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Author:  KRUG_666 [ Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:01 pm ]
Post subject:  BY THE DUST OF 'EM ALL : CHAPTER 12


The Stranger had fought alongside Ogryns before in his time served with the Guard, but Bo was unlike any Ogryn he had ever seen.
The massive creature had to weigh over 5 hundred pounds and he wore a hideous amount of sump spider jewels around his neck. His arms were heavily tattooed and scarred and he wore a giant spiked helmet also laced with jewels.

He looked very imposing sitting in his pontoon, a raft no bigger than a Chimera transport and the thing creaked and moaned under the creatures weight. He was busy trying to read it seemed, totally involved in what appeared to be a children’s pict book. He studied it intently, squinting his eyes, smiling and nodding his head. He finally noticed the two men and lowered his spectacles to the tip of his nose.

“ You must be Bo?” asked Ren

“ Aye, dat be me. Hop on suhs, won be long, dis way to da King”
Bo said, hoisting a rotted anchor onto the deck and fidgeting with the motor until it kicked to life and belched smoke. The pair lept on board and sat with their backs to the pitted railing.

Dax stared out at the sludge sea, detritus and strange creatures floated in and out of the small vessels wake. Ren began smoking a freshly rolled cheroot before tossing the match over the side.

“ Whats on your mind slick, your studying me like I’m some common mark. “ Ren exhaled the green smoke.

Dax crossed his arms , “ Are you really brothers with King Ace? “

Ren smirked and threw back his head laughing. “ Aye, that I am, same as you and ol’ Jester were ,born to the same Mum, only difference is that we both got different Da’s. “

Dax suddenly felt uneasy at the weight of that comment but pushed his paranoia aside for the moment and opted to show he was content with Ren’s answer.

“ Fair enough then. So we can trust him then?” Dax asked.

Both Bo and Ren gave him a befuddled look.

“ Trust ain’t exactly in a pirates word bank now is it mate? “

Bo nodded and began mumbling something about sump spider stew as a fleet of skiffs and hover craft came into sight flanking the largest sump barge Dax ever lay eyes on. He wondered how it got here it was so big.

“ This is it, the damn floating bucket of scrap is my brothers “castle” as he likes to call it- can’t live in the Spire so he brought a piece of the Spire to live with him- pompous bastard…..” Ren trailed off.

Within twenty yards of the skiffs spotlights came on and Bo cut the engine to a mere crawl. They let the pontoon trudge towards the flagship , dozens of guns trained on them if any act of aggression was shown.

As Bo steadied the ship a ladder was rolled down for the two men to climb.

“ K’ lad, just as before, you can’t trust a band of pirates- so be alert with your guns and your wits. You don’t declare a man insane and expect less from his or his lot. “

Dax nodded and began climbing the ladder when the were greeted by a bellowing roar of laughter.

“ Ahoy, Slick Ren you wife stealin’-dog shite eating- Spire dwelling- Guild loving-panty waist bastard ! “ the voice boomed and shook though the owner still hid in the shadow.

“ Aye little brother, it’s me. Still mad about ‘Tess eh? Don’t be- the whore ran off with some mad prospector. We’re comin’ up and if any of yer crew so much as thinks ill will I’ll paint your pretty ship with their blood and guts. Savvy ? “
Ren sneered.

“ Fair ‘nuff . Tell me though, who the frag is “ we” ? “ He yelled down.

“ Wife stealing? “ Dax asked as he hoisted himself over the side of the ship.

“ Long story slick, I’ll tell you one day.” Ren laughed.

Dax landed with a loud clang and stood straight up – face to face with the Underhive legend.

King Ace sized up the Stranger, not an ounce of emotion on his pock marked and scarred face. His black, deep set eyes looked past Dax and straight at Ren.

“ Who’s this mutt then? “ the King said dismissing Dax and forcing him out of the way with a nudge of his massive shoulders.

Ren raised his eyebrows and sighed. “ This here is one Dax Kelly, you remember his brother Jester- rest his bones- he's working for old Grimskull these days and I’m just making sure he gets were he needs to be. “

King Ace looked Dax over again. Gave him a quick nod.
“ Aye, he was a good bloke- helluva ‘slinger, good with words , tough as a ripper jack- true Orlock through and through- sorry for your loss mate.”

The King waved to two women standing behind Ren. They carried two jars of heavily fermented drink, the odor almost too much for Dax’s nose. They each were given flagons and were filled to the brim with the syrupy liquor.

“ A toast to good times gone and good times to follow ! “ The King proclaimed, “ Drink ! “
They all drained their cups in one gulp. The flavor biting their tongues at the very end., bitter sweet and had a punch that made amasec seem weak.

“ Good stuff eh brothers? One of the lads is half Ratty-Skin- makes it from the Spider-Venom and Sump knows what else ha-ha !!!”

Ren lifted his cup to his brother,“ Hail to the King then “

King Ace smacked his cup to Rens and they both drank.

Dax stood looking out over the Sump, not sure if he had made the best decision.

* * *

Across the wasteland and over crumbling hills that were once mountains , beneath the Spire though just above the Hive City known as Tianos , three men sit in silence awaiting for their master to arrive.
They sit in silence, the room is cold and blank.

The Tall Man bears a cog shaped tattoo over his right eye and his jet-black hair is thinning above his troubled brow. The Fat Man sitting to his right is wheezing through his breathing apparatus, his hand fidgeting with a small coin covered in rust. Left of the tall man sits the Dark One; arms crossed his chest heaves as he exhales his displeasure of waiting.

The main door finally opens with a hiss of its pressurized mechanisms and three men rise to greet their master. One by one they bow to him.
He claps twice and the room is now flooded with light. He nods to the three men and they sit as does he.

“ Illumination not only guides one to their path but can also blind one if it is too much to bear. “ The Master spoke, his voice strong and sure.

“ We have built our Empire on the back of shadows and ghosts. In the past this has worked well to our benefit. It would seem as though we have several obstacles in our way. Our relations with Noble Ran Lo have been tainted and our Delaque cousins have failed in their efforts.” He calmly stated.

The three men shared side stares as their Master began lighting a hash cigar.

“ We would be most profitable in ending this situation as soon as possible. The Guild Summit is less than three weeks away. I for one would like to enjoy my stay in Hive Primus without loosing any sleep over an aged Goliath and disgruntled Orlock drifter.”
The three men nodded in agreement. The Tall Man cleared his throat.

“ My Lord, let my agents handle this one. We already have a cell en route with a Journeymen Team riding with Guilder Lozrick Acosta. They should be nearing Primus by the next day-cycle. I also have a one of my best trackers tailing said Goliath. Let House Vega show its worth, it would be an honor.”

The Master stood and laid his palms flat on the table.

The Fat Man began speaking.
“ Suspicions rise daily in the wasteland. The Tribes are gathering. Old rivalries are being forgotten in the Underhive and still the Stranger runs from us. “

The Master furrowed his brow and squinted.
“ Hmm….very well. Do what you must with House Vega- you have my aid. This thorn in my side must be removed whatever the cost. I will inform the soldiers under my own House to continue their search for the Old Man. He needs to be taught a lesson. No one turncoats an Orman, much less House Pike. “

The Dark One raised his head.
“ What of this Stranger then, the Goliath’s gunmen?”

The Master smiled.

“ He’s evaded us at every turn. Find him. Torture him, break his soul and send his head to Lord Orlock as a warning. We rule the Hives- not Helmawr- and no one is beyond my vengeance. “

Author:  s4G [ Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:34 am ]
Post subject: 

You definitely tell just enough to keep the reader's attention, and then leave it with people wondering what's next. :)

Author:  KRUG_666 [ Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks s4G , more on the way soon and if I ever get my PC fixed I can finally update my damned WIP thread too. 8-)

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