Author Topic: The Shield of Tyranny  (Read 1373 times)

Offline Dolnikan

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The Shield of Tyranny
« on: August 24, 2012, 11:13:54 PM »
Donaris was far from alone when she awoke, she half sat, half lay in a room which was filled to the brim with all sorts of people. The only thing that they had in common was that they wore bad clothing. Donaris tried to recall where she was and how she got there. She remembered at once, she had been walking home from her work in the factory, she had taken a shortcut, hoping to evade the masses which returned from their shifts. Unfortunately it was the property of one of the other factories. The security guards had caught her, that had happened before, but this time it was different. Instead of the usual beating she was taken to the watch station. There she had been bound and taken elsewhere, a place which she didn’t know. This place, she had been thrown in this room when it was much emptier and had eventually fallen asleep.

She looked over them, she recognized no one. Then the doors on the far side of the room opened and a man dressed in a green uniform. His head was bare, he had a dark skin, something Donaris had never seen before, maybe he was a mutant? The man spoke:  “My name is warrant officer Gubai of the Shield of Tyranny, a proud warship in our most Holy Emperor’s navy, and Battlefleet Pacificus in particular. You are from now on members of its crew. You will do your duty and obey orders.”

A man rose up and shouted: “You can’t do this, we are citizens of this hive, you can’t simply drag us from our homes, I have a family, children I look after.”

The warrant officer gave some sort of signal and a dozen men dressed in shining black armour marched into the room, carrying shotguns. One of the walked up to the man who had protested and struck him with his weapon. It made a sickening noise, like a hammer hitting a rat. The man fell backwards and Donaris saw his face, it was a mask of blood, pieces of bone were visible as was some sort of light brown thing she didn’t recognize. People stepped away from the man, cowed by the display of brutality.

The people were driven outside of the room and into a hallway. It looked clean and well-maintained, like a newly built hab-block but more purposeful. Other groups were driven into the hallway from other holding areas, everything was done with what seemed like planning, although the mass of humanity was a pure chaos. The people were silent, but she heard the cracking of whips in front and behind her. She reached a large room, much of which was occupied by a massive metal structure. Donaris had no idea what it was, she could see some sort of vents attached to it, with burnt ends and there was an opening through which the people entered the thing, marching up some sort of ramp. The structure stood on thin pillars of metal and was painted green, but the paint was charred.

Donaris was arched inside as well, the outside wall was thick and she could see heavy bolts which could hold the ramp closed. Then she understood, she had heard about the Imperial Navy, whose ships crossed the stars destroying His enemies. This must be one of their massive vessels which they used to make war. The mass was driven into a large room. The armoured men had left them there, they were alone now. Donaris looked over the mass, and up and down where more floors could be seen, separated by rosters of steel. There must have been thousands stuffed in there. The doors closed, being locked in place. Donaris heard a terrible noise and could feel movement. Many people started screaming, fearing a hivequake or worse, a full collapse. The structure however remained intact, like Donaris had expected.

The motions became stronger, many were sick and nearly everyone was in terror. Some people started to chant hymns, and soon more and more joined in, seeking refuge in their familiar faith. “O divine Lord and Emperor, bless us with your light, protect us from the terrors of the dark, shield us from danger. We are yours, we serve and obey. Lead us, we are your slaves.”

They kept chanting until the droning noise had drowned out all other sounds. It went on for hours, maybe longer, maybe shorter as Donaris lost all sense of time. She slept again for a short while, leaning to a pillar going through the many layers of the hold. When she awoke the chant still lasted, but it was weaker, many had fallen asleep or lost their voice. Then there was another banging noise.
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Shield of Tyranny
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2012, 04:42:15 PM »
The doors unlocked again. Some of the warriors stood in the opening, keeping their weapons trained on the crowd. One of them shouted with a enhanced voice: “Move!”

They stepped aside and slowly the mass started shambling out of the hold. Many had bruises from the rough flight. Donaris was somewhere in the middle of them. They left the craft and entered a room almost the size of the one they had left from, but there were many differences. This room was different in many regards however. The metal was new, the seal of the Mechanicus was visible in many places and there were people everywhere, cleaning and doing all sorts of work. She saw supervisors carrying whips and many pieces of arcane technology. An impeccably dressed man appeared before them. He again wore a green uniform, this time decorated with gold. He had an air of importance and was surrounded by heavily armed men, behind him came a group of people carrying whips and bearing many scars.

The man ignored the many people around him, like the aristocrats in the hive did when they passed by the hivers. One of the man’s companions shouted: “Form up, ten deep, and be quick about it!”

Donaris did as she was told, hurrying to take a place. After a few frantic moments where she again heard the cracking of the whips she ended up standing almost directly in front of the man in charge. The shouter said something to him and then he started to speak, his voice betraying his loathing for those assembled before him. He said: “This is the Shield of Tyranny, a cruiser with nineteen centuries of service to Him on Earth. From this moment onwards you are part of her crew. You will show respect to your superiors and obey every order to the letter and without hesitation. It is irrelevant to who you answered before, now your supreme authority is captain Flavius Vipsanius, decorated hero of the Imperium. Do your duty to bring further glory to the ship, fail to do so and you will be punished. You will be assigned your divisions, may the Emperor be with us!”

The moment the man fell silent the whip-bearing brutes approached the mass. Many were frightened, but none dared to even mutter a prayer. One of them stopped almost directly in front of Donaris. The woman’s face was obviously been scarred by fire and her mouth had been replaced by a crude bionic, the edges of the skin around it were obviously inflamed. She indicated between Donaris and the man next to her and her metallic voice boomed out: “You, maggots, come with me!”

Donaris looked to her right and saw other groups of walking off with their overseer. She followed the boy to her right, he could have been no older than thirteen. He was crying and said softly through his tears: “Emperor forgive me, please, let this stop.”

Donaris heard a cracking sound and suddenly the boy fell, a brutal gash in his face. The metallic voice boomed again: “Silence!”

Donaris helped the boy back to his feet, looking into his tear-filled eyes. Blood ran over his face. She wanted to do something to encourage him but the sight of his mauled face only filled her with horror and hate. She pushed him and he walked again before the attention of the brutal woman again.
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Shield of Tyranny
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 03:32:29 PM »
The group was driven through hallways and up and down stairs for what seemed like hours. On their way a man had fallen, he had been whipped but did not stand up again, he only cried and sobbed. The group was made to move on. Soon the noise of the machinery drowned out his cries. Donaris saw rats running in the edge of her vision when she heard noise and all around her speakers transmitted the words of a preacher, preaching in a language which she recognized as High Gothic despite hardly understanding it.

At last the group reached a vast gallery, everything here seemed new, and Donaris saw many more people being driven there. Her view was dominated by a massive machine, it towered over her, and on top of it was something that seemed to be a huge tube going through the side of the room. The overseer shouted: “Stop!”

The whole group did, looking around. In front of the machine another group of wretches was assembled, they were a small group, maybe fifty filthy men and women. Two more overseers stoop with them, and several other groups were driven in as well. On a small balcony Donaris could also see a pair of red-robed adepts of the Machine cult and another man in a uniform. He hit a button and started to speak: “Welcome, welcome to gun six of the starboard lower deck gun battery. It has not yet been granted a name, but its predecessor was a noble weapon, dubbed Vox Imperatori for its centuries of loyal service. You will be the first generation of this weapon’s crew, honour it with your every deed and one day you might rise above your station, elevated to the trusted crew. Do your duty for your Emperor, and pray, he will keep you safe.”

The new gun crew looked around in confusion, not even daring to speak. Then a slightly overweight man with a pair of mechanical legs approached them. He said: “Fyrton has given you his speech then, well, he is mostly correct. I am Ymghul, and am one of the trusted crew. I have served aboard this ship for seven years already, and I can tell you, that is long for a rating. I want to tell you a few things, firstly, be obedient, the Emperor’s Most Glorious Navy enforces its discipline strictly. Second, don’t stray from the gun, this is your home, the rest of the ship does not want you there. And third, if you know what is good for you, you will be nice to Ymghul, and Ymghul will be nice to you. I have connections throughout the ship, but for my services I of course want payment, and you will have to find that payment yourself.
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Shield of Tyranny
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 03:11:08 PM »
Hours later all the new ratings sat together, the older crewmen still formed a separate group. It was hot on the deck, and Donaris was hungry, and thirsty. There wasn’t any sign of where they could find sustenance, or even where they could sleep. People were talking about home, and how much they missed it, or they were praying to be saved from this hell. Many had already soiled themselves, much to the amusement of the long timers. They were crying, begging to be forgiven their many crimes, to be released.

Donaris looked up to the ceiling, it was covered with scripture, which she recognized from the local chapel, only the decorations were much richer. The writing was surrounded by leering skulls and other symbolism of Imperial Dominion. She knew that she had to find solace in them, but at this moment she only saw them as oppressive and frightening. What had she ever done to deserve this? Why did the Emperor take her from her home like this, to be put here in this hot, empty place? She realized that the Imperium needed its subjects, but not in this way.

Suddenly the overseers came back to them, driving the whole group towards the weapon. The mechanical voice of her own overseer boomed again: “Get moving, grab those ropes!”

Donaris looked around and saw ropes hanging from the gun, which were already grasped by the old ratings. She followed their example, narrowly avoiding the whip. The voice boomed again: “Pull!”

It was heavier than she had expected, even with hundreds of people pulling the ropes the massive weapon hardly moved. The command came again and again the ratings pulled, moving the gun again. Those who didn’t pull in time suffered the whip again. After three more pulls a man fell, but before he could get out of the way the command came again. The people in front of him hesitated. Another overseer shouted at them: “Keep moving, never stop until given the command!”

When they didn’t immediately move the whip was there again, but the fallen man got out of the way. He stood up and took his place again. Fyrton’s voice sounded again: “Get back to work, you are losing us seconds. Half rations for your section, Theril!”

Eventually the pulling stopped. Donaris looked up and saw that the cannon was at the other side of the room now. A little later the order to pull came again. This time the weapon moved in the opposite direction. When it was on the other side of the room again the old timers ran away and ducked. Donaris didn’t understand but she followed their example, hiding behind ridges. The few who remained on their place, grasping for breath, were thrown to the ground.
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.