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Black Library Submission

Hey guys!

 

Still on holiday, but have limited access to all things wi-fi! Unfortunately I got the dreaded “rejection letter” from Black Library for my excerpt! It does mean on the plus side that I can share it with you all though!

This is not actually the version I submitted (but it’s close), I only have access to this one just now, but hopefully you should get the gist. Enjoy!

As his eyes fluttered open, his vision was blurry and his ears were ringing. Arux slowly rose, bringing his chest up to his knees. His hands snapped to his chest – realising his armour had been stripped. He rubbed his eyes, noting a chemical stench on his hands. As he staggered to his feet, a loincloth unfurled to the floor, stopping between his ankles. In front of him stood a full length mirror – he had been stripped of all other apparel, and clearly been bathed.

A piercing cry roused him from his bewilderment and scanning around he realised he was confined in a cell. He grasped his hands around the bars, and as he did abject terror overcame him. His cell looked onto what could only be described as a combat arena. The floor was dusted with jade coloured sand, and assorted contraptions of nightmarish cruelty permeated the scene. One corpse had been grotesquely slaughtered on a wicked looking buzzsaw, its blood splattering as the blades continued to spin. Another victim’s body hung in mid air, a spear protruding from the ground through its chest – as if on display as a grisly trophy.  An enormous crowd cheered rapturously for the spectacle of violence.

His attention finally drew to the two combatants in arena’s centre. The first was unmistakably from the ranks of the Adeptus Astartes, but stripped of his armour and markings Arux could not further identify the warrior. The human was also clad in a loincloth but he had been ravaged with deep cuts and wounds, his blood dripping into the sands. In both hands he clutched a crude club-like weapon, but his blows looked tired and weary. His opponent was a tall slender female – he suspected she was of Eldar origin – and unlike the human she appeared relatively unscathed and fresh. She had short black hair, deathly pale skin and was wearing what looked to be a customized body suit. There were many gaps, revealing her pale flesh – as if daring her opponent to strike her there.

The human growled angrily, swinging his club in an arc before him. The Eldar fighter dropped to the sands with preternatural reflexes, and tangled her legs around her opponent’s knees. With a sharp twist of her hips, she effortlessly brought him crashing to the ground. He cried out as he landed, his club slipping out of his grasp. She laughed sadistically and quickly rose to her feet behind him. Almost seductively, she produced a wicked looking jagged sword. With a flick of the wrist, it impossibly reshaped into a whip-like weapon. As the human staggered to his feet, she coiled the blades around his throat – and with one more flick of the wrist it was over. The crowd roared in approval as the severed head dropped to the arena floor, the look of wide eyed shock eternally frozen on his face.

Arux’s heart skipped a beat, as the bars to his cell slowly started to lower…

 

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