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  • File : 1284766104.jpg-(88 KB, 1024x600, Kasrkin.jpg)
    88 KB A follow up to http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/4869233/ Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:28 No.12127531  
    The Final moments of Pavonis Starport.

    19:15: Shaken by the bombardment, demoralized, their officers killed, the Kronus Liberators abandon in disorder their positions at Celestine and Alicia.

    I stand atop the OP of Fort Arabella with Hendral counting down the final moments before we are overrun. In the cool night air, paraflares float gently downwards, basking the cratered moonscape in eerie, pale light and giving everything a soft and fuzzy surreal, dreamlike quality.

    The rain has finally stopped. The Saints Above have no more tears to shed for the Passion of Pavonis.

    Meanwhile, the shadow-things that crawl and slither out in the darkness beyond our wire coalesce into fleeing guardsmen. Hendral turns to me. His new face, courtesy of a plasma gun, is expressionless. Dull blue eyes staring out of a face of half-melted flesh, hiding a roiling sea of emotion.

    ''In an hour, the Astartes are going to be here. We're finished Jon.''

    ''Did you honestly think we could hold out?''

    ''No.'' says Hendral, after a pause. ''I just never expected it to be angels. Orks, Tau? Sure, but not Astartes.''

    I shrug, ''The Emperor protects.'' and stare upwards at the dazzling flashes of noise dancing acoss Celestine and Alicia.

    Hendral glances shyly at me, turns away and covers his mouth to gently cough. ''Jon? You wouldn't mind putting some clothes back on would you?''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:29 No.12127538
    I say, ''I enjoy Freeballing, Hendral. It's refreshing and extra-tactical. No one wants to shoot a naked man, much less tackle one in deadly hand-to-hand combat. You know how sweaty I get. I am still wired and hot to trot, darling. Business is positively booming, now.''

    Around us, the big guns keep blasting away in the dark. Great gouts of flame punch through the thick night fog and imprint rainbow blotches of colour upon our retinas.

    Word has just come down from Zero. The Navy has skied out of Kronus and the old starport is being slagged into molten lava. No one knows where Governor-Militant Alexander is. No one cares.

    As they sky out of the sector, The Navy relays us Segmentum Command's last communiqué before writing us off: ''After such a marvellous defence, there can be no question of surrender. Resist to the last man. Rejoice, for the Emperor judges a man by his scars.''

    Meanwhile, on the ground, Command has broken down completely and only the actions of a few highly motivated individuals stem the tide. I hear that across the Red River the Grim Reaper has seen fit to leave me H.M.I.C. after having the decency of walking into his bunker and pulling the pin on a frag when he found out there would be no more evacs. They say he held it out in his opened palm and laughed until it splattered him across the bunker.

    Well, he always did say he enjoyed watching the body parts fly.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:29 No.12127542
    Above the blackness of No Man's land, we are expending the last of our flares in a vain attempt to rally as many stragglers as we can. Light, vast, harsh and white, spills out across the black sky, melts, then floats down. An illumination flare sways under a little white parachute, squeaking and dripping sparks that hiss and pop.

    Out of the gloom Kovaq emerges hobbling at the head of his decimated section, coated in mud and blood and carbon. He looks a thousand years old, bent-backed and broken like the factorum workers on forgeworlds.

    After all that's happened and all evidence to the contrary, he still has faith the Space Marines will come save us.

    ''But Kovaq, The Space Marines are trying to kill us.'' I would say,

    ''Don't worry m'man, the Blood Ravens will save us. I have it on good authority it's going to be any day now, brothers.'' He would reply with a sly wink, tapping the side of his nose with a finger.

    In light of the repeated failure of the Blood Ravens showing up to save the day, Kovaq decided to take matters into his own capable hands. He had taken to wandering into the C.P. and voxing in the clear our exact coordinates so the Space Marines could find us. Every time the Blood Ravens kindly zeroed their heavy guns on us, Kovaq would stand in the open squinting upwards, shells blasting all around him, to greet the incoming ''drop-pods''. It's gotten to the point I spend an hour every day masquerading as Davian Thule, assuring Kovaq that he's given the Space Marines the right 8-figure coordinates to every remaining Loyalist position and we're smashing down any day now in our fiery drop-pods.

    I'm glad we're about to be exterminated. I've run out of excuses to tell Kovaq.
    >> captain 09/17/10(Fri)19:30 No.12127552
    I swear this better not be another one of my crew's terribly disgusting fapfictions....
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:30 No.12127557
    He's finally returned from our failed counter-attack to take back Silvana three days ago. He asks to see if there have been any new drops of food and water. His section hasn't eaten anything in three days and they've been drinking polluted water for the last eight.

    I grab his forearm and he does the same, a killer's embrace, "Have you seen the light? the white light? the great light? the guiding light? Do you have the vision?"

    ''The glorious dead are with us still, amen! They've never left our side and liveth forevermore, amen! But the Saints do not pro-VIDE their brothers and sisters still trapped in this world of illusion the earthly things a righteous crusader needs to carry out His work, AMEN. My boys need clean food and water, Jon. They're sick with dysentery and trench fever. They've given everything they got.''

    Hendral grunts and lays a hand on Kovaq's shoulder, ''Go on, man, and reinforce Wessel's platoon.'' I can see how much it pains Hendral to turn down one of the bravest men in all of the Eastern Fringe.

    ''It's the end?'' Kovaq asks. Even his delusions wither away when faced with the diamond hard facts of our situation.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:31 No.12127566
    I say, ''The Preacher Man says it's the End of Times. Says that the rivers are running dry, that the sky bleeds blood and men have turned away from the Emperor's Light. You got to be careful walking around here at night. It's the perfect place to get jumped!''

    ''But do you think it's the end?''

    Hendral speaks up, ''I don't know.'' he lies, ''It doesn't matter.''

    Lucas Bastonne pipes up, ''I don't go by what the Preacher Man says.''

    Kovaq squints up at the sky, looks meanfully left and right before speaking up,''Swore I heard thunderhawks when I crossed the picket lines.''

    ''You don't say.''

    ''You didn't hear them?'' he says, visibly taken aback.

    ''Sorry Kovaq, not tonight.''

    ''Oh.'' for a moment, Kovaq deflates before squinting upwards in the night, '' I'm starting to think someone hasn't been relaying my messages.''

    Hendral looks at me, grunts, ''I got a personal message from Captain Thule for you. Says that they're going to be here on your birthday. Tomorrow.''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:32 No.12127574
    Kovaq brightens visibly, '' Yeah? Well Shit. that's a big roger doger on your last, son! Loud and clear!'' He punches us on the shoulder and shakes my hand, laughing. ''What did I tell you guys! The Blood Ravens are going to need all the help they can get to take on those Blood Ravens. They're tough sons of bitches, I tell you.''

    ''There it is.'' I reply, grinning. Kovaq always had been a raving loon; until he opened his big mouth nobody noticed he was insane.

    We set off together and join Wessel in the forward redoubts. Everything is crumbling. Everything is dislocated. Time stretches out in the returned silence. It wobbles, it freezes. The sky is turned inside out by bright flashes. An unforgettable sight, one that haunts me every time I close my eyes, masses of broken men streaming aimlessly through the mud and barbed wire. We thought we could hold out, we really did.

    A paraflare shoots up, blooms like a beautiful flower and bathes us in fey light. I look down the length of the trench and I see, truly see, past the husks of men, past the here and the now and into another world more real than anything I can taste, see, smell, touch or hear.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:32 No.12127580
    I stand transfixed as the pale white light reveals row upon row of skulls growing from the trench's parapets like mushrooms. It's easier to believe that these skulls belonged to men from the Macharian Crusades than to think they were alive a year ago. There is a power here and we have awoken it; an ancient and unspeakable power that stares into our little souls and speaks to any who will truly listen.

    I chose them. Run along, little man. Be thankful if you survive.

    The nape of my neck crawls as I peer into the future; ten thousand years from now they'll still be ploughing up our skulls.

    I am there, looking back, and I can see our ghosts. Its beautiful.

    The flare hisses and sputters out and that moment of perfect clarity is gone as the black night swallows everything back in oblivion but the ghosts of the living dead whispering to join them.

    I bark, ''Wessel! Gather up as many of these deserters as you can and add them to your lads.'' We watch him run out in the gloom and help reorganize the stragglers into a semblance of order.

    Meanwhile, the shelling intensifies and the echo of scattered small-arms fire rattles in the night. Soon, it'll be our turn to be swept away by the rising tide.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:33 No.12127588
    The stragglers come in through the yawning gaps in our wire. Delirious, they're too tired to speak and, child-like, follow filthy, yet gentle hands that guide them to the fire-step and the weak points of our perimeter. Grunts who've gone to the edge of reality and returned burnt, all they can do is muster the strength to beg for food or water. Most are wounded we can't treat since we ran out of medical supplies weeks ago. Most won't last till sunrise and will be used to prop up our collapsing trenches and dugouts.

    Even in death, a man can still serve the Throne.

    Inside the C.P. my pleas fall on deaf ears as I beg Major Herran, our neighbour across the Red River, for help: ''Arabella, Arabella. You are alone. We can do nothing for you. Fall back across the river. Over.''

    ''Celestine. It's madness. the Blood Ravens will sweep everything in the rout. And my guns? Over.''

    ''No debate. Blow the guns and fall back across the river. Do not broadcast on this frequency anymore. The net is closed. Out.''

    I smash the vox head-piece against the table ledge in frustration. It feels good to destroy something that can't shoot back at me.

    Hendral collapses on his bunk, ''The fools, the damned fools. They think it's lost and those motherfuckers want to go out like vermin scuttling to hide! Blow the guns...'' he stares off into nothingness, his strong hands dangle feebly between his legs. His flame extinguished.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:34 No.12127600
    ''For the first time in my life as a soldier, I refuse to obey an order. It's now or never...'' he shakes his head slowly from side to side as though he just woke up from some nightmare. For the first time since Lorn V, A new light blazes in his eyes, the white light, the guiding light. Hendral hears the Word once again. They say that when a trooper loses touch with the Manes and returns to the fold his hours are numbered.

    my friend stares at me from hollow sockets dripping fat, white, squirming maggots, ''No, no. We can't carry out this order. Falker, for the Emperor's sake, we can't do this. We're Shock Troopers, damn it. We don't fall back, we don't abandon guns and we keep what we hold.''

    I want to cry but I can't. It was all for nothing. We kept faith and prayed for salvation but no one will ever know of the deeds of heroes not seen since the Great Crusade. They'll say afterwards that we had no business being on Kronus, that Lucas Alexander was a power-hungry traitor who sold his own soul and those of his willing men to the Ruinous Powers. Maybe it's true, but I'll never know. In the meantime, however, all that had to wait until we dealt with the little problem of half an Astartes Chapter and the majority of the remaining Guard units on Kronus lining up to turn my health record into a fuck story.

    Whompf. The ground heaves in agony under my feet. I hear troopers shouting outside. Casualties.

    ''I want blood Hendral. I want revenge. Starting with the Farseer, and finishing with that Inquisitor. I want their heads on pikes outside Lutien's walls so I can piss down on them every damn day till I die. We're going to survive, Hendral. I swear on the Throne we'll make it.''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:35 No.12127607
    I saw the first image, and thought you were a troll.

    Then I found the story.

    I don't say this often on /tg/, but sir, you interest me. I don't know if it's good writing, but damn, it's good reading for me.

    Proceed, please.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:35 No.12127612
    Outside, the bombardment intensifies. A shell smashes nearby, its concussion shakes the bunker. Sand falls from the ceiling of perforated steel planking, logs, and sandbags. The lantern illuminating our ferrocrete coffin swings wildly and betrays Pim, the leader of one of the indigenous juvie-gangs we've pressed into our service, hiding behind empty ammo crates.

    At the sight of him, Hendral snaps out of his reverie. He frowns angrily at the juvie.

    ''What are you doing here? You should be in the trenches with Wessel. Go on, get back there. We're going to need everyone soon and find me some of your juvies to help my gunners.''

    Mute, Pim leaps to his feet and scampers for the exit, white as a sheet. As he moves past Hendral, I grab him by the arm with an excited giggle.

    ''Hey Sonny! - We're going remind them of the one great universal Truth - The Emperor's Light!''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:36 No.12127616
    20:45: Outside, the earth moans in agony. With every strongpoint that falls Thule has more arty he brings to bear. We can hear the phantom fighter-bombers booming overhead and we can hear the bombs and shells. With our ears and with our feet and with our bones we can hear ordnance hitting the foot of Arabella and creeping towards us.

    Without warning I am knocked over by concussion shock waves and a black comet hits the earth. The sky is falling and the whole world is blowing up. I feel like a Whiteshield at the Gate under his first bad incoming. Except that I have experienced this kind of incoming before. Nobody makes artillery shells big enough to make the earth bounce. It's another purgation flight, a Marauder attack.

    Thousand kilogram bombs fall 8 klicks from Marauder strategic bombers that fly too high to be heard, three planes to a flight, carrying 500 tons of high-explosive bombs each. Imperial bombers are making toothpicks of Arabella's A-O, vaporizing hills as tall as Hive hab-spires and as old as the Emperor. The bomb run will leave a swath of cratered badlands a mile long. As great blocks of sound are cracked by power, the impacting of the bombs overlaps into rolling thunder, not simply a sound but a hard wall of noise moving across the face of the earth like an iron glacier, a sonic roar that can tear out a man's eardrums at one thousand meters.

    We wait, impotent, for the bombing to end. All we can do is burrow deeper and deeper into the mud like worms. That is, until the wall of sound gets too close and it takes all of your strength to not lose your sanity and consciousness while your ears and your nose and even your eyes bleed little ruby rivers of blood.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:37 No.12127623
    After a million years, reality stops disintegrating around our ears and we peek our heads out of our of twenty-foot deep craters. On the company vox-net section commanders are sending in sitreps on the bounce and by the numbers: All men and equipment accounted for. Want some, get some. Filthy and raggedy-assed Guardsmen pound out of their shelters hollering, shouting, screaming. We race to our positions overlooking the valley and the slopes of Celestine.

    Like a whirlwind, they fall upon us, slaughtering hundreds of Guardsmen scattered and alone throughout no-man's land and our devastated A-O. In the next sixteen hours they will accomplish what no army on Kronus had been able to do and crush the Pavonis starport fortresses. three hundred and eighty-six thousand dead troopers for nothing, thousands more captured. A slaughter second only to the fall of Victory Bay eight months ago.

    Hendral purposely keeps our camouflaged battery of four Basilisks silent, luring the Space Marines into our trap. From my ruined, watery bunker just 50 meters down the hill's peak, I see steel giants confidently advancing towards our lines. The Blood Ravens are convinced our will is finally broken and that we have retreated across the Red River to Celestine, that they just need to mop up the few remaining survivors of this siege. But for the occasional grenade being casually tossed into abandoned dugouts, silence reigns. Long phalanxes of living demi-gods and their smaller, mortal warriors are gliding oblivious towards us across No Man's Land. As still as a stone, I don't move, I don't breathe. I'm terrified the slightest rattle, the smallest whisper will break the spell. We are ready, we are primed and we can't wait to take care of business.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:37 No.12127634
    ''Fleur-De-Lys, This is Ardent Flame,'' I call in on the vox. ''The Space Marines are here. As planned, throw everything you have on the kill zone at my command...''

    I can see the crimson giants spilling over Silvana 1's top... Emperor above, how could it come to this? Fighting Space Marines... Have we truly turned our backs to Him?

    I remember the first time I saw His angels. Many many many years ago, back in the bad old days of the 13th Black Crusade, when every Cadian was at least 10 feet tall and named Sejanus, me and my Whiteshield fraters were busy getting the shit kicked out of us at Belis Coronis by the Black Legion.

    In the unlight of space and under the Eye's gaze, amid exploding stars and the carcasses of silvery warships burning as bright as suns, we were trying to stop one highly motivated and switched on section of Black Legionnaires from shredding, crushing, blasting and chopping their way to the heart of Belis Coronis so they could introduce what gear-heads call 'Explosive Decompression' to every Loyalist aboard that world-spanning Navy shipyard. It was only the last minute intervention of The Imperial Fists that saved the day.

    It was at Belis Coronis that I learned that you, in fact, CAN NOT swim back aboard venting ships if your safety cable is torn or if you take both your millennia old sacred mag-boots off the steel hulk you're fighting on. Instead, you'll just drift there, eyes wide like two big white eggs, as the metal ground you were standing on floats away so quickly that, by the time you blink, it's vanished. And if you hold your breath in space, you WILL be discovering what your insides tearing through every pore of your body feels like. I should know.

    Ever since then, I make it a point to tear that page out my Primer, along with 'What to do in case of capture by Tyranids' and 'Falling into a Sun: Dos and Don'ts', every time I run out of hygiene paper.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:38 No.12127642
    A bulkhead exploding sent me and Baern sailing into the black emptiness, our harness cables shredded by shrapnel. Just as quickly, we were jerked and reeled back onto the deck by a giant in golden armour. Baern, sank down to the deck beside the Astartes. the Space Marine looked at him from behind his expressionless mask. Baern said, "Hey, Falker, I can fly. Did you see me fly?" He paused, looked around. "Falker? Where's Falker?" But I was still stumbling and bouncing away over debris and bodies.

    "Falker's my battle-brother, sir. We Cadians are tight, you know? Who'll take me through the wire? Sir? Where's Falker?" He looked around, but didn't see me. "I'll fall in the wire. Or blow myself up. Sir? SIR? I'll step on a mine. I got to find my frater, sir. I don't want to fall into the wire, not again. FALKER!"

    The Marine looked at Baern and we knew he was smiling behind his helm. He gently reeled me back to their side. "Don't worry, child. Marines never abandon their wounded."

    Baern looked at the general the way drunk look at people who say things they don't understand. Then he smiled. He nodded. "Aye, sir."

    Somewhere, I know that Black Lucas Bastonne is getting a real good laugh out of this.

    ''Fleur-De-Lys. Roger. Batteries standing by. Impact in 30 seconds. Keep your heads down, over.''

    Crouched in the slit trench, I uncork a bottle of amasec and pour a glass for myself. I recite the words every Whiteshield learns upon becoming a man and joining the ranks of the Shock Troopers.

    The PDFs listen enraptured, convinced they are witnessing my fearsome battle-magic at work.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:39 No.12127659
    ''My Lord Emperor, give me what you have left. Give me that which is never asked of you. I do not ask you for rest nor tranquility, be it of the spirit or the body. I do not ask you for wealth, nor do I ask for success or even health...."
    I look at Wessel, then at Hendral. They understand. Cold grins of death are frozen on their faces. They nod. The Cadians wait, werewolves with guns in their hands. I lead:
    All of these, O Saviour of Humanity, are asked of you so often that you must not have any of these things left. Rather, give me what is left, my Emperor. Give me that which is refused. I desire insecurity, uncertainty. I want torment and strife. Give them to me, my Emperor, forevermore. Let me be sure to always have these things, for I will not always be courageous enough to ask you. Give me, if it pleases you, what you have left. Give me what the others do not want. But give me as well courage, strength and faith.''
    The Vox crackles to life, Fyodor's mousy voice floats in the night air.
    ''Fleur-De-Lys. Shot out! 3 salvos of 4 batteries on your coordinates in...25 seconds...20 seconds... 15 seconds... 10 seconds.... 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...''
    Katherine 7 is permanently shortened as the artillery disintegrates Space Marines in a glorious display of light and sound. I feel elated watching flakes of carbonized super-men softly float down on us, coating us like a fine powder.
    >> Asuham Boone !k9Nz7Wxe9w 09/17/10(Fri)19:39 No.12127661
    Pavonis? Like the place in the first Ultramarines novel by McNeill?
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:40 No.12127667
    Katherine 7 is permanently shortened as the artillery disintegrates Space Marines in a glorious display of light and sound. I feel elated watching flakes of carbonized super-men softly float down on us, coating us like a fine powder.

    Bare chested cannon cockers sleek with sweat and carbon hoot and howl as they work the guns. their backs bent as they labour away loading and firing. loading and firing... barefoot juvies run back and forth between the guns and the ammo crates lugging shells their own size. Bursts of bolter fire dance about the crews and punch angry holes in the gun-shields.

    Hendral moves through the gun crews cheering them on, bobbing to and fro, roaring out targets and encouragements. His face is streaked with tears, his voice cracks with pride and love for our orphans. ''That's it, my children. My little darlings. COME ON MARLET, COME ON. Good. They're coming! Well done, well done lads. Left 20 mils... Good. Keep it up! Don't let them come any closer, you hear? Not one step closer! Keep pouring it into them!''

    We stand tall and fast, just like the Old Man taught us, turning them into indescribable bloody chunks in our fury. A rhino screeches backwards trying to escape our killing field until it comes apart in a bright flash of noise. Dazzling neon blips of red light weave interlocking patterns of death. Traitor Guardsmen flee back over the crests of Silvana and Alicia while Astartes peel back in good order never cutting us some slack, always keeping up a screen of covering fire.

    Payback is a motherfucker. Amen.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:41 No.12127675
    Hendral's voice pipes over the vox, ''Ardent Flame, get the guns out of here while you can. They'll be back within the hour. I can buy you enough time to cross...''

    ''That's a big fucking negative on your last, Old Legion. How am I ever going to fuck your sister if I let you get killed?'' I say,

    ''What do you propose then?'' Hendral asks,

    "We attack. Get wired, frater.''

    Silence. The vox crackles to life.

    ''Cadia Prevails. I'll see you at the top.''

    ''We're taking back Silvana 1! I'm fed up waiting in a mud-hole for a shell to land on my head. Move up!''

    Groaning, exhausted, their joints creaking, Guardsmen clamber over the parapets and double-time forward. All but the PDFs. They stare with glassy, uncomprehending eyes and drooping mouths the steep slopes of Silvana and the madman asking of them the impossible. I scream and beat them with Keban's pace-stick till I'm red in the face with rage.

    I turn and face them, naked except for my helmet, my webbing and the lasrifle in my hands. I stand on the trench parapet, my back illuminated by arcing flares and the flames of the starport burning on the horizon.

    Behind my visor I am grinning ear to ear a predatory smile. The PDFs have become convinced that my battle-magic is unsurpassed. I have stared the Vindicaire in the eye and talked with him for seven days and seven nights and returned from the Land of the Dead. But even my witchcraft is not powerful enough to defeat the entire Blood Ravens Chapter.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:41 No.12127680
    But we have a Plan. A devious, cunning Plan. And I am not about to let these shit-pumps ruin our last glorious stand.

    ''Looks like History's made room for us after all. Many of you don't feel like going? that's fine... I do. I'll take this fort alone and destiny will be waiting. Shrapnel will bounce off me. Lasbolts will swerve away with fear. Not one of you needs to take this fort, but I absolutely insist you come with me and watch me take it. You will come with me and watch me take it! If I go forward, follow me. If I retreat, shoot me. If I am killed, avenge me. Avenge me!''

    Commissar Gibit would be ever so proud, if he wasn't radioactive dust scattered across the eastern hemisphere of Kronus.

    Without another word, I turn and go. I am nearly overcome with relief when I hear the rattle of gear as the PDFs scramble out of our dugouts and race to catch up my brother Guardsmen already scaling Silvana. I would hate to die alone.

    Later, they will say: " We sent two companies to take back Silvana 1 " and perhaps that will be enough for the strategists and for the historians. I, on the other hand, know what this op truly represented and the "companies" in question: 56 and 85 grunts on the rolls respectively, among which many were injured.

    ''The artillery preparations will begin at 0400; you will climb no further than the safety limit'' I explained to them within the C.P.

    ''Negative'' Intervenes Fyodor, the new pipsqueak company commander of B Coy after Ollianus was killed on the slopes of Silvana two weeks ago, ''on the 28th, the Blood Ravens had time to raise their heads before we could cap their trenches. We need to do as the Astartes do and stick as close as possible to our opening salvos. Safety limits, It's good for training; we have to ignore regulations.''
    >> Deathleaper's Fangirl !!YD/t8+iuFvd 09/17/10(Fri)19:42 No.12127683
    No, the Spaceport region in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade.

    Also, F5'ing hard. Not sure where this is going but it's got my interest.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:42 No.12127687
    Like the Starport on Kronus in Dawn of War: Dark Crusade.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:42 No.12127694
    Hendral mulls it over for a second before slowly nodding. '' All right. We'll push under fire up to the first lines. What the Blood Ravens do, we can do as well.''

    The ghosts of the 412th rejoice. I feel them whispering shiny, broken bits of wisdom in my ears: ''The Cadian Army recognizes that it is the offensive, and the offensive alone, which produces positive results.'' sing the mass graves and ossuaries, ''Therefore, the passive defence is doomed to a certain defeat; it is rejected absolutely. The defense has the purpose of covering the gathering of resources before passing into the attack, or of containing the enemy on a front with reduced strength to make more forces available for an attack.''

    My brain is throbbing so hard I squeeze my eyes shut. The Manes are relentless and continue sharing their secrets with me. They tug and pull at me. All the men who had passed in review before the Colours, on their journey along the Sacred Path to stand guard by the Emperor's side; I feel them gathering in our gloomy bunker, thronging the narrow slit trench outside, pressing against the walls of reality. Halted on the threshold only by the glare of light. And now they are free to enter. Waiting, though, till the clarion call of battle. My hands were their hands, their famished eyes were mine.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:43 No.12127705
    0600. A rumbling starts, amplifies and specifies itself. The shells pass howling overhead while our two companies wait to leap out of the assault trenches. They explode on the slopes, on the peak. On the western face of Eliane 4, Lieutenant Allair gathered the twenty 81s: all the remaining mortars of the broken Guard battalions. He dispatches smoke rounds to mask the crenels of the enemy firebases, on the Black Devil's Den and Mount Ever Victorious…

    We climb the last slope running, mud sucking our feet and slowing us down; in two minutes, we will have to be right on top of the enemy's trenches once the artillery silences, which has been covering us in debris with no respite. 0615: the last big guns of the Imperial Guard expend nearly all of their reserves and smash Silvana 1 with some three hundred shells.

    The guns fall silent...

    Screaming, the sixteen Cadians of 3 Platoon leap onto the foe, still stunned by the shells. The trench-clearing begins.

    They are sixteen in the first wave. Sixteen against two companies. And yet they progress. The two other Guard companies following on their heels… The battle continues with hand-to-hand fighting. We claw and bite the enemy, neutralize them, destroying them. Isolating pockets of traitors, we root them out with flamers and grenades. At one point, I turn a corner and find myself face to face with a dozen Elysians rushing down the duck planks towards me. I stand my ground screaming and slaughter them all, holding down the trigger until the cell dries up.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:44 No.12127711
    Elsewhere, similar events would play out again and again till the bottom of the trenches ran red with viscera and blood. . When we finally reach the edge of the trenches which expose the red plains to the east, it's well into the afternoon. It's necessary, under relentless enemy fire, to organize the position, to dig proper fortifications amongst the demolished blockhouses and corpses, of the half-collapsed dugouts and shredded barbed wire.

    The Blood Ravens counter-attack almost at once, but we're ready. Behind us, the remnants of the 4th battalion gallop up the slopes to support us, ''Hold on!'' they cry. Now the losses are at their highest; In India Coy, all the section commanders are killed or wounded. Hendral, with Delta Coy, suffers more and more casualties. The list of dead and wounded lengthens. Wessel, the only other still living Sergeant in the assault besides myself, is blown to the ground by a grenade; covered in blood, he refuses to be evacuated.

    Another counter-attack, supported by chimeras, clambers up the slopes towards us. As the company digs in, the chimeras keep up a storm of withering fire to pin us down. Mortars pulverize us into bloody paste with bright flashes and countless incandescent beams of sorcerous light scorch our crumbling parapets. I recognize the jungle camo pattern. 887th Baxtrian, The Lord Prefect's Own.

    The Chimeras plough their way through the triple concertina and Baxtrian grunts pour through the gaps shielded by their war machines. We hold the line and mow down the assault waves, shooting out their bellies and popping off their arms and legs. The few that get into our perimeter we tear apart with our bear hands and beat them to death with sharpened entrenching tools. The slope is soon littered with the bodies of men chopped down by hard light. Men we once shared a laugh, a meal or ragged picts of half-forgotten loved ones.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:45 No.12127716
    I am on the vox struggling to make myself heard over the whirlwind of noise: ''Fleur-De-Lys, Fleur-De-Lys. Ardent Flame. Fire mission, over. Grid 239 573. Bearing 3200, figures one five APCs and dismounted infantry. Neutralize with High Explosive, will adjust for fire. Fire when ready!''

    ''Ah, Roger Ardent Flame. in 2 minutes... Shot over!''

    A short round falls way too Emperor-damned short, and It takes me a minute for my brain to stop gibbering and pick myself up from my hands and knees. my tongue is swollen and my mouth is swimming with blood after I bit down hard in shock. Around me, screaming troopers haul ass back onto the firing step.

    I stumble drunkenly about looking for the vox-operator, Irdan, cursing him and futilely swatting at the red cloud kicked up by the blast. I find Irdan thrown five meters away from me, staring dumb-founded at the tri-dome helmet in his hands. His mouth working noiselessly as he tries to puzzle out why there is a foot long piece of super-heated metal jutting out of his brain bucket and why his brains aren't splattered across Silvana.

    He looks at me, freezes up, a wild animal cornered, and starts screaming,''Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!''

    I slap him, hard, and keep hitting him. Irdan has seen past the veil. He bucks and kicks frantically, eyes bulging from their sockets. He's gone.

    I drag the vox head-piece to my mouth, cough blood and grunt, ''Shot out... Splash out! Up 400, right 200!''

    Fleur-de-Lys, Fyodor, replies instantaneously, ''Roger...Shot over.''

    Whomp, Whomp, Whomp. Great plumes of earth, smoke and meat and steel are kicked skywards as our guns smash and scatter everything as though the earth itself was erupting in a final fiery conflagration. I walk the arty in, drool slavering down my chin, lost to the bloodlust and drunk on the power only a man who has summoned a mountain of fire can understand.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:46 No.12127727
    ''On target! Fire for effect! Fire for the effect! Waste the motherfuckers!''

    The Baxtrians are decimated. Their assault is broken but they won't give up. They dig in half-way up and get wired. We're so high up and the slope oh so steep we have to lean over the parapets to shoot the survivors huddling behind the non-existent protection of their flaming chimeras. By the Throne, they never stood a chance. Fucking Davian fucking Thule. They were just men.

    Silvana 1 is a charnel house and we pay dearly for every bloody inch we reclaim. Bravo Coy also suffers, almost all of the company is killed or wounded. But by nightfall, as the fighting ends, the position has been retaken, her defences secured. Survivors of the attack are relieved by little Fyodor and his two mixed companies of Catachan Devils, clerks, cooks and cannon cockers.The final tally is staggering. In Alpha Coy, for example, one counts 28 killed and 35 heavily wounded out of 85 men engaged at the beginning. I've lost over half my men.

    More names. More ghosts. Bacram, Deoclitan, Wessel, Qualitz, Kueril, Yossarian, Lavoy, Azanghi, Xerz, Federer, MacMoran...

    The following day, the Blood Ravens go back on the offensive. Davian Thule cannot allow himself to give up to the Imperial Guard this hill which has already cost him so much blood, and which blocks his offensive to the east . He has spared no means for this assault; two Battle-Companies - the equivalent of an Imperial Guard Division - and a battalion of Baxtrian turncoats are thrown at us.

    Major Herran, acting commander of the Starport defences, is on the vox: ''' Sending reinforcements. They will be there in an hour. What can you do?''

    I reply, ''I've got Hendral and what's left of Alpha Coy at the foot of Silvana. I'll dispatch them ahead.''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:46 No.12127732
    Behind Silvana, the last Cadians, a bare half-company, of the Kronus Liberators go back onto the offensive. They climb, indifferent to the ordnance exploding around them, taken along by two switched on corporals, Harrick and Kovaq, the heroes of Tyrea . And suddenly, half-way up, a song is raised. All the Shock Troopers bellow proud words launched like a challenge:

    Against the xeno, against the heretic,
    Where ever battle rages,
    Soldiers of Cadia, Guardians of the Gate,
    We return to the front…

    Astonished, surprised, Thule's Guardsmen who believed victory within their grasp break and run. Scores are killed as they withdraw. For the first time on Kronus, the Guardsmen sow doubt in the spirit of Davian Thule's super-men. Behind the Shock Troopers, my Kronus PDFs, in their turn, climb the hill. But they lack a song and those they do know speak only of love, of girls and drink. Then, spontaneously, my loyalist colonials who fight under their tribal flags, hurl themselves into the attack singing in broken Gothic the "The Song of Departure'', Cadia's anthem.

    And so we run, over unrecognizable chunks of dead meat. Colours blazing under an alien sun, we double-time. Warriors with magical weapons, panting, baying for blood. There is no fear, only a great excitement. We run as though impatient to sink into the darkness that will eventually claim us all. I am no longer myself. I am part of an attack. One grey khaki object in a line of grey khaki objects running towards the great golden Eternity Gate, running through hard noise and bursting metal... running, running, running. I don't look back. Something snaps past my head and we are past the point of no return. We're running fast and we won't stop. Nothing can stop us.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:47 No.12127736
    The air is being torn. Red tracers angrily dissect the sky. solid slugs kick up dirt. The impact of lasbolts is the sound of a covey of quail taking flight. I feel the shock of bolter rounds punching through air. Splinters of stone sting exposed faces. Keep moving, keep moving, keep moving. If we stopped moving, if we hesitated, our hearts would stop beating. My legs are machines winding him up like a mechanical toy. If my legs stop moving, their taut spring will run down and I would fall over, a lump without motion.

    Pictures: The dark eyes of guns; the cold eyes of guns. Pictures blink and blur, a wall, tiny men, shattered blocks of stone. Incoming ordnance. So fat and heavy I can see them rain downwards towards me.

    Keep moving, keep moving, keep moving...

    Boots crunch in blasted sand and super-heated pebbles. Equipment flaps, clangs, and rattles. Men shout out psalms of victory. They kick tangled, blasted strands of barbed wire out of their way in their pursuit of the retreating wall of noise and muzzle flashes. My feet carry me on...through the rubble of the outlying ring of defences at the foot of the great bastion, ever closer to the top of Silvana 1 ...forward...forward... I'm loving it. The bloodlust is in me. A cocktail of adrenaline, hate and excitement pumping, pumping, pumping through my veins. Almost there... The summit looms ahead of me. Huge, menacing. It hurts to look at it. Hard to focus on it. Shadows race by ahead and I sight in on them, feeling the lasrifle kick in my hands. The shadows disappear. They're not human, not even animals in my eyes. I feel like a god.. I scream: "DIE! DIE! DIE, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS! DIE! DIE! DIE!"

    Keep moving.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:49 No.12127749
    Thirty meters to the top. It's so steep I have to crawl on my hands and knees. the air is thick and heavy with the smell of shit and rotting corpses. A thick blanket of sulfurous smoke masks the hilltop. I crawl over the shredded bodies of Baxtrians who stare at me with blank, accusing eyes. Above me, Hendral and his company are fighting for their lives against Astartes in pitched hand to hand combat. All I see are shapes and figures darting in the smoke. Behind me I can taste the cold, mind-numbing fear infecting my PDFs.

    Angels. We're going to fight His angels.

    How do you kill an angel?

    We reach the first dugouts. I stand-up and flap my arms, urging my fearful gun-babies on, ''FOR EMPEROR AND IMPERIUM!'' I scream, extremely conscious of what a nice target I am making myself for snipers. I might as well have a giant sign hanging over me saying ''SHOOT ME FIRST, PLEASE.'' I've been feeling extra paranoid ever since I painted a bright red bullseye on the back of my helmet.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:50 No.12127756
    my PDFs surge ahead and around me like a school of fish and I leap down into the first trench. Cursing, I trip and fall head-first onto the duckboards below. Fucking undignified. A grenade explodes nearby and bloody chunks of men cartwheel in the air high above. Someone steps on me and I lash out with a hand, tripping a white-faced gun-baby. I lurch to my feet and we pound down the duck planks, fanning out, trying to link up with Hendral's men. The trenches are a true abattoir with corpses piled knee-deep. There are no wounded, just dead men that make each slippery step a test to keep your balance.

    Trench clearing is a Corporal's game. In such close and labyrinthine corners, where everyone and everything is out your sight and hearing, it's nigh on impossible for any kind of tactical manoeuvring above the section level. All you can do as a Platoon or Company commander is to keep feeding men into the meat-grinder and try to paint as accurate a picture of the progress of your fire-teams in your mind.

    It's for this reason alone we have lasted so long. Where other worlds and races of Man flounder and thrash about at the corps and army group level, forbidding flexibility at the lowest echelons, Cadians have embraced it. While the traitor Guard commanders dither and wait uncertainly for orders concerning vague objectives, trying to curry favour with their new Astartes masters, our fire-teams and section leaders push on confidently and independently, exploiting any weakness they can find. The ''Strategic Corporal'', a grunt who has access to comms gear, maps, supporting arms and the overall ''big picture'' shall always outperform his peers as we have proven time and time again from Tyrea to the Vandean Coast.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:50 No.12127757
    Curse you mods, curse you to hell
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:50 No.12127762
    At Silvana 1, Hendral's mixed force of Shock Troopers and Devils repel ferociously the Astartes attack, returning blow for blow without worrying about the enormous losses digging bloody gaps in their ranks. Afterwards, they sing 'Imperator Rex Eternum' and 'Holy Terra, we abjure thee' to take their minds of their thirst and hunger and the mind-numbing fatigue. None of us have slept for the past five days.

    Cpl. Fyodor does not weaken. By vox, he alerts Herran directly: '' Sacred Oath? Fleur-de-Lys. All's well. The Ravens are bugging out. They've learned their lesson! Old Legion's here and Ardent Flame's PDFs, over.''

    ''Cheers, but do not pile up on the top… Return immediately to Silvana 4, over.''

    It's Herran's nightmare. All of our men concentrated on a reduced front offering the most splendid target imaginable for enemy artillery.

    ''Fleur-de-Lys. Roger, Sacred Oath. I'm staying momentarily with Old Legion to take stock of the situation - ''

    White noise is heard on the vox. Herran repeats his communication, worrying, he recalls.
    ''This is Old Legion,'' answers the soft voice of Hendral, ''Fleur-de-Lys's Sunray is K.I.A.''

    I put down the vox headpiece with a tired gesture. Fyodor was the last Cadian Whiteshield sent by the drafts before we were remustered as the Liberators; A young boy, full of zeal and enthusiasm, he dreamed of combat, glory, victory. He died under the setting sun, standing. Victorious. Just like Old Man Sturnn would have wanted... Like Baern, like so many others, cut down in the prime of his youth. Fyodor, a marvellous trooper, with those clear blue eyes, the crooked smile… left forever on this cursed hilltop.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:51 No.12127766
    09:15, the fighting continues unabated and Silvana 1 exchanges hands sixteen times before finally being taken once and for all by the Blood Raven's 4th Company.

    Our withdrawal back to Eliane 4 is a messy affair. Heavy Bolter rounds bite deep into flesh before ripping it apart from the inside out and whine as they ricochet off boulders. Explosions rock the earth and black shrapnel tears ragged holes in our fleeing columns.

    Behind us the Space Marines advance on line, shooting everything that moves.
    A hot spasm of pain running up my right side is my first hint that I've been hit. I look down. I've seen a lot of gunshot wounds. I'm standing up, I'm moving, and I haven't bled to death yet. As I'm helped along by Irdan I diagnose it as a T&T wound in the right thigh, through and through, no bones hit, no major arteries cut. Now I've got a golden opportunity to prove that old hands bullshit about how one-legged Guardsmen know how to hop.
    I look back and I can see an Apothecary cutting up an Astartes sergeant's chest with scalpels and needles. The Apothecary, ignoring the firefight in progress all around him, stands up and calls for a dustoff, an immediate medevac.
    Irdan is little, but incredibly strong. He helps me stumble toward a bunker as lasbolts hiss over our heads like pieces of hot air.
    A lasbolt hits Irdan in the back of the head and comes out of his face. He looks at me, surprised, his face only inches from my own. There is an ugly wet cavity between his nose and his cheekbone and his upper lip. Irdan breathes his last breath into my face and falls dead at my feet.
    I turn away and run like a big-assed bird, clumsy, limping, but ignoring the pain, thinking only that I either find cover most ricky-tick or my health record is going to be turned into a fuck story.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:52 No.12127776
    In the bunker Hendral is waiting for me. There are no able-bodied men left in the companies; every man is wounded to some extent. He screams over the carnage and directly into my ear, ''We got to get the fuck out of here! We've got to get back to Eliane 4 before they fucking cut us off!''
    I nod grimly, ''Affirmative. Leave the wounded behind. Anyone who can't keep up is on his own.''
    ''The Emperor protects.'' Hendral replies, before running off.
    The Space Marines are tough sons of bitches. They bay for blood like hounds and sink their fangs deeper into our carcasses, not letting go, not giving any slack. We drop a fire-team back every twenty meters. Each team dropped fights until the Space Marines kill them, which takes time.
    I try to stay close to Hendral, but my leg has started bleeding again and I lag a few meters behind. I am terrified of falling too far back. In the end, there is only one marching order for Guardsmen: he who hesitates will be left behind.
    The Space Marines chase us until we come to flat open ground that has been bulldozed and defoliated, leaving our cripples and gimps manning the heavy guns at Eliane 4 a clear field of fire. They'll wait for their heavy weapons to pound the shit out of us before starting their next assault.
    A single earthshaker inside the fort starts banging out rounds to cover us. We stumble across the knee-deep killing field of mud and razor wire as a mortar bursts nearby kicking up a great plume of water and mud...
    We all know that the Thunderhawks have been called and are already in the air and will be coming in on bomb runs within twenty minutes. If we don't reach the relative safety of the forward redoubts we are all going to be turned into crispy critters.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:52 No.12127785
    We are five hundred meters away from the dugouts when a Thunderhawk gunship zooms in upon us with an ear-numbing roar. The Thunderhawk is blood red, angular and awkward-looking, but fast, a big mechanical dragonfly with men inside, floating in the air, spitting fire.
    Harrick aims a missile launcher at the gunship but is hit before he can fire.
    Kovaq returns fire while I double-time back to help Harrick.
    The Thunderhawk swings around and makes another gun-run, fires a cluster of pod rockets. As the rockets slant in on us we open our mouths to ease the pressure our eardrums may suffer from the shock waves of concussion. A heartbeat later, most of my Guardsmen are legless, armless human torches screaming for the Emperor's mercy.
    I crawl to Harrick. Half of his face has been blown off. He tries to speak, but he can't make his mouth move. I try to pull the missile launcher from his hands, but he won't let go. I put my foot against his chest and push. Finally Harrick lets go of his weapon, but only because he is dead.
    As the gunship swings around for another pass, Hendral appears, firing his hellgun up at the belly of the mechanical beast.
    I pick up the missile launcher--I'm going to need it.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:53 No.12127788
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:54 No.12127793
    I run to Hendral. He has been hit by shrapnel about the neck and one of his ears has been blown off. His hellgun has been shorn in half. One jagged piece of steel has torn open the rust-brown metal of his carapace's chest plate, exposing a row of circuitry like sharp golden teeth.

    Hendral looks up at me, trying to read his medical condition in my eyes. He reaches up to touch the bloody shreds on the side of his head where his ear used to be, and groans.

    The gunship comes in low, machine gunning us with electronically timed three-second bursts of autocannon fire. The Chapter serf is high on war. He's already patting himself on the back for a job well done. The Thunderhawk hovers over us, a bloated red vulture, a swooping, chattering, metal carrion bird, the roar of its turbines so high pitched it sounds like the wail of the damned.

    Flat on my back, playing dead, I see blood red tear drops stencilled with black ravens. I can see the pilot's face before he drops his sun visor and squeezes his thumb on the red firing button on the toggle switch. The pilot is an up-and-coming young adept in the mightiest ministorum the Worlds have ever seen, and through his gunsights people on the ground are not human beings at all but are only A's running toward his report card.

    Hendral leaps up and runs, drawing fire.

    The Thunderhawk takes the bait, rolls slightly to starboard.

    Kovaq picks up the launcher, fires the missile, then collapses. The missile swooshes from the end of the launcher like a tiny space ship and the serf-pilot inside the gunship sees it coming a fraction of a second before it hits the gunship.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:55 No.12127810
    The fuel cell explodes. Rockets and ammunition cook off and secondary explosions rip the gunship apart.

    The gunship comes straight down. It just drops, fire falling out of the sky trailing black smoke. The Thunderhawk splatters across the deck as an ugly smear of torn metal and burning promethium, engine turbines bent, fuselage split open. The men inside burn in their machine.

    Van Demer and Odeszt along with a few others have come back to fight. They put Hendral, who is unconscious, onto a piece of scrap metal, sling their rifles over their backs, and lift him up.

    "Go!" I say, and we all head for Eliane 4.

    Two more Thunderhawks are coming in fast, half a klick away.

    Kovaq drops back to cover us until we are safely within the perimeter.

    Everyone is scrambling like hell to reach the air bomb shelters. I think about making a run for it, but where would I go? A Thunderhawk is down. The angry Thunderhawks coming in are going to kill anybody on the ground on sight at five hundred meters.

    We're all deep inside a tunnel when the gunships rumble over Eliane 4's perimeter. The gunships buzz in tight circles while turret gunners pour down lascannon blasts hot and heavy, firing without a target, trying to crack open the earth itself. We listen to the gunships making themselves crazy and firing up pods full of rockets for a long time.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:56 No.12127826
    I grunt, start calling out names, ''Hendral?''

    He mumbles, ''still here...''

    ''Avek?'' -- Dead.

    ''Gehring?'' -- Dead.

    ''Eward?'' -- Dead.

    ''Jylan?'' -- Really Dead.

    I flip out, ''Who the fuck is still alive then?''

    White Magic Sev, Eight Times Quinn, Odeszt, Hendral, Kovaq, Blue Butterfly, Van Demer, both Little and Big Coerils, myself. We're all that's left of Silvana 1 's defenders.

    I laugh and laugh till big fat tears roll down my scorched cheeks, ''Holy fuck! We just went toe to toe with an Astartes Gunship!''

    Kovaq fidgets, asks worriedly, ''Do you think Commander Thule's going to be mad?'' In a hushed tone, he confesses, ''I wasn't aiming for the thunderhawk. I was aiming for this mean looking cloud.''


    Kovaq explains further, ''It was a raincloud.''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:57 No.12127839
    A proud, one-legged Eight Times Quinn happily changes subjects by waving the stump of his melted bionic left leg ''Y'all going to have to call me Nine times Quinn now!''

    I say in my best Lucas Bastonne imitation, ''Lose the other one, sweet pea, and you'll be short enough to send home.''

    my audience groans and moans in the dark. Van Demer chucks a rock at me.

    A struggle erupts as Nine Times Quinn starts swatting away Kovaq, ''Falker, Kovaq's playing medic again. Shit! Get away from me, headcase.''

    I pull Kovaq away, ''Kovaq, you are hereby transferred to the Commisariat's provost guard.''
    'Yes, Sarge.''

    ''Arrest yourself. Put away that narthecium and get yourself ready for trial.''
    'Yes, Sarge. What's the charge, Sarge?''

    I pause, thinking.

    ''Pre-meditated murder of a raincloud.''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)19:59 No.12127863
    We sit in the tunnel until night comes, listening to ourselves breathe. The air is so thin that Van Demer faints and has to be revived. This tunnel is not used regularly anymore and the drainage sumps are clogged and overflowing. We're trapped in a black hole in the ground and we are wet and miserable.

    When it's night we crawl out of the stinking pit and stand up, breathing deeply and coughing, mud-people in the moonlight.

    I walk point. Van Demer and Odeszt carry Hendral. Kovaq and myself carry a one-legged Nine Times Quinn. White Magic Sev insists on walking despite being blinded, so I give him Blue Butterfly to lean on.

    Limping forward, I flash my five fingers followed by a downwards chop --"Five meters interval, single file." I say to the tired, burnt out grunts.

    And then I lead my Guardsmen back to Eliane 4.

    I've lost all track of time and my mind is reeling from sleep deprivation. The moon is still up. It must be night. By the time we make it to Major Herran's position, a Leman Russ completely submerged into the mud, Planted next to it is a placard that reads:


    and under that:

    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:00 No.12127877
    Haggard and even worse looking than I am, he twists in the turret's hatch and extends a filthy hand specked in dried grey mud to give me one of his signature limp wristed moist handshakes.

    Major Herran Of The Ten Wounds cuts a poor figure compared to the man he was when we made planetfall at Victory Bay in what seems another lifetime ago. The last surviving officer of the 412th, he tried to recreate the dicipline and zeal of 2 E.V. with the few remaining Shock Troopers from the reserve battalion and the finest hive trash Kronus has to offfer. A collection of drug addicts, rapists and murderers and xenophiles that share just one thing in common: They all want to kill Herran.

    The first attempts on his life were clumsy affairs: accidental discharges too close for comfort, cut brake lines in the vehicles he travelled in. Herran, however, refused to get with the program and soon enough it was knives in the dark or frags tossed in the latrines he visited. Major Herran had become a living, breathing free-fire zone.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:03 No.12127907
    ''Sargeant Falker, Saints preserve me! FANTASTIC work you did at Silvana.'' He scrounges through his hole, digging into his little mountain of maps. ''Look here,'' He finally finds the right map and points out our current location, a tiny blue blotch marked with a grease pen on the stiff, laminated paper. "You're all that's left, Jon. I've lost vox-casting with everybody and most of my messengers get picked off by snipers, that is if they don't flat out desert."

    He waves a hand at the banks of the Red River guarded by half-naked men clothed in bandages.

    "Most of these troopers won't live through the night...I don't even know how many men I have left right now."

    "Sir," I say, "We'll do it. What is it?"

    Herran purses his lips and eyes with amusement Keban's pace-stick tucked under my arm. I know he's absurdly grateful I've stripped a dead trooper of his moldy fatigues before presenting myself to him. Major Herran is quite keen about propriety.

    "Sergeant, you never did tell me what happened between you and the Vindicaire," he sighs. "I don't suppose it matters now."

    Major Herran turns to face me, squares and his shoulders and speaks to me for the last time. "Go, Falker. Find yourself a nice dry spot with some friends and wait out. I think Corporal Redon is still alive over at Seraphine... Goodbye, Sergeant, I'll see you when I see you. Oh yes, one last thing."


    "Bloody good show, wasn't it?"

    "Yes, Sir. Wouldn't have missed it for the world, Sir. Cadia Prevails." I reply sincerely.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:04 No.12127916
    Major Herran tucks his tunic and smiles pleasantly before lowering himself into his steel coffin and sealing its hatch.

    15:00 in the afternoon. Above the plain, a last gleaming valkyrie, impertubably drops its useless, scanty supplies. It has been four long hours since Pavonis has been in need of anything. Anything, that is, from the outside. The fortified camp can only count on itself and draw on its own courage for the strength to accept its fate.

    Not a single position remains in Guard hands since 1100 this morning. Their garrisons were overrun; they did not surrender. Eliane 10 fell at dawn. There remained only two officers, entrenched on the roof of a bunker. Lieutenant Baily of the Catachan 886th, who was sent with reinforcements from Celestine and arrived alone, and an Agripinaan, Lieutenant Boudec. They were both grievously wounded and the Blood Ravens allow them to be brought to our ficticious surgical unit.

    Eliane 4 had held out until 1000. Major Herran, commander of the 2nd Bn/1st Liberators, had put his hopes in the lull before dawn. That blessed hour when the Blood Ravens would normally hold their fire and ask us to lay down arms again. But the respite did not happen. Thule, sensing that the last bit of resistance was giving way, wanted to thoroughly exploit the advantage. And so, the Angels of Death had reached the foxhole where Herran has been living since the beginning of the Siege.

    With him was Kovaq. After taking part in the final counter-attack he decided to stay on at Eliane 4. Major Herran gives him his third chevron but Kovaq refuses, explaining to a thoroughly confused Herran he cannot accept due to outstanding charges brought against him. the men of his new command were too exhausted to attempt anything more than a last ditch stand in the trenches on the hill.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:04 No.12127920
    On the plain, Eliane 3, ''the court of miracles'', was taken pillbox by pillbox, dugout by dugout, by the cautious Blood Ravens, who were mopping up with hand grenades wth no concern for wounded troopers who were mercilessly killed within hours of the end of their nightmare, without seeing the light of another day.

    My ragged band of looters and killers are the last soldiers in fighting shape. Along with a handful of PDFs, Agripinaan combat engineers and Catachan Devils, we managed to cross the river under the protection of Redon's quad-stubbers, stationed on Seraphine, and took up positions on on that very hill, facing the river. Now, only we remain. A few isolated men awaiting our turn to be attacked and wiped out.

    Lieutenant Allaire is the leader of the other half-section. He's a wild-eyed, little skinhead with loose flaps of skin hanging off him indicating a life of ease pre-Reclamation. A wogue's wogue. He managed to grease his way into a cushy Munitorum job once he got drafted like the rest of the males of Kronus. Never believing he would actually have to fight, he has somehow managed to survive a siege that has killed grunts hard as shell-casings.

    At the sight of him, I suppress the urge to stab him in the throat with my wooden bayonet.

    In the course of his very brief military career, he has thought of the different ways combat could end: by victory, by a ''good'' wound, one which led to the hospital and medals, or by a ''bad'' one, which, in any case, corresponded to his idea of military honour. But he never could have imagined being confronted with a dilemma so contrary to his newly discovered military ethics. Cross the Red River in a suicidal attempt to escape or foolishly and pointlessly cause his death and the death of the two or three troopers with him by lobbing his last hand grenade at the traitors who were silently waiting within earshot in their trench for a reason to annihilate them.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:05 No.12127931
    Allaire is a 2nd Lieutenant in the PDF and is unable to arrive at a solution to his problem. He turns to me, ''Falker? Do we pull an Anphelion or do we get our feet wet?'' He didn't dare mention the word ''breakout'' which was his last hope. Rumour has it - and this is not shit, trooper - that the Blood Ravens have been exterminating the human population of Kronus. Allaire and the other PDFs know the Guard is their last chance to make it off this rock alive.

    Nearby, Odeszt snorts in derision. He sidles over to Allaire and sticks his face inches away from the wogue. ''What the fuck do you know about Anphelion?'' Allaire stutters and blinks and backs down to a lance corporal.

    I don't reply at once. Yesterday morning I was forced to give up my plan of fighting out of Pavonis and forcing my way to Eres at the head of my Guardsmen. I don't have a man left that type of heroic and bloody action. The Battalions have been swallowed up one by one as the catastrophe rapidly approached. Like a warship mortally wounded by torpedoes, the entreched camp has slowly started to go down. beaten on all sides by the constant waves of foes. And then, the breaches opened wide and Pavonis Starport will go down in two hours.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:06 No.12127936
    You're a machine gunner who has come to the end of his last belt. You're waiting, staring out through the barbed wire at the little men who are assaulting your position. You see their tiny toy-soldier bayonets and their determined, eyeless faces, but you're a machine gunner who has come to the end of his last belt and there's nothing you can do. The little men are going to grow and grow and grow--illuminated by the fluid, ghostly fire of a star flare--and then they're going to run up over you and cut you up with knives. You see this. You know this. But you're a machine gunner who has come to the end of his last belt and there's nothing you can do. In their distant fury the little men are your brothers and you love them more than you love your friends. So you wait for the little men to come and you know you'll be waiting for them when they come because you no longer have anywhere else to go...

    ''Allaire this is Herran. Don't try anything. A cease fire will soon take place.'' Herran's voice betrays his weariness. And his sadness. A few moments ago, an unrecognizable figure, covered with mud and gore had appeared in his command post. It was Kovaq. He had burned his last cell and wanted to know if they should carry on fighting with broken duck boards and sharpened entrenching tools.

    For Allaire the news of a ceasefire destroyed all of his hopes. Surrender? How could it be possible? He thinks, naively, that capitulation was the worst act of cowardice and that the Commisariat would treat it as treachery. No doubt, He sees the inevitable court-martials looming before us. He can't bring himself to order his men to lay down their arms without first making certain that that was the wish of his commander.

    ''Roger, Sacred Oath, but I need a written order.''

    Herran did not comment on this strange transmission. He felt it was to be his last duty to grant this incronguous request to his distraught surbodinate.

    ''Alright Allaire. Send a runner to the C.P.''
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:06 No.12127946
    Fifteeen minutes later, a haggard, filthy, soaking wet trooper returned to Allaire. He gives the Lieutenant a slip of paper on which Herran had scrawled four short sentences.

    ''For Allaire. Ceasefire at 1730. No more shooting. No white flag. See you soon, Herran.''

    Below, four words which expressed his distress: ''Poor 412th. Poor Guardsmen.''

    Allaire carefullly folded the paper and slipped it in his breast pocket. It was his only justification. Now he only had to wait.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:07 No.12127952
    Raindrops drip from trees, big, splashy, persistent drops, finding the warm place between my collar and my neck. I look up and down the treeline across the opposite bank again. Somewhere further along, a bird sings monotonously. I cross the Red River and begin climbing the hill between the trees.

    Up, up, until my way is barred by rusty concertina wire twitching in the wind. A tuft of khaki grey has caught on one of the barbs. I blink the rain out of my eyes. Somewhere, branches rattle together with a sound like stubber fire and I have to bite my lip to stop from crying out. I kick and crush the wire apart and ease myself through, breaking into a sweat as I struggle to free a caught sleeve.

    Trembling now, I begin to scramble along the edge of a bombed out field, slipping and stumbling, my mud-encumbered boots like lead weights pulling on the muscles of my thighs. My body is cold inside the grey khaki combats made stiff by mud, except for a burning around the knees where the cloth chaffs and cuts my skin.

    I'm walking up the slope of a hill, tensing myself against the wind that seems to be trying to scrape me off its side. As I reach the crest, a fiercer gust snatchs my breath. After that I keep my head bent, sometimes stopping to draw a deeper breath through the steeple of my cupped hands. Rain beats on to my head, dripping from the rim of my helmet. I stop and look across the field. The distance has vanished in a veil of rain. I don't where I'm going, or why, but I think I ought to take shelter, and begin double-timing clumsily along the brow of the hill towards a distant clump of tall trees. The mud drags at me, I have to slow down to a walk. Every step was a separate effort, hauling my mud-clogged boots out of the sucking earth. The nape on my neck stands on edge and I listen for the whine of shells.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:08 No.12127964
    When at last I reach the trees, I sit down with my back to the nearest, and for a while do nothing at all, not even wipe away the drops of rain that gathered on the tip of my nose and dripped into my open mouth. Then, blinking, I drag a wet sleeve across my face.

    After a while, I get to my my feet and begin stumbling, almost blindly, between the trees, catching my feet in clumps of upturned roots. Something brushes against my cheek, and I raise my hand to push it away. My fingers touch slime, and I snatch them back. I turn and see a dead mole, suspended, apparently, in air. its black fur spiked with blood, its small pink hands folded on its chest.

    Looking up, I see that the tree that I stand under was laden with dead animals. Bore them like fruit. A whole branch of moles in various states of decay, a ferret, a weasel, three magpies, a fox. The fox hangs quite close, its lips curled back from bloodied teeth.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:08 No.12127970
    I start to run, but the jungle is against me. Branches clip my face, twigs tear at me, roots trip me. Once, I am sent sprawling, though immediately I'm up again, and running, my tunic a mess of mud and dead leaves.

    Out in the field, splashing along the flooded furrows, I hear Maria's voice, as distinctly as I sometimes hear it in my dreams: ''If you run now, you'll never stop.''

    I turn and go back and stand again in front of the tree. Now that I am calmer, I remember seeing trees like this before. The animals were not nailed to it, as they sometimes were, but tied, by wings or paws or tails. I start to release a magpie, teeth chattering as a wing came away in my hands. Then the other magpies, the fox, the weasel, the ferret and the moles.

    When all the corpses were on the ground, I arrange them in a circle round the tree and sit down within it, my back against the trunk. I feel the roughness of the bark against my spine. I press my hands between my knees and looked around the circle of my companions. Now they could dissolve into the earth as they were meant to do. I feel a great urge to lie down beside them, but my clothes separate me. I get up and start to get undressed. When I'm finished, I look down at myself. My naked body is burnt copper after half a standard year of fighting in the jungles of Pavonis. More scars mark my body, each with a story to tell. There. That was shrapnel and this was a lasbolt and that was from a solid slug and these burn marks are from a flamer that cooked off too close for comfort... I fold my clothes carefully and place them outside the circle. I sit down again with my back to the tree and look up through the triple canopy at grey and scudding clouds.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:09 No.12127975
    The sky darkens, the air grows colder, but I don't mind. It doesn't occur to me to move. This was the right place. This is where I want to be.

    In the distance I can hear voices drawing closer. Hunters rounding up the last of us; it's only a matter of time before they find me.

    I close my eyes and I am back in the Tyrean Lowlands and all of my friends are here with me. A shaft of sunlight filters through the leaves, finds one of the magpies, and its feathers shone sapphire, emerald, amethyst. There's no reason to go back, I think. I could stay here for ever.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:14 No.12128034

    End of this part. Was it ok?
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:16 No.12128062
    Let me put it this way:

    Why aren't you getting paid for this?
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:18 No.12128077
    Fuck yeah OP. Loved the first one so dont stop posting.
    >> Deathleaper's Fangirl !!YD/t8+iuFvd 09/17/10(Fri)20:18 No.12128089
    It was interesting. It felt a little confused at times, but a very good read nonetheless.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:25 No.12128177
    Very stream of thought, indistinct. Course, that fits the tone and atmosphere, doesn't it?

    I can sense a lot of influences in your writing too though- beyond the obvious. Very sly nods in there make it all the funner.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)20:34 No.12128290
    Heh. Last entry a year ago? Is there anything more to this series that I missed?
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)22:20 No.12129257
    ...What did the Vindicare have to say?

    >The Baxtrians are decimated. Their assault is broken but they won't give up. They dig in half-way up and get wired. We're so high up and the slope oh so steep we have to lean over the parapets to shoot the survivors huddling behind the non-existent protection of their flaming chimeras. By the Throne, they never stood a chance. Fucking Davian fucking Thule. They were just men.


    So, will this poor bastard guardsman linger on Kronus? Or will he rot with the moles?
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)23:06 No.12129711
    OP, this right here was possibly the best 40k fiction ever. Really, I mean it. You should be getting paid to write this!
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)23:08 No.12129735
    >Essentially "VIETNAM ONLY IN 40K"
    >References Love Can Bloom
    >Fanfiction from a videogame

    Yeahhhhhhhh no.
    >> Anonymous 09/17/10(Fri)23:36 No.12130038

    But it was a hell of a lot better written than most 40k novels I've read even so. The story was tense, tight, and I shed a manly tear. Most 40k novels ironically can't describe action in exciting ways, most action scenes are quite bland IMO.
    >> Anonymous 09/18/10(Sat)03:49 No.12132723
    bamp for goodness
    >> Iron Lung 09/18/10(Sat)04:33 No.12133331
    Heh, Yossarian. =]
    It's insane and demented and murderous and senseless -its war, in byte form.
    Well done, OP. Staggering stuff.
    >> Anonymous 09/18/10(Sat)09:18 No.12135026
    >It all started when Sedewitz pulled an R&R after being shot through the hips. He took the mag-train to the Order of Serenity’s main hospital at the starport, scarfed up all the hot food and local delicacies, and took long hot baths with naked Hospitaller jailbait.

    >> Anonymous 09/18/10(Sat)09:20 No.12135034
    Will there be a happy ending?
    >> Anonymous 09/18/10(Sat)13:47 No.12136979
    I think this needs archived too.

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