This fanfic will contain scenes of mild sexual imagery and scenes of moderate violence and death.
A 40k fan fiction
Paul "greywulf" Colbourne
"..we will do our best with what we have.."
Flatiron hung like a greasy ball in the inky black of space, the image of the planet and its twin orbiting moons an uninspiring sight as it flickered upon the bridge pict-screen.
Captain Joliet Yawhammer cast an indifferent gaze over the planet as she sipped at her post jump mug of caffeine. “It does not really strike one as particularly…. notable, don’t you agree, Ensign Ilka?” the woman commented, tilting her head towards the gaunt man standing beside her. “Why do these heretics always choose such lacklustre planets to overrun?”
Ensign Ilka ran his eyes over the data-slate in his grasp, reading the scrolling information being displayed on the device. “Flatiron. Designation, gamma. Tithe to the Imperium consists of livestock and processed meat products.” The ensign tapped the slate’s screen, altering the data flow being transmitted to the instrument. “No guard regiment founded, small PDF force and Adeptus Arbites presence, mainly located at Yoevel, the capital city of the planet.”
Draining her caffeine, Joliet handed the empty mug to a waiting servitor before shifting the pict-screen to a closer view of Flatiron, remotely accessing the planet’s satellite network to provide the image. The speed at which the systems of the long-serving Mosaic reacted brought a faint smile to the woman’s severe face. The old Navy cruiser had seen her share of conflict and long-haul troop transportation during her career, and yet still the vessel performed almost as well as the day she had left her construction yard.
The image of Flatiron transferred to an aerial view, revealing the mixture of jungle and grasslands that covered the majority of the planet, the green broken in places by small settlements bordered by livestock ranches and small processing manufactoriums.
But it was sprawling collection of habs that made up the capital city of Yoevel, with the hulking manufactoriums and smokestacks of its southern production yards, that was the destination of the Mosaic and the Imperial Guard regiment currently preparing for battle within the vessel’s belly.
Joliet opened a comms channel to the deployment bay. “Captain Yawhammer to Colonel Greaves,” she said, her voice level in spite of the adrenaline starting to course through her body. “Prepare your forces for high altitude insertion. We will begin in one Terran hour.”
“Confirmed, Captain Yawhammer,” replied Colonel Greaves, his rough voice intimidating even over the comms. “Angel Flight are already fuelled and prepped on the deck for the initial assault. All other forces are readying for a hard landing under heavy fire.”
Joliet smiled, impressed at the efficient of Greaves and his Wraith Irregulars. “Excellent, Colonel. We will anchor above Yoevel shortly and begin to lay down orbital fire to try and clear your landing zone a little bit.” She gestured for her command staff to begin the approach. “I’m afraid the Mosiac has little in the way of planetary assault weaponry, but we will do our best with what we have.”
Greaves chuckled. “As will we, Captain. I am a full company down, due to the appeal of one Inquisitor. To have another request our assistance, well, it’s either a testament to the skill of my men, or I’ve done something to annoy somebody.”
“Good luck, Colonel Greaves,” Joliet said, smiling as she ended the transmission, before casting her attention to the image of Flatiron on the main screen. After a moment, she became aware of the anxious presence of Ensign Ilka behind her, and she turned to look at him questioningly.
Ensign Ilka licked his lips nervously “Lord Vistag wished to be informed when the liberation was to begin, Captain,” he said. “ Should I have the Damnation hailed?”
With a sigh, Joliet leaned her hands on her command pulpit and gave a nod. “Do so, Ensign Ilka,” she murmured reluctantly.
Ilka saluted in reply, and signalled for the order to be carried out.
Closing her eyes, Joliet listened to the thrum and whirs of the Mosiac’s helmsman servitors filling the control room of her vessel, the mechanical noises punctuated by the quiet talking between the human crew within the chamber. The ambient noises were as every day to Joliet as the beat of her own heart, and they helped to calm her mood as she drowned herself in them.
The sound of rhythmic breathing suddenly ended Joliet’s moment of tranquillity, the motorised wheeze of a respirator signalling that the hail to the Damnation had been accepted.
The Navy captain opened her eyes, fixing her features in a blank expression as she looked at the hooded figure on the viewscreen before her.
Inquisitor Lord Vistag’s features were hidden within the shadowed confines of a deep cowl, only the red glow of an optical augmentation visible amid the gloom, which Joliet found a great comfort. The regulated hissing and rasping of a respirator coming from beneath the black hood was deeply unsettling, and she had no desire to see what horrific wounds had warranted such drastic measures.
“Lord Vistag,” she said. “The Wraith Irregulars are preparing for the liberation of Flatiron.“
“Good, Captain Yawhammer,” replied Vistag, his synthetic voice artificial and emotionless. “I assume you are to begin with the standard orbital barrage of the landing area?”
Joliet nodded, trying not to look in to the depths of the Inquisitor’s cowl, instead focusing on the white Inquisition symbol on the wall behind him. “That is correct, my lord,” she replied, glancing to the battle display to the left of the viewscreen. “We have two weapons batteries with which to bombard the-“
Vistag silenced her with a sharp slice of a pale hand, the near translucent skin a stark contrast to the void black of his encompassing robes. “Use one battery only, Captain, and sparingly at that,” he rasped. “I do not wish to risk my objective for the sake of a stray shell.”
Frowning, Joliet risked looking directly at the shadows concealing Vistag’s features. “But surely-“ she began before a mechanical growl from the depths of Vistag’s cowl silenced her.
“Don’t think to question me, Captain Yawhammer,” the Inquisitor snapped, “Lest I decide to view your reluctance as defiance.”
Joliet shrank back from the viewscreen, her fear obvious as she stammered an apology. “I did not mean to doubt your wishes, Lord Vistag,” she said frantically. “Your command will of course be followed to the letter.”
Vistag leaned forward, the motion lessening the gloom beneath his hood. A hint of gleaming black metal and mechanical twitching was disclosed as the Inquisitor shifted. “I would expect nothing less, Captain ," the cold artificial voice commented, the rasping of the respirator punctuating each word. “Inform me when the initial assault’s success has been confirmed.”
The hailing channel closed, leaving the viewscreen black.
Breathing a sigh of relief, Joliet glanced at Ilka. “Move us in to position and ready primary barrage battery,” she ordered. “Let’s start carpeting the space port. And carefully. Have the servitor be cautious with it’s targeting.”
“Aye, Captain Yawhammer.” Ilka saluted and moved to relay the command, leaving Joliet alone at her command pulpit.
“May the Emperor guide us,” Joliet murmured as she waited for the liberation of Flatiron to begin.
"..as you wish.."
Thrush sighed wearily.
The robed cultist slumped back in the former governor of Flatiron’s throne, indifferent to the eyeless corpse of the chair’s former owner lying at his feet.
The heretic preacher was tired; the illumination of the planet’s residents was proving to be a long and exhausting process. He felt his one eye growing heavy with fatigued, sleep beckoning as Thrush began to sink into the opulent cushions beneath him.
A sudden clawing torture within the cultist’s skull banished all notions of sleep.
you displease me thrush your recruitment of disciples progresses slowly
Thrush licked his cracked lips, flinching as the angry daemonic murmuring clawed in his mind. He reached up and stroked at the brass patch covering his right eye. “I’m spreading the truth of your divine murmurs, great Neth, and many of the corpse worshipers have embraced the light of your all-seeing gaze.” The robed man ran a grubby finger over the stylised eye engraved in the surface of his eye patch, tracing the X scratched through the centre of its pupil. “But some are less willing to accept initiation into the Host of the Whispering Eye.” Thrush jerked his hand from the brass patch as it began to heat up, green light spilling from around the edge of the metal. “I believed this planet’s citizens would be more compliant…”
Agony stabbed in to Thrush’s mind as his dark god’s whispering voice tore into his brain.
if they do not wish to serve me then they can assist in other ways lord ragon will be informed
“As you wish, great Neth.” Thrush resisted the urge to tear of his eye patch and claw at the burning socket beneath. “I shall have the Host prepare for the Dread Lord’s arrival.”
your transgression is but one of many thrush this time you shall not escape untested
Before Thrush could question the meaning of the whispered words, the door to the hall slammed open and a dishevelled man burst into the dark room.
“Thrush, they coming!”
The one-eyed preacher stood, gathering his robes as he stepped over the dead governor to meet the breathless cultist.
“They coming, Thrush, the corpse-god’s army is coming!” Saren panted, collapsing to his knees from exhaustion before Thrush. He kissed the other man’s boots in frenzied reverence. “Them Arbies say there is a ship in orbit, Thrush.” Saren clutched at Thrush’s legs as he tried to pull himself up. “It’s a troop transport, Thrush. That means there be troopers in it.”
survive and you shall once again earn my approval
Thrush kicked the whimpering Saren away and strode towards the doorway, discarding his preacher’s robe as he walked, revealing the muscular frame and bandolier of knifes and firearms strapped across his barrel chest.
“As you wish, great Neth,” he intoned. “I obey your whispers.”
“I love you.”
The words soft on her lips, Yasmin looked up in to Hektor’s eyes, placing her gloved hand against his bristly cheek. Breathing heavily beneath him, she relaxed as well as she could on the debris-strewn floor of the burnt out manufactorium, her combat bedding doing little to cushion the cool permacrete.
Hektor leaned down and kissed Yasmin, enjoying the eagerness with which she returned the gesture. The thick blanket covering them began to slip, and he quickly caught it, pulling the camo-patterned sheet back in to place.
“I love you, too,” Hektor replied, keeping his heavy voice as low as possible.
Yasmin smiled, the thin scar on her right cheek crinkling at the motion. She wrapped her arms and legs around him tightly, the equipment attached to Hektor’s combat webbing chinking as she pulled him closer.
Hektor ran a rough hand against one of Yasmin’s thighs, adjusting its position against the frag grenade dispenser strapped to his waist.
The distant boom of mortar fire highlighted the hushed intimacy between the two troopers as they stirred beneath the camo-blanket, both whispering words of love as they found a moment of joy amongst the sadness of The War, Yasmin clamping a gloved hand over her mouth, biting back the involuntary yelp at the pleasure surging through her body.
Panting gently, Hektor lay down beside her, the sheet they had been hiding under tangling round him as he collapsed on the hard bedroll. The action left Yasmin exposed to the cold night air, prompting her to quickly pull her combat leggings on before reclaiming a portion of the blanket.
Nuzzling in to Hektor’s flak jacketed side, Yasmin closed her eyes happily and smiled.
It was these moments that almost allowed her to forget The War, these brief instants when she lay warm and satisfied beside Hektor, his promises to keep her safe still fresh in her ears. She could almost forget the presence of her slumbering fellow troopers within the dilapidated building.
Opening her eyes, she looked up at the night sky through the fractured ribs of the manufactoriums roof.
The stars above this Emperor-forsaken planet were half obscured by the fog of battle, smoke and debris from the conflict all but shrouding the twinkling sparks from view.
The buzzing of Hektor’s vox-unit, the small device vibrating against her side between them, interrupted her happy contentment.
Hektor pulled the battered vox free with a sigh and activated it.
“Sturm here,” he said, sitting up with a weary grunt.
“This is Command. Operation Haunting is a go. I repeat, Haunting is a go.”
The curt voice of Colonel Greaves crackled from the vox, the transmission disconnected by the commander before Hektor could acknowledge.
Stowing the unit, Hektor looked down at Yasmin.
Her uniform was dishevelled, dark hair plastered to the sheen of sweat on her forehead, pale dirty cheeks still flushed from their snatched intimate moment.
She was beautiful.
She was his incentive, his reason for surviving each mission.
Cupping her face, Hektor raised his voice to address the resting troopers of his unit, his eyes still on Yasmin.
“Spectres, saddle up. We have business tonight.”
As groans of protest began to rise from the squad, each trooper reaching for his or her weapons, Yasmin also began to ready herself, readjusting her combating webbing and picking up her sniper rifle.
Checking the weapon, she worded a prayer to the Emperor in her mind.
Let me get through this hell. I have found the man I want to marry. One more campaign, and we are both done with the Guard. Please let us both get off this rock alive.
Looking at Hektor, she smiled.
The Emperor had blessed her with happiness from amongst the horror of war.
He could not take him away from her now.