Thanks, and you're right, it wasn't really clear that the heretic patrol was coming down the street at them, and passed them all at roughly the same time.
I've got plenty of other bits and pieces, with no real connection between them characterwise, something I'm working on. This is al I got on the resistance fighters in the Occupation, but here's a piece of work on the Stormjumpers, my Lehrian drop-troopers regiments.
One Small Prayer
The light lit up, bathing the interior of the pod in a red light. The distinctive sound of the deceleration thrusters, and then the suspension mechanism locking into place. After that, everything was dead silent, save for the sound of air rushing along black metal.
He counted. It would be five seconds from now. ..four, three…
The pod crashed into something, two seconds early. The suspension soaked up the impact. Another crash and a thump, muffled through the metal. Then gravity itself seemed to shift, though he knew that the pod had fallen over.
Silence again. He tried to open the door, ready for combat, but the damned door would not eject. It must have been blocked by something, probably rubble.
He waited for a few minutes. Then he heard voices. But when they became clearer, it occurred to him that they weren’t using Gothic of any kind. The enemy had found him first!
The voices continued to rattle in that foul language of the Archenemy. But it seemed as if the two were clearing away the rubble blocking the door.
Good, he thought. These guys are in for a surprise.
He glanced at the door eject button. He waited until he thought he heard the last bit of rubble being picked up and slammed his fist on the button. The familiar ‘pffft’, and the door was launched outwards, taking one of the heretics with it. The other, who had ducked away just in time, scrambled to his feet. But before he was on his feet again, a boot kicked his head to the side, and two las-shots tore into his chest.
Karl Venatus lowered his silenced lasrifle and looked around. He had crashed through the roof of an apartment building, entering it diagonally and finally coming to a halt two storeys lower. The room had only one door. “Perfect,”he muttered to himself silently.
He carefully tried his inter-vox system. I might be in range of the others, he thought as he carefully whispered: “Anyone there? This is Venatus. Come in!”
There was no answer, only the static crackle. Damn interference.
Down the hall, a door slammed open. Karl started, and the echo washed through the room, followed by the footsteps of several people. Karl crouched behind the toppled drop pod, his lasrifle clenched in his gloved hands.
He could hear the footsteps entering the room, and several voices speaking in the same tongue as the two that were in the room when he crashed into the building.
Karl silently took a frag grenade from his belt, and pulled the pin. He counted to two, and threw it towards the doorway. A surprised yell, a loud crump
and the trickling of rubble. Then three sounds of bodies hitting the floor.
Karl swung his rifle towards the door; training his aim on it and looking for targets. He spotted movement in the hallway. An enemy soldier, flung back out of the room, was crawling out of sight, his hoarse moaning audible. Two ‘pfft’s and the body stopped moving.
He needed to get out of here. Before long, he’ll be trapped in this room. Karl cautiously approached the doorway and peeked outside. Nobody here.
I need to get to the roof, where I can get a good signal, he thought as he started up the stairs.
Karl peeked around. He pulled his head back, a round passing by inches from his head. He stumbled backwards, tripped over a stool and fell flat on the floor. Another burst of fire, then silence.
A hollow clank echoed through the narrow hallway. Karl was unsure what it was, probably a candle falling to the floor. Or was it something worse?
Just as Karl wanted to get back up again, the walls disintegrated. A streak of heavy bolter rounds tore through the walls at head height, blasting rubble and concrete all around. As the firing continued and disintegrated walls and furniture alike, Karl crawled back, keeping as close to the ground as he could, and hid in what was minutes before a small kitchen.
As he lay there, he saw a glass of water trembling on the kitchen unit, the raw kinetic force of the weapon exacting its power. It jumped over the edge, exploding on the floor in a ball of glass shards and water droplets.
Just as suddenly as it had started, the firing stopped. Several shouts echoed through the air that was still filled with dust.
Five heretic soldiers appeared, looking for the Imperial that they saw. They slid past and over thin, crumbled walls, their eyes searching the rooms in a glance. They came up on a kitchen. One of them saw movement, and went in. It was the last thing he’d ever do.
The Imperial grabbed him by the head and impaled his throat with a kitchen knife. A spurt of blood came out and landed on the Imperial’s pair of goggles.
Karl quietly put the body down, and reached for his lasgun. A sharp crackle rose from the dead heretic. A portable vox-phone was sending out a transmission. Karl crushed it with his boot, and the crackle faded away. As he went back into the hallway and travelled it halfway, another soldier appeared. He raised his rifle to fire just as Karl began to do so. A long burst of ‘pffftt’s stitched across the man and the wall. Short puffs of red mist filled the air, and the body they had come out of was thrown against the wall. It sagged down, leaving several red stripes on the wall, filling the holes and scorch marks as the blood ran down.
The last heretic shouted, and appeared from a doorway further on. He threw his weapon aside and brandished a longsword, its serrated blade stained with dried blood.
He charged at Karl, screaming in his foul tongue. Karl acted on instinct. He brought up his rifle and took aim. The heretic was ten metres away, and Karl fired. The bright red las-bolt landed in the heretic’s eye socket, penetrated the bone and fried the man’s brain. Although he was technically dead, his body kept following its last received command from the brain and went on for five metres, after which it fell face down. The blade clattered against the wall.
Karl lowered his lasgun and made for the doorway, blasting sideways once to blow a heretic from his heavy bolter’s firing grips. He started up the stairs, and simply kept on running. All that was in his mind was reaching the roof, and getting off this building.
As he reached the final set of stairs, he heard more shouts from below. He was being chased, but they were a long way behind. He kicked the door open, and ran out into the open air.
Flashes and anti-aircraft fire trails lit up the late afternoon sky. The air was thick with ash that carried on the winds, but the visibility was decent. He looked down on the city, like a watchman watched a fortress gate. And the enemy was long past their doorstep.
He keyed his helmet vox system, and shouted: “This is Watchmaster Karl Venatus of the 1st Stormjumper regiment. I’m stranded on top of a building in the city, request extraction ASAP. Anybody reading me? I need extraction now!”
The vox’s only reply was the white static. Karl’s mind raced, then kicked back to drop-troop training. Pop green smoke to indicate your position. They might notice you. Come on, man, he thought.
He glimpsed the doorway. Nothing, only the sound of footsteps of a number of soldiers. He reached for his belt and unhooked a smoke grenade with a green rim. He pulled the pin out and threw it onto the floor. “The Emperor protects.,” Karl murmured.
The grenade detonated, and started spewing out green smoke. Karl turned to the doorway and raised his rifle, aiming down. He knelt for a better shot, and to make less of a target when they came.
He waited. He was sure that they should have reached the top by now, but they didn’t come. Had they found another way up? Were they sneaking up on him this very moment? No, it couldn’t be. There was no other entrance to the roof.
Karl unscrewed the silencer of his rifle barrel. They knew he was here anyway, and the silencer only made his shots less lethal.
Then, at the moment he expected it the least, they came. A soldier, dressed in stained red Guard fatigues, appeared, running up the stairs two steps at a time.
Karl aimed and fired. The shot seared past the man’s neck, only missing it by an inch. Karl fired again, punching a shot through the man’s lower belly. The soldier collapsed and went down. But two, no three others appeared, weapons raised and firing. Autorounds soared past Karl, some hitting the wall and scattering plaster. Karl squeezed the trigger and didn’t let go. He sweeped the stairs clear, maiming, destroying and killing all who appeared.
The rifle clicked. The power cell was dry. Pulling out a frag grenade, Karl let go of his rifle and pulled the pin. He flung it into the stairway, making sure it bounced round the corner, and reloaded the rifle as fast as he could. A faint crump, followed by screams.
Suddenly the vox-bead in his helmet screeched. Through the static, he heard a voice crackle. “This is Valkyrie 412, where are you, watchmaster? The city’s a mess, over.”
“I’ve popped green smoke, look for the flare on the taller building! I’m holding them off at the stairs. Hurry it up, they’ve got plenty of men down here!” Karl shouted, relieved as a man could possibly be in a war.
“Acknowledged, sit tight. Cavalry’s on its way. 412 out.”
More heretics were rushing up the stairs. Karl took aim and peppered the staircase with shots, ripping apart bodies and punching holes into walls.
He knew the Valkyrie would be too late. More and more were coming, and he wouldn’t last much longer. The stairs were littered with bodies, and the heretics struggled to clamber over them. But they did. One of them leapt forward, and Karl was just in time to react and blast the man back. The shots send the soldier sprawling back down, knocking another off his feet.
Karl started to step away from the doorway. It was time to take some distance from the enemy, buy him some time. He was confident his rescue wasn’t coming, and he was determined to take as many of the heretics along with him into the hereafter, where he would join the Emperor in his fight for the survival of Man.
As the first heretic emerged from the doorway, the screech of engines tore through the air. An aircraft rose up besides the building, its side in the general direction of Karl. As he turned round, he saw the markings on the hull. A red series of numbers: 412.
Karl turned to the doorway, fired, and started to fall back towards the Valkyrie. A door opened in the side of the carrier, and the muzzle of a heavy bolter poked out. It started to blast away at the heretics, forcing them back inside.
Karl leapt into the troop bay over the rear ramp, and yelled: “Go! Get us out of here!”
The Valkyrie tilted forward, took some distance from the building, and turned its nose towards the heretics. The missile under the right wing was released and charged towards the doorway. It hit it in an angle, blowing a hole the size of the carrier itself.
“That should teach them a lesson,” the pilot’s voice sounded through the intercom. The Valkyrie turned again and descended.
Karl contacted the cockpit, and yelled: “Where is my squad? Have you had contact?”
“Yes sir, they’re holding back the enemy from an apartment building, we’re moving in to support. Armour is on its way, as soon as the anti-tank emplacements are neutralised.”
“Good. Get us there as soon as you can.”
The Valkyrie now screamed past a skyscraper. Karl looked out of the cockpit, and he noticed that the war was now all around them. He saw missiles fly back and forth, bright blue beams of energy being fired, and buildings being destroyed.
“Incoming!” AA missile, eight o’clock! Brace yourselves!” the co-pilot yelled.
“I’m going to try to shake it, hold on!” sounded the intercom.
The Valkyrie banked left, hard, and Karl almost fell down. The pilot made sure the carrier stayed close to the buildings, trying to get anything between them and the missile.
He saw his chance. The carrier hovered beside a building, next to a huge image of some foul Chaos symbol. As the missile came at them in a horizontal line, the pilot made the carrier jet forward.
The missile, not manoeuvrable enough to turn, slammed into the building. The flash generated by the explosion was absolute. It blew out three storeys of the building, and one corner started to sag. But the core held, resulting in a slight crook in the skyscraper.
The Chaos symbol burned, and the lower half came loose, falling down to the ground and crushing the glass entrance to the lobby on the ground floor.
Cheering filled the Vakyrie. “We got that one good, huh?” said the pilot.
The carrier was coming up on the target area.
“We’re here. Looks like the streets are full of them. Going in for a strafing run,” the intercom squeecked.
Karl felt his body lurch as the carrier banked left and dove towards a line of buildings.
The pilot in the cockpit summed up the enemy elements below them. “Three tanks, one self-proppeled gun, and loads of infantry marching behind it. We’re in for some fun, eh Heinrich?” he said jokingly. They were the last words he ever spoke.
A torrent of rounds shredded the left wing and took off the left aftwing stabiliser. The shrapnel dented the hull of the carrier, piercing it in some places. White-hot shards of metal flew around the troop bay, one of them planting itself in the skull of the door gunner. His body slumped to the wall and fell, leaving a trail of blood on the steel.
“Enemy flak tank, coming around the left corner of the road!” the co-pilot cried. But two stray rounds had also punctured the frontal windshield and killed the pilot.
- Please note that this piece is a bit older, and needs refinement -