Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wichita Kansas, U.S.A.
No orks and not a chance of snow.
No orks and not a chance of snow.
The world was Amanasacca and the year was 776.M41.
The Imperial Guard was positioned in the valley of the forgotten. It was winter and it was fearfully cold. The wind blew through the valley at nearly sixty miles per hour every minute of every day. Wind gusts were nearly ninety miles per hour sometimes, so when the sleet fell it was like blades whipping the skin.
The respirators we wore took the air and warmed it to the point we could breathe without our lungs freezing. They worked well for the most part. But every so often one would fail and the poor soul would die in a matter of minutes. It was painful and terrible to watch.
We all were sad at the loss, but deep down we were glad our respirators were still working. It was a sure bet another would fail again soon; we all prayed that it would not be ours.
None of us wanted to be here upon this ice-ball of a world, but we understood our duty. The orks were in rout. What they would want with this miserable place I don’t know, I don’t even care. All I knew was that when this war was over, if I was still alive, I wanted to go somewhere tropically warm and restful.
With my luck it would most likely be infested with tyrinids. I had to laugh at the thought.
‘What’s so funny Paul?’ Craggs asked from the spot next to mine. He was dug in pretty well and covered with furs. His face shield was fogged up slightly and you could see his black hide beneath. He was a big man who I never want to piss of. Hs temper was as black as the night, but his flesh was darker still. But if he liked you he was the best protection short of a Basilisk. He liked me.
‘Nothing Craggs. I was just thinking about the dream I am having right about now.’ I answered. White icy fog rumbled out of my respirator grill as I spoke.
‘What’s your dream, Paul?’ he asked sincerely wanting to know.
‘I want to go someplace warm; somewhere where there are trees and oceans and girls. But I was thinking if I get there it would probably be infested with tyrinids.’ I looked over to him and he was just staring back at me.
He seemed to stare at me for a full minute before he shook his head and called me stupid. We laughed.
The makeshift barracks were warm but simple. We had a few chairs to sit on, enough beds for most of us to sleep in and enough food to keep us relatively healthy for a couple of months. The snow made for great insulation to the outside walls. One glow globe was allowed per room so the light was ill looking most of the time. It was a paradise compared with the valley of the forgotten.
I looked over and saw Rex eating a protein bar. Those things were waxy and cold; they tasted bad and gave us all constipation, so when you see a friend eating one it strikes you as odd. ‘What you eating, Rex?’ I asked.
‘Protein bar.’ he mumbled through a full mouth. I smiled, ‘Why would you be doing something like that? Friends don’t let friends do that to themselves.’
He laughed knowing it was true. ‘I got the runs, Paul. I got to stop them the best I can. If I’m out there all suited up in the fekking cold and have the runs it will be the death of me.’ He was as serious as a Commissar. I laughed.
Rex and Craggs. I had been around them for the last five years. They were my best friends so when the orks finally arrived, that’s such a loose term; when they crash landed upon Amanasacca we stuck together like adhesive tape.
The order was given and the barracks were emptied. Every man was present and accounted for, ready to fight. There were fifty- thousand men, three hundred basic long barreled Leman Russ battle tanks, twenty-five Sentinels and five Basilisks…no air cover.
The Basilisks began to fire their heavy ordinance almost immediately; their long range capabilities decimating the enemy even as they crashed into the mountains fifteen miles away. The wind chill was brisk at minus twenty and the wind was at a gentle seventy miles per hour. The good thing was the wind was at our backs.
The skies were aflame with the eruptions of firepower between the battle barge we had arrived upon and the ork engine propelled asteroids. ‘Please don’t lose.’ I pleaded quietly. The Imperial was our only way off of this ice-ball. If it went down, my dream went down.
‘Here they come!’ shouted those nearest to the front. They did not have to shout the warning; we could smell them all the way up the valley, against the wind.
The Leman Russ battle tanks erupted from under their snow blankets and began to fire their pintle-mounted storm bolters while the Sentinels attempted to make their way against the cold. Their hydraulic fluid was not designed for the sub-zero temps and were gumming up. They would be useless.
The orks had weapons of their own; massive Titan sized machines that marched faster than would be thought possible in this weather. They fired their massive cannons, the sound like thunder on a stormy sea. Their cannons were crude but efficient. Heavy shells exploded in the ranks and collapsed some of the trenches. The walls collapsed upon our brothers and buried them in tons of snow, ice and rock.
Fire blasted forth from the mouth of one of the cannons as it fired and it seemed the monstrosity was bellowing as the cannon was fired. The barracks erupted into flames and collapsed in upon itself. The foot soldiers were helpless to do anything but keep their heads down on both sides of the lines.
The orks shouted and jumped up and down as the bestial Titans advanced. A Leman Russ was blown into the icy air and came down in two pieces, flames and detonations rippling from its broken frame.
The air was full of black smoke and soot and the smells of battle and death. The Basilisks fired as one; their shells all converging upon one massive monster of a machine. The ork god-machine was hollowed out in the blink of an eye and as it fell it crushed hundreds of orks underneath its massive frame.
Two more war machines fell in the same fashion, but our losses were very heavy as well. The area between our front lines and trenches were a mass of iron graves. Over one hundred Leman Russ battle tanks burned along with their crews, the orks were already hacking away at any survivors.
A Commissar was screaming at the mechanics to get the Sentinels going. He shot one just to emphasize his seriousness and the desperation of the moment. At least a hundred thousand orks were still out there and we could use all the firepower we could get.
I hoped the mechanics would get everything figured out. The orks were at the barbed-razor wire and rampaging through the minefield. The mines blew apart legs and torsos when an ork fell upon it, but they did not stop the advance of the ork tide. ‘Fire at will!’ the General shouted, and we did.
We fired into their toughened green hides and they fell dead as the grave. Their massive bodies absorbed so much firepower before they died it was all we could do to keep our weapons loaded. ‘At this rate we’ll run out of ammo before we run out of orks.’ Rex shouted over the din.
I had to agree, but I did not say anything as the orks in front of me was firing his massive handgun wildly into the sky while he was charging me with a giant axe. I shot it in the face and its nose evaporated in a cloud of green flesh, white bone and black blood. It kept on coming, bellowing its pain through wide open black whole jaws.
I almost pissed my pants but I shot the fekking beast in the face again and it fell to the side of me. I was high on adrenalin and the near death experience, so it took a moment for me to hear Craggs cursing all the foul gods.
I looked down and saw an arm waving. I almost laughed as I rolled the ork off of Craggs chest. He almost hit me in frustration. Someone screamed as a leg was shot off and someone else fell lifeless beside me. The orks were in the lines, past the remaining Leman Russes, past the useless Sentinels, past the razor wire and the minefield and into the very air we breathed. This was bad, we wanted to run, but there was no place for us to go.
Rex flew across the trench and hit the wall on the other side. His chest was gone as was his respirator. Something slammed into me and I blacked out for a moment. Craggs was using his knife and stabbing an ork over and over again in the neck.
I shot in the chest and finely it fell dead as death. I heard the sound of a massive engine and heard the sound of chaingun fire from the pintle-mounted storm bolter. Orks fell from the top of the trench like heavy green, bloody rain.
The gargantuan armored body of a Leman Russ battle tank overshadowed the spot we were in, but it was only there for a moment as it crossed over the lip of the trench and crossed over to the other side in one massive burst of engine power.
As the sound of the Leman Russ receded it was replaced by another sound; cheering.
The warmth of the jungle was refreshing and Craggs smiled as he wiped sweat from his dark skinned face. I smiled as I wiped sweat from mine too. The jungle world was dark, moldy and filled with all types of killer beasts and people, but we were happy. At least there were no orks and not a chance of snow.
A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep!
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Other stories from Adrian.
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