Sons of Guilliman
It was a cold, winter morning when the soldiers came.
A small group watched from the Bunker as the townsfolk gathered in the square. Big trucks arrived and disgorged rough-looking men from the Imperial Guard. A tall figure in black stood in front of them.
“That’s a Commissar,” said Isaac. “He’s calling up the county levy.”
“… the front line will not hold for much longer,” the Commissar continued. “So all able-bodied men are required to take up arms and drive back the Xenos hordes.”
“He mentioned Orks.” Apothecary Obrien added.
Roberto turned to his friends.
“This is it brothers. The war has come to us. Our Chapter will drive back these Ork-things. Gather your weapons and armour and meet me back here. The Bunker is now our command Centre.” He turned to a figure to his left. “Brother Benjamin. Your Terminators will hold the bridge.”
They quickly dispersed to their various lodgings but within minutes they had formed up outside the Bunker again. Roberto was impressed, their training had paid off.
One of the terminator squad was missing.
“Brother Benjamin, report!”
“I am sorry Captain; Joel was caught and is…”
Roberto raised his hand.
“I understand. He is now imprisoned, probably in the root cellar. Brother Joel will receive his penance after this is over.”
He surveyed the ranks. There were only six of them, but they were all true Sons of Guilliman. They would make these Orks pay.
“We are Ultramarines,” he roared and raised his power sword. “On this sacred blade, forged by the Primarch himself, I Captain Roberto, slayer of the Ork Warboss... Shag-Bag the Horrid, do swear that we will defend this village to the end.”
Brother Benjamin stepped forward and swung his Warhammer in a wide arc.
“I swear on Smasher-Basher
the Hard hammer, forged by the Emperor himself…”
The rest of the group groaned and Obrien shook his head.
“No he did not Benjamin. Stop ruining it. The Emperor did not make your hammer.”
“Alright,” Benjamin whined. “But Roberto said Guilliman made his so I thought…”
“I am the captain Brother Benjamin so I always carry a sacred weapon. I am famous in battle so at least I can say that it was blessed by someone, not you.”
They were interrupted by one of the Marine scouts who had been watching the trucks with interest. He skidded to a halt, a Sniper Rifle over his shoulder.
“They are leaving.”
The Levy had been collected and the trucks were loaded up. Roberto and Brother-sergeant Rowland marched up to a soldier who was pushing up the last tailgate. He was from the Abellio 44th, the ‘Fighting Fours”. He turned in shock and his face paled when he saw them. He looked about in confusion.
“What are you doing here?” he spluttered. “You need to get out of here, you need to hide.”
“Space marines do not hide. We are Ultramarines, the Emperor’s finest warriors.”
The soldier spread his arms wide in placation.
“Listen, this isn’t no game. This is for real. Those greenskins are coming and when they do, they will kill everything and everyone.”
“We will hold them here,” said Rowland. “Our Bunker covers the only approach to the village. Our Terminators will hold the bridge.” He smiled at the soldier. “Sergeant. Don’t worry about us.”
A voice barked out from one of the other trucks. The Commissar was eager to go. The soldier turned back to them.
“No heroics, do you understand. Just run away as fast as you can, do you here? Run away.”
Roberto drew his sword.
“Coward. I should take your head for that.” But the soldier had already gone leaving the two of them standing at the entrance to the village.
Roberto passed a practiced eye over the defences and nodded. The Bunker was a huge construct made of rockrete that guarded the approaches to the settlement. A small wall navigated the perimeter and a moat completed the defences. A draw-bridge, guarded by the two terminators, could be pulled up if the enemy got that close. The defences were only supposed to give protection from bandits and predators, not a fanatical horde of maddened Orks.
When the attack came, it was in the form of monstrous green-skinned Orks on bikes and battered vehicles. Everyone but Roberto fled, leaving him alone and afraid.
The Bunker was overrun in a few seconds in a flurry of grenades and flashing blades.
When he woke up his head hurt and his mouth was full of dirt. There was a ringing sound in his ears but apart from that, he appeared unhurt.
Something heavy slammed down in front of his face, something blue. He looked up and a huge figure blocked out the light.
“Are you an Ork?” Roberto sputtered and heard a metallic click and then a hiss of escaping air. A large hand and immense strength lifted him to his feet and then Roberto was face-to-face with a God of legends.
“You have done well little one.” Said the deep voice from a round face ravaged with scars, cuts and scratches.
“Were we victorious?” Roberto whispered, and then added “Sir.”
The face studied him.
“Indeed we are victorious,” said the man smiling. “Tell me little one, who are you?”
Roberto was gently placed down. His armour was riven and dented and most of it missing. His helmet was crushed and his blade broken, but his spirit was unbreakable.
“I am Captain Roberto of the Ultramarines.”
The huge man smiled again and then, surprisingly, shook his hand.
“Well met Captain. I am sergeant Gardinier of the Eagle Warriors. It is good to meet a hero from the original Chapter.”
“Wow!” Roberto smiled. “A real Space Marine.” He pointed at the marine’s weapon. “Is that a real bolter? How many medals have you got? Have you fought the Eldar?”
The marine laughed and patted Roberto on his shoulder guard.
“I thought that your armour was real too.”
“Nah, we tried to get it right, we did our best, but now I see it up close, it’s not so good.”
The marine guided Roberto out of the Bunker. Outside, more Space marines in blue and white power armour threw the bodies of dead Orks onto a large fire. They looked up when the two approached.
Roberto gripped the marines hand a little tighter.
“Where are we going now?”
The marine stopped and then looked up into the evening sky.
“Little brother, we are going up into the stars and beyond.”
* * *