This is my fanfic in 40k. It focus on showing a more common view of the universe and how a fairly calm and pacific world turns into a fascist regime and how common guys like us turn into soldiers.
If you are looking for meaningless mayhem and OHMYGODSPACEMARINESAREAWESOMEBECAUSETHEY KILL EVERYTHING, this is not your place.
Other than that, enjoy.
Comments and feedback is always welcomed.
(some of you guys might remmember this story from years ago on the Black Library forum.)
The Right Stuff.
Drake moved his body. Flailing with his arms, shifting the position of his legs and throwing his head, all according to the rhythm of the music. Eletronika’s new single had already been remixed and the youth of Doven Solus was dancing to the bones with the latest version. Technorock was the current audible trend in all the biggest cities of the planet. Nebula Linus, the largest of them, was no exception.
Stopping for a second to catch his breath, Drake looked around, trying to lay his eyes on his friends. All around him the guys and girls from his college, and others, were dancing like madmen. It was hard to distinguish faces in the dark, and the shifting, colored lights didn’t help a bit. Or maybe he was a little drunk, after all. He had been slowing down on the spirits since he had done some stupid things the last time he drank, but the outline of the people around him still seemed a little blurred. But he knew this was the last time he would be drinking. He had lost control of his life in the last year and was becoming someone he didn’t like. Good thing he had friends to slap him in the face and tell him he was being stupid.
And they were here. He spotted both of his friends, finally. One of them, was sitting by the bar, his sleeved cotton **** was light-gray, and every time a colored light beam passed over him, it glowed with a different color. He had cropped hair and wore charming glasses. They gotta be charming, thought Drake. That would be the only explanation for the number of girls surrounding Trevor. There was some guys too, but most of the small group talking to him was composed by beautiful girls. All of them were from his college. Pharmacy. Drake had listened that in this area there was three times more girls than boys. He should have applied to it.
His other friend, on the other hand, got girls because he knew exactly how to talk to them. This was happening right now, Drake could see, as Derek whispered something in the ear of a blonde girl, probably the prettiest girl in the party, and she smiled and nodded, He took her by the hand and turned in the direction of the lounge of the club. As he was turning, his eyes met Drake’s and he winked, opening that unbearable smile of victory that he always gave Drake to irritate him. Then he opened the doors to the lounge and wind blew in, waving his long black hair, and doing the same with his white satin shirt, before he vanished behind the crowd.
Drake smiled alone and shook his head. Then, one of his favorite songs kicked in and he realized that he was standing like a dupe, unmoving, in the middle of the dance floor for the last minutes, and some of the people dancing around him were concealing laughs. Nevermind these pricks, he thought, and started dancing again, turning his back to the mockers. The kids from universities were all stupid and shallow, their minds completely overpowered by the alienating media. But the kids from his area, in particular, annoyed him the most. Journalism students tended to think that they were superior to everyone else. He knew he must have looked dumb, but the giggles irritated him none the less.
Someone touched him in the shoulder, and he turned, curious to see who it was. One of the girls that were mocking him stood before him. She had a nice face, with red hair and freckles. The girl was wearing a short blue dress, with a belt in the middle of her torso. She had a nice body as well. With green eyes, she measured him, smiling, and said something Drake couldn’t hear. All the while dancing.
“What?” asked Drake, starting to move his own body to the rhythm again. He put on an angry look on his face. Whatever the girl said was probably mocking him. Maybe not, but he wouldn’t take chances.
“I said,” replied the girl, getting closer and speaking louder to make herself heard. “That we thought you were a goner.”
“A goner?” asked Drake confused. Now that the girl was closer, he could tell that she also smelled good.
“Yes!” her smile became wider “Because you were dancing frenetically and in the next second you stop with a crazy look on your face. We thought you forgot your body here and went to dance Eletronika with the emperor.” She laughed.
“No. I was just looking for my friends, to join them and rest my legs for a while.” Answered Drake
“Oh, then you must be tired, you really are a good dancer.” She said with kind eyes.
A good dancer? Thought Drake and then bustled into laughs. He was a terrible dancer, this girl was just cheap-chatting. He could tell she was not very good at this because she laughed along with him. Probably imagining that he was laughing with her and not at her. But she was beautiful and he would definitely play along.
“No, I’m not!” He smiled back at her “You are just being nice!”
“No I’m not!” She said, and was about to say something else but Drake interrupted her.
“What is your name?”
“Lena!” answered the redhead “What about yours?”
“Drake Lutherfield! I study journalism in Nemus! Are you in college?” he asked, slowing down the dance and getting a little closer to her. If she noticed, she gave no sign.
“Oh...” She hesitated for a while, then she looked straight in his eyes as if measuring him and said “I study at the E.C.S.S.N.”
Now he knew why she hesitated to tell him. It was an infamous place, filled with the weirdest of the weird, and some kids with dangerous disorders. He didn’t want to say anything rude, but being subtle was far from the behavior of Drake and by the time the thought that something harsh could hurt the girl came to him, he had already spoken “The Emperor’s College to Students with Special Needs?!” He hated himself. He knew that his eyes were wide and his mouth was gaping.
“Yeah.” She said, to Drake’s surprise she was smiling. “You don’t need to feel bad. That’s the first reaction everyone has when I tell this.”
“Sorry... It’s just that -”
“No! You don’t need to apologize... I’ve seen worst reactions. It’s because everyone thinks it is a mad house or a mental institution or something like that. It isn’t. You can tell by looking at me.” She spun in her hills, her hair brushed him in the face. “Do I look mad or dangerous?”
“You look... Beautiful...” Said Drake, stupidly.
“Exactly!” she said, smiling. “Its just a teaching institution as any other. With exception that they take in some special kids.”
You may say special, but to me they are still freaks, thought Drake, smiling at her. “And are you special?” he asked, reaching for her hand. To his surprise, she took his hand and pressed it hard.
“That’s up to you to find out.” She said, smiling meaningfully. Now THIS was self confidence, he thought. It was the perfect cue. He was supposed to do his part now. He would but he was a proud man. The last words would be his. And he would have to sound more confident than her.
“I already know.” He said, simply. Then he grabbed her waist with his free hand and pulled her together. She looked serious for a second and stopped dancing, but he kept his confident face on and raised an eyebrow. She smiled. He kissed her lips.
Drake never felt so good with a girl in his arms. Sitting in one of the couches, hugging her, he couldn’t remember felling this happy in his former relationshipx, as he did with Lena in four hours. She was pretty, funny and intelligent. All the time they spent together his hands were entangled with hers, when they were talking and when they were kissing. Derek was sitting in a couch nearby, with Trevor and his pharmacy’s friends. They both were laughing and making fun out of some poor soul. There was no sign of the blonde girl Derek caught earlier.
“And your teacher told ya you had the IQ of a snail?” She laughed.
“Yep...” Agreed Drake. His teachers in the university were all very different from one another. There were those who were brilliant and those who got the job because they had friends in the Administratum of the college. Unfortunately Mr. Laert, who compared Drake’s intellect with that of a snail, was one of the good ones. Another proof that Drake was not the same guy he used to be. It was as if he wasn’t happy about doing journalism. Would it be that? Would Drake be happier if he was attending to Imperial Law school like Derek or something else? He doubted it. “He said violence and intelligence could never coexist”.
“And all this stress only because -” she stooped talking suddenly and raised her eyes to the roof of the lounge. It was a huge glass dome, enabling the customers of the Club to watch the sky in all directions, like a greenhouse. Today the sky was as clear as it was possible for a hive city. Even in the highest part of the city, where the club stood, it was rare to be as clear as it was today. It was even possible to see the blue, dark sky and, surprisingly some stars. Probably the wind and the time of the year were just right. Timing, Drake had learned, is everything.
“Yes, I’m on my way.” Said Lena, still looking at the random spot she picked. Drake couldn’t see anything there, and kept looking from the spot back to the girl’s eyes. All of a sudden she lowered her head and kissed him quickly but passionately. “I have to go, Drake.”
“What? why?” He asked, as she rose. He got to his feet right after her and tried to follow her.
“Sorry, I really need to-” She turned and looked at him sadly, but in the middle of her sentence, her sad look turned into one of terrible pain and she screamed. “Ahhhhhhhh!” Drake was plain sure that he saw her eyes blazing before she closed them and clutched her head with both hands, as if her brain was about to explode. Then she went silent and felt. Drake trained martial arts since he was a little kid and his reflexes allowed him to take hold of her before she hit the ground.
Looking around he noticed that, due to the high music, only a few people had realized that the girl didn’t scream out of joy, or out of drug induced hysteria. Among them, Trevor and Derek, who were with Drake in seconds, clearing a couch for him to put the fainted girl on.
“What happened, dude?” asked Trevor, looking at the girls eyes and taking her pulse.
“I have no Idea!” Replied Drake desperately, holding the back of the girls head and grabbing her hand with his own.
“Hey what is happening in here?” Asked some curious guys and girls trying to glance over their shoulders.
“Nothing.” Derek stood between them and the couch and pushed one of the guys back strongly. He pointed a menacing finger in the direction of the guy and the other few curious were convinced that it was not a good idea to pick a fight because of their curiosity. “I said there is nothing happening.” He said again, for the last time.
“What is happening?” He turned and looked at the girl himself.
“We don’t know.” Replied Drake honestly wishing he did. The girl was still breathing and had a firm pulse, according to Trevor. The pharmacist put his glasses back in the right position and raised her eyelids. “Take a look at this.”
Drake and Derek got near the girl and stared into the eye Trevor was holding open. Lena’s pupils were so dilated they covered the green of her eyes completely.
“Did you see her taking any drugs, Drake?” asked Trevor.
“No!” Drake hurried to answer “Not that I know.”
“You see, man?” Said Derek, smiling. “You are a mess... Now you make girls sick... literally.”
“Cut it out Derek. This **** is serious!” replied Drake, making an obscene gesture at his friend. It was a funny joke, but the timing was terrible.
“Ah stick that finger up your –” Derek’s phrase was interrupted by another scream. This one clearly of ecstasy.
Looking around him, Drake could see that everyone in the lounge was standing up and looking south trough the dome’s thick glass. Crossing the dark sky, dozens of shooting stars fell into the night, non-stop. The little lights came down vertically and disappeared in the horizon. It was a wonderful sight and he really regretted that Lena couldn’t share it with him. It would be very romantic and stuff. Watching such an awesome shower of shooting stars on the day they first met would be a good memory.
It was so beautiful.
“Dude, everyone is driving like crazy tonight!” said Derek, cutting through two cars and speeding up his own.
“Not everyone” replied Drake “You are still driving like an idiot!”
The three of them laughed. Every single one of them knew that the joke was not so good, and that they were just trying to easy their spirits. After the falling star spectacle they tried to call an ambulance to Lena, who wouldn’t wake up, but the emergency number was jammed. Drake tried to look for the friends that were with her before, when she was mocking him, but couldn’t find them. So they would take the girl to the hospital themselves.
Driving his car was Derek, the window open, the wind flowing and making his hair fly. Not for the first time in eleven years Drake suspected he did this kind of stuff on purpose. One hand on the wheel and the other making obscene signs at the other drivers, which slowed the traffic down. Trevor sat beside him, looking back worriedly at the girl and trying to give reassuring looks to Drake. Lena was lying in Drake’s arms, both of them on the back seat. He stroke her hair gently, hoping for her to wake up any second.
The car was a steel-blue Cruiser, three of the four windows were open and trough them it was possible to hear the loud Technorock playing in Derek’s sound device. The tires left black marks on the ground and the smell of burned rubber behind as they made their way as fast as possible to the hospital. The speedways and avenues were bustling with an unusual number of vehicles for this late in the night. A lot of sirens were on, opening way trough the other cars for ambulances and Planetary Defense Forces vehicles.
Damn, what the hell was going on?
When they finally got to the hospital’s avenue, the traffic was flowing slowly. Drake sighed when he realized that the massive volume of cars was being caused by the gathering of a large amount of vehicles in the entrance of the enormous parking lot of the hospital.
“What the frak is happening here?” asked Derek making good use of his car’s horn.
“I don’t know, man.” Said Trevor, leaning forward and turning off the sound system “Let me shut this thing off, I can’t think straight with this **** playing so loud.”
“Woossy!” said Drake and Derek at the same time.
“Frak you! Hey, look... Some people are leaving their cars!” said the pharmacist, pointing towards a woman who left her husband in the car and ran to the entrance of the medical facility, carrying a children on her arms. Following the example, lots of other people left their cars and rushed to the hospital on their own legs. Some of them were so desperate that they abandoned their vehicles alone, in the middle of the avenue, only to increase the jam and the noise of the horns.
“Look at those jackasses!” said Trevor shoving his head trough the window gap and screaming a stream of bad words.
“You gotta be very stupid to do something like this -” said Derek, turning to laugh with Drake, only to find the door slamming and his friend running with the girl on his arms.
Drake ran towards the Hospital’s entrance, holding Lena. He was very strong, and carrying her wouldn’t trouble him under normal conditions. But then again, this was far from normal. She was unconscious and the dead weight made her twice as heavy as she should be. He wasn’t exactly rested after the long hours of the party.
Still he was able to outrun most of the ‘desperados’. Looking back he could see that Trevor had also left the car and was almost reaching him. He carried no weight, but that cranky knee of his would always slow him down a little. Further behind, Derek was following the example of some other drivers and parking his car on the sidewalk. He too probably realized that the traffic wouldn’t move an inch due to the abandoned vehicles across the street.
The hospital was an enormous building, the typical imposing structure the Imperium of Man used to remember the local population of its sheer might. The rockrete structure was painted white and the windows were black from the outside. The main entrance was crowded and people were starting to get angry at one another. A fat man tried to shove a small guy aside and a brawl erupted all around. Derek arrived and smiled at the violence, looking Drake in the eyes and getting the same smile back from the journalist. Both of them loved a good scrap. But Trevor’s glare reminded them of the real purpose they were here and pointed to a gap in the raging brawl.
Within seconds, the security guards of the hospital managed to bring the rabble back to their senses with a little help from their rubber sticks, also known as Peacemakers. Meanwhile, Drake, Derek and Trevor sneaked behind the furious mob that was arguing with the guards and made their way trough the hospital door. A few of the heads on the crowd turned, but the sight of the unconscious girl was enough to discourage them to any kind of protest.
“This way.” said Derek, holding his hand in the sensor of the large glass door, so that it would remain open. Inside the waiting room was hell. Crowded with dozens of people, some of them crying, other sounding desperate at the phone. There were also some furious people here, but instead of fighting they were shouting at the staff. Trevor went inside first and held the arm of one of the nurses that was walking nervously from one side to another.
She was scared at first, but when she noticed the guy meant no harm to her she listened to him. He said some technical information that Drake quite didn’t get and the eyes of the black haired nurse went wide. She signaled for Drake to come closer and then put two fingers on the right side of Lena’s neck. After a few seconds she nodded and said. “It’s true, it is fading.” Her voice was a little high pitched and she definitely sounded nervous “Ok, bring her close to this door, I’ll be back in a second.” And as she said it, she moved into the same door.
A glimpse behind the door, for the few seconds it remained opened, made Drake’s mouth go dry. The corridor was filled with moaning, hurt people, on makeshift beds. Some of them were bleeding violently and others were terribly burned - men, women, young and elder alike. All around them doctors bumped each other and raced trough the corridors patching and stitching and doing things a doctor should do. It was a breath taking sight, on the worse way possible.
Just when he thought he couldn’t hold Lena any longer, the nurse came back with a male intern and a litter. The guy took Lena from Drake’s arms and laid her in the bed. Trevor was holding her purse and asked “What do I do with this?”
“Just go to the reception desk and give her personal information. Tell the attendant she is in the litter number 462. They will try to contact her parents or relatives.” Replied the nurse in a hurry. “Now, let us take care of her.” And with this she rolled the litter trough the corridor, and the vision of Lena vanishing when the doors closed filled Drake with grief. He knew he would never see her again.
The three friends eyed each other for a while with a grave look on their faces. All of a sudden they all bursted into laughter at the same time. “How the frak do we always get in this kind of trouble?!” asked Derek.
“I don’t know, man... All I know is that I have to take a piss.” Replied Drake stretching his numb arms. “Can you guys go ahead and start giving her info to the attendant?”
“Sure, no problem.” Said Trevor with sarcasm. “Can you go frak yourself?”
“No I mean it, dude! My bladder is about to burst!”
“Ok, but don’t take too long!” said Trevor.
“Too long?” asked Derek laughing “He’ll take half an hour just to find his tiny whennie.”
“Frak off!” said Drake, laughing too and turned to go to the bathroom. After a few corridors he found it. When he got inside there was some man washing his hands and Drake walked straight to the squat toilet and relieved himself. By the time he was done, the man was already gone, so he zipped his pants back and went to wash his hands and face. Then he looked himself on the mirror.
Drake was a tall and muscular guy. More than ten years fighting Pugnacrus did this to him. He had a large chin and a small nose, a small scar marked the place where it had been broken a long time ago. He had brown eyes and brown hair, hidden under a red bandana. As he regarded his regular jeans trousers and a white T-shirt with a black sleeveless shirt on top of it, he realized how much he had changed in the last years - so much on the inside and so little on the outside. Even the clothes he was wearing were a copy of what he used to wear as a youngling. He was twenty one years old. That meant he was now – Trevor slammed the door open and with a serious look on his face and said “Drake, come on you gotta see this!”
“What? You scared the **** out of me...” Said Drake, drying his hands on his shirt.
“Hurry up, you dumb frak, it is serious!” said Trevor, his grave look turning into anger.
“Ok, calm down what’s up?” Drake ran trough the corridors behind Trevor until they reached the waiting room. The noise and screams that filled the room minutes before were replaced by absolute silence, and all heads were turned to the huge Holovision board, in the middle of the room, where Willian Bones, the most famous journalist anchor in Nebula Linus was saying something. His professional looks betrayed the fear in his voice.
“... have been reported. The meteor shower that hit the 34th sector of the residential district forty seven minutes ago, completely obliterated the sector and also did great harm in sectors 35, 33 and 44. The authorities have been locked into the Lord Governor conference room and...”
Drake’s heart stopped beating. His mouth was gaping open and his knuckles were white, such was the pressure his clenched hands issued them. He lived in sector 34. His parents and whole family lived there. The same thing with Derek and Trevor. He wanted to look to his sides, to check on his friends, but he couldn’t take his eyes of the screen.
“We will now play again the interview with the official reply of the Government to the incident.” With this, his image was replaced by that of the entrance of the Administratum building and a fat bald man with thick glasses speaking “As much as we wanted to keep searching for survivors, it is now an impossible task. As I said before, the meteorites were not regular rocks. They are vessels to some Xenos species. The rescue teams and fire brigade sent there were killed by the creatures and it is impossible to do anything but close the area for now. PDF troopers were already moved to the area and are containing the threat. The area is currently under quarantine and everything is under control. There is no need to panic. I repeat, there is no need to panic, don’t try to leave town, as you will probably get stuck in an unnecessary jam. Everything is under control”. The Image switched back to the anchor. “There are reports from all across Doven Primus that the same meteor shower hit the most populated residential areas of the biggest hives. Attacks have been reported on Macharia, Solden Minus, Solarees –” The anchor stood silent for a while with his hand on his ear and then spoke again “An amateur video have just arrived in Globo’s station. Watch now this footage taken during the escape of someone from the quarantine.'"
A video kicked in showing a street blurring and feet running. Clearly they belonged to whoever was making the video. “Hey man, help! Help!” screamed the camera operator. He arrived in beside a soldier, who said “Shut off that camera!. What is happening?” he had a rough voice, and the camera was lowered, but kept filming. “There are monster behind me! They’ve killed my brother!” said the operator. The PDF soldier asked skeptically “Monsters?”
“Yeah! But I don’t know where they- BEHIND YOU!” shouted the operator, raising the camera again. There were three soldiers, and one of them was split in two, spraying the camera and the ground with blood. Out of the darkness, black shadows lounged forward, ripping the soldiers to pieces before they could raise their weapons. “Holy Emperor! Someone help!” Screamed the amateur camera man, as he turned and ran towards a jeep. The imaged returned to the Anchor in the studio. He was silent for a while.
“We’ve just received a memo from the Government cabinet saying that Martial Law shall be declared and Imperial Guard forces are already on the move from our neighbor system, Ordelia. The meteors that obliterated 34th earlier today were actually vessels for hostile Xenos and...” So he went on and on, repeating the news.
Drake eyed his friends. Trevor looked pale and sick, as if he was about to throw up. Derek looked like he would burst into rage tears at any moment. Drake imagined that he looked no better himself. His house and family were crushed by alien aircrafts. Tears came to his eyes but he wouldn’t allow them to fall. He wouldn’t allow the creatures to take his pride as they took his family. He couldn’t believe his parents were gone. And so couldn’t Derek because he said “I don’t know about you... guys. But I’m going home!”. Drake knew that tone. He used it too, and too often. It was stubbornness. He eyed his friends and they all nodded in a silent agreement.
And before anyone could notice, they were sprinting to the car, to take it and drive to the quarantine area. That was their home. This whole city was their home. This whole planet was their home.
And it was being invaded.