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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-13-16 04:13 PM
Zion Promised a story about Renegades and I brought it:

Quote:
Quietus

Seven months. It'd taken seven months for the men of the Regereth Fighting Fifth to take the hive. Over six hundred kilometers in diameter of habs, markets and the processing factories for ceramite plating for tanks and other armoured vehicles. Initial assessments had put the city under their control inside of a month as the weight of the full regiment fell on the city. The estimates were wrong.

It wasn't for underestimating the topography, nor the ability or armament of the enemy, but for something far fouler. It's taint seemed to seep into everything causing numerous outbreaks of disease amongst the men. Over a thousand had died in the first wave from the infections alone as the heretics held them off. One company had disappeared completely without a word into a pale yellow fog that had seeped from the factory vents. Not a single shot or vox transmission was heard from them and they were written off as dead. Since that wave two changes occurred. The first was that every man was to wear full protective equipment at all times, forcing them to drink their protein slurry meals through their water tubes while inside the city, the second was that officers were to accompany the men to watch them more closely to ensure that the taint does not affect them.

So for seven months Captain Jeseph Grimms lead his company through the city. The heretics weren't the only obstacle though, and the losses were steep everywhere. First there was the buzzing that overpowered even vox traffic and often caused men to start bleeding from the ears. Several companies independently identified the source from the city's vox system and forcibly, and in one case explosively, disabled the speakers in their area. Likewise transmitters and speakers were disabled as soon as they were identified, slowing the pace to a crawl as blindly turning a corner could cause a person to stumble into range of another of the infernal devices. So eight corridors of relative silence were opened, each making their way to the center of the city.

The second problem was encountered a third of the way into the city. There the heretics had seemingly disappeared, creating a calm that they quickly learned was premature. Here the dead had covered everything. At first it seemed like the place was just a pestilent sea of bodies, but even that assessment was proven wrong as the dead began to stir. Bloated bodies of corpse gas and maggots would rise and move towards the still living. Shrugging off all but the most grievous of injuries the bodies had forced them to slow further still as to ensure they didn't continue their assaults they were burned in massive pyres. Thousands of pyres and the loss of four companies had filled the space between the last of the heretical militia and the governor's mansion that stood at the center of the city. Rising on a plateau of ceramite and steel over the city the building was a fortress unto itself, an island amongst a sea of corpses. And now the waves of man crashed against it.

Grimms sipped his lunch ration through the drinking straw in his mask and watched as the heavy tanks repeatedly shelled the thick walls as his aide jogged up to him holding a dataslate. Part of him was amused that he'd developed a sense of telling his men apart despite not being able to see their faces. Another part of him was just looking forward to a hot shower and even hotter mug of recaff finally.

"I got the documents you requisitioned. You think we can find a way in there with these maps?"

Behind his mask Grimms smiled, "Of course. I couldn't keep wearing officer's rank if I was ever wrong." In truth it was only a small gut feeling but he'd long since stopped doubting them. He thumbed through the map and felt his grin broadened into a full smile, "Kindron, get me two squads and a box of demo charges. Unless these maps are wrong we have a way in."

Kindron didn't disappoint as he was back inside of fifteen minutes, with Delta and Epsilon squads in tow, two of the men towards the back carrying a box between them.

Grimms filled them in on the basics of the plan and they were moving, dropping back two blocks to an access cover to the city's sewers. Slipping down the ladder the men entered the sewers, Grimms taking point as a matter of habit now as his men filed behind him. Mentally counting off the paces in his head they made their way back through the drainage tunnel to where he was sure the mansion sat. Under it's heart he called a stop and pointed up, "Our way in gentlemen. Now if you'd be so kind as to knock we can go tell them the good news about the Emperor."

A couple men chuckled, more out of nervous anticipation then anything as the ring of charges were set up. Backing away nearly fifty paces they all crouched down and silently opened their mouths as Grimms counted down to them with his fingers. With a krump the pressure hit them as the ceiling ahead collapsed in a cloud of dust and debris. Almost immediately they were on the hole and Grimms went through the bottleneck first, laspistol in one hand and a regimental officer's sabre in the other. Room by room they cleared the building from the bottom up only finding the dead as they continued up. The corpses were mummified things that seemed to have died suddenly in the midst of their daily lives, some eating a meal, others cleaning rooms. It wasn't until they found the small hospital that they found a living person.

The bloated form was spilling out the torn and rotting remains of medicae scrubs the green skin rotting in places, and covered in festering boils in others. As they entered with weapons drawn the survivor seemed to turn into a blur of movement as it crushed the throat of one man and disemboweled another in the time it took to exhale, clearing half the room in that sliver of a moment. Several of them opened fire, Grimms included, the hot las shots slicing into skin and puncturing the body, vile fluids and pus leaking from the wounds as the creature started to laugh.

"Come on, you come to my garden, uproot my beautiful plantings and the best you can do is small stings with your little weapons? I'd been hoping for so much more from you," three more men died as the beast spoke, the voice clearly an old man's mixed with a second voice that sounded like it was made from the buzzing of flies.

Grimms lunged at the creature with the saber, the blade biting through skin and peeling back fat. Even through the filters of his mask he nearly recoiled at the smell as bloated entrails rolled out of the creature's torn gut but he forced the rising bile in his throat down as he kept slashing, the creature now focused on him with a grin that was far too wide for its fat face. Whatever the thing had been before the uprising it was clear now that what humanity that had once been in the thing was lost now in the creature's bloated visage.

As Grimms hacked at the creature the beast deflected and parried some of the strikes with its hands while blocking with its arms with others all the while laughter continued to roll out of the creature's mouth like a waterfall of filth. "Come lapdog, surely you can show me more amusement than this! Show me that allowing you to get to make it through my garden was the right choice!"

Grimms was breathing hard now as his stamina was slowly being chipped away and he knew he needed something to turn the way things were going before the thing got tired of him and just killed him. His body involuntarily pulled back from the creature's flapping entrails as it moved around him and a plan formed in his mind. Lunging with the blade he allowed it to be turned away and used the twisting motion to slam his laspistol inside of the creature's gut before pulling back an empty hand. Falling back two steps he ducked just as the laspistol detonated with the force of a grenade, throwing bone and flesh across the room as the body was broken in two with a wet thwump.

The laughter grew louder as the torso trembled where it lay on the floor, milky white eyes looking up at Grimms, the buzzing undertone climbing in volume as it seemed to consume the body's original voice, "I knew I'd like you Captain. Yes, a man like you doesn't come around too often." The torso paused and coughed up a mouthful of phlegm before continuing, "Yes, I think I'll give such fine men a little gift. A gift full of life so that we may enjoy such company again." The coughing increased as the body tried to breathe with its ruined lungs before the body collapsed completely.

One of the men, Yungs, gestured towards the body with the barrel of his weapon at the corpse, "What did he mean 'life'?"

"Some foul thing we're better off not knowing I'd bet." was what Grimms was going to say, but the words were lost as the room was filled with a cracking noise before the body burst with pale green light.

Reports later say that the light covered most of the city, haloing out from the crumbling mansion with a deafening shockwave that flattened ruined buildings and damaged those that remained. When the light died the only things certain to the lord-general's scribes, the offensive was over, and that something tainted with the foul stench of chaos had occurred.

The next two weeks for Captain Grimms and his men were spent fighting back out of the city, no longer supported with arms and equipment but full of anger at the fact that they were suspected of being tainted by the ruinous powers. Something began to gnaw at him though as they pushed back out. Something that said the accusation might be right.

It'd started with Igness losing a leg to a rocket only to be back on his feet with in two days. Both feet in fact. If Grimms was a faithful man he'd thought it was a miracle of the Emperor among them as many of his men did but he began to feel that the truth may be something darker. But a good officer doesn't leave his men to just die so the fight continued. And so did the miracles. Thran regained an eye that he'd lost two years ago. Hewinson stood back up after being pronounced dead after he'd been caught in a fatal funnel entering a building. Quinton's throat vox fell out as his body regrew his once torn out vocal cords. Reports kept coming that the Emperor was on their side and blessing them and despite himself Grimms couldn't tell the men otherwise.

On the fourteenth day of fighting Captain Grimms fought through six lethal wounds to personally decapitate the Lord-General before falling over dead. Forty-nine minutes later he stood back up and for the first time in nearly eight months breathed fresh air. It was the first time in his life he could feel that living felt so good.

The remaining officers of the Fighting Fifth held a meeting to determine what to do now that they'd rebelled against the chain of command and lived through fatal wounds. Grimms was the first to voice something other than concerns, his voice calmly retelling the events inside of the mansion to those around him. After he finished his account he looked at the few dozen officers still left, his voice firm but soft.

"Something happened here, and I can't be sure it was brought on by the hand of the Emperor. Not with the way our name has been drug through the mud and the accusations of being tainted have come about. Something keeps us alive through all but a complete destruction of our bodies. Something that said that it wanted to play with us again." He paused and looked around at the men assembled, "So I believe we have a choice. We can use this 'gift' to find and destroy the foul taint that decided that we shouldn't be able to die in the name of the Emperor, or we can turn ourselves over to the powers that be and wait a likely shameful death. Both paths lead to dishonor and death, the only option I see is if we die on our feet as the Fighting Fifth, or on our knees like helpless casualties."

When Grimms and those who chose to accompany him left a single company's worth of men remained behind to await the fate of the Imperium's judgement. A week later as their ship, now freed of the Imperial Navy crew and plunging recklessly through the warp with a lone astropath who offered herself up in exchange for letting the remaining crew leave alive, the screaming began.

At first it seemed to be an isolated case. Frinkerson had cut himself shaving and watched in horror as arachnids came pouring out of the small cut, their bodies pouring out in place of his blood like an uncontrollable torrent. Marden dropped a knife into his own foot while fooling around and ended up with a boot full of angry wasps that tore at his flesh and attacked his skin. And the reports kept coming in. Men weren't bleeding when hurt but seemed to be full of flesh eating parasites, maggots and other creatures that crawled their way out of any cut, scrape or slash. The wounds didn't stay, sealing themselves up in minutes or hours. The worst of them took a week to heal as the man had been infected with some kind of flesh eating worm that kept burrowing out of his skin.

Grimms could feel the blighted things writhing beneath his skin as he sat in his darkened quarters, a mug of grain alcohol in hand. Had he made the right choice to fight fate? Could he stay sane long enough to find the creature that'd given them not just life, but the life of so many other things that now wracked their bodies in pain almost constantly? He swallowed the remains of the glass and was about to pour another when a knock on the door made him pause. "One moment." He slid the mask over his face, the pockmarked, writhing surface disappearing from the view of his guest, something most of the men now did to hide the horrors that were plaguing their bodies from themselves and others. He figured if that was what it took for the men to stay sane then he might as well oblige himself.

The mask secured he spoke again, "Enter."

The light grey robes of the ship's astropath greeted him, the woman's pale skin almost the same color, the only bit of color on her the red cloth she covered her eyes with and the gold icon of office she wore around her waist. "Captain Grimms, the men say you're the one in charge."

Two things stood out to him in that moment, the first was that with the ship in the Warp she should be in her chambers, the second was that her voice contained the sound of hundreds of wing beats, the feathery sound making the woman's normal voice light and musical instead of the flat and hoarse sound that usually came out of her lips.

"I don't know who you are, but if you don't leave my astropath don't think I won't kill you and continue blind."

The woman chuckled, "Aren't you already blind Captain? Chasing a creature you can't name, have never seen again and don't know where to look for?" She cocked her head to one side and then the other, the mannerism reminding him of the Glint Bird trying to work out how to get food out of a nut.

"Your point?" He could see small light blue feathers starting to break through the woman's skin now along the sides of her neck.

"I come with an offer from the Changer of Ways. He'll provide you information to help you find this servant of the Grandfather you seek."

"Why would he do such a thing?"

The woman chuckled, the sound more like a bird's song than a laugh at this point, "He and the Grandfather have been against each other for longer than time itself and he relishes in any chance he can bring change to the Grandfather's rotting stagnation. All you need to do is listen to him and he'll ensure that you get your chance to meet this creature. The journey will be long and hard for you, but I'm sure a man of your caliber can manage, yes?"

Realizing that he'd been slowly creeping forward in his seat he leaned back and folded his hands, "My ability to mange is beside the point. I don't want any more surprises and frankly being asked to be a pawn in some game I can't even see is something I can't just agree too."

The woman's neck seemed to lengthen as she bowed her head slightly in agreement, "Indeed, and I wouldn't come to a man such as yourself with such a worthless offer. No, we offer only information. Some of it will be vague and confusing to you Captain, but we promise that if you follow it that we'll be able to draw out the creature from where it hides amongst the Grandfather's gardens. It's a path of blood, both of friends and foes, but it's a path that will give you the chance you seek."

Grimms considered the options before him before sighing in resignation, "As if I really had a choice in this matter. I've already made myself a traitor to the Imperium in the name of revenge and am tainted with chaos itself. At this point I can't really see an option now that I've set on this path beyond your offer to make the journey a little shorter. So what do I need to do first?"

The woman smiled a little too broadly, "I knew you'd come around Captain. First finish your drink and I'll help your little witch here navigate the ship to the first destination of your trip. Make sure your men are ready, because if they aren't that immortality you carry won't be enough to win with."

Grimms nodded and set the glass down and grabbed the bottle, pointing it towards the feathering woman, "To damnation then."

She smiled before turning to leave the room, "To damnation indeed."
05-11-16 09:57 PM
Zion I don't know if I ever wrote Orks before, but I appreciate the compliment! I wanted them to feel horrifying to the average person and I'm glad that came across.

EDIT: And completely unrelated to the previous bit above... I recently remembered some rather imfamous commercials and it brought on an idea. I apologize in advance.

Quote:
She found Canoness Gilda standing on the shore, staring out at the burning sea, the only remaining sign of the heretical landing craft that had met their demise under heavy firepower of the order's Exorcist tanks and Retributor squads.

"Yes my child?" The older woman's ability to sense her so easilly startled the young novice, but she did not shirk from her.

"Canoness, I've come seeking your wisdom."

Though the young girl could not see it, the older woman's eyebrow raised over her only eye, the other having been carved out by a xenos infected cultist some decades before. "Please do not be afraid and speak."

"Do- do you ever feel not so faithful?"

The older woman turned, a surprised look on her face and the young girl took a step back.

"I mean, do you sometimes feel like you're not as faithful as you could be?"

The woman's face softened, the hardness in her face gone as she wraps an arm protectively around the young girl's shoulder, "Walk with me while I talk about blind fanaticism to the God-Emperor and what it can do for you."
05-11-16 07:36 PM
Myen'Tal Excellent story, Zion, I think I already said something similar to this before in one of your threads, but I like that your Orks maintain a sense of primitive, brutal intelligence without being comically ridiculous. Not that that sort of thing isn't fine, I just finding it a refreshing change of pace. I'm glad that Trivor survived his tribulation, it would be interesting to see another story on him eventually.

Good work, looking forward to the next one!
05-11-16 05:39 AM
Zion
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsol View Post
First off, that was a great read! I really hope we get to hear more of Trivor's adventures. Secondly, the idea of this thread is AWESOME! If you don't mind I might start my own thread like this.
Honestly I don't know if I'll write more about Trivor. At least not for now. Next one I have cooking in my brain is a back story for the renegades Army I'm starting on. Basically just something to kind of fluff them out in my head to make conversion ideas flow easier and create a feel for them. I'm going to try and get that one done pretty soon.

But yeah, feel free to steal the thread idea. I figured it was better than having a bunch of threads clogging things up all the time.
05-10-16 09:52 PM
dsol First off, that was a great read! I really hope we get to hear more of Trivor's adventures. Secondly, the idea of this thread is AWESOME! If you don't mind I might start my own thread like this.
05-06-16 04:11 PM
Zion
Zion's Writing Anthology

After my rejection letter from the BL I decided to sharpen my quality further to increase my chances for next time (as well as increase the number of things I can write about making it easier to meet their writing prompts too). As such I figured Iíd consolidate my efforts into a single thread since I intend to write a lot. Maybe not a story a day but at least one to two a week for the next year.

Most of these will probably not have titles and chances are theyíll have some errors. But thatís why Iím doing this: to reduce my mistakes while writing things people hopefully want to read. So I hope you enjoy my efforts as I bring them to you.

First up is a little untitled price I wrote about a tailor.

Quote:
From beneath the crusty layers of dirt and torn cloth that formed an improvised cloak his eyes gleamed in the moonlight. In his hands rested a lasgun, borrowed a week prior from the body of a PDF soldier who'd been hit during the early part of the attacks, it was immaculately clean like his sewing engine used to be. It was also set to it's highest setting, if only because if he needed it now it needed to drop the target in a single shot if he was going to have a chance of living.

His fingers twitched in memory of the foot powered device and a gentle smell of soap and flower oils drifted through his memory blanketing the smell of burning oil and filth from the camp below. The aroma's owner was long since dead, cut down by enemy fire as he lay helplessly pinned under a large part of their home that had been hit with some kind of rocket. It'd taken him nearly two days to crawl out with a broken leg. Two days for his wife to lay dead only a few steps away from where he'd been trapped.

He forced the feeling back and fought to steady his heartbeat. He'd been wandering alone for nearly a week when the Emperor mercifully delivered him to a group of survivors who'd taken to moving covertly amongst the remains of the broken city. On good days since then they'd share a couple of rats and drink boiled water, choosing to ignore the red coloring and the iron tinge. On others they spent their time hunkered down in whatever holes they could find to avoid the invaders. One the worst days they mourned the loss of yet more members of their tired band of fighters.

Orks a man had called them. Trivor tried to remember the man's name, only able to conjure up faceless representation. It didn't matter who it was who'd said it first, because in his mind they were still the hulking green skinned monsters of nightmares. While easily as tall as a man they were much wider, with thick muscular hands and even thicker limbs. They moved in a slightly hunched manner, almost devoid of any natural attempts at posture, their heads almost jutting straight forward out of their shoulders as if it wasn't mounted onto a neck. Not even it's face was right, with the creatures beady red eyes and almost comically huge jaw where a number of large, jagged teeth stuck out from the underbite. Almost as if that weren't enough to crush his senses there were larger ones still who would grunt and bark some kind of orders in a language that sounded less like speech and more like the calls of animals. It was guttural and dirty and every time he heard it the his stomach tightened and threatened to upend its contents. Though it wasn't from the way the alien speech attacked his senses alone, for the beasts smelled of filth. It was a cocktail of promethium, oil, dirt, grease and a hundred other things he could barely begin to list, and refused to imagine. All he knew was that the smell would follow him to the grave.

Wherever the beasts went zipped fat, lazy flies who almost heralded the arrival of the Orks. They would be successful if it wasn't for how almost boisterously loud the creatures were. Even from his vantage point over a hundred meters away, several stories up in the remains of he could hear them. From where he lay it looked like a couple of them were in a skirmish and the others were watching.

Turning his attention from the beasts he looked away from spectacle and to the edge of the camp where a couple of shadows moved. He hoped that they belonged to the few people he knew where still alive. Kandith, the bar maid who'd shown him how to shoot back when they'd found him and somehow could make anything taste palatable. Gret, the PDF soldier who had a knack for explosives and only eight fingers thanks to his knack taking them when he was a child. Flinn, an old priest who had once served with the Imperial Guard in his younger days and had shown them some of the things he'd picked up in the time.

There had been more of course, but now they were just The Dead while he was still breathing, a man who should be dead but still hung on to life. His broken leg ached in reminder of that fact and he bit down a curse. No, he didn't need to risk potentially tipping off anything that might be nearby that he was here. He may have been crippled by the infected mess that was the stump that had once been his broken leg, but he had no intention of wasting his remaining life. If they wanted to kill him the Orks would need to do it themselves instead of his own body giving him over.

The phantoms he'd been watching were gone now and he knew it'd only be a matter of time before the plan went down. Almost as if on cue one of the creatures stumbled towards one of the shacks they'd built when they'd set up the camp. The door swung open on it's crooked hinges and Trivor started counting to himself. One. Two. Thr-

The shack exploded as the boobytrapped door set off a cache of ammunition and explosives inside with a devastating krump of air and metal, devouring the surprised Ork in a ball of fire and bullets. The others nearby were flattened by the ground by the pressure of the explosion, some howling in pain as they were coated in what looked to be burning promethium. A missile careened out of the hole that had used to be the building's front wall and detonated amongst the confused group as others tried to figure out what had happened. Other still seemed to be laughing at the misfortune of those already injured. Only one seemed to be trying to look out into the darkness and see who could have done this to them. Grimgut was what they'd learned the beast's name was in the last several days of monitoring this camp of Orks and they knew he knew they were out there.

Few of the bigger Orks didn't know that they were out there somewhere, the vengeful spirits of the once thriving trade world that harried the beasts wherever they went. Vehicles were crippled, boobytraps laid on ammunition caches, and the larger Orks assassinated. It was a pattern that had gone on for months now and was repeating here again. Trivor looked down the scope of his rifle, slowing his breathing as he adjusted his aim carefully like Kandith had taught him.

In.

Out.

In.

Out.

In.

Out.

Pause.

Squeeze.

The weapon cracked a report through the night and gently kicked as the air ionized in front of the barrel from the sudden heat of the laser lancing through it. He pulled back and rolled to the edge of his hiding spot. With a quick glance to make sure the floor was still there beneath him he rolled off, landing in a balled heap amongst a carefully created pile of dirt and softer trash as he protected his rifle and head from the landing. Ribs aching from where he'd elbowed them when he landed he took the chance to look up from his new hiding spot and swore. The large Ork was still alive, and directing the Orks who were able to the window he'd fired from, taking the time to smack one of them who seemed to be questioning the directions. The only sign the creature had been hit was a sparking box on his hip. He took aim again and fired at the beast's ugly face, this time not moving from the window. The round struck and there was a blossom of light and energy, one of the smaller Ork barking out in pain as he was signed across the back by a tendril of energy.

The larger Ork was shooting back now, it's massive weapon rattling as it barked shots into the remains of the building. Trivor fired again, the field blossoming once more as more Orks began firing towards his position, some starting to walk towards his position at the same time, each trying to be the one who killed this invisible shooter. It was a duel now, a contest to see which would die first, the sniper or the Ork and the beasts were starting to enjoy it.

Trivor dropped the drained powercell of the weapon and slammed home another one, lamenting how few shots at full power they could give him when recharged using fire. Again and again he shot though, his eyes less on the monster's face between shots and more on the box which was starting to smoke from the onslaught of abuse. The creatures were starting to get closer to his position now, rounds striking around the window and some striking the back wall inside. He didn't care if he died, just let him kill this one Ork!

He slammed another power pack in again and opened fire, this time the blossom of power fizzling out and a burn lancing the large Ork's cheek. Wounded and vulnerable it bellowed a challenge and charged, covering meters in seconds, each powerful stride of its squat legs driving it forward towards the thing that had dared to wound it. Trivor missed twice as he tried to predict its movements before forcing his racing heart to calm down. He'd died the day the creatures had arrived to Grenith VII, he was just borrowing some time to make sure they got there first.

Forcing his breath out he paused and squeezed the trigger, the bolt lancing through the air in what seemed to be slow motion as his adrenaline continued to race in face of the threat. The bolt slid through the beast's head, burning a hole through its brain before lancing out the back and losing its power completely. The creature didn't slow though, it's body taking three more steps before it finally paused and dropping to its knees and then falling face down in the dirt. The smaller Orks all looked amongst themselves and then towards the building that shot had come from. They couldn't see Trivor in the darkness with their poor night vision but they did know whatever it was had just proved itself stronger than Grimgut.

They broke only to be shot in the back by the other three who'd been hiding in the darkness, waiting for the beast to drop so they could close the jaws of their trap. His body exhausted from the adrenaline that had been pumping through it he rolled onto his back and started laughing, the exhaustion and the look of confused surprise the creature had been wearing when it'd pitched over somehow incredibly hilarious.

"Trivor!"

It was Gret. But why? Had he cracked and forgotten their rule about maintaining silence? The former tailor pulled himself back up and to the windowsill, slowly raising his head to look over it. In the street his friends were standing with a dozen men he'd never seen before, each dressed in dust grey uniforms and camo cloaks.

Gret waved for the man to come down, "Get down here!"

It'd taken Trivor fifteen minutes to make it from the fourth floor of the ruined building to the ground and then to hobble with a makeshift crutch in one hand and his lasgun in the other to where the uniformed men were standing, most of them maintaining a defensive circle around a single man who was talking to the few comrades he had left and as Trivor got closer he realized the men where Imperial Guard. Relief washed through him as he got closer and realized that aid had finally made it to their planet. As he approached the central man turned and greeted him with a broad smile.

"Fine shooting. Very fine."

"Thanks. I have to give credit to Kandith for putting up me long enough for me to learn though."

The man nodded, and looked at her, "Indeed, fine work." His attention turned back to the newcomer, "Captain Fesk of the Dentin 56th Scout Regiment."

"Trivor Kith, dead man."

Fesk's smile didn't falter, though his eye did stray to the stump leg Trivor sported for just a moment. "So they told me. What if I said that I can give you a chance to live again though? I can offer you four a place in my unit. I've heard enough to know that your experiences out here can only benefit me and my men, especially when dealing with these damnable Orks."

Trivor looked at the other three, "I'll only go if they're going. They're all I've got left of my home and if they're staying then I will too."

The captain started to chuckle, before clearing his throat with a short apology, "Well I can't say your comradery isn't surprising. I'm just a touch amused that you all said the same exact thing. I think it's safe to say that you're all coming with us then."

"With you where exactly?" It was Flinn who spoke this time, concern on his wizened face.

The captain's smile faded, "Off-world. We were deployed as an advanced force to see if this world could be saved but counting you four we've found exactly four people still alive. Honestly if it wasn't for this little dust up you guys caused we'd be on a lander out of here right now. Command has given the order to pull back so we can orbitally bomb the Orks and then go in for a final push to cleanse them off the world afterwards to make it ready for recolonization. Now you can stay if you want to, but I can't promise that you'll survive once the orbital bombing starts."

Trivor was the first to speak, "So when do we leave exactly?"

The mechanical leg still ached and rhythmically twitched in time to his heartbeat as he stood at the observation window. In truth it was too early for him to be up and about so soon after surgery but he had to see the funeral pyre that had been his home. As the world burned he quietly whispered a goodbye to the only world he'd known until then before adjusting his new grey uniform and limping back to the medical bay to get the twitch adjusted out of his leg.

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