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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-08-10, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Default Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris

First attempt

Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris
--It is a comfort to the unfortunate to have had companions in woe



The "backbone of the Imperium" was well and truly snapped. Broken men wandered the trench with gaunt and worn faces, drifting like ghosts on the ground that would quickly become most of their graves. A lurking and seeping feeling of woe had gripped the hearts of those unfortunate men tasked with the front line of the defence, siphoning off their resolve and leaving many of them without hope. Some knelt in the mixture of mud and drying blood from the last attack and prayed. Others kept their sights over the trench, as unflinching and still as the statues of long forgotten heroes that had dotted the city, matching their timeless gaze as they strained their eyes staring for the first sign of chaos.

Private Finnigan, by no means a pious man, simply took a long pull off his cigarette. He knew they were fethed, and something between lethargy and apathy had stopped him from caring. He had left his lasgun carelessy propped against the rotting wood that lined the trench, and had dug his combat knife into the side next to him. He knew he'd be needing that, and there'd be no point endlessly searching himself for it when the time came. That way he knew it was within quick grab-and-slicing distance.

"4 minutes!" The call out made it's way down the trench as the few remaining sergeants called it out to the rest of their squad. With that, Finn stubbed his cigarette out on the wall next to him, and lifted his lasgun to lay on the top of the trench. Even though they had already done this, eight times now, a deep settled and disturbing sick feeling found it's home in his stomach. They came, every hour, like some diabolical clock work. Every hour it was the same; blood and death. Chaos came tumulting over the walls of the trench and the lucky ones were killed first as the world surrounding descended into the murky depths of armageddon. Finn shook his head, and settled his sights back over the wall of the trench.

No man in that trench was left under the illusion that they were going to hold out. They had started their defence on the city gates, and over the course of the week they had almost been pushed back to the city plaza. Behind the last several trenches, those few refugees that had survived the arduos journey to the capital had set up camp, resembling lambs to the slaughter. Finn twitched as behind him a loud and sharp whistle blew. The ground reveberated as artillery punched into the sky. The crack and flash of the gunfire served to provide some macabre count down as the guardsmen around Finn took up firing positions. Commissar Lurt stood proud with his last reserves of dignity and compassion. His power sword crackled readily in his hand as he aimed his pistol over the edge of the trench. This was it.

The command of "fire" was lost over the crackling vox as the first volley of lasfire ripped across the trench. Heretics assailed towards the trench, emerging from the ghostly shells of the buildings and dusty rubble that they had left behind in their defence. No matter how many tumbled under the wall of fire from the guardsmen, endless more came. Finn kept his finger clutched on the trigger, swinging his aim wildly from target to target. The fire was relentless, but so was the push of the enemy as they made their way closer and closer to the trench. The Commissar blew his whistle again as he lifted his power sword viciously in the air in a feeble attempt to rally the rapidly deteoriating resolve of the guardsmen. Heresy was almost upon them.

Finn grabbed the combat knife dug into the wall next to him and swung it out on a vicious arc as the first of the scrambling mad men mad their way to the trench. A crimson jet of blood sprayed across the sandbags as his enemy slumped lifeless over the edge of the trench. Like a dark sea of mangled limbs the enemy where on them. Panicked and desperate, Finn thrusted his rifle blindly forward, his bayonet sliding into the uncovered flesh of his foe. The heretic's head moved from his stomach to Finn, displaying the rage of an angered beast. Finn gripped the trigger again, letting loose a spray of lasfire that ripped through the heretic hooked on his bayonet, and into the crowd of others behind him. A throng of heretics threatened to push over his section of the trench as Finn and the remaining few guardsmen on post there faltered back. Commissar Lurt, looking more agile then Finn had ever seen him, danced his way across to them, cutting and firing blindly into the sneering mass. Violent trails of blood flew through the air as the guardsmen composed themself for a push.

"DEATH OR GLORY" shouted The Commissar as he motioned forward with his blade. The broken soldiers around him, fatigued from battle and almost delirious in their final moments, scrambled upwards to the meet the wall head on. The Commissar planned to push them back down. Finn didn't quite know what he was doing as he scrambled up the wood, stabbing and slicing with his bayonet and illuminating the space around him as lasfire spluttered endlessly in the space above him. The guardsmen knew they were going to die. Holding the trench was hopeless. They were going to go down kicking, screaming and firing. Explosions racked the area of no mans land, as both guardsman and heretic exploded in a red haze under the might of the artillery shells. A sonic boom ripped through Finn's eardrums as a fresh layer of mud splashed over him. He fell to the floor, gripping his lasgun firmly and firing desperately at any hostile who came near him. His head fell to the side as he battled with consciousness, to see the Commissar holding off eight hostiles single handedly. He dipped and ducked under their clubs and axes, exchanging them for blows with both handle and blade. A large and twisted boot stomped down on Finn's hand and he looked up in numb agony at a large, tatooed heretic leering gleefully. Piercings hung from his rolling flab and what looked like dried blood caked the beard that surrounded his yellowing teeth. In slow motion, Finn reached for the laspistol he kept strapped to his thigh, as the Heretic raised his large club over his head. Closing his eyes, he braced himself as he lifted his pistol up with great effort and fired off a round. The juggernaught shook as each shot of lasfire burnt and soldered through the blubber. The smell of scorched flesh was heavy in the air as the juggernaught of a man fell backwards. Finn breathed a mixed sigh of relief and pain -- relief that the heretic didn't topple on him, and pain at the idea that his arm was most definately broken.

He sat himself up, picking off targets with his laspistol. His head began to slouch lazily, and he found his left hand on the grenade that was clung to his belt. He'd rather die taking as many down as he could, then be speared on the end of their blades. Delerity began to kick in as the mass of leering faces and waving arms began to meld together. Dead guardsmen littered the floor. Even the Commissar had disappeared in the heart of the enemy. Finn let his head slouch backwards, looking at the smoke scorched sky. He chuckled to himself. He must be going mad. It looked as great streaks of flame raced across the sky line. For a moment, he thought it was drop pods...

The ground shook with an even larger force. Several of them. As clumps of bodies flew up in the air. Several large objects stood in place of them now. A pneumatic hiss blew scolding steam out of the sides and the pods opened. From within them, bolter fire ripped out reducing many of the heretics to a fleshy pulp. Emerging from the cloud of bolter fire and the whisps of smoke, the grey armour of the astartes emerged firing in all directions. The remaining guardsmen regrouped in disbelief, doubling their efforts to push the rapidly dwindling enemy away. More of the Space Marines appeared as they formed up. Finn pushed himself up on his feet, coughing up blood. He heard an augmented voice cry out "STEEL NOMADS! FALL IN AND ADVANCE."

The remaining guardsman gave a weak cheer. Of the fifty defending that trench, only 18 remained. Commissar Lurt was heavily wounded -- it would seem he would have yet more scars to prove his worth. Finn smiled, still in a mildly euphoric state of pain. Steel Nomads? Where had he heard that name before...

As our bodies are armoured with Adamantium, our souls are protected with our loyalty. As our bolters are charged with death for the Emperor's enemies, our thoughts are charged with his wisdom. As our ranks advance, so does our devotion, for are we not Marines? Are we not the chosen of the Emperor, his loyal servants unto death?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-08-10, 07:20 PM
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Great story here mate! I was really drawn in, especially with the account of Commissar Lurt. I'd like to hear more of Finn and these Steel Nomads! Great stuff, keep it up.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-08-10, 08:09 PM
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Nice I really liked that, despite reading very little to none Imperial Guard books before I felt really drawn in like the Commisar said.

However I am slightly confused, is it going to be a space marine story or a Imperial Guard one? And is this the prologue or the whole thing?

I really think you should keep going with this, it's sounding good!

"To the darkness I bring fire, to the ignorant I bring faith. Those who welcome these gifts may live, but I shall vist naught but death and eternal damnation on those who refuse them"
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-10, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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haha thank you very much
Wow, really nice welcome here :D
Definately more to come. I'll try to get the next bit up tonight (GMT)
EDIT: Oh and at first it was meant to be a marine story, as I was going to kill of Finn in that prologue and just use him as an opening perspective. But I quite like him, so I think mainly Astartes with a 'Guard sub plot going on.

As our bodies are armoured with Adamantium, our souls are protected with our loyalty. As our bolters are charged with death for the Emperor's enemies, our thoughts are charged with his wisdom. As our ranks advance, so does our devotion, for are we not Marines? Are we not the chosen of the Emperor, his loyal servants unto death?

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-10, 10:02 PM
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This is awesome mate. The Steel Nomads sound like a White Scars Successor to me, I really like this, gonna be brilliant. Have some rep

Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.

"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"

'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Yes, lord.'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
'No, lord.'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-10, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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The insurgent rabble had broken into retreat. Broken, exhausted and sore from the devastating toll the defence had taken the guardsmen stood in silent vigilance, taking pot shots at the fleeing heretics. Too many had been lost to risk more casualties in a potential ambush. Amidst the swirling smoke of battle stained land the Astartes stood defiant, the grey of their power armour gleaming as it reflected the last of Cyru's dying sun for that day. Although their glory as the saving hand of humanity had been retold all over the Imperium, in truth there was nothing human about them. They were intimidating as they stood, like the angels of death they were, dwarfing the wounded and the dying that lay littered around them. Their unfaltering gaze pierced mercilessly through the hearts of the guardsman that moments before had considered them their saviours. It has never been the role of the mortal men of the Imperium to truly understand the sacrifice of the Astartes and perhaps that is why the mortal clay of the Empire will never truly understand what is behind that timeless and judgemental gaze of the Emperor's legions.

Commissar Lurt limped his way towards the Astartes. Like Finn, who now stood supported by two other guardsman, he was questioning his miraculous saviours. If his eyes or the fetid forces of Chaos did not decieve them, then truly the Emperor was smiling down on them that day. At their head, a giant even for an Astartes stood, without helmet and gowned in a tattered black rag of a cape. Thick chains hung adorning his ornate power armour as the Astartes stood resting his hands on a vicious looking Claymore. Long and silvery hair hung over his chest plate -- even for the timeless Astartes there was an aura of wisdom and experience that only age can bring. The Commissar could see it in his eyes as he drew closer to their obvious leader.

The Commissar bowed in front of him, only becoming aware of the large wound on his stomach he had sustained during the battle as he bent over. Forcing his most powerful voice (which was something that came naturally for a Commissar), he greeted their rescuers.
"Hail. I am Commissar Lurt and on behalf of the Cyrian 22nd and the people of Cyru I extend our combined gratitude."
The Astartes nodded in acknowledgement.
"Think nothing off it Commissar. We are all bretherin in the face of...treachery. I am Tordeus, Chapter Master of the Steel Nomads."
With that the Commissar bowed once more. Tordeus merely nodded again as he rose back to his feet.
"What brings you to Cyru, esteemed Chapter Master? Our long range communications are bust, we had not the means of calling for aid." Lurt had been burning to ask that question since they arrived. No reinforcement or off world aid had been called.
"The Emperor protects, Commissar. It is by the Emperor's hand we have arrived here, in search of our enemies. By fortune, they have come here to your world and we are here to eradicate them."
"Sir?"
"Chaos, Commissar. Is Chaos not all of mankind's eternal enemy? Whilst in this system Commissar we picked up unusual warp spikes on this planet."
The Commissar's face had paled. His worst suspicion had been confirmed. The heretical cults on this planet had made contact with the warp. The unknown horrors of chaos were, as it seemed, to pour down on them like the relentless charges of the heretical. Lurt's voice faltered slightly. In his campaign to seize this planet, he had only encountered the green tide of the Ork. Chaos, was something different entirely. Tordeus opened his pale, thin mouth again. Like all Astartes, his voice bore the hallmark command of Imperial Gothic that had come from pious service in the grand fortress monasteries.
"Who is the governor here Commissar?"
"Matters not, m'lord. Dead."
"Colonel?"
"Dead. We are the last dregs of the PDF m'lord."
A frown appeared on Tordeus' wrinkless features.
"Who is in charge then?"
The Commissar looked around ashamedly. His defence had resulted in a shambles and irrepairable losses that had pushed them right back to the city plaza, leaving a trail of dead guardsmen and broken machinery. Only a fraction of the planet's armour remained, and that was all held back for the final defence.
"I am m'lord."
The frown on Tordeus' face morphed into a look of curiosity. He leant forward, surveying Lurt. His eyes scanned him from head to toe, taking in his scarred features and the torn regalia of his office.
"You have done admirabley, Commissar Lurt. Better then most of the pitiful defences I have seen against insurgency. You judge your actions too harshly, if that is regret in your eyes I see."
The Commissar dipped his head. The thought that he, an off worlder, had failed the men of Cyru still rang through his head.
"Thank you, m'lord."
The Chapter Master's back straightened, and he began to address the remaining guardsmen, as well as his own marines.
"I am relieving you of your command duties however, Commissar. You may return to the normal duties of your office. I shall take command of your remaining forces and lend the aid of my marines. Men of Cyru, you will follow my orders from now on."
The Commissar nodded, for the umpteenth time. Relieved in both mind and duty, he asked the next question apprhensively.
"What is the strength of your number m'lord? How many of your warriors have with you?"
Tordeus smiled crookedly, a smile that Lurt would grow to recognise as the wry sarcasm of age.
"The full strength of my chapter." He answered cooly. A growing look of hope, like a visibley infectious plague, ran across the spectating guardsmen. Lurt stood there, mouth open?
"A...A thousand warriors?"
Tordeus laughed.
"No. One hundred. Ten companies of ten men. Behind me stand second company and third company."
The twenty marines behind him stood magnificently. The Commissar surpressed the urge to laugh and or cry. Had he mistaken wisdom in the chapter master, for delusion? He bowed again, remembering his place in respect.
"M'lord, your chapter is only one hundred in number? Am I wrong in thinking that the standard number for a chapter is ten companies of a hundred men?"
Tordeus' face stiffened.
"Each of my squads, Commissar, are companies in their own right. Each marine under my command has the strength of ten and has shown the valour of a hundred. They have battled with the unrelenting and dark imaginations of the warp more times then you have been cursed by your men probabley. And by ther way they stare at you when you are facing me, Commissar, I am guessing that is far into thousands."
The Commissar's face lit up red as what remaining blood he had rushed to it's surface. Humiliated in front of his men, he held his dignity.
"What are your orders m'lord?"
"The rest of my chapter are yet to make planet fall. Second and third shall clear the remaining area. I suggest Commissar that you organise any remaining medicae you may have and tend to your wounded. Organise any able bodied man that you have left here. Once my marines have secured new boundaries, I will need them to transport any supplies you have left, there."

The Commissar bit his tongue. Bowing, and still in a state of humiliation, he simply answered.
"Yes, m'lord."

As our bodies are armoured with Adamantium, our souls are protected with our loyalty. As our bolters are charged with death for the Emperor's enemies, our thoughts are charged with his wisdom. As our ranks advance, so does our devotion, for are we not Marines? Are we not the chosen of the Emperor, his loyal servants unto death?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-10-10, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you
Steel Nomads are a little (literally) chapter that I devised up a while ago. I wanted to go for something different but not, I hope, cliche. There is a rich vein of back history that'll be explored in this story regarding their formation, their relationship with their primarch etc.
(And before anyone asks, no I am not going down the "unknown primarch" route so don't worry )

As our bodies are armoured with Adamantium, our souls are protected with our loyalty. As our bolters are charged with death for the Emperor's enemies, our thoughts are charged with his wisdom. As our ranks advance, so does our devotion, for are we not Marines? Are we not the chosen of the Emperor, his loyal servants unto death?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-11-10, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Only the Astartes could look natural amidst the ghostly shells of buildings that stood, almost in monument, to the fallen city. Like the dogs of war themselves, second and third company of the Steel Nomads filtered through the charred remains of Sy'ri in pairs with an almost ethereal quality. In the rising lunar light the grey of their armour glistened with a deathly quality almost giving them the appearance of spectres of some long forgotten knights of old. Their only material feature, that made them recognisable as Astartes warriors to those unfortunate heretics who found themselves at the end of their bolters, was the unblinking and unyielding stare that the pale blue eyes of their helmets offered. The same stare that was still burning in the minds of Commissar Lurt and the like.

One of the apparitions lifted an armoured hand in a stopping motion, and his partner stopped. Captain Delonius lifted up his second hand, keeping six of his fingers up right.
Six hostiles. Around the corner.
Markus nodded, raising his bolter gently. With fluid motion they both turned the corner, bolters blazing and illuminating their figures into the material world. The six heretics, huddled around the dim light of the camp fire amongst the debris of a scorched out hospital barely had time to look up at their executioners as they exploded in clouds of reddish haze. One of them just about managed to raise his las pistol as he was torn in half by bolter fire, falling in bits over the fire and extinguishing it. Their guns ceased as Delonius and Markus slid back into the embrace of night. Only now the icy blue of their helmets illuminated the miniature massacre that had taken place. Delonius whispered into the vox line.
"Six hostiles down. Area south east of main camp secure."
The vox crackled back, an equally and barely audible whisper.
"Confirmed."
Delonius paced the eerie room slowly. Scattered about were six beds, improvised out of what looked like busted stretchers. Broken machinery lay dotted around the room. On the wall, a medicae logo that had been graffitied over was barely visible. The room had clearly once been a ward, before the various symbols and blasphemous iconography had been carved into the walls. On the far side of the room, an insulting sight offended both of their eyes. The symbol of Slaneesh had been splattered over the crumbling wall. He turned to check over the bodies (or what remained of them) -- four men and two women. A scratching noise gave him cause to look up. Markus motioned to the smaller room next door, and Delonius proceeded cautiously. Keeping his bolter level with his helmet he turned the door frame, the dark secrets of the room before him revealed through the optics in his helmet.

Both his and Markus' bolters snapped to a cage in the corner of the dark and dank room (which looked to be a supply room of some sort.) The rattling persisted, and evolved into a worried gasp and the sound of dragging. Moving cautiously, Markus and Delonius surrounded the cage.
"Orders, brother?" Markus asked, not making the careless mistake of shooting a side ways glance. His eyes were trained on the patheticly small and thinned girl in the cage. Her gaunt face was streaked with dirt mingled with dryed blood, freshly moist from the silvery trail of tears running down her face. Delonius switched on the torch light on his bolter. The girl hissed in pain at the light and Delonius flicked it back off.
"Photo sensitive. Adolescent. No obvious signs of possession -- probably a slave or pass around. Her mind, and body is damaged beyond repair. It's our duty to deliver her peace."
The form in the cage shook with weeping. Markus doubted she could understand what they were saying, or even quite what they were. He crouched onto his knees, letting one hand go of the bolter and sliding his armoured hand through the iron bars of the cage. The dweller bit at his fingers, but he did nothing as her tooth chipped on the ceramite. His fingers touched the rough and sallow skin that hung tight and almost translucently to her starved figure. The girl, intimidated, sat back and stared at him as his fingers eased around her neck. In one swift movement, he broke her neck clean.

"The Emperor protects." Markus declared, as some form of last rite. Delonius simply nodded as they both turned to one of the broken windows in the building. Bursts of bolter fire littered the otherwise silent ruins of the city. The immediate area around main camp would be clear easily in the next few hours. Their task now, was to hold this position. The pair stood in silent watch, until Markus spoke.
"Is what Tordeus is saying true then, brother? Will it come?"
Delonius simply nodded.
"Yes, brother. Tordeus is sure of it. Tordeus is sure It will not pass up this opportunity. It will want the objective just as much as we do."
"But surely other then It and us, there are others who are aware of the objectives presence
Delonius considered this. As captain of "second company", Delonius was privy to Tordeus' thoughts and plans. He had mentioned a chance of an 'outside presence', but had not outlined what exactly.
"Correct brother, but we cannot be certain. No information as of yet has betrayed such an external presence. All we have to worry about here is the It and It's legions."
The vox line crackled again.
"Baurus and Wagner here. Large concentration of enemy hostiles spotted and they look to be alert. Numbering approximately fourty. A number of prisoners have been spotted as well. Complex is lightly guarded. Permission to open fire, or shall we wait for assistance?"
Delonius, as captain, responded.
"You're more then capable of taking them on yourselves. Open fire."
More bolter fire crackled on in the distance

--

The temple in the plaza of Sy'ri had been converted into a make shift field hospital, as the wounded poured in and out of it's holy walls. Private Finnigan found himself waking up there, several hours after he had lost consciousness at the Commissars meeting with the Astartes.
Steel Nomads...
He sat up right, wincing as he did. Amongst the numb aching that was rife all over his body, an acute pain broke through the sedation he was under. His arm, lying at an awkward and impossible angle, throbbed as he stared helplessly down it.

He took a look around at the temple hall. At the heart of the city, it had sustained very little damage in the siege. It wasn't as ornate as some of the grander temples on other planets, but there was a quaint modesty about it. Around him, the priests were making their way down the aisles, offering spiritual advice here and a prayer there. The temples candles lit the large and almost cavernous room up in a amber tint. A medicae officer made her way across to him. In the most sympathetic tone a worn and exhausted person can offer, she asked.
"Is there anything I can do?"
"Arm's aching like feth. Busted pretty bad. Reckon ye' can....Feth!, Argh, Reckon ye' can patch me up soon?"
The medicae officer's face fell in exhaustion. The facade of sympathetic energy had dropped.
"Our supplies are...limited. All I can offer is an internal plastite cast. It'll be painful, but useable although it won't be strong as a natural mending. But it'll be usable."
Finn looked down, his good hand searching his pockets for a cigarette.
"Anythin'. Just knock me out before 'and."
The medicae officer frowned.
"Sounds like the sedatives have taken more then enough effect on you. You're jaws numbed up. I can't supply you with any more relief, otherwise you will overdose."
"Ahh feth..." Finn simply replied.

The medicae slung a leather bag from over her shoulder, searching inside it and pulling out various syringes and worryingly vicious looking tools. Finn abandoned the the hunt for a cigarette, and concluded that something that day had hated him. The medicae, halfway through her search, looked up at him and frowned.
"That's a nasty wound on your head. It needs to be washed. here..."
Finn hadn't noticed that for the first time in weeks his helmet had been removed from his head. Relieved at the slight delay from his painful operation, he took a moment to look around at the other beds. It seemed he was one of the lucky ones, waking up. The medicae dabbed a wet cloth at his forehead, wiping the layers of dirt and grime that had accumulated over the last few weeks of fighting. After several wipes, she gasped.
"Throne! You're young."
Finn looked a way a little embarasssed. "Seventeen."
"Well, you carry yourself like one of these old and moody fethers." She continued, sticking a syringe in his arm. He winced slightly, and retorted
"That's surprising, y'know, what with the war on - Ah feth!" He cursed.
"You could barely be a full guardsman then. Whiteshield?" She inquired, as she pressed a strange looking instrument into his arm. He yelped again in pain, closing his eyes very tightly.
"I was inducted in early, due to lack of man power." He garbled quickly, trying to focus on anything but the pain. He could feel the strange liquid fill the gap in his arm, settling where the break was. It felt strange, a numbing but throbbing pain like a severe tooth ache in his arm. She smiled as he sat, still wincing tightly as if the worse was yet to come.
"All done. Just give it an hour to settle."
He opened one eye cautiously.
"That it?"
She chuckled, packing her instruments back into her bag and chucking the used syringes in a dish by his bed side (to which, he noticed, where his helmet, flak armour and las gun strewn out neatly). She straightened up to leave, when he garbled.
"Wait."
She turned, a bemused smile on her worn features.
"I'm Finnigan. Finn. What's your name?"
She chuckled again, almost shaking her head.
"I'm Selene. Well Finn Finnigan. It was nice to make your acquaintance." She replied, gracefully making her way off. Finn palmed his fore head with his hand, forgetting about the settling plastite in his arm. He yelped in pain, and blushed yet again when he heard Selene laughing from across the hall. Finn Finnigan? Eurgh...

A gruff voice beside him warned him:
"Wasting yer time lad. Tis only act, help ye' get better."
Finn sought to regain some composure. He'd gone without being talked down to due to his age for three weeks, somewhat thanks to his thin and sprouting facial hair and the layers of dirt and grime he had compiled over his time in the trench. He turned to the source of the voice -- the scruffy and ageing guardsman in the bed next to him.
"Yeah, I know. Just err...humouring the woman." He laughed, half nervously. Seeking to change the topic he continued.
"Still, Emperor be praised about the Astartes turning up. Would probably be dead by now if otherwise."
The old guardsman spat and made the sign of the aquilla.
"Bloody nomads... Throne, don't ye know anythin' boy?"
Finn's cocky smile half faded. Spitting was a Cyrulian tradition for averting evil.
"What do you mean?"
The Guardsman hawked again, much to the distaste of a passing medicae.
"Steel Nomads chapter 'aint nothin' but trouble. Believe you me. Me mammy told me tales as a child. Cursed chapter they be. Wherever they go, they bring only death and destruction' -- and not in the usual and total manner of the Astartes. Entire systems been wiped off the galaxy by them 'ccording to me mammy. Looking for sommat they is...."
Finnigan leaned in from his bed. What the guardsman saying was most probabley the ramblings of a battle pressed mad man. But it was interesting none the less.
"What are they looking for? How do they bring this level of destruction?"
The old man leaned in again, a haunting look on his face. His grimy features were illluminated by the candles in the hall. For a moment, only the foot steps of the medicae and the groans of the wounded could be heard. Finn leaned in closer. The old man's mouth began to open.

"Feth me, I forgot."

Finn sank back into the rough comfort of his makeshift bed. Typical. Anti climatic ramblings of a battle pressed mad man.

As our bodies are armoured with Adamantium, our souls are protected with our loyalty. As our bolters are charged with death for the Emperor's enemies, our thoughts are charged with his wisdom. As our ranks advance, so does our devotion, for are we not Marines? Are we not the chosen of the Emperor, his loyal servants unto death?
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