Security Sargent Halmir Wreston sighed as he slowly moved along the file of his waiting troops. Fourteen men stood before him, too few of which he recognised the faces of.
Sure there were his staple team, the die hards that had been part of security detail 8 for as long as himself. Mult, “Tech”, “Stubber”, “Kracker” and Malcane were all old hands, they knew their business and did it well. But the others were all new to him, civilian indents or survivors from other details that had been dropped on him to fill out numbers. A few looked like they knew their business, they were probably the ones most likely to survive the next few hours, the rest were dead weight carrying a lasgun and until they proved their worth he'd not think twice about them.
Soon he reached the end of the file and with a grunt turned to return. His eyes fell on the last member of the detail as he turned and instead of pacing back down the line he turned to stand face to face with the boy. And boy was an accurate term, this one couldn't be more than sixteen terran standard old, but unlike the rest of the team he was not human. Not as far as Halmir was concerned anyway.
The imperial surveyors who had reclaimed this rock so many generations ago had discovered a pre crusade human civilisation living amongst the ruins of ancient mine shafts. Their bodies had shifted to adjust to their new surroundings, night vision was one of their perks. They had also developed a higher then normal rate of hair growth, to Halmir they looked like some unholy cross between rodent and man.
Company protocol was that all security details needed to include at least a single Abhuman for scouting purposes, it was a constant thorn in Halmir's side who saw the things as nothing more then glorified mutants. This one was no exception, fur covered its all too human features, too large eyes glanced up at him like giant black saucers.
“You got a problem freak?” rumbled Wreston as soon as he caught the boy staring.
It's eyes immediately flickered back to the middle distance standing ramrod straight and avoiding his glare.
“No Sargent.” it barked in its best drill square response.
That made him smile.
“Oh I think you do, where's your rifle?”
The ab took the bait and started explaining himself.
“Sir, scouts aren't issued with a rifle we...”
“Scouts are fielded in a reconnaissance role to better monitor forwards enemy positions and eliminate enemy sentries stealthily. They shall be equipped with a silenced Narstom pattern autopistol and long bladed combat knife ” Halmir quoted from the employee handbook word perfect.
The boy squirmed uncomfortably.
“How do you expect your ability to move without a light will help you sneak up on a Croach when they hunt by sound? The correct answer is that it will not, and with you armed only with that pea shooter you'll be dead before you can piss your standard issue briefs ”
Turning away from the boy the Sargent called out to the rest of the unit.
“Every man and freak in this unit will carry a rifle on them at all times, I don't care if you're a specialist with more explosives then a bombard shell, you will carry a rifle with you as back up, auto or las makes no odds to me.
There will be times where flamers and grenades are not useable due to our terrain, can't blow enemy up if your likely to bring the roof down. In those situations a body that isn't able to fight effectively is a waste of my time.
I likewise advise any of you who have been trained with rifles to to pick up sidearms wherever you can, it's amazing how quickly a gun barrel will get bent whilst your being thrown around a rocky tunnel. I won't have anyone useless out there and if that means I have to put you to use luring the Croach away from out position so be it. Am I clear? ”
A chorus of “Yes Sargent !” boomed back in reply.
“Good, now any of you grubworms which haven't been out there before take five steps forwards and about face.”
About half of the line split out and turned to face their counterparts.
“You are all aware that you've been drafted into the emergency security service by the company to deal with the disruptive activities of the Croach.
They're slowing the mining process and killing workers. Bad for business. What they didn't tell you is that as things stand we are holding off their attacks into the civilian segments, we haven't the manpower or equipment to mount an attack on the nests and the rate of attrition is so high that any of you fresh bloods that we get sent barely make up for our own casualties.
The silver lining is that without the materials we're mining, we're not hitting quota, we've been flagged by the Departmento Munitorum. They've promised the imminent arrival of the imperial guard to cleanse our rock of the dirty xenos so things can get back to normal.
That imminent arrival was scheduled six months ago, so don't hold your breath hoping that the cavalry will pull your ass out of this. I want all you new bloods to take a good look at the men facing you, these are survivors. They've taken the worst that the Croach can throw at them and then spat back in their faces. These men are killers, you want to live more than a few hours out in the system you'd better learn to be killers too. We are the front line here people, you may not be soldiers but if you want to stay alive you better learn to act like it.“
Last edited by GrimzagGorwazza; 11-11-11 at 02:52 AM.