There you go Boc dam you. Nasty thing it is.
"With Allies Like This..."
Like all soldiers there are many things I saw I could forget; the ravaged bodies of friend hit by mines, the foul xenos scum we fought, the bodyís of rape victims left by the road side to be used again and again and a thousand others but this is the foremost. I was with 487th Storm Trooper Regiment at this stage, an 8 year combat vet with the Sergeants strips on my arm for 2 of those years. With the Black Rats Iíd fought against greenskinned Orks, pirate bands and the cruel dark kin of the alien Eldar. I knew how to fight, I knew how to kill, I knew how to stay alive when the bullets started to fly and yet to this day I donít know how I survived BadabÖ
The darkness of the boarding torpedo engulfs me like a blanket and despite my spinning head I know something is wrong. The lights should be bathing the interior with their sickly green glow not still flashing yellow for imminent impact. Men are beginning to come round, their cries and moans cutting through the sounds of distant and muffled gunfire playing through the internal speakers. My restraints are tight, cutting into my shoulders and preventing me from moving, a good thing in the transit from troop ship to target but now itís a death sentence. The 100 of us are still locked in the restraint couches, unable to move from the GeForce reducing chairs that are supposed to keep us alive. We hit the target some 30 seconds ago, a massive impact that feels like your insides are being pulped and your brain blown apart but the explosive bolts on the hatches must have malfunctioned and without them firing there is no way to leave this metal coffin. The hundred meter long craft; long and square like a ration bar with stubby engines at one end and tapered point at the other is a sitting duck for the enemy guns and fighters that would be checking the hull.
Down the line of grim faced men in black uniforms is the emergency release lever and the only man in reach of it; Captain Beuls, is sagged forward, his neck evidently snapped in the impact. I scream in rage, straining against my bonds, pushing them to the limit but there is no give at all.
There is a clunking on the outside of the hull, audible thanks to the speakers and the faintest dull thud that reverberates through the steel. Melta bombs. I recognize the sound instantly; somebody is going to crack us open like a shellfish, except rather than using a knife to cut the lip they are smashing it with the pommel. I canít tell where they have placed it, if they are smart they will have positioned it above an oxygen line or other vital system, spare them the bother of killing us by hand. I strain again and Iím not alone in my panic, the men of the Black Rats have made enough space assaults to know we are in trouble.
ďBrace brace braceĒ roars the Platoon Sergeant Hafry. Time slows in these final moments: the seconds taking minutes as the internal pressure constricts around us. Beads of sweat on Hafryís face judder ever so slightly with his movements, illuminated by the slow turning of the impact lights.
The black blanket descends again.
My eyelids flicker open, stinging with the smoke that now fills the torpedo. Bare seconds have past and I can taste blood over the fumes of burning electrics, Iíve bitten clean through my lip but thatís nothing compared to the Platoon Sergeant. The sweat beads have been replaced by a trickle of blood running from a shrapnel shard behind and above his left temple. The 2 men next to him are half shredded and the 5 beside them, the wall and door simply do not exist, instead replaced by a jagged hole through to the corridor of the enemy ship.
The internal pressure equalizes with that of the target and like a bag of rice , I sag forward onto my knees as the restraints release. All around me dazed men are trying to clamber to their feet, the two concussive blasts in close succession too much for our unmodified bodies to handle. We all hear it, the clunking as a figure appears in the hole in the wall. Astartes. Taller than any of us and twice as broad he stays silhouetted against the gap, presenting a perfect target. Not knowing if its friend or foe I scramble for my hellgun locked beneath my seat . Red haired Private Styles, missing his helmet is about 4 meters from the breach, is already making for cover his weapon powering up. Diving behind one of the restraint benches he peaks around the corner and letís loose a bolt of blue death towards the figure. Born of a primordial fear Styleís scream cuts above the wailing alarms. Red eyes pierce the darkness and turns slowly. The scream is cut short by the roar of a chainsword and the figure is moving. Styles rises to address the foe but is too late, the wiring blade of death as tall as a man rips through his stomach and out his back in a whirlwind of gore. With barely a pause the figure turns into the flicking beam of an overhead light hanging by itís cord and in a rasping metallic voice it speaks.
ďI should kill you all for that slight but the Emperor and the High Lords will is otherwise. Move and engage the enemy. NowĒ
Clad in weathered bronze armor, beaten and tarnished by countless battles with a red bulls head on his shoulder he turns and vanishes through the gap.
The bronze bulls we called them: The Minotaurs, Attack Dogs of the High Lords. To fight against the Astartes was terrifying but in the end they became just another target a well-armored and deadly target but a target nonetheless. It was to stand alongside them that nearly broke me. Iím not ashamed to say that seeing my men butchered in front of my eyes is something I will never shake, no matter how hard I try and to see it done by an ally who is supposed to be on your sideÖ They cared nothing for us, feeding us into the enemy guns the same as the Tyrant with his auxiliaries. We were antís in the service of contemptuous gods and they would sacrifice a thousand, ten thousand of us before one of them would fall.
1100 words not including title.