No Way to Win
No Way to Win
By C.J. Daconta
“Can they cut the crap already, I'm at the point, where I hope a shell crashes down on us.” Jeremy
snarled with his hand over his eyes, trying to block out the world ahead of him. Daniel's retort was the quickest, “At this point...yeah, I hope a shell just blasts right in the middle of us.”
“They are charging the lines again, keep your heads down” Almost on cue, las fire and small mortar fire struck around the bunker. The 5 men inside scrambled to the floor, ducking behind anything tall enough to hide behind.
“So who's wants to be the poor schmuck to stick his head out the fire slit?” Daniel asked them.
“I say the guy who asked gets to have the honor.” Jeremy snickered
“But we all know your the one with the big melta gun, go show us how its done Jeremy!”
Daniel spat back as he tried to dig his back deeper into the wall.
“Bite my ass.”
Heavy thumps could be heard over the small arms fire as the 5ths heavy guns on their basilisks opened up could be heard. “Oh boy.” Aaron piped up before they hugged the dirt floor as tight as they could. Hot air and flames rolled into the bunker, covering the ceiling in a wall of flames. The full impact had obliterated the cultist forces with shells that left auto car sized craters in the ground.
“Win! They didn't stand a chance!” Phillip said, tryin to dig himself out from under his cot.
“Nope fail, we are still in this damn place.” Aaron said to Phillip as he re-arranged everything that fell from the explosions.
“Whatever you guys say, I'm just happy they finally shelled the place...So what were we talkin about?” Jeremy asked the group as he lifted himself from his prone position.
“We were talkin about Aarons passion for true romance.” Michael grunted as he flopped into his
“Look its human nature to be looking for a mate or soul mate if you will. You can't help
yourself. If you were on the field, right now and you knew a hot bombshell Hospitaller was watching
you, you'd be trying to impress hoping she likes you. Aaron was always looking for something real.
He was not one to just do something lackadaisical, he only bothered with people he really cared for. If you passed that initial stage, he would practically plot the death of anyone who did you wrong.
“I find it hilarious that you are saying this, yet you joined the Guard with us? Chances of us
dieing out here on the field are like 99.9999 percent.” Daniel said to Aaron, with a resound of laughter from the rest.
“I don't mean to interrupt, but when do you think progress will actually be made?” Phillip
inquired. “We have been sitting here for weeks now playing volley ball with artillery rounds.” Phillip
made a solid point. The two sides were naturally separated by a wide shallow river that would bog
down any advancing troops. So for the past week, both sides dug in and tried to shell the other into
“Don't know, don't care, I'm perfectly content in sitting in my shaded bunker, eating my crappy
pre-packaged food, this stuff is delishes.” Jeremy rambled with a puppet like voice. Jeremy was
Michael's bigger cousin. He was the goof of the gang, and he played a good idiot, but all of them knew
that he had himself situated, and they could rely on him for mostly anything.
“Lets just hope something big comes out from the heretics lines and brings down the angels of
death. That way we don't have to do anything but keep our heads down.” Michael yawned to the group
as he sank deeper in his hammick.
Colonel Vasilev looked out past the trenches and bunkers that squared off from one another. Orders had arrived from the warmaster, the deadlock had been taking to long, and actions needed to be taken quickly, translation: a lot of his guys were going to die. The weight of the situation was causing the aged colonel much stress. He sipped off of the bitter caffeine as he stared out for anything remotely looking like an opening.
The river was the dilemma. It was shallow, boats were useless, but a charging army would be
cut down as they trudged through the cold waters. The only possible solution was small teams to be
injected into the lines by flyers, disrupt the defenses and send in the rest, armored and all. If only it
was that easy. Taking a last sip of his caffeine the colonel turned to the tactical display.
“Captain, do we have the lists of the squads that will be thrown into the lines?” The colonel
“Yes sir, but do we want to send them still? The possibility of all squads being killed before the
lines can be disrupted is high?” Captain Stukard questioned. The forces of Chaos were powerful. and the longer they waited, the stronger they got. Mutations and heretical psychic powers drove their forces. The situation was looking very grim for the advancing troops.
“It is the only path we have, and I fear I have to use them as fodder like so many commanders do.” Vasilev stated with a grim sigh. “They will air drop into the lines. I want them to land as close to the front as possible.” Pressing a few keys to display his forces, Vasilev said. “They have to be on top of those heretics. I will need them to grab them by the scruff of the neck and hold on. The entire line must be in one big tussle, whatever it takes, I need those lines in disarray”
“What If they are un-successful sir? Do they have a way out?“ Stukard asked.
“I don't want to think of it right now, just do what I said.” Vasilev stated, taking one more sip of his caffeine.
“Is this the official order sir?” His captain said with a quixotic look.
“Yes, now go!” The colonel said. “We will use the superior technology to deliver the hammer of the emperor on their heads.” The colonel said with holy conviction in his voice, but it was only for show. He was sending men to their death and there was no way around it. There was no way out, but it had to be done.
The formation of air craft had left the atmosphere and used the worlds orbit to sling shot all the
way around behind the enemy to get to there lines. Phillip gazed upward to the back of the aircraft
watching as the night sky went by in the hanger door. Phillip tapped Jeremy and leaned in to
his ear to be heard over the engines, “Remember, I have to be alive, so don't forget to take the hit for
me.” Phillip had always been a tad bit stuck up, he was picky with who he associated, and somehow
the group of 4 guys that probably would never meet his standards, were his closest friends.
“Ok folks, we have 5 minutes until we jump. We didn't fly all around the damn planet for
nothing, so lets make this count. EVERYONE UP!” The Lieutenant bellowed over the engines. The
platoon was shifty and anxious. Unlike many of their brethren who knew very little of what the war time situation was, they were from the Indicium Prime system, a technologically advanced system on the eastern fringe. The men from Indicium were all well informed and well educated. It was a blessing and a curse to being so knowledgeable. They knew perfectly well the circumstances of their situation. The mission was simple, distract the enemy long enough so that way the main force didn't get chewed up, and pray to the emperor that they didn't all die.
“We are so boned,” Jeremy muttered. “I just know it, Im gona land asshole first onto some
chaos dudes spiked shoulder pads.” With nervous laughter Aaron replied, “That's only if your lucky.
These are slaneesh's dudes, a spike up the ass might be the best thing from those debauched whack
jobs. This got a lot of stifled laughter from the 4 in the back.
“Oh god, chaos splooge in the butt!”
“KNOCK IT OFF!” the lieutenant cut through Jeremy's jokes. “I don't want to yell at you idiots
for talking one more time do you understand?” He bellowed, to which a resounding yes sir was ushered
from the four of them. Michael had chuckled at his friends, but he returned his gaze to the front. He
couldn't see the enemy, but he knew when that green light came on, he was going to come face to face
with them very quickly. His leg was about fall off from his shaking. Michael was the epitome of luck.
He managed to survive any situation with only a couple scrapes and bruises. The officer corp insisted he take the lead, if anyone was going to succeed it was him. Michael was a fiercely loyal person, he loved his 4 friends, and he made sure to protect them. Being practically blessed by the emperor himself, and charging the front without digression, is why to the men he is known as “The Archangel”.
Michaels insides were in turmoil, it gets to the point where he didn't want to leap from the craft,
but if it would stop the stomach flutters and the nerves then he wanted to get it over with.. He could
hear his friends talking behind him, and now and then he would take joy in their jokes, but he couldn't
help but fear for all of them, that's when the green light came on. Launching on his legs like a spring
from the back of the craft he fell out into the thin atmosphere. Plummeting from the craft, the entire
platoon was now free falling to the enemies lines. There were craft just like theirs all around, Falling
soldiers trailing behind the air carriers were rapidly descending to the ground. Within minutes, the
ground was visible past the clouds. Land masses came into view, quickly, then the intricate weaving of the enemy lines.
Michael had counted the seconds and went just a little longer before deploying his chute. With
a quick snap he was no longer free falling. He could clearly see the enemy now. There fanged and
mawed faces looking up and bellowing warning calls. With speed and precision he pulled his lasrifle, and took ones head off with a clean shot. All alone, firing at the enemy like a lunatic floating to the ground. Fiery lasers leapt upwards at him, he could feel the heat of their lethal power striking holes through his chute making his descent that much faster. With a flurry he heard the unfolding of hundreds of parachutes followed by the same quick succession of laser fire as a bright show of red rain fell upon the foe.
The forces of slaneesh were caught completely by surprise, but already officers were screaming to reorganize. Michael landed, rolling to his side to cushion his fall, releasing his chute.
“What th-” Michael gasped as he barely ducked under a blow from a chaos soldier with a claw like appendage. As the mutant swung his reverse strike, Michael ducked under and wrapped his arms around his opponents waist, heaving him in the air, Michael supplexed the snarling monstrosity and slammed it face first into the ground. Twisting quickly he brought his rifle to bear and put a couple shots into the creature. Without time to celebrate or even come to his wits, he had a split second to block another attackers incoming bayonet. Michael wasn't the only one struggling, all along the enemy trenches the men of the imperial guard fought hand to hand with those loyal to the forces of chaos. It was a gruesome affair, with men fighting it out, hand to hand on the front lines.
Vasilev looked out with the rest of the forces that were left. They had watched as the
paratroopers fell upon the enemy and engage them, and now it was there time to move. “Move out, I want those bastards squashed beneath our treads!” the colonel gritted into his vox caster. Like a well choreographed orchestra, the Imperial Guard of man stood up together and moved. Great vehicles, Leman Russ's, Chimera's, and Basilisks, all advanced as one to the commotion of the enemies side. Reaching the river, they began to wade in. There advanced slowing to a crawl, and at that precise moment, the enemy emplacements unleashed a gout of fury upon the advancing lines. They were still firing, even with the drop troopers engaging the front, the main batteries where still functional.
The barrage bearing down upon them, the guard moved forward under the hail of shells like they do best. Trudging onward past fire and shrapnel that descended upon them.
“We will not delay, we will strike the killing blow to our foe!” Vasilev growled, his voice gaining ever more fever in his voice with each step. “We shall march onwards to take the enemy, we will bathe them all in the holy fires of the empire, even if It kills us all!”
An explosion erupted right next to Vasilev, knocking him to his feet, and incinerating the men next to him, “It just very well kill us all.” He breathed as he picked himself up from the ground.
“For the love of the emperor...get the warp off of me!!!” Jeremy yelled as he clubbed an enemy
soldier clinging to his back with a melta gun. His opponent released his grip, and staggered back.
Without even thinking, Jeremy wheeled around to face his opponent with the melta slung on his
shoulder, aimed, readied. A wave of hot air blasted a perfect line through the struggling combatants
in the trenches.
“hell yeah! Think again before you try to rape me, you sick slaneesh whacks!” Jeremy howled.
“You god damn moron! I can smell my burning hair you retard!” Phillip screamed at Jeremy.
“You have a las pistol for a reason don't just go blasting away with the melta!”
Jeremy usual response, “Oh shut up!” They were joined swiftly by the rest of their group in a
tight ball of controlled combat. The lines where filled with death, and the imperial guard were doing a
great job against the chaotically crazed slaneesh troopers, but the main batteries were still intact and they could hear them firing, obviously at the support troopers trying to rescue them. If there was to be any hope, they were going to have to take each bunker.
“Make these bastards pay for your life! Hold them men, for if we die, we die in glory!” The brigade commissar shouted. “There is no retreat, no fear, only death and glory for the emperor!”
“Someone kick him in the balls, deaths the last thing I want.”. Daniel gasped, trying to catch his breath.
“Making this simple, there's the closest bunker, lets go take it.” Michael announced to the group, hefting an enemies explosives. The five of them ran forward with their heads ducked. Weaving between the lines towards the bunker that was firing a steady stream of shells out its muzzle. Daniel stepped up on a small mound , leveling his hell gun he let loose a volley at an on rush of abominations, too contorted to even resemble the men they once were.
“Move your ass! Camper!” Phillip shouted back.
“Shut up! I actually kill things, not just hide and call in artillery!” Daniel Retorted
“Do you not see all this blood, its not mine! Do you know how I got it on me?” Phillip had
“Move idiots!” Aaron cut in after dragging his combat blade out of a traitors face. The group
had pushed there way through one blockade after another Using shear bravado and desperation to
pierce the enemies ranks. They were finally upon the last ditch before the opening to the bunker. They enemy was laying down heavy suppressive fire with multiple stubbers concentrated on them.
“I wish one of us knew how to play baseball.” Michael
stated as he drew one of his hand explosives. The rest followed suite, lobbing their explosives at the line. Not one of them came close to the stubbers, but it did obstruct their view. Stepping out from smoke and floating debris from the grenades, Michael came out blasting, friend close at hand providing cover. The stubber operators were caught in the face, slouching back into their own lines, the rest were cut down and Michael gave a deep guttural yell as he ran to the door. The officer in charge of the battery stepped out to engage Michael, Brandishing his demonic sword, he stabbed forward, hoping to pierce his opponents face. Michael weeved the singing blade, feeling the cold static feel of its demonic sorcery, coming back up, he blocked the officers wrists with his forearm and rifle to choke the reverse slash, bringing up his combat blade a moment later, he drove it deep into the traitors neck, dragging it downward to finish the job.
He spun around from his recent kill, only to be facing 3 lasrifles pointed at his face from the ordinance crew of the big gun. They were just about to fire when they were all incinerated by bright beams, that shot by Michael.
“Wait for us next time, tard.” Aaron scolded.
“That was so win! Did you see me take on that officer? He didn't stand a chance!” Michael said, jumping up and down to get the full attention of the crew.
“No its still fail, here comes his friends.” Phillip said, taking a few shots through the oepning window.
“Just cover the exits, lets put some explosives through this thing.”
They had jammed a handful of small short fused bombs into the barrel of the gun, ripping of the pins they ducked. “For the emperor.” Michael stated, covering his ears. With a distinctive pop, the barrel was shredded apart.
“Ok that went well, now before we die, lets move to the next one.” Michael said with a satisfied nod.
“The next closest one is farther down the line? We must have screwed up some how.” Daniel gritted. Daniel was probably one of the greatest minds any of them knew, yet he just never used it. Preferring to enjoy life instead of figure it out, he was always one for jokes and a good time.
“Well it has a couple big guns shooting out its hole, so lets just keep busy!” Michael said to the group, “Lets go, I'm on point.”
Vasilev was ducked behind a smoldering Leman Russ. The advance had gone horribly wrong, half his units were in the water, and half out, never fully reaching the enemies side. The front lines where in chaos, he could see his flag waving above about as the drop troopers fought, but still the guns stood, aimed defiantly at his troops, launching body sized shells at his men.
“Emperor Damn you!”The colonel shouted. “These emperor forsaken traitors just wont die!
“Sir!” Stukard shouted, running up to him. “Sir incoming message from orbit, they need to speak with you.”
“Who is it? What could the fly boys want with the grunts?” The Colonel asked his adjutant.
“I don't know sir, but whoever it is, is high up there.” Stukard said
“This is Colonel Vasilev speaking, who may I be talking to?” He said through the vox caster.
In the static pitch he could hear the voice and almost feel the power emanate from it, “This is Grand Master Karsis, of the Grey Knights, your men are in no position to take the point effectively, I am giving the order for an orbital bombardment on the enemy lines.”
“For emperors sake! You will obliterate us all down here!”
“Pull your men back to your lines, and dig them in, you are a safe enough distance to resist most damage from the strike.”
“But what of my men that I have dropped on the front? They will be killed in the fire!” Vasilev responded with more incredulous insanity in his voice.
“It can not be helped, the enemy is currently outside their fortifications, thanks to your men. It is imperative we destroy them all and expunge this world of Chaos. That is all I have to say, you have an hour to get back to your lines.” The line went dead with Karsis's last words.
“They are really going to fire down on us.” Vasilev said with disbelief. Regaining his footing, he gave the order for a mass retreat.
“Get the big one!! Shoot the big tall bastard Jeremy!!” Phillip screamed.
“I got it!” A blue beam of super heated air tore through the air as the melta gun blast tore
through a giant heretic with multiple limbs. Giant shards of its bony spikes flew everywhere, peppering the group, causing minors wounds. Cut up, and bleeding they lept forward, charging the last few meters into the bunker ahead. Pitching under an enemy Bayonet, Michael clutched the enemies legs and toppled him over. Leaping over Daconta, who was clutched tightly to the traitors legs, Aaron crashed down hard onto its face, mashing his boot as hard as he could into the masked breather unit on the heretic, Bringing his las rifle to bear, He tore into the two enemy soldiers in the corner, trying to assemble some form of defense. As the rest of the group entered, a large hideous monstrosity, rose from a staircase facing the opening to the bunker. It was trying to wriggle its enormous frame through the door, when suddenly its head disappeared under a hail of fire.
Doubled over laughing, “You gotta be kidding me, what a tard!” Michael said in between fits of laughter.
Regaining a little bit of composure. “Do you think we should go in?” Phillip asked the group as they came to their wits.
“Yeah lets hope we get lost, and find our way, well in the middle of no where.” Aaron stated. Burning a bright hole in the, horrors body with the melta, melted the giant creature from the door frame. Stepping through the opening, they began to descend downward.
To their surprise it wasn't a tunnel, just a really deep storage and living facility. “Damn. It goes no where, lets get back upstairs, I guess and figure somethi-”
Michael's words were cut off as it seemed the entire world had exploded. A wave of fire, and impulse waves through the group in the of the basement. Covering their ears, and balling up in a corner, was all they could do to brace themselves.
The entire enemy entrenchments went up in a giant cloud of fire. The orbital bombardment from the sky was so powerful it was being felt across the entire field. Dug in, the Imperial Guard on the other side were just outside the reach of the lethal power. However, the lines of the enemy, were becoming a flat parking lot of rubble. Three more strikes followed the initial blasts, completely incinerating all that was left standing, Anyone who was caught looking out in that direction would have been blinded by the shear intensity of the orbital bombardment.
“For he emperor, what he hell did they do? Phillip said as he stepped outside the wreckage. They had been literally buried under ground. How they survived was a miracle, there only guess was that the force of the orbital bombardment pushed all the supplies and debris into their caver, creating several barriers between them and the lethal flames.
“It looks like the emperor himself just straight up ground and pounded this region.” Jeremy said, no longer trying to be funny. They were all very shaky. They could barely hear, and couldn't quite graps that they had survived the colossal event that seemed to wipe out everything else but them.
“You know, we did it again man.” Aaron said. “We freakin survived that shit!” He said with renewed enthusiasm, slapping Michael and Daniel on the back and gripping them close.
“Its because of me, I know I am blessed by the emperor, and one day I will take on all the chaos gods myself.” Jeremy said with a mock over ego. The group was now laughing, all the stress of the coming months was now washing away as they recognized that it was finally over.
“Oh! This means we get to have a victory celebration, lets hope the Hospitaller chicks weren't hit they are so-”
Aaron was cut off by the sudden explosion that ripped Jeremy's back wide open. “What the, whats goin on!” They all stammered and shouted as they gripped tightly to their fading friend, who slumped to the floor. Another round of barking, and large wounds erupted from the rest of them. Tearing gouges of flesh as the bolter rounds tore through their armor and flesh.
Lying together, in an ever growing pool of their blood, Michael looked out to see a giant Grey figure, with the emperors aquilla on his chest, and a large I on his shoulder pad. The realization hit him just as hard as the radioactive explosive shell. They were under suspicion of being part of the cult, or some how tainted, and there was no point in taking a risk.
“There's just no way to win for us regular people, is there?” Michael said with his last moment.
Grandmaster Karsis marched forward, past the enemy. Many had died, and given there lives here, but still the taint of chaos could be felt. The enemy had been there too long, This entire planet might possibly have to be bathed in the holy fires of the exterminatus. In the grand scheme of things, it was just one planet with a generic population. There were several billions like it, many that were far more important than this planet and its people, there would be no real need for its existence. Yet Chaos has no reason or care, it attacks everyone and anything, regardless of importance. If chaos was to permanently be stamped out from the universe, the cold hard grip of the Imperial Fist will have to continue to make sacrificing decisions like this, over and over again. Karsis continued on with his legion of Grey Knights behind him, to rid the world of (whatever) of the Chaos filth.