Crowd Control (World Eaters, Imp Army, Great Crusade)
Fina III was a civilized world. Or at least it was, before the Imperials came and conquered it. After that the streets were flooded with blood, and the heads of state that once guided the people through the centuries were left hanging from the tallest buildings for all to see.
Then came the rules. Laws that every citizen of the world must obey, lest they be arrested and tried in military court by the Imperial Army garrison.
Then came the taxes. Large sums of money to be paid to the growing Imperium to fund what was being called the “Great Crusade”. All wealth left the world in a matter of years. Nothing else came in.
Then the riots started. At first it was just a few angry men and women, trying to get attention. Then it got serious. People, Imperials mostly, started being taken off the streets, and were found brutally murdered. Everyone denied ever even seeing the victim.
It wasn’t long until things went from bad to worse.
The Imperial garrison was manned by a mere one hundred and fifty fighting men, along with a small support staff. Against several thousand citizens in the capital city of Hasana, it wouldn’t be anything near enough to keep order in the midst of chaos.
The Imperial garrison commander, on Major Gorden, sent out a distress call asking for aid in bringing order to the streets. Unfortunately, the nearest body of warriors able to respond was astartes. Even worse, they were War Hounds. Worse still, the ten warriors aboard the war transport craft Serrated Blade, had prototypes of the new mark of power armor. Early designs designated it as Dreadnought Armor. The ten brothers of the twelfth legion called it Terminator armor.
‘Hold the line!’ shouted Major Gorden, ‘Hold the bloody line!’
Before the unenviable Major fifty men, formerly of the 45th Highlanders, blocked the path of three thousand angry Finaniens who were trying to besiege the garrison’s fortress. With bayonets mounted on the ends of their lasrifles, the fifty men made for an intimidating presence. Of course, the twenty heavy bolter and autocannons mounted on the walls of the fortress didn’t hurt their efforts. Not to say they wouldn’t cause some sort of pain by the end of the day though.
Gorden raised his command comm. to his mouth.
‘Reserve groups get ready to deploy, we’re going to beat this mob back to their holes,’
‘Affirmative sir,’ said Lieutenant Connors, a young man who had left his home world to reinforce the regiments that had originally came from it. He arrived with five hundred others just like in, just in time to see the 45th plant the flag of victory on this planet alongside astartes soldiers of the Raven Guard. He was selected to aid in garrisoning this world and had never seen anything that could truly be called action. All in all he was a solid trooper and capable of his duties. Major Gorden was glad to have him here, but would never take the green lieutenant into a real warzone though.
‘Alright lads,’ shouted Gorden, ‘two volleys, seven apart and in fifteen,’.
He hoped the crowd heard him, the loud comms. He attached his helmet communicator to, could hardly be heard over the roar of the mob.
When fifty Highlanders raised their rifles to their shoulders though, he hoped they would get the message and disperse.
‘Fire!’ he shouted and fifty flashes of energy were fired into the crowd.
Men and women fell to the ground, howling their pain to ears that wouldn’t listen. The crowd began to disperse in panic, no one wanting to end up like their fellows on the street, lethally burned and possibly crippled by the guns of the Imperium.
Gorden counted the seconds, hoping the majority of the crowd would leave before the time for the second volley came.
One second passed.
Then two. The people on the outskirts of the crowd were gone.
Then three. More were leaving.
Four. Fifty hands racked their rifles for the next volley.
Five. The screams of the wounded and dying were getting louder.
Six. Gorden saw that some of the mob would stay, trying in vain to reassert the near-besieged state of the Imperial garrison.
Seven. Gorden had no choice.
Then came the rain.
‘Okay men,’ said Gorden, ‘That’ll do for now. Ranks one and two can turn in, three and four will stay while our medics treat what they can,’
As the streets became soaked by the rain, the one hundred dead and wounded lay on the street, waiting for either a medic to treat them, or a coroner to gather them.
Out at the edges of the system in the cold black of space, a small transport craft left the warp and entered the Fina system.
‘We have lived too long under a flag of tyranny!’ shouted the Finian Prime Magistrate from his podium on the stage before the capital building.
‘For too long have we paid their taxes, surrendered our treasures to fund their wars to bring more under their unlawful power!’
The crowd cheered wildly, and why wouldn’t they? These were words they had shouted themselves on the streets, in their homes, in the dark alleys of conspiracy.
‘We see them down there,’ shouted the Magistrate, pointing down the central street of Hasana, where the keen eyed could just make out the garrison fort of the Imperials, ‘watching us, keeping us under their thumb with their weapons of murder, so far beyond what we possessed when we were allowed arms. I encourage you, citizens of Fina III, rebel against these men! They are few in number and beneath their armor their flesh parts just as easily as ours,’
The crowd roared their approval. Shaking their fists towards the garrison fort.
The Magistrate smiled, as if he was a shoe in for reelection.
‘The time for soft measures is past us! Now, let us strike against these oppress-‘
His words were ended when a sniper round, fired from over a mile away, found its mark in his head.
‘Dammit who fired that round?’ shouted Major Gorden. Nobody in his command room had any answers but the monitors on the walls all showed the same thing: a headless corpse falling to the ground and an already angry mob before him.
‘I need to know who fired that shot dammit! We cleared the entire city of weapons it must have come from here, will no one answer me?’
‘Sir,’ said Lieutenant Connors, ‘we don’t know…’
‘Order your men to the walls,’ said Gorden, ‘Now!’
In the space just above Fina III, the war transport scanned the surface below, specifically the capital city of Hasana. When the scan was completed the immense vassal turned about and presented the starboard side to the surface below.
Inside the ship ten astartes, armored for war as they always are, manned five modified drop pods.
Far below them, one hundred and fifty men fought for their lives.
‘Keep your fire discipline,’ shouted Major Gorden, ‘aim and shoot, aim and shoot, take out the ring leaders,’
Heavy bolters and autocannons fired round after deadly round into the crowd below. Everything they had was being put to use. This was like nothing else they had seen before today, at least on a world that had already been brought in compliance.
‘This is so far beyond simple unrest,’ said Gorden to no one but himself, ‘this is revolt,’
He shuddered at the very thought. This had almost never happened before, but when it did, it never ended nicely. Or cleanly.
‘Keep up the fire!’ he shouted when he saw one of the heavy bolter teams stop firing.
‘It’s jammed sir!’ one of the young men shouted back. He wasn’t being disrespectful to the Major, he was just trying to be heard.
‘Then un-jam it!’ the Major shouted back.
As round after round of las-fire, bolt, and heavy caliber solid slugs slammed into the mob below, Gorden could see how hopeless the situation was becoming by the moment.
‘Please someone,’ he said ‘help us,’.
He would regret these words.
‘One and a half minutes until insertion is complete,’ said a recorded voice on five drop pods in the upper atmosphere.
Five tear-drop shaped craft plummeted through the air above the city of Hasana, glowing red from the friction generated by their entry into the planet’s airspace.
Within the drop-pods ten War Hounds checked their weapons, relishing the combat they were about to taste.
‘Sir, we cannot hold them off much longer,’ said Lieutenant Connors to Major Gorden.
‘Then this will be our last stand,’ sighed the Major.
The gates broke moments later, the pressure of the crowd being too much for the simple barricade. Hundreds of enraged men and women charged the troops within in the fort, scores dying for every meter gained as the Highlanders continued to fire into the crowd.
Finished: Too Much Love Will Kill You (working title), an original fiction novel. Working on: Second draft of Too Much Love, and the first draft of A Winter's Tale (working title).
Last edited by Worldkiller; 06-23-10 at 12:11 AM.