One Guardsmen's War
See, the thing is that, when I've got nothing on my hands or I'm bored, what I do is open my little laptop and write stuff. Most of it is useless and crap, as most of you already know. Ive got a file full of work that just keeps increasing in size every day and instead of letting it rot away its better that I post it up here and infect you guys with useless crap aswell.
This is just something I keep writing up, mostly because its interesting to myself and I have a mate who can relate to it. The Guardsmen's name is Kameron Platoh and hes a Cadian.
You don't have to pay much attention and if I was you, I wouldn't even bother commenting.
A Guardsmen's War
This is a recount of my time in the Imperial Guard. Most of it are bits and pieces, hopefully all of which should be in chronological order although try as I might it is not so. Its in small bits because as you know Humans are forgetful and it is because of us Humans that many, including myself, suffered horrors and still suffer, still fight and continue their quest to defend Humanity. I don't know the dates of my campaign fighting the Traitors on my homeworld of Cadia and nor can I recall the details and specifications of my harsh time on Valhalla, for I was a Defender of Humanity and Warrior of all that is Right. Cold and hungry, filled with lice and mud, and the screaming, thrashing bodies of my friends as I was thrown into a barrage of fire, armed only with a lasgun, bayonet and knowledge of my duty; I was, an Imperial Guardsmen.
Only those who have spent time in the Mountains can imagine what they're like. The mountains are as bad as it gets. Everything you need to live, you carry with you. You need food so you discard all the things that you can do without and stuff dry rations for five days into your backpack. You need ammunition, so you load an ammo box of power charges and half a box of grenades into your pockets, backpack and cartridge pouches, and hang them on your belt. They get in the way when you walk, rasping on your groin and hips, their weight pulls on your neck. You chuck your AGS automatic grenade launcher over your right shoulder and the launcher of your wounded mate over your left shoulder. You string two belts of grenades in a cross over your chest and if you have a spare hand you also grab a 'snail' box of ammo belts for the machine gun.
Then there's your tent, pegs, hatchet, saw, spade and whatever else the platoon needs to survive. And the things you need for yourself- your Mk 4 Lasgun, jacket, blanket, sleeping bag, mess tins, thirty packs of smokes, a change of underwear, spare puttees, and so on- about seventy kilos in total. Then when you take your first step up hill you relise theres no way you'll make it to the top, even if they put a gun to your head. But then you take the second and the third steps and start to clamber and scramble up, slide, fall, and start back up again, clinging tooth and nail to the bushes and branches. Stupified, you sweat and sweat, thinking about nothing except the next step, just one more step....
One, no, three. Or maybe two? Yes two. There we're two of them, right there, in front of me bloody face, right there in the wet, muddy trench. Emperor's teeth but they were huge. Power armor red as blood, their gore covered chainswords a constant noisy hum, those deep bellowing voices announcing coming death and big metal boltpistols, the bloody bullets aren't even bullets at all but artillery shells, and here were we, with our filthy lice filled fatigues and standard issue lasguns equipped with standard 19 inch bayonets, conscripted and scared shitless. They were two Angels, two Angels of Death. Unstoppable super human death machines whose entire purpose was to kill, burn and maim. Invulnerable, Invincible and Immortal.
Turns out they had a weakness after all, bayonets. It was Petersen who discovered it first. See, the thing about angels, right, is that they're too bloody big and bright. Make great ornaments and Palace guards but I can't understand how the hell they fight real wars, standing there with their red shoulders above the trench, heaven for an enemy sniper and they're so.. whats the word?... ah, cumbersome, thats right, cumbersome, not very practical if you ask me. Any way, these two Angels, too busy tellin' us off, pointing their bolt pistols around and waving their chainswords like bloody birds, scared the shit outa us though, the kid next to me almost shit his long johns. Luckily for us they didn't notice poor Sargeant Petersen standing next to em, hugging the muddy trench wall. Of course we didn't see him either, his uniform the same colour as the sticky mud and he was smeared in the stuff aswell. Bloody mud, got every where, no escaping the wet caking mud. Any way, I thought I was a gonner, what with this giant armoured super human death machine waving its giant chainsword at me like some bloody lunatic and the bloody war for dragging us kids into hell as cannon fodder, but suddenly the bastard toppled over into the mud, dirt flew into me face, stinging like a rifle butt to the head. There was blood spraying out from the back of the giant's head and behind it Sargeant Petersen clutching his Lasgun with a bloody bayonet attatched. Another thing about these Angels, see, is that they're so bad at fighting wars, not only can't they stay outa the enemy's vision but with their massive... uh.. Cumbersome! Right thats the word, cumbersome armour they don't fit too well in trenches either and for every one of em, we can bunch together about six or twelve of us. This second Angel didn't see what hit him... actually he saw it pretty clearly. Twenty Mk-4 Lasguns and about ten bloody long bayonets. For all of its glory, the Palace Ornament didn't stand a chance, by the time it lifted the chainsword we'd already stuck 'im good. Just like what our drill Sargeant had said back at training “I don't give a shit who you are, what you are and what kinda Emperor Damned weapon your using, my bayonet is better than it and I'm gonna kill you! Remember this you trash! The point always beats the edge!”
The point always beats the edge. They may have Power armour, chainswords and hand artillery cannons but we have bayonets, they don't....and neither do they have Drill Sargeant Denson.
Valhalla is cold. It is especially very cold in the morning, afternoon, evening and night. Its pretty much freezing most of the time. The icy wind creeps and slithers into every thing. Its impossible to escape it and theres nothing to do about it. We don't have heaters or anything warm and no matter how much clothes we put on, the bloody cold still gets in somehow. Our body temperatures are constantly dropping and the forever present hunger gnawing at our stomachs and minds doesn't help, none of us had eaten since yesterday afternoon.
Fires are not permitted as we're only about 15 hundred meters from the enemy trenches and we're supposed to be ambushing a mob of surrounded Orks. One of the younger Valhallan conscript's sanity snaps and he manages to light a small meager flame. I eagerly sit around it, hungrily consuming the heat. The flame slowly grows in size because the infantry keep sticking more wood into it. They don't give a damn about the enemy or the officers, they just want to survive, so do I, the growing flame is the only sanity left in the whole bloody freezing Valhalla and at that moment the most important object in the universe. I throw my frozen canteen into the flames as do others to try and melt the ice, at least now some of the water will come out.
Suddenly, running up from in the snowy trench jumps a Valhallan Officer in his coat, Captain or Colonel I don't know and don't care, we stand to attention all the same. A Vahallan Conscript gets knocked off his feet as the Officer smashes his fist into the poor conscript's stomach. The Valhallan Guardsmen next to me dodges the Officer's second fist which crashes into my jaw, sending me flying into the cold trench wall, my face burns and I struggle to stand. Another conscript gets knocked down while the furious Officer kicks the life out of him. “No fucking fires! No fucking fires!” The Officer hisses through clenched teeth, then headbutting Tyson in the face and kicking another Conscript in the gut, he pushes him into the fire, and the conscript's wet, snow covered coat puts out the fire instantly. Then punching a Guardsmen's nose, the Officer marched off as fast as he had appeared. Like nothing had happened, the Valhallans, who had received a much greater beating than Tyson and me, gather themseves, brush off their coats and sit back down around the smoldering coals while Tyson complains about the viscious headbut he had just received. The young Valhallan conscripts who are only about 19 years old and just had the wind kicked out of them, one even pulled out a bloody tooth from his mouth, had sat back down as if nothing had happened. Our Cadian Regiment had only been on the bloody Planet for a couple of months and its already becoming a nightmare.
The planet's occupants turned out to be just as ruthless as their viscous climate. We've got a fair amount of conscripts back on Cadia and bullying exists even in our regular army but the Valhallans are nuts. They get beaten all the time. Its crazy. “Are you hurt?” Strugan asks the conscript who was pushed into the fire. The conscript looks bewildered and shrugs, siting back down rubbing his hands together. “Bloody hell, these kids have got it bad” Remarks Strugan. He should know. Once, back at the undercity Imperial Barracks in Sector 172, we sent Strugan off to find us some cigarettes. The unlucky bastard walked into the wrong barracks, the Valhallan older conscripts took him for their own and beat him until he couldn't remember his own name. Strugan had to jump out of the Barracks window just to get away. The Officers occasionally forget or they just don't care and we get beaten sometimes aswell. I don't see how they can get used to it. Tyson doesn't either and always complains, although that just gets him a blacker eye.
The strangest thing about the Vahallans though is that no matter how harsh their climate is, how unfair the beatings from the seniors are or the severity of their Officers, the Valhallans; conscripts right up to general love their Planet and love fighting the invading Orks. They fight with a passion I've never encountered, not for the love of fighting but for the love of Valhalla and its people. As soon as a battle starts they forget the cold, the hunger and bullying. They fight to the end. The things we've seen them do in battle is horrific yet amazing. A week ago, we were caught in the middle of an Ork artillery barrage, a Guardsmen from the Valhallan 18th had his body cut apart from an artillery shell, guts littering the snowy ground, ribs showing clearly yet in his last remaining second of life, he reached out and pulled himself forward. We whine about the cold yet the other day, we witnessed a company of Valhallans emerge from under the snow and appear in the fray of an Ork Tank charge, clutching grenades in both of their frozen hands. Not one Valhallan survived yet the field was covered in burning wrecks as not a tank was left standing either.
Sitting in our tents, we knew what was about to happen. Its happened before. For the past couple of weeks we'd been using a small hole found in the ice leading to a tunnel so that we could trade with the grots. Giving them lasgun catridges and pieces of armour from the vehicles that we find in exchange for food. The Orks always seem to have food.
Yesterday a couple of Conscipts exchanged some of their lasgun power packs for grog. The two idiots drank the stuff as soon as they had got it and were found lying unconscious near the hole by the Company Commander. They had been beaten ceaselessly that day by the Commander and had had their heads smashed against a Hellhound during the night. The punishment hadn't ended there and as we sat in our tents shivering, we knew what was going to happen. The Commander called up parade, we lined up in our ranks, no longer dividing ourselves from the Valhallans. There weren't enough of us to form separate ranks. “Its Started” Mutters Tyson. As the howling wind thunders above our heads, in the open, the Commader drags the two conscripts by their hair out in font of us. “You want to steal Imperial property? Filthy Scum! Sell it to the Orks? Then I have to write letters to the mothers of the Dead soldiers, shot by the same bullets you stole? Who gave you the right to pillage?! Have you seen death stare you in the eyes? Have your mates bled in your arms?! You haven't earned the right to pillage!” The commander shouts at the moaning captives as he begins kicking them in their already swollen faces and bruised bodies. We hear a loud crack, followed by the conscript's scream as the Commander snaps the conscript's jaw with his boot heel. Then ducking down, the Commander punches the bleeding body's face and we can no longer make out the conscripts face under the mask of blood and broken teeth.
We turn away, not from disgust but mere disinterest. We've seen it hundreds of times and we've even been there ourselves. We feel little pity for the thrashed conscripts. Because of them we can no longer use the trading hole and the Commander was right when he spoke. They hadn't earned the right, unlike them and the rest of their newly recruited company we had stormed countless breaches and seen our friend's limbs explode before our eyes countless times. The Officers are sitting at a table watching the punishment, drunk out of their brains. Skazkov the Council and Psychological aid officer stands up from the table, runs towards the Commander and begins drunkly kicking the two conscripts, yelling obscenities towards them. One of the conscripts screams out like an animal as Skazkov smashes his boot into the Conscript's crotch. “Stealing! I'll show you stealing!”
The two bleeding figures are then lifted by the Commander and their arms are tied to a hanging rope. He does it himself because he knows none of us will. The Commander pulls the rope and the Conscripts hang suspended with their arms stretched above their heads. Punishment doesn't end there as the Commander and Skazkov pound their fists into the suspended felons. No longer screaming, the two make gurgling moaning noises as they're continually beaten....
Alle's Klar? Herr Kommissar
Last edited by CommissarHorn; 05-02-09 at 03:19 PM.