So, this is the extended version of my original one-shot. I decided to keep it, and then continue in a slightly changed version that is more canon, and will turn into what I hope will be a damned good story. Here's the first chapter, and I guess I'll thank you in advance for reading. This is only my first fic beyond a couple of pages, and the third that I've ever written as far as I can remember… actually the fourth, I remember writing one in 8th grade (Senior in High School now). You might also notice some random changes in tense. I'm not sure why, but they pop up and I can't really control them. They do not, however, appear to switch in the middle of sentences, more like chunks of the story might be in present and others in past. I don't know why, but that's the way I write. If it detracts, I'd love some advice on how to improve this issue or write in one tense. So yeah, here goes… a continuous stream of literary goodness pulled out of my ass (meaning made on the spot). Well, here goes :P
Pre-Alaitoc Assault (When humans needed less provocation to attack craftworlds)
He lifted his boot, shifting his balance toward his other foot planted on the ground and, leaning forward, kicked out with all of his might. The door was made of some kind of relatively weak material, as was indicated by it being completely dislodged from its mounts. The interior of the small building, what appeared to be a hab, and one of the many lining the road down which he had stalked, was dark. Light crept in from the open doorway, casting his elongated shadow across the floor and onto the wall opposite him. There was some overturned furniture; it appeared that the inhabitants had left with haste. In the middle of this "city", on some corner of an Eldar craftworld, Andron Jarek now found himself. He and his unit had been called upon, sent light-years across the galaxy, spent months upon a troop transport, and had arrived on this craftworld, Yul'Te, they had called it. He and his unit had been sent to scout ahead, searching for a route to flank behind the xenos scum and eradicate them and their unholy existence from the universe. His squadmates were moving to search other buildings in the area. He was alone.
Andron raised his lasrifle, activated the lamp attached to the bottom of its handguard, and stalked into the dwelling. Despite his mind being almost utterly focused on staying alive against a foe so dangerous, he noticed several things as he trained his rifle and its light across the walls. The smell; food… Someone had been cooking something. He saw smoke curling through his lamp's beam, and after scanning the rest of what was the equivalent of a living room, he assumed, entered the room from which the smoke was coming.
He trained his light across the room, and saw nobody. Upon a burner sat a pot filled with some kind of meal which was now burning with increasing life. He coughed, and moved it. The smoke began to clear, and he could see more clearly once again. He took in his surroundings.
A table, surrounded by four mats, exotically shaped goblets, a clear container of the one thing that connected every race, no matter how different: water, all sat upon the table. The walls were a combination of green and purple, with curving patterns lining them. He hears the faintest bump above him, and instinctively snaps his rifle toward where the noise came from. Staring at the ceiling, he then looks for a staircase. He clears two more rooms, and finds a staircase. It curves gently upwards, and leads to another floor roughly ten feet above the last.
He widens his stance, and snaps his rifle down to both ends of the hallway.
Three doorways lead to separate rooms from the hall. He enters the closest one first. Taking a deep breath, he pivots around the doorframe, leveling his rifle and training it across the room.
There is a thick mat on the floor, its coverings disorderly and tossed about. There is a small door in the wall. He slowly creeps up to it and, holding his rifle heavy with one hand, reaches out to open the door. His heart pounding, every horror pict he had ever seen as a child flashing through his mind, he pulls open the door. He lets out a short cry as a robe falls to the floor.
You gakking fool! This is not how a brave servant of the God-Emperor is supposed to behave!
He exits the room, his nerves returning to normal. He enters the second room, which appears to be a washroom. There is another robe neatly folded on a shelf.
Heh, like my father used to wear…
The third door is closed. Andron is sure he heard something, and he can feel his pulse in his head. He opens and closes his fingers upon the grips of his lasrifle, and positions himself next to the door frame, with his rifle held up. He squints, takes a deep breath, opens his eyes once more, and kicks down the door, pointing his lasrifle across the room. After a split second as his mind interprets what it's seeing, his blood runs cold and his breath catches in his throat.
In the corner directly across from him, is one of them.
She is unarmed.
She wears a gown of red. It rolls softly off of her shoulders, and its somewhat excessive length piles itself on the floor. She is tall. Even though she is crouched, he can tell that she most likely stands slightly over six feet tall. Every cell in his body is screaming at him to not do what he does next. Every ounce of his faith is demanding he pull the trigger, end her blasphemous existence and be done with it. He'd told himself he'd never do it, because even though he had his faith and his courage, it would make it personal.
He looks into her eyes.
Anger, sadness, the slightest amount of fear, comes from her eyes. Even in the darkness, he can see that they are green. Her hair is long, nearly down her back, and golden, yet so light as to be nearly white. It shines gently in the sunlight intruding into the room. Her long, pointed ears protrude from her hair, angled slightly upwards and extending elegantly back. The color of her skin is similar to his. Not pale, not dark. Her nose is somewhat pointed, her entire face slightly angular and remotely alien, but strangely…
Andron's grip tightens upon his rifle. She stands. He was right; she is taller than him by a few inches. The gown's slack is taken up, and it tightens around her form. Andron inhales sharply.
The gown is thin, flowing delicately down her body. It hangs loosely on her shoulders, and his gaze follows it downward. It falls over her breasts, and then returns to molding around her body as it continues toward the floor. Her sides curve elegantly inward, before rolling out again at her hips. The light on his rifle silhouettes her figure to a degree under the gown. She is the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
Woman? This is a xenos! It is an affront to the God-Emperor! It must be destroyed!
Why? This craftworld was nowhere near any human planets, it was only found by long-range scouts. It posed no threat.
YOU DO NOT QUESTION YOUR FAITH! YOU SERVE WITH UNWAVERING LOYALTY AND DEVOTION, AND DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD!
Andron is snapped back to reality as he hears the distinct crack of lasrifle shots from nearby. He glances at the woman's face again. A tear runs down her face. It pains him to see it.
His earpiece crackles into life, and he hears faint yelling and swearing, with another voice yelling for presumably the one yelling to stop moving. He also hears laughter.
"We found one of the vermin in a hab out here. Looks like an older one. The son of a bitch shot Horkun; got him right in the ass. Dumb bastard probably never fired a weapon in his life. So yeah, everything's dead here."
Andron looks the woman in the eyes, her angelic and alien beauty consuming his thoughts once again. She stares Andron in the eyes. More tears begin to stream down her face. Her lip quivers ever so slightly. She likely knew whoever it was who now lay dead. She sighs, drawing in and exhaling a trembling breath, her breasts rising and falling with the action. Andron begins to breathe heavily, taking note. Everything about her is simply divine. She is the most perfect thing he has ever seen. Every terrible thing he had ever done in service of the Emperor pales in comparison to destroying something so beautiful, xenos or not. Orks deserved to die, Tryanids deserved to die, but she was the embodiment of the last glimmer of hope and good in this paradise-turned-warzone. He flexes his hands on his rifle once again. His mind tells him to shoot, to burn, to destroy what stands in front of him in the Emperor's Holy Fire. However his heart, his soul, and his morality, no matter how impacted by his faith, say otherwise.
"Jarek, you got anything?"
It is your duty! You are bound by your service to kill them!
It's not right!
Will you be a heretic? Will you betray humanity? It is not "right". It is heresy!
He has reached the most important crossroads in his life. The next three seconds will determine who he is for the rest of his life. He will have to live with his decision until the day he dies. Both have horrendous ramifications. Everything he has seen in the past ten minutes flashes through his mind. These were not animals he was looking at. She was a woman, a daughter, a sister, not some warp-borne daemon or a mindless killing machine. She had been living a peaceful life before it was utterly shattered by him and his comrades, who he was beginning to loathe. He also remembered a fact he had learned off-hand about the eldar: They live for nearly a thousand years. He is surprised he has made it even to twenty-two. In front of him stands centuries of potential, of life to be had or extinguished. The choice, however, falls on him, the man who will live a blink of an eye in the life of the woman whose fate rests in his hands. He makes his decision.