"My jaw set slightly at his mention of “faith.” Faith was an utterly idiotic concept that never, ever, fit within the realms of reality..." Attelus Kaltos.
A Warhammer 40,000
fan fiction from the perspective of a young assassin apprentice "Secret War" has drawn inspiration from many sources but the most prolific being the Ravenor
series by Dan Abnett.
After his mercenary organization is hired by a rogue trader to hunt down a highly influential gang leader on the Hive world of Omnartus. Attelus Kaltos is embroiled even deeper into the complex and convoluted world of the hired killer.Soon he finds that not all is what it seems and that his enemies and allies are not at all what he believed them to be. That this is the mission which will truly test him mentally and physically and change him, for the better or for the worst, forever more.
"Secret War" is finally finished and is Here
Secret War Includes examples of
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene
- Alliterative Name: Karmen Kons who's also Estella Erith.
- Anguished Declarationof Love; although the word "love" isn't used Attelus to Elandria:
"Because Elandria," I sighed, "I don't want you to die, it's because I know what you have been through."
I paused trying to swallow back the lump in my throat, "and I know that you never had any choice in the matter, no choice to be what you wanted to be, to do what you wanted to do. That-that any real choice in your life was stolen from you when you were so young a-and you didn't deserve that Elandria, no one does, I-I want you to live so you could one day have your own life to escape this crap, to, to."
My left hand clenched into a tight ball while the right gripped my sword's hilt all the harder, "and that maybe in your new life that I'd be able to be part of it, that I'd like be by your side to help you through I-I."
- And This Is for...; Attelus delivers a pretty epic one before cutting off Inquisitor Edracian's head.
"This is it!" I bellowed as I drew back my sword. "This is for all the people you've killed! This is for Callague and Jarvus and Olinthre!"
The lightning continued to consume me, to crackle and weave around the shield, but there was no resistance. I ran without hindrance and in the last few metres I lunged into the air.
"This is for all the innocents you've slaughtered and sacrificed! This is for Taryst! This is for Castella! And most of all, this is for Elandria!"
Roaring like I've never roared before or would ever since with one slash, I severed Edracian's head from his shoulders.
- Anyone Can Die; y'know a story where anyone can die when four out of five of the characters first introduced wind up dead, (the only one still alive is Attelus who's perspective it's FROM) so far of the main cast and MauveShirts killed off in order are, Taryst, Elandria, Olinthre, Feuilt, Castella, Wesley, The Mimic, Garrakson and Glaitis and that's excluding the deaths relevant to the plot that happened before the story started, Amanda Heartsa, Barhurst and Edracian
- The Apprentice: Attelus and Adelana seems to be shaping up to be his.
- Ascended Meme; an in-universe one after the as yet unnamed captured throne agent refers to himself as "No one of Consequence" Attelus, Karmen Kons and even Darrance refer him so.
- Author Appeal: There seems to be a lot of effort to detail the faces of each female character.
- Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Glaitis and Inquisitors Brutis Bones and Jelcine Enandra.
- Axe Crazy: it seems that Etuarq's elite spies all are eventually driven insane by the soul magics used to enhance them beyond normal human beings, shown by the unhinged states of both Rodyille and Feuilt.
- Attelus too due to all his trauma could easily go this way.
- Badass: almost every character shows some badassery in one way or another but the one of the most outright has to be Glaitis who single handily takes on both Wesley and Brutis Bones, kills Wesley, the Mimic, a whole bunch of Hammers. Then injures both Arlathan and Torris badly before Garrakson has to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to finally, permanently take her down. Despite seeing all of this Attelus is still convinced he'd take her down if they had fought one on one.
- Attelus manages to kill three! Count that THREE, Space Marines! Sure, he's now enhanced, cheats and catches them off guard each time, but frigging hell.
- Badass Crew: the main crew (or at least starting) are able to fight a war against the Moody Hammer for six months, sure they suffered casualties (Reduced from ten to four over much of that time, two of whom die in the first paragraph) Fighting ALMOST EVERY DAY! In various skirmishes. If that doesn't make up a Badass Crew, what does?
- Those under Glaitis more than qualify too, Darrance and Castella are hugely experienced assassins and blade masters Castella is very skilled with her Plasma pistol, while Darrance is a very good void craft pilot. Hayden Tresch is a extraordinarily skilled sniper and a supreme Jack-of-All-Trades, being a brilliant hacker, explosives expert, tech user (although he says he only dabbles) Attelus who is still considered an apprentice is also a very skilled (perhaps, even the most skilled) Master Swordsman and assassin in his own right and that's not even going into Glaitis.
- Badass Army: Taryst's mercenary force is vastly skilled considering both Torris and Garrakson are considered mere soldiers. This is shown (sorta) for how long they manage to hold off the Space Marines attacking Taryst's tower for, sure Karmen Kons was mind controlling them, but still.
- Also, Brutis Bones' army of Hammers they manage to fight a DAEMONIC HORDE and SURVIVE (well quite a few anyway) proving they are more than just Mooks.
- Then there's Inquisitor Enandra's Storm Troopers who also qualify as an Elite Army managing to fight and defeat Torathe's own forces despite being out numbered, but again it's an Off Screen Moment Of Awesome.
- Badass Boast: could be this or Narm but Attelus says this before the fire fight with the as yet unnamed man;
"Well, either way you're fighting me now and either way you are going to pay the consequences!"
- Also Attelus get's one much later when fighting Feuilt.
“I still have a purpose, Feuilt, and that’s why I won't die. Not here, not now”
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Attelus and Elandria, Lampshaded by Darrance and even earlier by Garrakson.
- Berserk Button: don't betray Glaitis and don't call the Mimic "pet" as Attelus found out the hard way.
- Which Attelus intends to exploit if given the choice.
- Big Bad; Inquisitor Edracian.
- He is also a Outside-Context Villain, for Attelus, and the reader, anyway.
- Turns out Edracian was just a puppet (a literal one too!) To the Bigger Bad Inquisitor Etuarq.
- Bishounen; Darrance.
- Bond One-Liner; After shooting a mook through the head Attelus says and also as a shout out to;
- Break Them by Talking: Etuarq attempts this on Attelus and it's truly horrific and cruel, but it doesn't work.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: the first time Attelus does it is when Taryst's psykers attack the Twilight Bar while Attelus and Elandria are trying to infiltrate it which also may count as a Crowning Moment of Awesome for him
I don't know if you had thought I had forgotten about Taryst's little psyker cadre or you had forgotten, but this, this I had actually seen coming this I knew was coming, yes.
- Broken Pedestal: Glaitis for pretty much everyone even Darrance.
- Card-Carrying Villain; Edracian/Etuarq.
- The Casanova: Olinthre implied by Attelus although he doesn't live long enough to show it.
- Also Attelus' father, Serghar Kaltos, according to Inquisitor Etuarq.
- Character Alignment; Castella Lethe is Chaotic Neutral Glaitis is Neutral Evil actually being mostly about assassins allot of the cast are Neutral Evil.
- Chase Scene: A brief one when Attellus attempts to escape Edracian and his Mooks.
- Chekhov's Gun: Attelus' krak grenades which he uses to kill a Space Marine! Lucky he took them from Taryst's armory before they attacked Edracian's mansion-fortress. Ironic, as he initially wondered why he bothered to take them instead of more frag grenades which would've helped more in the attack of Edracian's fortress.
- Could also be Chekhov's Skill but Karmen's psychic blocks qualify not once but twice as it allows her to mind control Taryst's mercs on a large scale, allowing the main characters to escape Omnartus.
- Chekhov's Gunman; a few; medicae Feiult, Major Olinthre and perhaps colonel Barhurst.
- Chekhov's Skill: Attelus' extreme skill of accurately throwing things, and Hayden's hacking ability.
- The Chessmaster; Glaitis, Taryst and Brutis Bones.
- Chess Motifs; Edracian and the Eldar Farseer seem to love to call Attelus their "pawn".
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander; Castella Lethe is knee deep in this trope.
- The Conspiracy: Etuarq's influence is hinted to delve deeply into the Calixis sector.
- Cold Sniper; Hayden Tresch which is even Lampshaded by Attelus.
- Cool Down Hug: Attelus does this to to Karmen as under the influence of the warp, she is tearing her own face apart. He also pins her arms at her sides to stop her from doing it.
- Crowning Momentof Heartwarming when Attelus finally manages to confess his affection for Elandria.
- Crowning Momentof Sadness: Then Elandria's sudden and cruel death when Taryst shoots her in the back.
- Dead Pan Snarker; Castella Lethe, Glaitis has a few too.
- Vex, the Mimic, No One of Consequence, Torris, practically everyone.
- Darrance seems to be the best snarker by far.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life; Attelus.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight; Elandria dies while cradled in Attelus' arms
- Disappeared Dad; Serghar Kaltos to Attelus.
- Disproportionate Retribution: the ultimate fate of Omnartus. The Exterminatus is ordered by Torathe mainly because of the murder of his Interrogator and daughter, ONE PERSON! Although we never find out the exact contents of the message Etuarq/Edracian had sent him.
- Exposition Intuition: Attelus' genre savviness tends to come off allot like this but it is mostly subverted in that he isn't always right.
- Expy; both Garrakson and Elandria are Expys of Wilkenson and Latashe from an earlier story and one could say that Attelus is an expy of Company Master Remiel the main character from an another old fiction about the Dark Angels.
- Eye Scream: Attelus throws a knife into a mercenary's eye during the storming of Edracian's mansion. Then he does it again to a Space Marine! Allowing him an opening to stick a primed grenade into the Marine's screaming mouth.
- Face Palm
- Fate Worse Than Death; apparently if you betray Glaitis your fate won't be pretty.
- Final Speech; in her last words Elandria tells Attelus that he did actually save the people in the Twilight Bar.
- Five-Man Band: Garrakson's crew, although they don't really make five.
- The Leader: Garrakson, although he is more laid back in his leadership style than many. Despite once being a Cadian squad sergeant.
- The Lancer: Attelus, being an assassin his whole philosophy at times puts him at odds with Garrakson on a few occasions at times steps in as The Leader.
- The Chick: Torris can fulfill both these roles being the voice of reason on a few occasions to the others, he is also the one who most actively tries to help Attelus with his PTSD.
- The Big Guy: Elandria is a bit of a blunt instrument, usually kept out of undercover operations in a reinforcement role if shit hits the fan. (Although she isn't as blunt as she seems.
- Forceful Kiss: Karmen Kons does this to Attelus, doing it even though he's still in mourning over Elandria's death and is in shock. This doesn't stop her from being surprised when he pulls away, though.
- Foreshadowing: A drinking game could be made for the amount of times this trope is used allot of what has happened has been foreshadowed before although it's not hugely obvious.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble
- Garrakson is Phlegmatic.
- Elandria is Choleric (though she really isn't at all a leader)
- Attelus is Melancholic/Choleric
- Now Torris has recovered he seems to be Sanguine.
- Fridge Brilliance
- One example is when Attelus attempts to storm the Twilight Bar single handily without any real intel besides a brief look at the schematics but once you realize that the psychic influence on everyone in the building allowing him to move almost unopposed (Though this doesn't last very long due to the presence of a blank)
- Also that Attelus knew of the psyker attack on the Twilight Bar as after the brain washing of Vex he knew that Taryst was using them in a large capacity
- Heroes Want Redheads: It doesn't take long, for Attelus to fall in love with the pretty civilian redhead, Adelana.
- Gambit Pileup; Everyone has their own agenda and it is still only the icing on the proverbial cake
- Genre Savvy; almost everyone but medicae Feuilt is by far the most genre savvy.
- Glaitis, perhaps even more so than Feuilt.
- Grey and Grey Morality; very much so far.
- Guns Akimbo; Attelus plays this trope straight when storming the Twilight Bar.
- Perhaps justified as he uses it only in extremely confined areas, in hand to hand combat
- Hero Antagonist; Brutis Bones is looking more and more to be one of these.
- Heroic BSOD Attelus has an epic one after Elandria dies in his arms.
- Heroic Sacrifice; subverted as Attelus attempts it but is revived.
- He Who Must Not Be Seen: Brutis Bones, and Taryst's psyker cadre
- Honour Before Reason; as stated in the above Genre Savvy.
- Ironic Echo
- Jerkass; Darrance.
- After Attelus goes through hell to earn at least some of his respect he shows himself to be more a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Jerkass Has a Point: a In-Universe example, Darrance is almost always right, much to Attelus' annoyance this is even lampshaded by Etuarq it also shows Darrance's Hidden Depths.
- Killed Mid-Sentence; The Honour Before Reason Mook.
- Killed Off for Real; Elandria, Colonel Barhurst and Taryst.
- Now it's also Feuilt, Castella Lethe, Wesley, The Mimic, Garrakson and Glaitis, the last four being within one chapter, hell the last three all in one chapter!
- averted by Wesley who turns out in the epilogue to actually be a Tzeenchian daemon in disguise.
- Knight Templar: Inquisitor Torathe, is heavily implied to be one of these due to his Sanity Slippage.
- Lampshade Hanging; taken to the point that the protagonists even name the trope.
- Large Ham; Taryst, just Taryst.
“Yeah, yeah keep it down Tor,” said Garrakson, “by the Emperor I swear you and Taryst should have a competition to see which of you can chew more scenery.”
- And now Inquisitor Edracian who is also quite unhinged as well.
- Mama Bear: Castella Lethe is hinted to be this to Attelus that her ruthless beating of No One Of Consequence was in revenge for him setting the Arco Flagellent on Attelus at the Twilight Bar. Of course when Attelus sees this he misinterprets it completely.
- The Man Behind the Man: Or Woman behind the woman or The Xenos Behind the Woman as it seems that Glaitis owes allegiance to the Eldar for reasons as yet unknown
- Mangst: major Olinthre over the horrific end implied to his and Garrakson's Imperial Guard regiment.
- Manipulative Bitch; Glaitis, just Glaitis.
- Manly Tears: Attelus sheds tears before attempting to sacrifice himself to save the club goers from a rampaging Arco Flagellent in the Twilight Bar and afterward due to being Mind Raped during his recovery.
- And when when he confesses his love for Elandria and at her death mere seconds afterwards.
- Mauve Shirt: poor, poor Olinthre...
- Actually most of the supporting cast could be interpreted as being Mauve Shirts.
- A better example are Verenth and Selg two of Brutis' senior Hammers, Verenth in particular getting his own sub story line, almost.
- The Mole; Feuilt is Taryst's medicae, Glaitis' spy and also Edracian's agent, epic triple agent
- Mood Whiplash: One example from one moment Attelus is lamenting how much of a Crapsack universe it is and in the next second, making not to subtle joking Innocent Innuendo with Elandria.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero; Attelus taking the pict of the dead Interrogator is heavily implied to follow this trope.
- Yes it does and it's frigging taken Up to Eleven when it's revealed that pict led directly to the complete destruction of Omnartus a Hive world what has billions upon billions of people living on it.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Attelus gets beaten very brutally by the Mimic, so much so that even he is surprised he didn't come out of it worse.
- Obvious Trap; subverted (maybe) Glatis thinks that that Edracian letting Attelus live with the information he knows was so they would ally with Brutis Bones in desperation to hunt down the Inquisitor, so it would lead both groups together into a trap, she thinks this is obvious. But no one else ever even began to think of it.
- Offhand Backhand; Attelus does this to one of Edracian's Mooks.
- Offstage Villainy: Glaitis, Taryst and Brutis Bones seem to get this treatment, though who is really the villain isn't quite clear yet and maybe justified as it is always in first person perspective and all of them being Chessmasters who seem to work exclusively through subordinates.
- Oh, Crap: Attelus when Garrakson sees through his Batman Gambit.
- Paranoia Fuel; Now Attelus knows that Farseer Faleaseen is able to mimic Karmen's thoughts in his mind, what's stopping her from mimicking his? All his thoughts could actually be hers. Which would just be a completely and utterly terrifying realization.
- Playful Hacker; Vex Carpompter and due to Garrakson's training becoming a Badass Bookworm.
- Powers Do the Fighting; The [[fight against Edracian in a nutshell.]]
- Posthumous Character: Attelus' mother in a dream.
- Professional Killer
- Properly Paranoid; Taryst, which ironically is his downfall, having all his Mooks minds easily readable to Karmen Kons but not his top officers Major Olinthre and Colonel Barhurst was what allowed the Mimic to get close and ultimately assassinate him and having Attelus and Elandria's minds read during the briefing for the Twilight Bar incident was what led him to fall for Glaitis' incredibly elaborate Justified Gambit Roulette.
- It was more of a Batman Gambit as Glaitis' plan hinged in Taryst sending in his psyker to the Twilight bar.
- Attelus too.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
Attelus: "Do. You. Have. Any idea the crap. I have been through to find you!"
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite being an Inquisitor Jelcine Enandra seems like this, she's one of the few who truly sympathises with Attelus and his uhh many, many mistakes knows the names of all the many men under her command. Leads the boarding action against Torathe's forces from the front and helps Adelana through the trauma of the destruction of her world. But this might be subverted.
- Also Inquisitor Brutis "Bones" Tybalt.
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: Darrance of all people gives a pretty good one to Glaitis.
- Attelus himself has been on the receiving end of a few, one pretty brutal one from Brutis Bones and a nearly severely traumatizing one from Inquisitor Etuarq.
- Red Herring; and you thought Taryst would be the Big Bad, didn't you?
- Redemption Rejection; played straight by Leonard Rodyille
- Red Oni, Blue Oni; Elandria is the Red Oni, though while not exactly being straight on the archetype Attelus is most certainly her Blue, though it is an example of the Red Oni being more villainous.
- Roaring Rampageof Revenge: Averted (so far) Attelus intended to do this to Glaitis to get revenge on Elandria's death, but Karmen Kons has convinced him not to. She knows they need Glaitis alive still and she is Genre Savvy enough to know that it's exactly what Glaitis wants.
- Secret Test of Character: Attelus being an apprentice Assassin is always being tested but usually he is Genre Savvy enough to know it but his Bad Dreams and Mind Rape during his recovery are now revealed to follow this trope.
- Secret War: Uhm...
- Self-Deprecation; Feuilt's What the Hell, Hero? speech could also be taken as a Take That to the author and the plot Secret War as a whole.
- Shout-Out; a few.
- Shirtless Scene: Attelus gets quite a few, near the end of the story, when he's training his blade work, he's 'stripped to the waist' and is is very uhh appreciated by Adelana.
- Shower of Angst.
- The Sixth Ranger: a subversion as that Torris was originally in the team he was badly injured, confined to a hospital bed during most of the story so far, but now he is up and about when it's Attelus' turn to be bedridden
- Smug Snake: The Mimic, is this to an extreme, although he/she/it is more effective than the average Smug Snake, shown after the utter beating it dealt to Attelus
- Stealth Insult: a backhanded compliment to Attelus from Olinthre goes like this;
"Tathe was his name and he actually had a son working inside the regiment as a commissar, apparently his father forced him into the scolar progneium when he was young. Delan Tathe was his name he was an arrogant little punk, but very skilled with a blade, you kind of remind me of him actually."
- Subverted, as Attelus quickly realises that it's this trope and Olinthre didn't seem to do it on purpose.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Zigzagged, the first enemies fought are the relatively unskilled Moody Hammers under Brutis Bones and their leader No One of Consequence (who's a throne agent) then it ups the anti extremely, by bringing in daemons. Then drops considerably when it's mercenaries and Throne Agents, including Death Cult assassins.Right after that is Adeptus Arbites and an Ornithopter. Then it's increased again with Space Marines (who are established to be not as strong as the earlier daemons, they were only defeated because their conduit was destroyed by Attelus, so subverted even further) Then it goes back to being Inquisitorial Stormtroopers and the enhanced Leonard Rodyille as a definite threat. This is almost lampshaded as Attelus takes on both Death Cult assassins two on one as he claims, he's already fought daemons they would be a far lesser threat.
- Storming the Castle; The taking of of Edracian's fortress-mansion by Taryst's mercs, Arlathan's Magistratum Marshalls and Brutis Bones' Hammers.
- Take That; a not too subtle one toward Twilight.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Darrance and Attelus just don't get a long, but are forced to fight together on a few occasions.
- There Are No Therapists; played straight and averted, Glaitis seemed to have no intention to help Attelus through his epic PTSD instead using it to manipulate him, but his friends, Garrakson, Torris and Castella Lethe seem to be acting as his much needed therapists now.
- Torture Always Works; averted with No One of Consequence
- Those Two Guys: Once Torris recovers, Garrakson and Torris, Roldar and Jelket, Verenth and Selg. Garrakson, Rolar and Selg allwind up dead.
- Trauma Conga Line: The line started back when Attelus was but a child and it just seems to keep going and going for the poor bastard.
- Villainous Breakdown: Glaitis has an epic one which ends in the deaths of the Mimic, Wesley, Garrakson and herself.
- Unexplained Recovery: After Attelus gets almost every bone in his body shattered he manages to survive, but this is also invoked by a case of; A psyker did it
- Wham Episode; There are a few chapters that could be this but the biggest would be The Epilogue, which reveals that Wesley was actually a daemon of Tzeench, that it was all part of a Tzeenchian plan and of a prophecy that involves the deaths of billions more by someone with the initials A.X.K. (which at first seems to be Attelus due to being named Attelus Xanthis Kaltos) BUT then it's revealed that Arlathan also has the same initials and that Inquisitor Enandra is considering him as her Interrogator Dun! Dun! DUUUNNN!
- Wham Line:
"I am detective Arlathan Xathrian Karkin of the Omnartus Magistratum and I'm on your side! I'm on your side!"
- What the Hell, Hero?; Attelus gets a harsh one from Medicae Feuilt after his highly selfish and paranoid reaction to Elandria's death.
- Also how most people react this way after his treatment of Vex.
- He gets yet another from Adelana because of his mostly selfish reason why he saved her.
- You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: Edracian and Feuilt say this to Attelus on numerous occasions. Then the already dead Edracian and his ENTIRE organisation to Inquisitor Etuarq. In fact it was all part of Etuarq's plan right from the beginning, to not only destroy Omnartus but Edracian along with it and anyone who knew too much.
- He does the same to Leonard Rodyille and Torathe's organisation.