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BLACK SHIELD

 Post subject: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:43 pm 
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Here are 500 words of a short story (they only asked for a sample plus synopsis) I wrote for the Black Library's open call for submissions last December-January...

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The mass-reactive rounds glanced off the ceramite of the kill-marine’s right pauldron, merely chipping away at the black paint before detonating in midair like so many Hydra shells. Just before the Black Shield ducked behind the cover provided by what must once have been part of a voidlock on the Rutilus Tyrannus, the Crimson Fist sentries noticed that another colour had been revealed beneath that black.
Blue.
Had this Black Shield once been an Ultramarine? If so, Lord Helblade would have strong words with Calgar. This betrayal by the Inquisition after all the ‘Fists had done for them was bad enough, but the marines had nothing but scorn for whichever Chapter had volunteered to send this spy against them.
Behind the bulkhead, the Black Shield kill-marine unscrewed the sound suppressor from his prized bolter, Viatoris, slamming a fresh clip of Kraken rounds home with a silent Litany of Flawless Operation. He looked down at the cobalt blue revealed beneath his pockmarked armour, struck with pangs of memory at having had to paint over it with the black of Talasa Prime. Not only his left pauldron, but his right too, had been defaced by the dishonourable darkness of a life in the shadows.
“Space Marine!” roared the unhelmeted voice of the Crimson Fists’ Captain Alguena, “Why comest thou here?”
No response came.
The Black Shield knew his way around Arx Tyrannus, knew there was no point retreating and that he was effectively pinned down. But that didn’t mean he was dead. It meant they were. Despite also being superhuman giants among men, all over seven feet tall, possessed of two hearts, and able to spit acid, these fellow Space Marines were easy marks for one such as him–one of the Deathwatch.
Cracking the fuse on a blind grenade, the Black Shield slid out from hiding, peppering the Crimson Fist squad with well-aimed shots as he rolled the charge across the ancient, rusted metal grating. The unsilenced Stalker-pattern bolter barked out death, its Kraken rounds piercing the Mark VII armour before detonating with muffled ferocity within. Fountains of pulverized flesh and bone shot out of the impact points, the only release for the immense pressure within those powered shells of agony.
The three surviving ‘Fists were focused on returning fire when the blind grenade finally went off, flooding the hallway with infrared bafflers and broad spectrum electro-magnetic radiation, momentarily stunning two of them despite the autosenses of their battle-helms. The kill-marine was not stunned, however. His fatal shots had been fired with his eyes closed. He was that good.
And so was his opponent.
Captain Alguena had predicted the Black Shield’s tactic, he himself being more than qualified for Deathwatch service. He was thus qualified. But he did not wish it. Alguena valued his Chapter above all else – as any good marine should. And so, shielding his eyes, he launched into melee with the intruder, his crimson power fist charging with an ominous whine as the grey smoke rose around them.


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 Post subject: Re: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:37 am 
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You need to finish it. It's very good. :)

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 Post subject: Re: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:17 pm 
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Thanks so much! Yeah, I've got more of these little samples. I'm actually a semi-pro screenwriter. But I heard that the Black Library's calls for submissions were kind of a scam based on what the BBC did for DR. WHO, where they tried to increase the popularity of the books by dangling the thought of writing in that universe before fans... What do people think? Is this true or false?

Anyway, here's the synopsis I wrote as part of the same submission...

"When a Black Shield kill-marine is sent to Rynn’s World on an infiltration mission, he comes harbouring a dark shame: he has become a traitor, having once been a Crimson Fist himself. Ostensibly sent to use his gene-seed signature and insider knowledge to uncover evidence of his former Space Marine Chapter’s heretical research into the reverse-psychoactive technology of the orks, the kill-marine learns that his inquisitor-master is in fact trying to destroy records of his own profiteering from data-slates the ‘Fists were ordered to deliver to him. Caught in action by his former brethren and forced to engage them, the Black Shield is torn between his conflicting loyalties to the Inquisition and former Chapter. He finally decides the only honourable course of action is suicide. And that course he takes, turning his bolter on himself and thus forever concealing both his own Chapter’s heresy and the fact that the corrupt inquisitor ordered it."

P.S. I feel guilty getting you guys to read my stuff without reading yours in return, so if yours is on this site, please direct me to it...


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 Post subject: Re: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:25 am 
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Most of my writing is contained on my blogs (in my signature below) mainly battle reports and a newspaper based on in a part of the Necromunda hive. That's where my stuff is.

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 Post subject: Re: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Man, that newspaper sounds super-cool! I should do that too, just for my little campaign with my son...


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 Post subject: Re: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:49 pm 
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OMG! That's the coolest thing ever! I read some articles from the Slag Valley Bullett and totally believed them; scary how the New York Times isn't that much more credible...


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 Post subject: Re: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:27 am 
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Thanks very much. Necromunda is one of those settings where the Wild West and Gothic Sci-Fi overlap and putting it into a sensationalist tabloid setting is great fun!

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 Post subject: Re: BLACK SHIELD
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:21 pm 
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Indeed!


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