“Do you even know where the frutt we are, Sarge?”
Finnegan looked round wearily at Texas, not for the first time thinking about punching the guardsman in the face. “Why don’t you shut the frutt up, trooper,” he ordered, before turning to Bell, who was crouched beside him consulting a locator data-slate. “So,” Finnegan asked, “Where are we?”
“I dunno, Sarge,” replied Bell, “According to the map, this trench isn’t even supposed to be here.”
Finnegan sighed then spat into the mud that sucked at his boots. Throne damned command, always supplying bad Intel. “Right then lads, lets find a way out,” the sergeant ordered before heading off, his men falling in behind as they trudged along the trench.
Finnegan and his squad had managed to get stuck in this throne damned trench, having lost their bearings in the fog of war that had wreathed the battlefield as both sides had launched stinging gas and deafening barrages of artillery. They had been comparatively lucky, with five of them surviving the bombardment and poison clouds, only to then be trapped after diving into the cover provided by the dugout.
Scanning the walls of the trench for a ladder or steps by which to exit, Finnegan silently cursed his luck. Out of the frying pan into the frutting dung trough, he mused, keeping an eye out for hiding heretics. If his squad had taken cover in this trench, then so could the enemy.
“Watch out for those frutting..” Finnegan started to say before noticing his men had fallen behind., the sergeant turning around to find the four other men standing a short distance away. Growling irritably, Finnegan strode towards his squad, the men clustered with Hixx at their centre, the guardsman hidden from view by the other troopers.
“What’s going on here?” demanded Finnegan as he approached, his squad nor responding to the barked question. Angrily, he shoved Holden and Bell aside roughly, the two men parting without resistance, allowing Finnegan to see the dreadful act being committed in their midst.
Hixx was gnawing at his fingers, chewing through their calloused tips with obvious relish. Pausing for a moment, he looked up at the shocked Finnegan, smiling through the wash of blood that covered his stubbled chin before carrying on with his frightful actions.
“What in Terra’s name…” Finnegan murmured, watching as Hixx began to flail his hands, the deranged guardsman splashing his blood over the trench’s bottom and walls with each wild swing of his arms., gibbering excitedly as he painted the mud with his blood.
Falling to his knees, Hixx raised his right wrist to his blood-rimmed mouth, pausing before looking at his sergeant with wild eyes. “For him,” he said, then bit deep, his teeth meeting with an audible crunch as they tore through ligaments and opened up the artery beneath. With savage shakes of his head, Hixx chewed open his right wrist before spiting a mouthful of flesh and muscle at Finnegan’s boots. “It’s all for him,” he gurgled through a mouthful of bright crimson before trying to chew through enthusiastically his other wrist.
Finnegan hurled himself forwards, grabbing hold of Hixx’s forearm to stop him from maiming himself further, amazed at the unbelievable strength Hixx was displaying.
Bell, Holden and Texas stood and watched the struggle, none of them moving to help, in spite of their sergeant’s predicament. Instead, each found himself compelled by malevolence edicts that tugged at their very souls.
Bell drew his knife and cut through the right breast of his uniform, tearing the thick mud-caked fabric open to expose his chest. Taking hold of his hair-rimmed nipple, the guardsman started to cut, hacking through meat and muscle with orgasmic whimpers spilling from his lips. With a joyous cry, Bell lifted his prize high, weeping tears of elation at the bloody clump of skin and gristle that was pinched between his fingers.
Holden’s face became a riot of change, the muscle and bone beneath his features writhing impossibly as the guardsman crowed in elation at the obscene transformation taking hold of him. Ripping at his flak jacket, Holden exposed his undulating torso. He touched the squirming mass that had once been his upper body, murmuring affectionately as he stroked the mass of screaming faces that pressed through his abdomen like malevolent children bawling for liberation.
Falling to his knees, Texas clamped a hand over his mouth against the vomit that began to rise from his suddenly tortured stomach, the wave of rancid bile burning his lips before spilling between his fingers in sluggish gushes. Clusters of boils and sores began to swell from where the sticky vomit contacted Texas’s skin, the corruption spreading across the guardsman’s flesh at a fearsome pace and turning it to a rancid pulp that hung from protesting bones.
Finnegan and Hixx sprawled onto the floor, the guardsmen grunting as they thrashed about in mud, jockeying for control with wild punches.
Finnegan coming out on top with the roaring Hixx pinned beneath him. “Will you frutting calm down!” the sergeant yelled. “Get a hold of yourself!”
Snarling, Hixx butted Finnegan in the jaw, loosening the sergeant’s teeth with the savage blow.
Yelping in pain, Finnegan punched Hixx hard in the throat, stunning the other man with the strike and granting himself a moment of respite. Panting, he pulled out his combat knife, holding the edge against Hixx’s throat as he warned, “Stop fighting me, Hixx, or I swear-“
Before Finnegan could finish, Hixx cut open his own throat on the other man’s knife, thrashing his head from side to side to slash open his neck down to the bone, laughing insanely up to the moment the blade severed his vocal cords.
Crying out in disgust, Finnegan threw himself off of Hixx, appalled at what had just happened. He turned to the other members of his squad, finding them mad and corrupted, their flesh and minds no longer their own, each one lost to their own private blissful torment.
“What the frutt?” cried Finnegan, backing away from the raging members of his former squad with faltering steps towards the wall of the trench. He had to get away from the nightmarish beings that had once been his men but were now obscene creatures that gibbered and cavorted before him in the mud.
Turning, Finnegan scrambled for a handhold in the side of the dugout, his fingers sinking fruitlessly into the wet surface. Frantically, he dug at the wall of muck, screaming for salvation, as his actions did nothing but pull handfuls of filthy earth from the side of the trench.
Finnegan’s questing fingers finally found something solid, and he pulled hard on the hidden object, hoping to use it as a handhold in his attempt to escape, snarling in annoyance as he felt it shift under his weight. Finnegan slid back into the trench, still clutching his intended climbing support. He looked down at the thing held in his mud-caked grasp.
It was a skull, its bleach-white forehead engraved with an eight-pointed star.
“Oh, frutt me,” cursed Finnegan, hurling the skull away before crossing his hands in the sign of the Aquilla on his chest. “Emperor save me, Emperor guard me,” he prayed as he finally realised the danger he was in. This was an enemy trench, abandoned as the loyalist front line had advanced across the battlefield.
As Finnegan began to wail in fear, the walls of the trench heaved, the blood-soaked mud vomiting forth half-rotted corpses clad in torn guardsmen uniforms, the faces of the abominations hidden behind the aged rubber of the gasmasks each wore. The ousted cadavers began to heave themselves from the sucking muck, their gnarled fingers digging furrows in the muddy ground of the trench as the mass of animated dead hauled their decayed forms towards Finnegan.
“Throne save me,” the guardsman whimpered, stumbling backwards away from the horde and raising his lasgun, taking aim at the closest monstrosity, his hands shaking in dread. Before he could fire, hands erupted from the bottom of the trench beneath Finnegan, seizing his legs and tripping him.
Finnegan landed painfully on his back, lasgun flying from his fingers, the weapon falling amongst the rubble lining the trench. Sobbing, he scrabbled amongst the debris, kicking out at the hands tugging on his legs as he searched for his lost lasgun. He felt his blows strike true, but there was no let up in the attack. He was held fast by the steely fingers clutching at his ankles.
“…Sarge…” a guttural voice said above him, “Don’t fight it, Sarge... Don’t fight it.”
Finnegan looked up, recognizing the features of Texas, though the guardsman’s face was but a warped facsimile, his cheeks sunken and pitted with decay, the eyes that writhed within their deep sockets flooded with blood and pus.
“Why don’t you… stay with us… in… the trench, Sarge…”, the thing that had been Texas gargled through a mouth full of stinking bile. “It’s much… safer… in here.”
Last edited by greywulf; 01-03-11 at 05:04 PM.