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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 06-14-11, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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The Guardsman {Short Story}

[Intro: wrote this at work this evening, got stuck in my head after not sleeping today very well, hope my English isn’t to poor, and that some people get some enjoyment from the story]

He sat in the damp trench clutching his lasgun looking to the stars in the night sky trying to find the star that warmed his home. He reflected on how he has reached this point in his life, one that was almost to end he dreaded. Like all teenagers who reached the age of maturity, he was sent to spend a period with the planetary defense force. It was about 6 months in of preparation and drill, until he arrived.

“The chap was outfitted like no one I have ever seen, a white dress uniform with golden trim, something about him gave him a radiance like some divine avatar of the Emperor himself, he never did addressed the force, but I saw him with the cardinal as they sauntered across the one of the garden cloisters when I was standing sentinel. A week after his advent the whole company was amassed in the congregational meadow, every day of drill exercise had led to this point, and we looked magnificent. Nevertheless the man from another star was not pleased, you could see him as he inspected us as he communicated to his advisers, shaking his head.

We lined up and waited, the star man spoke to the cardinal and they appeared to have quite a stern conversation, it was at this point one of the star’s man’s aids heaved a manuscript from a large box and handed to an aid of the cardinal, it was at this point the whole meeting on the platform retired, we stood in the heat of the second noon for the complete hour, after this they returned, and the sergeants were ordered to count the 5th man along every line. Respectively each sergeant strode the line, touching the shoulder of each 5th man; I was one of the 5th men. Subsequently the company was dismissed to quarters with the exclusion of the 5th men.

We lined up, one 5th of company and waited, it was at this point that another gentleman clad in white and gold paced forward and communicated us of our destiny, he told us that the Emperor himself requested a number of troops from this world to help with his grand plan for the imperium, and that we were the troops being provided by this worlds ruler, he told us that we had two weeks to return to this point before we set of on an undertaking of a life time.

The two weeks progressed in a daze of activities and farewells, and before I knew it I was leaving my home world behind in a transport to meet the fleet, and there high above the world I saw the fleet spreading out before me, vessels of ivory floating in a formation as if held together by chain to fine to be perceived by my eyes, and from there we voyaged to this world. We orbited a few days, and then orders arrived, the local régime had abandoned the decrees of the imperium and rejected the Emperors will, we were to land just outside the capital and provide the means for a local revolution to seize the city… we landed dug in and waited”

The guardsman looked up and revolved around to gaze out over the meadow that ran up to the bastion, everywhere was so damp, the land was more liquid than ground and mugginess draped its self over everything making every surface to be slick with slime. Nearby to the trench a great war engine, thundered into life the venerable battle tanks engines firing up compelling dense black smoke into the air and then propelled dejectedly by gusts of winds, tumbling above the dugouts instigating his squad mates to cough, as if feeling their distress the battle tank coughed deafeningly as its main cannon fired, 100’s of feet away. Part of the bastion shattered in a globe of plasma fire. Twice more the cannon discharged, the air around the tank felt hot, and troubled as if some great universal law was being shattered each time the cannon fired.

The Sargent of his unit turned to the squad and shouted “right lads, its time, drop everything you don’t need in a fight, and get strapped, any min now the flotilla will be plummeting one mess of a fireworks demonstration on the scum in the buildings over there, we need to follow though shooting and screaming, the boss wants us to secure the fortresses munitions bunkers, and hold them against all opposition, if this goes well lads we will get first pick of the prizes in that bunker. So are you with me?” cheers rang out from the guardsman’s squad and from others down the line.

The air was the spilt with the thunderous sound of the great explosions as wave upon wave crashed down from the havens as the fleet opened up with its guns in hopes to level the bastion. As the bombardment started the guardsmen dressed in white with black armor plates rose from the trenches and pressed onward, the venerable battle tanks resumed to fire this time leveling the locations that started to return fire on the advancing line of troops.

The mire of the battle field stuck to the boots of the guardsman, he did not look down as he knew his white uniform would now be looking more like the common brown he used to use, deliberately he moved onward the unit next to him being pressed on by the commands of the platoon commander , half way across the open ground the slaughter started, just a few small pops at first, gunshots firing out of nowhere, marksmen. his squad slowed and when the sergeant took a round to his head, the entire unit plunged, driving themselves deep into the dirt, trying to find some concealment in the open expanse.

Just after the recurring sound of auto cannons blasting from the dugouts of the adversary began, the unit forward of the guardsman’s own was hit, the men tried to go to ground but only carcasses made it in the mud. The identical story played out in many places along the battle lines but then..

From nowhere they arrived 3 golden angels firing bolts of lightning in to the flanks of the bastion, they decelerated over a sentry fortification, and units of assault troops rappelled down into the fortification setting up heavy weapon emplacements and began to attack the opposing forces from behind. Within instants the tide of war had transformed itself and the platoon heaved onward again, no sluggish trudge across the mire, but a firm charge of conquest into the furrows of the ones who would have opposed them.
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