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post #1 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-16-10, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default Joy And Woe

WARNING

This fanfic will contain scenes of mild sexual imagery and scenes of moderate violence and death.




o0o
A 40k fan fiction
by
Paul "greywulf" Colbourne
o0o


PROLOGUE

"..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.





o0o


"..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.”





STURM'S SPECTRES








“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.

Last edited by greywulf; 05-01-10 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Add warning at the start
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post #2 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-16-10, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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The jungle-rimmed outskirts of Yoevels production yards were little more then rubble and twisted plasteel, what had once been smokestacks and manufactoriums all but demolished by the Basilisk artillery of the 5th Wraith Irregulars.

The ruins were studded with craters and strewn with chunks of charred debris, the terrain now practically impassable to tracked armoured vehicles.

This mattered little to Sturm’s Spectres.

Ten Scout Sentinels emerged silently from the cover of the jungle, their long legs carrying them easily over the rubble scattered in the open ground between the tree line and shattered buildings.

With a low throaty rumble, a Chimera transport broke cover behind the galloping walkers, the recently applied jungle camo pattern on its hull serving to conceal the bulky form of the idling transport.

The Sentinels left the Chimera in their wake, the walkers’ operators steering the vehicles in to the maze of permacrete and misshaped plasteel girders. The track-powered transport could not follow, even if this mission had called for it. All that was required of the Chimera and its crew was to await the return of the Spectres and their prize.

In the lead walker, Hektor glanced at his auspex, checking the formation of his Spectres.

The unit had divided, four Spectres under Hektor’s command, the second group lead by Corporal Yasmin Tinton.

Yasmin Tinton.

The woman that had won the heart of “Handsome” Hektor Sturm.

Smiling, Hektor brought up a map of Yoevel, the information displayed on the windscreen of his cockpit. A pair of targets was marked on the flickering image, the intended objectives to be shared by the two Spectre groups.

Team One, lead by Hektor, was to strike at Target One, located on the edge of what had been Yoevels pleasure district. Intel had pinpointed it as the site of the headquarters of the traitor guard regiment holding the city against the loyalist Wraith Irregulars.

Colonel Greaves had expressed a desire to have a tête-à-tête with the commander of the traitor regiment; the heretic bastich was to be brought before the major by the waiting Chimera as soon as he was delivered by the Spectres.

Yasmin’s Team Two was to disable the Traitors communication network, by knocking out their transmitter array, before returning to the extract point to await the return of Team One. The resulting disarray caused by the double blow of losing their command structure and the ability to coordinate their attacks would leave the traitors wide open.

Plotting a course using the Intel supplied to him, which he knew would be unreliable at best, Hektor signalled for his team to follow in a loose formation, to best take advantage of the narrow streets of Yoevels urban sprawl.

Blinking confirmations appeared on his HUD, his teams Sentinels splitting up as they prepared to leave the brutalised production yards and enter Yoevel proper.

A pulsing light activated on Hektor’s instrument panel, indicating an incoming vox message. He accepted the communication, opening a closed channel as he did.

“Good luck, handsome,” Yasmin’s voice bubbled from the Sentinels vox, making Hektor smile as he steered his walker in to the entrance of a darkened alleyway.

“Same to you, beautiful,” he replied, “Make sure to bring your pretty ass back in one piece. These Sentinels are a bastich to replace.”

“Love you too,” Yasmin retorted with a laugh, “Stay safe.”

“Stay safe,” said Hektor, before closing the channel.
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post #3 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-17-10, 10:51 AM
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Very, very good. Romance in an imperial regiment? That's rare, and temporary at best.

A nice idea, and I like the use of sentinels instead of foot troops. You could really pull this off well. More great originality from you as always!

"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 67 (permalink) Old 01-17-10, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much Toffster!

Im glad you are enjoying it so far.
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post #5 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-17-10, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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“Stay safe.”

Hektor’s deep voice rumbled from Yasmin’s vox speakers a moment before the comm light on Yasmin’s instrument panel went dark, indicating the personal channel closed.

Yasmin placed a palm over the shell casing hanging beneath her uniform, the makeshift pendent made from a round spent during the Wraith Irregulars defence of Brystol. The cold metal of the heavy bullet jacket between the trooper’s breasts reminded her of that hellish night, her baptism of lasfire in to the ranks of the Spectres.

It had been the night when Hektor had saved her life.

After gently squeezing the shell casing, Yasmin looked to the HUD display on her veiwscreen,

The four Spectres in her team were already within the outskirts of Yoevel, avoiding areas of the city with confirmed pockets of traitor guard units. But the traitor troopers were not the only potential threat.

The populous of Yoevel had been exposed to ranting of the traitorous Commissars and Priests, their immoral preaching compelling many of the civilians to take up arms against the Irregulars.

Though Yasmin knew that there was no salvation for these unfortunates other then she could dispense with the spinning barrels of her Sentinels assault cannon, the waste of human life weighed heavy on her soul.

Forcing such thoughts to the back of her mind, Yasmin steered her Sentinel forwards, guiding the walker carefully towards the relatively good cover of a nearby public park, keeping her vehicle close to the tree line of the empty recreational area.

In the distance, the boom of the Irregulars Basilisk artillery could be heard, the shelling being provided to draw the traitors’ attention from the Spectres Sentinels as they advanced stealthily towards their targets.

“Two-One, this is Two-Three, do you read me?”

The voice of Ursula, one of Team Two, sounded from Yasmin’s vox unit.

“Two-Three, this is Two-One. Go ahead,” she responded,

“Have located the traitors Salamander Command unit. Two-Three and Two-Two ready to engage unit.”

Yasmin smiled. As ever she was impressed by the skills of her fellow Spectres.

She sprinted her Sentinel from the shelter of the park, the walkers long legs propelling it over a parked land vehicle in two heavy plasteel denting stomps as Yasmin headed towards the location of the enemy Salamander, a gently flickering dot on her HUD indicating the vehicles confirmed position.

“Hold engagement till all Twos are in supporting positions. Confirm, Two-Three,” she ordered, checking the ammo readouts for her assault cannon.

“Confirmed, Two-One. Out.”

Ursula closed the channel, leaving Yasmin with only the whining sound of her walkers’ servos as it gathered speed as she galloped to join Team Two in the impending assault.

To the west of her position, Yasmin caught sight of a plume of belching smoke coming from the direction of Yoevels pleasure district.
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post #6 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-18-10, 03:46 PM
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Interesting, got me hooked here. Can't wait for the next chapter now! Keep them coming, I'll be sad when it's all over lol!

Keep this up and you'll be on the end of some more +rep

"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"

Last edited by toffster; 01-18-10 at 03:53 PM.
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Pretty original idea, like the writing style as well, flows well.
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post #8 of 67 (permalink) Old 01-18-10, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks guys for commenting!

Its so much more rewarding when people say something positive, or even not, when they read my stuff.

Next Chapter up next, and I hope I can keep you hooked until the end!
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This is One-One. Ones Three and Four, cloud cover. One-Two, bring the rain. One-Five, pair with me. Confirm.”

“One-Two, confirmed.”

“One-Three, acknowledged.”

“One-Four, roger, Hektor.”

“One-Five, yes, Sir”

“Execute.”

The Spectres of Team One descended on the brothel the rebels were using as a command headquarters, the attack executed with smooth precision.

One-Three and One-Four launched smoke grenades towards the main entrance of the low structure, quickly wreathing the area in thick choking clouds, providing cover for One-One and One-Five to speedily race across the open ground up to the building. The two galloping Sentinels dove in to the smoke, hurdling the line of guardsmen crouched behind their makeshift barricade of combat jeeps in front of the brothel.

The retaliation from the traitor guardsmen was light, their surprise at being attacked so far behind the lines leaving them open to the heavy bolter of Spectre One-Two

One-Two opened up with a hail of bolter rounds, the roaring weapon on his Sentinels nose rapidly chewing through its ammo, a hot hail of expended casings bouncing around the walkers’ feet. The bullets cut the stunned guardsmen in half and tore chunks from their cover, gore and plasteel flying as the Irregulars finest overran the traitors.

One-One and One-Five dropped their crafts to Rest Stance, the walkers skidding on their knees as the Spectres brought them to sliding halt with exit hatches already open. Before the Sentinels had stopped, their operators were on the ground running, Hektor leading Jayne towards the brother.

Both guardsmen had their weapons ready as they ran at the door to the building, Jayne peppering the door with lasfire from behind Hektor, weakening it for the sergeants heavy shoulder charge. Hektor’s momentum carried him in to the foyer area of the brothel, the Spectre blind firing as he dove to the marble flooring within the room.

Hektor’s lasfire didn’t find any targets, but the bursts of energy did force the traitors in the foyer off guard, many too engaged in the brothels entertainers to react as they had been trained to while still loyalists, not the pillaging heretics they had become.

Jayne’s aim was more controlled, the trooper drilling her targets with accurate shots to the face and chest, putting the traitors down permanently.

There was only one traitor that the Spectres had been ordered to take alive.

The self titled Colonel Acura, the commander of the rebel regiment, one time friend of the Wraith Irregulars own commanding officer Colonel Greaves.

Leaving the whores to scream with their former clients dead and twitching between their proficient thighs, Hektor and Jayne headed for the foyers gilded twin staircases, looking for the traitor Acura.
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The Salamander crew and their guard unit never knew what hit them.

Two-Five and Two-Two opened up with their Hunter Killers, the small Scout Sentinels rocking backwards at the violent force of propelled krak warheads being launched from the bolt-on missile pods. The unsteady release sent the missiles of target initially off target, but the self-guided weapons quickly adjusted and tore towards the Salamander, guidance jets shrieking as they covered the distance in seconds.

The hull of the Salamander was ruptured by the pair of hollow-charge warheads, the missiles striking low against the left side of the vehicle. The force of the explosion flipped the Salamander, lifting it off the ground to land on its roof in a shower of dirt and metal, the left track flying from its mountings. A secondary explosion rocked the incapacitated Salamander as the vehicles’ detonating fuel tanks ripped apart its belly, turning the transport in to a fiery tomb of burning promethium.

Spectres Two-Four and Two-Three erupted from cover, their engines of their Sentinels whining loudly as the walkers charged at full speed across the open ground towards the squad of guardsmen that had been left stunned by the missile attack.

The overturned Salamanders front-mounted heavy bolter boomed as its operator fired blindly in panic, as his flesh melted from his bones.

The cockpit of Two-Five was shredded open by a glancing hit from the gunfire, enveloping its operator Heath in a hail of tattered plasteel armour and the splintered shards of the Sentinels windscreen. The walker stutter stepped as its operator released the controls, the vehicle losing power and overbalancing as its momentum carried it.

As Two-Four’s Sentinel continued the headlong charge, its cohort toppled forwards, leaving Spectre trooper Neyo alone to rake the tents of the compound with chattering assault gunfire. Enemy guardsmen died in a storm of bullets, their bodies shredded by the brutal attack.

Yasmin swore under her breath and powered her Sentinel forward from cover, glancing at the ruined cockpit of Heath’s walker as she galloped by. From the devastation it was almost certain that Heath was dead.

“Two-Three, Two-Two, get in here and check Two-Five,” she ordered, joining Two-Four in finishing off those remaining traitors attempting to flee the slaughter. Neyo had activated his external vox speakers and was bellowing frenzied scripture at the rebels, the trooper angry at the fall of his fellow Spectre.

As Neyo sent the turncoats to their deaths with litanies of the Emperors justice ringing in their ears, Yasmin fired at the guardsmen, flinching as lasfire splashed over the windscreen of her cockpit. Through the fresh burns scaring the windscreen, Yasmin picked out a trooper taking shots at her and sent the traitor screaming the floor, almost cut in half by her assault cannon.

“Two-One, this is Two-Two. Heath is badly injured, though he should make it. Two-Three has him onboard and is on the way back to the Chimera for medical attention. ”

The report from Beatrice swelled Yasmin’s heart, a smile relaxing the tension in her face.

“All Twos, mission is completed. Return to extract point,” she ordered in to her vox, powering down her weapons and relaxing the combat suspension on her Sentinel. Sprint mode now engaged, she moved her walker quickly away from the burnt out Salamander and the bullet riddled traitor guardsmen, joining her team in vanishing back in to the streets of Yoevel.
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