Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 10 Part 2

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Rayo Azul
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Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 10 Part 2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-10-17 05:24am

Details on the story and why it has been written are as follows.

The why - a number of readers of my SD stories have asked why I don't write in more detail of some of the ordinary soldiers within my broken future. Machines and demons are fine - what about the real people. So, I listened and that is how Eldrid came into being.

The story is set in and around the world of New Sevilla, a part of the Second Church Protectorate. In particular it tells of life within the Church Guard and their struggles against the might of the Tauran Empire.

Let me know what you think as it goes along. I'm enjoying writing about Eldrid and I hope you enjoying reading about him.


Last edited by Rayo Azul on 2013-06-18 11:40am, edited 27 times in total.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-10-17 05:25am

La Maestranza
New Sevilla
Second Church Protectorate

Eldrid spat a piece of broken tooth from his mouth. The bitch had hit him with a pan! His beautiful wife, replete with dowry was bat-shit crazy. Over the last year she had accused him of an affair with an unidentified female, of hiding their life savings and most recently of trying to kill her. The local priest claimed that demonic possession was the only explanation, but having spent time with his wife’s family he was not so sure.

“Grow a pair,” she screamed, waving the grease-streaked implement wildly, “be a man and let me go!”

“The door is that way,” he mumbled, swiping the sleeve of his jacket across his mouth, “feel free.”

“You only want me for my money...”

“It’s your fucking father’s money,” Eldrid snarled, losing his patience, “and he can have it and you back. In fact I told him that last week. His answer was to laugh in my face. “Keep the money,” he said, “but for the Lord’s sake, don’t send her back!”.”


“Unfortunately not. Listen Castra,” he said more calmly, “keep the money and the house, in fact keep everything. Find someone else to torment. I’m out of here.”

She raised the pan again with murderous intent.

“Don’t,” he said, “you fooled me once. Trust me when I say that you’ll never do it again.”

Her eyes flicked to his right hand which played with the hilt of the knife at his belt. Castra seemed to decide that mental abuse would be a more healthy option, and began to recite her repertoire of his faults. Eldrid merely smiled as he packed a small bag, wondering at how easily a weight could be released from around a person’s neck.

“Bye Dear,” he called as he closed the door behind him, “missing you already.”

His laugh echoed in the corridor as he heard her retort, the words could no longer hurt him.

Chavez City
New Sevilla
Second Church Protectorate

“Do you have the time?”

Eldrid looked up. A man barred his exit from the end of the alley. Behind him, he heard more footfalls. He had been expecting this.

A day spent in a tavern did not necessarily mean that he was drunk, but it was an easy mistake to make. In fact, although alcohol had passed his lips, it was only a means to aid his digestion, and in a small way to celebrate the end of his abusive relationship. For sure, no-one would have understood how a man as large as Eldrid could have suffered beneath Castra’s ministrations. She was petite, pretty and drew admiring gazes wherever she went. He, however, was easily overpowered by the scope of her anger.

His father lived by the tenet that any loss of control was a weakness, and had taught his children the necessity for a positive outlook in the face of adversity. Each new day brought joy and opportunity, although Eldrid’s choice of wife had been a bone of contention between them. They reached an agreed peace before his father’s untimely death, and Eldrid’s last private words, before the flames took his wasted body, had been ones of contrition.

It was therefore with a resigned smile that Eldrid stopped, relaxing his muscles for what he knew was to come.

“Sorry,” he said, “I’ve been a little preoccupied today and left my chrono at home.”

The man smiled back, his open mouth revealing blackened and twisted teeth. A quick glance over Eldrid’s shoulder revealed the presence of others.

“Castra says hello,” said the man, unlimbering what looked like a cosh of some sort.

“She never knows when to let something go,” responded Eldrid, “and now she has your blood on her hands.”

Surprise turned to shock as Eldrid threw his bag straight in the man’s face, following it with a snapped kick into his opponent’s groin. He span, blocking the overhand strike of another attacker. With a twist, he disarmed the man, continuing to exert pressure until he heard a bone snap. Now he used the second attacker’s momentum to spin him into a third, in whose hand he saw the glint of steel. Eldrid stepped forward, grasping hair and smashing his knee into a face. There was the crunch of bone and a satisfying scream of pain. All three men were confused, disoriented. Castra no doubt had told them of how weak and spineless was her husband.

He retrieved the dagger from the floor, deliberate in his movements. The blade was sharp and the skin around the third man’s throat proved of little resistance. Fear and pain greeted him as he turned to the second attacker. It was short-lived, the blade driven deeply into the man’s chest. He left it there.

“Castra always underestimated me,” he said conversationally as he retrieved his bag, in passing noting the small device emblazoned on the men’s tunics, “but in a way she has won. Now I must leave my home, this night’s work is too much even for her father to ignore. I would ask you to take her a message, but this will have to do.”

The cosh smashed into the groaning man’s temple, crushing bone. Eldrid probed with a finger and struck again. Satisfied, he turned away, whistling a tune as he headed for the main Port buildings.

La Maestranza
New Sevilla
Second Church Protectorate

Joshua David winced as the door to his study slammed open. He had no doubt who was making their entrance.

“Castra,” he drawled, “to what do I owe this pleasure?”

His nonchalance stopped her for a moment, but no longer.

“You cannot ignore this. He has besmirched my honour, demeaned me and embarrassed me in front of others. What are you going to do?”

He had in fact been considering his options before she had so rudely interrupted his thoughts. Eldrid’s message was clearly intended for both of them and he could not ignore it. Castra’s anger and precipitation had caused the death of three of his men and a created a slight that he needed to erase from the minds of his followers.

“You must...”

“Shut up!”

His words were clearly enunciated and cold. It was the latter which stopped her in mid tirade. She remembered the last time he had spoken in such a tone. Men died.

“Your whims and anger are no doubt my fault.” He said, “That, however, does not resolve our issue. You married a man beneath your station, tried to turn him into something he was not and forgot who he really was. Three men lie dead because of you.”

He held his hand up in warning as she drew breath.

“Heed my word, girl. One more stupid comment and I’ll have you dragged away and publically flogged. That is an embarrassment I am sure you will long remember.”

Castra bit her lip, eyes flashing, but held her tongue.

“Eldrid Wild is a soldier. He was trained to kill for us, to protect us and sow discord amongst our enemies. You tried to turn him into a noble, then berated and abused him when he did not live up to expectations. You tried to kill him, without my knowledge or permission. Have you forgotten where his family came from?

“Idiot girl. Be thankful he has left our planet. I must respond to his little message though, and so you will get your wish. He is a dead man. The order has been given. Now get out of my sight!”

King Joshua David watched her leave, triumph in her eyes. May the Great One keep me safe, he prayed, for Castra as Queen was a future he wished on no-one.
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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-10-17 05:25am

Chapter One

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

Three days. Eldrid knew mentally how much time had passed, yet each minute felt an eternity. The tramp freighter which dropped him here ensured his anonymity and this seedy tavern merely added to the disguise. Bad food and even worse ale did not make him feel alive, even though he knew he was.

A commotion at the far side of the room drew his attention; an older man tried to reason with a very drunken younger one. Father? Uncle? Lover? It did not matter, it at least alleviated some of the boredom. There was a scuffle and the young man fell backwards amidst roars of laughter and cheap ale. It was then Eldrid noticed the three rough-dressed, ugly soldiers approach. They were not in uniform, but Eldrid knew their type, and neither of the two other men noticed them. Blood was about to be spilt.

Almost without thought, Eldrid moved. He stood casually and sauntered over, mug of ale clutched in his right hand.

“Excuse me...”

The older man looked up, wariness apparent.

“You seem to be having some trouble, and I thought perhaps I could help?”

As the man began to respond Eldrid slammed his mug into the face of the first of the uglies, the knife in the man’s hand having convinced him that the time for polite conversation was past. A shower of blood, teeth and ale cascaded onto the older man’s head. He reacted by rolling clear and standing, a wicked dagger appearing as if by magic in his hand.

“Nice move,” said Eldrid, carefully watching the remaining attackers.

“I take it you are not with them?” the older man jerked his head towards the men preparing to attack.

“No, I just hate ill-mannered people...”

The older man winked at Eldrid, as his drunken charge began to stir.

“Who do they want?” asked Eldrid moving to give himself some space.

“My nephew,” said the older man, as he gently kicked his groaning charge, “he just loves spending other people’s money.”

“My ex-wife’s got the same problem,” muttered Eldrid, swinging to face a new attack. He parried the cosh aimed at his head, kicking out and connecting with a kneecap. He just meant to stun the man, but his anger at his situation took over and the force of his kick shattered bone. The man screamed, his leg buckling beneath and Eldrid continued his attack, meeting the man’s temple as it fell, the ball of his foot connecting with a meaty thud.

“Oops,” he said, stepping backwards and looking for the last attacker. He need not have worried, the last of their foes lay gurgling, the hilt of the older man’s knife protruding from his neck.

“I think he wants to say something,” said Eldrid.

“Whatever it is, it can’t be important,” said the older man, reaching for his knife. He shrugged as the blade was buried beneath the collapsing body. He turned and offered his hand.

“General Peter Franc,” he said, “pleased to meet you...”

Eldrid took the proffered hand and introduced himself, “Eldrid, Eldrid Wild.”

“Soldier?” asked the General.

“Once upon a time,” admitted Eldrid, “now I’m in between jobs.”

The General laughed, as he dragged his nephew to his feet, “Well I might have some work for you. Care to help me return my nephew to the bosom of his family?”

“Why not?” said Eldrid, “The excitement here seems to have died down.”

Laughing they hauled the drunken man to his feet and staggered in companionable silence into the street.

Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

Space bulged, strained and tore as the two craft re-entered reality. They were old, battered by space debris and scarred by battle. Twin turrets protruded from their rectangular bodies, their stark blackness broken by the evenly spaced and brightly lit windows.

Artur Ap Naub smiled as he once more saw the star-studded universe shimmer into being. Fold space was tiring; colours exploding into endless variation became boring after the first twenty-four hours. They had been travelling for weeks now and he was pleased to at last be here.


He glanced down at his aide; the hulking man bowed his head in respect. These Tauran Elite were different. They no longer gloried in death for its own sake. They had honour. A puerile and worthless thing, yet they had their uses.

“Prepare the men, Gorkus,” he said, studying the almost clean lines of the Elite. Soldiers who lived in their Battle Armour, hidden from their companions and betters, The twin butterfly blades of the war axe strapped to his back reflected the red light of the control room. It gave him a demonic touch, but was quickly gone as Gorkus stood to carry out his orders.

Artur preferred Gorkus’ men. Hathor, Gorkus’ Unit Commander, was a fine Tauran; ugly, deformed and wantonly evil. His red skin proved his lineage, as did his uncontrollable appetites. Gorkus and his kind had won their right to rule in battle and Hathor’s resentment was obvious.

Tauran society was, according to Artur, screwed up. It had always been chaotic, but recently the impossible occurred. Laws and even ethics had entered societal structure creating a new Tauran Elite. This clan, genetically created and enhanced, fought its way to the top, imposing its will on the cursed majority. Only the Tauran nobility remained untouched. Religion had its advantages.
This campaign would change things. Artur had his plan, and Gorkus and his kin would help him on his way.


Gorkus checked on his men. Tauran Elite were proud, haughty even. Their exalted status and prowess in battle did little to promote a humble nature. Rank came through battle, and internal competition. If Gorkus once showed weakness, he would be challenged and perhaps defeated. Their rigidity meant that disputes could be settled cleanly and without rancour. Hathor and his men were another matter.

He looked across the staging area at his ugly Unit Commander. It was clear to all that Hathor was Tauran; skin colour, and horn buds the more obvious signs. Although it was his aggressive nature and vicious cruelty which truly confirmed his genetics. The Elite knew that many questioned his own lineage and wondered what lay beneath the hardened Battle Armour. Gorkus grinned. They would be shocked if they ever found out. He moved t face his men.

“It is time,” he said, watching as they stood and checked their weapons, “form your ranks.”

He turned to Hathor, “Get them into the shuttle, Unit Commander.”

Hathor spat, the mucus-filled ball landing a careful distance from his officer. He smashed his fist against his nearest man’s head and used his feet to hurry the rest of them on their way. It was effective thought Gorkus, but bred no loyalty.

Artur Ap Naub would have sneered at such a thought, yet to Gorkus it felt right. He nodded at his Elite companions and they followed him into the shuttle.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 2 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-10-18 10:03am

Chapter Two

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

Light streamed in through the open window, waking Eldrid and momentarily disorienting him. The evening’s events blurred together, yet clean sheets spoke loudly of his changed circumstances. Arriving at the General’s villa, he had been shown to his quarters whilst the older man, with the aid of two servants, carried his nephew to bed.

The sound of movement below suggested it was time to get out of bed, and after a quick wash and shave, he made his way downstairs to the kitchen. He found the General there, enjoying a hearty breakfast.

“Sit, Eldrid,” said General Franc, indicating a place across from him at the breakfast table, “my nephew won’t be joining us, I fear, but perhaps that’s for the best.”

Eldrid sat, waited for the servant to lace a full plate before him of steaming bacon and eggs, then spoke.

“My thanks, General, it’s been a while since I’ve slept in clean sheets.”
The General laughed and took a drink of water.

“It is I who should thank you,” he said sitting back, “I think that I had perhaps bitten off more than I could chew.”

Eldrid started to speak, but General Franc waved him to silence.

“You saved me and my nephew from certain injury. Therefore, I would like to do something for you. News has reached me of a dangerous criminal recently escaped from New Sevilla...”

“It’s a lie...” began Eldrid, but stopped as the General continued to smile.

“I know King Joshua, and have heard of his lovely daughter. It strikes me a little unlikely that you are guilty of all the crimes you are accused of.

“It does leave me with a dilemma though, I owe you a huge favour and yet my duty presses hard on me.”

He saw Eldrid’s hand close around the handle of the knife next to his plate and grinned.

“You won’t have need of that,” he said, “I have a way of repaying my debt and ignoring the demands of a spoilt child.”

Eldrid was interested now. He leant forward, ignoring his breakfast.

“I have experience of unruly children. You met my nephew briefly last night. He is a good soldier, but an awful judge of sensible behaviour. He needs someone to teach him what is right and proper, and to keep him out of trouble whilst he does so.”

“I am no nursemaid,” growled Eldrid.

“Of course not, Eldrid, but you are a soldier, and that is what I need. We are at war; the Taurans have opened a new front and Captain Franc joins his new command tomorrow. What he needs is a good sergeant at his side.”

Eldrid stared for a moment, “You want me to in the Church Guard?”

“We aren’t that bad,” laughed the General, “and n-one is looking for Sargeant Eldrid Wild, Even if they find you, it’s a different proposition killing one of the Church Guard.”

“But I’m no Sargeant...” said Eldrid, picking at his food.

“You are if I say so and you wear the right uniform.”

It took Eldrid little time to make up his mind, “What do you want me to do, Sir?”

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 2 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-10-22 08:52am

The familiar bustle of the staging post calmed Eldrid as he approached the Command tent. This was the culmination of a strange morning; spirited away from the General’s villa, his rapid departure explained away by the need to avoid the stirring nephew. A quick ride to the barracks saw him outfitted with a pristine uniform, sargeant’s stripes covering a multitude of sins. He dropped his duffel bag by the entrance and presented his papers to the alert pair of guards stationed there, Whatever else the nephew may be, the response of the guard detail spoke volumes.

“Sargeant Eldrid Wild, reporting for duty,” he said, watching carefully as the taller of the two perused his papers.

“Wait here please, Sargeant,” said the man with grudging respect, “the Captain has but recently returned from the city.”

His companion grinned at the comment, but snapped to rigid attention as Eldrid raised an eyebrow.
A short while later, the tent flap opened and Captain Franc stepped forth, a steaming mug of liquid held in his hands.

“Name,” he snapped.

“Wild, Sargeant Eldrid Wild, Sir,” said Eldrid, coming to attention. Both the verbal and physical response was ingrained in him. Years of training overcame any trepidation he might feel.
“Impressive,” commented the Captain, slowly reading the paper in front of him, “the General seems to think highly of you.”

Eldrid kept quiet. He had long ago learned to deal with officers and remained still, his gaze fixed on a point just past the Captain’s left shoulder.

“Your experience will come in handy. You’re fortunate, our Sargeant Frome was recently reassigned and so we have a ready vacancy.”

He stared at Eldrid, waiting for him to speak, but his new Sargeant knew better.

“They are a good crew,” he continued, “Frome’s men, and so you should have no trouble. Come see me after you’ve settled in. I’ll have some orders for you by then.”

“Sir,” said Eldrid, snapping off a crisp salute.

Franc looked surprised and glanced down at the paper again.

“Ah,” he said, “Colonial Protection Duty...” It seemed to explain much to him, and after a moment he grinned, the action changing him and making him just a little more human.

“We’re not great on rigid formality,” he explained, “at least not when in the comfort of our own barracks. That salute went out of fashion some time ago.”

It seemed at odds with the disciplined guards at his side, almost as though it was some kind of test.

“Yes Sir!” barked Eldrid, turning sharply and picking up his bag. There would be time to learn to learn exactly what had happened here, for now he needed to see to his men.

Captain Franc watched him go, “Well, my dear Uncle,” he muttered to himself, “what exactly are you up to now?”

A discrete cough reminded him of the presence of his guard, and he ignored the subtle signal, staring after the retreating figure. Frome’s reassignment was just too convenient.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 2 Part3

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-10-29 05:43pm

Automatic Early Warning Systems detected the presence of the Tauran ships soon after their entry into local space. The AEWS’ urgently beamed signals were treated with initial disbelief which rapidly turned into frantic action. Before the Attack Shuttles from the Tauran ships were fully deployed, weapons platforms stirred into malignant life.

A worry-free Artur Ap Naib stared at his screen, waiting for the expected response. He smiled slyly as his captured signal was sent to the waiting machinery and the systems powered down. Artur just loved traitors. They were such a useful commodity.

For now relaxing local troops, the first real signs of trouble came as the Attack Shuttles strafed the dormant platforms. By then it was much too late to react, but Church Guard fighters scrambled anyway. Many of them were destroyed in initial launch, as the Tauran Attack Cruiser eagerly joined in. For himself, Artur Ap Naib knew that this was only the beginning, yet it was a good one.

In his shuttle, Gorkus ignore the shouts and chattering of communications traffic. The job was yet to start; ground batteries were human-controlled and would not be fooled by simple command codes. He checked Hathor’s orders and nodded coldly. It was time to begin.


On the ground, Eldrid had but recently formed up his men when the first information on the attack reached him. There was no time to remember names nor to assign new duties. Klaxons screamed, calling his Church Guard to their posts and he raced along with his men to their assigned stations. Out of the frying pan…he thought to himself as he checked his auto-rifle. Frome’s men knew what to do and Eldrid was thankful to the General as his men grimly awaited the Tauran offensive.

His communicator buzzed.

“Wild,” he responded.

“Yes, it is, Sargeant,” said a calm voice, “this is Captain Franc. I just hope you’re as good as your file says you are. It seems as if our visitors have targeted your location as the ideal spot in which to begin a new and beautiful friendship. I will be joining you shortly. Try not to be too welcoming, and you don’t have to wait for me whilst you explain to our new friends’ their lack of manners and the expected social niceties in polite society.”

“Yes Sir,” replied Eldrid seeing the tell-tale breaking jets of an Attack Shuttle, “it appears as though they are eager to meet us.”

Franc’s voice changed, “hold them there,” he said clearly, “we will be with you shortly.”

The snap of the broken communication was drowned out by the roar of the approaching craft.

“Okay, boys,” Eldrid said calmly, “time to show these Taurans a good old Church welcome. Singing is not forbidden, yet I would rather hear the sweet music of their agony and deaths. There will be no prisoners.”

Unknown faces peered up at him, yet they did not show fear. Frome had definitely done a good job with them.

“Fire at will!” shouted Eldrid, following his own advice as the first Taurans spilled from the Shuttle. He heard the comforting sound of his men’s weapons and laughed at the absurdity of his situation. Maybe New Sevilla had not been that bad after all.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 3 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-10-29 05:45pm

Chapter Three

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

A screaming horde burst from the Attack Shuttle, forming into tight knots of well-trained soldiers. Each group had at its head two armoured figures, their appearance giving rise to the first touch of fear in Eldrid’s belly.

“What the…” said one man, lowering the point of his auto-rifle as he indicated the new and unknown force facing them.

“They all die…” growled Eldrid, firing off a quick burst, the rounds pinging harmlessly off the toughened carapaces in front of him.

“Shit!” mouthed the man.

“Shut up and fire,” growled Eldrid, turning to his signals man.

“Pass this intel on to the Captain…and where´s the gunner?”

A scrabbling beside him signaled the arrival of his special weapons team. He grinned back at the wild-looking soldier and his mate as they set up their equipment.

“Medina and…?”

“Walsh, Sargeant.”

“Yes, Walsh. Are you ready to open up our account properly?” asked Eldrid, indicating the two figures striding unharmed towards their position.

“Yeah,” drawled Medina, “I’ll put a hole right through that shuttle. No worries there…”

Eldrid slapped on the side of the head, drawing a venomous look.

“No you won´t, soldier,” he said, “you are going to win me a little bet.”

“Sir…?” Medina was clearly perplexed.

“I think that these ugly bastards never learnt to fly without mechanical help, a problem of evolution I think. Prove me right. I want him...” he pointed at the lead figure who moved steadily on, ignoring the hail of fire directed at him.

"My pleasure…Shit!”

This time Eldrid’s fist clanged hard against the man’s helmet.

“The correct address is Sargeant…My pleasure, Sargeant. We can´t afford to forget our manners now, can we Medina?”

Medina watched him for a moment before he laughed.

“No, Sargeant,” grinned Medina, “it will be my pleasure, Sargeant. Now, what do I get if I prove you wrong?”

“To kill more of them,” said Eldrid, “and the beer’s on me when this is over.”

“And if he fails…Sargeant?” asked Walsh.

“He buys the beer,” replied Eldrid, “now stop prattling and nail the ugly s.o.b!”

“Target acquired,” murmured Medina, just before he winked insolently at his new Sargeant.

Any thought of reply was drowned out by the boom of the crew-served autocannon. It rocked back on its tripod as the heavy calibre armour piercing round spat towards the Tauran Elite. With an audible thud of impact, it threw the armoured figure backwards, arms flailing. Medina was still cheering, claiming that the Tauran had “flown at least a couple of feet” when Eldrid cut him short.

“Reload,” he said calmly, as the Tauran got back to his feet, a visible dent in the front of his armour.

“What the fuck!” breathed Walsh, but Eldrid did not want further discussion.

With a short “hit him again”, he raced away.

“Bastard!” cursed Medina,” he’s nothing like Frome…”

“Meds?” interrupted Walsh.


“You’re right,” agreed Walsh, awe in his voice, “he’s as crazy as you are!”

They watched Eldrid stoop to pick up a satchel charge, then surge towards the Taurans. His cry of, “I said hit him again!” caused Medina to laugh.

“Yes…Sargeant,” whispered Medina, impressed in spite of himself. His brief “Target acquired” went unnoticed as his auto-cannon barked once more.
Last edited by Rayo Azul on 2012-12-13 11:16am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 3 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-04 02:57pm

“This is completely screwed,” said Eldrid to himself as he saw the Tauran hit the ground again. With a final burst of speed he reached the armoured figure, just as it began to struggle to its feet.

Eldrid planted a heavy boot on the Tauran’s chest as he twisted the timing mechanism on his explosive charge. A large hand grasped his foot, lifting the offending boot effortlessly.

“Crap!” gasped Eldrid, swinging the satchel around, its magnets clamping hard to the Tauran’s armour. Disdainfully it tossed him aside, hands moving to tear the device away.

As he hit the hard-packed earth, Eldrid kept rolling, hands covering his ears.

“Suicide bombers, my arse”, he muttered as the following explosion at least made him fly.

His impact drove the air from his lungs and he struggled to draw breath. The loud bark of the auto-cannon was the first real sound to break through the ringing in his ears. Shaking his head, Eldrid looked around for the Tauran. He saw an arm and then part of a torso. The auto-cannon continued to fire.

“Not doing that again,” he groaned, crawling back towards his men, his only thought of how he just had to lead by example. Something grabbed at the back of his tunic and he tried weakly to fend it off.

“Sh*t, Sargeant,” complained Walsh, “I’m only trying to help.”

Eldrid let him, leaving on the small man as he stumbled back to his position behind the barricades.

“You lose, Sarge,” quipped Medina as Eldrid half-fell next to him, “you never said it had to fly all in one piece.”

Eldrid laughed wryly, admitting defeat as Medina fired once more.


Gorkus saw his companion fall, then come apart as the reckless Church Guardsman exploded his satchel charge. Now there was a warrior, he thought, as he watched the rest of the Guard positions over-run. Hathor had returned to type, roaring and swinging his rusty battle-axe in wide swathes of destruction. It would soon be over.

He was still thinking that way when the bombs began to drop indiscriminately amongst the battling troops.

“Cowards!” he screamed, until realizing that the protagonist was none other than Artur-Ap-Naib. His leader had brought his Attack Shuttles in low, looking for a quick end to the battle.

A curse formed on Gorkus’ lips, but got no further as an auto-cannon round punched him from his feet. The remaining Church Guards under command of the reckless warrior were attacking again. He rose looking for his men and heard the recall signal. The falling ordnance got thicker. Something clanged against the back of his helmet, and he slapped the offending attacker aside. It was Hathor.

“I always knew that I would have my moment,” sneered the red-skinned Tauran, raising his axe on high, “I just had to be patient.”

Gorkus stared coldly at the frothing Hathor, giving himself up to this fast approaching death.

“No you don’t,” said a quiet voice as the butt of an auto-rifle blocked Hathor’s downward blow, “this one’s mine.”

“No!” snarled Hathor, freeing his weapon and preparing to strike. Eldrid emptied the full auto-rifle clip into the Tauran, just as the welcome sound of his men joining him came to ears.

“You sit there,” said Eldrid, slumping next to Gorkus, “I’m sure that my Captain will want to talk with you.”

Gorkus watched him keel over, just as Medina and Walsh appeared, grinning savagely. He looked down at Eldrid. There was no doubt in his mind that he could defeat these human soldiers and kill this warrior. Yet, honour forbade him. His own side had resorted to treachery and cowardice when the battle was already their’s. This one had at least fought as a warrior should, and now there was a debt to be paid.

It was with this decision that Gorkus’ life changed. He had been beaten for the first time in his life, and by a human soldier. No longer did he lead. Both honour and duty must be satisfied and that meant a change of allegiance. This did not worry him as much as it should, rather he saw himself bound to a new Lord, stronger than himself. Life now had a purpose and Gorkus was satisfied.
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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 4 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-06 06:52am

Chapter Four

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

“Fire at will!”

Artur-Ap-Naib watched as his men obeyed; the destruction exquisite. Bombs fell slowly and indiscriminately onto the defenceless city below. Any anti-aircraft positions had been targeted early, leaving a clear field of fire for his men. Ap-Naib had never meant to take the city by the strength of his troops alone. It had been a feint, one which he had kept to himself.

It was glorious; orange petals of flame blossoming on the darkened buildings. Dust, rock and human flesh erupted skywards and the Tauran breathed them in. This was life.

He felt no pity for those he had thrown away. Rather he saw them as sacrifices to the true cause. A signal beeped on his personal console and he smiled. The promised reinforcements were here and now the real killing would begin.


“There are too many of them,” said Captain Franc as more Tauran Shuttles disgorged their troops.

No-one answered him, his men concentrating on killing the now overwhelming force before them. Slowly they had been forced back, deeper into the city until they reached the central plaza. Rough barricades of overturned hover cars, doors, broken furniture and whatever else they could find served as their only protection. Here they would have to make their last stand.

Suddenly, the assault stopped and a lone Attack Shuttle dropped to the open cover in front of Franc and his men, its point defenses swiveling to face the remaining Church Guard.

“Hold your fire,” shouted Franc, as the craft’s main door slid open. A man clad in red armour strode forth, a black cloak billowing out behind him. Almost contemptuously he turned his back on the Church Guard and raised his hands to his troops who roared their support.

“Cheeky bastard, isn’t he?" Muttered Franc as the man turned to face him.

“I am Artur-Ap-Naib and I give you a choice,” he waited as if for comment, but then continued,” and it is this. Surrender your arms and live, or fight and I will destroy you.”

Franc stood up on one of the more sturdy parts of the barricade and replied.

“The Church Guard is not in the habit of surrendering to terrorists, invaders or petty tyrants. So, we thank you most heartily for your kind offer, but must decline.”

Artur-Ap-Naib smiled, “Do you speak for all of them? I will then change my offer.”

He moved so that all within the flimsy barricade could see and hear him before snarling, “Give me your Officer and the rest of you can live.”

Franc laughed; the arrogance of the man. It was his last thought as pain exploded in the back of his head.

“Kill them,” growled Ap-Naib to the Elite by his side, “all except ten of them. You may choose nine. The tenth should be that Officer. I want him to live with the knowledge of this betrayal. It will be a fitting payment for his defiance.”

Silence greeted his words and Ap-Naib glanced at the tall, armoured figure by his side.

“You have something to say?” he asked, but the Tauran Elite shook its head and moved away.

Ap-Naib watched as his men began the slaughter, but his mind was elsewhere. He would have to speak with his Master again, it was time something was done about these arrogant Elite.

The screams of the dying brought him back to the present. This would suffice for now and the rest could wait.
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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 4 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-07 01:31pm

Gorkus grunted with the effort and shifted Eldrid’s dead weight. The strange rat-like Medina was ahead, scouting the area before signaling them forward. His mate, Walsh, was by his side, five others strung out behind them. They had picked them up in their travels, saving their lives in a number of small skirmishes. Medina’s skilled had surprised Gorkus, almost as much as his own caused grudging respect from the Church Guard. Neither had been willing to leave Eldrid behind and their only argument occurred over what to actually do with him. Gorkus solved the problem simply by picking up the unconscious Sargeant and following Walsh. This decision was now beginning to weigh heavily, more physically than metaphorically, and Gorkus was wondering whether to ask for a small respite. Any decision was taken away by a grunted “put…me…down…” and Gorkus willingly obeyed.

“Sargeant,” said Medina happily as he trotted back to the now seated Eldrid, “have you enjoyed your rest?”

“Cheeky sod,” muttered Eldrid, rubbing his arms and legs in an attempt to encourage his circulation.

“What happened?” he asked, looking at Gorkus.

“The Taurans took the city, or rather should I say they destroyed it.” Interrupted Medina, “We fought our way out, finding some of our boys and girls on the way. Now we are trying to get out of the city in one piece.”

He nodded towards Gorkus.

“That thing refused to leave you. Quite touching really.”

Eldrid laughed and struggled to his feet, refusing Medina’s proferred hand. He shuffled over to Gorkuas and crouched down.

“What do you want?” he asked without preamble.

“I do not understand,” replied Gorkus, truly sounding puzzled.

“Why are you here?” Eldrid tried a different tack.

“You are here,” replied Gorkus simply, “where else would I be?”

Now Eldrid was confused.

“What has this got to do with me?” he asked.

“You beat me, then you saved my life. I ask you again, where else would a follower be, but by his leader’s side?”

“But I’m only a Sargeant,” said Eldrid lamely.

Gorkus shrugged, the movement causing the moonlight to reflect of his strange armour.

“Where you go, I follow. Tell me what you want me to do.”

“Later,” said Eldrid, getting back to his feet, “for now I need to find out exactly where we are.”

The Tauran Elite said nothing, merely rising and following closely behind.

Prison Compound
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

Captain Franc awoke disoriented. He remembered his act of defiance and the pain in his head. Bastards! Someone had slugged him from behind. Looking around he saw he lay propped against a wall. Somewhat apart from him were other members of the Church Guard. A ragged bunch of soldiers huddled together in the center of an open area of hard-packed earth. Raising himself on one elbow he studied his surroundings. They were held within a fenced area, Tauran soldiers patrolling the exterior, weapons at the ready.

Slowly he stood, ignoring the pain thumping in his head, and moved towards the group of his fellow prisoners.

“Where are we?” he asked, and was greeted with a sullen silence. Recognising some of his men, he tried again, yet none would meet his eye.

“I asked you a question,” he said, refusing to back down.

“Who do you think you are?” the question came from a new source, a large man who pushed his way through the crowd, clenching his fists in anger.

“An Officer, soldier, and don’t you forget it!” replied Franc, rage overpowering him.

“Yeah,” spat the soldier, “one of those who got my mates killed. Right now, you’re nothing, just another prisoner waiting to die.”
Franc usually avoided conflict, but instinctively knew he could not back down.

“Sir!” he snapped, “you will call me Sir!”

“Not fu…” the man’s defiance was abruptly cut short as Franc slammed his fist into the open mouth before him. He followed it with a brutal kick to the knee, before smashing his elbow into the protesting man’s temple.

“What do you call me?” he growled.

“Sir,” said one man, quickly followed by the others.

“Now,” Franc said calmly, “you were about to tell me where we were.”

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 4 Part3

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-08 12:39pm

Eldrid watched the Taurans march by, keeping himself to the shadows. He frowned as he saw the group of prisoners amongst them. This was the second such patrol that they had encountered as they attempted to leave the city. It was obvious that the Taurans were intent on rounding up any Church Guard stragglers left behind by their retreat. It was proving almost impossible to escape detection. They needed another plan.

The Sargeant rejoined the rest of his men in the abandoned shop where they had found refuge. Gorkus brooded silently to one
side, watching Eldrid’s every move.

“So now what, Sarge?” asked Medina, chewing on an energy stick.

“A change of focus,” replied Eldrid, looking at his remaining troops.

“If we intend to get out of here, we need more men and weapons.”

“And how do you suggest we achieve this objective,” continued Medina, raising one eyebrow.

“We take them from the Taurans,” growled Gorkus.

“You’re a sodding Tauran,” snarled Medina, “and don’t think we’ve forgotten that.”

Gorkus shrugged, “I was, but not anymore. Now I am one of you.”

Medina laughed and raised his rifle, “I can soon take care of that.”

“Put down your weapon soldier,” said Eldrid, his calm tone surprising Medina, “we don’t have time to fight amongst ourselves.”


“I won’t ask you again…” said Eldrid, as he withdrew a combat knife from his belt. He turned to face Gorkus, reversing the blade and holding the grip towards the Tauran Elite.

“Take it,” he said, “and don’t make me regret it.”

Gorkus knelt and bowed over the blade, causing Eldrid no end of embarrassment.

“Well,” he huffed, turning back to face Medina, “our companion…what is your name?”

“Gorkus,” replied the Elite, purpose filling his voice.

“…Gorkus, was suggesting a possible plan. Thoughts?”

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 5 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-10 04:54am

Chapter Five

Prison Compound
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

The chain link fence was sufficient, without the patrolling and heavily armed guards, to deter any thought Franc had of escape. He was less than happy with the small group of soldiers, within whose circle he crouched. Not one of them would look him in the eye, nor seemed eager to be a part of his plans. It all seemed hopeless.

Dawn had awoken him, shivering, and he still felt the cold gnawing at his bones. No-one brought food and his attempts at installing some form of discipline had only been partially successful. Three of the soldiers had managed to scrape a rough latrine trench, protesting and grumbling, before finally joining their fellows in sullen silence.

The growl of an engine broke into his thoughts and he watched the battered truck grind to a halt in the open square. Four guards stumbled out, relieving their companions who quickly climbed onto the bed of the vehicle and were carried away.

Silence reigned for a short while, then the truck returned and the subsequent rhythmic slap of booted feet signaled new arrivals. Franc watched as a group of prisoners were shepherded towards the gate of the compound. They were a mixed bunch; mostly Church Guard, with some local Defense Force. Not that their swelling of the prisoners’ ranks presaged much more than an increase in the uncomfortable overcrowding of the compound.

One rat-faced man sidled over to Franc’s side, closely followed by his less than clean looking sidekick. He smiled briefly at the Captain, turning his back to the gates.

“You Franc?” he asked, then held up his hand in a conciliatory fashion as anger flushed the Officer’s face, “…Sir?”

Captain Franc found it hard not to smile at the insolent grin on the face before him.

“That I am, that is to say Captain Franc,” he confirmed, “and you would be?”

“Medina, Sir,” replied the soldier, “and my Sargeant asked me to give you a message…”


Eldrid waited for Gorkus to join him. The Tauran Elite had asked him to stay by the truck whilst he scouted the area. Medina had been less than happy with Gorkus’ plan, but Eldrid insisted.

Their uniforms and extra prisoners came from an ambush of a small group of Tauran soldiers escorting their charges to the compound. Gorkus “interviewed” then in his own fashion, finding out how and exactly where the prisoners were to be taken. The conversation had been short and to the point, the Taurans in evident terror of the large armoured figure.

All prisoners were to be taken to the central square for processing. What this meant they did not know. Decisions would come from Tauran Command, who had set up their headquarters in the Town Hall building, directly overlooking the square. One other piece of valuable information was that of Artur-Ap-Naib’s absence. He was due back later that evening.

Medina’s permanent solution to removing the risk of the captive Taurans’ giving away their plans was rebuffed by Gorkus. He insisted in the dishonor of such an act. Eldrid agreed in some part with both of them, but let himself be swayed by his new follower. They stripped the uniforms from the Taurans, binding and gagging them before leaving them in a small shop out of sight. They would be found, eventually. Taking the uniform of the senior Tauran, Eldrid and Gorkus ferried Medina and the rest of the soldiers to the truck waiting for them nearby.

Their plan was simple. Medina and the rest of the men were armed and would attack on receipt of Eldrid’s signal. There was only one problem…Gorkus was missing.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 5 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-11 07:21am

Tauran Elite were bred and trained to obey. From early age, duty and honour focused them; concepts normally anathema to their brethren. Created on a whim, Elite were genetically enhanced to provide front-line purpose and lead Tauran shock troops.

Their Lord and Creator died amidst a screaming onslaught of his compound before he could see the fruition of his project, and others decided to use rather than waste these impressive soldiers. Artur-Ap-Naib’s master had been one such, appropriating a body of Elite for his own purposes. Unlike the original Creator, for him they were nothing more than a tool, to be used mercilessly, then thrown away when they outlived their usefulness. It therefore did not surprise that Artur-Ap-Naib was blind to their true worth.

The armour which cloaked their bodies was developed with the same special attention to detail. Their first suit presented to them when they left their childhood behind. From that day, they were never without it.

Two reasons drove this purpose. Fear came with ignorance and Taurans lived their lives fearing the fully-armoured Elite. The second, and main reason, was to hide the true nature of the Elite. Once unmasked, the Tauran nation would destroy them, whatever the cost.


It was unsurprising that Gorkus traversed the Compound and surrounding area without challenge. No Tauran would dare question the rights of an Elite. To do so would have meant death, or something even something worse. Unfortunately, his delay was the product of his encountering other Elite, to whom such restrictions did not apply.

“You are dead,” said the first, stopping Gorkus with a gauntleted hand. Two others moved to flank him.

“To whom?” asked Gorkus, stepping back slightly.

“Our leader told us,” insisted the argumentative Elite. This one was young, eager for battle.

“Artur-Ap-Naib is a liar and a coward,” stated Gorkus, watching as their body language betrayed shock.

“He cannot lie. Our leader, and yours cannot be questioned,” the tone was flat, unquestioning.

“Artur-Ap-Naib is not my leader,” said Gorkus, flexing his fists.

“You took The Oath,” now the tone had changed to anger.

“I did not break it.” Gorkus was factual and to the point. “Ap-Naib did when he bombed us, killing my men. My Lord saved me.”

“You can have no other Lord!”

“Yet, I do,” Gorkus said quietly, “and you should join me. At least then you would share the honour.”

“You have NO honour,” said the young Elite, “and we will prove it.”

Gorkus sighed. There was no avoiding this, honour demanded challenge. He would make it quick. Eldrid was waiting.

“What the fuck do you think you are doing?” asked Eldrid, choosing that moment to appear.

Gorkus turned and bowed, “They have insulted you Lord, and I am honour-bound to teach them the error of their ways.”

“Gorkus,” said Eldrid, eyeing the three Elite before them, “we really don’t have time for this now.”

“I will be but a moment, Lord,” replied Gorkus, beginning to unbuckle his armour.

Eldrid said nothing; too shocked to speak as Gorkus removed his helmet. The Elite was human.
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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 5 Part3

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-12 05:39am

They were alone. No other Taurans would dare to enter the arena. It was forbidden. Other Elite had arrived, brought by one of the three whilst the rest readied themselves. The new arrivals provided a cordon of fear and a guarantee that honour would be preserved.

“How many Elite are there?” asked Eldrid, staring at the rough circle of armoured bodies.

“I do not know Lord,” replied Gorkus, stretching his muscles, “I only know of these.”

“I am a Sargeant, not a Lord,” protested Eldrid, but Gorkus just smiled.

“How the fuck are we going to get out of this?” gruffed Eldrid, ignoring Gorkus’ mute reproval.

“Lord?” Gorkus seemed puzzled.

“They can just kill us, whatever happens…” Eldrid indicated the rest of the Elite.

“No, they cannot,” replied Gorkus, “this is a matter of honour between myself and these three. The others cannot interfere.”

“And after?” asked Eldrid, fingering the rifle he still held in his hands.

“When I win, they will accept the judgement and let us leave,” replied Gorkus.

Eldrid wanted to asked him what would happen if he lost, but decided that the answer was probably obvious. Also, undermining the Elite’s confidence at this stage of the proceedings seemed counter-productive.

“Okay,” he said, slapping the newly revealed man on his huge shoulder, “but remember we have other business pending.”

Gorkus nodded, “I will quickly teach them some manners Lord, and then we can be on our way.”

“Very well,” said Eldrid, “but make it a lesson they never forget.”

With a small bow Gorkus stepped forward, beckoning his three foes onward.

Eldrid knew that this was stupid. He counted at least thirty Elite making up the circle and knew that there were others beyond. Somehow though, he trusted Gorkus; the big man had sworn his loyalty and so far had not let him down. It was strange though, no sound came from the armoured ranks. Similar gatherings of Church Guard soldiers would have brought forth playground exuberance; cheering, name calling or shouts of encouragement. Here, only an expectant silence gripped the crowd of onlookers and Eldrid unconsciously held his breath.
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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 5 Part4

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-15 02:27am

Gorkus watched the three circle, all thoughts of Eldrid expunged from his mind. Calm entered his being, as the inexperience of his opponents was transmitted by their movements.

The eager one struck first, as Gorkus knew he would. A slight inhalation of breath betrayed the strike and Gorkus blocked, slamming a fist into the exposed throat. He felt the crush of cartilage and knew it for a killing blow. Eldrid had impressed the urgency upon him; there was no time for finesse.

As the first Elite fell, Gorkus span stopping an attempted kick from his second attacker with his knee. As his foot touched the ground, he span again, feeling the whistle of air as a fist flashed by his head. These two were better, they had fought together before.

He was already moving, not allowing his appreciation of their movements to distract him. Now he attacked, not giving them time to think. Gorkus caught an arm, spinning one attacker into another and struck hard. The palm strike jarred a chin upwards, opening the throat for his follow-up, but he restrained himself. One death was enough. Instead he hooked his heel behind the off-balance Elite and used his momentum to throw his opponent down, rolling over him and coming to a crouch, just below a cleverly executed spinning kick. He struck savagely twice. Once into the groin above him and then with a knee, carrying his full weight behind it, into the sternum of the Elite below him.

He stood. A quick snap kick into the temple of the Elite doubled over in front of him finished it, sending his now unconscious opponent to the floor.

Gorkus turned to Eldrid and bowed, “It seems that they admit that they were mistaken, Lord.”

“That it does,” agreed Eldrid, reaching down to pick up a piece of Eldrid’s armour and momentarily forgetting the watching Elite, “I believe this is yours?”

“No Lord,” said Gorkus, indicating the fallen Elite and their armour, “all of this is yours.”

“Wait,” an Elite said, pushing through the crowd.

Gorkus turned, puzzled for a moment before he recognized the speaker.

“What is there to wait for?” he asked, “honour dictates.”

“That it does,” said the Elite, removing her helmet, “yet you have broken your oath.”

“it has been proven otherwise,” said Gorkus, indicating his fallen opponents.

“This is your new Lord?” she asked, disdain in her voice.

“Eldrid is my Lord,” stated Gorkus, “he did something no-one has ever done. He beat me in combat and saved my life. My oath is his.”

Now beginning to question whether Gorkus actually meant to fight them all, Eldrid wondered what he could do to help. The woman looked at Eldrid strangely and then turned back to Gorkus.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“What is mine by right,” he answered and she nodded, turning to Eldrid and kneeling.

“Lord,” she stated, confusing an already stunned Eldrid further.

“Wha…” began Eldrid, but Gorkus cautioned him to silence.

“Bring them Elana,” he said before turning back to Eldrid. “Lord, do we not have something to do?”

Eldrid turned away, muttering to himself, and so missed the brief smile which played across the big man’s face.

Prison Compound
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

Medina recognized Eldrid as he approached the gate and thought he spotted Gorkus with him. What puzzled him were the other Elite following behind with a group of four civilians. These latter were obviously Taurans, yet looked cleaner than normal and were struggling along with two heavy bundles carried between them. They finally managed to load the bundles onto the truck, two climbing into the cab and the others joining the bundles in the back.

Eldrid walked up to the gate, stopping as the Tauran guards rushed to meet him. As they made to question him, or perhaps manhandle him into the compound, the watching Elite struck. Six guards quickly became corpses, and the main gates were swung open.

“Time to go,” said Eldrid cheerfully, as he walked back to the truck. Medina grinned at Walsh and followed. Life was never dull around their new Sargeant.

Captain Franc watched open-mouthed as his Church soldiers hurried to obey. He would have to speak to Sargeant Wild about protocol, but as he passed the silent Elite, he decided that it could wait. At least for now.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 6 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-22 06:34am

Chapter Six

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

The truck travelled relatively smoothly along the pock-marked roadway, its stabilizers compensating for the uneven surface. Captain Franc glanced sideways at the Tauran driving, uncomfortable with the knowledge that a short time ago they had been enemies. The Tauran was unusually clean, his uniform a drab brown which clashed incongruously with his red skin. Small horn buds poked through curly hair adding to the non-human appearance.

“I don’t bite,” said the Tauran, grinning, his teeth startlingly white against his skin.

“Hopefully not,” muttered Franc, looking back to where Eldrid and the Elite flanked the vehicle.

“Elias,” said the Tauran, “my name is Elias.”

Franc frowned, unused to such courtesy from his enemy.

“We are not all bad,” continued Elias, “the madness is less obvious in our class.”

“Your class?”

Franc was curious in spite of himself.

“Tauran society has many layers,” said Elias, “although the majority, I have to admit, is made up of crazed killers. You have the Elite, a conundrum in themselves, and the Known like me. We are little more than slaves, bound to our masters by oath and the threat of death. Our skill and knowledge is recognized as a valued commodity.”

Elias watched Franc’s reaction before continuing.

“Those of us lucky enough to be owned by the Elite are at least fed and watered."

“What?” Franc was shocked, and then he noticed Elias’ grin. “I take it that you, unusually, have a sense of humour?”

“Not unusually,” replied Elias, “but it’s normally well hidden.”

“So, you had to come?” asked Franc, “when your masters changed allegiance?”

“Oh no,” said Elias, “we came gladly. Gorkus and his people may be strange, but at least they talk to us.”

Elias was still laughing as he edged the truck clear of the city limits, changing course slightly as they neared the outskirts of a wood.


The truck rolled to a halt, taking advantage of the cover provided. They needed to rest, not all of the Church Guard were in the best of health and Eldrid needed to pace them.

“Get your men down,” he said to Gorkus, “we need to make better time. The Church Guard will have to ride in their place.”

“Yes Lord,” said Gorkus, before moving to carry out Eldrid’s orders.

“Lord?” asked Franc who had stepped down from the truck’s cabin.

“A long story, Sir,” said Eldrid, saluting as he noticed his Captain.

Franc held out a hand, “I never thanked you for saving us.”

“No need, Sir,” Eldrid said, “you would have done the same for me.”

Franc did not answer. Deep down he knew that he would not have gone back for Eldrid. His first duty was to reach whatever remaining Church Guard there were, and continue the fight. There was no room for sentiment, yet Eldrid’s priority had been different.

“Why did you come back and save me?” he asked.

“I promised the General,” said Eldrid simply, as though that were reason enough.

“And your duty to the Church?”

Eldrid laughed, “I joined the Church Guard because your uncle asked me to, not because of a misguided sense of faith.”

Franc’s angry retort was cut short as Medina scurried back to join them. He ignored Franc, adding to his anger.

“Taurans in the woods, Sarge,” he said looking back over his shoulder, “and coming this way.”

“It looks as though I still have some work to do, in order to keep my promise to the General,” said Eldrid, motioning Gorkus to his side. “I think it would be best if you kept going, Sir, and left me to deal with this.”

Eldrid’s use of his rank somewhat calmed the Captain, yet he could not but feel that his authority was being usurped.

“It is up to me to decide…” he began.

“No,” said Gorkus, joining Eldrid, “our Lord has spoken. You will obey.”

Franc’s retort died on his lips as the other Elite arrived to hear Eldrid’s commands.

“Medina!” shouted Eldrid.

“Sir!” replied the little man, gripping his rifle tightly.

“You and Walsh help the Captain,” and as Medina started to protest, “now!”

“Sir!” said Medina, glancing disdainfully at Captain Franc, “but remember you still owe me that beer.”

“You’ll collect,” said Eldrid, smiling and putting his arm around the soldier’s shoulders, “but not if you let anything happen to the Captain…”

“Understood…Sir,” said Medina, motioning to Walsh.

“Take the truck, Sir,” said Eldrid to Franc, “we’ll catch up.”

Franc nodded, tight-lipped, and turned away. He would deal with Eldrid later.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 6 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-11-30 12:33pm

Two of the Taurans climbed from the back of the truck, dragging one of the heavy bundles from its back. They unwrapped it carefully as the vehicle moved off. Eldrid watched Elias as a disassembled suit of armour appeared piece by piece before him.

“You can’t go into battle underdressed, Lord,” he said smiling.

“This one,” grumbled Gorkus, “has already talked too much.”

Elias continued smiling and began to select pieces.

“How the hell do you expect me to wear that?” asked Eldrid, “Two of me wouldn’t fit into it!”

“Watch Lord,” said Elias, placing one of the pieces against Eldrid’s leg. His fingers moved deftly, pressing against the armour which seemed to melt and flow, adapting to Eldrid’s smaller dimensions.

“What is this?” he asked in a tone of surprise, “Magic?”

“Tech-no-lo-gy,” quipped Elias, receiving a buffet across the back of his head from Gorkus, “…Lord.”

Looking closer, Eldrid saw a row of small depressions in the metal which reacted to Elias’ rapidly moving fingers.

“It seems as though it’s alive,” he commented, as piece after piece covered his body.

“It is,” agreed Elias, "but not in the way you expect.”

Eldrid felt a strange revulsion as his helmet snapped into place. Perhaps it was better not to ask.


“Enough!” snapped Franc, switching off the engine.

“Lord?” asked the Tauran driving the vehicle.

“I said enough!” snarled Franc, “and I am not your Lord!”

He leaned out of the open window by his side, “Medina!”

“Sir?” asked Medina, jumping down from the rear of the truck.

“I refuse,” said Franc, “to continue with this charade. We are at war with the Taurans and we will not lead them to where the rest of our men are. Get these Tauran scum out of my sight.”

“But the Sargeant said…” protested Walsh, leaning over the truck bed to speak.

“I, not the Sargeant, am in charge here,” spat Franc, “and you will do well to remember that, soldier!”

Walsh jerked back as if struck and Medina opened his mouth as if to speak.

“Yes?” asked Franc, as the other Church Guard moved to obey him.

“Nothing,” said Medina, “just that as Walshie said, Sargeant Wild will not be happy.”

“You will address me as Sir,” roared Franc, knowing that he was over-reacting, but unable to contain his anger.

“Sir,” drawled Medina, watching the Taurans as they were roughly bundled to one side, “and now what do you want us to do? Shoot them?”

Franc ignored the surly tone and climbed back into the cab, “Obey orders, soldier. That is what I expect you to do.”

Medina saw Walsh kick a bundle free of the truck and deliberately ignored the pistol handles protruding from within. Walsh stared at him questioningly, and Medina shook his head slightly. Now was not the time, but as soon as they could they would leave this mad fool and join up with their Sargeant.

Happy with his small victory Franc gave the order to leave, ignoring the forlorn figures by the roadside. Walsh and Medina surreptitiously moved away from the other Church Guards, making sure that their weapons were close at hand. Darkness would fall soon enough and they would return and pick up the Taurans.


David stared after the retreating truck. He was a slave and as such understood the concept of ill-treatment. That did not mean that he had to like it though.

The Captain reminded him of the officers within the Tauran command. Hatred was common, and those without protection were always treated badly. Those other two, Medina and Walsh, were different. They had left pistols, although David was not sure of how effective he would be with one of the weapons. He and his companion must protect their Lord’s property, whatever the cost.

Perhaps their Lord would deign to remember them? They could but hope.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 6 Part3

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-03 01:28pm

Eldrid was thrilled, amazed, and not just a little frightened by his new armour. It weighed little, and gave the feeling of enhanced power and movement. No wonder these Elite were almost unstoppable.

“Lord,” Gorkus’ voice echoed within Eldrid’s helmet, startling him. There had been no sign of communication equipment, nor the space available to house it.

“Lord,” Gorkus repeated, insistently, “you need to activate your suit.”

“Excuse me?” asked Eldrid, confused.

“The suit has now had enough time to readjust. It is ready for reactivation.”

“And how exactly do I do that?” muttered Eldrid, sure that there was nothing obvious he had missed.

Gorkus stopped, motioning his men to flank them, and unsnapped his helmet. He turned it and indicated the inside, near where his mouth would be.

“Use your tongue, Lord, and touch here,” he said, showing Eldrid a small groove, “and your suit will do the rest.”

Tentatively, Eldrid swiped his tongue across the groove in his own helmet, startled by the sharp tingle of contact. He felt the armour shudder. It was alive!

Before he could say more, the face-screen flickered, lights rushing madly across it. They steadied, and a series of green figures coalesced into being along its right hand side.

“Do you see the numbers, Lord?” asked Gorkus carefully.

“No, I see what appear to be letters,” he replied, moving his head in a vain attempt to see them better. They followed his movement, tantalizingly familiar now.

“You will get used to them, Lord,” said Gorkus, “the suit is now attuned to you. All you have to do is ask it nicely, and it will follow your instructions.”

“Humour, Gorkus?” asked Eldrid, “be careful, you might like it.”

Gorkus grunted, leaving Eldrid unsure if it was laughter or negation.

“What now?” queried Eldrid.

“Ask it for help,” said Gorkus, waving the rest of the Elite forward.

“Yeah,” said Eldrid, “and let there be light…Shit!”

His response corresponded with the sudden clarity of vision he experienced. The wood’s shadows disappeared, the surrounding area clear and precise. Now this was something.

He saw Gorkus and the others pulling away as they increased their pace.

“Wait for me,” he called and instantly they halted.

“What just happened?” he asked, as he caught up with them.

“You have our oaths, Lord,” said Gorkus, “and we obey.”

“No,” said Eldrid, “I meant with the suit. I can see everything more clearly.”

“The armour,” said Gorkus patiently is an enhanced biomechanical system, attuned to your needs. When you need to see more clearly, run faster, jump higher, or even heal more quickly, it will obey you.”

“And weapons?” Eldrid asked eagerly.

“No Lord,” said Gorkus, “those you have to wield yourself.”

“I knew there was a catch,” muttered Eldrid, half to himself, “then I guess we had best find these Taurans. Lead on Gorkus.”

The Elite bowed with unconscious grace. Eldrid wondered how long it would be before he looked that good in armour.
Last edited by Rayo Azul on 2012-12-13 11:20am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 7 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-04 08:39am

Chapter Seven

Fatua Forest
Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

The sound of twigs breaking underfoot alerted an already skittish David. Unaccustomed to camping outdoors, the Tauran technician stayed close to the roadside, building an overly large fire. The writhing flames cast flickering shadows on the undergrowth, adding to nerves already overstrung by fear.

“What was that?” asked David of his companion, expecting no reply but reassured somewhat by the sound of his own quavering voice.

The noise came again, this time accompanied by bestial grunting.

“Only an animal?” asked David hopefully, clutching his pistol more tightly. He looked wildly from side to side, praying for help, but seeing none. His fears were more than founded, as a group of Tauran warriors shuffled from the darkness. It was their grunting and wheezing which had alerted him and David knew that the night did not promise to be pleasant.

“Die!” he screamed, closing his eyes and firing his pistol.


“Shots,” said Walsh, stopping in his tracks and pointing ahead.

“Really?” gasped Medina, resting the butt of his weapon on the floor, “I’d not noticed.”

With a grin, Walsh started running again, leaving Medina to catch up.

They had slipped away from Franc’s encampment once full dark had fallen, preferring their new Sargeant to the increasingly erratic Captain. Their careful route had paralleled the main road, but now they abandoned stealth for speed. Walsh was unsure whether it was Eldrid in trouble, but found it more likely that their new Tauran companions had been caught by the enemy. Whatever the truth, he and Medina were now committed.

Rounding a bend in the road, Walsh saw a group of Tauran soldiers advancing on David. Of the other Tauran Known, there was no sign. David’s resistance would not last much longer, especially as it seemed to consist only of emptying the auto-pistol’s magazine as quickly as possible. Did he have his eyes shut?

The boom of Medina’s rifle was followed shortly by the shattering impact of the expelled round, which smashed the lead Tauran spinning to one side. Walsh waded in with his own weapon, placing careful bursts of fire into their enemies’ backs. The element of surprise was quickly lost, but as he dived for cover, Walsh noted four prone Tauran bodies, with a fifth crawling away into the brush by the roadside. This was less than satisfying, as he counted at least eight more standing.

“Whose idea was this?” asked Medina, sliding to an untidy stop by his friend’s side.

“Yours,” replied Walsh, between careful bursts of fire, “and if you don’t mind me saying, not one of your best.”

Medina laughed, as he blew one more Tauran off his feet. The sound of approaching vehicles entered into their world of sound.

“Ours?” asked Walsh.

“We aren’t that lucky,” grunted Medina, firing again, “maybe we should’ve stayed with Franc after all.”

Walsh ignored his statement, knowing it for what it was. Neither he nor Medina could go back now, they had made their choice.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 7 Part1

Post by LadyTevar » 2012-12-04 07:57pm

I'd have left Franc too.
Stupid Highborn
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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 7 Part1

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-05 05:18am

LadyTevar wrote:I'd have left Franc too.
Stupid Highborn
I used to like him...but less and less as the story moves along :wink:

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 7 Part2

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-05 05:19am

“No contact.”

The quietly spoken words filtered through Eldrid’s headset adding to his puzzlement. There had been tracks which quickly petered out. Not even the vaunted powers of the Elite proved capable of resurrecting the vanished Taurans. They picked up Elias on the way and were now following in Franc’s footsteps, slowly sweeping the surrounding area.

“We’re missing something,” he muttered to himself, or so he thought.

“I can assure you not,” said Elana, taking his words literally, “we have searched thoroughly.”

At that moment, Gorkus cut into their conversation, “There are indications of heavy fire ahead. I think we have found our missing Taurans.”

“Have they found Captain Franc?” questioned Eldrid.

“Impossible to say,” replied Gorkus, “but someone is firing back.”

“Then,” said Eldrid, “I would say that we are duty bound to help them. Let’s go and join the party.”

He started running, the enhanced suit adding speed and strength to his movements. His Elite followed, this was a task they well understood.


Walsh looked across at David and the bundle of armour he clutched possessively to himself. It had been a close run thing, but they had managed to recover him just in time, before the Tauran trucks arrived. The vehicles looked formidable, each carrying a pintle-mounted auto cannon, as well as more troops.

Medina was not with him, having chosen to move from his original firing position, as the trees around him were shredded by the cannons’ eager slugs. Walsh trusted the untidy soldier to find his own vantage spot. He was more worried at the shallow nature of the defile and its ability to hide David and he from their enemy.

At the sound of crunching metal he tried to raise his head, but ducked back down as his movement was greeted by a hail of fire.

“Look what trouble you’ve got us into now,” he grumbled.

“I have done nothing,” said David, somewhat offended, “but protect my Lord’s property.”

“Not you,” snarled Walsh, “bloody Medina.”

A rifle roared and one of the auto cannons responded with an erratic stutter.

“See. Even now he’s causing trouble.”

“That,” said David, “is not Medina. The Elite have arrived.”

Walsh realized that the rate of fire was reducing dramatically, and risked another look at the Taurans. None of the individual warriors remained rather the armoured trucks were reversing away, pouring fire as best they could into an onrushing group of Elite. The huge soldiers were led by a smaller version of themselves, who leapt above the snout of an auto cannon and smashed his way onto the truck, ripping and tearing metal aside. His companions soon followed, easily avoiding the traversing weaponry, before joining their leader.

One truck waited no longer, spinning quickly and speeding away. It left two of its fellows behind to suffer the less than dubious mercy of the Elite.

“I told you,” said David, “it is not Medina causing the trouble.”

“Yes,” said Walsh puzzling over the smaller armoured figure, whose fury reduced the Tauran vehicles to bent and burning wreckage, “but who is it?”

David looked at him scornfully, causing Walsh’s anger to rise.

“Our Lord has come,” said the Tauran, stepping confidently from cover, “and it is time we joined him.”

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 7 Part3

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-11 08:17am

The anger overcame Eldrid the moment he saw his men in trouble. It evolved into rage as he realized how outmatched they were. This rage overwhelmed him, causing him to forget all else but the Tauran’s destruction. Strength flowed through him with each stride, augmenting his already peaking adrenalin. He raced ahead of Gorkus and the other Elite, astonishing them with his speed and ferocity. Eldrid carried no weapon, his pistol tossed aside in his blinding fury before beginning his mad charge.

“Lord,” cautioned Gorkus, aware of the suit’s innate abilities.

Elias had not lied when he hinted at it being alive. Tauran shaman’s chanted and sacrificed, whilst the armorer’s tamed the metal. These unholy priests added something; wove energy, summoned spirits or even imprisoned demons within the metallic folds. Whatever it was they did within their secret chambers worked, embuing the technologically advanced suits with something akin to sentience. Gorkus and his kin were free of powerful emotions; logic, reason, honour and duty bound them. Eldrid was something else.

Battle madness Eldrid had heard of, but never experienced. Now it possessed him. He felt lighter than air and capable of anything. The auto-cannon rounds were abysmally slow, seeming to hang in the air, giving him more than enough time to avoid them.

Passing one Tauran warrior he casually reached out, cupping the man’s chin in one hand and savagely twisting with the other. An audible crack signaled the abrupt end of the Tauran. Effortlessly, he tossed the corpse aside and leapt atop the nearest truck. He wrenched the barrel of the auto-cannon round and downwards, sending shells into the cabin, shredding men and machine.

Momentarily satisfied and with a massive twist of his shoulders he ripped the weapon free of its mounting, holding it lovingly as he turned it on its previous owners. He hardly noticed the cannon’s enormous recoil, as he walked the gun across a second truck. The Elite finally caught up with him, their massive blows denting and shredding metalwork.

Inanimate objects would not sate Eldrid’s hunger and he leapt from the truck and raced towards the remaining Tauran soldiery. All of them must die, and he would take care of it personally.

Cadaen City
Caer Seus
Fortress Worlds
Second Church Protectorate

Fold space groaned as the huge transport craft exited into real space. The two guarding Tauran frigates passed unnoticed through the hole rent in the protesting ether as they charged to take up their protective positions. Artur-Ap-Naib heard the news of their arrival whilst he was supervising the torture of prisoners. A priest and soldier writhed screaming before him, as he searched for directions to the remaining Church Guard positions.

He left them in the tender care of one of his minions and hurried to the control room where a holo-message was patched through to his personal console.

“Ap-Naib…” drawled a familiar and hated voice.

“Ap-Ban,” he sneered in reply, “your duties seem to have been reduced to ferrying my troops. How fitting...”

“Laugh if you will,” replied his peer, “but my stay here is short. I was asked to make sure this cannon-fodder reached you, and then I have to leave for a much more appropriate assignment.”

Seething inside with a desperate need to know, Ap-Naib somehow restrained himself. Rivalry was all in the back-stabbing, corpse-climbing world of the Taurans and he refused to give Ap-Ban even the smallest of victories. Their Master favoured Ap-Naib more and would tell him when appropriate. It still galled him though.

“What exactly did you bring me?” he asked calmly, the disappointment in Ap-Ban’s eyes giving him some small comfort.

“Two more regiments, one of infantry and one of armour. That should be enough even for you.”

“No more Elite?” Ap-Naib asked innocently, knowing the answer would clearly state his Master’s intent.

“No, our Master said that these were sufficient,” Ap-Ban said depreciatingly, “and that even you would know what to do with them.”

Ap-Naib’s smile startled his tormentor, it was certainly not the expected reaction.

“Oh,” said Artur calmly, “Of course I know what to do with them, I’m just surprised he never shared his real plans with you.”

He was gratified to hear his rival’s curses just before he cut off the signal.

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Re: Eldrid (Officer Of The Guard) Chapter 7 Part4

Post by Rayo Azul » 2012-12-13 11:13am

Franc’s journey was less than eventful; the route to the secondary rendezvous point was planned well in advance, meticulously avoiding all main population centers. He still held his anger inside, the insubordination and ill-discipline of the Church soldiers he now blamed totally on Eldrid. That Walsh and Medina had deserted, he was now sure. Typical of the low-life scum redolent within the ranks and that Eldrid seemed to crave around him. A man who consorted with Taurans was nothing if not a coward and a traitor. Once he was safely back with the main body of Church troops, he would make sure that they knew all about Sargeant Eldrid Wild and his followers.

The once carefree young man had become twisted with bile and envy. Its origin clearly came from the betrayal by his own command, when Artur-Ap-Naib’s oily promises had sown such discord. This, added to by the Elite’s acceptance and veneration of Eldrid, broke through the reasoning part of his brain and burned into his psyche. Now Eldrid, in his mind, was tarred with the same brush as the rest of his enemies and revenge drove Capitan Franc heedlessly onwards.

Their hover truck stopped abruptly as soldiers appeared from the undergrowth. They wore the familiar uniform of the Church Guard and Capitan Franc visibly relaxed. Leaning out of the cabin he greeted an officer he recognized from the General’s staff. The man moved his men aside and waved Franc and his truck through.

The Capitan saw the clearing open before his eyes as they moved slowly forwards. The center was covered with men and machinery, camouflage netting breaking up the sharp lines of fixed emplacements. A dark ramp led into the earth and he pointed soundlessly into its blackness. No doubt the General would want to see him straight away, and he felt his excitement build at the thought of being able to tell him his own news.


“I tell you he’s a traitor!”

Capitan Franc’s shouts startled the general’s guards, bringing them running. The General shook his head and they relaxed, hands still on safety catches.

“And on what,” he asked his nephew, “do you base that supposition?”

“He consents with Taurans…” began the Capitan.

“Who helped him to rescue you,” replied the General.

“Only a ruse,” said the Capitan, “designed to trick us.”

“So how,” continued the General, “do you explain his actions in protecting your escape? More treachery?”

“His men’s desertion speak well of him,” sneered Capitan Franc,” one more ruse to ensure that we were lulled into a false sense of security.”

“Where you see desertion,” the General said,” I see loyalty, and where you see treachery I only see sacrifice. One of us is wrong.”

His face flushed in anger, the Capitan began a hot retort, but the General interrupted him.

“Enough!” he snapped, “Thankfully I am still in charge. Sargeant!”

In answer to his cry, one of the guards approached.

“Sir?” he asked, glancing at the Capitan.

“Get some of the men together,” said the General, “we are going to find some missing soldiers.”

As the non-com hurried away, Capitan Franc followed, ignoring his Uncle.

“That one,” thought the General, “will never learn. I promised his mother that I would take care of him. Unfortunately, the only solution for his ailment I see at the moment is a bullet to the back of the head.”

He grunted in laughter, and made to follow his Sargeant. He only hoped that they would be in time.

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