Today I came to the world Forles III. Clad in what I thought was the most ridiculous black storm coat with a red sash I stood in my personal lander, waiting for the exit ramp to lower.
I checked my laspistol and chainblade for about the tenth time when I finally heard a hydraulic hiss escaped the ramp mechanism and a thin beam of light appeared at the top of the ramp.
I made the mistake of looking at the light and had to rub my eyes briefly. But that subtracts from the rest of this.
I knew what was behind the hatch, two broken regiments of the Imperial Army crippled by Horus’s rebellion. These two regiments were just like every other Army Group in the outer territories, the ones closest to the Isstvan system and closer to the traitor’s storm of destruction.
Beyond the descending ramp two sets of men, all veterans of multiple wars of conquest with nothing, save their loyalty, in common.
This is a problem the commanders of the military have come to see, and I am the solution. Me and a ninety-nine others like me, an experimental test group, are being sent to the worst cases of the problem and it is our duty to take two weak halves and make a formidable whole.
I have no idea what to expect.
The ramp lowers more and I see a camp some distance away. In front of the lander I see a single solitary man, a lasguns strapped over one shoulder and a helmet under one hooked arm.
The ramp finally touches earth and I walk down to set foot on the planet, the third time I’ve ever done this in my life.
I walk down and greet the man. I hold my hand out and say ‘Colonel Bensen I presume?’
The man smiles and replies ‘close, Sergeant Derek, at your service.’ He takes my hand and shakes it.
‘I was expecting the colonel and a Major Collin to greet me,’ I say and take my hand back. I look at it, and I try to brush it off with my storm coat. Derek noticed.
‘They said you could fuck yourself sir, they don’t seem to care much and so they just sent me to make sure you stay out of the way during operations here,’ he says to me.
‘Then can you explain how I’m supposed to make the regiments here a viable force?’ I ask.
‘I think you have sir, when they said you could fuck yourself I think that was the first time they ever agreed on something,’ he said with a smile. I don’t think he was being naive, it seemed sincere.
Great. They send a farm boy to keep me out of the way.
‘I assume I at least have a billets set aside for me?’ I sigh.
‘Yessir, I’ll show you around,’ he says and we leave the shadow of the lander, which takes off after we walk a certain distance.
When we enter the camp I notice that the two regiments are sharply divided, the pale Glasgans, led by Major Collin stay on one side while the tanner Beduns, led by Bensen obviously, stay on the other. Its almost like two camps were built in close proximity to each other.
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).