EDIT: Sorry this installment took a while, I just never really got around to writing it. Also, let me apologize in advance for the following language
'Pass me my brew, sarge.'
'What kind of fuckin' name is Daisy Tox?' The sergeant, Patrick Essel asked incredulously.
'Take it up with me mam, Pat. Now pass me the damn beer.' Daisy responded coolly.
Patrick slid a mug of foaming beer over to the soldier. Daisy took a sip and spat it back out over the side of the bar.
'Is this even ale your givin' me?!' He exclaimed in disgust.
'You'll get used to it Private. It's all we've got.'
'You mean no one smuggled Norman brew aboard?'
'How long do ya think it lasts? No one would drink this when there's Norman ale on the ship.'
Daisy shrugged and took another sip, this time forcing the small mouthful down his throat.
'How was the shuttle from Normundi Prime anyway?' Essel inquired casually.
'Awful. The damned thing was as steady as my baby sister on Fireweed. I had the bottom bunk the whole fourteen months, and the mattress up top leaked.'
'Dunno. Don’t really want to.'
The two men sat in silence and drank, immersed in the loud buzz of drunken conversation.
Suddenly, klaxons sounded all over the bar. Everyone was silent for a few moments, and then the noise returned, people talking even louder to drown out the sirens in the background.
'Shouldn't we be gettin' combat ready or something?' Daisy asked.
Patrick, seeing Daisy's puzzled face, explained, 'The seniors'll send some poor bastards over to get us up 'n' ready when they find out that the klaxons haven't done anything. Till then, everyone's fine with sitting on their fat arses an' drinkin' the piss water.'
Daisy laughed and took another drink from his mug.
Patrick turned out to be right, and a few junior officers entered the pub, yelling at everyone to get armed and ready.
After a moment full of groaning and whining and one man being shot in the left shoulder, everyone filed out, several men tripping and falling to the ground as they stumbled up the stairs slick with alcohol and vomit. Patrick and Daisy joined the small crowd leaving the rundown pub and stumbled back to their quarters to get suited up.
Having just moved in, Daisy’s rooms were bare. Other than a small cot, there was only a crate holding his brand new battle gear.
He bent down and lifted his bright green flak jacket, gazing at it in silence before slipping it over his shirt. He put his extra magazines into the pouches on the brown belt holding his fatigues in place and shouldered his autogun before leaving.
At the Embarkation Bay, Daisy and the rest of his squad, including Patrick, loaded onto a Valkyrie.
Inside, Captain Lyre, a tall woman with red hair tied up underneath a green army cap, briefed them, '287th Cadian transmitted a distress call a few weeks back, askin' for reinforcements to help with the deterioratin' situ--'
'What the fuck does 'deterioratin' mean, lass?' Someone asked, much to everyone's amusement, but he received a fierce backhanded smack from Lyre.
'They're askin' for help with keepin' the dickholes who've decided they don't give about authority,' She glared pointedly at the man nursing his bruised cheek, 'under control. So we're landin' on that lump of hospitable shit,' She paused for a second, hanging on to a metal bar as the lander launched from the Embarkation Bay with a large shudder. 'So we're landin' there to kill the damn rebels and the daemons they've managed ta summon through some ritual or other.'
'Yea, daemons. I forgot to mention that the twice damned scumbags've also decided that worshippin' Chaos is more rewardin' than servin' the Emperor, beloved by all.' Lyre responded to the fearful exclamations, 'Course we're not thinkin' anythin' like that, are we?'
The men shook their heads obediently, their eyes wide with terror.
'Nobody told me there'd be fuckin' daemons the first day on the damn job!' Daisy whispered to Patrick.
'Shit's hit the fan, Daisy. We've gotta kill 'em, or run 'n' not get caught.' Came Pat's reassuring response.
'What?' Daisy asked incredulously, 'Run? Don't they shoot ya for that?'
'Why'd’you think I said not to get caught? Besides, it'd be less painful than gettin' yer head bit off by some freak from the Warp.'
Daisy gulped, sweating inside the stuffy lander, 'Is that how you've survived so long? By runnin'?'
'How else would I survive? We're Guard lad. We die really fast.'
'How the hell did’ya get promoted?'
'Just shut it.' Patrick sighed.
There was another shudder as the Valkyrie entered the atmosphere, and the pilots' voices could be heard from the cockpit as they heatedly discussed the female anatomy. They were interrupted by an angry yell from the Lieutenant and fell silent. Then, 'Uh, heads up, enemy's got guided FlaK.'
Only a second later, a massive shockwave rocked the vessel, and Daisy's stomach churned as their Valkyrie went through several loops and barrel rolls to avoid more cannon fire.
'Will you stop it with the fuckin' acrobatics and land this damn thing?' Lyre shouted at the pilot.
'Do you wanna get down there with a piece of the lander up your arse, lass?!' The man yelled back.
Lyre opened her mouth to threaten the pilot, but the ship was hit again. Alarm lights lit the cockpit and klaxons sounded. In the background was an insistent beeping.
‘Damn it! 0023-Maiden goin' down! Engines got blasted off!' The co-pilot chattered rapidly into his vox link.
'Strap yourselves down lads!'
Daisy secured the restraining harness around his torso and gripped his autogun tightly.
The ship was shot once more on the bottom. The Valkyrie flipped and crashed upside down. Luck was the only reason they survived. The roof of the vessel was nearly touching Daisy's head.
He unlocked his safety harness and fell to the ground. He scrambled to his feet and fetched his autogun. The rest of the men were doing likewise.
Lyre started to leave immediately, Daisy right behind her. Just as Lyre stepped out of the crashed lander, her head blew to bits in a cloud of crimson blood as enemy snipers peppered her with rounds.
‘Holy fuck!’ Daisy shouted in shock. He just stood there, staring at the headless, bleeding body dumbly.
He was brought to attention by a missile landing just short of the Valkyrie. Several men rushed out of the lander. One of them was shot in the arm, another in the hip, but they all made it to the safety of a small ditch.
Daisy and Patrick sprinted out of the ship just as another missile slammed into it, killing everyone else inside. In the ditch, Daisy’s eyes were wide with terror and his hands were shaking as he held onto his gun.