie had been there a few times. And walked out with a free coffee and bag of donuts after ONE talk with the cute guy behind the counter. Bastard. What Callie had seen in there disturbed her. Despite the apparent awkwardness of the conversation, Vin and the woman had connected deeply. Terel'da was a psyker, not powerful, but enough to read emotions, to break the barrier that Vin's indoctrinated language imposed on him. She was deeply impressed by the young man, and though Vin was probably not aware of it, was starting to develop the same feelings he had for her. So he was off the table.
And that leaves Doug again. Callie remembered her time with Doug fondly. Maybe the happiest time of my life. It had seemed all too short compared to how long she'd been in training, getting indoctrinated. She'd done something wrong, and she knew what it was, remembered the argument they'd repeated so many times. “It's my indoctrination Doug, I can't help it.” But Doug disagreed, pointing out Vin. He explained that the nature of her indoctrination didn't have to determine what she did with it. "That you are a killer doesn't mean you can't pick who to kill, Callie. You should approach the rest of your indoctrination the same way." Callie had tried several times, but never got the rush she'd come to crave from Doug. The rush that replaced all the relationships and emotions she wasn't getting. They just couldn't come to an agreement on it. She'd felt him slowly budging, giving way, despite his claims that she was too forced into it.
And then, suddenly, Furia. Callie thought back to the days they were together, after Doug helped her off the polymorphine. They'd done things, wonderful things, normal things that she still thought about today. Just talking and eating and living. But never went all the way. Callie still regretted, despite everything, even the indoctrination, that her first had been some may-as-well-have-been-random drunk senior at a noble house party. She wanted more than that, even now. She'd thrown herself into the cons, every chance she got with Violet, Vin or Doug. It was a physical release, one that Callie had come to depend on. But more and more Vin and Violet had been going separate ways. Vin towards more deep thinking, closer and closer to Terel'da. And chiseled brooding. God, I can't even help myself now. Violet had finally seemed to start opening herself up emotionally, not hiding behind the facade that kept her core self safe and locked away. She'd been drifting, maybe towards Ev, it was hard to tell. I saw it in Doug's eyes, knew why it was working. The more time we spent together the closer we got. Every time they pulled the YPF con together, more of the hormones and signal receptors built in his brain, chipping away at his reluctance and moral stupidity. Every time Doug seemed to let himself enjoy it a little more.
I should've known something was wrong. Callie thought back to Sunday. It'd been a stressful week, her part of the reconnaissance hadn't gone smoothly or easily, so she was stressed. She pushed herself on him as hard as she could without compromising the mission. And it was so good. She couldn't help but shudder now, thinking about it. I should've known then. At first she thought Doug was teasing, playing with her, that he was finally on the verge of giving way. He was always good at that. But he didn't swing back, he pushed a little farther away. Callie had to run into the bathroom monday to stop the tears. One little glance. Callie had seen one look, one brief half-second glance pass between the two of them. Between Doug and Furia, and knew, and off she went to the bathroom, indoctrinated smirk on her face while she cried. I miss you, Doug.
So Callie followed him home, hoping that the attack by Furia was a sign. It was a bluff. She'd heard the whole conversation, even almost let Doug see her, see the need and loneliness in her eyes. She thought back again, remembering that night. She'd listened the whole time, it seemed like an eternity. It sounded so good. They sounded so close, so loving, even though they barely know each other. Just talking and being together. Callie had barely made it out of there before the crazy old woman next door noticed something was happening outside. Somehow Furia had cut right through Doug, right to his core. Looking back Callie could remember the look in his eyes sunday. She thought he was thinking about how to deal with her, about whether he had to worry about an Appraisal over the situation. Somehow, each day he'd withdrawn a little more. The con last week, that Wednesday, had been a really good night. He had so much energy, so much passion.
But it was all for her. Callie was perfectly willing to be a substitute, but Doug would never have that. That was why she admired him. And here we are, Doug's commission of the first, most basic mistake we were warned against. Never get involved with a Royal Daughter. Even Callie's many interactions were almost entirely limited to basic gossip and information gathering. Please don't take him away. Please, just tell him that he can't see her anymore. She hoped, hoped that was what would happen. She didn't know what she'd do if Doug had to go. She'd lose all hope. I'll trade it all back, the training, the purpose, the freedom, everything. Just let me have Doug. Let me have someone.
Alright, a short break, then chapter 20 is on the way.
The black car glided along, somehow seeming to go much slower than it was. It's probably the Palace, it's so big you never seem to get there. Despite that, the ride passed all too quickly, and soon the Palace's massive shadow darkened the car, matching the sudden drop in mood. We're here. Doug was always a little amazed at how fast the trip was despite the size and complexity of the Palace's halls, made simple with the aether-synaptic mech-intellect guiding them as they entered the structure. They each broke off at different places. First was Vin, who walked up to a gentle sheet of water streaming down over a wall, relaxing in both sound and appearance. He simply walked through the wall, the stone parting as easily as the water, and disappeared. By the time Doug turned around Janus was gone as well, the slow creak of a great statue's wings the only indication of his disappearance.
At one point they walked through a long, unlit, narrow hallway. Chucho disappeared before they entered, the last in line, and when they emerged Callie was gone. Violet disappeared in a garden room, behind an enormous display of Arasian lilacs. Ev stopped and tried to follow, but found no entrance. How fitting, Ev will wait until it's too late, until Violet is gone, to chase after her. They boarded an elevator next, and Doug stepped off while Ev stayed behind. He relaxed as the boy disappeared, then concentrated, doing what little he could to reinforce his mnemonic against what was to come. He walked blindly, following the subtle audio and tactile cues of the mech-intellect. Nelan shorn, opposition. Doug brought to mind first white. The purity of everything, every color. He thought on it for a time, ignoring the many sights and sounds of the Palace, and finally came black. The purity of nothing, no color. At first the colors existed simply as two halves of an endless expanse, a perfectly defined border separating them. Doug breathed in, relaxed, and the colors began to merge, moving in orderly lines at infinite speed. For a time lines of black and white stretched from horizon to horizon, and then he squared them off. And now for the hard part.
Doug beheld now a great checkerboard, an eternity of crisp black and white squares, alternating, all precisely the same size, perfectly square and flush with each other. He breathed out, and, through sheer force of will, expanded black and white. They did not intermix, did not become gray. Though I imagine that is what Janus, what most psykers see. Both black and white expanded, grew to fill the whole of his vision, his perception, his mind. All thought and concern was wiped away as Doug visualized the greatest expanse of pure opposition he could. The image was held for a long time and the apprehension that Doug felt, the tension in his blood and muscles, began to relax as he did so. Black and white. Tension and relaxation. Opposites in perfect balance.
Still, Doug felt some apprehension remain. He knew he would need more to face this. Opposition. Doug concentrated, looking for what most rang with him, what most defined opposition to his very core. Furia entered his mind again, freely, easily. As she entered my life. Doug saw her face, saw the boiling anger as she strode through the hall. He saw himself bump into her, purposely. Doug saw, out of the corner of his own eye, Furia's face turn, twisted by rage. She spoke, the words meaningless, body language and tone everything. She was enraged, furious, and at the same time thankful for what he'd done. Gratitude and anger in enormous measure, perfectly balanced. Even if you don't understand why. A psyker watched, waiting, as the gray box finally reappeared, stronger and cleaner than ever.
Ten minutes later Doug sat in the Tueor, the base of operations for the Officio Tutamentum and its Protection Forces. But he knew it wasn't home. He'd entered home only minutes ago, the memory of Furia finally opening the door fear had closed. And I am afraid. He sat there now, shuddering despite an unusually warm fire crackling in the hearth. The lush fields and trees of Bolanion swayed gently outside, the first true frost of the short, harsh winter tinging all white. It's going to snow soon. Doug considered going into the library, but Furia shimmered at the barest corner of his thoughts, flitting by outside the window, and he decided against it. I suppose I should prepare for my guest. The door opened then, in the Appraisal room where Doug sat. He was vaguely aware of it, but focused on his mental home, his mnemonic construct, honed by years of strict meditation and months of terrible trial. And necessity. Nothing is so steadying as purpose. True purpose.
The library door cracked open. Doug walked over, whispered through the crack, then gently pulled it closed. He sat back down in front of the fire to observe the front door. He was somewhat surprised to find himself in his normal, everyday clothes. For months he'd come here to relax, and each time he'd worn the simple clothes of his homeworld, his past. Something has changed. Furia appeared in the corner of his eye again, another memory making itself known, and Doug finally relaxed completely, ready to accept what came next. He could feel the terrible weight, the sheer mental presence, even through the closed doors and shuttered windows. The house began to rock and Doug stood, having nearly forgotten to bar the library. He returned to his seat feeling the press of intellect seep through the weather-sealed door. Anger, rich and spicy, came first and strongest. But that is only a cover. More subtle smells began to enter as the mental house swayed under escalating wind and rain, sleet. Sadness. Only a tinge of course, he is not one to feel helpless or lost. The salty scent, almost like crisp ocean air, quickly receded.
And now comes the truth. Betrayal came through finally, the door itself beginning to crack under the immense stress. The others are merely symptoms, reactions to this. To my betrayal of his trust. It was thick, far more so than the others, a physical breeze pushing against him. The fire flickered, nearly guttered. Well, we can't have that now, can we? I just stoked you properly again. The house began to shake, rocking as if in an earthquake while Doug calmly stood. He took another pair of logs and placed them gently in the fire, drawing warmth, strength from it, before sitting once more. The tremor dulled, lessened, if only so much. Doug smiled, even as the betrayal came afresh with hints of outrage, indignation and, under it all, fatherly pride. He could taste it now, the taste of betrayal. It was pungent, cloying, like biting into a fresh apple and chewing, only to pull it away and see the rot exposed, watch the worm wriggle and feel it slither down your throat.
Earthy, gruesome, not so unlike death. Doug took a last smell of the fire, rich like anger, but sweeter. Rosewood perhaps? I find it appropriate. He felt it, felt the last shudder as he sweated, eyes bulging with unseen effort, felt the door crack and give way under absolute, unadulterated psychic power. His benefactor entered then, and Doug concealed no pride at seeing his state, having been tried in the smallest way by his entrance. "Not that I could conceal anything from you in here, Lord Malcador."
I'm going to break here for something to eat, but I'll keep an eye out for questions or comments.
>>23552590Eagerly awaiting your return.
The First Lord of Terra, Malcador the Sigilite, entered the Appraisal room. You have failed me, Dubhannan. He felt the slightest echo of the thought from Doug's mind, from the flat surface of opposition. Malcador sat, and the Appraisal began. He knew the children feared the Appraisal. That it drove them to succeed, sometimes beyond their limits. And why shouldn't they? The Appraisal was no simple interrogation, no torture or berating. It was far simpler, more basic and affective. I am their father, and no child likes to disappoint their father. Malcador had no need to speak his displeasure, the full weight of his mind simply smothered most psyches. Whole rooms fell silent when he entered, feeling the power he bore as a matter of course. Without effort he could bring silence to thousands, through his simple presence. Or he could hide it, make himself completely unknown. And these children depend on me, love me as a father. And they are my children. For them it was different, his mind was a welcome presence, the entirety of a family's love, pride, happiness and more. In his presence they felt it at all times, a warm embrace of the soul. But when the Appraisal came he would single them out, one by one, and let the anger, the disappointment and sadness crush them.
Malcador spoke, but it was only a reflection of the true conversation, happening in the confines of Doug's mind, contained by his mnemonic. Malcador had broken into it in mere seconds, but it was by far the longest it had ever taken him to do so. "You have betrayed my trust, Dubhannan, the Emperor's trust. Do you have an explanation for this? Why you did it? How did you justify it to yourself, Dubhannan? Tell me, that I may correct you. Your job is to protect the Daughters, as you all swore. You must maintain distance, for their safety and happiness." Doug sighed, the house flexing and relaxing around him. Still, the fire warmed him. "Need I speak, Lord? Simply take the answers you seek."
At this Doug gestured to a small table beside Malcador, one that had not been there moments ago. The book submitted to the Sigilite's will, lifting and revealing itself to him. He saw Furia, cold and alone. Nowhere in particular, but a general awareness of her emotional state. First it was at Imperator High. Here she was angry, angry but alone. She thrashed Doug, they fought, each attack thrown a minor relief for her. The week passed in a blur, Doug always there, Furia venting, yelling, punching, laughing even. Then came Friday and Furia was cold, cold and alone. Both literally and emotionally. Doug was following up on his assignment, locating the #113 slide dealer. He glanced over and recognized Furia, saw her scratching her arm, saw her throw away the empty lho pack. Doug stared, waiting until she noticed, then left. She followed, making no attempt to disguise her presence. Furia was pinned, again laying into Doug, familiarity only barely softening her anger. They spent the evening together, and for a time she wanted for company no more, the itch of her arm gone. Then it returned and with it came more, something deeper, an entire night together. The weekend, already well known to Malcador, elapsed in an instant, only Doug awakening briefly saturday morning to see Furia leave with his jacket lingering.
The mission came and went, but Furia remained in Doug's thoughts, sometimes distracting, sometimes embarrassing. The attack in the hallway, what happened after. More anger came from Malcador, the overpowering weight of his mind tingling with anger as Doug encountered Freya, then hints of pride and amusement as he maintained his composure and kept his secrets. "I did not give lifetimes worth of knowledge to you, Dubhannan," Malcador gestured to the shelves lining the walls of the house, full to bursting with books, hundreds of years of knowledge, of history and combat, of arts and sciences, all that he himself had bequeathed, "so that you could duel with a Daughter." Doug thought back to his departure from Bolanion, when Malcador took him from the jail cell and spirited him away aboard a Black Ship. Months were spent in the warp, months where Malcador stocked Doug's mind with untold volumes of knowledge of all kinds. Much of it was Malcador's own knowledge, but enough was taken, sometimes forcibly, from others. He'd learned the vagaries of combat a thousand times over, he'd learned trades and skills, methods and languages. His meditation had been tested and strengthened as well. Malcador had assailed his mental fortress time and time again while he studied in his mind, honed him into the operative he was today.
"I could not back down, my Lord. Furia needs me, as much as I need her right now." Doug gestured at the fire. Malcador sighed, and for a long moment they sat in the comfortable chairs, the fire now roaring at full strength again. He regarded Doug for a long time, then finally relaxed. "I suppose it must be so, Dubhannan. Once more I find that luck has given you my blessing. So long as you are necessary, what keeps her from vice and despair, I will allow this." Malcador glanced at the library. "So long as she needs you, and only that long. If you are not removed from her personal life by this time, then I will make it so. This is not an order, Dubhannan, this is knowledge, and once again I gift you with knowledge. Use it properly." After another long moment Doug nodded, and the Appraisal was done. He stood to leave, but felt an urge to stay. “I will be leaving for some time Dubhannan, there are matters to attend to with the High Lords, and other organizations. I shall return in two months' time. Look after our family.” In the real world Malcador stood and left, and Doug followed shortly thereafter, eager to keep his next appointment.
Malcador settled into his office, so rarely used, for one of his few quiet moments. He thought of them all, of his children. Even Dubhannan, if less so than the others. He had been searching for something more, but found only Doug instead. The boy's curious warp presence drew him in and, when Malcador realized the potential, not only for Janus, but of the newcomer himself, he tested the strands of fate. The Sigilite saw one strand, far away. A single possibility that would not be without this boy. So I took him from his incarceration, gave him purpose once more, a chance to understand. He had potential, Malcador knew. He is a rare individual, the kind who always seeks the cause behind something, but, at the same time, does not default to looking for blame. Open-minded through virtue of being at odds with his rural birth community, he agreed to come on the condition that he would help people. An odd request, considering the circumstances I found him in, but the decision nonetheless bore fruit.
Still, Doug was a consolation prize, and he upset the delicate dynamic Malcador had constructed the team with, to ensure each had a partner. But now, because of him, they are making it work, now less a trio of partnerships and more a unified whole. While the others, besides Janus, have already been indoctrinated, and Janus himself has undergone his trial by fire, Douglas remains empathic. Not a manipulator, like Caroline, and more cordial than Chucho. He is largely ignorant of this, perhaps the most important of his skills in regards to this cabal. He is the middle ground. He is the only member who is compatible with all of the others. And this is my fault: the indoctrination causes them to view themselves and others as tools, even pawns. It restricts their emotions, binds them to their tasks. It is unfortunate, but necessary. They have loyalty ingrained in them, loyalty to me and by extension each other. Loyalty, but not trust. That is where he is most important, why he must remain unrefined, rough, why he must keep his full gamut of emotions. The others are as bricks, they need a mortar to settle into, to unite them. Or they would simply slide apart.
Malcador sighed, a rare event, as he considered his young daughter, Callie. I should have foreseen Vincent's distraction and diverted him from that path, or perhaps encouraged Dubhannan to comfort her. But then where would Furia be? The Sigilite looked to the ever-changing future and, though he saw much trial, he also saw that Callie would, in the end, be made whole. It was turbulent for some reason, hard-to-read, even for one of his skill, but Malcador felt hope for his children's future, and let it flow over them. You will find what you seek, Caroline, you need only be patient. You need only wait.
The black shuttle sat ominously outside the small town, dominating the view for nearly the length of main street. Wind rustled through trees and the sun shone brightly in the sky, as if glad to have returned, however briefly, during the short, harsh Bolanion winter. To the east rose a hill, covered with colorful native wildflowers, themselves concentrated more in the rolling meadow to its south. Everything was wet, just drying from the previous night's heavy rain. Despite the fair weather, lush greenery and tasteful houses, all eyes fell on the ship. There were two guards, both of them wearing heavy black carapace armor, both with sizable backpack generators tied into the hellguns they bore. Both men, standing on either side of the unfolded entry ramp, wore riot masks as well, ready to filter gas and dim any kind of visual flare instantly. Despite their calm demeanor the storm troopers knew they possessed enough firepower between them to kill everyone in the small rural town, enough even to demolish most of its buildings with time.
Their lord and master appeared then, a few dozen meters away. He strode from a low, stone building, the only truly defensible structure in the village: the jail. The townspeople regarded him warily, but not fearfully. They cared more about the dendrite collar and the Burning Aquila-topped staff than the man who bore them. He was average, unremarkable save for the unimpressive robe he wore, the pale brown garb of an Administratum functionary, one among untold billions in the galaxy. And yet this unassuming guise only cemented the depths of Malcador's power. Few among the townsfolk even guessed that he may be a psyker, yet his mind was among the most powerful in the galaxy; among Mankind he was second only to the Emperor himself. So it was that the townsfolk paid him no heed, as he intended. Instead their gazes, fearful, angry and doubtful, were set upon the boy who followed him. He was a shell, a pale reflection of the townsfolk; of his own parents, standing deep within the crowd; of his twin brother, standing farther away still. Separate from the crowd stood a small group of monks in black robes, detailed thinly with gold.
Funny, earlier there was a thread praising the sun that WHH was finally done.
Hey btw, if you guys are interested, I will take up a few requests for WHH related sketches and such. I got time, why not?
He walked slowly, shuffling, his shoulders sloped with defeat. His eyes were haunted, fraught with loss, confusion and sadness. As if feeling their gaze he stopped and let his eyes travel upwards; when he saw the townsfolk, his eyes changed. Now they shone with hate and anger. The townsfolk bristled at this, seeming to recede before his gaze without moving. But they murmured and muttered. Fear and doubt began to be supplanted by anger once more, as it had earlier that day, and the day before. The monks remained impassive. “Dubhannan.” Malcador's voice was as unassuming and unexceptional as his dress and bearing, but it somehow demanded obeisance.
Been hankering for a good draw-time anyways.
>>23555012Good to see you around, Eversor.
Still, Dubhannan did not move; instead, his eyes mirrored the growing anger in the crowd. The emotion seemed to catch and reflect between the two groups, the dozens of townspeople and the boy, intensifying with each invisible pass. The villagers began to rally, to draw courage from numbers and adrenaline, and this only served to infuriate the boy more. He drew himself up to his full height, leather jacket rustling, and his breathing escalated. His hands, dirtied by long hours of recent work in the earth and still chained together at the wrist, suddenly began to chafe at the iron. The two troopers began to bristle now, gently flicking their hellguns to a lower setting. They wouldn't need full power to put down the villagers. Malcador sighed, signaling only the very least relaxation. The change was immediate.
>>23555084Hey hey, never promised! But it is on my back-burner, its just a long drawing to do, I have been doing little projects.Its still on my "Shit to do" list.For instance, this was one from "Someone Else's" stories that I did.
>>23555129>VenusNot black enough.
The seething anger–thick between the crowd and the boy–vanished as if it had never been, and was replaced by fear. The villagers fell back and stooped. A few fainted or simply collapsed as the physical weight of mental power, of ages-heavy psychic might, pressed down on them. The boy sagged as well. His shoulders sloped again, his hands drooped and slackened once more. His eyes returned to the ground. Still, Malcador could not help but feel pleased that the boy had remained standing. He has potential. The pair began to move again, now both occupying the horrified stares of the people, and ascended the ramp into the shuttle. The storm troopers followed the boy up and the entry ramp finally closed. With a low whine the Arvus Lighter's twin rockets fired up. The whine increased to a roar as its stout wings actuated, and the blunt, boxy transport reluctantly lifted off. It hopped, suddenly bursting upwards, then settled into a slower but steadier acceleration, now unstoppable until it reached its destination.
>>23555095Yeah man...hope your hand heals swiftly and becomes stronger then ever before!
>>23555140I had a image where I showed like 4 hues of Venus Blackness. lol...I belive this was the blackness people agreed upon.
>>23555173Nah just in unison agreeing with this fine gent.
>>23555178>4 huesNot enough hue.
The townspeople watched for a time, until long after the black shuttle was out of sight. Only then did they begin to move, singly at first, then in progressively larger groups until a scarred few remained. These were the angriest among them and they departed as well, not for home, but for the distant rise to the east. They had to bury their dead.
>>23555206>>23555173You guys obviously have some sort of chatroom or something. Why not stay there?
>>23555243He's here to take requests:>>23554988
Dubhannan awoke in a cold sweat, as he had been doing for days, since the night before he left Bolanion. The nightmare seemed to cling to his mind, keeping the memories as fresh as the day they happened. He looked down at his hands, still stained with earth from the digging, and began to brush and swipe at them. Somehow the sweat hadn't turned the dirt to mud, instead his hands just slipped over each other, the sweat making his slack, shaking grip even weaker. He sat up, feet on the cold floor, and continued to rub and and pull feverishly, putting his nails into it, desperate to get the dark, stinking earth off of his hands. Blood started to well up, his short nails passing straight through the dirt and cutting into his skin. It too refused to discolor the mud, simply slipping over and down his hands, onto the cold metal floor. The sight of pooling blood finally threw Dubhannan out of his daydream, and he snapped back to the present. His hands were scraped and cut, rubbed raw in some places. Warm blood mingled with cold sweat, running far too easily down his hands and onto the floor, where the almost inaudible thrum of the engines caused it to quiver gently. He'd changed his sleep patterns, but nothing worked; even sleeping the bare minimum–two hours at a time every four hours–the nightmares came without fail.
>>23555294And so far the only one who has propositioned is part of your little inner circle.
>>23555243I'd rather draw for the readers. Always nice to see interesting ideas.
>>23555329>Im here for the audience!>better call them all retards!Well fuck you too, you goddamn cunt.
>>23555347You are a nice audience member. :D
>>23555347I don't think he meant that as an insult, it's just something he drew...
>>23555381Well then maybe he should be more clear when using reaction images as something other than a reaction image. And does he honestly expect people to use shitty WHH reskins without them instantly derailing a thread. You would have better luck posting homestuck or mlp reaction images.
Dubhannan watch it fall for a long time, the measured cadence of thick red joined by something clear and thinner, a little faster and more insistent. After a time he inhaled heavily and began to ignore the small puddle at his feet, the Black Ship's vibrations sending red swirling throughout the mostly clear mass. A slow, drawn out exhalation followed, and warmth began to creep into the room from atop the small bed. He continued the slow cycle of inhale/exhale, seeming to prolong each breath for all its worth, and then a little more beyond. His body temperature continued to elevate, and the cold sweat began to do its job, evaporating, each bead taking a small portion of that heat with it. After a half hour he was relaxed enough to enter the second phase of his meditation. A part of his mind flickered briefly back to a time before, when he didn't need to fall back on the basic methods just to get started. Despite the warmth rolling off of him, Dubhannan shivered.
>>23555420There is merit in what you say, but I doubt he cares if anyone actually uses them; he more than likely simply made them for fun. Indeed, you should throw out a request if you think something else would be more appropriate, I'm sure he'd be happy to take it.
>>23555420Truly, I would! I eagerly wish to draw for you guys.
The black came first, far too easily, and the white took its time, ever the opposite. Just last week this process had taken only seconds from start to finish: the mental conjuration of opposition, his mind sealing itself off, protecting him during his daily routine, washing away fear and doubt to allow his world to be seen as it truly was. The image in his mind quivered, and it took Dubhannan some time to recover, to see the two colors in equal measure once more. Slowly, too slowly, they began to merge and interweave, not the square and perfect checkerboard of days past, but a confused, swirling riot mirrored in the mixture of blood, sweat and tears at his feet. After a time they finally began to expand, each swelling to envelope his mind completely, comfortably. The house began to resolve around him, as if his eyes were opening from a long, deep sleep. He saw the fireplace, barely crackling, saw the trees outside, a lush green swaying gently in the heavy early spring breeze.
>>23555478Theres really nothing interesting from WHH I want to see drawn. And anyone who does want something from WHH drawn has probably already told you in IRC.
The last of Bolanion's bleak, sporadic winter had died down, and though he was now far from his physical home, a lifetime of living there, of looking out the windows of the house that became his home, had ingrained the patterns into his mind. The fireplace was old and dirty, but some spots were clean. One in particular, the high corner, and it didn't take Dubhannan much time to cover this up. A finely wrought needlepoint tapestry, depicting a field of wildflowers was pulled off a shelf. As he touched it a happy memory came to mind, of a day long ago on that field, one he knew lay just on the other side of a hill seen through the window. The drapery was dusted off, bringing a small chuckle to Dubhannan. How does a memory collect dust? He savored the recollection a moment longer, the mixture of fear, curiosity and hope as confusing now as it had been that day.
The embroidery was folded gently under one arm, and he took the time to slowly dust off the fireplace once more, going over the too-clean corner quickly. The tapestry was pulled, stretched as only a memory could be, malleable and yielding, until it formed a perfect covering for the stone fireplace mantel. Other objects were collected from the shelves, a bracing picture of a dark-skinned man in black and gold clothing; an impossibly worn and old, but happy family photograph, depicting a pair of smiling children, not five years of age, and two loving parents; a proud old daybook, unbelievably full of notes and schoolwork of all kinds, all well-regarded and commended. These and more settled onto the embroidery, happiness piled upon happiness until the mantelpiece was covered up, almost completely forgotten. Almost.
Outside the confines of his mind, Dubhannan's eye opened and checked the chrono on the far wall. Despite how long the preparations had taken in his mind, only a few minutes had passed in the waking world, and he smiled gently. He had another seven minutes before his benefactor showed up, before the Appraisal started. Dubhannan had no idea what that was, but the way Malcador said the word somehow chilled him to the bone. Regardless, he settled easily back into the house, into a comfortable seat. The fireplace was warmer now, higher without the fear and desperation of the open mantelpiece holding it down. He looked at the door to the library, and felt an odd mixture of pride, apprehension and anticipation. His first task was to banish that from his mind, and he had only succeeded partially, had only portioned it off. But he knew this was all he could do, it was something he would never give up. Dubhannan stood and the door to the library cracked, as if expecting him. That peculiar mix of happiness and pining, of nostalgia, nearly overwhelmed him, but he slid the the door open just enough to slip through, before closing it gently behind him.
>>23555514I believe 3 or 4 of the drawings I have done were from the people who write the comics, and why not right? I mean they make content, I want to give back to them.The rest were from the fans, or just stuff I did on my own accord, cause hey...its fun!
The boy opened his eyes seven minutes later, seven minutes that had been just over an hour in his mind, his mnemonic home. The puddle had grown as well, the red now far out-measured by the clear. He slowly became aware of a presence in the room, a dark-robed figure, the burning aquila atop his otherwise unadorned staff casting a flickering light about the room. “You are prepared, Dubhannan.” Malcador spoke, his voice unassuming yet somehow commanding. The question was phrased so, but the way he said it told the boy it was neither question nor command, a simple statement of knowledge. “Yes, my lord. The fireplace has been covered, the shelves cleared of the unnecessary and... other things. Most of it has been moved to the library or cellar.” Malcador looked at him for a long moment, and Dubhannan sighed. “I have done all I can, the library is closed and locked for now, and it weighs on my my mind no more.” He regarded the boy for a time, then finally nodded. “Then we begin.”
The process seemed to take hours but the boy knew that only minutes had passed. He sat in the comfortable chair, the fire now crackling along dimly. Malcador produced yet another book and faced the shelves. “What do you know of science, Dubhannan?” He grimaced and sweated in the chair. “Not much, we don't learn any more than we need to for-” The book touched the shelf, and the house shuddered as if besieged by a whirlwind. Long groaning creaks ran through the walls, and the bookcase itself shook as the volume settled into place. It seemed to resist somehow, the shelves and framing flexing away from the book as Malcador pushed it with greater and greater force into place. Dubhannan let out a small cry as the fire dimmed, his eyes bulging with unseen effort. His face began to turn red, veins standing out; he started to sweat and quiver. The book finally slid neatly into place and, ever so slowly, the house relaxed. The groaning died down and ceased, the bookshelves became square and straight once more; the fire began to brighten, burning purposefully. Dubhannan calmed last of all, his face changing to its normal color, his veins receding, his eyes lidding with fatigue. The Sigilite smiled and an unmistakable feeling of pride crept into the room. It felt comforting, and bolstered the boy's waning resolve.
>>23555897Eversor thinks he can make /tg/ love WHH by spamming his shitty doodles.So yes.
>>23555897No, just a misdesignation; he's used to working on comics.
“You are becoming more resilient with each book, Dubhannan. But... perhaps twelve is too many for one day.” He looked at the figure in the chair, his simple clothes soaked through with sweat. A leather jacket hung in the corner, a coat rack that hadn't been there when they started. He thought for a moment to take it up, to find comfort in it. He yearned for it, but fought the urge down. He had to do this himself, under his own power. The feeling of pride became stronger, then swelled again as he spoke. “No, I can handle more.” “Are you sure?” Malcador gestured at the empty bookcases lining the walls, at the twelve books already in place, sitting in a neat row, so few compared to the hundreds of empty spaces. “If you need an interruption...” “No.” Dubhannan eyed the door to the library again, and the fire to his side roared to life once more, redolent with determination. “We only have months, and if what you've told me is true, I have much farther to go.” Another book appeared in his hands, seeming to emerge from within the brown robe, and Malcador smiled as he pushed it into place. “It is true, they are all very capable. You have much to learn in the sciences, arts and ways of war if you are to match them.”
>>23555897Comics/Stories/etcI do a Comic for it, so it was a simple error.
>>23555915I suppose I could assume you are attempting to find comfort here by belittling another to compensate for the acceptance and camaraderie you don't receive in real life.But that would be rude.
“And the boy, he's a... psyker, like you?” Dubhannan rolled the word about his mouth, it was new to his vocabulary. He'd heard it before, but only minutes ago had the full knowledge of what being a psyker entailed been forced into his mind. He glanced at the book, the third one his lord had shelved, and shuddered at the hours it seemed had passed. “He is not my equal, not yet. Should you succeed in teaching him this,” Malcador gestured at the house, then more specifically at the bookshelves, “he will come to be so. Greater, perhaps.” The book slid into place, and Dubhannan found something trickling through his mind, foreign words that were somehow familiar. Harsh and guttural, associated with a long history of cold living, survival and brutal war. “What is this?” “The language is known as Juvjk, the world as Fenris. Your name will not do, Dubhannan. You must blend in. Have you thought on one to take, on your new name?” Dubhannan shook his head, bracing himself for the next book, the next swath of knowledge to be forced inside his psyche. A tear ran from his eye, a simple reaction to pain. It was not a memory-construct as so many things in the room, but a reflection of the real world. He could barely feel the wooden spar he knew was clenched between his real teeth, sinking deep into it with stress and strain. “Then we will take the simplest route, Dubhannan. From now on your name is Douglas Hanlon, and to others that is how you will be known.”
>>23555960If you're gonna be a cunt, at least be upfront about instead of being a snide, passive-aggressive little weasel.
>>23555963For you.-------------------------Furia flopped onto her bed, computer chair still spinning crazily with the momentum imparted by Doug's jacket. Her hand dug around the covers, under the mattress, beneath the pillow. "Fuck." The word was muffled by the thin pillow. No more goddamn smokes. Furia had hoped to patch things up with Hana, though she'd never say it. It didn't go well. She heard something, a light rustling outside, barely more than the wind through the trees. Her blood picked up, her father's legacy flooding adrenaline through Furia at the slightest provocation once more. When a gentle tap came at the window, she could only smile and wave a hand lazily through the air. Doug stepped in neatly and shut the window behind him. "I take it your father isn't home?" He sat down on the bed next to her, and Furia rolled over. "Nope, said he was going out to get a new grill. The last one burnt his grox ribs and didn't make it through the night." She grunted slightly as her own pained ribs, still throbbing from the fight, made their presence known. Doug pulled on her hip, and the bed shook slightly as Furia rolled onto her stomach once more. "Oh, my. I take it the fight with Hana went well?"
>>23556001Incredible, you actually managed to miss my point completely, then accuse me of the very thing. Or are you simply trying to avoid it?
"Eh, could've be-ah!" Furia jumped as his hands parted the union of shirt and skirt. Fingers brushed her discolored skin gently. "Could've been better." She sighed into the pillow, relaxing as Doug's hands, feeling like large spiders, played out a warm, gentle massage over the bruises. After fifteen minutes Furia was all but asleep, the stress of the day forgotten. She didn't stir again until his hands slipped under the skirt, pulled it down just slightly and started massaging again. Furia sat up suddenly, pulling him into a passionate kiss, all need for lho or fighting forgotten, subsumed. "Ehrhehm-Furia." Doug managed to reluctantly pull away, face already flushed. "I'm afraid I don't have much time here, for now. I have more work to do, but I will be back later. If you're still up for it?" She thought about it for a minute, then suddenly remembered what she'd been trying to forget. "Yeah, yeah. I actually have something to do too. Almost forgot." "Excellent, then I shall see you in a few hours, my dear Furia." Doug kissed her again, as gentle and lingering as the earlier massage, and left through the window, stopping only to take his leather jacket. Furia laid back down on the bed, smiling as she tucked her button-up shirt back into the skirt. "Fucker."
Far below, A-D Thar's chin worked back and forth, a slow near-grinding of his teeth as he thumbed through page after page of deaths. He'd been at it for nearly twelve straight hours, only pausing to use the restroom and grab a bottle of water. There were a lot of unknown-cause deaths, plenty of overdoses and no shortage of unexplained murders. Idiam stopped as he came across a recent unexplained homicide, recognizing the name on the file, his partner. It had been redacted as well. I'll have to wait for the new Commander to open the file. He set that thought aside for now and continued, hands bulling through the paper, sorting: unknown, overdose, unknown, unknown, unexplained murder, overdose, miscellaneous. Over and over Idiam pulled, analyzed, sorted and stacked, his bloodshot eyes steadily growing more saturated. After another half-hour he'd finished. The overdose pile was snatched up, and set down roughly at the other end of the table. The dull thud echoed noisily through the room, disturbing the established balance of silence and whispering paper.
>>23556038Im not saying the other guy isn't one, all I know is you are a massively passive-aggressive cunt with more ego than writing ability and folks like you are one of the main reasons WHH has such a bad name.
The old display crackled to life, dim and thick with imperfections in the holograph. Idiam began to input data, slower and even more a chore than the sorting. He read the data, input, read again, and double-checked before moving on to the next. The time seemed to wear again, and Thar felt himself begin to slip into the fugue state once more, his body finally accepting that the chore would happen despite its protests. “I believe you may have the wrong idea, Detective.” Idiam jumped, almost knocking the enormous slab of paper to the ground. He turned slowly, hand at his pistol. The voice sounded familiar, and it wasn't until he saw the tall, thin kid in the black coat that Thar relaxed. If only a little. How did he get in here? “I'm afraid most of your compatriots aren't as observant as you are, Detective Thar.” Doug strode crisply forward, hard heels making no sound against rockcrete. Idiam blinked at the apparent reading of his thoughts. “What do you mean?” Idiam turned back to the slowly appearing map of deaths, of overdoses. “There's a pattern to these overdoses, I just have to find it.”
“Indeed, I can think of no reason a street dealer would give a child an overdose of slide. Uncut, much less. You think he intended to kill the child?” “Yes.” Idiam returned to the task, given fresh energy by the shock of Doug's sudden appearance. “I... spoke with the dealer, Winhus. I believe you met his cohort, Agissa. He's no serial killer, and he's not the type to give out uncut slide. I suspect he wasn't aware it was uncut. His dealer knew nothing about it either, only that he was to pass that particular package to Winhus, with instructions that it be sold to a child.” Idiam suddenly remembered where else he'd heard that voice. That domestic disturbance call. “Congratulations are in order, I hear you quite cleared out that cube. They must have given you a Distinctia for that.” Thar nodded again. “Broke over thirty slide rings in #113 alone.” Doug looked over the other piles for another three minutes, then suddenly nodded. “Tell me, how many overdoses does Hive Tetra have in a year?” He looked pointedly at the massive stack, then back at Idiam. “How many do you think are from uncut slide?” “I'll find the pattern, if it takes me all night.”
Hmm well guys, I will be hitting the hay for now, but if you want to throw any ideas my way. I will gladly look at them when I wake up tommorow and have em ready for the next WHH thread...or if I have time I will post it at the tail end of this. Stay classy, and be awesome as always!
>>23556170I mean no insult to you, and I apologize for assuming you were him, but I don't see a reason for that kind of demeaning.As for my writing ability, I'd be happy to hear where you think it lacking. I'd rather hear honest criticism than blind insults any day.
“I admire your work effort, Detective Thar, but there is simply too much noise to pick out a pattern. Is this normal?” He gestured at another stack, the smallest, but still comprising hundreds of unsolved cases. “The unknowns?” Doug picked through it, quickly separating several sheets out of the pile and arranging them into a neat stack. “Yes, I assume that spontaneously bursting into flame is quite rare, even among lower hive inhabitants.” He lifted a single sheet from the fresh stack and held it straight for Thar to see, then quickly began to file through the rest, picking out more and more spontaneous combustion cases, until over two-thirds of the stack was sorted into a new pile. He began to look through these with alarming speed, throat barely moving as he subvocalized each detail, committing it to memory. “Observe.” He stepped neatly over to the display, then tabbed over to a fresh map, activating the tactile marker interface. Doug's spidery fingers danced over the surface, pinching and drawing to align each three-dimensional position in turn. “Ah, there we are. Far too many spontaneous combustions to be coincidental.” The deaths happened in clusters, always cycling through different hab blocks. One such cluster was centered around school #113. Another swam lower in the hive, somewhere near the underhive.
>>23556176>IdiamReally? You named a dude Idiom?
>>23556318This is Warhammer.
“How did you get access to the other blocks' crime records?” Doug smiled and said nothing, then paused, a look of recognition coming over his features. “Now, that's interesting.” Idiam finally stepped over. “What?” “There was a rather large group of scavvies operating there a few days ago, breaking in to the slide trade as it were.” “What does spontaneous combustion have to do with scavvies?” “Nothing, Detective Thar. But if we overlay the #113 slide rings you broke up with the spontaneous combustions...” They both began to add now, and Idiam didn't even bother asking how the boy knew where the rings were. Finally they were done, and the clusters of fiery death overlapped almost perfectly with the slide rings. A stray agglomeration sat near the underhive border area, and Doug drew a line here. “Scavvies who had recently broken into the slide trade were here.” Idiam looked it over for a long minute, but couldn't find any way to justify the overlap as a coincidence. “But... what does slide have to do with spontaneous combustions?” Doug turned his head, eyes glinting in the low light. “A most excellent question, Detective.”
A short break. Comments and criticisms are welcome.
>>23556364You...don't know how 40K names work, do you? Or 30K, for that matter.
>>23556253Oh fuck off, you dont get to backpedal after making an ass out of yourself. Just keep driving folks away and overstaying your welcome like you WHHfags always do.
>>23556442Curze =/= CurseKonrad =/= ConradAngron =/= AngryVulkan =/= VulcanSanguinius =/= Sanguine>>23556450How is that backpedaling? I insult someone for insulting someone else, then apologize for assuming you were him. I didn't take back what I said about him, only apologized for assuming you were him.
>>23556479Im not here to pick sides in whatever the fuck is going on here, it just appalls me that some fucker thinks he is the king of the castle just because he shits out some terrible fanfiction about schoolgirls tangentially related to 40K.
>>23556558I take it you haven't actually read it, then. I can't say I understand why you think my offense is so much more grievous than what it was a response to; you seemed to have no trouble responding in kind to me.
>>23556584Crusader, you flatter me.
>>23556732I didn't actually read what you wrote, so the only comment I have to remind you that spamming (and "sagebombing") a thread is against the rules and should be reported.Keep on keeping on or whatever it is you do in these threads.
Any criticism is welcome, negative included.Whether you like the story and why;Thoughts on characters or storylines;Descriptions of places and actions;The pacing, too fast, too slow, bumpy, etc.;Even the choice of words, are they 40k enough?Just interested in getting some honest feedback here; I have no way of knowing how many lurkers are out there or what you think, and I'd be happy to hear your opinions.
>>23557592More scenes or a more graphic depiction of fapworthy scenes?
>>23557659I'll take that into account for future reference, then. Anything else?
>>23557747More than likely, but he was courteous and not disrespectful.
Bumping with pics.
>>23559212Aw man I love Orange Julius's!Whos the guy?
Bump for continued story time!
>>23558433>>23559212>>23561281I'm running some errands, then I'll be back shortly for the next intallment
Links to Part 1 of the Story:>>23548738Where we left off:>>23556373--------------------------No one ever accused Furia of creativity. Still, there's a, uh, homespun elegance to her words. These thoughts swam through Coby Trelan's head a half hour later on the darkening surface as he received yet another blistering invective. "WHERE THE FUCK IS MY FUCKING JACKET YOU FUCKING MOTHERFUCKER?!" Coby cringed, dark curls quivering and bobbing as if they were trying to free themselves from the boy and flee the presence of this raging monster. "I-I left it over at Victoria's." The words were small, too small, his lips pinched and narrowed. "WHY THE FUCK WAS MY JACKET OVER AT FUCKTORIA'S?!" Furia clenched her hand around the grapefruit-sized granite stone, picked to be thrown through his window. It cracked and flaked under her grip. "Uhhhhh." Impossibly, Coby shrank more, his whole body seeming to retreat into itself. His voice grew quieter, smaller somehow. The only exceptions were his eyes, now like great moons orbiting a doomed planet. "She... she liked me wearing it saturday when... uh... we..." "FFFFFFUUUUU-"
Why wont this just fucking die. Its getting worse than Harem Knights at this point.
A great crack! burst over the posh neighborhood. Down the street a man fell, crying out with hands over his head as he looked for the origin of the gunshot. A window broke, a flower pot was knocked over, an expense gravcar's alarm went off. Coby cried as well, as a spray of gray and black dust and pebbles scattered over him, the stone having shattered under Furia's apoplectic rage before she could be bothered to throw it. Coby cringed there for some time, weeping, only roused by the smell of his own waste when it reached his nostrils. He risked a glance, a look, and saw nothing. Still, some small part of him was disappointed that he didn't get to watch her walk away. Coby always liked the way Furia's angry stomp tossed her skirt just high enough to see.
Furia slaughtered her way down the sidewalk, for if slaughtering air and dust, concrete, sunlight and good cheer was possible anywhere, by anyone, it was Furia Angron on this day, at this time. The soles of her boots flopped, her stomping having long since blown out all arch support and most of the structure. Her hair stirred crazily, as if an updraft of pure rage was flowing from her eyes, nose and mouth, streaming back over her head and carrying it aloft. No less than three lho-sticks were in her mouth at any given time for the half-hour following her talk with Coby. She had run out a block back, but a man opening a fresh box had seen her eyes and found truth, a brush with death so terrifying he'd given up the habit altogether. The box was almost empty now and, as the storm clouds gathered behind Furia, more and more people hurried inside. Logically it was to avoid the rain, but somewhere deep down, at the core of their very being, they knew something far more terrible than any natural disaster was coming with the setting sun.
Victoria's house wasn't far from Coby's, or Furia's for that matter, but the trip seemed to take an eternity. Perhaps it was the scraping, the flaky mouthfeel of her grinding teeth; perhaps it was the pounding of blood in her ears, as if the moon had dropped two thousand kilometers and the oceans swelled, leapt from their rude cage and crashed down on the world in a mad, futile bid for freedom from the tyranny of tide and time. Whatever the reason, the trip seemed to stretch, slower and slower, time freezing over as Furia walked the last block. The burnt, smoldering remains of lho-filters were seized by her teeth and ground mercilessly, more thoroughly than any pestle could hope to dare and under pressure no mortar could have the audacity to bear. The last trace bits of nicat bled into her mouth, the scream of a dozen inanimate objects almost audible, so palpable was their agony.
>>23563444>Furia slaughtered her way down the sidewalk, for if slaughtering air and dust, concrete, sunlight and good cheer was possible anywhere, by anyone, it was Furia Angron on this day, at this time.God damn, you like commas more than junkie loves crack. And that's ignoring just how plain retarded phrases like “slaughtered her way down the sidewalk” are or how awkward the commas make reading the damn thing.
Furia walked through the gate uncaring, heedless if it was locked, or even a gate at all and not a tasteful barred window to the splendors of Fulgrim's wondrous personal gardens. She simply continued and the inert matter gave way, with no thought as to how, why or if it was even logically possible. There was one thing and one thing only of which Furia was absolutely sure in this moment, as she spit the fist-sized of wad of fluff and agony into a patch of gentle, timid Ayndle Hook Arctic Heather, chosen by Fulgrim for its subtle and delicate looks, an inherent contradiction to its renowned hardiness. She was sure that, no matter what happened, she could not be angrier than she was at this moment. When she looked up into the second floor of the Fulgrim Villa and saw Victoria, Furia remained exactly as angry as she had been a minute ago. When Victoria dropped her robe, lips moving playfully, eyes batting and flashing with unimaginable promise, Furia maintained the precise level of fury she had shouldered ten minutes ago.
>>23563550YEA!....He should change his name to something about how much he enjoys using that type of punctuation....sheesh!
As the physical weight of her unmasterable rage bore down, she saw Victoria's latest boytoy step into the window frame. He was tall, with light brown, wavy hair. His facial expression could be described as irritatingly mild and unreadably neutral. He spoke in visibly formal and complex sentences, each word enunciated thoroughly and pronounced meticulously, each syllable inconceivably precise and definite. Furia had to physically stop herself from pulling an eye out of her head. So stupendous was her disbelief she thought it more likely, more physically possible, that she would find a small, Doug-shaped stain on one or both of her eyes, capering and waggling as the globes moved in their orbits, making Victoria's latest conquest appear to be him. But Furia didn't, because she was already in a particularly self-loathing mood. The overwhelming self-reproach allowed her to see the world as it truly was.
So, when Doug stepped forward and traced a long, slender finger tenderly along Victoria's perfectly sculpted jaw, Furia could at least take solace in the fact that she was right. She wasn't more furious than ever, no longer a frothing cauldron of wrath. She watched Doug push Victoria gently down onto the bed. She saw his long black coat stir gently behind him, as it had only two hours ago out her window. The world blurred and distended, but it wasn't reality coming apart, it was her. There were... tears. Furia wasn't angry. She just wasn't. She wasn't.
>23563550I do have a fondness for commas, and while I keep it in check most of the time, it has its uses.Thoughts, anyone?
>>23563635You know what, fine.Have your fucking circlejerk to yourself, then. Just remember this little exchange the next time you ask for comments and no one fucking responds. And for the record, hyperbole would have been related to what she was doing, so unless she was physically assaulting the sidewalk and everything along it, she wasn't slaughtering anything. It is especially bad, considering you had to explain yourself in the very fucking sentence. A better formatting would be something along the lines of “Furia stormed down the sidewalk, glaring daggers at every person, creature, or errant breeze that made the misfortune of crossing her path on this day.”But forget it, you clearly don't want any critique if you are going to snidely insinuate that I don't know what fucking hyperbole is. Jackasses like you are worse than Hitler and Stalin combined. Check your fucking ego, chief.>>23563687A stupid name is no excuse for poor sentence structure.
>>23563864Hyperbole isn't specifically used for describing an action, Anon:>Such sentences usually convey an action or sentiment that is generally not practically/ realistically possible or plausible but helps emphasize an emotion.In this case I was emphasizing a particular sentiment: that Furia was angry.
>>23563339What right do you have to tell people what they can and can't read?Do you see people coming into threads you like and start saying 'stop liking things I don't like?'>>23563864I agree that the author could have a bit more tact in responding to people who have legitimate grievances and are not just trolls. Hopefully he will learn from his mistakes.
Apologies; I'll attempt to be more tactful in the future.---------------------An hour or a minute later, she couldn't tell, Furia walked home, the direction that felt like home. She couldn't tell. It was the rain, that was the problem. She couldn't see it or hear it or hear anything, really, but she could feel it flowing over her lightly scarred cheeks, running down the imperfect cut of her jaw, pooling under her not completely feminine chin, dripping onto her second-rate chest. It was warm. Rain wasn't supposed to be warm. Furia felt Someone behind her, a presence, a familiarity, seeming to be from an eternity ago, welled up from her mind. The rain got worse, made it hard to see. Someone touched her shoulder and she lashed out, the punch flying straight and true, but failing nonetheless. Something wrapped around her arm, Something she couldn't wriggle out of or power through, Something she couldn't break or smash or tear. Someone stepped around and Something slithered over Furia's other shoulder, Someone patting it gently. Her arm flailed, rocking along with her body.
"Shh, shh." It was a strange hiss for a Someone, not nearly as snake-like as she thought it would sound. Someone tugged her arm, ever so gently threading it through the unbreakable Something. Furia still didn't look, her eyes blind, not until her left hand dipped down into the leather jacket's pocket. She shuddered and felt something break loose. Not the clean snap of a glass rod breaking, but the thundrous roar of a dam failing. Not shattered into pieces, but abrogated completely by a simple act of kindness. Furia buried her face in Doug's shoulder, torrents flooding from her eyes and nose and sobbing mouth. Her right arm wrapped around him, feeling the familiar heartbeat, thumping oddly with concern, and feeling the arms wrap around her in turn, comforting and loving. Still, she was angry, even as she sniffled and convulsed Furia tried to fight away the rush of emotion with incandescent rage.
"WHY-agheh-WHY DON'T YOU GO FUCK MISS PERFECT AND LEAVE ME ALONE YOU BASTARD?!" A chin, jaw and neck settled onto her bowed head, soft and vulnerable. "I'm afraid I never had much interest in spelunking, Furia." The words were impossible and impossibly soft, seeming to originate from inside her ears, mellifluous and warm. So warm. "What the fuck is spelunking?" Furia sniffled again, and pressed herself tighter. "Cave diving." Doug quipped. She started to sniffle, but it mutated, transformed into a snort, the snort she hated so much when she laughed, really laughed. She felt his mouth curl into a smile against her scalp as he kissed it, and she cried more.
Furia and Doug walked towards her house side by side, their pace agonizingly slow because time seemed now to be passing too quickly. Her hands were in the beat-up leather jacket's pockets, and she refused to take them out. His arm was threaded through hers, and she also refused to let that go, a notion he was happy with. Furia sniffled again, the lho-stick burning bright and clear. "So how'd you get it out of her house?" "Ah, yes. You'll like this." Doug reached over and patted her arm with his free hand, then cleared his throat melodramatically. "I suggested to her that our, ah, evening would be better spent in her father's room." Furia's eyes flew open. "What?" She stopped walking, staring at him with a mixture of complete shock and unmistakable mirth.
"Hush now. That is only the beginning." Doug tugged her slightly, resuming their snail's pace. "And so, we left her clothes in her room and departed for her father's. I then requested that she," He looked down, coughed lightly into his free hand, "warm herself up for me." Furia blushed more than a little at this, turning and exhaling heavily, the fwoosh turning into a soft chortle. Doug capitalized on the reaction. "I must admit some alarm at the... ardor, the fervor with which Victoria took to task." He shuddered, only slightly, but more than enough to get the point across. After she finished laughing he started up again. "It was then a simple matter to take the robe, slip out the door," Doug opened his coat and produced a small case. He thumbed it open, revealing a small assortment of picks and tensioners, and a wicked-looking rigid breakdriver, "and lock the key-only, pin-and-tumbler latch closed from the outside." Furia started to laugh again, a long, evil cackle, warm breath pouring into the cold air. "I returned to her room, retrieved the jacket and was out the window before she, ah, finished."
"That's gonna suck, for sure." Furia felt herself warm at the story, and sidled a little closer to her walking companion. "Bitch got what she deserved." "Yes, I do not envy her position, to choose between facing her father in that... messy situation, or to break the elegant door and explain the reason behind the act to Terra's premier perfectionist." Furia tossed her cigarette aside as the long-awaited sprinkle started, and looked over at Doug, wearing a small smile, stepping jauntily in the light rain. He looks so stupid in his black coat. So much older and more noble than he is. "Still I feel, I must apologize." He turned to look at her, a fat raindrop hitting him directly on the nose, spraying water everywhere. "I should have let you know, rather than risk your feelings. I wanted to surprise you, so much so that I ignored your feelings." His face turned somber. "I'm sorry." "Eh, it's fine. It turned out pretty good in the end." Doug stopped at that. He turned, left hand cupping her cheek gently, lifting her chin, eyes boring into hers one at a time. "I'm sorry, Furia." She smiled in response, a bright streetlight gleaming off her teeth, off the water streaming down her face, dripping from the tip of her nose. Furia looked achingly beautiful, and the rain seemed to wash away the sadness and despair she'd experienced.
He couldn't help but smile back. It's nice to have a good memory in the rain. The rest of the trip passed in a comfortable silence, interrupted occasionally by small talk, and they were soon at the gate to Angron Manor. "I would have to say..." Doug put a finger to his lips, then gestured suddenly, pointing to the sky as if the answer had just descended from the heavens. "Her father's obsession with Old Earth art and decor." "How did that make it easier?" Furia smiled, sure the explanation would either be ridiculous or simple, sure that it would make sense, to him at least, either way. "How many Primarchs do you know who willingly install pin-and-tumbler locks in their homes? Form follows function, after all. Or at least it should." Doug shook his head woefully, as if lecturing a millennia-old galactic conqueror were par for the course. Furia looked nervously through the gate, at the fallen letters on the mailbox. At the, for a Primarch's residence, cozy and understated rustic home. Most of all, though, she looked at the enormous red truck in the driveway, an old combustion model, like her bike, and far too large to fit in the capacious garage. "My, uh, my dad's home. Maybe?" The word trailed off. Furia looked up, her eyes imploring, even though the risk was terrible. Doug couldn't turn her down. "Say no more." He pulled out her right hand and kissed it gently, the sensation oddly dry as his lips pushed away the rain. He slipped easily away as Furia turned to look back at the house, to see if her father was watching. When she turned back Doug was gone.
Furia hung up the dripping jacket, then peeled off her sopping clothes, spreading them out over the cluttered desk and tilted chair. She turned back around to see Doug looking out the just-closed window, hands clasped behind his back. He whispered gently. "Marvelous. Not as inspiring as the genuine article, but impressive weather nonetheless." "What are you doing? It's not like..." Furia suddenly realized why Doug had whispered, barely audible to her from a meter away above the patter of rain. She started again as he removed his earplugs, now in a loud whisper. "It's not like you haven't already seen me naked." Doug turned at that, slowly and steadily, his eyes meeting hers and anchoring there beatifically. Furia felt oddly offended, so she stretched luxuriantly, like a cat. Doug knew his anatomy perfectly, the information burned in his mind, and relied on it to distract him. In his peripheral vision he saw triceps straining against chest and shoulder muscles, flexing and emphasizing the contents of her damp striped top, itself suggestively revealing her midsection.
Furia put her legs into it as well, feet levering up, pulling her calves into sharp relief, initiating a sequential tension that shot through the thigh muscles in a teasingly slow inward progression, finally coalescing in the remainder of the still concealed hip flexor muscles. Doug's eyes remained firmly on hers, as if exploring. Furia's midriff seemed to lengthen, ascending from underneath the already dangerously low-cut shorts, she relented for just a moment, to let the last piece slide off and then, one leg at a time, step out of the wet bicycle shorts pooled around her feet, leaving only the hiphuggers. She finished stretching and held the pose easily, satisfied when she felt, more than heard, the surging blood and heartbeat, the quickening and deepening of Doug's breathing as his attempt to distract himself failed. Even compared to Doug's previous speech the response was barely audible and only the slightest bit suggestive.
>>23563864To be honest, I would be snide and rude to you in a heart beat, your "critiques" are laced with a tone that is not rather constructive. After dealing with a continual spit of hate from you I would be absolute un-accommodating to what you have to say.Also way to throw out Godwin's law and proving you are acting nothing more than a child.
"Fetching." His eyes still did not waver, did not move, but they seemed to suggest something, urgent almost to the point of begging. Something deflated in the back of Furia's head, a sudden realization, a resurgence of what she felt an hour ago when she saw Doug in Victoria's room. It was quickly accompanied by an awareness of her father's presence. Furia looked down behind her, pointedly, and he nodded. "We should talk." Furia began to step at his words, and Doug timed his own movements with hers, deftly slipping out of the coat, the shoes, the shirt and pants. He lengthened his stride to catch up, feet arching and flexing to remain as quiet as possible, to mask the sound of his movements under hers, and reached the bed just before Furia, sliding in nearly at the same time. For a long moment they were separate, silent. Doug, comfortable at the wall quarter, she less so at the open edge, thinking, her mind now tinged with despondence again. They began to talk, the words susurrant like the rustle of silk sheets over bodies.
"So, how was she?" Furia turned her head down, a finger circling lazily on the side of the bed, hand searching for the pack of lho-sticks. Oh, yeah. Not there. "Pardon?" Doug was relaxed, completely relaxed. He was primed to deliver honesty, completely and thoroughly. It is necessary. "Come on, you saw her naked. Where does she rank?" Where do I rank? Furia realized after the fact how transparent it was, but she had to know. "I will admit, she has her charms. She seems to be almost too charming, in fact." Doug stopped for beat, reconsidering. "No, not almost, exactly that. Too charming, too attractive. 'An embarrassment of riches,' so to speak." The words poured out, slow and sure as honey, even dribbling at the end. "What the fuck does that mean, are you saying she's too hot? Like it's a flaw?" Furia was loud now, unexpected anger surging freshly in her mind. She reflexively pictured how easily a limb could break, bone could splinter. Doug's heartbeat and breathing were steady despite his keen awareness of the same.
"Not precisely. She is..." He drew the last syllable out as he tried to find another word. He failed. "Inhuman." Doug continued, rather than letting the idea sink home in Furia's already distraught mind. "I've seen, in some of my seedier assignments, men and women who purchase a luxury servitor." His eyes rolled back slightly, the visual cue sharpening his memory. "A literally perfect simulacrum of a human being. Yet, I could always pick them out of a crowd easily. No matter how rigorous their design and programming, no matter how elegant their construction." Furia frowned, not quite sure where he was going with this, "And?" The images remained in her raging mind, limb twining in limb, a travesty of intercourse. Love replaced by hate, carnal unity twisted into violent, bloody struggle. "Well, you see, they were too perfect. Every person, no matter how composed, has their subtle flaws. Even Isis has her share of inadequacies, and while only she may recognize them consciously, on some level we are all aware of such foibles." Doug relaxed a little more, speaking comfortably, easily. Furia snorted at the last word, and covered it by taking a drag of her lho stick. When did I light that? She slid onto the open quarterline of the bed, a little closer, a little surer.
"Furia, when I looked at Victoria, even my subconscious couldn't notice any deficiencies in her appearance. It's almost as if she is a... parody, a mockery of a human being.” Doug paused for a moment, then added , "I firmly believe that our flaws define us as much as our virtues." "I just... I don't see how that's bad, a bad thing." Still, Furia scooted again, the pressure of her body against Doug's rolling him over, spooning around her. The seething, razor heat in her head began to subside, diffusing to a comforting warmth. "I'm not the only one who notices, Furia." Doug let a hand slide up to her arm, then brush hair from over her ear. It returned, gliding gently up and down her tricep on spidery fingers, an imitation of the afternoon massage. He looked pointedly down at her, "I may have," He waved his free hand, his other miming the gesture against her side, tickling, "picked up on this more quickly than most, but I'm certainly not the only one who has noticed. Haven't you ever wondered why she has so many suitors?" Furia snorted again, but listened, "Why her friends are poorly looked upon by their peers?" She began to inhale, then pulled the lho-stick from her lips and looked at it strangely. She licked her left hand and stubbed out the nearly whole lho stick, then tossed it easily into the small trashcan in the corner.
"Bravo." Doug took the hand and gently blew on it. Furia giggled, a wholly agreeable sound to his ear. A momentary pause ensued, filled with quiet listening, then a simple resumption, as if the interruption never happened. "What're you doing?" Furia didn't resist as his arm slipped a little further, down to her stomach, gently tracing the high linea semilunaris outlining her abdominals. "I want to smell you, not tar and nicat." Doug blew again, more gently, then inhaled, drawing his nose along the length of her arm. "Ah. Much better." Furia slapped him on the head, a little harder than necessary. He'd come to expect it by now. They stopped talking, breathing even, waiting to see if the sound roused the slumbering beast below. All remained silent, a largely enjoyable silence. Doug's arm appeared under her armpit, as if springing fully formed from her body, and snaked along her free arm. His hand twined in hers.
"So what, you're saying I don't like her 'cause she's too perfect? And that's the source of all her problems?" Furia scoffed and pantomimed brushing away an invisible annoyance fluttering in the air above. She let her hand fall on his against her stomach, still gently plying the tissue there. "Not exactly. She seems perfectly composed, perfectly collected, confident far beyond the point of arrogance. By the grace of her pedigree she even appears to fulfill that promise at a second glance." Doug stopped the tracing as he thought, and started again when he finished. Furia felt warm inside. He leaned in just a little closer to her ear, breath warm on her in the cold air. "Her looks would guarantee envy from the less secure. However, the rest who dislike her are explained by something more complex." He stopped moving again as he formulated his larger response.
Doug inhaled deeply, now fully prepared. "In a nutshell, Victoria is compensating, Furia. She's been unwittingly raised with impossible expectations by Fulgrim, himself attempting to live up to the unattainable standards of his own father. I suspect she suffers from tremendous self-esteem issues. Victoria attempts to counteract this by delving further and further into her father's goal of objective perfection.” “What she does not understand is that Fulgrim considers it unattainable, not a goal of its own but simply a motivation; whereas Victoria believes it her birthright. She falls ever short of this goal that, in her mind, should be easily within reach. This only increases her drive to attain the absurd ideal, intensifies her hidden self-loathing and propels the cycle ever further toward breakdown or... insanity." He exhaled deeply, slowly after the talking. "Suffice to say she will fall from her perch eventually, if her father does not help her down. It will be devastating."
"And I thought I was fucked up." It was Furia's turn to breathe, in time with his breathing, so deep and calming. "That's the point, Furia." Doug clenched her a little tighter, their bodies now sculpted together. "We are all damaged in some way, we all have problems. Denying the problem only exacerbates it. Ignorance is weakness, and whether Victoria will admit it or not, she is weak." They lay for a little while longer, the long day spooling down, finally releasing all the tension of the school day, of the fighting, the work, the feeling of betrayal. "That is why she snubs you, Furia. Why she admires you. Why she tries to emulate you by theft, the lowest form of imitation. That is why it was so simple for me to deceive her, with your smell on me." Doug sighed, the sound thick with pity. "She envies you, Furia, because you are strong, because you don't hide your flaws. You embrace them." He caressed a scar gently, one of a thousand crisscrossing her body. Furia turned after a moment, a rapid movement. "You sound pretty sure about that."
"I speak from experience, Miss Angron." Doug smiled. "I admire you for that as well." She smiled back and kissed him on the lips, only once and only for so long, then turned away and drew his arm tighter. She suddenly felt something blossom. Not sadness, but empathy, the smallest sympathy for Victoria. "Do you think she can be... helped?" "Yes, of course. But it will be a monumental effort if she isn't removed from her father, or if he isn't goaded into action first." Doug kissed the back of her neck. "Victoria still has a chance to mature, to ripen." Furia snorted again, now not hating it so much. "I think she's 'ripe' enough, Doug." Doug smiled against her, his hand massaging her diaphragm gently, fingertips just grazing her bosom, "If Victoria is given the proper care, by her father or another, if she can find someone kind, determined and understanding, she should be able to... mellow. Become normal, content with herself." "It's a good feeling." Furia whispered, so quietly she knew even Doug couldn't hear it.
>>23564556Aha, I see so this is why you wanted this scene drawn out, now I know the context of it. Haha neat.
Furia awoke the next day, refreshed and not surprised to see Doug gone, the exits closed and locked. She could hear her father moving around downstairs, crashing and bulling needlessly through the extra-large house. Like a pig, rooting and wallering, but happy. Furia threw on fresh schoolclothes and began to head downstairs, then stopped. She turned to the leather jacket. It hung lovingly on the only intact hangar in her closet. Furia reached into the left pocket, fingers clasping as gently as they were able. She fished it out of the jacket, together the only two things she still had to remember.
Furia Angron opened the locket and looked at the faded picture, ensconced eternally behind rose-colored glass, and smiled sadly, a tear just broaching the corner of her eye. Mom.
>>23565546Yep. Thanks again for that, by the way!Questions and comments welcome; I warn you they may be addressed with the same tone and manner they are made.
>>23564721>Also way to throw out Godwin's law and proving you are acting nothing more than a child.Actually, I was using hyperbole. Shame you didn't catch it. Maybe I should have gone on to explain the hyperbole and treat you like a child as ILC does in his writing.
>>23565977Indeed, perhaps you are both right.>Godwin's law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one's opponent) with Nazis. But I'd rather hear any thoughts on the story than take this line of debate any farther.
My thought is that you have thin skin and can't tell rationed behavior from irrational behavior, coming or going.
>Bound Fate>not a single bondage scene where some girl named Fate gets tied up and dominated -1/10 false advertising would not fap. See me after class.
>>23565614>Furia Angron opened the locket and looked at the faded picture, ensconced eternally behind rose-colored glass, and smiled sadly, a tear just broaching the corner of her eye.>Mom.CRAAAAAAAAAAAAWLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING IN MY SKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN
>>23565977Actually Godwin's Law is just that, thought I didn't need to explain that to you. Guess I was wrong.Anyways, I don't want to squabble anymore, you are just here to ruffle feathers, I just want to read something I enjoy. I will remain silent like most of the readers here since we don't like dealing with your types.
>>23566275I'm ordering some pizza, anon, but Chapter 23 will be on its way in an hour or so at the latest.
It was late Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning, the twilight hours when one day merges into another. Callie was in a dirty motel room, wallowing in self-pity and self-loathing. Doug had been allowed, allowed, by Malcador to continue his relationship with Furia. It was within operation parameters. And now I'm alone. Callie had seen him, followed him to Victoria's. She saw him give the jacket to Furia. It meant the world to her. She saw him walk her home. I saw him sneak into her room. She couldn't go home after that, couldn't bear to see Ev and Violet draw ever closer together. She couldn't bear to see Vin smile, just barely, to himself while he thought about Terel'da, what they'd talked about that day. Couldn't bear to see Janus, to see him love her, but not understand her. The room's lock clicked open and Callie was thankful for the diversion. It was too late and too early. She hadn't slept, and the sun would be coming out soon, the rain finally stopping. So Callie waited, knife in one hand and silenced stubpistol in the other, out of view of the door. She heard walking and breathing, somehow familiar, and rounded the corner, ready to strike.
Doug's hand latched onto her throat, a look of anger, disbelief on his face. He threw her back to the bed, then composed himself. "I'm sorry Callie." Callie sat up, confused and happy. "No, it's okay Doug, I-" Doug put a finger to her lips. "No Callie. I'm sorry." Callie's heart leapt as he kept the finger to her lip, the sadness on his facing slowly twisting into a smile. "I should've been more considerate of you, of what we share. What only we can give each other. Real understanding." "Oh, Doug." Callie lunged, kissing and pulling at him. "Callie, wait." Her heart fell again. Here it comes, he's just going to try to convince me to 'work around the indoctrination'. She sighed, the breath heavy with disappointment. "Just promise yourself to me, Callie." She turned, surprised. "Promise yourself to me, and only me. Your body." Doug ran a hand over her shuddering back. "Your mind." He whispered into and kissed her ear. "Your heart and soul."
Callie kissed him back, pressing herself against him with a lifetime of urgency, most manufactured, inculcated, the rest all too natural and real. "Yes, yes." Doug threw Callie back onto the bed with a powerful backhand. She spun and landed face down. He's punishing me for what I've done. Giving me what I want, and what I deserve. Callie heard his pants drop, the angry grunt as he ripped her pants down, her panties tearing away. He filled her, larger and stronger than she could've imagined, hoped for. He was raw, savage. It was rough, painful, driving her face into the mattress with each thrust. And she reveled in it.
Hours later, at lunchtime, Doug sat at the bleachers, eating his goo while the others finished their own assessments of the upcoming operation. It had been long planned and reviewed by the group several times already. He was anxious to get through the formality and share a table with Furia in the lunch room. As the short but interminable process finally wound down Callie sauntered gracefully over to Doug and sat down. "Yes, Callie?" Doug wiped his hands with his napkin, then prepared to leave. "I just wanted to talk about last night." Callie smiled. She didn't feel as good as she thought she would, but she felt better, the pang lessened. She was looking forward to the next session. "Okay, I understand. You going to be there again tonight?" Her finger twirled through her hair, blue eyes lit up. "Perhaps. I haven't decided yet." Doug's face was perfect. He looked completely ignorant of what happened last night. The undeniable competence only made Callie want him more.
"Well, I'm sure there'll be someone there, waiting for you." Callie smiled, the old sensuality peeking out again, and sashayed away, hips swinging. There was something funny about her gait. Janus gaped, wondering for only a moment what could've provoked this before realizing. "Doug, did- did you?" His voice reeked of oncoming betrayal and sadness. "Of course not, Janus. Last night I was at Furia's." Doug paled slightly again, looking around, then decided to let the revelation remain free. Janus slowly nodded. He thought for a long moment about trying again, letting the warpsight show him what Callie was thinking, feeling. But he was afraid of what he'd see. Nah, maybe Callie's finally just happy to see Doug happy. It wasn't perfect, but it was believable. And that was all Janus needed to keep his hope alive. Believable.
I suck at derivatives. Janus hated math, though he wasn't bad at it. He'd just never liked it, never got into it. Half the time he spent lunch finishing up his math homework last minute.- "All the potential in the galaxy is insignificant, Janus, if you do not try." Malcador finished, looking into his adopted son's eyes. The suffocation of his presence relented, patience and encouragement washing over Janus. "Yes, Father." - Janus shook away the memory and stole another look at Callie, sitting next to the window. She was writing feverishly, and her ponytail fell down her shoulder. Callie flicked her head back, the hair describing a golden arc through the air, sunlight glinting off it. She's having even more trouble than me. Maybe... maybe I can help her. Janus returned to his work, his effort redoubled with fresh motivation. Gotta help Callie. She looked up, noticing his scrutiny out of the corner of her eye and smiled, briefly, before returning to her own paper. Janus relaxed, then grinned to himself. Fresh eyes looked down at the paper, his mind coursing with energy. For Callie.
Two hours later, Victoria's perfect features were twisted, but only slightly. Various emotions played across her face, each revealing a different kind of beauty, but she settled on satisfaction, in the end. This will be satisfying. The smirk turned into a wide, almost manic grin, mirrored on the faces of the Twins behind her. Farther back still was Kelly, along more for the sense of belonging than because she particularly liked any of them. Last of all was Petra, who could never decide from one day to the next whether to take up with Isis, Victoria or Roberta. "Victoria?" The statuesque blonde turned, hiding her annoyance at Petra. "Yes, Petra?" The words rolled out in her signature voice, seductive and dangerous, honey and smoke. Alpharia laughed at Omegan, who was blushing at something as a slight blonde figure walked away. "Is this really... necessary?" Petra strode forward, drawing even with the slightly taller girl.
"I have a reputation to keep, Petra." Victoria tossed her hair. The gesture was entirely unnecessary, but effective at drawing slack-jawed gazes from freshman and senior alike. "I don't know how..." Victoria's highborn features twisted again with rage, and her forehead just began to wrinkle before she composed herself. She stopped at an open locker with a mirror, easily pushing aside its occupant. Platinum blonde hair fluffed and danced over high blue eyes. "I don't know how the Twins managed to let... what happened yesterday get by." Victoria's anger appeared again as she fixed the abashed twins with an icy glare. "But I can't let it slide, Petra, darling." The beauty mark on her cheek, perfectly out of place, turned as Victoria admired it. Her hands moved down to the dark button-up shirt, adjusting it, ensuring everything was in place. Lavish cleavage was checked once more, framed flawlessly from below by the loosened purple tie and above by the Torien amethyst necklace. "No boy has ever walked away from me, and I refuse to let some... some agriworlder ruin my perfect record!" Victoria's composure vanished and Petra fell back, as if expecting a physical blow. Instead, Victoria simply straightened up, her flawless face again taking on its familiar smugness. Satisfied, she set off again, the lingering crowd of Daughters picking up and following her.
Janus was the first notice, although Doug and Callie were the only ones who didn't seem surprised when Victoria showed up. Janus had been by his locker, finishing up his Calculus homework ASAP, bolstering his notes so he could help Callie later. As a result he'd been late to the garage, and saw Victoria heading that direction as he finally made to leave. Why's Victoria going to the parking garage? Janus well knew that she didn't have to drive, that she was picked up, along with any of her friends who hadn't displeased her that day, by Geoffrey after school. Still, Janus didn't stop to question it too much. His eyes glazed over as Victoria walked by, blue eyes sparing him the barest of glances. The Twins came next, as confident together as Victoria was alone. They were smiling and chattering, holding hands and giving Janus terrible, wonderful ideas. He thought back to a night two weeks ago, when Callie'd come home late and reeking of beer. She'd been happy and cheerful, and Janus couldn't help but read the thoughts pouring out of her. Foreign memories flashed through his head of Callie, Omegan and another girl, and Janus shifted his backpack just so to cover himself.
He'd secretly wondered, hoped even, that it was actually Alpharia that night, but even seeing Callie talk to the Twins every day he couldn't tell. Kelly walked by next, absolutely laden with spikes, chains and all sorts of bare metal jewelry; the adornments' rattling and jingling shook him out of his day dream. The overall effect was a little intimidating to Janus, but he knew better. Kelly's not mean, she's just withdrawn. Last of all was Petra. She was quiet and unassuming, but always seemed to have a better grasp than anyone of what was going on. She smiled briefly as she passed, and Janus could swear he saw Petra blush a little when he did. It took Janus a few minutes and a splash of water from the fountain to compose himself. He quickly caught up to the group, following them from a respectful distance. He couldn't quite make out what they were saying, but Petra and Victoria seemed to be arguing about something.
It's hard to tell with Petra, she's not very forceful. They stopped briefly, and Janus found something interesting in his notes to look at. It's polite to let them go first. Yeah. He swallowed, using his peripheral vision for all its worth while Victoria primped herself in the mirror. Janus could swear one of the Twins noticed him, but Victoria said something to them, then finished preening and they moved on. He stopped again, making minor corrections to his homework, and didn't arrive until after it had started. All Janus saw was Victoria grinning, Ev angry and Violet flustered, almost crying. He didn't know what to do, so instead he watched as Callie and Chucho pulled the pair away from the confrontation, leaving Doug and Vin. Are they... is this gonna turn into a fight? Janus briefly imagined it. Victoria and her friends weren't the most talented fighters, and he'd only heard rumors of a long-ago catfight between Victoria and Furia, back in their freshman year. But a guy can dream.
Victoria smiled when Vin stepped to the fore, even more composed and disciplined than Doug. Her hand instinctively went to a fair tress at her shoulder, twirling with interest. "And who might you be?" She purred the question out, but didn't expect an answer from the boy. It came instead from behind her. "Vincent... Vincent DeCare." Surprisingly, it was Omegan who stepped forward and talked, not Alpharia, who blushed and waggled her fingers at the strapping young man. Petra blushed as well, looking away, and Kelly suddenly found her various chains and rings all needed adjusting. Vin nodded quietly in affirmation. "I haven't seen you around." Victoria stepped forward and let a hand drift out onto his muscular chest. "If I'd known you were here wouldn't have wasted my precious time with him." The words came out thick with disgust, overblown. "You aren't in any of my classes, but I'm sure we can find something else in common, hmm?" Vin thought for a moment, hand on rugged chin. His eyes were glazed over, but they were looking far beyond Victoria. "Negative."
Victoria didn't step back, the only change in her expression was the barest gleam of something feral in her eyes. "And why not?" Her eyes chased the cut of his jaw, the chiseled muscles visible under his shirt. Perfect. "You're perfect, I'm perfect. I think we'd be perfect together." The hand drifted along once more. Vin shook his head disapprovingly. "No." He looked frustrated, and turned to Doug. "Kay, Gee." Doug nodded, then turned back to Victoria. "I believe he's trying to quote an ancient Terran poet." Vin nodded. "Advance?" Vin nodded once more, and relaxed. "Very good. 'Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection.'" Doug smiled, and Vin did as well, drawing more blushes from the girls and a few looks from across the parking area.
"Augh, Victoria. Can't you just let it drop for once?" Janus blushed as he recognized the voice, slowly turning to reveal Isis Lupercal standing next to him. He gulped. "How long's she been here?" "F-five minutes." Janus fought down the quiver, and smiled to himself. Then Isis turned to regard him. Sharp orange eyes expanded to fill the whole of his vision. Shoulda brought a map. "Hey!" A snap of the fingers brought Janus back to the world, and he realized Isis had been asking him a question. "What's your name?" "Juh-Janus. Janus Sigitine." Isis smiled at how awkward he was, and it was enough to calm Janus down. She put her hand out, and it took him another moment to realize he was supposed to shake it. "Isis." Janus' grip was limp and a little sweaty, but he managed to make it all the way through without too much trouble.
"And what is that supposed to mean?" Victoria finally tore her eyes from Vin's mouth to look at Doug. "Perfection cannot be achieved, Miss Fulgrim, something your father is aware of. It is in reaching for perfection that one finds excellence. Is that it?" Doug turned to Vin, who nodded once more. "I am perfect." "How so?" Victoria shook out her hair in response, sending it tumbling over her svelte shoulders, around the pale flesh of her neck and above her rolling cleavage. She smiled, perfectly confident, as a freshman across the garage stumbled into a car, distracted, then cursed his knee for having pain receptors. "That is how." Vin pointed at his eyes, and Doug nodded. "Of course, 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.'" He smiled, as if this explained away what was on display. Victoria scoffed. "My life is perfect. My father adores me, my family envies me. The world is mine to take." She smiled. "I was born perfect and beautiful." "Vin, if I may?" Vin nodded and Doug continued, "Perfection is a moment, not a lifestyle, Victoria. Your father knows this, that perfection is a means rather than an end unto itself."
"Don't worry about it." Isis' voice once again shook Janus out of his reverie, his absorption in the poetry of Victoria's moving body. "Huh?" Isis laughed, and Janus blushed further still. "They're not going to fight. Victoria got in one fight, a long time ago, and figured out she's not perfect in every way." Isis smiled and leaned back against the wall next to Janus."If your life is perfect, why are you here now? I don't believe Isis over there envies you." Doug gestured across the garage to Isis and Janus. "Come now, Victoria, admitting your own limitations will bring you far closer to perfection than this." Victoria blushed fiercely, remembering the last time she heard those two words from Doug.
"She'll get fed up in a minute here." Isis leaned forward at the waist, finally catching Petra's eye, and waved her over. The girl took one look at Victoria, getting more and more red-faced as she ran in verbal circles with Vin, and backed away, walking silently over to Isis, "Hey, Petra? Ready to go?" "Yeah, let's, let's just get out of here." Petra and Isis took off, only the slightest wave to Janus given. He turned back just in time to see Victoria storming away, as flustered as Ev was a few minutes ago. Janus walked over to find Doug talking to Chucho as Vin started the airvan up. Vin's probably anxious to get back to the cafhouse. "I've already convinced Furia we should bring you along. You'll like it, Chucho." Doug looked up at the metal on the boy's head. "I think you'll find Metaldammerung a far more accommodating environment for your augmetics than high school. Ah, hello Janus." Doug pulled out a white cloth, stinking of rubbing alcohol, and wiped off his cheeks, nose, mouth and chin. The slight color to his face suggested he'd done it a few times already in the past fifteen minutes or so.
"Hey Doug. What was that about?" "I believe Miss Fulgrim has come to understand perfection a little better, at least in a sense." Doug glanced over. "I have to go, Janus, I'll see you later." They waved and nodded goodbye, then Doug headed over to the bike area, where a motorcycle the size of their van was idling next to a grinning Furia. They kissed, then she smashed a helmet into his solar plexus as the airvan pulled around the corner, heading for the townhouse. Janus looked over at Callie, smiling dreamily and he felt a smile come over his face at the thought of helping her in an hour's time.
Alright, a short break before we get back to Arbitrator-Detective Thar, something to break up all this high school drama.
Arbitrator-Detective Idiam Thar could barely suppress the urge to gawk at the size of Precinct 15 headquarters, Judge Albrecht's personal courthouse. And he was getting a ride straight to the top of the massive, fifty story structure. He'd often wondered why, when so many precincts barely had enough manpower to put out patrols, others were flush with extra credits, superfluous personnel and redundant equipment. But this was something else, Precinct 15 was the center of Terra's Arbites fleet direction, the nexus for Hive Tetra's real law enforcement. Two of the Judge's personal guard, the Enforcer-Protectors, stood solemnly at attention behind Thar. The elevator ride seemed to take forever, longer even than he would've expected seeing it from the outside. The Enforcer-Protectors were stoic, even for Enforcers, and he didn't doubt for a second that they'd lay their lives down for the Judge. The elevator finally began to slow, and a small ding! rang out just before the doors slid apart, revealing a hive of activity. No less than two dozen Arbites personnel were running from cubicle to cubicle, and every one was fully armed and armored.
“Checkpoint Primarium.” Thar received a few suspicious glances, in particular from a churlish looking woman with an air of undeniable authority. “Enforcer-Protector Mulcanis.” The detective's escort stopped and saluted, and she glared at Thar when he failed to follow suit. “Is this the guest?” She spat the word out, and it did nothing to help Thar's opinion of the woman. Still, the floor's activity was neat and orderly, and he barely had time to wonder why it was so much smaller than the other three he'd seen lower before she comm'd the next elevator open and he was ushered inside. “Why are the elevators... arranged like this?” After a long moment one of the E-Ps responded; his mouth formed words, but he was otherwise completely disciplined and unmoving. “The checkpoint elevators are staggered for maximum security, Detective.”
Idiam opened his mouth to talk, ask why the floor was so small, what other security measures were present, but thought better of it. Soon enough the second checkpoint came with a ding! and the door opened to reveal an array of automated defenses. “Checkpoint Secundarum.” Another dozen E-Ps were stationed here, along with four automated turrets and another dozen servitors, bearing all manner of heavy weapons, including plasma guns and bolters. And they were all trained on him. After a long, awkward moment the defenses finally relented and the humans settled down as well. The other elevator door opened as they approached, and once more Thar found himself waiting in grim silence. Finally the third ding! came and went, the doors opened. “Checkpoint Tertiariis.” Once more Detective Thar found himself unprepared for what waited. The room was stuffed beyond capacity, at least thirty fully armed and armored Enforcer-Protectors shuttling about. But what dominated the room were the holodisplays and cogitator banks, each cycling through multiple feeds, each connected to an augmetically enhanced E-P, only their heads unarmored to reveal data ports and pseudo-synaptic nodes along their necks. The entire building was secured and observed here, every coming and going recorded and logged, every visitor seen and catalogued.
No suspicious eyes were cast at Thar, and the floor commander was already waiting by the elevator. Idiam walked straight through the mass of Arbitrators, his escort calmly following. They didn't disturb anyone in the least as he passed, the crowd seeming to part around him without interrupting the steady, coordinated flow of their tasks and duties. The elevator door opened just in time for him to enter and closed as the escort stepped in after him, only the briefest nod of acknowledgement came from the floor commander before it all disappeared from view once more. This short trip seemed the longest of all, despite it being only a single floor, and the ding! rung out with ominous cheer. The doors slid apart, slowly, far too slowly, to reveal another pair of Enforcer-Protectors, shotguns brought to bear. They didn't flinch or react until Judge Albrecht's voice fairly boomed into the elevator from across the well appointed room. “Please, don't delay my rising star any longer.” The guards immediately relaxed and Thar stepped out. His escort took up positions by the elevator along with their brethren and Judge Albrecht gave a friendly wave, his brisk movements ever at odds with his withered appearance. “Come, Detective Thar, I have a few questions to ask you.”
Idiam began to walk towards the large, stately desk centered at the end of the Judge's room. An enormous display screen monopolized the far wall; it was arranged to imitate a large window with a tremendous view of the hive below, and here stood Albrecht, gazing with fatherly care over his city. Thar took a quick look around the room, and nearly stopped walking altogether as he took a second, more thorough chance to inspect the area. Books were more prevalent than anything: treatises on philosophy of all traditions and branches, from aesthetics to politics to design disciplines; omnibuses of law of many kinds, Imperial, pre-Unification Wars, and even a few Xenos empire, Eldar included; shelves and shelves of anthologies of old literary works from every genre and historical analects of every era from every segmentum. Almost as prevalent were the guns, ranging from the incredible variety of old earth stubpistols and rifles to newer models, some still in use and a few so new Thar had only heard of the preceding model. Plasma guns were in special abundance, including a section of Ragefires, seven different models in all; a simple MkV Mars-pattern; a Mk35 Magnacore from Cadia; and one that looked like the burnt and blasted shell of a larger plasma gun, at odds with the clean, whole weapons around it.
A Barrage model? More guns, a variety of flamers, from hand to heavy; a smaller collection of meltaguns, including another burnt and broken relic, an inferno pistol. A Cthellean Cudbear, masterfully preserved and positioned, stood guard in one corner, shaggy purple hair lending an air of majesty to the savage creature. Other curios and curiosities dotted the area, some on small desks or stands, other, larger pieces merely taking the floor by themselves. The only thing that confused Thar was a complete lack of Arbites gear or memorabilia: not one thing to let an unaware observer know that this was the office of a Judge, a Hall of Judgement. “Do you like my collection, Detective?” Thar drew near, then stood next to the aged Judge, joining him in gazing out over the city below. “It's remarkable, but...” “But there is nothing Arbites?” He laughed, a hearty young laugh, brimming with life and good cheer. “There are fifty floors, a maintenance floor and a roof to this building, Detective. And all but one of them is dedicated wholly to the Arbites. This-” A hand swept out, taking in the many sights, “-is my retreat, where I go to gain distance on matters of the Law. It can be easy to become... stuck in the Arbitrator's mindset, to forget the many years of knowledge and history we have to draw on beyond the current laws of the hive.” After a long moment Thar nodded in acknowledgment. “But I did not bring you here to listen to an old man ramble. Please, sit.” Albrecht sat comfortably in the large chair behind his desk, and Thar settled easily into a guest chair on the other side, far more relaxing than his own customary seat back at his new office in precinct #23. “I hear you found something disturbing?”
>>23566275>you are just here to ruffle feathersActually, I was giving some legitimate, albeit admittedly rude, critique. And then ILC went and acted like a cunt about it. And here we are.
Thar braced himself, then began to explain. “Yes, it appears the slide trafficking situation is far graver than we assumed. Much larger than we expected. The group dealing to the school in block #113 was only a fragment of what works in the deeper reaches of the hive. Not two days ago a large group of scavengers was found dead. The few survivors claimed it was the work of the Blacksnakes, the kings of the slide trade in Tetra.” Albrecht's visage knotted in confusion at this, but he nodded to the Detective to continue. “We've been looking over slide distribution patterns, and found a level of cooperation unprecedented among the houses. Each is sticking to their own areas, and what little we've been able to confiscate is of consistent cut and quality.” Thar leaned forward, his voice dropping gravely. “They're being supplied from one central source.” The Judge leaned back, his eyes turning thoughtful. After a time he stood and turned, hands clasped behind his back, to regard the hive once more. “Tell me, Detective Thar: before all this happened you were involved in a... terrible case. It was the day before you found the first victim, was it not?” Thar exhaled heavily. “Yes, Judge.”
>>23569670So, all rudeness on my part aside, do you really think hyperbole is so out of place in that chapter?If so, why?
“Please, tell me what happened.” Albrecht's voice was granite on granite, unreadable and menacing, a voice truly befitting a Judge. “My partner, Dalas and I, were investigating rumors of a group of squatters near the underhive. We came across a...” He paused, and looked down, then continued. “It was death, Judge. Death. We don't know if they were cultists or not, that was our fear. They fit the bill.” Albrecht let out a palpable tensing at this, but slowly relaxed as Thar went on. “But they were all dead, and not in the manner of a sacrifice. There were no symbols to the Primordial Annihilator, no scrolls or parchments, no savagery in the deaths. The kills were clean, clinical and perfect. Each was felled with a gun or knife, one or another of their own.
>>23569697Shit, dude, quit getting so defensive. It wasn't WHAT you said that was bad, it was HOW you said. Your hyperbolic statement was awkward, and your attempt to explain it was phrased clumsily and the general flow of the sentence simply did not roll off the tongue in the slightest. It probably made perfect sense in your head, but that sentence didnt quite survive the translation to typing.
A longer break for now, Chapter 25 will come in an hour or so.>>23569879I don't feel defensive, sieur, but I'd like to know your opinion on the sentence: If it's too complex or clumsy, just say so. I can imagine replacing a pair of the commas with hyphens in order to render it easier to parse. How does that sound?
Alright, I'll start posting a little slower now, as I try to catch the 1d4chan page up on the story so far.
Gorechild screamed its unearthly wail as it tore down the streets, Doug clinging on for dear life even more than he thought he'd have to. Furia only grinned as she felt his heart pick up with the acceleration, his arms wrapping even more firmly around her. The grip Doug had was necessary for him to stay on the stable and ungodly fast battle bike. While a normal person would be gasping for breath right now, or even feeling the strain on her ribs, the compression was like a strong hug for Furia. It only served to remind her of what they didn't do last night. "So, Furia, tell me. What exactly will happen if I don't pass your father's trials?" Doug shouted over roar of the wind, but his erstwhile girlfriend could only hear him due to the press of his chest into her back, the words rumbling through his sternum and into her spine. "What, you havin' second thoughts about this Doug? Don't you turn shitbird on me like Calvin did." Furia grinned. She knew Doug would agree to face her father in ritual combat for her, or at least it felt like that after what he pulled on her last night. Fucker. Her grin spread wider under the helmet. "I'm simply curious, Furia. I'm not familiar with the, ah, courting habits of World Eaters." She laughed at how calm he was. The last boyfriend I had, well, before Coby, dropped a load in his pants when dad brought out the axe.
"Well, it means I get to fuck whoever I want, and if you do something I don't like I tell daddy you hurt me. Fair?" Furia began to truly laugh now as his hands dug into her firm stomach, fingers strong enough to tickle her through the leather jacket. She swerved Gorechild to throw his grip, but he compensated by moving lower. "Doug!" The word came out as a high squeal, and Furia felt him grin against her shoulder. "You keep this up and he's gonna be the least of your worries." Doug's hands prodded again and she thought back to the session they'd had in the very bathroom Coby had cheated on her in. Furia smiled larger still. Gorechild finally began to pace down, the massive promethium burner turning only reluctantly as it accepted the task of slowing. Furia gently patted the mechanical monstrosity as she parked. It's alright, buddy, we'll get some more action later. They dismounted and began walking for the door and Furia felt a firm hand on her shoulder.
Doug spoke lowly, the near subvocalization she was now so familiar with. "Tell me, Furia, and be honest." Furia nodded in assent, more intent on lighting up her lho-stick than his current words, anything to calm her nerves without Gorechild's distraction. "Has your father ever struck you?" She almost laughed, having seen people thinking that very thought so many times, throwing it out into the world with their eyes like an accusation. At least he asked now, instead waiting until dad can hear. "N-" Furia turned and saw his face. His expression had changed: Doug's face was almost always mild, unreadable. But around her today it had a positive cant, a tangible happiness. Furia froze as she looked at his face, glowering darkly at Angron's house, waiting for the the Primarch to appear. The change was so subtle, so ineffable that very few would have noticed. It was as if his personality rotated over to just the other side of complete neutrality, from happiness and love to hate and anger. But to Furia he seemed to be a tower of darkness, a singular malevolence that caused a brief chill to pass over her neck. "NO!" She grabbed his hand, thoroughly unnerved, and her heart pounded in her chest. She looked at the door, unwilling to imagine what would happen if her father saw that face. Furia briefly wondered if she would have to mourn her father or her boyfriend, and laughed flatly that she'd considered it at all. Without looking she could tell Doug had returned, his hand steadying her, calming them both at the same time. "No, no, never!"
"Marvelous." Doug gave Furia a quick smile, his face back to normal, and she was all the happier for it. She slipped her hand back out of his just before Angron's minacious form appeared in the bay window, trundling towards the back door. Furia opened the gate to the back yard, and together they stepped into the Primarch's domain.The backyard was spacious, a forest visible just on the other side of the closed-in fence. A humongous grill sat near the house, closed and smoking. Angron stood here, prodding at a hunk of sizzling meat. His brief appraisal of the entire auroch flank apparently satisfactory, Angron turned and spoke. "ALRIGHT YOU LITTLE BASTARD." He passed Doug the axe, enormous and ponderous. The boy took it easily, muscles visibly straining, but his posture did not alter. He laid the massive head gently down in his free hand, scrutinizing the grain of the wood, the blade. The implement turned over with unexpected deftness, and Doug nodded as he finished his quick analysis of the other side.
Still looking angry, but with an undercurrent of amusement, Angron continued. "NOW. HOLD YOUR ARMS OUT ALL THE WAY.” Doug did so hands barely trembling with exertion. “ALL THE- GOOD. NOW-" At this the Primarch smiled, elephantine teeth exposed. Muscles flexed under Angron's outdoor clothes, stretched taut, resembling more than anything to Doug a holotheater hot dog squeezed into a too-small wrapper. Furia rolled her eyes and shifted from one foot to the other, ripped jeans rustling. Angron smiled wider as Doug held the pose, an exceptionally distressing sight. It was like watching a warp storm erupt into being, like seeing an Ork Space Hulk violate itself into reality. "KEEP YOUR ARMS STRAIGHT AND TOUCH THE AXE TO YOUR NOSE. AND DON'T TURN CHICKENSHIT ON ME." Doug nodded began to do just that, in a manner best described as very rapidly staying still. The tool descended and began to gather an unquenchable bloodlust, a terrible momentum. Although weighing perhaps no more than twenty kilos, the vast majority of the weapon's weight was in the head, exerting maximum leverage. He nodded with resignation, the air itself seeming to still in the eternity it took for the Thing to bulldoze through the now-thick atmosphere.
Furia stopped breathing, her eyes widening more and more, a silent roar of stark denial, unwilling to believe the reality before her. She began to step in, to try to grasp the axe, but Angron caught her without looking. His grin was now raging, as alive and full of menace as the dreadnought making its horrifyingly certain way towards Doug's fragile skull. The cessation of Angron's breathing caused every animal to give pause, showing deference to the area's apex predator. The wind halted to allow vindication and grisly relish to play over his face. The trees, long suffering from his ravening presence, seemed to rest. All was silent as the sweat beaded on Doug's brow and temple. His lips clenched, a sudden hiss! of breath bursting through as his entire body shuddered and flexed. The axe began to halt, all too slowly, until it seemed the head was already past Doug's nose, already through the bridge, its momentum so great that it was not slowed by the crushed cartilage and rent flesh. A loud, ghastly crack! sounded as the instrument of deific wrath finally stopped, something visibly flying off to the side. Doug's face was now hidden behind the gargantuan hunk of steel.
Angron simply smiled still, letting Furia go. She ran to Doug's side, whispering close to him, uncomprehending. She stood there for a long, long moment. Her head dropped, crestfallen, and for a moment Angron felt sadness for his daughter, empathy. But it was quickly wiped away by the certainty of his victory, of ensuring his daughter didn't end up with another chickenshit loser or spineless, cheating noble. His face was almost serene, flush with the satisfaction of protecting the most important part of his life. So, when Furia started to laugh, a drawn out, relieved chuckle, mirrored in the rankling smirk of her annoying-little-prick of a boyfriend, Angron felt an enormous tightening of his features. When the little bastard had the audacity to turn, revealing the axe resting heavily, but gently on the bridge of his nose, Angron's neck swelled. The sight of a single crack, a flaking and splitting of the axe's wood, was merely an excuse for him to vent his rage.
Doug stood calmly, slowly working the strain out of his arms with measured breathing and stretches, while Furia managed to rein in her father through no small effort of her own robust vocal cords. Charming girl. The air finally cleared, though Angron appeared only slightly less angry than he had for the past fifteen minutes. "Apologies for the axe, Lord Angron, I assumed a tool you employ would be more durable." "WELL FINE, THEN, SMARTASS." Angron thrust the axe out, the intervening three stride length a perfect distance for his overawing reach. "JUST SPLIT A DAMN LOG." Doug took the axe, rocking back on his feet at the enormous momentum the simple action translated. "AND DON'T BREAK MY AXE." Doug complied effortlessly, setting the axe one one shoulder, ignoring the pain of the old bite mark. He turned his head, as if inspecting one of the logs, but peripheral vision of Furia was his true intent. She seems anxious, yes, but it's now of a slightly different character. She believes I can complete this senseless endeavor and impress her father. Another lho-stick crumbled from Furia's lips, and Doug noticed for the first time Angron puffing gaily on a truly stupendous cigar. I shouldn't disappoint her.
He briefly wondered where Angron could've pulled the cigar from, then thought better of it and returned to the task at hand. Doug inspected each of the half-dozen 'logs' in turn. He poked and knocked, eyes darting and scanning the bark, the wood. He moved smoothly and efficiently, seemingly unimpeded by the hulking axe on his shoulder, and finally seemed to settle on the largest among those arranged. Doug looked over a chunk of timber quickly, fingers prodding and dancing. It was enormous, at least a meter-and-a-half tall and of such girth he could not wrap his arms around it. He tested its weight. It's light, too light for its size. He looked again at the top, seeing a slight but recognizable discoloration. He allowed himself a small smile. Doug suddenly stood up again, checking the wood once more, now for spalting, the presence of fungal growth that colors and pigments wood. Properly tended and stabilized, pleasing patterns of various colors emerge in the lumber, giving the wood a distinctive appearance. He looked again at the axe, with its winding lines and streaks of red, dotted throughout in black.
"Lord Angron, did you cut all these logs from the same tree?" He gestured at an array of three logs, his own taken from the middle of them. Angron scratched his chin, and nodded testily. "Excellent, very clean cuts." Doug reassembled the tree in his mind, overlaying the discolorations, noting their intensity and placement, with special interest in the bleaching. He then knelt and tilted the log against his left shoulder, hefting it one-handed onto the enormous stump. Yes, very light for it's size. It was adjusted for a long minute, coming closer to the edge, turning just so. He set the axe down gently and Angron snorted in a rare moment of humor, reminiscent of Furia's quirk. Doug cupped his hands in front of his body at his navel, then inhaled and lifted them slowly. He was visualizing the air filling him as if he were a wine bottle, freshly approved and fully laden. It was Furia's turn to snort as a ridiculous image appeared in her mind.
She visualized as well, the tall, disciplined Doug now replaced by a haggard old spinster, enormous sagging breasts draping like fried eggs on a nail to her hips. The crone inhaled, drawing herself fully to her unimpressive height, hands lifting and supporting her wobbling, misshapen teats. Angron turned a beady eye on his snickering daughter and the prominent artery on his neck, already disturbed by its recent travails, threatened to rupture and cut her in half through sheer blood pressure. Furia looked back at her father and somehow he only completed the picture, incongruously threatened by and angry at the diminutive old woman, as if her impudence was an affront to his pride and lifestyle. Tears rolled freely, her stomach twisting and racking with laughter, pain unable to contain mirth. Doug exhaled sharply, a prelude so familiar from last week's LFT that it shook Furia from her daydream.
He tapped the top of the log as he slid back over the ground, twisting to apply torque to his planned strike. The scene played out in perfect choreography as Doug closed his eyes. It began to tip, slide down the facing side of the stump. As it drew level, half atop and half below the lip of the fat stump of birch, Doug rebounded, driving the heel of his palm into a precise spot above the center of the log, just offset from a bleached spot. The punky core of the tree gave way after only a moment's hesitation, the white rot exposed, the weakness and lightness of the log now given justification as it tore neatly in half. Half of Doug's log slid down the stump and the other was levered up by its brother, placed on display. "Please, Lord Angron, allow me to square our accounts." Doug plucked the axe from the ground, then darted to the other side of the stump, scraping gently, hewing away the punky, bleached wood.
After a few expert strokes with the heavy blade, he stood back, satisfaction evident on his face. Angron took the thick stogie between two fingers, exhaling a car-size cloud of smoke, and stepped over in four great strides. His rough hand brushed away more fibrous white wood, revealing a great burled eye surrounded by an oblong swirl of red zone lines dotted throughout with black specks. Angron exhaled again, "NOT BAD FOR A DUMBSHIT." A buckler-sized hand clapped down on Doug's shoulder, his knees visibly buckling. "BUT I'LL TELL YOU WHAT I TOLD THE LAST ONE." The Primarch inhaled, drawing the remainder of the cigar down in one prodigious breath. "YOU MAKE HER CRY." Angron leaned in close, smoke coming out of his mouth, nose and tear ducts. "I MAKE YOU CRY. GOT ME?" "Of course." His face again mild, neutral, Doug bowed slightly. "Lord Angron."
>>23573857>After a few expert strokes with the heavy blade, he stood back, satisfaction evident on his faceHooray for gay subtext!
Angron trudged back over to the grill with his prize in one hand and lifted the lid. He hefted the still blistering flank of auroch, thick black bark deposited from hours of smoking, and bit into it, juice dribbling and spraying everywhere. A great horking noise accompanied the obscene bulging of his throat as Angron swallowed a human head-sized clod of meat. "NOW GET OUT OF HERE." The Primarch turned back to the house, a tantalizing trail of glistening fat and pungent sauce marking his wake. He began to bite into the meat again, then stopped. "And take my little muffin out somewhere nice." Angron was in the house now, mouth full of muscle fiber and gristle. "She's a growing girl, needs to eat." "Indeed." Doug proffered his arm to Furia, who took it. As soon as they were out of Angron's sight the enervation appeared, his right arm jarred and bruised through, his left quivering and the bruised deltoid tender. Furia shouldered up under the boy, practically carrying him back to the battle bike. "Let's get some beer and barbecue." Doug stopped for a moment, finger pointed on his chin. "Brisket." Furia nodded in agreement, stifling a laugh as she settled in front of him and revved up the engine. "To go." Furia smiled giddily and bestowed a not-quite slavering kiss on her boyfriend's lips, the rumble of the engine drowning out a gleeful cackle as they sped off into the unburdened evening.
>>23573886Who doesn't want a piece of Angron?
Doug and Furia finished the off the first paper dish full of hand-shredded auroch brisket. Her hand rummaged around the greasy brown bag holding the other plate, still wrapped, and pulled out a napkin. It quickly fell to the floor, soaked through with grease and sauce, and she took another, wiping her mouth and chin off. "Here." Furia was still panting a bit, cooling down as she passed Doug a napkin. "I'll decline, thank you." She looked over at him, pausing in the task of unwrapping the second plate. He was breathing more heavily than she was, chewing the last of his brisket. Not a speck of sauce or meat was visible on his bare torso. "How do you do that-" Furia slapped at his hand, the brisket nearly being flung all over, "-you bastard?" Doug gasped, chewed. "Monastery, remember?" "Fucker." Furia tossed aside the wrap and rolled up on top of Doug, straddling him once again, the cover falling away to reveal her own bare form. Her fingers dipped into the fresh, steaming brisket, a healthy portion slopping out and mostly into her mouth, the rest plopping down to her chin and chest.
>>23573937My body isn't ready
Doug smirked at her slovenliness, happy for an excuse to visually inspect the afflicted areas. "Don't look at me like that." Another portion of brisket slopped out, dropping onto his face, chest and stomach. Doug lifted himself up, sucking down what brisket he could as Furia giggled madly, feigning a struggle against him complete with mock screams. He pinned her down, and smeared brisket onto her lips and cheeks from his own. She began to lick and slurp the fare down in response, and he joined her. They continued long after every trace of barbecue disappeared. Furia turned the tables soon enough, straddling him a little farther back this time, only slowing long enough to dip down, her chest dropping onto his, her hair sweeping over his face, to bite his shoulder. Doug bucked slightly, still not quite used to the ritual, and she grinned at it, finding her rhythm soon after.
||>>23573994||Neither was mine.-----Alright, that's it for tonight. I'll wrap up part 2 sometime tomorrow.
Bumps and comments are appreciated; I'm gonna go clean up the 1d4chan page for now.