Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Attention Part 3 - Short Story

Verdant's World.

A beautiful world, where nature and technology blends together in perhaps one of the more beautiful worlds of the Imperium. The world's oddly toxic ground atmosphere is such that humans are forced to live upon great trees that extends itself towards the strastosphere, each housing a major human settlement, with the largest trees housing several human settlements. Other than that, it is as imperially law-abiding as any Imperial world can ask for.

A world that Vespera had chosen for her next realspace raid, and the world she chose primarily for its extensive communications array that could support whatever it is that is within Faolchu, the messenger-thing that had her Kabal even planning this invasion. How the name Faolchu came about, she never really knew but before long every Kabalite in her Kabal is calling the messenger-thing Faolchu. Clad in her elaborately-crafted ghostplate armor and her custom-made phantasm grenade launchers, she looked upon the world as a place that is just too bright for her, however due to its rather peculiar triad of suns the planet is always lit up. This also poses a challenge for her Kabal, for daylight often means that the defenders would be able to mount a more comprehensive defense and obliterate her forces.

This forced her to take a more insidious route to the planet. Using a small craft, she would infiltrate a small group of her finest Kabalites into the heart of the largest tree settlement and from there on, she would deploy several of her portable webway portals, allowing her forces to bypass the planetary defenses and wreak havoc immediately in the interior of the largest settlement, the cluster of settlements named Verdant's Heart.

If there is a webway portal linked upon this world, she would not have to make such preparations but alas this world is apparently not linked to the webway. For some reason, Vespera seeks to see the message by herself, and thus she will be joining her infiltration squad with Faolchu in tow.

Alas, at the hangar of her flagship, The Venom's Pleasure, her personalized raider is preparing itself to be launched into a small webway portal that will be opened once they have send the other end of the webway portal, which is mounted upon a missile enters into the planet. Only the best are chosen to partake in this endeavor and indeed, Vespera's retinue is indeed the best in her Kabal. Consist of nine of her handmaidens, Faolchu and herself, it should be enough.

"Is everything ready?" Vespera asked, while she wears her helm.
"The launch of the Webway missile will commence at your command." Selendra, the leader of her pretinue answers her mistress' inquiry. Selendra's helmet is almost faceless safe that of a single visor on her left eye.
"Launch it now, and open the webway portal in front of us once the webway's position is near the settlement."
"Yes Milady. Launch the webway portal missile now!"

As they waited for the webway missile to reach into the atmosphere of the planet, Vespera is wondering what message awaits inside Faochu. Faochu's insistence to mutter is thwarted by the sole fact that its mouth is clamped with a visor which prevents any sound from coming out. Soon enough, one of the Kabalites in the hangar shouts out that the webway portal is already deployed in the planet.

Immediately in front of the Raider, a coruscating energy of darkness opens up to reveal a dark electrical eye. The Raider's thrusters begin to flare in earnest and before long, the raider passes into the webway. As the raider enters into the portal, Vespera prepares to shield her eyes, to avoid the blinding light of entering into the webway portal. As they transverse inside the portal, Vespera can only guess as to how they will be able to hook up Faolchu upon the communication systems of the Mon-keigh. The travel inside the poral only last about 10 seconds.

As they emerged out from the exit of the portal, Vespera and her retinue are blinded by the searing light of day, but as soon as their eyes adjusted themselves, a large tree as large as any spire upon Commorragh came into view. It is a tree as ancient as time itself, and indeed the tree is the host of many other plant-life, clinging upon the large tree like worms upon the dead. Despite the magnificence before her eyes, Vespera is not too interested. Instead her eyes are looking out for something that is not organic in nature, and soon enough amongst the vines and ferns perched upon the tree, she saw what looked like a small hangar.

"Through there." The Raider pilot flies the Raider towards the hangar. When they entered into the hangar, they noticed that this hangar is akin to skimmer parking lot for some unfortunate peasant. As soon as they can see solid ground, most of her handmaidens jumped out from the raider, and prepared to move at speed. Vespera waits for a little while longer until the raider comes to a standstill before she walks down from the Raider, with the messenger-thing following behind her.

She could see that the peasant's residence is more akin to that of a thing that the humans calls a farm, and she can see several lifestock and other animals which suggested that agriculture is the primary income of this particular peasant. As she walked towards the small house at the end of the hangar, she could already see that her handmaidens are already hard at work. Overwhelming pressure can be seen everywhere as several mutilated bodies of mon-keigh litters her path.

"I want at least one of them alive mind you." Vespera speaks into her communication link which is shared among all her handmaidens.
"Yes Milady." Selendra's husky voice could be heard in Vespera's link.

As vespera pushed the door of the little cottage gently, she could hear minute sounds of sobbing and crying and as she walked deeper into the cottage, she could see that there are signs of struggle. The smell of mon-keigh blood is interlaced with some Eldar blood, which she finds rather odd, as a peasant could never hope to match her handmaidens in combat. She would find out what is going on.

Vespera enters into the food preparatory area of the mon-keigh and she could see that all her handmaidens are still alive though one of them had is bleeding from her hands. Her handmaidens are encircling several mon-keighs, which are now sitting down on the floor. She could see that some of the mon-keigh are younglings, and a rather old mon-keigh, with a rather wrinkled face and white hair, with an all too familiar look that she recognized with her battle with the mon-keighs. And indeed she could see why; a Mon-keigh is lying face-down in a puddle of its own blood, and from the looks of it, it is Selendra's handiwork.

Selendra always love to eviscerates the face, Vespera notes in her mind. She then started to speak to the Mon-keighs.

"So mon-keigh, I would assume that you are the one who managed to hurt one of my servants." Vespera speaks to the old one in his language with indifference, as she looked around the food prepatory station for these peasants. Apparently, they are having a meal as her handmaidens entered in unannounced. The old mon-keigh looked at her with eyes borned out of hate and disgust.

"Aww, come on now mon-keigh. I took the time to talk to you in your tongue. At least take that as a sign of my respect, old one." Vespera then looked upon the old one, and she could see that the little ones are very fearful of her, in fact one is now crying out loud. Her handmaidens are really enjoying this, for the little one's pain and suffering is even now invigorating them. In fact, vespera could see one of her handmaiden's eyes is filled with such bloodlust that if Vespera did not asked for Selendra to keep a few alive, that handmaiden would already slaughtered them.

"What do you want, you xeno scum?" The old one speaks, unsure, but defiant.
"Answer me correctly, and I will let you and your young ones live. Answer me wrongly, and you know what we can do to you." The old one looks at the dead one, and from his mannerism Vespera can see that perhaps the dead one and old one are related by blood, and indeed some of the young ones are looking still at the dead one with so much shock.
"What do you want to know? I am afraid I have nothing much to offer...." The old one is cautious, but nonetheless trying to cooperate in order to save his younglings.
"Let's start with a simple question first shall we? Is the dead one the...what is it called....Oh yes, father of the young ones?" The youngest one began to cry even more than before, and the others are now very much affected by the wailing of the youngest one.
"I will be the one asking the questions here, Mon-Keigh. Now....second question. Are you an Imperial Guardsmen?"
"No I am not."
"Then what are you? You are a very bad liar....I can see a fighting man in you. Selandra, uial Mon-Keighnash." Immediately Selandra proceeds to take the crying young one away, and the others are immediately alarmed and tried to take back the youngest one. The old one is now very much affected by this, and indeed his rather calm voice have become a little more aggressive.
"What are you doing? GIVE HER BACK!!!" Vespera has nothing but a chuckle at his plight. Vespera then pulls one of the chairs and proceed to sit on it. The other hand maidens are now laughing along, seeing that this is indeed very entertaining.

However interesting this may be, but nonetheless Vespera would need to have some solid information as fast as she could.

"Not too comfortable, but it will do. Now mon-keigh, remember what I said? Now, choose your words wisely. Selandra, lig an ceann beag ag fulaingt ar mo gceannas. Now again, I ask you; are you an Imperial Guardsmen? I know one when I see it." Selendra takes her agoniser and coils it around the little one's neck. The other handmaidens are now laughing even louder, their dark laughter only aggravating the mon-keighs. Selendra did not power up her agoniser, but instead puts the little one on the table, and holds the other end of the agoniser with her other arm..

"Lig sé ag fulaingt." As Vespera gives the command, Selendra lifts the little one up, and as her other arm holds on to the agoniser, the little one is now struggling, as the inactive agoniser now functions as a noose. The young one struggles as air slowly escapes from its little lungs.

"STOP! I used to be PDF." The old one speaks, knowing full well that Vespera is not playing around with him. Vespera then gives the command to Selendra to not hang the little one and soon enough, Selandra then relaxes the tension and with a loud gasp, the little one breathe in deeply, coughing as it takes in all the air.

"There you go. That is not so hard isn't it mon-keigh? These are simple questions I am asking you. It would not be nice to see your young ones dying just because of your stubbornness right? Now onwards to the third question; is your communications linked with the rest of this tree settlement?" Vespera's attics with the young one keeps her handmaiden's morale high, while also allowing the mon-keighs to work more willingly with her.

"Yes." The Mon-keigh is now almost subservient to her questions.
"Good. link up Faolchu." Vespera intentionally speaks in the mon-keigh's tongue to her handmaidens. Slowly but surely, the rest of the handmaidens link up Faolchu to the Imperial communications line. Soon enough, from the back of Faolchu, the large platform from the messenger-thing's back begin to transmit a hologram of a rather fine specimen of an Archon, clad in his finest wargear, cloak and all. With his horned helm, he looks nothing short of intimidating. But then the archon take his helm off, and as his rather stunning features are revealed, his silvery long hair flows out from his helmet in a graceful manner. His iris are jade green,however where there should be white in his eyes, there is only black.

"Ah, Lady Vespera. I am truly sorry that you are unable to see me in my more peaceful but no less stunning garb, for I am now in my own realspace raid. seems that you are actually on a mon-keigh world, using their line. Very smart, and I expect something like that from you. You smart woman." The voice of the Archon is indeed as charming and smooth as silk, with the robustness of oil, and his mannerism is indeed something to be applauded at.

"Lord Huelar Ranisold I presume."
"I am touched that you know of me. I am truly honored."
"So, you are communicating with me in real-time. How charming." The mon-keigh are apparently unable to comprehend what they are saying, and indeed she is rather amused by the idea that these mon-keigh will never learn that Gothic is a crude language as compared to her own tongue.
"That I am. I prefer this over the Scourges, and hence that is why I send forth the messenger to you. Of course, I have made sure that only you will get this message, and only you. I have positioned my Kabalites at the place to see that only your Kabalites would take it. You have no idea how many Kabalites, Hellions, and other elements of Commorragh that I have to kill for them to not touch the messenger." Ranisold takes a glass from one of his servants and drinks the liquid within.
" So what do you seek from this? You tried to assassinate me before." Vespera speaks back with venom in her voice.
"Assassinate? The kroot's purpose is just to draw your attention to me. Now that your attention is now upon me, I will be asking you for one thing only; Will you go out and dine with me?"

Vespera is now rather confused with the sudden turn of events. A invitation to dine with Lord Ranisold? Indeed, this is a rather bad way to ask for a dinner. Vespera turned around to see that her handmaidens are also looking at her with some measure of uncertainty. She turned back to Lord Ranisold.

"Is this some kind of joke?"
"Why would I want to joke about that?" Lord Ranisold's expression is somewhat coy, but also very flirtatious.
"You expect that I will just dine with you after all that?" Vespera asked.
"Well, not exactly. But nonetheless now that you are talking to me, you would already realize one thing; have you noticed that all the power are already cut save that of this communication line?" Vespera immediately look around, and she noticed that the room is actually rather dark now.
" see Milady, this messenger is indeed laced with a tecno-virus of my own devising which shuts down every electronical and communications of a planet as long as one hooks it directly into the line itself. Here is my gift to you, and perhaps a reconciliatory gift; a planet. I know you love planets with a high population and I delivered you a world just like that." Vespera then looks at Selendra, and with a simple gesture that only Selendra understands, she had given the commands as to their next course of action.
"You have not earned my trust yet."
"But of course Milady. Come to my stronghold at your own convinience. While then, I bid you farewell and enjoy the hunt." Huelar bows down, like a true gentleman before the hologram fades away.


Rikkard looks upon the xenos, uncertain as to what is going on. The Xenos leader, a fine specimen of her kind is talking to another xeno via an abberation that is truly unholy. His grandchildren are all as fearful as he is, and he turns to see that his youngest granddaughter, Anna is still in the hands of one of the Xenos. The house have turned rather dark a few moments ago, but he attributed it to the fact that that unholy monster is sucking all the energy in order for the Xenos to communicate with each other.

Suddenly, the Xenos leaves the room one by one, and the one who almost strangled his granddaughter unties the whip-like weapon from her neck and passed Anna back to his arm. What is the meaning of this? Didn't they one second ago put them through a harrowing experience? What changed their heart? Soon enough the Xenos leader gets up from her chair, and turns around, her helmet's visor glows with unholy, coruscating energy as she looked at him.

"Mon-Keigh, you and your little ones are now my property. Move it. "


As the invasion of Verdant's World begin in earnest, Vespera sees from afar the destruction of this world. With her handmaidens and the mon-keigh family in tow, she inhales the suffering of the entire world, and savor the moment. But that does not take the fact that Lord Ranisold is really getting on her nerves. Once she have dropped the mon-keigh family upon her flagship, she would join in the wholesale slaughter just to vent out her anger.

It was then she though, maybe she should go to his stronghold and give Ranisold a piece of her mind, or to be exact, a piece of her agoniser.

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