Friday, 2 June 2017

The First Mission

This Is the second piece that I've written and was also just posted on the main page. I though that I would post it up here as well. In future all other fluff stories will be posted up here, as and when I write them.



He could feel his stomach churning. Could feel the nausea in his throat. It wasn't the mission, the prospect of death, no, that had never bothered him. That had been beaten out of him years ago, back at the Schola Progenium. No, what brought the bile to the back of his throat, what disturbed every fiber in his body what the smell. The smell of ozone, the smell of oil and grease, the smell of incense. The smell of the tech priests and their infernal machines or rather machine. For it was only one machine that made him feel this way, that dam teleporter. He had never liked it, not even the first time. He had seen too many of his fellow scions killed by this damed  machine, turned inside out or rematerialised in walls and rocks, sometimes they simply dissapeared. No, he did not like it, he hated it with a passion.

"Are you listening Tempestor Fin?"

Fin snapped out of his trance at the sound of the commissars voice.

"Sorry Commissar Hert, I was thinking over the mission plan" He knew it was a lie but he also knew the commissar would not push the matter, not now anyway, it wasn't good to upset the troops before battle.

"Are your men ready? As this is your first mission, I will be watching you very closely. Any mistakes will not go unnoticed. Is that understood?"

First mission? thought Fin, first mission? The idea almost made him laugh out loud, but that would not have been sensible with a commissar around, especially not this young upstart. Fin had stopped counting missions years ago, once you got in to triple figures it seemed pretty pointless. He knew what the commissar  meant though, first mission incharge. He had been a scion since puberty, some 15 years ago, now he was a harden old vet. By all rights he should have been a prime, a company commander, but his temper had put paided to that on more than one occasion. But maybe, just maybe, if everything went to plan this time, he might finally get there.

"Yes Commissar, my men are ready. Red and blue squads are on the teleportation pads. Yellow squad and your command squad are in the hanger bay loading in to the valkyries as we speak. They will be ready to launch as soon as you get there, Sir"

"Very good, Tempestor, carry one then" and with that he turned away and slowly walked across the room. It took all of Fins resolve to the walk after him and give him a smack around the back of the head. The arrogant shit he though, fresh out of training, barely a hands full of missions under his belt, and he's waltzing around like a dam........

"All is ready for your presence" a voice interrupted, a strange mechanical voice at that. Fin didn't have to look to know who had spoken. Without Answering he turned and strode past the techpriest, heading  to the teleporters platform. As he reached it, he looked to Tal, his comms operator, who looked back, giving a thumbs up. The valkyries were airborne, he didn't need to ask, Tal knew what the question would be and knew how to answer, there was no need for words. He looked around the rest of the squad, a mix of men and women, some as old as Fin, some still did not yet need a shave. He knew them all though and knew they would follow his orders, but it was comforting to have some old vets with him, men who knew what to do even without orders.

What happened next was the worst part, not the teleportation, no that was bad enough, it was the waiting that was worse. Standing there in silence, each scion deep in their own thoughts, knowing what was to come, what was to happen, listening to the techpriests and servitors humming and buzzing. Most were probably thinking of the battle to come, thinking over the mission, the target, their own roles but not Fin, he had only one thing on his mind. Teleportation. It was the most terrifying thing Fin could think of, and for a man who had fought numerous daemons and mutants, that was saying something.

It seemed like an eternity before Tal spoke. "The birds are inbound, 2 minuts to target" Fin looked over to the Techpriests, huddled around the control column and spoke loudly.

"Ready"

It was all he needed to say to start the machine men moving, humming and buzzing as they went. Fin placed his helmet on his head and locked it in to place, and braced himself, both physically and mentally for what was about to happen.

The air around the two squads started to fizz and pop, and you could feel the static in the air, you could feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end, even through the susuitThe machine men started to shimmer and In an instant, everything changed. One moment they had been looking across the teleportation bay, watching the priests working away, hearing the giant machine humming and buzzing, clinking and clanking and then they were looking it across a river and the green fields beyond. Fields that were crammed with hundreds, if not thousands, of people, many of which were staring back.

"Engage! Primary target sighted! Scion Ross get that plasma gun firing, take the bastard down!" It was all pointless really, everyone was already firing, having drawn their weapons the moment they materialized and he could hear the whine as the plasma guns of Ross and Teal charged. Fin looked to his right to check on Blue squad, they were further away than he would have liked, further than they should have been, but they were there and in one piece. More importantly they were also engaging the enemy, there hotshot lasguns firing and the volley gunners were maneuvering into position on the squads flanks.

The crowd around the target was starting to react, a lot quicker than had been anticipated. Weapons were appearing from the crowd and they were starting to return fire, not just the wild firing of civilian soldiers, untrained and undisiplined, but the careful aimed fire of trained disiplined soldiers, most likely PDF soldiers turned traitor. They were only 20 scions and the enemy outnumbered them massively, if the valkyries didn't show up soon, things could get messy, already he could see some of his men were injured but as yet, none were dead, something that wouldn't last at this rate.

The primary target was on the move, his sedan chair discarded and he was running on foot through the crowd, his attendants hard at his heals. It was just as the pitch of the whining plasma guns changed, a sign that they were charged, ready to unleash death, that the primary target seemed to topple and fall in a cloud of red mist. In amongst all of the noise of battle, Fin was convinced he had heard the distinctive crack of a bolt gun, moments before the target fell, someone else was out there, a sniper maybe? Or, and the thought chilled him, a marine, an angel of death and while their hotshot lasguns could kill a marine, the marines were stronger, faster and more importantly had better range on their weapons. It didn't take him long to decide to avoid contact at all costs.

Second later the point was mute, as the roar of jet engines grew. The valkyries had arrived, any second there would be the distinctive ripping sound that accompanied the missile pods firing.

His comms link crackled in to life, it was the commissar "Have you eliminated the target?"

Have I eliminated the target? Fin thought for a moment, have I?

"The target has been eliminated" it wasn't a lie, not at all, the target had been eliminated after all, of that fact he was in no doubt. It was simply a statement of fact, if anyone claimed the kill later, the commissar would not be happy with him but he could not do anything about it, after all he had told the truth. There was no reply through the comms, just the ripping sound of the missile pods firing, a distinctive sound that brought comfort to Fin and his men. With no heavy weapons in the crowd of people and no anti-air vehicles, the valkyries slowed to hover over Fin's troops. Soon other Scions were landing to his left and right, yellow squad to his left, on the outer flank and the commissar and his command squad to his right, taking the center ground.

By now the enemy was in full retreat. Only a few of the more fanatical followers remained to shoot at the Scions, and none of these, Fin observed from how they held their weapons, look like soldiers. Not that he expected they would be, no soldier would have stuck around when facing a platoon of Scions with Valkyries support, especially with no armour or anti-air for support.

It was at this point that he spotted movement out of the corner of his eye, or at least he thought he did. Who ever was out there was very good, keeping to the shadows and the dead ground, keeping out of sight. Whenever he thought he saw movement, it was fleeting, gone before he could fix on it. They were moving fast, to fast for humans, it had to be marines, had to be, but they were retreating, their mission done and Fin could feel the relief flood through him.

"What do you see Tempestor? Are there enemy escaping?"

"I see Nothing commissioner, no enemy"

"Then stop daydreaming and move your men up! advance across the stream now!"

Fin looked around, advance on what? There was nothing and no-one to advance on, everyone who could run, had run and everything else was just a bloody mess of body parts, the valkyries had done their jobs, shredding the unarmoured heretics. Without answering the commissar, he ordered his units to advance across the river and to try and locate the body of the heretic preacher, something he suspected would not be possible, seeing as he had just had his head blown open the last time Fin had seen him.

As they crossed the river, Fin looked back to see the Commissar and his command squad still on the far bank, there volley guns held at rest but still ready, they looked like they were in no hurry to cross, no doubt they would be maintaining a 'fire base' as the commissar would call it. More like 'keeping his boots clean base' thought Fin, bloody commissars.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The ork Waaagh!

This is something that I'm hoping to do more often from now on, a short story based on a game/batrep. This particular game was played a while back, and the batrep is here, if you want to know the actual details.


There had been little time to prepare and now the sun was up, it was evident that there preparations wouldn't be enough. The defense line had been erected between a couple of ruined building, part of the old prometium pumping station. The surface pipes were still visible to there front, rising out of the ground only to end in a twisted mess of ruined plasteel pipework, signs of the earlier battle that had taken place, some years ago. The fighting then had obviously been brutal, none of the remaining buildings were intact, some were nothing more than piles of rubble, and very little of the structures that were left could be fortified. Even if they could, there was little time for such actions, at best they had an hour, at worst, minutes. Either way, commander Jhonisoun was worried, but then, who wouldn't  be when you've an Ork mob bearing down on you.

The reports were sporadic, conflicting and wildly inaccurate, some stated there were just a few works, no more than a dozen, others told of thousands, rampaging across the land. If all the reports were accurate, there were just a couple of squads, each a thousand strong, slowly wondering across the land in battle wagons. It didn't matter to the commander though, one Ork or a thousand Orks, they needed to die and they would do so here at pipe relay station 34.

"Contact FRONT!" the shout was loud and clear, albeit in a voice filled with panic and fear. The should had come from one of Lt Wischert's men, up on the forward line.

Jhonisoun looked to his left, at the men who where man handling the quad gun in to place "is that thing ready yet?" the quick shouts of confirmation was all he needed. Good, at least they had some air cover until the navies planes got here, now if only he know where Lt Sandesoun's lot were. Theyhad left on a recce before dawn and should have been back by now and if this fight for up close and personal, just as the Orks like it, then he would need those men.

The noise grew louder every second, and barely a few minutes had passed since that first warning shout before the bulk of 5 Ork trukks could be seen screaming over the remains of the pipe lines.

"Mister Mace, target target the left vehicle. Corporal Leask, shoot one them, anyone, but hurry up will you. Runner! Runner! Order the Battery to openfire on the lead vehicle. Red Troop, gunners target the vehicle half left." The order tumbled out, one after another as the commanders mind raced to take in to account everything he could see and hear. The trucks were moving fast, too fast, there was no way that they would be able to deal with them before the mobs were upon them. To his left Master of Ordnance, Artillery Captain Mace, spoke in to his vox caster, issuing coordinates and fire missions, while to his front, Corporals  Leask and Irvine lined up the closest trukk in the sights of the missile launcher.

Within seconds the air was alive with fire and smoke as every weapon seemed to come to life at once. The deep thump of the Wyverns against the sharp crack of the autocannons, the roar of the missile launcher against the shriek of the incoming rounds from the MoO's artillery strike. But despite all this, the Orks came on with barely a scratched paint job, all that is except the trukk that bursed in to flames, ork boyz spilling from the flaming trukk. Jhonisoun would have taken some satisfaction in that small victory but it seemed that the Orks had other ideas.

Almost as one  all the trukks slammed on their brakes, skidding to a halt barely meters in front of the defense line, a space that was very quickly filled with huge green skinned monstrosities, and at the center, almost directly infront of the commander, was possibly the biggest and ugliest thing the commander had ever seen. There was no time to do anything else but watch the events unfold before him. It was at time like these that general were useless, there would be no order or discipline, only raw fury and the instinct to survive. The gouts  of flame off to his right told him that Lt Wischert's command squad were doing their best to hold the right flank and the distant tink and crack of grenade launchers told him that Sandesoun's command squad was off to his left. In front of him was turning in to a blood bath. He had seen a few of the green skins go down under the panicked firing of lasrifles as the brutes charged, but now the Orks were making short work of the guardsmen, although they were not having it all their own way.

One of the few things that Jhonisoun could do, he did. The Quadgun picked up the screaming ork bomber as it flew in low to their left, opening fire in a stream of bright tracers. It was not clear if the rounds struck home or not, the monstrosity was belching black smoke and weaving all over the sky already, it was impossible to tell if there was more or less smoke and movement once the Quadgun had spoken. It was almost the last thing it did as well, as no sooner had it targeted the xenon flyer, it found itself a target of multiple rockets, fired from the trukks, although it appeared that the recent actions and the excitement of the charging mobs had broken the gunners aim, as all but one sailed harmlessly overhead. The one that did strike, only glanced the machine, doing minimal damage.

By the time the initial charge had settled, most of red platoon was down, with just a few guardsmen still standing to his right, most likely due to the priest in their mists. There were few that would run or falter under the glare of one of the emperors chosen disciples. He would have to hope that they would hold.

"Incoming, sir, to the rear, Navy by the looks of it"

The noise of the aircraft engines grew louder, Wolf Slayer and Deliverance, and aboard one of them, probably Wolf Slayer, was Captain Thomassoun and his command squad. Jhonisoun could feel the relief amongst his squad, they had some support and hopefully with it Yellow platoon would emerge. Wolf Slayer made an immediate impact as the lascannon bolts streamed overhead to slice through the ork bomber to Jhonisoun left and deliverance want far behind, the rocket pods opening up with their characteristic ripping sound, churning up the ground to Jhonisoun's front. It was reassuring to hear, what was not was the whoosh of the heavy Flamer on the front of one of the Wyverns. The sight of the building bellowing flame and smoke was something to behold, but it was not a good sign that the enemy was so close that the crew were having to use such a close defense weapon.

There was little Jhonisoun could do about it though, as Yellow platoon had yet to show up and the ork warlord and his unit were moving towards his position. It was the sight of the last guardsmen being overrun, as the priest was cut down, that showed just how desperate the situation was. Jhonisoun steeled himself for the Orks attack, but as the Orks approached and raised their weapons, it was clear to Jhonisoun that the battle was lost. The flames ended all further though, as the flames leapt from the barrels of the Orks guns, washing over Jhonisoun and his command squad, it was all the commander could do to pray for a quick death.

.....

The lights were a dim red. The vibrations unsettling and constant. But As the commander came to, it was the noises that had the most impact, not the humming of the engines, no it was the moaning and groaning of dozens of men. Jhonisoun could not move, couldn't look around, all he could see was the underside of the stretcher on the rack above him. He blinked and stared at it fir some time before he could figure out why it didn't quite look right. He was looking through only one eye, his left. The memories of those last few minutes on the battle field were painful, almost as painful as the sensations that were starting to return to him.

"Commander, your back with us then? For a moment I didn't think you were going to make it"

The commander stared at the man. Was he one of his? No, wrong uniform. A Yeoman, on of the Hrossey Yeomanry. That would explain the chimera.

"What happened? Who claims the field?"

The answer was not what he had hoped to hear, but he had to admit, not as bad as he had feared.

Thomsssoun had dropped from the vendetta to try and save the commander, but had been gravely wounded taking down several of the beasts. Both the wyverns of the 56th had been damaged by the rampaging Orks and would need the careful ministrations of the techpriests to function again, but worst of all, red platoon had been decimated. Yellow platoon had swept through the position, arriving too late to do anything but collect bodies. While the Orks had been eliminated, there was no way to hold the field and so yellow platoon had gathered up the wounded, loaded the worst on the the navy planes and had withdrawn, leaving the Orks to do the same.

The 851st were out of the fight for the moment. They needed to lick their wounds, deep and painful as they were. But they would return, they would reclaim the field, Jhonisoun swore to that, or at least he would have done, had he not have fallen unconscious.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

First strike

This is the first piece that I wrote a long time ago and was posted on the main page. Its rough and ready, but its where it all started.


"Sergeant"
.......
"Sergeant Maxen"
.......
"SERGEANT MAXEN"

"Yes, Demi-Sargent Ilar"

"Large rebel group approaching from the south west, intercept in 45 minutes"

"Is the target present"

"Target is presented"

"Continue over watch, secure evac route" not that Demi-sergeant Ilar would need such instructions.

Dam, why were they coming from the south west, they were supposed to be coming from the north west! 5 days laying in wait and they may end up getting trampled by hundreds of rebels, dam AM intelligence! Hopefully they will avoid the thick woods and marsh and keep to the road. At least with the ford ahead they will have little choice but to move in to the kill zone.

"Squad Epsilon, Target approaching, intercept in 40 minutes, ready all weapons, prepare for fighting withdrawal"

Even with his enhanced hearing the sounds of the squad around him preparing their weapons and bodies to react were barely audible, a good sign, even after all this time laying silently and still in the damp ground, his marines remained unaffected. He looked to his own weapon and started to run though the standard checks, testing the magazine, the bolt and a dozen other items. At the same time, he tensed and relaxed each muscle in his body, ensuring that each was ready for an rapid and instant  response should one be needed.

"Target moving north of location, 20 minutes to intercept"

Good, so luck at last. He thumbed a response and a green light lit up in his helmet to show it had been received. It was time to prepare mentally for the task I hand. A prayer to the Emperor and the Dorm and a blessing to his bolter, Some Concentration. The name still brought a smile to his face, even after all these years.

"Recruit Maxen, what are you doing!"

"Sergeant?"

"Your supposed to be shooting the target NOT the wall! Some days I wonder if you could hit a Thunderhawk with that bolt pistol, even if you were standing INSIDE the blessed thing! You'll never hit anything with out some concentration."

The next day they had been handed their personal weapons and from the first moment that he had laid eyes on the battered old bolter, only one thought had come to mind. While the other recruits had taken the existing names engraved by the previous recruit or had thought of new names, such as vengeance, destroyer, justice and slayer, he had only one name in mind, Some Concentration. While others had received their new bolters upon becoming full battle brothers, he had kept his and carried it all these years. With it he had become the best shot in the company and one of the best in the Chapter, and that way why he was here.....

His concentration was broken by the twinkling of comms lights in his helmet, two of the marines were talking. He opened up the channel to listen in.

"Confirmed, I have visual, targets entering Beta teams arcs"

So the target was entering the kill zone, sticking to the road and the dry ground, a good sign, maybe this wasn't going to be a disaster after all.

"Sergeant, Target entering kill zone"

"Confirmed"

He could see the target now, the old man was not as impressive as he thought he would be, but it was always the same. It was hard to believe at times, but the story was always the same, this old man had raised the population of Hjaltland in to rebellion with tales of freedom and democracy. Yet here he was, looking fat and well fed, his rich clothes flowing in the wind as he was fanned and carried aloft on a luxurious sedan by half starved, sweating men and women, while hundreds more followed along hoping for some hand out or another. His key followers could be seen similarly dressed and looking well fed and watered, trailing directly in his wake, acting like gods amongst men. There would be no glory today, just cold hard retribution and justice.

Maxen raised his bolter in to position and squinted slightly down the scope, reading off all the targeting information.

"5 minutes till intercept, stand ready"

A little longer and a little closer, then it would be his job to eliminate the target and the rest of the squad would take out any of the retinue that they could, hopefully killing off the power behind the rebellion. Although this would normally be a scout units job, the lack of available scouts and the importance of the mission meant that it had fallen to Squad Epsilon and himself.

"2 minutes"

This was it, the target was in the kill zone and in range. He drew his breath and thumbed the mic switch.....

VISUAL OVERLOAD...........
VISUAL SENSORS COMPENSATING.......

As his vision cleared he could see the crowd of rebels recoiling and the targets sedan was no longer in sight, but what caught the attention of the sergeant most, was the figures that had appeared across the ford, Scions. Not many of them, and now that the crown was reacting and weapons were appearing, not nearly enough of them.

"Target lost!!"

Maxen looked back to the crowd, the target was gone, the sedan lying discarded and broken on the floor, but he knew where to look as he scanned the back of the rebels. There he was, hurrying away like the coward he was, and they had the nerve to slander the Emperors name. When did He every run from the enemy. Maxen took aim with his bolter, zeroing in on the target as it moved through the crowd.

"Stand by to withdraw on my order"

He squinted down the scope, waiting for the shot. Waiting for that moment when the target would be in full view, even if only for a second.

He felt the bolter recoiled in to his shoulder, he felt the motion through his armour as if it was his own skin. He watched as the targets head exploded in a cloud of red and white, while the now lifeless corpse collapsed to the ground. He could see the reaction of the crowd around the dead body, recoiling in horror and shock. His job done, he took one last look at the scene, weapons had appeared on the rebel side, in quite some numbers, more than he would have expected and the Scions were starting to feel the effects of the rebels numbers.

"Beta squad withdraw, alpha squad prepare to over watch"

As the squad started to withdraw, marine Tegid spoke up

"Are we to support the Scions?"

"Negative, we withdraw as planned" This was not the time for action, they were outnumber and did not have any support elements in place.

"I don't think they'll need our support" can a reply from demi-sergeant Ilar.

Maxen was about to ask that mean when the roar of jet engines became clear and three Valkyries came roaring over head, multiple launch rocket pods spitting death, door gunners leaning out firing their heavy bolters randomly and indiscriminately in to the crowd.

"Withdraw at speed, we move to the extraction point at half run, weapons free, eliminate targets as necessary, move, move, move"

The tone of his voice left little doubt as to the urgency of the message, the last thing that the sergeant wanted was to get caught in the crossfire. The Valkyries rockets and Scions HS lasguns could make short work of the squad if they weren't careful.

One last look back at the kill zone before the marines disappear over the hill showed a scene of carnage, with bodies all over the place, the scions advancing over the ford, with the now hovering Valkyries, continuing to pore rockets, multilaser shots and heavy bolter shells in the fleeing rebels. It was uncertain whether the full retinue of the heretic's had been eliminated, but whatever the case, the rebels had been dealt a blow this day and the Emperors Disciples had opened their campaign on Hjaltland with a successful mission.