Monday, November 9, 2009

The Great Crusade Short Fiction Contest (#2)

As most of you are no doubt aware The Great Crusade Website is holding its second Short Fiction contest, which will be judged by Nick Kyme.

Here's a link to the competition thread. Link

After much umm-ing and ah-ing.
I've decided to post my entry here, the dialogue needs work, but I think the rest is not too bad.
Anyway have a read and let me know your thoughts.


Mud and Blood

He woke. How he had come to be in such a state he was unsure. 
Reality strove to bring him back into its fold, the sound of firing artillery pieces nearby reached through his dulled senses.  Cautiously he tested the movement in his fingers and toes, emboldened by this small success he strived for something a little more adventurous. He hardened his resolve and forced himself to sit up, nausea threatened to swamp him, but he fought it off.

He looked around him to see that he was currently sitting on the bank of what appeared to be a crater, formed by an exploding artillery shell. He glanced down at his body to confirm what his nerves were telling him, he was remarkably in one piece. He started a visual inspection of his armour.  Its dull metal finish was covered in mud spatter and what appeared to be diluted blood. None of which was his own.
He grinned inside his helmet. ‘Still fit to fight on’ he thought.
His ear piece crackled into life. ‘Are you alright, Stuvant?’
He looked up at the rim of the crater to discover the power armoured form of Brother-Sergeant Argento looking down at him.
‘I’ll be fine, what happened?’ he replied.
‘Our position was targeted by counter-battery fire, of course they couldn’t miss your large ego and your foxhole was hit.’
‘I take it that the enemy guns have been taken care of?’
‘Nearly instantly, it appears they finally are tiring of this siege and are getting desperate.’
‘Good it means we’ve nearly broken them. The assault should begin soon then.’ Stuvant surmised.
‘That’s why I came looking for you, we’re assembling now, to ready for the assault.’
‘So soon?’
‘It seems Lord Perturabo is keen to move on to another system for some reason.’ Argento replied.
‘The Lord Primarch is here?’
‘No, he’s due in system shortly. He’s returning from a meeting with the Warmaster.’
‘Oh, seems like something is in the works then.’
‘Whatever it is, it is none of our concern. Have you gathered your wits yet? We should be getting to the muster’
‘Any sign of my bolter?’
‘No, looks like you’ll have to source another, on the way.’
‘Alright then, I’ll be with you shortly.’
With that Stuvant pushed himself to knees and then rose to his feet.  He carefully picked his way to the lip of the crater to join Argento.  Together they made their way to the form up point for a briefing on the following assault.

Shortly after, Stuvant stood next to Argento and the rest of their squad. They were waiting for the correct moment to commence the assault. Timing was crucial, right on time the Iron Warriors’ artillery pieces recommenced their firing. As the time to step off neared, the artillery barrage intensified. It was time, Stuvant nodded to Argento and they rose from their trench and advanced into what any normal human would have called hell.
Gouts of damp earth leapt into the air as High-Explosive ammunition with delayed fuses detonated beneath the surface. The enemy, sensing something was afoot, alternated between cowering in their defensive positions and firing sporadically at the advancing Space Marines. Their laser fire streaked across the visual madness, seeking targets. Their efforts proved futile, the armoured marines advanced fearlessly, firing their bolters at opportune targets as they continued towards their objectives. 

Stuvant calmly fired from the hip as he advanced, trusting in his armour to keep him from harm.  The footing had become treacherous as the dark brooding clouds above opened up, drenching the already wet ground. Puddles formed in shell holes only to be blasted clear by subsequent blasts. Sinking up to their armoured shins in the mire, the Iron Warriors resolutely continued to advance. This is what they did, grind an opponent down and then once they had them where they wanted them, finish them off with a bold, artillery supported assault. Stuvant changed the clip in his bolter and realised that the enemy resistance was faltering. The headquarters should be just ahead, the enemy however seemed to have had all of the fight drain out of them, sapped by the constant pressure applied by the Iron Warrior tactics.

As per the Artillery Fire Plan, the Artillery shifted targets to cut off any retreat as they neared the objective. The ragged remaining defenders surged from their hidden positions in an attempt to deny the Imperial forces access to their HQ. They might as well of not even bothered. Malnourished, sodden and with no sense of organisation, they were calmly dealt with by Stuvant and his squad brothers’ controlled bolter fire.  Stuvant and Argento had the honour of taking the Command Bunker, Stuvant calmly placed the melta charge on the reinforced bunker door and nodded at Argento. Argento responded with a nod and Stuvant detonated the charge.  The door vanished in a white hot haze, leaving a small puddle of molten metal on the floor.  

Argento and Stuvant were through the opening swiftly, smoothly gunning down the armed enemy soldiers inside. All was quiet, Stuvant and Argento scanned the interior of the bunker, all that was standing in the room other than themselves, was a man who appeared to be the enemy general.
The man looked up at them calmly.
‘Now what?’ he asked.
‘You will order the remainder of your forces to surrender and become a compliant member of the Imperium.’ Argento replied.
‘I will not give that order, Sir.’
‘I strongly urge you to reconsider you position.’ Stuvant advised.
‘I will not give that order.’ He stated firmly.
A bolter shot rang out and his head imploded.
‘So be it.’ Argento said ruefully.

With their command structure removed, the remaining enemy forces were swiftly defeated. An Imperial Army Commander was placed in charge of Governing the system.
Stuvant and Argento sat calmly in their quarters aboard the Strike Cruiser ‘Resolute’.
‘Where to next, I wonder?’ Stuvant mused.
‘On to Istvaan.’  Argento replied with a smile.


  1. Very good Yvraith, I hope the rest of the stories are as good quality as this! It blows mine out of the water!

    Very cool,


  2. Nice story mate, I think you have portrayed a pretty comprehensive character of the legion! Niecly tied in with the official story also