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The Black Widows Female Space Marines

For members to post long running threads about projects they are working on

Postby DoctorThunder » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:15 am

Thanks. :)

Okay, Norsewarrior, here ya' go. Here is the first chapter.


Chapter One: Lure

To an average person, the long spacious tunnels of the cities pneumatic transit system were nothing more then a roar of rushing air and scraping metal as the ancient passenger lines followed the routes set down thousands of years before. To Nui, however, that was only the first layer of a symphony of sounds and smells. The drip-drop of running water over rotting stone, the scratching of rodents gnawing on the cera-casing of the brass power lines, and the tart scent of fear and adrenaline emanating from the cadets around her could all be filtered and enhanced at will.
As the halo lights of an unused checkpoint flickered rapidly through the car, Nui focused her olfactory senses on the young man seated next to her as a way to pass the time. Although his face and body showed the bony signs of malnutrition, his hair still gave off the unmistakable flakiness of a regular diet of barley. This marked him as a definite off-worlder, probably one of the earliest reserves called up from the core systems when this hive world first came under attack ten years before.
What was the name of this world? It struck Nui as odd that she could not instantly recall it. Normally her memory was flawless when it came to mission details, but try as she might, the information just wasn’t there.
Nui sighed audibly, although no one but her could hear it over the roar of the air that motivated the cylindrical transport cars. Hive worlds all felt the same after a while. Endless ferracrete corridors, pavilions, and towers all following the same ceremonial building constructs. It occurred to her that the only way to really distinguish them from one another was the preferential treatment of one or more local saints in the santuarials.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a new scent. Drill Sergeant Kuppmine slid a hand along the overhead handle bar as he walked down the center isle, inspecting each of the young cadets with his stone cold eyes. When he reached Nui’s squad he paused and looked them over. His leathery face was a mask of distant disapproval, but his scent told her another story. His body gave off the tart scent of desire as her looked her over.
Nui resisted the urge to spit. Her body had been designed to be flawlessly attractive to the men of this world, and while it occasionally served a purpose it was more often then not a liability. Nui considered the option of intentionally scarring her own face to avoid future complications as she raised her gaze and met his eyes with a stare as cold and dark as his was.
“Arrival time, two minutes,” Sergeant Kuppmine yelled out, and the formerly passive passenger car became a flurry of activity.


There were 9 men in the transport with Mikial Breech. Jacoby and Smithson had pulled an ammunition crate to the center of the transport area, directly under the top hatch, and were poking their heads out of the top, keeping watch on their rear quarter. The enemy forces had been completely pushed out of this district by a combined attack from the 455th, 230th, and 243rd. Rumor had it that an entire Demi-Legion of Adeptus Titanicus had managed to support the battle as well. Confident as they were, they were still watchful as they moved though the ruined and deserted streets. The civilian population had not yet rturned to rebuild, and there were persistent rumors of cadet patrols disappearing over the last few days.

Breech had been promoted to squad sergeant because, unlike most Questani, he had been stationed off-planet for a brief time during his service to the Emperor. It was supposed that this gave him a greater breadth of experience, which marked him out for leadership. Breech didn’t really consider guarding the shrine of the Martyr of Casadrin, and memorizing the legends of her life to have given him much in the way of useful combat experience, but he would serve wherever he was called, regardless of the post. From his viewing slit, he could see the decaying bodies of hundreds of humans, dressed in ragged and bizarre robes, adorned with symbols that burned his eyes to look at them. In his youth, Breech had been quite the promising student of Imperial history. He had never come across any mention of such humans anywhere in the annals of any librarium he had visited, and it often made him wonder how the most complete compilations of knowledge could have such obvious and gaping holes in them.
The smell of decaying flesh was unlike anything else a person could smell. The foul bodies Breech saw lay undisturbed where they had fallen, stripped of nothing. It was customary among other regiments to take weapons, ammunition, and trophies when moving through a site such as this, but Questani were far too wary for that, for they knew that only by refusing any contact with the impure could one truly be protected from their influence. When time permitted, areas such as this would be purified with thermal charges, reducing them to ash. It was the surest way, the Questani way.
As the last three tanks moved past the center point of a trench network, no one noticed as a small metallic cylinder roll out from amongst the twisted wreckage. The cylinder disappeared underneath the tank tracks of the Chimera as it rolled over the device. For a moment nothing happened, then there was a small thud, and arcs of blue fire shot up the side of the transport and washed over it, like water rolling over rocks in a stream. It would actually have been quite lovely, were it not for the havock it wrought on the vehicle. Headlights and signal runes flashed red-hot and then burnt out, the vehicle’s vox array fizzled white-hot and melted down to a little black stump, Jackoby and Smithson dropped back down into the tank, clutching their charred faces with ruined and burnt hands, their screams muffled by the screeching protests of the tank as it ground to a halt.
Mikial grabbed ensign Byron by the collar.
“Rev-up your vox, tell them that we need to get a medic out here right now. We’ve got two men down.” Breech raised up his fist, and his squad opened the rear hatch and deployed around the rear quarter of the motionless tank. Their weapons trained and scanning for any signs of an attacking force. Quick and fearless they were, professional servants of the Emperor.
Byron nodded unconsciously to the responses coming in through his vox and then raised up his head. “The Colonel is on the line, sir.”
“Put it on speaker,” ordered Breech.
The gruff voice of the Colonel came through. Even through the static reduction of his voice through the vox system, Breech could tell he was irritated.
“Breech, what the warp happened back there?”
“Not sure yet. Could have been a mine, but it looked like sorcery to me. The tank stopped cold,” Breech reported. Another voice could be heard talking to the colonel in rasping metallic tones.
“You have angered the war-spirits, and they refuse to work under your command, Crandall. As I told you before, the rituals cannot be, as you put it, ‘rushed’.”
Colonel Crandall could be heard retorting to the adept, “Let me ask you a question, are you able to speak to me without any loss of efficiency as you consult them augers for enemy forces?”
There was a pause.
“No, I am not,” responded the metallic voice.
“Then why do you seek to fail in the duty which you were given while at the same time attempting to perform a duty which you have not been given?”
Breech was delighted that he could listen in on this particular conversation, and his admiration for the colonel increased a bit more.
“I received word from the 230th, they have pushed back the enemy forces here all the back back to Sendicus Hive, if they can receive enough reinforcements within the next 24 terran hours, they can route the enemy there before they can be reinforced themselves,” the colonel explained. “You know what I’m asking.”
Breech felt a tinge of fear, for they would be quite on their own for some time. The value of the confrontation far outweighed their personal lives, and the detachment couldn’t wait for their tank to be repaired.
“We will do our duty,” Breech stated. “Go on without us.”
“That is all The Emperor asks, my boy.” There was a pause before Crandall added, “But, don’t worry, you won’t be alone.”


Engineseer Voeck stared at the colum of tanks disappearing into the distance with a sort to detachment, as if he was watching a dream. That was a ridiculous notion, of course, since his cybernetic augmentations made it impossible for him to dream. Dreams were physical manifestations of the weakness inherent in all creations of the flesh. Creations of the Machine God were far stronger, closer to the perfection of the Machine God itself. To be left behind to attend to this damaged transport was an inexcusable waste of time and resources. A second circle, third tier adept of the Omnisiah would be far more useful during the coming battle, where he could aid the spirits of dozens of the fighting vehicles, not tending a single sick war-spirit.
This will be reported as quickly as possible and Colonel Crandall shall be stripped of his command Voeck thought, his cybernetic face mandibles clicking in irritation. He turned around to look at the squad of Questani efficiently building defensive barricades from the wreckage of nearby tanks and buildings. ‘Efficient’ by their understanding perhaps. Using the remains of dead machine-creatures without properly appeasing their former war-spirits was akin to grave robbing, and would certainly bring bad fortune to them all. The cybernetic voicebox in Voeck’s throat created a faint high-pitched rumble, which only another adept of the Machine God would recognize as a sigh. 8 flesh creatures and two machine creatures. At least he would have the tank to keep him company.


The sun had already set when Sergeant Breech took his turn on the watch. Voeck had not said a word to anyone else for the last five hours, grumbling after the manner of his kind as he worked on the damaged tank, and that suited them both just fine. Their position was known to central command, although that offered little comfort to them as the wind howled, bayed, and sometimes spoke whispers of death as it played over the surfaces of the dead bodies nearby. Such were the ways of this strange new enemy of dark humans, and Breech his men were unimpressed. Four times over the last decade they had fought off these strange attackers, and each time they had been driven back, nearly to their drop sites. This time would be no different.
They risked no fire, but rather activated a heat-plate, which gave off the heat of a regular campfire, but no visible light. This gave them the benefit of not loosing their night-vision, for tonight was going to be especially dark. Michaels and Jet also stood watch, Helfter was using the latrine, and the rest of his squad stood around the heat-plate, consuming their rations and quietly chanting the litany of peace to themselves. Breech was no poet, but even he could recognize the meaningful image of a few faithful men chanting their faith to The Emperor in the middle of this warped garbage heap.
Far above, Breech could make out the shadowy outlines of the bony superstructure of the hive, it’s monitor lights twinkling faintly as if they were starlight. Out of the corner of his eye, Breech recognized the silhouette of Helfter returning from the latrine. Breech took another bite out of his ration bar, and noticed that Helfter was walking a little oddly. Breech chuckled to himself. He had told Helfter that those caff tablets were past the expiration date. Now he probably had Walton’s Revenge.
Breech stopped chewing as the silhouette of Helfter got within a few meters of him and he realized that the silhouette and gait were all wrong to be Helfter. It was a female in cadet battle fatigues.
Breech dropped his ration bar to the ground and raised his autogun, but the figure was already on top of him. He fired a shot uselessly and tried to scream, but the woman had already plunged a piece of metal into his throat. A horrible gurgle left his body as she removed the blade, and quick as lightning, fired a drawn pistol with a horrible crack into his chest.
The impact of the shot sent Breech flying, his body landing on top of the heat-plate with a dead thud. The men around him scattered to take cover and begin laying down covering fire as they had been trained. The shadow of the figure that had shot Breech ducked behind a piece of ferro-crete. True to their training, four men kept up a stead rate of fire as Jet and Michaels moved around to flank the now pinned assailant. A small black object shot up into the air and burst into a blinding flash of light. Men screamed and covered their eyes. Above the screams, two loud shots rang out, and when their vision clearer two men lay dead on the ground. The men trained their weapons carefully, their eyes straining to readjust to the darkness.
Michaels and Jet took cover behind a large boulder. They could hear the horrible sizzle from the heat-plate where Breech’s flesh was now cooking. A shot rang out and Jet took it in the chest, his body thrown back into a rations crate. Michaels instinctively ducked down, hiding behind the boulder.
Startled by the commotion, Voeck scuttled out from the back of the transport, his artificial limbs twitching this way and that as he stumbled across the loose ground. The young woman landed behind him and swept his legs out from under him. She dug a dagger into the ground beneath him, then moved on without stopping to watch as Voeck’s face came down on the blade, passing through the organic parts of his brain before breaking out the other end.
Michaels tracked her as she moved, letting off a few wild shots into the dark, before feeling a tight jerk backwards as a bullet tore through his knee. He could hear screaming as he fell backwards, and it took him a moment to realize that it was him. Two more shots rang out, each one tearing through his elbows.

Nui placed a final shot in the man’s other knee and kicked his weapon free for good measure before allowing herself to relax. Already a black pool of blood was forming underneath him as he gasped for breath, his eyes wild with fear. She dug the heel of her boot into his injured knee, and he screamed even louder, his head arching back in agony.
Slowly, Nui crouched down and took the man’s cheeks in her hands.
“Show it to me,” she demanded cruelly. “I want to see that moment in your eyes, when you look into the abyss, and realize that no one awaits you there.”
“The Emperor is my light,” the man gurgled, blood spilling down his chin. His eyes began to close, but she forced them back open with her thumbs.
“No!” Nui shouted. “Don’t lie to me. Tell me what you see! Show me that there is no warmth in the void!”
“The Emperor is my life,” he whispered as his eyes grew dark.
Nui cursed and threw him aside. She couldn’t stand the look believers had on their face when they died. That look of quiet contentment and relief made her blood boil. She knew the truth, and that these fools would perpetrate their lies even at the moment of death was infuriating.
Nui took a few moments to pile all of the bodies onto the heat plate, like some sort of sickly barbecue. It was little touches like this that made her work more enjoyable and took her mind off other things. Pulling out the entrails of one of the men, she ornamentally hung them off of stiff fingers and protruding limbs. This certainly wasn’t worthy of the craftsmanship of the Night Lords, but it was a start. She grabbed a large piece of sheet metal and laid it out in front of the pile of bodies. Using a chuck of metal, she scratched in the words, “We are the children of Nal’Tret reborn, none shall escape our wrath.”
She found the phrase a bit pedantic, but then again cultists always did have an overdramatic streak in them. Taking out a data slate, Nui double-checked the positions of the thirteen other pyres she had created over the past few days, perfectly arrayed along the cardinal points of a summoning circle nearly a kilometer in diameter
The sound of a heartbeat caught Nui attention and she crouched down, reholstering her slate and drawing her sidearm as silently as she could. Had she missed one of the squad members? She cursed herself at the possibility of it. Her mission parameters demanded that there be zero witnesses.
Drawing closer to the source of the noise, Nui replayed her actions over the last weeks in her mind, earmarking the unacceptable number of mistakes and mentally chastising herself. She was definitely losing her edge, and if she didn’t get it back the whole mission could be in jepordy.
Nui kicked a crate aside and trained her pistol on the small crouching figure. It was a child, filthy and ragged, picking through the spilled contents of the rations crate. It looked up at her with the startled eyes of a wild animal. The child’s muscles were taught, ready to flee, but she kept shoving the ration bars, wrapper and all, into her mouth as quickly as she could.
Nui’s muscles relaxed as she rebuked herself. She should have easily been able to distinguish a child’s heartbeat from an adult’s. Nui raised the pistol and pointed it at the child’s head.
The child gave no reaction, and gulped down the half-chewed contents of her mouth as if the only thing she truly feared was to have them torn away from her mouth before she had a chance to swallow.
Nui commanded her hand to pull the trigger, but no shot rang out. Nui attempted to fire again, but nothing happened. Sensing it’s chance, the child grabbed two handfuls of rations and fled.
For several moments Nui stood motionless, compelling her body to move as the child scuttled away, but her body was frozen in place.
What is wrong with me?
It was the chime of her vox-comm that broke her from her trance. She bought a hand up to her ear and clicked twice to signal reception.
“Mission stat-rep, Corporal?” came the earnest voice of Sergeant Tae over the communicator.
“Mission complete, ready to receive evac-coordinates,” Nui responded, forcing her voice to remain steady.
“Did you create the sacrificial pyres as you were instructed?” Tae asked.
“Aye, Madam Sergeant,” Nui responded steadily. “There were no witnesses.”
“Excellent work, Corporal,” Tae praised. “When the local Commissaratt investigates the scene, they will be convinced that Nal’Tret cultists have begun another reign of blood on this world.”
“And that will lead Inquisitor Zukovich here,” Nui added.
“The bait is set.”
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Postby mattjgilbert » Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:44 am

This is awesome stuff doc and a great amount of fluff. Some great stories in there. You are right...this really is a labour of love :)

You have more than enough material here for your own codex.

The drop pod looks great btw.
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Postby DoctorThunder » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:51 pm

Okay, here are the test models for the female scouts. When I transition over to using Black Templar Rules, these will be the Neophytes in my squads.

I had many attempts but no success modifying the male scout models, mainly because scout armor does not hide body shape as well as power armor and terminator armor does, so I realized that I needed to start with a model that already had female proportions.

So, I started with the female imperial guard models my club made a while back, and gave them scout arms and wood elf heads and IG backpacks. (This fits in well with the Widows background, which describes them using stolen guard equipment when power armor is not available, and occasionally masquerading as loyalist units behind enemy lines, a trick they picked up from the Alpha Legion) I have had some suggestions at trying out sisters of battle helmets, so I used those as the helmet type and I think it worked well. If I get a chance to aquire more, I'd like to try them out on power armor bodies as well.

Anyway, check out the pics and enjoy. As always, click on a thumbnail to see a larger pic.

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Postby conscriptboris » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:40 pm

Some good stuff going on there mate, awesome imagination!!!!

conscriptboris

PS I would love to see these on the field of battle!
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Postby mattjgilbert » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:03 pm

The scouts look great :)
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Postby DoctorThunder » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:18 pm

Okay, I must say I'm very pleased at the way these are turning out. Here are the first two so far.

The engines, I believe, are from The Space Marine battle barge. I got them years ago back when you still could bitz order Battle Fleet Gothic...or bitz order at all for that matter. The legs are from the Slaaneshi Lord on Chaos Steed in Warhammer Fantasy, and are perfect for this project because not only are they in the sitting position, but they are armored in female proportions and wearing a kind of satyr/high heels, which is awesome.
To fit the slimmer legs better I'm using the armored female torso from the Dark Elf Warriors Boxed set rather than converting marine torsos, so that should please lot of people that have been asking for smaller bust sizes, and I'm experimenting with some mutations as you can tell from the Dryad head.

I'll be making a dozen of these, all in all.

As always, click on a thumbnail for a larger pic.

Enjoy.

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Postby timewizard » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:44 pm

Nice conversions! Can't wait to see them painted up!
Q: Are they going to be mounted on flying bases?
"I have found again and again that in encounter actions, the day goes to the side that is the first to plaster its opponent with fire." - Erwin Rommel
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Postby DoctorThunder » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:42 pm

timewizard wrote:Nice conversions! Can't wait to see them painted up!
Q: Are they going to be mounted on flying bases?

Yes, but I'm going to jazz up the flying bases to look like swirling warp fire coming up from the ground. 8)
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Postby mattjgilbert » Tue Jul 15, 2008 11:54 am

Very starwars!
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Postby DoctorThunder » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:38 am

Got a great looking update for 'yall. All six Drop Pods are completed and painted. Ever since I forst played Dawn of War I've been hooked on Drop Pods. There's just something too cool abouth these things landing in from orbit with that shoooomp! sound.

I must say, as formidable as one looks, there's nothing quite so cool as seeing six of these things all lined up together.

As always, click on a thumbnail for a larger pic

Enjoy


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Postby mattjgilbert » Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:17 am

very very cool. can't wait to see some pics of everything together!
Last edited by mattjgilbert on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby DoctorThunder » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:48 pm

Here is Chapter 2 of the Mini Novel. Enjoy.



Chapter Two: Escalation

It occurred to Nui that any “unity” ever shown by the forces of chaos existed only during success. When their enemies were slaughtered and their strongholds overthrown, each of the participating Warlords would claim the lion’s share of the credit, boasting of their martial prowess like pterachickens crowing into the wind.
Now the campaign on Questan was failing, and there was plenty of blame to be thrown around.
“I don’t want to hear about your ammunition shortages,” Cackled the hunched figure of Master Cadencya, Representative of the Dark Mechanicus, the long brass tubes extending from his fingers writhing around on the ground, searching for nutrients. “Even a half-breed would have had sufficient faith in the Dark Gods to overthrow the Secundus Bastion in less then a day. You sat in those trenches for a standard week without success!”
“You dare question me, worm?” roared Warlord Everniha, his white eyes aglow with hate, and black spittle trickling out from the cracks in the stone skin around his mouth. “I will crush the impotent followers of the corpse god. They are sniveling children with bellies full of maggots, and I will show them the true power of Chaos!”
Nui stopped herself from snorting in derision. There was something absurd to her about disrespecting an opponent that the men never seemed to understand. When you portray your enemy as weak and incompetent, and you beat them, it makes your victory seem hollow and effortless. Conversely, if a weak and incompetent enemy were to defeat you, then what would that say about your own skills?
The master of this contradiction, of course, was Abbadon himself, who had managed to be defeated by the “Feeble and Brainless” forces of the Imperium twelve times, all the while parroting his own invincibility. That he had managed to do a dozen times without being turned into chaos spawn is what truly impressed Nui. He was, above all else, a masterful politician.
“We would never have been driven out of Sendicus Hive if the Titanicus had supported us as they swore they would,” Warlord Larkin hissed, his face concealed beneath a cloak due to a particularly horrible mutation.
“Do not pretend to judge me,” Admiral Adonnas screamed back, rapping his cane against the stony ground.
“If they just flapped their arms while they do this the likeness would be uncanny,” Nui whispered to Sergeant Tae as they watched from outside the circle of equals. Her superior silenced her with a glance. They were only one squad among an invasion force of millions, and if the invasion were abandoned their mission could not possibly succeed.
“Sacrifice the plum tree to preserve the peach tree,” Tae said steadily, quoting the 11th stratagem.
“Sacrifice short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal,” Nui said, finishing the catechism. “We must risk a more active role.”
“I approach the edge of the circle and request permission to speak,” Sergeant Tae said as she stepped up to the ring of bones. The Warlords ceased their bickering and turned to look at her, their faces masks of rage and terror, yet she met their gazes fearlessly with her steady jade eyes.
“My Lords, this posturing achieves nothing,” Tae began steadily. “Every moment we spend in this circle our opponents reinforce their positions.”
“You cannot invoke the ancient rites, insect,” Warlord Everniha barked, clenching his stony hands, “only those with standing may address the circle.”
“We can no longer assault enemy fortifications, trusting that victory will come because be are morally superior or have stronger faith,” she continued unbidden. “We no longer possess a numerical advantage. Entice the tiger to leave its mountain lair, so says the 15th stratagem.”
“Silence your bitch or I will silence her myself!” Everniha commanded, pointing a stony finger at Cadencya.
“If you will not hear me,” Tae continued on fearlessly, “Then I envoke the rite of Umot-Hai.”
There were several moments of silence both inside the circle and without. It was Everniha who finally broke the silence with a deep and throbbing laugh. He walked to the edge of the ring, his armor whirring and straining to contain his bulk. Although Sergeant Tae was quite tall at six and a half feet, Everniha absolutely towered over her as he allowed black drops of spittle to fall onto her face and hair.
“I accept, young one,” he said, licking his stone lips with a black tongue. “Who will be your champion?”
“Corporal Nui will represent me in the circle,” Tae responded, tucking her blonde hair back behind her ear.
Nui cursed under her breath as she stepped forward into the circle. With her enhanced hearing she could make out every snort and chuckle of disrespect, every whispered derision, every jestful wager. For the first time, she regretted having enhanced hearing.
Leitenant Tied was selected as Everniha’s champion, and the circle was cleared of all others. Tied was a grey skinned giant of a man, his arms covered with thick slabs of sinuous muscle that ended in hairy gorilla-like fists which gripped a mighty battle axe.
Fire was lit to the circle of bones, and the onlookers grew silent as they waited for the duel to begin.
“Feign madness but keep your balance,” Nui whispered to herself, reciting the 27th stratagem. Slowly she drew her saber and tossed it outside the circle.
“I am Nui and I have no need of a weapon to defeat you,” she shouted aloud. “I have slaughtered the finest warriors on the halfling world of Levan, and I will do the same to you.”
A roar of offense and laughter rippled through the crowd like a wave. Nui watched intently as her opponent loosened his stance and relaxed his muscles. Laughing himself, he tossed his axe out of the circle as well, eliciting a cheer from his comrades.
“Good, already he is already underestimating me,” Nui whispered to herself with a smile.
Actually her feint has been largely pragmatic. Nui knew she couldn’t block the blows of an opponent with so much more upper body strength. Her arms would shatter, so her saber was largely useless to her anyway. Convincing him to discard his weapon, however, was extremely advantageous to her.
Nui dropped her stance and began circling towards her opponent.
Tied wasted no words and charged at Nui, lashing out at her with a series of quick and powerful punches.
Is this guy actually trying to punch me in the face? Nui wondered as she dodged from side to side, allowing his fists to pass by her, jabbing her fingers into his forearms each time they sailed by her. Normally only amateurs would aim for the face. The jawbone is one of the strongest bones in the body, and there was no quicker way of shattering your hand then by punching someone there. The fact that he was trying to do so meant that he was confident that he had the strength to shatter her skull.
Frustrated, Tied stepped forward and punched with his full force. Nui stepped to the side and gripped his forearm tightly when his jab reached maximum extension. She then dropped her weight and used all her strength to push his arm sideways, attempting to throw him off balance, and force him to the ground, where she could then put him in an arm lock and end this fight. Nui had no love of flashy moves or needless theatrics. Secure victory in as few moves as possible. Preferably one.
However, her hopes were dashed as he kept his balance. He was simply too massive for her small frame to push or pull over. Shifting her weight, and releasing his arm, she prepared herself for the second punch from his backhand, which came quick as lightning, aimed right at her face. She took half a step backwards and allowed the massive fist to sail right in front of her, just inches from her face, so close that small droplets of sweat broke free from his hairy arm and splattered across her cheek.
Nui blocked again and grabbed his backhand, pushing herself backwards. Now alongside him, his ribs were exposed to her. She kicked at Tied with her right knee, aiming for the weaker bottom ribs, but he blocked powerfully, smashing his backhand down, hitting her knee.
Nui felt a snap inside her knee and suppressed a cry of pain. She jumped backwards, regaining her balance. A roar of cheering rose up from the spectators, and several bones were thrown out into the circle.
If he would have hit me a little harder he would have snapped it off. Nui realized.
In response to the pain, special organs in her body released stimulants which raced like fire through her bloodstream, speeding up her vision and hearing, and causing her muscles to tremble. The pain in her leg was displaced by aggression.
She charged forward, drawing out cheers from the crowd. She threw out a punch, aimed at his midsection, her hand open like a claw. Tied blocked her attack with his guard hand, and she clamped down tightly onto it. She pushed forward with her legs, and pulled with her arm clamped to his, generating as much force as she possibly could as she struck with her backhand. Tied was caught aback from the speed of her attack, and barely had time to bring up his arm to block her next blow. She used that as an opportunity to grab onto his other arm. With a tight grip on each of his forearms, she brought her legs up for a double kick into his exposed gut.
Tied realized his folly, and flicked his arms forward, breaking her grip and tossing her back away from him, blunting the force of her kick. Tied moaned as Nui used her momentum to roll herself upright. She had hoped her kick would have affected him more than it did.
The crowd roared with laughter, and tossed their runes into the wage-takers buckets as they bet on the outcome. Their laughter was deep and guttural, as if they had just crushed a powerful enemy themselves.
The only warrior not laughing was Everniha, who was watching with concern on his face.
Tied dropped his weight and tried to bring his arms up, but they would not respond. His arms weakly raised half way, and then dropped back down limply. Tied groaned as if shard of pain had entered his brain, and his mouth dropped open with a trail of saliva. He tried to clench his fists, but they barely responded, cramping up into awkward shapes.
Everniha raised his hand and shouted to his lieutenant. “Tied, you trog, you need to be more careful. She’s not blocking you, she’s getting at your pressure points.”
Nui smiled. This was her favorite kind of deception. There were areas of the body that were always vulnerable, no matter how strong you were. Overcoming strength with skill by attacking those weak points is the very foundation of martial arts.
Still, Nui wished that she had the strength to grapple with an ogre like this like her male contemporaries could. She found something very satisfying about defeating an opponent up close.
His defenses down, she charged in for the kill. She came at him sharply, and aimed an arcing high-kick at the ‘sweet spot’ just behind the ear. Tied moved to block, but his cramping muscles would not respond properly, and her kick sailed over his drooping arms. Her kick snapped his head sideways, and she felt the unmistakable sensation of bone cracking as he stumbled sideways.
Nui grabbed his arm and dug her right thumb deeply into the trigger point on the inside of his elbow, forcing his arm to bed upwards towards his face as he hollered in pain. His throat exposed, she lanced out with a spear-handed strike, hitting him directly in the jugular notch. With a sickly tear of wet tissue, she felt the man’s wind pipe collapse on itself and clamp shut, making it impossible for him to get any air.
The crowd went silent in shock as Tied doubled-over, clutching at his neck weakly with cramped and twisted fingers, unable to force air through his injured throat.
Nui plunged her index finger into his right eyeball, piercing the membrane of jelly and through the eye socket, stabbing the soft brain tissue beyond.
She bent her finger and spun it left and right, scrambling the tissues, before pulling her finger out with a pop.
Tied’s body fell to the ground, shivering and twitching. The ring of fire died out, and Nui stepped over the bones as she licked her finger off. She took her place alongside Sergeant Tae without boast or praise passing between them.
Warklord Everniha approached Tae, his body trembling with rage as he awaited her instructions.
“In order to capture, one must let loose,” Tae explained, quoting the 16th Stratagem. “Cornered prey will mount a final desperate attack. To prevent this you let the enemy believe he still has a chance for freedom. His will to fight is thus dampened by his desire to escape. When in the end the freedom is proven a falsehood the enemy's morale will be defeated and he will surrender without a fight.”


Inquisitor Zukovich had many titles. Purgatus of Diaban, Councilor to the Second Circle, Prince of Castil. The one he was most proud of, however, was his first title, given to him after finishing his Accoladitia, Savior of Questan.
He had been the one to discover the secret reign of blood by the Nal’Tret cultists ten decades ago, and began a planet-wide cleansing that ended with the death of the Cult Leader, Zukovich’s master, Inquisitor Fricani.
Zukovich’s superiors were astounded by his determination and ruthlessness, a difficult task in an organization known for zealotry. For his actions Zukovich had been elevated to the second circle, making him the youngest to achieve such an honor in a millennia at the time. Since then he had made oaths and alliances with nearly every other member of the Second Tier, and now his plans focused on discrediting his only remaining rival for Tier Leadership, the beautiful but deadly Inquisitor Janica.
Zukovich snorted as he gazed out of the nearby porthole to the dark skies outside the landing craft. The transition from the blackness of space to the dark blue of high-altitude was spoiled by the grey fog that encircled the planet. Dust and fallout from his nuclear campaign a century ago, still clinging to the air even at the exosphere.
Too bad it was all a lie, he thought to himself.
“We will be landing at Primus Hive in sixteen local minutes,” came the clear tones of his Autosavant Beatrice as she approached him through the flickering torch light.
Zukovich narrowed his eyes.
Although she fulfilled her duties to him, she always found a way of demonstrating her displeasure at conscription. By giving him the ETA in local measure, she forced him to do the conversions in his head, which she knew he despised. As she turned to walk away, her silvery robes skimming just above the rusted surface of the bulkhead, Zukovich decided that he would ensure that she never again felt the microgravity of space.
Zukovich closed the Eyrth tomb he was studying and took a moment to look out the porthole again. As the Savior of Questan, he was, of course, expected to use the private landing pad at the Royal Palace to greet the King personally, but this mission was far too important to waste time on ceremony. This was important enough, in fact, to pull him away from his preparations to eliminate Inquisitor Janica.
The local Commissaratt had reported sacrificial pyres with the markings of Nal’Tret, and Zukovich knew that he could not send anyone else in his place lest they discover the truth.
There had never been a cult of Nal’Tret. It was a fabrication of the greatest scale, and Zukovich marveled that he had been able to pull something off of that magnitude, given his lack of experience at the time. Fricani had threatened to cast Zukovich out of the order. He had underestimated Zukovich’s reaction, however, and that was his last mistake. Zukovich could still feel the trembling resistance as his dagger pierced his master’s wrinkled throat. Hiding the murder among a purge was relatively easy, but initiating the purge itself had been more troublesome. Zukovich had given inordinate sums, nearly his entire coffers, to the Derengot family, who were competing for the throne in exile at the time. He had made them outlandish promises of power and wealth, and they had greedily gobbeled up every lie as if it were the sweetest milk.
Nal’Tret was not the name of any demon in the Grimore. Zukovich had made it up. Hundreds of sacrificial pyres had been created by the damned Derengot’s, and Zukovich wondered if all that energy had simply dissipated, or if it had coalesced into a conscious entity. That there might actually now be a minor Demon named Nal’Tret was ironic beyond measure, and Zukovich chuckled out loud at the thought.
Zukovich silenced him self, cursing his slipping control in his old age. In his younger years he would never have allowed himself to display his emotions openly, and he looked around furtively to see if any of his staff had noticed.
Zukovich had managed to break through the defenses of the frozen head of his master’s Lexmechanic, and had planted the necessary evidence to implicate his master. The final step had been, of course, to execute the entire Derengot family as cult leaders, a task Zukovich took with great pleasure, then sit back and watch as the hives burned white hot with cleansing fire.
One hundred billion lives were lost that day. One hundred billion lives to ensure that Zukovich remained in the order and set him on the road to further power. He considered it a bargain at the time, and he knew that he had sacrificed far more for far less gain in the century since then.
His life’s work was like a perfectly assembled house of cards. Each card perfectly balanced against its mate. Each level perfectly settled upon the foundation of the former. It was a marvel for him to ponder. His structure of glory. His path to immortality. Only now something threatened to jostle the very foundation upon which it was built, and that demanded his attention.
Zukovich sat back and collected his thoughts, analyzing the possible scenarios for Nal’Tret pyres to be created. Scenario one: a group of malcontents had discovered historical evidence that had escaped the purge and were simply copying the rituals. He found this scenario unlikely, as the data purge had been quite thorough, and there were far more effective ways to show discontent. Scenario two: a true chaos cult had formed on the world and coincidentally used the same ceremonies. He also doubted this possibility, as demonic entities are obsessively specific on how the are to be appeased and worshipped, and no two demons have ever been known to use the same ceremonies. Then again, these are the gods of chaos, after all. Scenario three: Someone knew that there had never been a cult of Nal’Tret and was baiting Zukovich into a trap. He found this scenario the most disturbing by far. He wondered if it was merely his paranoia acting up again, or if it was a dark premonition.
Zukovich breathed deeply and pulled a needle from his sleeve. There were too many questions that needed answering. Too many possibilities for ambush. He needed his mind to be clear. He plunged the needle into his neck and sighed audibly as the powerful narcotics raced through his system.
The first step to avoid a trap was to know of its existence, and whoever was behind this, Zukovich swore that he would make them pay for threatening his perfect house of cards.
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DoctorThunder
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Postby DoctorThunder » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:26 am

Okay, the Venerable Dreadnaught is all painted and assembled. Big Kudos to my buddy titan136 for his awesome paint job on the Dread.

LA Games Day August 23rd is when I'll be taking these ladies to a tournament for the first time, so hopefully I can get everything done by then. Still got a bunch of ladies in power armor that need to be finished before then.

As always, click on a thumbnail to see a larger pic.

Enjoy

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Postby chromedog » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:07 pm

Nice Dreadnought, DT.

Now that I've seen the Robogear spider legs in person, I applaud your choice. They are a nice look, to differentiate this warmachine from the usual walking coffin.

Like your speeder bikes, too. Nice and "star wars-y" (I mean that as a compliment. My own scout bikers are riding jetbikes with a similar styling).

I've just picked up a "starter set" of Robogear - comprising 8 of the gears, 20 infantry, a small Hexagon set and 7 Humbrol acrylic pots (all for under $30 Aus), and am already contemplating what I can use various bits as.

Keep it up.
That is not dead which can eternal lie

and yet, with strange aeons, even death may die
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Postby DoctorThunder » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:47 am

Got a big update for you guys today. We’re just days away from the Los Angeles Games Day, and there are just a few models left to go. This is crunch time, let’s just pray nothing goes wrong. I’ll be posting up full army pics in a couple of days. I think you guys are going to like the objective markers for the army.

Here are some squad shots amongst terrain, including the nearly-done scouts.
Just click on a thumbnail to see a larger pic.

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Here are the individual models. The flash washed out some of their faces, but they are otherwise good pics.
Keep an eye out for a lot of subtle kanji work done on the robes and armor.
Just click on a thumbnail to see a larger pic.

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