With the assistance of some equally intelligent and quick thinking troopers LaVeer got the gates closed and let out a short sigh of relief as they locked in place. He let himself slump to the floor, sitting propped up against the gate as he tried to catch his breath and process the way his world had changed in the last few minutes. On the other side of this gate were Orks. Real Orks. Real horrifying green tide over the galaxy Orks. Right on the other side of the gate.
Jakon leapt up and scrambled away from the gate, raising his weapon towards it as if expecting it to crumble to dust at any moment. He shook his head. The gates would hold, he was sure of that. The Orks were still out there though. He heard weapons fire above him. It seemed now that they were out of open ground they could give these monsters a fight. Jakon felt a rush of righteous fervour flow through him and charged up the steps onto the outpost walls, picturing all the Orks he would gun down, out of reach of their tree trunk arms and giant blood stained cleavers.
He found the rest of the survivors who had come this way and took his place amongst them. Standing tall rested the stock of his carbine against his shoulder and raised the weapon to eye level, just as they had been taught on the firing ranges. He chose a target, lined up his shot.
The Orks fired back. Solid slugs fired from crude guns peppered the walls. The sound drained every drop of righteous fervour from Jakon's body and he dropped down behind the wall. This was nothing like the firing ranges. The firing ranges never shot back. He could still die here. Just as easily as he could have outside the gate. It would only take one shot. Just one shot from that hail of fire to hit him right and it was all over. But the fire wouldn't stop if they didn't drive the Orks off.
LaVeer's first shots were fired blind, the gun raised over his head, pointed over the wall and fired behind him. He had no idea whether he had hit anything though from the continual weight of returning fire it was clear he hadn't killed them all. Summoning what courage he could he pushed himself to his feet and looked over the wall just long enough to snap off another shot and see the scorch mark it left on the ground before hiding from return fire again.
This wouldn't work. It was clearly hopeless, unless. Jakon unhooked a grenade from his belt and held it in front of him. That could do it. How many could he kill with this one little grenade? A dozen? More? But the explosion could take out the gates, or at least weaken them. The gates wouldn't hold forever though anyway and Jakon didn't think these Orks were the giving up types. So he decided he would do it. This would be his moment. The tough decision that would save them all.
Jakon felt the prickle of intense heat over the top of his head and two men burst into flames with a third burning on the arm. They all fell from walls screaming, the nearest knocking the grenade from Jakon's hand as he flailed wildly. Jakon cursed the fool but leapt down afterwards. He would retrieve the grenade, just as soon as the troopers were no longer on fire.
"Drop and roll! Drop and roll!" LaVeer said, repeating the orders given to them by the drill sergeants in these circumstances. He looked around for something to use to douse the flames but nothing was forthcoming. Instead he tried to encourage the burning soldiers to roll with the sole of his boot, firmly nudging them for as long as he could withstand the heat.
There was an explosion behind him and Jakon was thrown to the ground, his weapon flying from his grip and sliding away on the hard floor. He landed on the burning solider he had been trying to help. He screamed as he scrambled off him and quickly beat out the flames catching on his legs.
Then he heard the voice of death.