Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More info on the Flight of the Eisenstein...

This is from the Black Library site:

James Swallow has now finished The Flight of the Eisentsein, Book 4 in the Horus Heresy series (yes, there will be more than three). The Flight of the Eisenstein starts alongside events of Horus Rising and False Gods, and follows the story of the Deathguard Captain Garro, as he is plunged into the turmoil of Isstvaan II and beyond.

Several more months to wait.
And in other 40K news,
The Soul Drinkers Omnibus
The Space Wolves Omnibus
and The Eisenhorn Omnibus are all either out or on their way to being released/released

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Smith moved around the corner of the alleyway, gun trained and moving on anything that could move in the alley. Several squatters got up slowly, hands raised and shuffled out of their makeshift home. Smith grunted and waited for them to leave. That was when he watched the thermal camouflage blur move toward one of the gantries at the end of the alleyway.
He released the clip in his gun and slammed in homing bullets.
The camouflaged runner was brought down hard as one of the bullets slammed through its ankle and it dropped back down onto the alleyway...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

There's a place where you are goin', you ain't ever seen before...

The title is from Beck's Lost Cause song.

Here's a little something from my childhood. It started off as small games my dad would play with my brothers and I and turned into this full blown D&D-esque game with much simpler rules. Plus, we got to use all the cool miniatures my dad had painted and this really cool castle he had bought us one christmas.

The Castle

The rain settled in an even drizzle that blanketed everything in the valley. The three men made their way toward the enormous stone castle in the distance. The aged and shredded flags flapped on the ramparts and the men approached cautiously. They neared the large black gates and saw that they were closed. The tallest of the three men, a man with snow-white short-cropped hair, yelled to the gatekeeper to let them in. The wind picked up some and made the three men shiver. The rain fell harder around them. The man with white hair hefted a massive double-headed hammer of silver and brought the head down against the black gates. But nothing happened to the hammer or the gates.
The next tallest of the three, a man with wavy, shoulder length hair that had streaks of white in it, and an eye patch over his right eye, loaded his small hand cannon. He lit a match and pressed it to the fuse. The hand cannon was aimed at the black gates as well. There was a blast of smoke and the deep clanging thud of metal on metal. The steel ball the man had shot at the gate rolled back toward him.
“Damn it all,” the man said. He lifted a small cigarette from one of the many pouches he wore on his heavy leather belt. He placed the cigarette against still burning match and inhaled.
“Nicholas, do you have to do that right this moment?” said the third man. He wore black leather armour with silver trimming on it.
“No Trevor, I don’t. But I feel better afterwards,” said Nicholas. “What say you Simon?”
Simon had his hand resting on the handle of the hammer as he looked up at the front gates.
“We climb in,” said Simon. He took off the large backpack he carried and removed from it a length of rope and a grappling hook. He tied an end of the rope to the hook and walked towards the other two men.
“Stand back,” said Simon. He swung the rope in a circle and let it spin for several seconds. When the hook was just a blur in his hands he tossed it towards one of the openings in the ramparts.
The hook stuck and he tugged with all his might to pull. The hook did not move. He gathered his hammer and then put on thick black gloves. He began to climb the rope when the other two men realized they had to climb as well.
Simon flung himself over the rampart and helped the other two up. Once they dusted themselves off they looked down into the square and saw nothing but broken and busted vendor’s carts, a small crimson tent with its roof flapping away, and deep claw marks slashed into the stone’s around them. There were several staircases that lead down into the square and the three men moved quickly down them and into the square. Wilted cabbage and lettuce littered the foot of the staircase. Simon pulled out his hammer and walked toward the crimson tent. With the head of the hammer he drew back the entrance flap and saw several bodies strewn around the room. The bodies were picked clean of all flesh and only bone remained.
“Something big ripped this pavilion to shreds, I mean look at these claw marks Nicholas. Only one thing around this valley could leave marks like that,” said Trevor. He walked away from some of the claw marks near the back of the tent and moved towards the black gates.
Nicholas finished smoking his cigarette and followed Trevor to the gates. Simon looked up at the towers of the castle further up. He looked from the ramparts to the winding staircases that wrapped around some of the towers and saw doorways leading in to them, but did not see any leading into the castle itself. Trevor found the gate’s wheel and began to turn it to release them. Nicholas did not move as he saw a stairwell leading down into the castle. He also caught the gleam of amber eyes trained on Trevor. He pulled his friend backwards just as the creature made its move.
Simon saw the beast clearly. It was a red dragon, the kind that had no wings but was still just as deadly, and agile. The scales of the beasts were like heavy plate armour and their only weak spots were their underbellies. Simon watched as the dragon had almost caught Trevor, had it not been for Nicholas moving his friend out of the way. The dragon clung to the side of the wall like a spider, its claws deep in the stone of the fortress. It lifted its wedge-shaped head towards the two men, now on the cobblestones of the square, and opened its mouth. A long deep hiss escaped from its throat.
Nicholas Grabbed Trevor once more and hefted his friend up.
“Run,” yelled Simon.
The dragon’s opened maw grew a bright amber, just like its eyes, then it seemed to squirt liquid like the king cobras of Indus, and flames shot towards the running men. They managed to duck down behind the tent before it caught fire. It did not last long as the rain grew harder. Simon was with them. He told them to wait there for his signal.
“Where d’ya think yer goin’ old man?” said Nicholas. He reloaded his hand cannon.
“To kill that dragon,” said Simon. He smiled at his two companions and hefted his hammer.
The dragon hissed again but did not shoot flame at Simon. Instead it climbed off the wall and onto the cobblestones of the square. It was easily three meters in length but only a meter high. Its motion was painstakingly slow for Simon. He realized quickly that it moved with precision. Every inch gained was a calculated step towards his destruction. Simon did not like the thought and swung the silver headed hammer at the red dragon. The flat end connected with the dragon’s right front leg, smashing the bones inside. It hissed and thrashed at Simon, its great jaws snapping in anger at the damage done to it.
Simon waited patiently for an opening then struck again, at the dragon’s side, sending it rolling over on its back, the scales making a grating sound as they clanked against the cobblestones of the square. Simon looked back at his friends, who had been ready for his signal.
Simon nodded and Trevor ran forward, his sword drawn from its scabbard, as did Nicholas with his hand cannon loaded and ready for an attack.
Nicholas, shoot the belly,” yelled Simon. He avoided the clawed extremities as the dragon thrashed on the ground.
Nicholas’ hand cannon went off and the dragon’s body seemed to lift off the ground as it was struck in the underside. It hissed flames at the men.
“Now Trevor, cut the front legs off,” yelled Simon.
Trevor ducked and weaved between the thrashing dragon’s legs. He slashed at the broken leg and cut off the dragon’s foot at the joint, thick, hot black blood spraying him in the chest. One of the clawed feet curled into a fist and slammed into Trevor’s chest, sending him across the square. His sword clanged to the ground several feet away. The dragon used the distraction to move onto its legs and hobbled quickly over to the downed man and was ready to breath fire onto him. It opened its maw and hissed the high-pitched sound that made Trevor cover his ears and close his eyes.
The hammer slammed down onto the dragon’s head, making the jaws click together loudly and the dragon slumped down onto the floor. The rain poured down now harder than it had in the past week. Simon looked up and closed his eyes. He let the rain bathe him. Nicholas moved to Trevor and helped his friend up.
The dragon’s amber eyes were still open, but they were losing color and the creature was turning to stone. Simon kicked the head away from the rest of the stone covered body. He reached down and hefted the head on its stump. He opened the jaws, which was easier since they had snapped together, breaking the jaw, and held onto one of its jagged teeth. He reached behind his back for the small carving knife he carried and dug deep into the gum of the dragon’s mouth to cut out the tooth he had chosen.
“Eh, what’re doing Simon? You shouldn’t take dragon’s teeth from them, bad luck,” said Trevor. He was standing up and had much and small scrapes on his face from the fall.
“Come on Simon, leave the beast be, you’ve already killed it,” said Nicholas.
“Yes, I killed it, but we need this as well. Maybe not here, but soon,” said Simon.
“We found a way in,” Nicholas said.
“Where?” said Simon. He turned to Nicholas.
“By the gate. I think we have to go down to get inside,” said Nicholas.
“Let’s go then, I’m done with the rain here,” said Trevor. He walked over to his sword and placed it back in its scabbard.
They traveled inside the tunnels of the castle for only a few minutes as they found themselves inside the court of the castle. It was smaller than anything they had been accustomed to in Falkirk. But everything was beautiful in the court, marble pillars encrusted and bejeweled with strange stones none of the men had ever seen. There were odd lamp posts that glowed with a pale blue light that burned brightly but gave off no heat. There were also strange doors that lead nowhere built into the stone walls. But the crowing jewel of the court was a monumental throne made of gold.
The armrests were made of solid gold and had been shaped into the shapes of lion’s heads. The majesty of those regal heads shown brightly even in the gloom of the empty court. The piece that left the three men staring was the great Imperial Eagle symbol they all wore beneath their heavy armour. Simon moved toward the throne and watched as it moved backwards as if on a track and revealed a winding staircase that began moving toward the ceiling.
“Coming?” said Simon. He leapt upon the stone steps.
Trevor and Nicholas followed. Each stood still as they waited for the steps to stop moving. They passed through a gap in the ceiling and found themselves looking up at the steel gray clouds again. They were on a vast landing that had catapults and a ballista. From where they stood they could see how much further the castle went on.
“Should we try that small tower, or go further inside the main castle?” asked Nicholas.
Simon looked at the options and then turned to his friends once more.
“We have to go through that tower, out onto a walkway that’s obscured right now and wind up on that arched stairway in order to reach the top. All you’ll find in that door is supplies,” said Simon. He slid the hammer back onto his back and started for the door.
The handle was carved to resemble a dragon swallowing its tail and Simon smiled. He now knew that the former lord of the castle had kept dragons as war hounds and not as pets. He opened the door and then ducked. Trevor ducked as well and Nicholas caught the shafts straight in his breastplate. They knocked him back to the stone floor and he groaned in pain.
Trevor scrambled over to him and checked his wounds. Miraculously none of the arrows had penetrated his armour. For that brief reprieve Nicholas thanked the blacksmith for making him his armour.
“You okay brother?” said Trevor.
“Nothin’ I couldn’t have handled,” said Nicholas. He fixed the eye patch over his right eye and smiled.
They followed Simon and moved through the various towers cautiously, especially since they knew that some could be booby traps. For three hours they made their way higher into the outer portion of the castle. Then came the final tower and walkway that lead to the last top of the castle. The rain had stopped hours before and the sun had yet to reveal itself even though the day had begun long ago. They stood and watched the sliver of clouds move over the land. The wind kicked up despite there being no more rain. Then a great shadow passed over them. There was the sound of heavy armoured feet landing on the stone floor behind them. Simon, Nicholas and Trevor turned in unison and brought their arms to bear. A knight stood behind them.
The knight was covered in armour from head to toe. There was one horizontal slit for the knight to see out of the helm, which had batwings fashioned from the sides of the helmet. The armour was trimmed in silver and upon a great silver chain was a medallion of silver that shone brightly in the waning light of dusk. Simon recognized the great lion headed symbol from the court down below.
“Who trespasses on my lands?” boomed the knight.
“Four soldiers from the Imperial palace of Falkirk,” said Simon. He took out his hammer. The silver head gave off heliographs as he spun the shaft in small circles.
“Falkirk? Hah! I laugh at your pathetic empire. You and yours are saplings compared to me and mine,” said the knight. He laughed deeply. A harsh grating sound that each man could feel in the pit of his stomach.
“Who are you sir knight that you mock our great Empire?” Trevor said. He unsheathed his sword and aimed it at the knight.
“I have no quarrel with you sir, I have no quarrel with any of you, all I ask is that you leave now, before it is too late,” the knight said. He unsheathed a mighty sword that had a bluish blade. He took several steps towards them and held a stance.
Simon moved first and swung the hammer at the knight. He blocked the swing with his sword then grabbed the handle of the hammer and threw Simon behind him with his free arm. Simon tumbled across the landing and slammed into the door of the last tower. Nicholas tossed a knife at the knight who deflected it again with his sword. Trevor moved in front of Nicholas as the knight brought down his blue blade. Trevor’s sword sparked as he blocked the chop from the knight. Trevor turned the blade of his sword so that it was almost vertical and then kicked the knight back for an opening. Trevor looked behind the knight and saw Simon was still down.
Swinging with controlled force, the knight charged at Trevor. Trevor sidestepped the knight’s charge but fell sideways. Nicholas reloaded the cannon. He made the fuse short and walked up to the knight, pointed the cannon at the back of his helmet and lit the fuse just as he was about to give the deathblow to Trevor. The smoke filled the area and wafted back towards Simon, who shook his head clear and slowly stood up.
Nicholas looked down at the knight, who held his face in his hands. The shot had only managed to knock his helmet off his body and left a diagonal slash across the man’s face. They saw that the man had long blond hair and once he stood up and revealed his face, ice blue eyes. His canines were longer and sharper than any normal man’s and his tangle of blond hair was streaked with white.
“You’ve bested me, I am your servant,” said the knight. He kneeled before the three men.
Simon had not moved back to them instead kept looking at the ridge they had crossed. Just seconds ago it had been empty, now close to fifty riders in black and silver carrying a banner that flapped sharply in the wind stood on the ridge. Their leader was a man that had the same sandy blond hair that the knight had and wore twin golden bands on his head, like a crown. He led the charge and pointed up to the castle. He was riding his horse full force towards the black gates of the castle when he stood up on the horse’s back and flung himself towards the ancient stone walls of the fortress. Simon hefted his hammer and backed away from the edge of the landing.
Trevor, Nicholas and the knight turned and looked at Simon then went to the edge and saw the black riders nearing the castle. That was when their leader leapt up from the ramparts and in one smooth jump landed between Simon and his friends, the man’s cloak trailing behind him like bat wings. He looked at the knight and unsheathed his sword and slew him before anyone could react. Simon swung his hammer and missed, hitting only the stone floor. Trevor tried to swing his sword at the man but he easily dodged it and grabbed Trevor by the throat, flinging him over the edge of the landing. The sound of plate armour clinking on metal filled the square. The rest of the knights tore Trevor to pieces. Nicholas reloaded and fired the cannon at the man, hitting him in the bicep.
The man howled in pain as he grabbed his wounded arm. Thick black blood seeped down his arm slowly. It began to reverse itself and then stopped.
“My arm, what did you do to my arm,” said he man. He ducked a swing from Simon and kicked him towards Nicholas.
“Silver shot,” said Nicholas. He reloaded and was ready for the man again.
“What is he?” said Simon as he picked himself off the floor.
“A vampire lord, in fact I’m pretty sure he’s Julian of the Black Lake, the hero of the Dark Ages,” said Nicholas. He grabbed his knife, which was the length of a man’s forearm and switched the grip to his left hand.
“Julian of the Black Lake died five hundred years ago,” said Simon. “That man doesn’t look a day over thirty.”
“Amazing what the elixir of life can do isn’t it?” said Julian. He liked the blood from his arm and spat it out. “You’ve poisoned me.”
“Yes, that won’t ever heal Julian. It’s silver,” Nicholas said. He fired again and missed.
Julian moved faster than both men could think and had disarmed Nicholas of his cannon and shoved Simon down again. Simon was ready and kicked the vampire’s feet out from under him, his face landing on the broad side of Simon’s silver headed hammer. Julian’s face smoked, as his skin touched the side of the hammer, and skin began to peel away from it. He writhed in pain as he pulled his face away from the weapon. His right eye dangled out of its socket and his cheek’s skin flapped away from his face into his hair. Burnt flesh filled Simon and Nicholas’ nostrils.
Julian looked at the two men and roared. “You’ve fought well, but I will not kill you here this day, with no one to watch as I destroy two soldiers of Falkirk,” Julian said. He leapt off the landing and glided back down to his horse.
Julian roared once more and his black and silver clad warriors streamed out of the gates and back to their horses. In several minutes they had reached the ridge and stayed there, facing the castle.
Nicholas and Simon moved back down through the towers, walkways and arches back down to the square. The saw that Trevor had fallen through the tattered crimson tent’s roof and had been torn apart by Julian’s men. Trevor lay with his eyes looking up at the sky. The sun had finally broken through the clouds and was shining down on the castle. Trevor’s eyes moved and he looked at the two men that had been his friends once. Simon reached for the dragon’s tooth inside a pouch and slammed it into Trevor’s heart. The remains of Trevor liquefied and all that remained was a wet skeleton.
Nicholas vomited as he saw his friend liquefy to nothing and only bones remain. Simon reached down and grabbed Trevor’s skull. He handed it to Nicholas, who reached into Simon’s backpack and gathered a small black back with a white cord drawstring. He placed the skull inside and tied it to his belt.
“Now what? Trevor is gone, we’ve met Julian of the Black Lake, and we killed a dragon, but the artifact is not here,” Nicholas said. He fixed his eye patch again.
“We go home and tell Galen where this castle is and that we’ve found Julian of the Black Lake. That is all we are required to do Nicholas,” said Simon.
“And what about the skull?” said Nicholas, lightly touching the black velvet bag tied to his hip.
“We give Trevor a warriors funeral and place his head in the tomb of his forefathers,” Simon said. He began walking towards the ridge. He saw the black and silver banner stuck into the ground where Julian’s men had been.
“Should we take the standard with us?” “No, Galen needs to see it here at this place,” said Simon. “Come, let us get back home, other adventures still await us.”

Here we go,


So I was checking my google reader and caught sight of this little gem from Mur Lafferty's I Should be Writing blog.

here's the link for the information: http://www.nanowrimo.org/modules/cjaycontent/index.php?id=2

And I am soooo doing this. I've already got an idea for it, the only catch, I'll have to submit it BEFORE I leave for my honeymoon on November 27th. Ooooh, deadline approaching soon.

More later...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My 40K story...

Here's my First complete Warhammer 40k story. I owe my little Bro Andy for kicking me in the shins to finish it. You'll also notice I used one of his characters as well...

The Drop
Interrogator-Chaplain Belarius paced outside the holding cell in the small hallway. Every few seconds he would glance at the steel doors, with the Ravenwing symbol etched upon their surface in black, and shake his head. He felt his choler grow at the slightest sound made by the occupant in cell number twelve.
‘Blood for Chaos! Blood for the Blood God! Blood for Khorne!’ the traitor marine screamed. Belarius depressed the intercom button and stopped pacing.
The entryway doors slid open to reveal two Dark Angels in their plate armour. Belarius turned and saw that Brother-Captain Erasmus and Brother Sergeant Domitian had entered the cell bay.
‘To what do I owe this encounter?’ said Belarius. He genuflected before the Ravenwing captain.
‘Rise Brother Belarius. We came to seek news of the traitor. Has he spoken at all of the drop site the World Eaters will attack?’ Erasmus said. He clenched his fists at his sides.
‘No my lord, nothing at all.’
‘Has the traitor repented?’ asked Domitian. He looked at Belarius, his face a roadmap of scars and his forehead a trophy deck for service studs.
‘No. He has somehow fought against the synth-chems and every form of truth serum we utilize,’ said Belarius.
‘Perhaps the time has come to show him why you have your black pearl upon your rosarius,’ Brother-Captain Erasmus said. ‘By any means necessary Belarius.’
The Interrogator-Chaplain bowed to the two Astartes warriors and walked back down the hallway to cell twelve. He placed his hand firmly on the obsidian plate and waited for the rectangle to turn red. He picked up his Crozius Arcanum and walked through the piston-controlled doors of the cell. Thirty-seven hours later Belarius emerged, his obsidian power armour covered in the blood of the World Eater. Brother-Captain Erasmus and Sergeant Domitian awaited him in the hallway.
‘Purgatory Thirteen,’ Belarius said. He wiped his face with his exposed right hand. The gauntlet attached to his hip.
‘Sergeant Domitian, ready your troops, we must make planet side before the Khornate war party arrives,’ said Captain Erasmus. He smiled.
‘Yes my lord,’ said Domitian. He turned and switched to vox communication and ordered his troops to ready for a planet drop.
‘Sir, I do not trust this World Eater’s confession. We may save the lives of those in Hive Furioso, but I can sense that this is subterfuge for something larger that we are not seeing,’ said Belarius.
Dirt was baked black beneath the force and heat of the drop pods landing in the open space several hundred meters from Hive Furioso. The landing ramps opened like flower petals with Dark Angels charging the barren hillside chosen as the landing site. Ravenwing Land Speeders had been circling the drop site for some time. The Thunderhawk gunships that had deposited the Land Speeders headed toward the hive city. The captain of one of the gunships voxed Captain Erasmus and told him that the Khornate war party had entered the planet’s gravitational sphere.
‘All units make for the command center. The Khorne Berzerkers will be landing at any moment,’ Erasmus said. He turned to Belarius and Domitian and looked at his brother Astartes.
‘We will not let this hive city fall. Nor will we allow Gath and his Berzerkers to overrun this place. Get me Librarian Gramael. I want him here in case the traitors decide to bring forth a daemon,’ said Erasmus.
The two Astartes nodded and went down to the troops. Erasmus looked up to see the blaze trails of the Chaos Dreadclaw Assault Pods. The drop pods rained down from the World Eater battleship, Woebringer, the personal battleship of Blayag the Hated. Erasmus clenched his fists for he knew that within one of the Dreadclaws was murderer of their former captain of Squad Absolution. The captain’s vox crackled on.
‘Interference from...area...Berzerkers are.... full speed after the Dreadclaws landed...wing Land Speeder Purity was shot down...’ said Sergeant Domitian over static breaks.
‘Sergeant, hold the position and utilize Librarian Gramael. Do whatever it takes,’ Erasmus said.
‘I’ve found something in the ground just over the ridge captain, I’m going to check it out,’ said Interrogator-Chaplain Belarius.
‘Belarius, you are stay put and hold the flank for us, where are you going?’ said Erasmus. He could see the chaplain’s black armour moving toward an outcropping of rocks behind the Astartes’ position.
‘Domitian, I’m going after Belarius, he’s found something behind the ridge. Keep the Berzerkers at bay,’ said Erasmus. He ran up the ridge and over it in several well placed lunges.
‘Captain...rising from the ground...Eldar symbols all over the surface...appears...door...prying it open now,’ came Belarius’ voice.
‘Chaplain, do not enter, repeat, do not enter. Wait for me to enter with you,’ Erasmus said. He was running full force toward the outcropping.
‘Blood for Khorne!’ screamed a traitor marine. He was massive and had his hand merged to a chain fist.
Erasmus pulled his bolt pistol, turned behind him, aimed and obliterated the Khorne Berzerker with one shot between the eyes. The Berzerker’s head exploded in clumps of brain and bits of bone. Erasmus entered the maze that Belarius had run to.
‘Death to the False Emperor,’ screamed another Berzerker. Ten more marines that had been dropped behind the ridge followed him.
Erasmus holstered his bolt pistol and flicked off the safety of his stormbolter. He took cover behind one of the giant standing stones and then let off a few shots into the mass of Khorne Berzerkers. Several were hit squarely in the chest and kept coming. They howled for blood and foamed at the mouth. Erasmus unhooked a grenade from his belt and lobbed it towards them. Blasted earth flew everywhere, as did five of the traitors. The rest had been stunned and were shaking themselves off.
Erasmus ran deeper into the outcropping and followed the path Belarius had made. He heard a chain-axe activated and ran with all his might towards the closing door Belarius had found. He threw himself at the closing aperture and slid through onto a slippery marble floor. The buzzing of the chain-axe grew louder and Erasmus leapt out of the way as he saw a Khorne Berzerker sliding through the doorway, chain-axe buzzing in one hand.
‘Gath,’ said Erasmus. He activated his power fist and struck the World Eater in the shoulder guard, smashing it to bits of ceramite.
The World Eater was stunned and lost his balance. Erasmus used the opening to run towards Belarius’ position. The Interrogator-Chaplain was locked in mortal combat with one of the Black Legion’s marines. Erasmus walked up behind the traitor marine and aimed the stormbolter at the back of his ancient helm. A spray of flesh and blood covered Belarius. He had wiped his eyepieces on the helm clean when he spotted Gath bringing his chain-axe Snaga down onto the captain’s left shoulder guard. The armour buckled but did not break.
Belarius shoved the captain out of the way and brought his Crozius up to bear. He blocked the chop of Snaga and swung the head of the arcane weapon across Gath’s right arm. The Crozius connected with the ceramite and smashed it. Gath let his right arm swing down, useless, but still held on to Snaga with his left. He stuck at Belarius and wrenched the Crozius out of the chaplain’s hand. As Belarius dove for his fallen weapon Gath swung the chain-axe at Captain Erasmus, striking him square in the face. The captain slumped to the floor, his face a shattered piece of meat and spilt blood. The Snaga feasted on the blood of the captain and whined high as Gath pulled it free of the remains of the marine’s face.
Belarius screamed in anger and launched himself at the World Eater. Gath squeezed his right hand with all his might and willed it to move. Khorne had granted his servant Gath power to defeat his enemy.
‘Blood for you Khorne,’ yelled Gath. His eyes rolled back in their sockets and he laughed.
Belarius struck first, leaving a gaping diagonal slash down Gath’s chest plate, the Berzerker laughed harder and let saliva drip down his chin. Belarius raised his Crozius high over his head and brought it down on Gath’s shattered shoulder guard but missed as the traitor sidestepped the blow and kicked the chaplain to the ground. The Crozius Arcanum skidded across the dimly lit chamber and Gath moved in. He struck at Belarius with Snaga and connected on the chaplain’s shoulder guard. The chain-axe bit into the chaplain’s arm, severing nerves and tendons. Belarius arm hung lifeless at his side. Gath raised his ancient chain-axe high once more and let it fall towards the downed chaplain. Belarius kicked the World Eater’s feet out from under him; sending the traitor marine crashing, face first, into the marble floor of the chamber.
Belarius landed a punch to Gath’s face and managed to cut a gash across the bridge of his nose. Blood poured out from his nostrils and Gath laughed at the sight of his own blood. Belarius moved to a crouching position and threw a punch at him but it was caught by Gath and he broke the arm at the elbow and the wrist. The chaplain howled in pain but as quickly as the break was made it was already healing itself. He shoved the traitor away and sent him skidding across the floor near Snaga. Belarius put his shoulder into Gath’s chest and tackled him across the chamber. Gath gripped the handle of Snaga as he skidded back wards. Both marines slid down the hallway and fell five meters off a landing and onto the hardpan floor inside the immense Eldar structure.
‘Blood for the Blood God!’ Gath said. He threw a punch at Belarius who turned and let his dead arm take the brunt of the punch.
The Ceramite covering the chaplain’s arm cracked where Gath’s fist connected with a solid punch. Belarius could not feel the pain and head butted the World Eater, further damaging his nose. Gath coughed up blood and spat thick black mucous onto the hardpan floor.
Weaponless and growing weary, Belarius reached for his bolt pistol. He aimed at the traitor but had the weapon slapped away open handed. Gath punched the chaplain in the face, leaving the chaplain stunned. He reached for the Chaplain’s dead arm, twisted it back and then pulled it from its socket. The chaplain howled in pain as Gath drank the blood pouring from the severed appendage. With a last surge of effort Belarius brought out the Blades of reason and slashed Gath’s throat, watching the corrupted World Eater stumble backward holding his throat. Belarius slumped to the ground. He pulled a grenade from his belt and lobbed it toward Gath. The Berzerker watched as the Interrogator-Chaplain vanished in a cloud of eldritch light. Gath saw the grenade fly towards him then stop and was flung into the warp gate that had opened the moment that Belarius had died.
For a brief instant Gath saw the powers of Chaos gathered to take him but Khorne stepped in and demanded he stay behind. Blood for the Blood God was needed and Gath was the one who would provide. Khorne healed Gath’s wound and transported him back to the battlefield for more slaughter and carnage.
Captain Erasmus’ vox crackled to life inside the empty Eldar structure.
‘Captain, there’s too many of them, the entire Khornate host has landed. We’re being overrun, we need back up, repeat, we need backup,’ said Sergeant Domitian. The staccato of bolter fire filled the grotto like chamber and then the gurgling sounds of death filled the vox followed by the incessant chanting of the World Eaters.
‘Blood for the Blood God!’

It means Adventure in Danish...

Here's the opening chapters of my reeeealy long story... called EVENTYR

Their movement was slow and the rain beat down on the tribe. Some of the horsemen notched arrows to their bows and made way for the end of the tribe’s long shuffling line. Wolves had been seen running parallel to the tribe, waiting to pick off the elders. The warriors watched the shadows of the forest for any sign of the animals.
The wolves scattered as the warriors let loose their steel tipped shafts. Several of the pack had fallen to the arrows of the horsemen while others fled. There was an elder who had stood back to watch the young braves fight. A great gray wolf with crimson eyes set his gaze upon the old man and licked its chops. The speed of the creature caught all but one brave by surprise. He moved in front of the elder and let loose the shaft straight into the wolf’s left eye. The force of the arrow penetrated the skull and imbedded itself into the trunk of a great ash tree.
The elder thanked the warrior, known as He-Who-Has-Gray-Eyes, and then passed on to the lands of the Great Spirit. The elder did not die without thanking the warrior and told He-Who-Has-Gray-Eyes that even if he had become lost from the tribe his future people would be a people of legends to come. Having witnessed the death of the elder it was He-Who-Has-Gray-Eyes’ duty to bury the dead man and watch his body for three days time. The other warriors helped prepare the body and formed a great cairn for the elder.
The three days had passed and He-Who-Has-Gray-Eyes lit the great cairn and let the elder’s body burn to the heavens in thanks to the Great Spirit. Then he began his long journey to catch up with the rest of the tribe. It had been sprinkling at the time he left the elder’s body and the rain did not let up at all. He-Who-Has-Gray-Eyes had lost the trail. The mud that had come down from the hillsides had wiped any tracks clean from the ground. He saw an outcropping of rocks and moved towards them. He came to an immense half circle made of odd colored stones he had never seen before. Maneuvering his horse carefully through the half circle, He-Who-Has-Gray-Eyes passed through the portal created by the stones and disappeared from the tales and histories of his people.

No Easy Way Out (The Beginning of it All)
Death of the Torqemadas
The snow fell lightly around the trio of Inquisitors. Inquisitor Donatien Prokov, of the Ordo Torquemada, hefted his sword from his left hand to his right and swung at Inquisitor Alphonse Deschain. Not able to move fast enough from Prokov’s blade, Deschain clutched his torn throat and slammed into the snow gurgling face down. The blood that fell to the snow steamed skyward.
“Prokov, what have you done?” said Inquisitor Robespierre Dupalm. He unsheathed his sword and blocked a slash from Prokov’s steady hand.
“I’m killing the Order, Dupalm, what does it look like I’m doing?” said Prokov. His black coif’s chin ties swung around his neck. The ruby at the center of the headpiece gave off an eerie shine as he swung his sword again and again at Dupalm.
“I don’t understand why, Prokov?” said Dupalm. He blocked yet another stroke and then parried with several of his own.
“To have control of the Inquisition of course, then we can finally be rid of the Peacekeepers once and for all. They spend too much time fighting the demons of this world that they have forgotten time and time again to thank us for all our help,” said Prokov. He feigned a slash, which Dupalm fell for, and hacked the other Inquisitor’s sword hand clean off.
Dupalm fell to his knees, clutching his bloody stump. Prokov walked up to him and pointed his sword at Dupalm’s face.
“Yield old friend and I’ll let you live. You’ll be captain of the new Torquemadas. Yield now or…” Prokov turned to look at the severed head of Deschain, whose blood was still giving off steam.
“Go to hell Prokov,” was all Dupalm said. He stared Prokov directly in the eyes.
“As you wish,” Prokov said. He swung the sword with such force that Dupalm’s head rolled several meters away into the snow-covered ground.
Prokov walked over to the head of Dupalm and grabbed it by the hair. The eyes moved for several seconds, still taking in information for several more seconds. Then he laughed and walked over to Deschain’s severed head as well. He reached into his long black cloak and reached inside one of the great pockets to produce a brown sack with a drawstring on it. He placed both heads inside and tied a double knot on it. Then he attached the heads to his belt.
“That should start things in motion, and if not then I’ll just shed a little more blood,” said Prokov. He laughed and moved south towards the Emperor’s palace, Blade’s End, in the land of Falkirk.
Sid moved inside the gunship’s belly and stood on the landing ramp, at the head of his squad. He put on his helmet and turned the rebreather on. Sid could see out the small slat provided for viewing. Six other gunships were moving silently and quickly through the empty, rain soaked world. Normally Sid would have had Macon Dean with him, and his bodily tattoos that were actually ancient spells of protection, to cover his back. But this job was special. And Mr. Graves wanted this done the right way. No outsiders to perform the wetwork. It needed to be Sid.
“Agent Denker, we’re two minutes to landing. Ground or roof, sir?” said the pilot.
“Ground. I have to check the building with the men first. Thanks for the options though,” said Sid. He slung his rifle low on his hip and clicked off the safety.
“Descending now sir,” said the captain. “Landing in three, two, one, bay doors opening.”
The squad of ten men moved off the ramp and moved towards the abandoned tenement. The rain poured on them harder than when they had arrived. Sid led them to the front of the building where he made way for the soldier with the handheld battering ram. The man stepped into the swing and smashed the apartment’s main entrance to splinters. There was the sound of wood sliding across the floors and the echo that came with it. The demon within the boarded up old apartment would know that the Peacekeepers were below.
Sid turned on the small microphone built into his rebreather and spoke to his squad.
“I want tight formation up the stairs. They’re large enough for two men to walk abreast. Eyes open at all times,” said Sid. He slung his rifle and unbuttoned the two holsters he kept at his hips crisscrossed like a cowboy from an old Hollywood film.
“Sir, Squads Snake, Eagle, Phoenix, Fenris, Skoll, and Felix are all in position on the opposite rooftops, the ground floor and around the building sir,” said a sergeant from another squad.
Sid looked around and nodded to his men to continue moving to higher ground. Flashlights attached to the ends of their rifles bobbed up and down, their beams weaving patterns around the hallways and staircase as they made their way further up the tenement. Sid hand signaled his men to stop. He handed one of the men his rifle and unholstered his pistols. The clean steel shone brightly in the gloom of the hallway. Sid pulled back the hammers and walked up to room 1205. Not wasting any time Sid kicked in the door.
He was blown backwards, hitting the wall and sliding down it. He did not let go of the guns despite the air being knocked out of his lungs and his men went over to him. He took a long breath and then got back up. He looked inside the room and continued into the next room. It was boarded up also. He kicked it down and was again tossed like a rag doll against a wall. He shook himself off and continued towards the bedroom. It was there that Sid stopped and let his guns hang at his sides.
The men funneled into the room after Sid and surrounded the fouled sleeping quarters. There was a large brown mass that did not move. Eyes could be seen, though they were milky white and had the faintest hint of once being blue. The Peacekeepers made no sound and the mass of brown moved. One man was hurled up through the ceiling while simultaneously another was crushed against a wall. The rest of the men fired on the bed and watched as it exploded in sprays of excrement and blood. When the smoke cleared all of Sid’s men were dead.
“You shifted space, didn’t you?” said Sid. He was covered with the blood of his men.
The mass of cloth spoke in a deep guttural voice that sounded like two voices at once.
“Peacekeeper, what do you seek here?” said the demon.
“Your death, nothing more,” said Sid.
“Then prepare yourself for war,” said the demon. The mass of cloth moved vertically on the bed and showed its disfigured body to the last remaining Peacekeeper.
Sid’s arms still hung at his sides. He could hear the sounds of more men coming up the stairs. He took off his helmet and rebreather. The stench of the room made him gag, but he did not vomit. He lifted a hand to his mouth as the demon came forward toward him. He ducked and rolled beneath the demon’s swiping arm and then came to his knees, spun and fired with his left hand. The round burrowed into the flesh of the demon and caused it to light on fire. The demon screamed in agony.
“You shot me with Hellfire rounds?” said the demon. It was engulfed in flames and sunk back into the bed. The bed also went up in flames.
“Orders from on high. No bad feelings okay?” said Sid. He watched the demon burn to death on the mattress.
The rest of the Peacekeepers came up the steps. Sid had put his helmet and rebreather back on. He spoke into the built-in microphone and asked for a medi-vac tube. Several minutes later one was brought in. The soldiers placed the burned corpse into the tube and followed Sid up to the roof. A gunship was hovering just above the roof and landed with a dull thud once the pilot saw Sid with the tube. The landing ramp opened and two of the crew took the tube inside the bay area and strapped it down. Sid sat down inside the bay area and asked his men to leave him with the body. The men filed into the belly of the gunship and the bay door hissed shut.
The pilot called for launch and the ramp lifted shut. The bay filled with the sound of the ramp’s hydraulic system behind the steel walls. When the noise stopped Sid took off his helmet and laid it on the bench he was sitting on. He walked up to the tube and looked at the charred remains of the demon. He pushed a button on the side of the holding mechanism that tilted the tube to a standing position. Sid looked the charred body over and waited.
“Wake up,” said Sid.
The demon’s cloudy eyes opened and stared at Sid’s.
“You can’t talk since your vocal chords have been burned off your body so you are going to listen very very carefully to me. You are not going to be taken back to Control. You’re staying here. This world will be dying soon and you’re going to die with it. Any last words?” said Sid. “Oh that’s right, you can’t talk can you?”
The demon maintained eye contact with Sid. Sid walked back to the bench and put his helmet back on. A small hatch opened beneath the tube and an overhead clamp held the tube from its top. The restraints from around the tube’s body released and fell down the hatch. Sid stepped forward and looked at the demon once more. Then he looked down at the opened hatch and saw the burned out remains of the city they were in and released the clamp at the top of the tube.
“Approaching warp gate in ten seconds sir,” said the pilot into Sid’s helmet.
Sid watched through the hatch as the tube fell and then smashed open onto the empty city streets. Almost immediately the ground and the entire city began to turn black. Sid closed the hatch and walked to the cockpit. The door slid open and Sid watched the warp gate form in front of the gunship. He also saw that the entire area they were flying over was now a thick black in color. The countryside, the city, lakes and even the ocean were all the same inky black.
“Sir, what the hell is happening?” said the pilot as they finally passed through the warp gate.
“That world was dying. And we just gave it a heart attack,” said Sid.
The communication channel chimed on and the pilot took the call.
“It’s for you sir, do you want it on intercom?” said the pilot.
“Yes, put it through,” said Sid.
A gravely voice laughed on the intercom. Then the voice spoke.
“Agent Denker, good of you to finally check in once your mission is done,” said the voice.
Sid rolled his eyes and sighed deeply.
“Good morning Director Daizen. I just finished my mission about three minutes ago. We’re not even docked in Control yet. As soon as we dock I’ll be in your office,” said Sid. He flicked the intercom switch off.
“The director isn’t going to like that very much sir,” said the pilot. He chuckled.
Sid laughed as well. He even managed to crack a small smile. The pilot docked the gunship and Sid was the first one out and running down the landing ramp towards the director’s office. As he came close to the director’s office he had to give up his pistols and combat knives.
Jonathan Daizen was the Director of the Department of Multiverse Activities, or as it was commonly known, the DMA. Constructed ten years ago, the DMA’s main function was to track all Peacekeepers throughout the time stream. Along with the Peacekeepers, the Multiverse’s answer to police officers, are the MTF, or the Multiverse Task Force. Unlike the Peacekeepers, they are trained and live in Control, the massive way station between worlds and times. The Peacekeepers force, created by the Lord of the Rock, Azel Ashtree, lived and trained in a separate world in a desert fortress older than the earth itself. It had taken Sid three years to move up in the ranks of the Peacekeepers and he had learned why they called Azel Lord of the Rock. And what exactly the Rock was.
The office door of Director Daizen buzzed then clicked. Sid opened it and went inside. Director Daizen sat at his black leather chair behind his glass-topped table. The holographic reports that hovered over Daizen’s desk were vast and filled with backwards numbers from where Sid stood. Sid cleared his throat.
“Ah, Agent Denker, good to see you, finally. What is the verdict of the mission?” said Daizen. With a wave of his hand the green holograms fizzled out.
Sid stood at attention and put his hands behind his back, chest out. He spoke calmly, despite having the director test his patience. Had he not been trained as a Peacekeeper years ago, Sid more than likely would have already punched the director.
“Everything went according to plan. Except that he was actually more powerful than you and your people thought. I lost an entire squad of men for this mission Director Daizen and I want to know why you couldn’t have just let that world die with that demon on its own. All the doors to that place were sealed off ages ago, it wasn’t as if someone would accidentally wind up there,” said Sid.
Daizen stood up and sighed lightly. He had a smile on his face.
“Agent Denker, your job is to do as I tell you when you are loaned to me. When you’ve obtained the status of Peacekeeper General, then you may question our actions. This one time I will humor you with your request. Next time I will hold you in violation of directive 4812,” said Daizen.
“That’s a sedition law, it’d never stick Daizen. So don’t try,” said Sid. He stopped his military stance and walked toward Daizen.
“Why Agent Denker, are you threatening me?”
“No, you threatened me for questioning why ten men had to die to get rid of one empty world and a demon,” said Sid.
“Very well Agent Denker, I’ll tell you. Agent Graves and I had been tracking this demon for over twenty years. The only reason we found it was because we tracked it back to you.”
“Me? I had never met the thing before today,” Sid said.
“Ah, but in that statement therein lies the problem. You did meet the demon before; you just had not seen it in that body. And the host was your brother’s body Agent Denker,” said Daizen. He moved back to his desk.
Sid’s eyes filled with tears but he held them back and snapped back to attention.
“That is why I wanted to know when the mission was done Sid. You found the brother you’ve been looking for since you first joined the Peacekeepers, but he had passed on long ago. There was nothing you could do but kill it. You laid your brother to rest peacefully. You fulfilled a part of your oath,” said Daizen. “Dismissed.”
Sid walked out of the director’s office and practically ripped the arm off the guard that held his weapons. He was a hundred feet from the office when a shaft of light a meter long appeared before him. The light was at eye level then opened vertically so that it formed a kind of door. Sid smiled as the light turned a cool blue in color. It was the blue color doors that the Peacekeepers used. Sid was going home.
Resurface (Purgatory)
I. The Lights of Control
Director Daizen marched out of his office and down the long winding corridors of Control into the prison set deep within the planet’s core. The message on his wrist communicator had said a power failure was eminent. Daizen had launched every single protocol for this massive emergency he could think of. The next step was to secure his men behind the prison’s walls and seal the prisoners inside the prison for all time.
The warden, a woman named Sylvie Hatch, had been killed when a power beam split from the Electrical Room and impaled her. The rest of her crew had also suffered heavy injuries. Daizen had to see the carnage inside the room himself before he decided to evacuate all his MTF troops. Once the last one had made his way up the access ramp Daizen activated the override program and closed the prison forever. As soon as the doors had slammed shut Control lost all power.
“God help us, we’ll be flying blind,” said Daizen.
“Sir, this is Allen, Charles Allen, the Door Operator, we’ve lost all power to the door feeds and all emergency power as well. We’re out of commission sir,” said Charles.
“Get me the Peacekeepers on the line quickly,” said Daizen. He put his hands to his temples.
II. Activated
The majority of the Peacekeeper force was having breakfast in the immense mess hall inside their home base of Midian, home of the Rock. A claxon sounded and all Peacekeepers stood at their tables. From every wall in the mess hall screens dropped down from the ceiling and showed them the face of Director Daizen. The sound kept cutting out and the picture was filled with static. Behind his shoulder they could see workers frantically trying to seal a large door with their torches.
“This..not a test...Control is without power...jail is sealed...containment is possible...Ashtree if you can hear me, please send your Peacekeepers to us. That is all,” said Daizen’s voice.
One Peacekeeper, who had been sitting down at a table by himself grabbed a staff he had with him and ran out of the mess hall. He was half way down the hallway when he saw Azel Ashtree, Lord of the Rock and leader of the Peacekeepers.
“Daizen...emergency...Control without power,” said the man, out of breath.
“I know Dominic, I already heard the message, in its entirety. I’ve already sent a force to deal with his problem. Let’s make sure the men don’t get too excited and tell them what their duties will now be,” said Azel. His all blue eyes glowed as he looked directly at Dominic.

III. Get Moving
“You are now the official police force of the Multiverse. Until Control comes back on-line, we will be flying a bit blind. But we do have the doors, so use them when necessary. And remember, this reality is huge, take each assignment as if it were your last,” said Dominic Amon. He sat down beside Azel.
Azel thanked Dominic and approached the podium. He looked at the massed troops that composed his Peacekeepers. Men, women, humanoid creatures and various species of alien life, all wearing the uniforms of the Peacekeepers and listening intently to their assignment.
“You came to this place because I found you. Your people did not want you. You were all outcasts and without homes. Now, after your training, every world in existence wants you. You can live in any world when this is over. You are all heroes, not because of the uniform you wear. No, that’s just cloth and thread. You are heroes because you have chosen to protect that which is the most important to all of us. You have chosen to protect reality from all threats. There is a threat,” Azel said. He placed his hands on the podium, creating a V shape with his arms on the wooden podium.
The Peacekeepers began to talk among themselves. Azel raised his hand and then it stopped.
“Director Daizen does not know that I have found the threat that has rendered Control and the MTF impotent. He tried as best as he could to hide it from me, but to no avail. My brothers and sisters, this threat had come from beyond anything we know. It’s come from the Dark Tower at the center of creation to destroy us all. Your job is to stop it any way you can,” said Azel. He looked at Dominic.
Dominic’s face resembled that of every Peacekeeper’s, mouth agape, eyes wide in disbelief.
Azel raised his hands once more. A hush fell over the soldiers.
“Save us from our enemies,” said Azel. He left the podium.

The Other Worlds (Next Door)
Night came to Corellis once every twenty years and lasted for only a week. The rest of the time the sun stayed out or was obscured by clouds in a perpetual haze. In the far north of the planet lived the creatures known as the Kushagi. For eons they had lived in immense rock spires that jutted towards the sky for hundreds of kilometers. The Kushagi themselves were a peaceful people that lived in harmony with the entire planet. One of the Kushagi elders moved into the vast planetarium to view the stars as she always had. Upon fixing the lens she noticed that the planet’s sun was being swallowed by a great black void. Within minutes the void could be seen over the planet. Within an hour the planet was no more.
Several planets away on Sefris XIII, the planet had begun a mass exodus. With their warnings being spread throughout the galaxy, the inhabitants of Sefris XIII were on their way to a planet called Earth, where it was said that a group known as the Peacekeepers would know what to do. It was said that they traveled to the worlds next door and that they would have the answers.
City of the Dead
I. Necronomicon in the Necropolis
Dominic and his force of Peacekeepers had traveled north from the city fortress of Midian, home of the Rock, towards the ancient and crumbling castle of the demon known as Pazuzu. Every century a new man would rise and be the host of Pazuzu. For some time there had been no demon activity in the Armageddon Desert. But then the demons began raiding the villages and cities outside the desert and it was decided that Dominic and a portion of the Peacekeepers would stay in Midian and patrol the desert. On one such raid a secret chamber was found in Pazuzu’s old castle.
Inside the chamber was a library the likes that Dominic had never seen save for when he visited the Black Library of the Imperium. Shelves of books filled the room. There were also towers of books that had been handmade and covered with the flesh of humans and demons alike. Most bore the symbols of Pazuzu and there was one that bore the Imperial Seal, which Dominic held for several minutes. It was that book that Dominic was now on his way to retrieve.
The Librarian of Midian, a conglomeration of ancient sorcery, modern technology and bits of human flesh that refused to die, had called Dominic into his chambers for the purpose of retrieving the book. The Librarian told him that in that book might be a way to stop the darkness that was eating star systems whole. Dominic told the Librarian he would not fail in the book’s retrieval.
II. Fear in a Handful of Dust
Pazuzu lay doubled over on the cold stones of his fortress. He was born from the blood of Dominic’s fallen men. Their blood had seeped into the primordial crypt below the throne room and splashed onto the intricately wrought sarcophagus that held the ancient evil. He also knew that Dominic had taken the book with the Imperial Seal on its cover.
III. They Got Out
Dominic raced across the desert with only a handful of men in tow. The hibernating demons that had attacked them in the castle were not expected. It had been a blood bath and Dominic knew it. But the book had to be taken back to Midian. Especially if there was a way to save all of creation.
IV. The Prophecy
“The Hidden One walks among you as a soldier. You take him in as a friend yet he will be the greatest betrayer of all. He is the one that unleashed the Legion in the first place, long before the book was taken. He was chosen by the dark gods of chaos to be their emissary. Pazuzu is nothing in comparison to him,” said the Oracle. She let her third eye close and she sighed heavily.

A fragment...

This is from my grand story. Just a peek though, there's a lot more of Sid and Graves later...

“What if I told you there was a way to reverse what happened here in Los Angeles? Would you try and fix what happened Sid? Would you be the one responsible?” said Graves.
Both men sat on a bench in front of the Metro Tower on the Patsaouras Transit Plaza in Union Station. Graves held a portable flash drive in his right hand. He held it up to Sid. Sid stopped watching people get on buses and turned his black shade covered eyes to the flash drive in the older man’s gnarled fingers.
“If I accept responsibility, what then? Will you be reprieved by the Council?” said Sid.
“Does it matter? Think of all the people that can be saved if you do this Sid. Think of all the great things that could come from your action. Think about Moray and what she would do,” said Graves. He pushed the drive closer to Sid.
“I don’t need her name thrown around Graves. I understand what is involved. I knew the risks as well as she did when we signed up for this position. What do I have to do?” said Sid. He looked Graves straight in the eyes.
“Everything you need to know is on this drive. Read it very, very carefully Sid. And remember the fate of millions rests in your hands,” said Graves. He stood up and walked from the bench.
A bus rounded the corner and looked as if it was going to slam into Graves as he stepped off the curb and onto the transit plaza’s path. He disappeared instead. A light blue haze blurring him out of existence before the bus sped past where he had been walking.
“Incredible,” said Sid. He looked down at his right hand and the small flash drive that carried the possibility of changing events in the course of time.
He pressed a small red button on his watch and a portal that only he could see opened a foot away from him. He looked up at the sky, dingy with smog and clouds rolling in from the west, and sighed. He stepped over the threshold of the portal and was transported to the command center of the Peacekeepers, known as Control.

My occult story...

Everybody should try at least one attempt at writing something like this. Plus, it forces you to actually try and learn Latin, which is why I bought a Latin dictionary. Enjoy...

The Shift
Macon Dean’s punch connected with the rib cage of the demon. It howled in pain and frustration. The skin that Macon had assaulted burned and crackled. For several minutes it had tried to reach out and touch Macon but its hands kept getting burned from Macon’s body. Macon moved in within inches of the demon and placed his open palm on the creature’s ear. The rock-like texture began to sizzle, then melt.
“What’s the matter, don’t like my body art?” said Macon. He put his hand out in front of the demon. His entire hand was covered in Latin verses, Christian prayers and archaic symbols.
The demon roared and opened its maw wider, revealing a second set of jaws smaller than the first, but still as powerful and serrated. Spittle with bubbles of foam spewed onto the floor inches from Macon’s boots. It lunged at Macon and the beast’s mouth clamped down on his outstretched hand. Blood spurted from the creature’s mouth and Macon stood still. The demon released its hold on the man’s arm. Steam and blood spewed from the demon’s mouth as Macon opened the palm of his clenched and now wet hand. Not a scratch or puncture wound was visible.
“Tergum ut abyssus,” Macon said. A wall of flame enveloped the demon and burnt it to ashes.
There was a deep droning sound, like that of a giant magnet clunking to life and the room was covered in darkness. Macon reached into his jacket pocket and lifted a small phial filled with holy water.
“Fiat lux,” Macon said. His words echoed throughout the room and the phial shone as bright as the sun outside the room.
“Oh shit,” Macon said. He turned slowly around the room, keeping the phial raised as high as he could lift it.
Roughly twenty demons surrounded him and were shielding their eyes from the light.
Macon reached for the holster inside his jacket and realized the gun was on the floor near the doorway. He moved slowly towards it, the demons backing away from the light. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before one of them was brave enough to endure the light and attack him. He had hoped it would be after he reached his gun, but that was not a reality he knew would ever appear. He was within two feet of the gun when the largest of the demons charged like a bull ready to gore someone. He dove and rolled for the gun.
Two spent shells hit the ground the exact moment the demon did. There was a hole the size of a man’s clenched fist where the demon’s face used to be. The brain matter lay splattered on the wooden floorboards and on the demons now facing Macon.
“Hellfire rounds for everybody boys,” Macon said. He fired round after round until the gun was empty. He holstered his gun and reloaded while waving the phial in front of him like some unearthly torch.
One of the demons swiped at Macon’s jacket and sliced the arm holding the phial. He did not drop it but laughed when the demon’s claws burned off his body. It started a chain reaction that began to burn the creature from the arm up. In a matter of seconds the entire beast was enveloped in flames. The room quickly filled with the noxious smell of charred skin of the hell spawn. Macon backed out of the room and tossed the phial of holy water onto the burning demon.
“Drinks on me my lad,” said Macon. He laughed and shut the door just as the other demons charged it.
He turned and bumped backs with Jack Cray. Jack jumped back and aimed his guns in Macon’s face.
“Jesus Macon, don’t do that,” Jack said. He dropped his arms to his sides.
“What about you, you weren’t even watching where you were going Jack,” Macon said. He dusted off his jacket and sniffed the air.
“What is that smell?” Jack said. He looked at Macon.
“That one’s full,” Macon said. He motioned at the room with his thumb and smiled.
“Christ. Did you just leave them to burn? And what were they?” said Jack. He put a wrist up to his nose to cover the smell.
“Neekresh Clan, the ones that have the pink skin with the black dirt on them. They live near the border of the Styx,” said Macon.
“I don’t even want to know how you know that Macon, I’ll take your word. Where’s Amir?” said Jack.
“I thought he was with you?” Macon said.
Both men ran down the hallway of the abandoned hotel and made their way downstairs.
Amir Haytham walked into the circle he had created. Both his gun holsters were unbuttoned and ready for him to pull the weapons free. He whispered an incantation under his breath and waited. The sigils he had drawn in black chalk glowed golden. Several feet away from him the doors rattled and rocked in their hinges. Light could be seen flickering through the view port.
“Penetro Cella,” said Amir. He pulled his guns free and pulled the hammers back.
At first there was only sound, like static from a phone, then came the black smokes that swirled round and round but did not billow out towards Amir. From the obsidian plume came a shape that was all muscle and tendons. As the demon became unraveled on Amir’s plane of existence it shook and howled. He could see and hear the snapping of bones as they knitted themselves into a shape that Amir could see.
Macon and Jack arrived in time to see the mass of muscle and bone swipe at Amir. He turned towards them and yelled.
“I know what I’m doing Macon, stay back,” said Amir.
Macon and Jack watched as the demon swiped at the man with two guns inside the secured circle of magic. As if a force field had been erected around him Amir stood firm and did not even flinch as the demon’s scythe-like arm came crashing onto the circle. There was a sound like thunder and a crackle of blue light as the demon’s arm connected with the borders of the magical circle. Amir smiled at the demon which caused it to open its maw and reveal yet another mouth filled with razor sharp teeth. Amir pulled the triggers and watched the Hellfire rounds plunge into the creature’s body. For several seconds nothing happened. Macon tried calling to Amir but he couldn’t hear him.
The shells inside the creature’s body ignited and blew apart its chest. There was splattered muscle and bone everywhere in the room. The creature stood fully seven feet tall and towered over Amir. He could see the beating heart beneath its ribcage, black and pulsing. The demon drew its arms back and slapped them back together around Amir. The circle crackled and sparked and then to Amir’s dismay, dissipated. Before he could move the demon slapped its hands together again and Amir was nothing more than red mist.
“NO!” yelled Macon. He ran towards the demon with his gun and fired at it.
The round caught it in the left shoulder and sheered it off. Blood sprayed on the wooden floor and then began reconstituting the demon’s severed limb. The same process had begun with the monster’s chest. But before it could Jack had slammed a silver lance through its heart and pinned it against the far wall of the room. Macon ran up to it and began punching it in the face and body. Parts of the demon burned off as Macon’s tattooed fists sheered off bits of it with each fierce punch. Soon there was very little of the creature left and Macon pressed the palm of his left hand on the dying creature’s chest. As if placed on a hot skillet, the flesh and bone began to peel off and melt. The entire demon was covered in flame shortly after and turned to thick black ash.
Jack walked over to the only things that remained of Amir Haytham, his guns. They were covered in blood. Jack bent down and picked them up as if they were Amir and gently placed them in his backpack. Macon slammed his fist into the pile of ashes and watched as they floated all along the room. He looked at Jack putting Amir’s guns away and nodded.
“Time to go Jack,” Macon said. He was covered in ash and blood.
“Yeah, time to go home and tell everyone Amir is gone,” Jack said. He looked around the lobby of the abandoned apartment and stopped at the door.
“Hold on a second Macon,” said Jack. He reached into his bag and pulled out several metal discs with strange sigils on them. The sigils themselves were gold and the disks were stainless steel.
He placed one disk on the wall where Macon had killed the demon, another on the circle drawn by Amir and several more at the entrance to the tenement. He pulled out what looked like a small cell phone and pressed the only key on it.
“Run,” Jack said.
Both men ran back to the car they had come in and Jack started it up. Ten second later the apartment was rubble. It didn’t collapse outward, but fell in on itself and nothing touched the buildings beside it, not even the dust it kicked up as it crashed down to ground level.
“What the hell was that Jack?” said Macon. He looked out the rear window of the car at the pillar of thick black smoke rising to the sky.
“Something I’d been toying with. They’re bombs, obviously, but the have containment spells on the casing, so that even though the casings eventually melt away, the…”
“The spell remains working. Jack that’s brilliant. How did you learn to do that?” Macon said.
“Ozzymandius taught me how to draw the symbols for protection then it was just a matter of saying the symbols while creating the bombs. It became a litany of sorts,” Jack said.
“So Jack Cray, feared Vampire hunter learned magic like the rest of us? I’m impressed Jack. Those same protection spells could be put in bullets as well couldn’t they?” Macon said.
Jack smiled and turned on the radio. Bob Dylan belted out Like A Rolling Stone. Macon laughed and then stopped.
“What are we going to tell Ozzymandius about Amir? The circle didn’t hold. You saw what the demon did,” Macon said.
Jack stopped smiling. He screwed his eyebrows up and frowned. “I don’t know Macon. It was just too powerful for him. What did he summon? And why did he summon it?”
“That’s what I want to know Jack. And only Ozzymandius Blake will know that,” Macon said.

Ah, a true pulp horror story, or so I thought...

Yeah, this one doesn't quite qualify, but it was a first attempt at a horror magazine entry...

The Chase
Cole James chased the man in the black trench coat for five straight blocks. He watched him turn into a building that had a great neon sign on the front that said Open All Nite. The man in the black trench coat turned to look behind him once he had made it to the front door of the building. He smiled and entered through the revolving glass door.
Cole shoved people left and right to try and keep up with the man in the black trench coat. As he ducked into the building Cole was able to glimpse the man smiling at him before he moved inside the revolving glass door. Cole ran as hard and fast as he could but was only able to watch as the man reached the elevator doors. The elevator doors dinged as one of them hit the ground floor. The man went inside and Cole arrived to watch it leave. The elevator stopped on the sixth floor. He looked around and saw the stairwell door and kicked it open. One of the bellhops yelled at him to not kick the door open.
Cole took the stairs two at a time and pushed the door marked with a large black six outward. He looked around the hallway and heard the man in the trench coat talking to someone. Cole moved against the wall opposite the door of the stairwell and listened. He crept forward slowly so that he could just make out the man in the black trench coat talking on a phone attached to the wall.
“Yeah, he followed me, and no I don’t know if he made it up here yet. Sure boss, I’ll try and make sure he doesn’t get farther than here,” the man said.
Cole made his move and lunged for the man at the phone. The man dropped the phone and somersaulted backward in front of a door. Cole looked up at him and watched the man open a door that appeared out of nowhere. He waved at Cole with that same smile he had when he entered the building and closed the door behind him. Cole moved to the door. He placed his hand on the doorknob and turned. It didn’t budge. He put both hands on the knob and it still didn’t budge. Finally, he tried to kick the door down, but the door didn’t even crack.
Cole put his hands on his hips and sighed. A great grating sound was heard, like the sound of moving gears that had not been lubed in years. Cole felt the carpet beneath his feet begin to vibrate then the trapdoor opened and he disappeared from the hallway.
He had been sliding in a circle down a long chute filled with warm water. The entire chute was dark and no light could be seen anywhere. After several minutes Cole had been dropped into a small pool of cool water. There was a mirror on a wall directly in front of him. He looked around and saw that the entire room was made of white tiles. There was steam coming from the vents placed at ankle height but there was no one in the room but him. He looked at the puddle of liquid he had slid into and noticed how it had turned oddly warm and was the same color as his hands. He stood up and realized he was completely naked. He stepped out of the pool and the tube that had fed him into the tiled room opened again, this time discharging another man. He too was completely naked.
Cole stepped away from him and tried to cover himself. The man looked up at Cole and screamed.
“Get away from me you monster, get away,” the man said.
“What are you talking about, you’re the monster,” Cole said. He backed away to the far end of the room. Cole looked at the mirror and saw for the first time what the man was yelling at.
The reflection of the mirror showed Cole that the skin had been stripped from his face. The muscles and sinews lay exposed and dripping. Cole pointed at the mirror and the man slowly turned and looked at his own reflection. He began to sob.
“Who did this to us?” Cole said.
“It was Crane, Jeremiah Crane,” said the man.
“Who is that?” Cole said. He waited patiently for the man to answer him.
“He’s a twisted doctor, he’s done these experiments…you know, the kind that get the military involved to take guys like him out for good,” said the man.
“But why? What did we ever do to him?”
There was a loud crackling coming from speakers set inside the walls of the room.
“You tried to steal from me Mr. James. That’s all you did. So as penance you’ve given your flesh to help another,” the voice from the walls said.
“What did you do to our faces?” said the man.
“I extracted them. It’s a brand new process that involves a special warm liquid I’ve produced that only detaches specific skin zones. It leaves the rest of your body intact,” the voice said.
“That liquid that goes up the tube? That was our skin?” Cole shouted.
“Precisely Mr. James. How very astute of you to notice. But sadly, you’ll both have to follow the others into the pit,” said the voice.
“Wait a minute, you’re just going to throw us in a pit with dead bodies?” said the man.
“Oh no, they’re not dead, just, hmm, how shall I say it? Ah, that’s the word, ravenous,” the voice said. The speakers squawked and then shut off.
The floor beneath the man collapsed and hands reached up to grab hold of his ankles. He screamed and yelled. Then he was quiet. The floor beneath Cole’s feet did the same except he leaped out of the way and began to climb up the way he came in.
Once more the speakers came on and the voice spoke.
“Come now Mr. James, that’s cheating, you have to face your fate the proper way.”
“Go to hell Crane, I’m not going to be eaten alive,” Cole said.
“Very well, have it your way,” the voice said.
Cole reached the top of the tube after much hard work of slowly inching his way up the tube on his knees and elbows. He pulled the trap door down and climbed out of the tube. Several people were standing by the elevator when they saw Cole coming out of the floor. Two women screamed as a man ran down the hall. Cole put his hands up trying to calm them down.
“Please, help me, there was a man who stole my face,” Cole said. He tried pleading with the women but they simply ran off screaming away from the naked and faceless man.
He headed into an open elevator and slammed the down button. The doors opened on the lobby and several police officers were standing around taking down information from a woman. Cole moved toward them slowly, crying. His hands were held out as if he were crucified.
“Thank God, please help me, someone stole my face, I know who did this to me, please help me,” Cole said.
“Freeze sir,” yelled one of the police officers.
Cole continued walking towards them. The woman fainted and the other officers drew their weapons.
“I know who did this to me,” Cole said.

Based on a nightmare and my old blue Chevy Cavalier...

This one is from a horrible nightmare I had and my Chevy dubbed: The God Mobile, because of the God Rules sticker the previous owner slapped on the rear window. I never took it off and I don't know why; bless you old Chevy car for lasting more than 300,000+ miles...

First Day of School
The campus had been completely renovated. The new dorms could house six hundred students per dorm, there were three spread out on the campus. As he arrived along with all the other freshmen, Aaron stood beside his beat up 1984 Chevy Cavalier with the God Rules sticker on the back window. He had been through so many things in his car that he left it on as a badge of honor instead of the joke it was meant to be. He strapped his backpack to his shoulders and started to close the door when he remembered that he would need the map to figure out where all the buildings were now located.
He climbed the small series of steps that lead to the campus from the parking lot and walked up a hill enclosed on either side by lush green grass.
“Brand spankin’ new grass for a new campus,” Aaron said. He smiled and clutched the backpack’s strap that crossed his chest. He smiled at some girls as they passed by.
He walked for ten minutes slowly, taking in the new look of the campus and saw the enormous football and baseball practice field that lay before his eyes. There had been bleachers put up to welcome the parents. Above the bleachers enormous canopies had been placed so as to provide shade to everyone sitting in the stands. Aaron turned to look behind him to watch the long procession of incoming freshmen to the campus.
Then there were screams and a loud boom. Aaron turned and looked around but didn’t see anyone in particular who had screamed. In fact he didn’t see the bleachers or the canopy at all. A crowd had gathered by the field and looked on as they saw an enormous mound of dirt covering the bleachers and canopy. One of the football players ran to the field railing and yelled to Aaron. He in turn ran towards the railing and looked down. Arms and legs pushed out of the mound and flailed. But no one had dug themselves out.
“They’re all buried in the dirt man, just happened like that,” said the football player. He had snapped his fingers.
“Okay, okay, look, do you have a cell phone?” Aaron said.
“Yeah, why?”
“Call 911, tell them where exactly we are, what field this is and tell them to bring shovels,” Aaron said.
“Okay, yeah, I’ll do that,” the football player said. He pulled out his phone and dialed the three numbers and stuck the phone to his ear.
“The phone’s dead,” he yelled to Aaron.
Aaron had jumped the railing and was trying to dig out the first flailing arm the he could see.
“My phone’s dead.”
“Mine too,” said a girl standing beside the football player.
“And mine” said another girl in a wheelchair. She shook her phone around as if that would jump start the dead batteries.
The crowd that had gathered all mumbled the same things. Their phones had all died. Not one of them worked. The football player looked down at Aaron and shrugged, his eyebrows knotted together in defeat and sadness.
Aaron pulled the person out of the mound and looked at his watch. The arms had stopped at 2:23pm. He looked around but the sky was clear and then he saw a flash of orange light arc towards the parking lot. He tried to find the source but it had moved too quickly. Then he saw a tree at the far end of the field and saw it flash with the orange light. Ten feet from where Aaron stood the wall of the field had been blown to pieces.
“There’s something in the trees, everybody run,” yelled the man who had been saved. He still choked but ran as fast as he could away from the mound of dirt.
Aaron turned to try and grab him but it was no use. He slid to the bottom of the mound face first and looked up in time to see the man get hit by that orange flash of light that made no sound. There was a split second in between when the man was hit and when he turned to dust. Aaron stood still and waited. The lights continued to hurl themselves around the campus and eventually one landed in the parking lot. Aaron knew this because he saw the cars explode.
Please don’t let my car be one of the ones gone, he had thought to himself. He stood up slowly and looked straight at the line of trees that the light had come from. He started to run and saw a huge ball of orange light flying toward him. He slid and just barely missed being hit. He faced the trees and moved in bear claw fashion towards the practice field’s chain link fence. He stood up quickly and hurled himself over the four-foot high fence, landing in some bushes. The lights continued to be hurled at various places. The physics building that had been directly behind the bleachers was a smoldering ruin; one of the dorms had a hole in it the size of a semi truck.
Aaron stayed in the bushes and caught his breath. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his keys. He counted to five and started running as fast as he could towards his car. He looked behind him ever two seconds and just missed being hit yet again. There had been a girl, who had run into him and bounced off his shoulder, but when he saw the light he dropped and she was disintegrated instead of him.
With his heart pumping in his head, Aaron made it to his car and opened the door. He put the key into the ignition frantically and watched the windshield as the source of the light could now be seen. The trees had started to crush the fence that kept them out of the practice field. One tree whipped itself backward and its roots, deep and long inside the earth were pulled out from beneath the school. Two cars parked over from Aaron’s right side had been thrown ten feet in the air when the tree had pulled its roots from the ground. They came down and smashed on top of other cars parked beside Aaron’s car.
He put the car in reverse and added gas. The car swung out and to the left. He had enough time to watch as the tree branch shot out some more of the orange light. Aaron looked at a car that had been hit by the light and saw that it was not light after all; it had been the sap of the trees being flung at everything. He weaved in and out of lanes in the parking lot that were full of cars that were either smashed or on fire. The entire parking lot was bathed in thick black smoke. He had made it to the school’s entrance and sped up as he saw two more trees advancing towards his car off to his left. He floored the gas and watched in the rearview mirror as the trees smashed into each other and set fire to each other’s branches.
Aaron turned on the radio and kept his speed at 90, he realized that no one would be on the roads right now and he had been right. There was someone on the radio yelling about the trees in the are going berserk and killing everything in sight with branches and shooting their sap at anything that moved. There was a crashing of glass and a horrible high-pitched scream from the dj and then the radio went to static. As Aaron looked down at the radio tuner he missed seeing the tree that had been running along side his car on the opposite end of the highway. He turned in time to see the orange hued sap hurtling towards him.

The End for Rumael and Bethor...

This is how I've envisioned these two Angels ending their days as Johnny Cash would say, "...When the Man comes around..."

Change of Plans
Rumael landed on the roof of the old church without a sound. He sat down cross-legged and opened the leather bound tome attached to his wrist by a golden chain. He reached inside the chest pocket of his white coat and produced a golden ballpoint pen. Unclasping the leather bound book Rumael opened it at the page with the black and gold marker ribbons. Looking up Rumael saw the heavy steel gray clouds forming in a storm pattern.
He looked down at the blank page and began to write. Something heavy thudded on the roof. Rumael did not look back he merely kept writing. A voice blurted out from behind him.
“I though I’d find you here,” the voice said. The heavy boots thumped louder as the voice approached Rumael.
“I’m working Bethor. What do you want?” Rumael said. His hands were a blur on the pages.
“There’s been a change in plans dear friend,” Bethor said. He moved to his haunches.
Rumael stopped writing and sighed. He turned to look at his friend and smiled. His gray eyes stared at Bethor.
“So its true then. I’m being replaced?” said Rumael. He closed the book.
“Yes, your time, our time, is over now. There is to be a new Watcher. And I must go to the abyss. I thought I would tell you myself, even though you probably already knew,” Bethor said.
“I was not allowed this information dear brother,” said Rumael. He clasped the book and stood up. The gold chains gently making a beautiful chiming sound.
“It has been quite an adventure hasn’t it? The first man, clumsily walking upright for the first time, and then the Egyptians and Mayans with their advanced forms of civilization. I miss those days Rumael, when we were all still brothers,” said Bethor.
“I too miss those days. But Lucifer changed all that. He changed the world, as we knew it. It was such a promising world before the Fall. But look at the state of things now. Wars over religion, wars over oil, wars over land. All man knows how to do now is make war. No peace ever for this place,” Rumael said.
“Maybe that is why you are called back and I am to go to my rightful place,” said Bethor.
“I will try and make sure you come with me.”
“Why? I made my decision in the war with Heaven,” Bethor said.
“You did not make a decision then Bethor, which was why you were allowed to accompany me,” Rumael said. He walked off the church’s roof and continued walking on air.
Bethor followed him and also walked off the roof. There was a shaft of light that penetrated through the heavy cloud coverage. Rumael walked toward it holding the book in his right hand. Bethor walked slightly behind Rumael, afraid to move beside his friend.
“Come Bethor. You’re coming with me. Or else I shall remain here,” Rumael said. The shaft of light opened wider and then disappeared.
Both men stood weightless for several seconds then slowly descended to the street below. It was empty and rain began to pour down.
“I think the Boss made his choice on you Rumael,” Bethor said. He looked up at the rain filled sky.
“Then so be it. I shall remain here with Bethor till you need us again,” said Rumael. He looked up at the sky and smiled.
“So, wanna get a beer and hot dog now?” said Bethor. He scratched his head.
“Sounds like a good plan,” said Rumael.

Another story for the Wicked out there...

This one was done in a night for yet another contest, took third, but didn't get anything for it. It's kinda cheesy and Lovecraft inspired. And can you tell I had a certain drink on my mind?

The Desert
He had walked out of the sands of Iraq a different man. He had been lost for over a month and somehow managed to find his way back to the base. His face was covered by a checkered white and black ghoutra that he had found in his wanderings. He still had on his desert fatigues but these were torn all over the legs and knees. Scratches covered his forearms. In his hands, clutched tightly to his chest, was a worn leather book. The MPs and medics swarmed him as he shuffled into the base’s makeshift gates.
Several hours later the soldier found himself attached to a saline drip and lying in a cot in the infirmary. Sitting beside him was a man with familiar stripes on his uniform. The sewn-on name patch said Morgan.
“How you doin’ soldier? You’ve been a very wanted man. The Iraqis have been trying to find you, and we’ve had the Rangers out scouring that damned sand for a long time now,” said Morgan.
“Captain? Captain Morgan, right, sir?” said the man in the cot.
“Yes, and no, I don’t have a pirate’s hat or a parrot, but I am your captain son,” said Morgan.
“Son, you wanna let that there book go so the medics can take a look at ya properly? They’ve been awful patient with you all night. And between that gibbering you were doing and the screaming about the black orbs, you’ve scared the hell out of the medical staff,” Morgan said.
“I can’t let the book go sir, if I do they’ll find me and rip me to shreds just like they did to Powell sir,” said the man.
The captain looked at the man’s dog-tags and read Winters.
“Well Winters, whoever they are, they won’t be getting in here. There’s eight men posted outside. Two for each exit and we have the entire battalion at this little outpost. No one was behind you either son. You walked right to the gates before you keeled over,” Morgan said.
“So how about that book son, I promise I won’t put it down,” Captain Morgan said. He held out his right hand to take the book.
“As long as you promise not to put the book down sir, I’ll do it,” Winters said.
“I promise soldier,” Morgan said. He took the book from Winters’ hands and held it.
Captain Morgan sat beside Winters and opened the book with his left hand. His right hand grasped Winters’ right hand tightly. He had remembered making this same gestures dozens of times to his dying friends and fellow soldiers in the jungles of Vietnam. All they wanted was some comfort and the knowledge that they didn’t die alone. He looked onto the first page and had to clamp his hand over his mouth to stifle a scream.
The first page of the book had a black pyramid drawn on it. There were two creatures with the bodies of men and the heads of jackals carrying a soldier up the steps. Morgan could see that the drawing was moving and the two figures carried the soldier to the apex of the obsidian structure. The captain could hear the soldier’s screams and begging as the creatures hefted him up the carved stone steps. Then he saw that one of them carried a small handheld scythe. They carried the soldier to the top and chained his ankles and wrists to the smooth stone. Beneath him was a large circular groove that flowed in the four directions. Then the jackal-headed creature with the scythe swung its hand past the soldier’s face. Blood spurted out of the man’s body and his remains slumped onto the groove.
The blood flowed freely, filling the groove and then cascading down the four sides of the pyramid. All over the obsidian face of the structure hieroglyphics began to light up and burn with the strength of a thousand suns. Across the horizon Morgan watched as an immense black ship came into view. Then he heard buzzing sounds. He slammed the book shut. Perspiration, cold and clammy, was on his forehead. He wiped at it, took a deep breath and reopened the book. The jackal-headed creatures pointed at him. Their eyes glowed deep emerald.
He turned the page and saw intricate scrollwork in Arabic. Then the lines and curves formed into familiar words he had been used to. He began to read.
“…Within these pages are the ways in which They can be stopped. They are bound to this planet so long as They do not lay Their hands upon this sacred tome. I was a humble servant of Allah who came upon their great sky ships and wandered the desert trying to find someone who could help me fight them. But sadly this is my last entry. The ones that are like spheres are here. I can hear their buzzing teeth as they carve into the door behind me. Their infidel tongues spoke of heaven and the wonders that awaited there. But they lied. They had not traveled off this world in millennia. My last words to you who find this are these. Fight. For your family’s sake, fight…”
Captain Morgan ran out of the infirmary and headed to his tent. He put the book under his arm and began loading his weapons. He took off the safety from his pistols and assault rifle. He put on a flack jacket and placed the book inside and zipped it up. He could feel the weight of the worn leather book beside his heart. He pulled the slide on his pistol and chambered a round. He did the same for the other pistol. His left deltoid was sliced as the black sphere hovered to his left. He turned and aimed his pistol at the creature. He finally saw the creature that the Arab had written of.
The creature was at least three feet high had it legs to stand on. The body of the creature was an orb of obsidian, slick and covered with veins. There were four deep crimson eyes that were trained on him, waiting for the moment when he dropped the book. The eyes blinked at different intervals. Surrounding the creature were three rows of teeth, some serrated like a shark’s, others broken and jagged; they spun eternally around the creature. The teeth were the cause of the buzzing sound Morgan heard. There was a rushing sound as the teethed stopped suddenly. It spoke to Captain Morgan, its voice burrowing deep into his head.
What Morgan heard sounded like two different voices, one male the other female and a third that echoed after it.
“We want the book Captain Morgan. We have come across the stars to have that great talisman,” the creature said.
Captain Morgan raised his hands to his ears as if that could stop the high and low voices speaking at once. His pistols thumped on the desert sand in his tent.
“We need that book to rid the world of our mortal enemies, the Ghanen. You’ve seen them, the jackal-headed ones. We know you’ve seen them because we know you opened the book and seen their ship. We are called the Tondak. We come in peace. They do not. They are the ancient ancestors of your Egyptians and Aztecs. They have wandered the universe collecting specimens of races and then destroying those worlds,” the Tondak said
The Tondak hovered inches closer to Morgan. He lifted a pistol off the sand and pulled back the hammer. He aimed the weapon at the star traveler.
“Don’t be a fool Captain Morgan, you can’t stop us and we will have that book,” said the Tondak. Drool dripped in a long string onto the sand.
Morgan felt the barrel of a gun pressed firmly at the base of his neck. Then he heard a voice he recognized. It was Winters. He told Captain Morgan to stand down, drop to his knees and let the weapons fall to the sand.
“Sorry Winters, you told me not to put the book down. So I won’t. I promised,” Morgan said.
“Winters didn’t know what he was saying. He was a fool that ran from the wisdom of the desert. I won’t make that mistake though,” Winters said. He walked in front of Captain Morgan and Morgan saw that Winters’ eyes were rolled back into his head.
“You’re not Winters. It’s his body, but you’re not him are you?” Morgan said.
Winter’s body slumped into the sand face first. From the back of his skull a Tondak burrowed through the soldier’s skull. It burst out with a spray of brains and fluid. Morgan grabbed a pistol, shot it three times and then aimed at the larger Tondak that hovered a half meter away. He heard the buzzing teeth start up again, this time faster than before. He yelled as the Tondak attacked.
Four bullets shot out of the Tondak’s back. The eyes burped blood and brain tissue. The teeth spun wildly for several revolutions then stopped. It hit the sand with a deep thud that Captain Morgan felt beneath his feet. He shot it twice more. Its globe-like body twitched momentarily and then stopped. The captain walked to it and kicked its rows of teeth in. He reached into his flak jacket, pulled the book out and walked out of the tent.
Bodies lay strewn on the sand as dawn crept up on the horizon. All around Captain Morgan was the sound of the buzzing chainsaw teeth. There were millions of them waiting for him. They had completely destroyed the base and had been waiting for him to exit the tent. On the horizon he saw two figures with heads like jackals. One held a scythe and the other put a horn to its mouth and blew. The sky was blotted out by the mass of sharp toothed creatures and the buzzing sound they made silenced Captain Morgan’s cries.