Dark end of the Street have been incredibly fortunate recently, managing to procure a preview copy of the new Black Library novel by acclaimed hack fiction writer Laurie Goldring, so without further ado, we are proud to present:
Hour of the Wolf
By Laurie Goldring
Wind howled with reckless abandon over the razor sharp peaks above setting up a dirge like unto a thousand wailing ghosts. Icicles hung from outcrops, some playing host to the frozen, lifeless bodies of failed aspirants who had been left on the face as a stark warning against weakness and failure. Snow and shards of ice billowed in deadly gusts of slicing, biting wind from a leaden, murky sky overhead. This was Fenris, land of eternal winter and shifting ice, home to the legendary Adeptus Astartes Chapter, The Space Wolves. It was pure fucking cold.
“It is pure fucking cold today!” growled Skulfi Beardhammer from behind his thick, manly beard. He was a wolf of a bear of a man encased in ancient ceramite covered with intricate gilt-work and runes that burned with a crisp, blue light that hurt the eyes to linger on.
“Bah, this is not cold.” Spat the grizzled Longfang Growly Old-Beard, grizzledly “Why I remember one felwinter when...”
“Yes, that’s great brother.” Interrupted Skulfi, tactfully “Anyway, what about all these chaos cunts cutting about down the bottom of our mountain? They’re Khornate ones, so they’re a bit angry and that.”
“Our situation is dire brothers.” mumbled Olaf Threebeardson “Most of the Great Companies are on the great hunt and the Fang is besieged. We must consider all possible strategies to secure the sanctity of our sacred home. The Fang must stand!”
“I could do a mass?” suggested Wolf Priest Magnus Magnussonson.
“And my axe!” added Gimli, irrelevantly.
“I could do a prank call!” suggested Lukas the Trickster.
“Hmm? Oh, yes. That’d be great. Thanks.” replied Skulfi.
“Right then. I can pretend that I’m a Chinese takeaway – I can do the voice and everything, (bit racist) – and tell them that they’ve phoned in an order for delivery and they have to come and collect it!”
“Wow, that’s brilliant that is. Isn’t it lads?” asked Skulfi, smiling encouragingly. There was a mumbled assent from the assembled Space Wolves.
“Right, so, which one should I phone then?” asked Lukas.
“Phone?” asked Skulfi, peering uncertainly over the edge at the milling Chaos Legions below “Oh yeah, phone Khorne. That’ll be good.”
“Erm... the Blood God? That one?”
“Yeah, phone him mate. That’ll be brilliant.” There was a chorus of quiet agreement from the Space Wolves in attendance. Lukas smiled at them uncertainly.
“Anyone got his number?”
“No, but I think it’s somewhere in the hall of records at the very, very bottom of the Fang. Or you could just ask one of the Chaos marines outside for it.”
“Ah. Righto.” Said Lukas “I’ll just erm... go and get it then. Right. See you later for a bit of feasting and saga telling and that then brothers.” He walked through his brothers and into the great portal cut into the living rock. They watched him until he was lost to shadow, each quietly honouring the blood claw’s dedication to the chapter .
“Cunt.” Said Skulfi.
“Aye!” agreed Threebeardson “And what’s that all about replacing one of your hearts with a stasis grenade? That’s not a trick, it’s just fucking stupid!” There was agreement and a great stroking of beards before a reverential hush fell upon the brotherhood. A great shadow was cast from within the door to the fang soon followed by the enormous forms of two giant wolves pulling in their wake the Grav Sled of Logan Grimnar, the Great Wolf himself.
“Ho, ho hooooooo....” growled Grimnar in a totally un-santa like manner. All bowed their heads and fought a curious, subconscious impulse to ask for an eagle-eyes action man. “Well met brothers of the wolf. Dire is our situation. Never have we faced such peril!”
“What about the Armageddon war?” asked one of the Wolves, helpfully.
“Well, yes. That was a bit hairy.” agreed Grimnar.
“And the Horus Heresy my lord.” said another “By all accounts that one was a bit of a shiter!”
“Aye, true enough.” Said Grimnar, nodding his venerable head “But in this instance our numbers are dangerously depleted. Where are the great heroes, the notables of our chapter in this, our time of greatest need? Where is the venerable Bjorn, the fell-handed?”
“He can’t be here my lord.” said Skulfi.
“Why not? asked the Great Wolf “Does he yet slumber in the great wolf-dream?”
“No lord. His hands fell off.”
“Balls.” growled Grimnar, enigmatically. “Well, where are the others then?”
“My lord.” said Threebeardson “Lukas the Trickster has left to set in motion a cunning stratagem involving a teeny, tiny wee bit of ‘dudebro’ type racism.”
“Who?” asked Grimnar, his venerable eyebrows rising oldly above his venerable eyes which were old.
“My lord, he’s the one with the stasis grenade for a heart.”
“Bah, cunt!” said Grimnar “I mean how’s that even a trick? It’s just fucking stupid if you ask me!” There was a loud murmur of agreement and a great nodding of beards “surely there must be others. What about Chuck Norris? Where’s he?”
“My lord?” asked Skulfi “Chuck Norris is not a Space Wolf.”
“Has he got a beard?” asked Grimnar.
“Erm... yes my lord?”
“Then he’s a fucking Space Wolf.” Said Grimnar, Chuck Norrisly.
At that moment, a chainaxe cleared the edge and locked in place followed swiftly by a hellish giant in brazen, scarlet armour.
The Khornate lord was stooped low, ready to pounce. His deadly chainaxe revved of its own volition as though hungry to gore itself on the blood of the loyal Space Wolves. He locked eyes with the mighty Logan Grimnar and spoke; his words issuing forth as little more than phlegmatic growls through his warped vox-grille “GGGNNNNNARRRRGHGGHHHG!!! WEAKLING LAPDOGS OF THE FALSE CORPSE EMPEROR (etc)!!! GGGNNNNNNNGGGGRRRRRGGGHHHH Can I have a Scalextric please?” The venerable Grimnar narrowed his lupine eyes and growled in reply.
“Have you been a good boy?” he asked in his gravelly voice which was fitting because he was a old man.
“GGGNNGGNGNNGNGGRRRRNNOT REALLY!!! I WAS TALKING ON MY PHONE QUITE LOUDLY ON THE TRAIN THE OTHER MORNING!!! GRLLLLLGGNNRHAARRRDEHARHAARRRGGHH!!! FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!!”
Grimnar reached back into his ornate grav-sled and hurled a rectangular box at his hated foe. The traitor marine glared down at the container, then reached down and lifted it over the tall crests of his helmet, brandishing the Scalextric set at the uncaring heavens “GGGNGNNGNGNGNGNNNNNGGGNAAARRRGGGHHHH!!! IT’S GOT A CHICANE!!! BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOOOOOD!!!”
“Batteries are not included, heretic.” Growled Logan Grimnar, Grimnarly.
“GNOWRGLLEEEEEEEARRGGHH (etc) I’LL JUST TAKE BATTERIES OUT THE DREADNOUGHT!!! THEY’RE MORE OR LESS REDUNDANT SINCE THE HELLFIEND PLASTIC KIT WAS RELEASED!!!” There was a confused and embarrassed silence as the Berserker’s mobile phone began to ring.
“Ha!” barked Skulfi “His ringtone is a Brotherhood of Man song!” Grimnar spat in disgust.
“Truly are the slaves of the dark gods beyond redemption."
“GGRRRGGNNNNHELLO? YES, THIS IS IRONHAKK THE SKULL-COLLECTOR. AN ORDER FOR COLLECTION? WHAT LUNACY IS THIS? I PLACED NO SUCH ORDER!!! WEAKLING LACKEY OF THE CORPSE-GOD, YOU HAVE SEALED YOUR FATE!!! I WILL BATHE IN YOUR ENTRAILS AND PLACE YOUR POLISHED SKULL AT THE FEET OF MY MASTER, (BUT TOTALLY NOT IN A RACIST WAY. IT’S PURELY BASED ON HOMICIDAL TENDENCIES GNRRRGLLLLLEEE!!!). WHERE DID YOU SAY THE TAKEAWAY WAS? CALIBAN? WE’LL SEE YOU IN ABOUT 10 MINUTES. THANKS.” He placed his phone carefully back into his belt pouch and growled menacingly at his hated foes. “ GGNNNRRGRARRGLLEE!!! THANK YOU SANTA!!! SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!!!” and with that parting sacrilegious oath, he turned and leapt from the precipice; his bulky form soon swallowed by the swirling snow and hail.
“Crom!” said Skulfi, pop-referencingly.
“Enough of these copyright infringing references my brothers. I have to travel round every planet in the Imperium before morning!” shouted Logan Grimnar, fucking off majestically in anti-gravity Santa’s sleigh.
“Well brothers.” said Skulfi “The Fang is saved thanks to our bravery and quick thinking. Truly, we have honoured primarch and chapter by our deeds this day. Now let us all go and get stasis grenades in place of our secondary hearts, then do a bit of feasting and that.”
“Huzzah!” roared the assembled wolves, their voices soon lost to the howling winds of Fenris.