The Lost Wolf
this is one of those spur-of-the-moment fanfics. We'll see how long this goes until I get a mental block like I did with almost immediately with my other fanfics... For now, just enjoy. Suggestions are very welcome, cos I really know very little WH40K lore XD
Warhammer40k is created by Games Workshop,
and Dawn of War series by Relic Entertainment and THQ
"hi" : speech
'hi' : telepathy
… : scene change
He roared and struggled against his restrains as he felt the psychic probes being driven into his mind. His terrible, defiant voice shook the chamber more violently than the last time, and was followed by a chorus of frightened whimpers.
Another angry snarl, and his tormentor backed away as well.
A humanoid figure, clad in elaborate blue and gold robes, a heavy mantle and a tall horned helment that concealed its face in shadow. Through a sinister Y- shaped opening in front, a pair of red fiery orbs widened in surprise at his fierce display.
They narrowed again as the sorcerer pointed a double-pronged staff at him. "Resistance is futile …"
Around and behind the sorcerer, a crowd of blue and pink creatures wailed in agreement. They were actually formless, shifting their visceral appearances like horrifying, man-sized amoebae. Their favourite forms seemed to be eyeless toads belching smoke and fire from their oversized mouths.
The toad-monsters stopped belching, and hopped off towards the sides of the chamber, where they hid in the darkness that veiled the true size of the chamber as well.
The sorcerer also stepped aside, turned and bowed. "My lord"
From the shadows at the farther end, he saw a gigantic figure step into sight. As the low thudding of its footsteps grew louder, the toad monsters cowered in fear, while the sorcerer stared up in reverence, and he had a clearer view of its appearance.
It was easily twice his height, and garbed more elaborately than the sorcerer. Long, curved golden horns sprouted from the armour over its shoulders. A pair of large, colourful feathered wings spread out from its back. It wore no helmet, and he could see that its weathered skin and hair were all red like burning coal.
Most unnerving were its white glowing pupil-less eyes, which, instead of glaring down at him like he'd expect of someone trying to intimidate him, they stared out into space even as it spoke to him in its deliberate, resounding voice.
"I have thought over this for long … what I should do with you … even though you tried to kill me, killing you back would be … pointless … therefore …"
"I WILL NEVER JOIN WITH A TRAITOR !!" He shouted at once.
The red-faced giant thinned its lips and shook its head. "Regrettable … but my Master has foreseen this, and I have prepared a … suitable method of disposal." It gripped the sword-hilt at the side of its waist and drew out a golden khopesh covered in elegant arcane symbols.
"You will forget that you ever found a cure …" The giant pointed the tip of its sword at his chest, where his heart was. "And you will become that which you despised for so long …"
He howled in pain as the tip of the sword was pushed slowly into his chest, and the arcane symbols glowed orange with a searing heat.
He felt an invisible fire spreading all over his body, melting him, changing him … pushing him over his pain threshold, and yet strangely pulling him back just when he thought he had crossed over.
Gradually, the exhaustion overwhelmed him and the last thing he saw before he lost consciousness, was the swarm of Horrors coming out of the shadows and excitedly crowding around him again, screeching,
" BURN ! BURN ! BURN ! …"
"BURN ! BURN ! BURN HER !"
Frek awoke to the sight of moonlight streaming down through the canopy far above, forming puddles of silver on the forest floor below.
He stood up from where he had been sitting in one of the root-grooves below the tree trunk, and stretched to ease the aching in his back, taking in the cool pre-dawn air as he yawned. Then he wiped the sweat off his forehead.
Yes, it was that dream again. He knew it was not just a simple dream, but an important memory … but memory of what ? Who was that red giant ? Were those nightmarish creatures and surroundings real ? or were they just metaphors of something else ?
Could that be who he was before living in this forest ? He felt a mixture of joy and apprehension at this thought. Everyone he knew had a past, he was the only one who didn't remember his own, and now that he was perhaps beginning to …
"BURN HER ! BURN HER ! BURN HER !"
That faint, distant chanting drew his attention back to the real world again. Just what were those humans up to this time ?
'Geri, did you hear that ?'
'Yes … shall we go see ?'
'Of course, where are you ?'
Frek felt a nudge at his right knee, and he jumped back with a start, to see his friend grinning sheepishly at him, tongue stuck out for extra effect.
'Geri ! don't do that ! I could have kicked you !' Frek steadied himself. 'were you here the whole time ?'
'I know you won't …' Geri's smile changed to a look of concern. ' I heard a dreadful howling just now, I knew it was your voice, but when I rushed here I saw you sleeping. What happened ?'
Frek bent down, smiled, and ruffled Geri's furry ears gently. 'Yes, I'm fine, it was … just a dream.' He stood up and turned in the direction of the faint chanting. 'Let's go !'
Geri nodded and trotted along by his side. 'if you have a problem you must tell me'
'of course' Frek's smile widened.
He was never really accepted into the pack, because the other wolves considered him more human than wolf,
But which human could talk to animals like he did ? Not exactly talk, like he did with the humans he met, but he could feel their thoughts, and make his thoughts known to them. Not just wolves, but anything that had a spirit … he understood them, and they respected him too, except for those terrors that came from above, monsters that supposedly dropped down from the stars months ago, and started changing the forests, and killing any creature that dared oppose them. Thankfully, their numbers had diminished recently, supposedly defeated by mysterious warriors that came down from the sky as well.
Not that the latter was of much help to him. As his friends knew, no Terror was a match for him in combat. He was thankful though, that none of his fellow creatures had to live in fear of the Terrors again. Now he would like to meet one of those sky-comers, to see what they were really like.
The humans acknowledged his strength, but never really trusted him, he could tell. When they needed help, they welcomed him, but at other times, they mocked him and regarded him as an outcast.
Ah well, why should he care …
The humans' voices were getting louder now, and he could see, through the trees ahead, the orange glow of torches.
"we can wait no longer ! burn her now !"
Frek suddenly had a bad feeling about that last shout he heard, and he quickened his pace, dashing over the undergrowth towards that fire-lit clearing with a speed that Geri had only rarely witnessed.
'Frek, wait !' Geri leapt after him.
"burn her now !" the angry crowd protested and pushed in towards the unlit pyre in the centre, only to be kept away from it by a group of tall, stoic-looking men, one of whom walked up to the late middle-aged man standing among them.
"Chief, what are we waiting for ? we can hold them back now, but when they become a mob, it will be rather …" he looked back with a puzzled expression at the villagers gathered all around to watch the event. " speaking of which …"
"Deric, I …" Village chief Taman sighed and looked up at the pyre. Above the middle of the pile of logs and twigs, stood a 3 metre tall, one foot wide wooden pillar. With her back pressed against it, and her arms around it, hands tied up on the other side, was the figure of a tall, lean woman in a dark green hooded robe with gold trimmings. From what one could glimpse of her face beneath that hood, her youthful appearing beauty was hauntingly captivating, especially if she happened to be staring right back at you.
With effort, Taman shrunk from and averted her gaze. Damn witch, of all people to cast her unholy influence on, why him ? If the villagers staged a riot, then … Taman gasped and widened his eyes at the horrible realization.
He heard a crash, followed by a chorus of gasps and whispers from the villagers as well, and looked up to follow their gaze,
To see a familiar large-framed, early middle-aged man clad in nothing but a kilt woven of vines standing at the edge of the clearing. His long hair was grey, and his eyes were a feral amber, just like the wolf that stood beside him.
"Well, if it isn't the Wolf-man !"Deric called out. "What brings you here ? Have you come to witness the burning as well ?"
"What burning ?" Frek saw the figure tied to the wooden post, and curiously walked towards it. The villagers immediately cleared away from him. Standing two heads taller than the tallest human in the crowd, with broad, stony chest and shoulders, long muscular limbs, and strong chiseled features, Frek radiated a sense of tremendous power by his very presence, so that even as they kept a wide distance from him, the villagers couldn't help but peer at him with mixed awe and fear, until they saw Geri growling at them and they looked away.
Now standing right before Taman and Deric, who instinctively backed away a few steps so that they wouldn't get stared down by the Wolf-man, Frek looked around at the crowd, then at the pyre, then the wooden post, and at the woman tied to it. She smiled at him.
Like Taman before him, Frek tore his gaze away from that shadowy yet mesmerizing visage and looked back at Deric after shaking his head to clear his mind. "You are going to burn her ?"
"You … have a problem with that ?" Deric crossed his arms.
"Why do you want to burn your own pack mate ?" Frek raised an eyebrow.
"She …" Taman began.
"She is NOT one of us !" Deric pointed towards the woman. "She is one of those alien witches who brought the Xenomorphs down on us !"
Confused at the strange words, Frek rubbed his chin, a gesture which for a moment, took Deric and Taman by surprise as well.
Then Frek's eyes widened. "She's a sky-comer ?"
"Of … of course." Deric did not know how else to reply.
"Then you can't burn her." Frek declared firmly.
"What ?" came the response from all over the crowd.
Ignoring the shocked looks that Deric and the villagers threw at him, Frek continued. "If I burn myself here in her stead, will you let her go ?"
"Did he just say that !"
"What … what did he say ?"
"Ah, just burn them both at once !"
Deric and Taman just stared up silently at the Wolf-man, their jaws hanging limply in shock.
"I'll take that as yes."
Frek walked up to the pyre, and began untying the woman's hands.
'what are you doing ?'
'just saving a life … damn these ropes …"
'stop giggling, Geri, why don't you try undoing the ropes ?'
'um … Frek, I didn't giggle.'
Then he heard a soft, yet reverberating voice whisper into his ear.
"This isn't what I planned, but thank you."
Before he could look up at the source of the voice, there was a bright flash of lightning, followed by near-darkness again as the moonlight faded away, and the cool pre-dawn breeze blew more strongly, bringing with it a shower of icy water droplets which blanketed the entire forest.
Amid the rustling that grew louder, Frek felt the logs beneath him tremble, heard a swoosh, followed by a snap, and looked up to see the woman holding a few broken ropes in one free hand, and pointing a long thin curved blade down in another.
"How did you -?"
'Frek, we should leave now !' Geri nudged his knee.
Nodding in his mind, Frek reached out to grab the woman's wrist, then stopped himself. "Come with me, sky-comer."
She just tilted her head and smiled, and looked him over with half-closed eyes whose irises were … luminescent gold ?
"STOP right there !" Deric's voice drew both their attention.
"Or what ? " Frek's expression was now that of a wrestler threatening his opponent. "You can't burn her in the rain."
"Burning is … only one of the ways." Again, Deric staggered a few steps back ( almost fell due to the now muddy ground … ) to avoid being stared down by Frek, who now appeared even taller because he was standing atop the pyre. "We will … stake her !"
"STAKE HER ! STAKE HER !" Those villagers who hadn't rushed home due to the rain shouted in unison.
"WHO DARES !" Without warning, Frek half squatted, wrapped an arm around the wooden post beside him and then stood up, lifting the two man tall pillar clear out of the soil, logs and twigs which it had been planted in.
Now everyone staggered back in fear. A few more villagers rushed home. Even the mysterious sky-comer woman stopped smiling and widened her eyes.
Without effort, Frek pointed one end of the pillar at Deric. "If I stake myself in the chest in her place, then you will let her go ?"
Deric, still shocked by the inhuman display of ferocious strength that he had just witnessed, could only gape and stare back at the fierce Wolf-man.
"Hmph." Still carrying the pillar in his arm, Frek bent down, picked up a metre long, crooked, three inch wide stick from the pyre and pointed its sharpened end perpendicularly to his chest.
With a roar, he tensed himself and plunged the stick towards where his heart was.
There was a loud sharp crunch, followed by the sound of wooden splinters tumbling down to the ground.
"There, it's done !" Frek lowered the free hand holding the broken stick to reveal … a stony chest with no visible stab wound, except for a strange scar that had been there long ago.
Now all the remaining villagers rushed home. After a while, Deric and Taman stopped staring and gaping as well, and staggered after the others. "D … do as you wish, Wolf-man !"
"HAHAHAHA …" Throwing what's left of the stick aside, Frek gazed ahead and laughed heartily, like a great wolf which had once again proven his dominance to his clan. "I am Frek, the Wolf-man, as they call me ! do you have a name ?"
After a while, the green-robed woman ( for some reason her robes did not get wet from the rain … ) chuckled as well, visibly. "Gya, the witch ... as they called me."
"Oh, haha, indeed ...". Now as the rain died down and the moonlight shone through once again, Gya couldn't help but tilt her head back and laugh as well, in that soft, reverberating voice of hers.
And that was when her hood fell off, revealing her long, flowing black hair, and even more of her youthful looking face, and … long thin pointed ears ?
The both of them stopped laughing. Gya brought one hand up to the side of her head, and peered aside at Frek, who was now staring at her in astonishment.
"You are …"
"I thought you knew …" She whispered.
"… beautiful !"
The look of uncertainty on her face disappeared and she raised her eyebrows, "Do you … not hate me ?"
Frek jerked back at the question. "Why would I hate a beautiful creature like you ?"
"Oh ?" She chuckled again. "Hnhn, you are not like the other humans."
"Perhaps I am not as human as I look then ... " Frek saw Geri trembling and shaking off the rainwater in his fur. "Sorry, my friend." He knelt down, put down the wooden pillar, and embraced his friend, protecting him from the cold.
"Are you … a Space Marine ?" Gya asked.
Space Marine … why did that word have such a familiar ring to it ? Frek shook his head. "What is a Space Marine ?"
"Ah, when I saw you I had the feeling that you were one, seems I was wrong." Gya looked up at the sky. "They are supposedly the strongest warriors among humans. The elders back in the Craftworld say they are nothing but trigger happy brutes, but from what I have seen, they are a really brave people."
She dropped the ropes, sheathed her sword, and knelt down beside Geri and ran her hand gently through his fur as well. The young wolf grinned and sighed at the comfortable gesture. "If only every human were as personable as you are …" she looked at Frek with a sad smile.
"Have you seen those … Space Marines ?" Frek did not know why he was so interested. perhaps if he found out more …
"Yes, in fact, it was they who ultimately defeated the Tyr-"
A blood-curdling bellow interrupted their conversation.
"It's one of the Terrors." Frek looked around at the surrounding forest. "Why are they here ?"
Geri leapt down the pyre and pressed one ear to the ground. 'It's big … and it's coming this way !'
Just then they heard the creaking, smashing and thudding of trees being felled en masse. There was indeed a large creature ( or was it a large swarm of creatures ? ) crashing dangerously through the forest, and the noise it made was getting louder.
'Isha's creeping vines ….' Gya cursed. 'If only I hadn't lost my rifle as well.'
Frek turned to Gya. "Do you have a hide-out nearby ?"
"No, I am not really familiar with the geography of this world."
"No choice then." Frek picked up the wooden pillar again and grinned. "It's been a while since I've slain a Terror !"
"Hnhn… you are so much like a Space Marine." Gya drew her sword, closed her eyes in concentration, and ran the fingers of her free hand along the middle of the blade. When she opened her eyes again, the intricate designs etched onto the blade glowed a dim blue like the twi-light itself.
Before Frek could get a closer look on what those designs were, they heard a ground-shaking crash, and the trees before them flew apart as the Terror lumbered into the clearing, and gave a roar that caused the undamaged trees to tremble as it caught sight of the two figures standing in the middle.
It was much much bigger than they expected. "Geri, go hide !"
Scout Sargeant Cyrus signaled for his squad to move on, while keeping his eye on the colossal monster bulldozing its way through the trees far ahead, oblivious to the group of initiate level Space Marines stalking a distance behind it.
For several hours, he and his squad of scouts had been tracking this Carnifex xenomorph through the jungle. The Commander's reasoning had been that by following it, they could eventually find the brood nest it belonged to, and wipe out the entire brood in one fell swoop.
He seriously doubted that any significant brood nest would remain. All the visible ones had been destroyed after the defeat of the Hive Fleet. After all, he was one of those sargeants who took part in the daring mission that crippled the Hive Fleet and drove it from the system. Still, experience had taught him, that it pays to be meticulous. The Tyrannid invasion had dealt a serious blow to the Blood Ravens' home sector. All its remnants had to be destroyed if they were to ensure that the Hive Fleet did not return in the near future.
Now, the Carnifex had entered a large clearing. Was this one of the Tyrannid's hidden colonies ? Signaling his squad-mates to stop and hide themselves, Cyrus adjusted the scopes on his sniper rifle to get a better picture of the clearing,
Only to see what appeared to be two humanoid figures standing atop a pile of wood in the middle of the clearing. The latter obviously saw the Carnifex approaching, but did not run away. Were they going to fight it ? He recognized the female with a sword in her hand as an Eldar Warlock, but there was also tall, strong-framed and scantily clad man beside her, wielding a … three metre long wooden pillar ? A native of Typhon Primaris ? no, this wild-man somehow exuded a sense of power and nobility despite his savage appearance, which Cyrus later discovered, was too rugged even to be a native of Typhon.
His fellow scouts saw it as well. "Sargeant, should we intervene ?"
Before he could answer, Cyrus saw the Warlock lash out at the Carnifex with bolts of warp-lightning that burst forth from her outstretched non-weapon hand. A Space Marine who was hit by such an attack would have been violently thrown back and burned half-way to death, but this towering behemoth was only stunned for a moment.
What Cyrus saw next left him stunned as well.
The wild-man ran up to the creature with his wooden pillar upraised, and jumped up several body lengths, swinging the pillar down onto the Carnifex's head, the impact of the smash sending shockwaves echoing across the clearing. Tyrannid armour was much stronger than wood, obviously; the forward half of the pillar exploded into splinters.
As he dropped to the ground, the wild-man roared and plunged the splintered end of the now shortened pillar he was holding onto into the knee one of the beast's hindlimbs.
Again, the forward end shattered on impact with the Carnifex's exoskeleton, but the force of the attack jarred the creature enough to make it stagger a bit.
Screaming hoarsely with anger, the Carnifex raised one of its enormous scythe-like forelimbs and brought it down upon the wild-man like a construction crane falling down.
For a moment, Cyrus held his breath, then gasped as he saw what happened next.
The wild-man caught the tip of the giant scythe-claw with both hands just as it came within half a metre of his head and … held it there ! With a plop! and a small splash his feet sank into the mud beneath them from the sudden manyfold increase in weight, but even as he strained to stay upright, he never actually lost ground.
"Sweet Emperor !" the seasoned scout exclaimed, wiping his scopes in disbelief. Behind him, his squad-mates muttered in shock as well.
As the wild-man struggled with the Carnifex, the Warlock dashed swiftly, almost glided, around the monster, along its tail, up its back, onto its head, and ran her glowing sword down through the top of of its thick skull.
"HYAA !" the Warlock screamed and her eyes flashed white hot. Warp-lightning arced about her arms, down her hands and into the creature's head through the sword.
The Carnifex's eyes flashed bright green, and a lime green mist poured out of its fang-filled mouth as it shook its head violently from side to side trying to throw the Warlock off.
"Cyrus, did you say something ? Cyrus ?" The Commander's voice came in through the coms.
Cyrus sit back down within the cover of the undergrowth and pressed a button on the side of his simple headgear. "Commander, the Xenomorph we are tracking is currently engaged in battle with an Eldar Warlock and another unknown human combatant. We are observing from a safe distance away. Shall we inter-"
Cyrus stopped as he heard the sound of a large animal being crushed and ripped apart, followed by the desperate roar of said animal which quickly faded into a groan.
He stood up from his hiding place just in time to see the Carnifex collapse lifelessly onto the ground, sending a second shockwave across the clearing, both its forelimbs horribly twisted and the attached claws run right through its belly, drawing torrents of dark-green blood from the enormous stab wounds. Before it, the wild-man sat staring at his own fists, while catching his breath. Behind him were several metres long gashes carved deeply into the ground. The warlock, who had somehow landed safely back on the ground, withdrew her sword, walked a distance away, and stared back at the giant Xenomorph carcass, and then at the wild-man, with an amused expression.
"Cyrus, what is going on ?"
"Commander, I think we have found us another … promising … new member."
Been playing Dawn of War 2. The game is still underdeveloped in some aspects. And I was too lazy to upgrade my com so there's significant lag XP
but it does give you a newfound respect for the species in Warhammer40k. I hope Starcraft 2 will have the same effect over SC, after all this hype :/
I've also been reading and uploading on mangafox, so I haven't really touched fanfiction for a while XD
that's all for now,
no prize for guessing who Frek really is XD
on the other hand, suggestions and reviews would be very much appreciated :)