I looked around the armory. So many choices. I went down the aisle, picking out Inferno rounds for my Sacristan, and a M36 Kantrael lasrifle for longer distances. I grinned as I heard Bavor in the background, explaining to High Command.
“Yes, a damn weapon cache! By the throne, they had kraks and multi-meltas! They’re preparing for an attack, I just know it. Aerial and orbital scans of the immediate sector revealed a hut, and further scanning revealed some trace of an underground area. We’re assuming this is their base for now.
No need sir, I’ve already organized an attack squad from my vets. They’re moving out at 0200, in an hour towards the base. No, we aren’t using the Rhinos. Because they’re too loud! This is going to be a quick attack. We’re sending them in on a Tauros. Yes sir.”
After a few moments, he flicked off the vox. I walked over to him as I finished strapping on my flak armor. “Ready sir. What’s the rest of the squad’s status?”
“Waiting and prepping in the Tauros.”
“Good. See you in a day’s time with the cultist’s heads.”
“Aye. Emperor protects, Arkain. Go and be his holy hammer.”
We shared a salute. “Goodbye father.”
“Goodbyes are for those not returning. Do me proud and come back soon.”
I nodded grimly, and left the armory to join the squad.
When I got to the Tauros, I took a quick view of them. Only Dalmak was there from my squad, a disheartening prospect. I had hoped Bavor would simply use my squad rather than make a hodge-podge of his personal “best”. I knew my squad’s weaknesses, their strengths. Besides Dalmak, this group was a mystery.
One of them, a lanky girl, was adjusting the sights on her scope, and by the extended barrel and IR goggles, I could guess she was our sniper. Dalmak was our demo man and driver. The short stocky fellow hefting a heavy bolter must be our heavy weapons. The man loading a combat shotgun could be our breacher. And I was the leader. They would do well.
“Analyzing us, eh?” Dalmak asked as he turned from the driver’s seat, sarcasm lining his voice. Knew me too well.
“Examining. There’s a difference.” I hopped up into the Tauros, and we were moving.
Heavy weps spoke up. “If a difference means one is deciding how many bullets we can soak up and one is how many bullets our thinkers want us to soak up, then sure, there’s a difference.”
A spell of laughter went up, lightening the mood.
We stayed silent for near twenty minutes as we traveled. Sniper girl kept watching the slopes with her scope. Paranoid…noted. The silence was soothing, a moment of calm..the one before the storm, as it would turn out.
A long whistle went up from the west.
Sniper girl turned immediately, scanning the far-off slopes to the west for enemies. She shot once, and I looked in its direction to see a shadow falling in the distance.
“Signal. Ready up.”
Dalmak gunned it as I turned my lasrifle to full power, watching the hills.
The short fellow turned to our sniper. “Vaereem, what did you shoot?”
She looked away from her scope, and as she turned, the short fellow’s head burst like a balloon. Red giblets splattered the Tauros.
We dived to the floor as gunfire went up around us. Dalmak slammed down the pedal, hunching away from the windows as much as possible.
I looked at my soldiers to see breacher had a small vox-set in his helmet. “Hey! You! Get command on the line!”
“What?” He yelled, straining to hear above the gunfire.
“COMMAND VOX!! NOW!”
The sniper- Vaereem- was muttering something. “Mighty Emperor, spread Your divine light to protect me from the Darkness. Mighty Emperor, spread Your divine light to protect me from the Darkness.” She rested her lasrifle up on the lip of the Tauros, aiming and firing once, twice, three times. She ducked down when they began to notice her firing.
“Vaereem! What are their numbers?”
“Approximately twenty. Hidden well in the hills.”
I nodded, surprised by her calm in the situation. “Pray soldiers! Ask the Emperor to forgive us of our sins and protect us! Only by his Will do we survive this battle!”
I began to yell out prayer, my soldiers joining me as I did. “Sweet God-Emperor, forgive your servants our sins, and remember we are only mortal! Emperor, bestow upon us Your righteous fury and Your furious strength! Let us become the storm that blasts the enemy from your sight! Bless our shot upon this day!”
I stood, aiming towards the worst pockets of enemies and firing. “Let my shot strike true and your will be done, o sweet-“
And the Emperor denied me. A las-shot burned through my jaw, sending me falling to the floor of the vehicle. Blood sprayed the sides of the Tauros. I saw the breacher screaming into the vox.
“Command! We need reinforcements! We were ambushed! Repeat, we need reinforceme- aaarrgh!”
At that moment, an ambitious cultist had fired a mortar. It hit the ground in front of our vehicle, sending us rolling off the road, finally stopping nearly upside down.
We heard shrieks of victory. They grew closer as they got closer. They tore us out from the wreckage, most of us too disoriented to offer any real resistance. Dalmak was completely unconscious, his head bleeding from the steering mechanisms.
The breacher fought them, though. He killed three with blasts from his combat shotgun before they overwhelmed him. Several tore chunks of flesh from him with their teeth. He was tossed away, and one cultist set a flamer on him. He screamed as he burned. The scream was one of terror and agony. It gave me goose bumps, hair standing on my neck.
The hair was flattened as it was struck with a club, and I fell to the dirt, mumbling “Bad hand tonight…”
Last edited by VixusKragov; 03-09-12 at 10:10 PM.