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Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k

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1 Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k on Fri May 08, 2015 9:59 pm

This is a story I started working on a couple of months ago.  Now, I'd like to post it here to get some feedback on how I can improve my writing.  Note that this is a pseudo-fanfic, and a first draft.  Hope you enjoy.

Amidst the associated noises of machinery and industry permeating the camp from the workshop and heavy metal music blaring from the fungus bar, it was the soft melody coming from above that caught the attention of the orbot in the crowd of orks.

...Fly me to the moon,
Let me play among the stars...

It climbed up the mountain of scrap metal following the song.  At the summit was an elf staring up at the night sky in awe of the rain of shooting stars, her red hair flowing in the wind.  “Myrrth...”  She jumped to her feet in an instant while her hand tore the metal cylinder from its holster.  The red beam had already activated before she saw who disturbed her.

“Damn it Vick!  Don't sneak up on me like that.”  She deactivated the blade and switched off the radio lying on top of the heap.  “What are you needing?”

“MekTop is sending a scavenging party, and wanted you to lead one of them.  A lot of debris is coming from the battle overhead and some of it's surviving reentry.”

“Whoa!?!  Really?”  Myrrth looked back to the sky with renewed interest.  “Visitors... to this world.  Can you recognize any of the ships?”

The orbot's vision magnified.  “I can only identify one of the vessels.  Astartes Battle Barge;  iconography indicates Black Templars.”

“Let's go Vick.  I've always wanted to meet a Black Templar.”  Myrrth leapt into the air using her jet pack.  A pack of orks assembled around the area Myrrth finished her controlled descent.  All of them carried flamethrowers and welding masks.  The biggest of them was chomping on a half-done cigar as it approached.  “Da boss's gone.  Zaid there's a promizing pile of flaming scrap nearby.  Told you'ze was gonin to lead our group.”

“Alright, everyone pack up.  Let's get some loot.” After a hearty scream, the orks headed to the vehicle pool.  Vick had just arrived when Myrrth started walking to her cabin.  “Vick, I want you to with us on this.”

Myrrth stepped inside her cabin when Vick replied, “Certainly.  Which pack are we heading out with?”

“Sporkplug and his burnas.”  She emerged wearing a flight helmet and a Vindicator rifle.  “Let me know when you're past the area.”  Myrrth fired up her jet pack and blasted off into the night sky.

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2 Re: Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k on Sun May 10, 2015 11:53 am

Blasting through the night sky, Myrrth surveyed the ground below for any fires.  It had been close to an hour since they left the wreckage that Sporkplug had mentioned.  It turned out to be the remnants of an escape ship full of dead Sangheili.  They looted the bodies and stripped circuit boards, power relays, and one of the orks tore the joystick out of the floorboard.  The rest of it would have to wait for the hull to cool down.

A flare-up in the night vision alerted her to a nearby wreck.  She landed on a hill of cubed garbage close to the resting spot.  Vindicator was readied to fire as Myrrth searched the area with normal vision.  When the immediate vicinity was deemed to be clear, she proceeded onto the wreckage with her rifle snug against the shoulder.

She saw that the opening was as tall and wide as the ship.  The bits of jagged hull that remained was bent outwards.  After a quick glance behind, Myrrth boosted up seven decks.  Nearby sign on the bulkhead told her that she was close to the aft portion of the vessel.  “Sporker, I found a bigger prize than the previous one.  Looks to be frigate-sized, and a lot of it managed to survive reentry.  How far away are you?”

“Good wayz out.  The trukk's headed to pot-marked terrain. Lots o' craterz comin'.”

“Just look for the ditch when you're close enough.  It stretches on for at least a kilometre or two.”  She turned to explore the wreckage.  Myrrth cleared every room she across on her quest to find the officer's quarters.  It was two decks down where she found a battle repair station.  She was able to find the schematics despite the toiletries and foodstuff that was carelessly piled up around it.

Minutes passed as she scrutinized the layout.  She flipped between the panes comparing the location of rooms against her memory.  “Elven-constructed ship, written elvish on the walls, but not following any elven nomenclature I know of.  Maybe Ryzian; no, can't be.  Those closet-Slaaneshites don't know the meaning of work.  Possibly a new Hyl...”

The noise of sliding blades came from the door.  Myrrth reflexively grabbed her rifle and spun around.  A visible distortion clanked against the side of the rifle and was deflected off to the side.  She unleashed two bursts of fire at the center of the distortion.  Green blood spurted out as the blur wavered; revealing a tall bare-chested creature.  Before it could attack again, a hail of shots erupted from the hallway and dropped it.

“Hey Myrrth, what took you so long?” the new arrival asked as he lowered the pistols.

“Luggar, what are you doing here?”

“Meeting new friends,” Luggar replied.  He shifted his rust-colored poncho to holster his pistols back on the bandoleers that criss-crossed his chest.  The helmet came off, showing his black skin and white hair,  before he continued, “This Yuatja was tailing me since I stepped onboard.  He was distracted by the noise you were making in here.  So, I assume you were memorizing the layout.”

“Yeah, but it's weird.”  Myrrth took the plasma caster off of the corpse, and handed it to Luggar.  “Can that integrate with the pack?”

“Let me see.”  He tinkered with the jet pack after Myrrth turned around.  “Know where to go for the captain's loot?”

“Tier 3, Frame 330, in the Noble's Quarters.  This is a weird setup for a Kingdom warship.  I truly have to wonder who came up with such an ugly design.”  There was the sound of static hissing followed by the plasma caster powering up.

“Done.  Although it looks like there's another empty slot for second caster weapon.”

“Wouldn't surprise me; Syrneth were overly imaginative when it came to packing their equipment with as many weapons as they could.”  Myrrth moved past her friend and back into the hallway.  “Aren't you going to take the active camo?” Luggar asked.

“Got one from their pet experiments.”  With that, Luggar whipped out a phaser and disintegrated the body.  As he trailed behind Myrrth, he made sure to lower the settings on that pistol.

“Where to first? Comms, or the Captain's suite?”

“Common Mess; from there it's easy to reach both,” Myrrth replied.  She tapped her wrist to bring up the omni-tool, and selected the shield option.  With the hardlight springing into existence, the beam weapon also came out and was activated.

They went down the hall and up a few flight of stairs quickly.  An enormous hole was their destination with roaring flames from outside illuminating the area.  The edges of the missing half-sphere were charred and some were still drooping.  Luggar inspected the hole.  “One deck above, looks like six below.  Two, maybe three, living areas.  All of it exposed to space.”

“Explains the lack of crew; especially if it was an alpha strike situation.”  She hopped over the expanse to nearly collide into one of the tables.  After looking the table over, along a few others and some chairs, Myrrth yelled, “Hey Luggar, do this set look familiar to you?”

“Yeah, I guess.”  Myrrth spun around to look at him.  Luggar scratched the back of his head with a pistol while also trying to look away.  “I know you're glaring at me under that helmet.  Look, it's been years since I left Commorragh or taken part in one of my people's infamous raids.  If I had to guess, I'd say Imperium.”

“The Imperium of Man?  How could this be?  It's only been ten years since the Portal Relay 314 Incident.”

Luggar laughed a little.  “314; oh yeah, I remember that event from the historical archives.  That was a defining moment.”

“Historical archives?”  She shook her head as she fell back into a seat.  Luggar worked himself around the precipice while she recovered.  “I will just to work it out when this is over.  Ready to go?”

“Lead the way.”  Myrrth marched to the nearest hatch, and re-energized her armament.  A stab to both hinges and the handle, then she was able to rip it from the seal.  Luggar went to secure the space beyond.  The beam sword was switched off so Myrrth could contact the others.  “Sporkplug, how far away are you?”

Static was her only response.  “Vick!”  An explosion over the channel caused her to yank the helmet off in pain.  Turning off the shield, the omni-tool was used to trace the signal and it gave the orbot's location.  When Luggar returned, he was instructed to hold that spot.  The jet pack flared up, and Myrrth was off again.

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3 Re: Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k on Mon May 11, 2015 1:24 pm

Vick's internal chronometer indicated that twenty minutes had passed since conversation ceased with Myrrth. The terrain had slowed down the trukk far more than Sporkplug stated. Where other parts of the surface carry organized rows of pyramids constructed of cubed garbage, here the work of old trashbots long gone lie scattered and collapsed. Adding to the problems are the frequent craters from weapons test that the orks conducted over the centuries.

It had been close to a millennium since the Star Kingdom of Hyrule abandoned this world they designated as their dumping ground. The machines left behind continued the work and disposing the trash into the system's smaller star. Vick piloted a collector ship for the many years of cleanup. This pattern repeated again and again as maintenance cycles were missed until many of the machines were reassigned and reprogrammed for that role. Their skills were nothing compared to the elves who used to work on them. The situation became worse when the controlling machine, Ractor, started to malfunction. Repair was underway when one of the robots replaced the power supply with the decaying fuel rods of an old nuclear warhead. Ractor's protocols were warped, and it ordered the machines it controlled to ruin the planet even more. Vick, returning from a run, fought against Ractor and his new army. Only with the arrival of three regiments from the Tevinter Imperium did Vick manage to thwart the mad machine. Afterwards, the Imperium decided not to claim the conquered sphere as their territory; and soon left them alone. The cycle of cleanup continued onwards even as more and more robots broke down or, otherwise, ceased to function. Vick made constant trips to the star for a half-dozen centuries until ork ships came through the relay and destroyed his boat. They landed on the worlds and, in their typical manner, busted up any remaining machines in their search for a fight.

A punch to its shoulder ball got Vick's attention. “Bot-thing, we'ze reached the trench worm-lady waz talking 'bout. How'z far iz the ship?”, Sporkplug asked.

Vision magnifiers kicked in when it peered over the roof. The gouge left by the ship's impact was a long, but shallow line. Rangefinders in Vick's optics stated that end of the line was ten kilometers with a flaming hill of tires at another two behind it. “If I had to guess, fifteen to twenty kilometers away.”

The trukk raced forward after Sporkplug slugged the driver in the back of the head. Howls of glee erupted from the rest of the orks. Welding masks slid down into place. Blue fire was ignited on their flamers.

A muzzle blast from nearby drowned out the noises of the crew. Dirt exploded upwards behind the trukk. Vick's quick reaction managed to block most of the chunks of shrapnel from killing the crew. The ork next to it slumped sideways, a large shard sticking out of his head. Brakes were applied when another plume of dirt occurred ahead of them.

Despite that, the trukk still got caught in the hole and was stuck. Vick did a double-jump forward with the jet boosters in its feet. It spotted the craft responsible for wrecking them. A wagon similar in size to theirs, but sporting what the orks aptly named a 'killkannon'. Performing calculations on the info acquired during the jump, Vick morphed into a grenade when its feet hit the dirt. The enemy vehicle smashed through a mound, turning right where Vick had rolled to.

Vick's explosion sent pieces of the tread flying and killed the driver, whose mangled corpse was exposed. After reverting back to its normal self, Vick fired a white hot ball from its palm into the exposed compartment. But, the killkannon fired again; blast pressure from the shot sent Vick flying. Sporkplug's trukk was blasted apart, most of the crew struck dead by the shrapnel, and the remains of it were in flames.

A double-jump later, and Vick was on top of the vehicle. The hatch ripped off its hinges, but a voice in the radio yelled, “Vick!” At that moment, a green beam struck the wagon below; causing a huge explosion that tore the vehicle apart. Vick was launched into a pile that collapsed over it.

What Vick saw after digging out was the monstrous machine that fired the shot. A massive six-wheeled tank using tires that Vick had seen only be used for the giant dump trucks before. Multiple machine guns wracked the area where the remaining burnas were taking cover. Gouts of dirt shot skywards whenever the cannon up top unleashed another beam. The biggest of the orks in the tank sat in a pivoting autocannon turret, covered head-to-toe in welded together scrap metal armor.

He pointed at Vick, and a couple of machine guns turned to fire along with his. Jet boosters propelled Vick out right before the shells hit. It fired at the boss, but the few shots that managed to hit failed to penetrate the armor. When its feet hit the ground, Vick was already having to roll to the side to avoid the round of autocannon fire. The occasional volley of shots were made while continuing to avoid the withering barrage of bullets.

A hail of yellow particle beams, and laser beams only visible to Vick's infrared, damaged the main cannon of the battlewagon as it was about to fire again. The gun powered down as Myrrth flew past it. She quickly sent her pack into hover while turning around, brought out the sword, and then sliced through one of the machine guns and its gunner. Her shield flickered to life just in time to guard against the swarm coming from a nearby gun.

Another spurt allowed Myrrth to land on the battlewagon. The sword swung across and beheaded the ork who shot at her. “WAAAGH!!!,” the chief screamed as he leaped from the autocannon nest. He pulled from his belt a pair of chainaxes.

They revved up as he approached the elf. “You lookz like someone who can a great fight.”

“I can't say the same for you, ork,” Myrrth replied. Screaming at the top of his lungs, the chief charged with an axe in midswing. It was deflected by the shield, which swung back to block the other. Every attack he made couldn't get past the shield. The other orks up top stopped firing to cheer for their boss.

Vick, meanwhile, ran to the driver door of the wagon and shot the ork in the face. The body was flung out of the seat. Making its way around, the orbot took out the orks while they were distracted by the spectacle.

The chief stopped his assault when the cheers for him ceased. With a glance around, he found that all of his boys were dead. The world turned sideways, and rolled for a bit before returning upright. He looked when a boot entered his view. A red beam plunging down at him was the last thing he saw.

The beam and shield deactivated, Myrrth turned to the orbot. “How are you holding up?”

“Took some damage. Power is low. Need to head back to camp soon to heal up.”

“Alright; take it easy for now.” She hopped of the battlewagon. Vindicator drawn, Myrrth searched the area. The only signs of life were a heavily injured Sporkplug and two his orks hiding behind the flaming wreckage of their trukk. Sporkplug was pulled to his feet by his remaining arm. “I see you ran into a small bit of trouble,” she said in a joking manner.

Sporkplug laughed. “Ain't nuttin' me and me boyz wouldn't a taken down...eventzually.”

“Whichever one of you two can drive, you're behind the wheel.” They walked to the wagon, Myrrth having to support Sporkplug as he limped. When everyone had settled in, the wagon started rolling. Myrrth was holding onto the side, next to the driver.

The trip did not take very long. It did get really bouncy for the brief bit where the ship had bounced off the ground. Myrrth directed the driver over to the hole by the mess decks. “Sporkplug, Vick; guard the truck. Everyone else is coming with me.”

The trio headed in to regroup with Luggar. He was sitting in one of the chairs, looking bored. “What took you?,” he asked, jumping to his feet.

“All you need to know is that we have a new wagon,” Myrrth replied. She quickly split them up. Luggar was sent to comms room with one ork. Myrrth decided to head to the captain's room with the other.

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4 Re: Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k on Wed May 13, 2015 6:07 pm

The sounds of rummaging could be heard despite the door that separated Myrrth from her destination.  A peek through the porthole showed no activity.  The ork with her readied its shoota.  A quick nod from the elf and a hearty kick sent the door flying off its hinges.  He ran down the passageway to unload a clip down the hall on the left.

Myrrth blitzed into the room behind the ork.  Papers were strewn about the tables and floor.  Shelves devoid of content with exception to a few books.  The TV at the back was showing the main menu for a movie.  She spun to clear the other the half of the room.

Food still littered the counter and the trays in the kitchen behind it; none of it edible.  There was nothing in view of either aisle seen, though enough room on the left side not in view to warrant her caution.  Myrrth was at the door when a noise came from the kitchen.  She stopped and waited.  After several seconds, and with nothing happening, she stepped out the door.

“Move up,” she ordered.  The ork ran down the passageway; shooting his gun into rooms he just kicked open.  Myrrth, meanwhile, quietly approached the kitchen door.  It opened towards her and as soon as a figure was on the other side, she slammed the door shut.

The spindly machine was entirely white except for the glowing blue light that split the head vertically.  Keeping it pinned, Myrrth activated the shield.  Backing away, she saw her opponent stumble out with the door flying open.  She shield bashed it in the chest a couple of times, and it collapsed.

Heavy footfalls were heard before the ork rounded the corner.  He stared at the machine slumped against the bulkhead.  “Aaugh, you finish the fights too soon for them'z to be fun.”  Coming near it, the ork kicked it in the head.  “What'z thiz thing anyway?”

“Wiry frame, blue headlight, two fingers and a thumb.  This is the basic variety model of Watcher suits that the Lekgolo utilize.”  The helmet sensors picked up something emanating from the other hand.  She unclenched the fingers.  Whatever it was, it was unidentifiable.  Myrrth decided to let the mystery go for now.

“Take it with us.”  The ork slung the unconscious person over his shoulder.  Rifle at the ready, Myrrth swept through the area; clearing the rooms that weren't riddled with bullets.  Soon, they reached the space she was wanting to get to.

The captain's office was more messed up than any of the other rooms she has seen on the ship.  Furniture ripped apart, parts of chairs stuck in the bulkhead, fragments of desks and computers all over the floor.  Myrrth heads immediately to the bedroom.  A fat, greenish creature with a mane of black fur and thick tusks was sniffing the insides of a drawer ripped from the desk.

“Have you ever seen a squig like that before?” she asked.  Her compatriot drops the watcher on the floor before coming into the room.  “Looks like a small squiggoth.”

The creature turns its attention to the new arrivals.  It walks over to them and sniffs them.  Myrrth starts searching after the critter leaves.  Her sifting is interrupted at the sound of metal and flesh getting stabbed.  She runs out with rifle ready to fire.  What she spots is the squiggoth running out with a blue dot staining the deck behind it.

“Follow that thing.”  The ork let out a holler as he charged after the creature.  Myrrth went to check on the lekgolo.

A quick examination revealed that the watcher suit was punctured all the way through.  With a little force, the chest cover was pryed off.  The worm inside was bisected.  Myrrth bowed her head as she closed the compartment back up.

There was a scream from the hall that became gurgling.  Rushing towards it, Myrrth witnessed the squig-creature removing its tusk from the ork's throat.  She spotted a gold tube with intricately detailed red balls on both ends being carried in the critter's teeth.  A volley was fired before it could disappear around the corner.

Myrrth checked on the ork's condition.  He was dead.  At the sound of a series of crashes, she left to pursue the creature.  The top of the door was barely holding to the frame.  Past that, she found the squig shaking wood out of its fur at the bottom of the stairs.  Another burst of shots; this time she saw them hit, but didn't even penetrate the hide.

The squig ran away with Myrrth slid down the railing.  She chased it through many compartments and hallways as it was looking for a way out.  She signaled for the others to assist.  The chase ended at the mess hall.  It tried to leap through the hole in the ship, but Vick jumped up from below to kick the creature in the throat.

Landing hard on the deck, the squig got back to its feet within seconds.  It ran for the other exit.  At the end of the mess line, Luggar stood.  He grabbed a phaser, and shot the squig.  The only effect was that it caused the critter to start running the other way, towards Myrrth.

She held the shield at the ready.  This seemed to have caused the squig to run even faster at her.  It leaped her from ten meters away.  The impact knocked her back a few meters and onto her sword arm.  She looked up to see the squig's tusks stuck over halfway through the hardlight.  It tried to dig its heels into the deck to free itself, but to no avail.

Luggar walked up behind, cranked up the level on the pistol, and shot the squig until it stopped moving.  He helped Myrrth to her feet while stating, “Unusually tough little bastard that was.”

A button push later, the shield faded and the squig's head fell to the ground.  “No doubt about that,” she replied as she dusted her pants clean.  She took the helmet and got her hair back to a kempt state.  Looking at Luggar, she said, “Thanks.”

“Glad I could help.”  Their attention was diverted when Vick came limping into the hall.  “Hey, Vick.  You look messed up.”

“Battlewagons can do that.  Self-repair going slow.  Combat effectiveness: less than desirable.”

“Don't worry about that last part.  We'll contact the big guy, and claim this wreck for salvage,” Myrrth replied.  She knelt down to retrieve what the squig had possession of.  It was a bit of a fight, but she managed to force its jaw open with her boot.  As she started to open the case, she asks Luggar, “Found anything on your end?”

“Not much, whatever wasn't burned looked like they had crude explosives destroy it.  It's a wonder they managed to even do that considering how it looks like they were caught unawares.”

“So nothing of value?”  She tilted the case.

“Well, there were a couple dozen mobile radios that they seem interested in destroying.  Those would certain...”  Luggar's lips kept moving, but no sound was coming out.  Suddenly, his head turned to look past her.  He spoke again with a worried look, but still nothing.  Myrrth spun around, and saw Vick lying against the bulkhead convulsing.  Little arcs of lightning crawled around and leapt from its chest orb.

Myrrth called out to it, but couldn't hear her own words.  She tried to go to her friend, but flashes of images overwhelmed her vision.  Seconds later, when they stopped, she was leaning on the nearest wall.  More flashes occurred at a sporadic rate as she tried again.  Her legs couldn't work, nor did her arms as she fell.  She saw Luggar catch her, but she didn't feel it.  Things became darker and colder as thoughts raced through her head and fear began to grip the elf.  But soon, her thoughts became silent one at a time.  After a while, even the fear could not be felt, and her eyes could only see the brief, flinting images.

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5 Re: Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k on Thu May 21, 2015 4:59 pm

It wasn't light that greeted her when Myrrth's vision returned. Despite that, she could still see the room she was now in, but with a low purple tint. Her other senses returned shortly; the feeling of the numbing cold around her, the hard frozen floor she laid upon, and the smell of ozone that fills her nose. Everything told her that something was wrong about this place. Her head started pounding with a developing migraine.

Myrrth rolled onto her front, and pushed herself up. Her hand unclenched when she got to her feet, and the scroll fell to the floor. She inspected her surroundings.

The walls were bare; neither did the floor have any designs or decorations adorning them. Her clothes had a different feel from those she wore on the planet's surface. Even the jetpack felt different, so she reached for it. She discovered that the pack had transformed into a mechanical set of wings. Her hand recoiled in shock.

She didn't have to worry about that as the pounding of her head intensified. All she could do was try to meditate to clear her mind. But, the beating grew worse and worse until she passed out.

An unknown amount of time passed before she woke up again. She felt drained as she picked herself off the floor. After struggling to her feet, Myrrth saw she was not alone in the room. Impotently beating against the wall was the unmistakable silhouette of a daemon. Its bulbous head and gnarled, clawed hands indicated it to be of Khorne's making.

It turned at the noise of Myrrth's movement. A snarl preceded its advance. But, it was shaking with every step it took; each motion, a struggle to be overcome. Myrrth's migraine, though lacking the strength from earlier, was still very persistent.

The daemon got very close to Myrrth, and bellowed at her. Myrrth's response was to uppercut the thing's chin. Teeth clattered on the ground, and the thing's tongue dropped close by its taloned feet. It staggered back as Myrrth yelped in pain. The beads of blood and puncture marks in her palm told her of another change that happened during her sleep. Before she could swing with her left, however, the bloodletter took a swipe at her. The claws ripped her shirt, but Myrrth's quick action insured that her waist get the same treatment. Myrrth halted her momentum backward, and drove her knee so hard into it chest that it would have resulted in broken ribs. She stabbed it in the head with claws after it doubled over. Grabbing it by one of its horns, the daemon was wrenched off her hand. A couple of head butts later and the bloodletter went limp. It was tossed to the floor.

The headache came back, so Myrrth sat down and closed her eyes. She punched her wounded hand and concentrated on that. Mewls of pain interspersed with growls were the only things that helped Myrrth keep track of the passing time.

Eventually, a grinding noise sounded from the corner. It was followed by a few footsteps. The bloodletter growled at the new arrivals. It was put down by a series of deafening shots. “Huh!?! Impressive,” a feminine voice stated.

“What can I say? The daemon was already weakened,” Myrrth replied. She noted, when she opened her eyes, that there wasn't a tint of purple to be seen. The three women in front wore the black-and-white colored armor, but the recognizable symbol on their pauldrons told her these were Black Templars. The two black-haired sister offered her hand to Myrrth.

After accepting it, Myrrth was soon back on her feet. Despite being light-headed, she could feel the migraine subside a bit.

The other sister looked at where the bloodletter was dissipating. She had white hair and a couple on her face; one of which stretched to the crown of her head. “Maybe so, but people don't usually come out of a fight with their kind without a new injury,” she said.

“I have a lot of experience fighting daemonettes, and a significant amount of training against Khorne's ilk.” She scooped the scroll off the floor.

The white-haired sister eyed the scroll quizzically. “You finally let go of it. Your hand couldn't be pried open when we first retrieved you from that ork camp.”

“How long ago was that?” Myrrth asked.

“About two days ago...” the black-haired sister interrupted herself with a thought, “You must be starving. I'm also guessing that you'll want to wash the grime from that planet off as well.” The sisters escort Myrrth out of the room. They lead her through a maze of passageways and corridors.

“Castellan Gottschalk has asked us to provide 'accompany' you while you're aboard. I'm Sister Aurora...” the white-haired warrior pointed to herself before pointing to the other, “and this is Sister Felicitas. Can I know your name?”

“I had to surrender my name when I joined Queen Zelda's Caesarian Guard. I am the Worm-Knight of House Myrrthramoor of the Star Kingdom of Hyrule. But, my friends have made a habit of calling me Myrrth”

The escorts halt at the mention of her homeland's name. “How are you still alive?” Felicitas inquired.

“What I remember before waking up on the ork world was the ship I was on coming under attack by a Tevinter fleet. It went badly, and our commander ordered us into cryo-sleep as the ship limped away. Why do you ask?”

Aurora answered, “It's just that...well, Hyrule was conquered over nine-eighty years ago. Although, the remnants managed to last for another thirty.”

“I've been asleep for close to a thousand years!” Myrrth felt overwhelmed by that realization. She had to lean against the bulkhead to compose herself. After a moment, Aurora went over to her and placed her hand on Myrrth's shoulder.

“Come on, we'll take you to a berthing so you can get yourself clean,” she said. Myrrth shook her head in acknowledgement and got back to her feet. They walked the rest of the way in silence.

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6 Re: Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k on Fri May 22, 2015 12:28 pm

She walked onto the mess decks, feeling for the first time in years clean and refreshed. The clothes Myrrth was given were all white. Someone waved to her from across the room. It was Luggar who was already at a table, dressed in black clothing.

Myrrth sat across from him with her escorts on either side. She started tearing into her food. “You certainly look better than when we were brought onboard,” Luggar stated.

“I guess,” was her only reply. She concentrated on her meal as Luggar recalled what happened after she went unconscious. He seemed depressed when he got to the part where the Templars slaughtered the entire camp of orks. Myrrth had expected as much ever since she saw Aurora and Felicitas. In order to distract him, she asked, “Is Vick doing better?”

“He was still malfunctioning until you got locked in that room. Although, his repair function hasn't gotten him back up to snuff.”

“The robot is in the workshop if you want to visit it,” Aurora exclaimed. Myrrth nodded her head in appreciation.

After the meal, they headed the ship's workshop. The crew were scrambling throughout the passageway during their travel. Vick was one of the tables against the bulkhead, eyes closed and unmoving. Myrrth moved over to it and placed her hand on its chest orb. Her eyes were shut when she lowered her head.

She was there for a long while before the alarms staring blaring. Over the intercom, someone said, “All hands, battle stations. Astartes Squads, prep for a drop.”

Myrrth faced the battle sisters. “Why the call to arms?”

“We haven't been able to activate the Portal Relay since we first tried to leave,” Felicitas replied.

“But something must've happened for the Castellan to order a landing,” Aurora finished.

“May you take me to go see the Castellan? I can show you where the Silent Cartographer is.”

“How do you know where this 'Silent Cartographer' is?” Aurora asked. Myrrth talked of various campaigns waged against on the surface of the Portal Relays. The two sisters shared a glance of apprehension throughout. “We'll take you to the bridge.”

The trip only took a couple of minutes through the winding corridors. The Castellan was already engaged in an argument with another astartes. “Sir, sorry to interrupt, but our guest has information that could help you. She says she knows where something called the Silent Cartographer is,” Felicitas interjected.

Everything fell silent at the mention of the Cartographer. Gottschalk turned and walked over to face Myrrth. “How do you know about the it?”

“I fought on fourteen different Portal Relays against the Sang'helli when I served Princess Zelda of Hyrule.”

“Hyrule? I see. The Sigil Conventions were a little after your time.”

“If you allow me Castellan, I would like to join the team going down to the Relay's surface. Once the Silent Cartographer is found, the location for the Control Room will be revealed.”

“Can't we just skip to the Control Room?”

Myrrth shook her head. “It is not possible. Each Relay is different, but the Cartographer is always placed in similar locale for emergency purposes.”

“Head down to the armory, and retrieve your weapons. You and your dark eladrin friend are going to the Cartographer.” The Castellan turned his head to the battle sisters. “You two will accompany them in a Stormraven. When you know the location, signal us. I'll have the squads ready.”

The armory was located close to the launch bays. It wasn't long before they were all suited up and armed. Myrrth and Luggar were given flak vests, which were covered by their ranged weapons of choice. An empty, but prepped Stormraven was waiting for them by the edge of the bay.

Myrrth went straight to the cockpit. There were already a couple of serfs in the seats. Felicitas was the last to enter the vehicle, and hit the button to close the ramp. Engines roared to life and the landing pads retracted. The Stormraven blasted out of the ship. From her spot at the door of the cockpit, Myrrth scrutinized the surface. When she found a likely spot, she pointed at it. “That island, it's the most likely position we'll find the Silent Cartographer.”

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7 Re: Dungeons: The Dragoning 40k on Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:15 pm

When the Stormraven broke through the clouds, the island showed their ultimate destination. It was a temple surrounded by a ring of mountains that formed the island. The only indication of an entrance from the island was a series of pylons evenly spaced apart. At the 'front' of the building was an courtyard too small for their transport to land.

The Stormraven made its final approach, and rotated around to let the passengers jump to the stone structure. “Circle around; keep us safe,” Aurora ordered before the Stormraven lifted off. The pilot waved in acknowledgement. Aurora jogged to catch up with the others approaching the doors.

Myrrth stepped up to the door, but nothing happened. With a hand gesture, Luggar started examining the opposite side of the door from her. She quickly found what it was she needed. It was a smaller stone that was blended in with the rest. She smacked it with the side of her fist, and it slid into the wall. After informing Luggar what to look for, he was able to locate the other one. Both of the stones slid back out, and the lights on the door came to life. The door opened apart in three pieces.

Lights began to flicker to life in the corridor beyond. Myrrth had wordlessly counted how long it took for them to become steady. She became confused as it stretched to over half a minute, but let it go for the time being.

The corridor opened up into a massive room. Catwalks ran along the upper levels and random structures jutted up from the floor. Four translucent pipes formed the focal point of the room. Myrrth flew up to the topmost catwalk. The console she wanted was front and center.

She tapped the few buttons present on the interface. Sounds of activating machinery filled the room, and air pushed up through the pipes. There was another sound, that of a door sliding open. Luggar walked over and stated, “It's a small space, but no floor.”

“On it,” Myrrth replied. She spun the circular wheel in the corner of the interface, then pushed the center of it twice. “Just wait for the elevator now.”

It ascended quickly enough. Myrrth had managed to float back down to the floor by the time the elevator had overshoot and descended gently down to their level. Luggar was hesitant to step onboard it. So, Myrrth patted him on the back before she entered. The others soon followed.

Myrrth moved the slider all the way down on the hardlight control pad. After she touched a circle next to it, the elevator started its descent. It took only a moment before it stopped, and the doors opened.

The corridor they stepped into forked at the end. Luggar saw that the right side opened into a cavernous space and headed in that direction. Rubble chipped off of the wall had littered the hanging ledge. He kicked one off into the darkness below. There was not a sound from the stone hitting the bottom.

Myrrth was beside him when he looked back up. “This place doesn't seem big enough,” he said.

“Enough space for me.” She stepped off and activated the exhaust for her jetpack. Levels passed her by as she searched for a light source. Her vision was slowly becoming tinted with purple by the time the pulsating red light could be seen. Her worried expression would have been clear to anyone if they were there.

Myrrth's feet hit the ledge, and she ran to the light. Upon coming into the room, she went straight to the console on the other side. A map of the ring world came up in holographic form after some button commands. Instead of its usual blue, the map glowed red. A series of markings to the side slowly disappeared one by one.

More fiddling with the console made a section of the ring separate from the rest. A blinking dot showed what she was looking for. She walked towards it, and tapped the dot. It vanished and the section rejoined the rest of the map. With that done, a glowing blue ball shot up from the location indicated previously.

“Time to head out. We need to shut down the signal,” Myrrth reported.

“What signal?” Aurora asked. Myrrth ran and leapt off the platform. The jetpack ignited before she replied, “I'll explain on the way there.”

When Myrrth rejoined them, the group hurried back out of the building. Aurora started radioing for the Stormraven as soon as they got up to the main entrance. The transport didn't leave them waiting for long. “Word from the Castellan. He started heading to the Control Room when a blue light shot up from its location.”

“Good; take us there,” Myrrth yelled after they got onboard. Engines roared but were soon deafened by the rear hatch being shut. They felt the lift off leading into smooth skies. “We only have half-an-hour before the Final Solution protocol becomes active.”

“Final Solution?” Luggar asked.

“A protocol that was theorized to be in every Portal Relay. It is intended to wipe out all biological life in any given Crystal Sphere.” The battle sisters sat up straighter, and Luggar gasped at the idea.

Myrrth went to the cockpit to see the transition from atmosphere to space. A Thunderhawk could be seen heading down to the source of the light show. “How long is it going to take to get us there?” she asked.

“Ten minutes,” came the reply.

“Good; leaves plenty of time.” Myrrth sat down at the nearest seat and relaxed. The trip took some time, but she could tell when they got there. A slight jerk happened when their transport reentered the atmosphere of the ring world. It wasn't long before the Stormraven began to slow down.

“By Sigmar!” the pilot whispered.

Myrrth still heard it and rushed up there. “What...”

The Thunderhawk seen before was now a smoking wreckage in multiple pieces across the box valley. Fire lit up the snowy environment and smoke obscured part of their view. “Lower the ramp,” Myrrth ordered.

The pilot a switch on his left. Myrrth waited at the back for the clearance to become enough. “I'll let you know when you can land,” she said before jumping.

She landed at the site of the cockpit crash. The cold was already getting to her. Moving quickly, she went into the downed vehicle. While it was still cold in there, she at least didn't have to deal with the wind. She went by the empty seats on either side of her and opened the door of the cockpit.

The pilot had his head slumped forward. Myrrth checked his condition; no signs of breathing or a pulse. She also found that whatever caused this had broken his neck. The person in the other seat was more apparently dead. The torso looked as if it had exploded from the inside.

Upon seeing the co-pilot, Myrrth backed out while gripping her rifle. She stood at the threshold of the wreckage staring out at the falling snow. A long inhale, but the exhale had spouts of fire in it. Suddenly, the freezing cold warmed up to a more comfortable temperature. Myrrth looked around quizzically, but decided after a while to move on.

While the snow still obscured her vision, she had no problem finding the ramp of the structure. When she reached the first level, she ignited the jetpack and headed up. She landed on the topmost level and ran for the door.

She could see the corridor beyond the open doorway. Myrrth went to the edge of the platform and activated her blade. “The way is clear. I'll light the landing area for you,” she said into her radio.

The Stormraven descended to her location, and spun around. Luggar was the first down the ramp after it lowered. Aurora asked, “Any sign of our battle brothers and sisters?”

“Only the crew of the Thunderhawk, and they were dead,” Myrrth replied. She turned off the blade and returned to its holster. “But, there was no one else at the crash sites. Plus, the doors have been opened, so they must be inside.”

The Stormraven lifted off as they headed inside. Nothing was in sight as they moved through the first corridor. Signs of trouble weren't seen until they got to the turn and the second set of doors. Scores of dead marines and sisters littered the length of the corridor, thirty-one in all. Beyond that, Castellan Gottschalk was doing battle with a hulking ork far more massive than any that Myrrth had ever seen.

The ork had several gaping wounds and an assortment of scratches all over him, but he was in still in fighting shape. Half of its left arm was replaced with a three fingered bionic claw. Gottschalk swung his power sword in a swirling figure-8 pattern that kept the ork at bay.

The ork started sniffing the air and turned its attention to them. Myrrth and Luggar dashed at it while the other two hung back while their battle rifles aimed down range. The Castellan took advantage of the distraction with a mighty swing. Unfortunately for him, it resulted in his weapon being embedded in the ork's upper right arm.

It turned his head back to glare at the Castellan. Before Gottschalk could react, the ork grabbed his head with its claw. Aurora and Felicitas opened fire on the green monstrosity. The ork just ignored the bullets hitting it as he casually crushed Castellan Gottschalk's head. He finished up by throwing the corpse over the walkway into the empty depths below.

He punched the air in front of the charging elves with an open palm. Luggar was thrown back into the battle sisters while Myrrth was knocked off her feet by a few of the bodies flung into the air by the attack. “She-Elf! Where is me scroll?” the ork asked.

Myrrth got back to her feet before answering, “What scroll are you talking about?”

“You got it from the planet!”

She produced the canister from her leg pocket. “You mean this thing?”

“GIVE ME THAT SCROLL!” The ork charged at her. She threw it over the edge of the walkway. A scream erupted from the ork before it leapt after the scroll.

Myrrth looked back the others. “I'm going to stop this. You cover me.”

She ran to the console in the center of the room. Luggar took out a phaser pistol and inferno pistol while the sisters kept their rifles at the ready. Myrrth, franticly, went to work tapping the buttons of the hardlight screen.

Minutes passed by with very little progress being made. Myrrth grew increasingly frustrated as she failed to find what was needed to stop the protocol from activating. “It's not here,” she stated angrily, slamming her hand down on the edge of the console.

“What are you looking for?” Felicitas asked.

“I need the Installation Number for this relay. Its part of the necessary code.”

“Installation 0322,” Aurora answered. Myrrth entered the entire code within seconds. The hologram projecting from the console turned from red to blue. Everyone let out a sigh of relief.

There was an explosion behind them. The bridge was bisected. A blur went through the fireball before the hardlight repaired itself. The ork landed on the reconstructed portion. “What have you done to me scroll?” he roared.

Myrrth whipped around, pulled her Vindicator rifle up, and took shots at him. But, the ork moved faster than anything of that size that Myrrth had ever seen. He was already directly in front of Myrrth, and punched her hard enough to send her flying. His claw grabbed her rifle to yank her back.

Luggar unleashed a barrage of energy from his two pistols while the sisters fired at the ork from the other side. Despite the burn marks and charred flesh, the ork didn't seem any worse for wear. He just swung Myrrth around, knocking Luggar off of his feet. Myrrth was thrown halfway down the bridge before she landed and slid the rest of the way.

Twisting back around, he got Felicitas across the face with the back of his fist. She fought to keep her grip on the edge. Aurora, meanwhile, was backing away and blasting more shots at the ork. The bullets had no effect on him as he kept approaching. Her gun was smacked out of her hands, it bounced off the console and fell into the depths.

Aurora pulled out a knife and tried to stab him. Her wrist was grabbed and the knife dropped. “Someone will end you Killgore,” she said.

“Not you,” he replied. He squeezed her wrist until it snapped, and then punched the arm with his mechanical hand. Aurora screamed in pain as her arm broke a second time. Killgore let her drop to the floor. “May your blood provide Khorne another nourishing sip,” he said before kicking her in the head hard enough to send her flying off the bridge.

Felicitas cried out as her friend died. She watched her battle sister disappear into the abyss. Another cry, this time of pain, as she was yanked by her hair. Killgore brought her up enough to stare him eye-to-eye. Whatever he was about to do stopped with another barrage of energy weapon's fire.

Luggar fired his inferno pistol more often than the phaser. He tried to run over to Myrrth who only now was getting back up. Killgore threw Felicitas into the central console, and kneed Luggar in the abdomen before the Dark Eladrin knew what hit him.

With the momentary distraction, the jetpack lit up and Myrrth flew at the ork. She drop-kicked him and sending him into and over the console. She reversed the thrusters and landed next to her buddy.

Then, Killgore reappeared ahead and above her. He brought his leg down, his heavy foot smashing into Myrrth's head. She crashed into the floor face first. The ork grabbed Luggar by the throat and proceeded to repeatedly headbutt him. Myrrth had some trouble getting back up. Felicitas, meanwhile, ran forward and stabbed Killgore with her and Aurora's knives.

The ork's only response was to backhand Felicitas with his claw. She bounced off of the console and lay there on the floor next to where Myrrth had gotten back to her feet. Myrrth, herself, found that her nose was broken and bloody.

Killgore gave her a straight kick to the sternum. She landed several meters away on her back, hard. After struggling back up, she brought her shield and sword to life.

At the sound of the blade activating, the ork held its full attention on Myrrth. “Where did you getz that light saber from?”

“From my mentor. He died three years ago. I guess its good to finally know what the weapon is called.”

Killgore did an over-the-top choke slam on Luggar before focusing on her. “Thinkz youz gotz what it takes to beat Killgore.”

“No, but we'll see if I can.” Killgore lunged at her, but Myrrth was ready. She got the jetpack to send her backwards. Despite the immense speed boost, Killgore still caught up to her. He swung his fist down but was blocked by Myrrth's shield. That sent her in an uncontrollable spin. Myrrth tucked the shield as close as possible to her. When she hit the wall, her head slammed into her shield arm; but was for the most part protected from the damage.

It ended with Myrrth crumpled in a mess on the floor. Killgore was on top on her, his foot ready to stomp down. Myrrth managed to roll out of the way in time. By the end of the maneuver, she was back on her feet. She was barely able to jump over Killgore's leg sweep that followed. An uppercut came after that, but it wasn't very strong.

Myrrth landed hard on her back. She watched as Killgore raised both his fists high above his head. He was about to bring them down when sizzling sound came from behind and caused an explosion to erupt from his back. The ork merely stumbled forward a bit from the force of it. He turned around, and another explosion occurred.

Luggar could be seen, down the corridor, holding a pistol she never saw him use before. The barrel of the thing consisted of rings leading to a metal ball. Killgore bellowed at him. Luggar's response was to pull the trigger again. An arc of lightning reached to the ork who now was putting his claw up to block the shot. A smaller explosion happened.

Myrrth took the opportunity to back up. She did so in a way to get a swing with her light saber. Killgore heard the noise and turned to confront her. The blade burned a scar upwards across his torso. He cried out in pain.

A mighty punch sent Myrrth bouncing against the far wall. She managed to stay on her feet this time, but it proved to be a bad thing. An energy ball shot out from Killgore's claw. It exploded as it hit Myrrth. The dust cleared and Myrrth was having to lean against the wall to stay up.

Killgore vanished and reappeared closer to her, a roundhouse kick was under way. A couple of ribs were broken by the kick that sent her soaring through the air. Snow was falling on her face by the time she stopped sliding along the floor.

The ork's heavy footfalls could be heard as he got closer. A fireball was forming in his claw. When he got outside, the fire leapt at her but was deflected off to the side. Killgore watched the rock melt where the fire crashed. He turned back to Myrrth. “Youz really thinkz you can beat me?”

Myrrth could only laugh as she struggled to regain her balance. “Yeah; I guess not.” Without a second thought, she thrust the light saber forward. The ork sidestepped it and grabbed her arm just below the elbow.

Killgore leaned in closer to sniff her. “You carry the same scent as the scroll. Why is that?”

A reply was almost made when the sound of Luggar's pistol rang from inside. Killgore grabbed her other arm and held Myrrth in front of him. The explosion pushed her back and melted the leather at the impact point. Myrrth grunted in response.

There was a whirring noise before hails of bullets tore through the air. Killgore was hit with quite a number of rounds before he dodged out of the way. But, he unknowingly clamped down with his claw too much before tossing Myrrth over to the side. Myrrth howled in pain as she grasped her stump.

The Stormraven stopped firing as the ork left its field of view. It backed away and headed to the other side of the structure.

Meanwhile, Luggar rushed out to help his friend. Blood was gushing out of the wound. “What can I do?”

“Grab the light saber and sweep it across the wound.”

“Isn't that going to hurt worse?”

Myrrth nodded as she replied, “For a bit, but it needs to be seared.” Luggar had to pry her fingers off of the hilt, but he was able to retrieve the blade. When he returned, Myrrth was holding her stump out and her teeth clamped down on the weapon strap for her rifle.

Another Thunderhawk roared into view as the deed was done. Its front ramp lowered and the occupants jumped out. First amongst them was Vick, who looked as pristine as ever. “Vick! Great to see you,” Luggar yelled to be heard over the Thunderhawk.

“Likewise. It seems you could use our...”

“Where is the Castellan and rest of our brothers and sisters?” the leader of the marines asked.

Luggar shook his head. “Dead. An ork named Killgore got them all.”

“Seraphim, move in to secure them.” The marines went inside while Vick assisted Luggar with getting Myrrth onboard the Thunderhawk. It was about to close up with them aboard when Killgore got back to their level.

“Give me the she-elf!” he bellowed. Vick took Myrrth's arm from around its neck and moved between her and the ork. Killgore charged, but Vick fired its jet booster to do a front flip. When the ork came close enough, Vick hit its boosters a second time to reverse its momentum. The blast knocked Killgore off balance and on his back.

Vick followed with repeated shots from its palms. A heavy cloud of steam completely blocked sight of the area. Backing away, Vick made a gesture to close the ramp. Luggar hit the button for it and went to sit next to Myrrth.

They could feel the craft lift off. Myrrth's condition was terrible. She was sweating profusely, her breathing ragged, and she was coming struggling to stay conscious. “Hang on Myrrth. We'll get you some help soon,” Luggar reassured her.

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