no romance, dark fantasy, military scifi, space opera, epic fantasy
After a bloody revolution, a royal warrior named Erilaz and his companions are exiled from their kingdom. They subsequently choose to hide on a distant planet, where they risk their lives every day. There are only three things that give him hope to carry on: his loyal friends, love for his land and the legend of a mysterious warrior and a clever strategist: The Chromed Emperor.
One day he will return.
Meanwhile, the king of his planet makes a single mistake that calls into question all his plans and hopes, leading him to become increasingly paranoid. His concerns are justified; however, there is a much worse danger than a band of local rebels.
Dagmar Rokita is a Polish writer and an artist. She writes and illustrates dark sci-fi series called "Bloodstained Skies". There are two things that inspire her: imaginary world of geek culture and the deepest corners of human psychology. Huge doses of heavy metal and history documentaries are her creative fuel. She wants to become a famous artist because she needs money to buy sophisticated food for her cat.
Helvetto, just like every other civilised planet, couldn't avoid wars forever. The inevitable has to come but no one expected that from the Moryans, a savage and primitive tribe. Or at least that's how everyone imagined them to be. Their hackers managed to cause a small mess on the outskirts of Helvetto's planetary system. What was considered a harmless attack of some desperate bandits, quickly turned out to be a rapid invasion towards Helvetto. Erilaz, a twenty-five-year-old, fledgeling Vardir Commander, quickly got a chance to test his skills in practise.
All three units of Vardir, the Royal Warriors, were sent to wipe the invaders out. Andvari and his unit guarded the northern territories in the mountains while Hefri and Erilaz clashed with the enemies a couple hundred kilometres away from the capital city, where the most violent strife broke out.
Erilaz and a few members of his unit stalked through a narrow crack. The early spring manifested itself with a persistent drizzle, melting snow and cascades of water streaming down the mountain peaks. Grey mud blended with blood almost completely covered the lower parts of his massive power armour. The brown root-like motives on his legs and fauld were barely visible under a thick layer of dirt. As the Commander of his unit, he wore navy blue pauldrons with an icy-blue crystal on them. Vardir's armours were forged from coruscium, an almost unbreakable metal alloy, so only anti-tank bullets could hurt them.
Erilaz leant from behind the walls of a narrow crack.
"Five hundred meters..." he read the data displayed on his visor, his voice distorted by the helmet.
Could have been worse, he added in his mind.
He analysed the rest of the data and gave a sign with his hand. He darted out of the notch, shooting at the nearest enemy, his amethyst-purple cape fluttered behind him.
Clothed in a grey bulletproof vest and dark red pauldrons, Nelphian could only glance at Erilaz with his large, black eyes. The bullet pierced his primitive vest, staining it with shimmering, blue blood. The birdlike legs buckled under the green-skinned individual and he tumbled down into the grey mud. The plasma sword he held fell into a puddle and clouds of steam swirled in the air, hissing and crackling.
The Helvettian unit was already far away. Clothed in cheap, patchwork armour the Moryans were falling one by one under the defenders' fire. Erilaz halted behind a rock when a group of enemies surrounded his unit. His armour ricocheted the obsolete bullets but each hit felt like an unpleasant nudging.
Are they really that stupid? They have no idea about basic military tactics, wondered Erilaz, barely hearing his own thoughts. Even if his helmet muffled the deafening roar of military vehicles and blasts of gunfire, he still heard all the noises. After studying in the Royal Academy, he could distinguish almost every sound in the background noise, including some heavy steps that were approaching him from behind the cover. As he tensed his muscles, the pistons in his power armour murmured.
Brymir's voice resounded in his communicator, "I see you're doing well Erilaz, would..."
Erilaz ignored it. He sprung out of his hiding spot, battering the enemy Kehrian with his elbow. The enemy's heavy armour absorbed the attack. He only lost his balance and squatted, propping himself against the ground. With his long, pointy ears strained backwards in a furious expression, the Kehrian growled, but Erilaz slammed his head with his boot. The blue face of the enemy turned into red and pink pulp that spread on the ground. Ignoring the fleshy scraps stuck to his sole, Erilaz ran forwards.
"It's not easy," said Erilaz, weaving between rocks, "but I cleaned a bigger part of the eastern slope."
"Would you mind helping me a bit?"
"Sure, Brymir..." Erilaz paused to send a hail of bullets towards a group of hidden Moryans. "I'm coming, send me coordinates."
"I ca..." Brymir tried to respond but a screeching static silenced him.
Damned Moryans, they block signals, thought Erilaz. He unclasped the magazine of his long, icy-blue machine gun. "Whatever...", he mumbled and reloaded the gun. He said to his communicator, "Hefri, I'm leaving my position for a moment."
"That's fine!" responded a feminine but also harsh voice.
Erilaz turned towards his subordinates. "Plans have changed," he informed, pointing towards the cliff on his left, "Captain Ermdahr, come with me."
Captain Ermdahr and his people followed their Commander. The Captains' pauldrons were decorated only with the contour of a diamond. Each of the three Vardir led three companies, and each of them had three Captains.
Erilaz speeded towards the nearby rock, jumping over the scraps of vehicles, corpses and puddles of mud or fuel. He hid from the enemy bullets and took out a dodecahedral grenade. Looking at the data on his visor, he and his unit were only a hundred meters away from a cliff. Red dot symbolised Brymir's position which flickered on the top of the cliff, right between three steep walls. Brymir and his unit appeared to be trapped.
Erilaz wiped the dirt from his face. He pulled the pin and threw the grenade towards the group of Moryans.
A deafening explosion boomed, echoing between the mountain peaks. Orange light blinded the enemy survivors. Pieces of rock, bits of bodies and fragments of armours projected in the air.
Erilaz raised his head. With disgust, he brushed off a piece of reddish bone from his pauldron.
Covering the last hundred meters, he and his unit finished off the remaining Moryans and reached a narrow, vertical crack in the cliff. They began to climb up one by one, while others observed their surroundings. The crack protected them from the eyes of their foes but the walls were wet and slippery.
As Erilaz arrived on the top, he wiped his hands on his fauld and looked around, trying to spot Brymir.
This isn’t good, he thought.
A six-meter wide gorge separated him from the large plain where Brymir and his decimated unit fought for their life.
A thought about surrendering didn't even flicker through the king's mind. He stood firmly, blasting the enemies away. His armour, despite smears of mud and blood, shone in an icy-blue colour like it was forged of real diamonds. A deep, scorched scuff mark covered his face from his chin to his forehead. All that remained from his left eye was a black and maroon crust. His crystal blue helmet lied on the ground. The paint on its whole left side turned black and a long slash reached the inner layer of the helmet, because somebody just had to attack the king with a plasma weapon.
"I see you," said Erilaz. Despite the helmet distorting his words, a tinge of anxiety sounded in his voice. "Give me a minute."
Format : ebook
Page Count : 1