This is a little piece I threw together as some background to some guys I've added to my Jaeger's Reach force which is made up of Space Marines from two chapters (Crimson Fury and Rock Wyrms) and some IG (currently on hold). The Project log can be found here
This fluff is surronding these guys:
and individual fluff for each of them can be found in the log. Anyway enjoy.
Time: 8 Months Prior to Jaeger's Reach
There was near silence in the old warehouse, all the bustle normally present at all hours of the day and night was gone. The pyre flicked in the black night, its small flames beginning to cast increasingly longer shadows on the 13 men standing in a ring around it. On the pile of broken furniture lay 3 men, their body’s dressed in dress blues, weapons across their chests. Fallen friends, brothers and warriors, three more brave men of Kush dead and gone, there weren’t many of them left now. The last survivors of once 1000 strong Kushlite 67th Infantry “the Fighting Demescu” numbered less than even half a bare bones platoon and now the war was over they would be seconded to training duty’s – a life of boredom and monotony teaching reluctant young men and women which way to hold a weapon. Today they were soldiers, proud warriors in the service of the Emporer, tomorrow they would be little more than teachers, nurse maids to rich brats wanting to become soldiers. Was it any wonder Major Sagarmāthā had ordered them into the canyons four days earlier on an aggressive search and destroy mission? He’d been hoping that it would be the end of them, an aggressive patrol into one of the deadliest places on the planet just as the war was coming to its end and the rebels were fracturing into smaller war bands, making them even more dangerous than before. They all knew it as pointless patrol to avoid the dishonour to come, and none of them cared.
He’d been right in a small way thought Colour Sergeant Hasit. It was the end... for the Major at least... and for Specialist Ainesh and Lieutenant Satya , nearly had been for all of them. Smiling Ainesh with his gravelly voice and ever changing card games and Satya’s soft hands and bookish ways that hid a dangerous man when needed. As the fire began to devour the shells of his former commander and his two comrades, sending their souls out into the sea of stars to find their way to the Emperors side Hasit remembered...
Dusk. 46 hours into the patrol. The sound of the gunfire deafening in his ears and the smell of cordite in his nostrils over powering the stench of burning rubber Hasit let loose a stream of rounds from the half track mounted auto-cannon. To his left Alok was swearing at a jammed rocket launcher loading catch and Ainesh was ducking behind the vehicle before providing covering fire with his auto-gun. The rebels had hit them hard, a mine blowing off the front wheels of the lead vehicle and trapping the second one behind it in the tight confines of the rocky pass. Fifty meters on the canyon walls fixed enemy positions had opened up at them as soon as the mine went off. Nobody was seriously injured yet; Jaya’s head had been grazed by a round and Rupal, driver of the lead H-track had caught some nasty shrapnel from the engine block but that could change quickly. Despite the two causalities they had already received from Alok’s first rocket, the Rebels in their dusty desert camo had the advantage and they were pressing it.
A grenade bounced off the damaged engine block and Hasit dropped back inside to avoid the blast. Behind him he could hear Satya revving all hell out of the second vehicle trying to use it to push the damaged half track’s end side on to present more cover. Hasit could feel the rear end turning slowly but didn’t hold up much hope. The grenade went off, throwing more yellow-brown sand into the air and Hasit jumped up and pulled the trigger spoon again: chug, chug, chug as the hard rounds left the barrel and strafed the ledges where the enemy were firing from. Rock chips flew as they impacted and Hasit smiled with satisfaction as another enemy body fell. Then the gun fell silent, he didn’t even bother to rack the slide knowing instinctively that it wasn’t a jam but simply out of ammo. With the amount of fire coming his way it was probably a good thing he mused as he leapt off the vehicle and into the protective lee that was offered by the sides, he could have changed the drum but staying on the mount would have been suicide.
A sniper rifle banged out, noticeable even over the sound of the ambush and Satya’s half track stopped revving. The sound was soon replaced by Juddha’s scream of anger. Not having time to look didn’t stop Hasit knowing that the Fighting Demescu’s had lost another member. Feeling righteous rage course through him he snatch a folding stock lasgun from its side mounting on the half track and swung round the head light to take a bead on the enemy positions.
In the back of the second half track Major Sagarmāthā, his weather beaten face contorted in anger pulled his plasma pistol from its holster and let loose a bolt of burning death to the rear; a couple of enemy had managed to flank and get behind them. Two enemy raiders were vaporised, their flesh melting in the milli-second before the plasma hit them. The third blinded by the light was cut down by Manas’s bolter rounds impacting in his chest. This was the way to go, in the fire of battle, not in their beds. With Corporal Manas on his left, the small and wirey Captain Savir on his right, Sagarmāthā moved into the triangle that had been formed by the two halftracks and a large rock: a perfectly defendable position.
Against a force at least 3 times their number the survivors held out for a good hour of nonstop contact before their ammo began to run low. In that time every one of them sustained injuries and Savir had also taken a auto gun round in the arm, snapping the bones clean in half and rendering it useless but morpha kept him in the fight. Ainesh hadn’t faired so well became badly wounded when the enemy sniper managed to put a heavy calibre round into his lower leg, blowing it clean off below the knee. Hasit, as the squad medic (and now regimental head medical officer) did his best to stabilise him. Jaya, calm as ever lobbed a cooked grenade into the snipers position and followed it up with another when an enemy medic in a white smock arrived to help the badly injured and screaming sharp shooter. That was exactly the reason why none of the team wore rank or specialisation markings, being picked off due to their skills were too much of a risk.
In the growing dark and in an effort to put an end to the resistance the Imperials were putting up the rebels brought in high intensity lamps to blind them. A mistake that would prove to be their undoing as they hadn’t counted on the Kushlites modified Type 7 Helmets built in advanced visors, allowing them to maintain the engagement.
It was the rumbling that alerted them first, the sound bouncing of the canyon walls and funnelling back to them. They had known it was only a matter of time before the Rebels got impatient and called in re-enforcements.
“Auspex?” Sagarmāthā asked
“One ground based light armour hit, slow moving, about a 500 meters north up the valley” Manas replied, his gaze fixed on the small metal scanner in his hand, boasted by the dish on the back of the half track that had somehow managed to weather the storm of bullets ,it could provide surprisingly detailed information. “Data suggests a chimera chassis, so an APC or a Hellhound. Either way we’re out of rockets and as fun as it sounds I an’t making a run at it with a melta charge”
“End of the road then” This from Milind, his hand bandaged from burns received changing a warped heavy stubber barrel.
“Looks that way” Jaya mumbled as he provided more covering fire, dropping another Rebel not wise enough to keep his head down.
The amount of fire intensified, the Rebels, knowing support was on its way not worrying about conserving ammo anymore. One round hit Rupal in the shoulder dropping him.
Hasit immedialty removed himself from the firing line to check on him.
“Rupal! You ok? Where are you hit?” He shouted, “Talk to me Grey” using Rupals colour code Hasit pulled him upright. Each Kushite had a company colour and a number assigned to them which was then combined to form a 3 character code but there were so few of them left that G23 simply became Grey.
“Fine! Just my traking arm! It hurts like trak!” Rupal never did stop swearing and as Hasit pushed his finger under Rupals shoulder plating to check the damage he didn’t hold back. No blood, the round had snapped his collar bone but the body armour stopped it from penetrating.
Jaya’s gun clicked dry, patting himself down as he ducked back into cover he realised that he was down to his last clip. He wasn’t the only one. This was it; the end. Major Sagarmāthā, aware of the situation and with his blood pumping in his ears raised his voice to a parade ground pitch and bellowed:
“Kushlite 67th Infantry! Take cover! Prepare to present arms! In the finest tradition of the service the Fighting Demescu will, on my command, rise and address the foe! Cloaks and colours unfurled! Full auto fire! Ready arms!”
As one the 16 remaining members of a Regiment raised in the rocky mountains ranges of Kush, cleared the breaches of their weapons and undid the clasps on their shoulders; letting free the bundled fur cloaks that they wore. Each was the pelt of a Demescu, the vicious mountain cats of their home world. Even Ainesh propped himself into a position where he could stand and die with the rest of his regiment.
Sagarmāthā cleared his throat, ready to take the last order of his career and the final order in the history of the 67th, a regiment dating back 700 years. He took one last looks at his men, a hundred different battlefields and this was all that there was left. The never smiling Jaya, Alok’s unruly hair only ever tamed when beneath his helmet, the ever hopeful Manas...
The words were on the tip of his tongue when a grating sound washed over his men, at first they thought it was another Rebel trick, or the enemy APC arriving but they quickly realised that it was high gain vox unit from one of the half tracks. In low gothic against the roar of jet engines a pilots voice could be heard:
“Demescu one, Demescu one, this is Trident six-two, we are inbound on your position from the north, heading carmin-five-zero-three at 200 feet eta 2 minutes, 2 Vultures loaded up and busting for a brawl, we have your transponders on our screens, long range radar suggests you are heavily engaged, do you require assistance?”
The sigh of relief was audible even over the gun fire. As one the regiment rose and provided covering fire for Alok as he grabbed the vox unit and replied in the same tongue:
“Trident six –two, this is Demescu White, affirmative, I say again, affirmative. Assistance gladly accepted. Danger close, repeat: danger close. Friendly’s within 100 meters of enemy forces . Hard Rounds only, no explosives. Illuminated forces are friendly, do not engage, enemy force are using spotlights” He paused “light enemy armour of unknown class advancing up the valley to your south, approx 200 meters from our location, suggest you engage that first then mop up the ground forces. Copy?”
The pilots voice came back immediately:
“Demescu White, confirm request for danger close fire mission, hard rounds only, no explosives in the valley. Enemy armour will be engaged with HE however, topography shows you will be protected from blast. Confirm and authorise, eta 60 seconds”
Manas looked at the Major, the high explosives contained within the kind of anti-armour rockets that a Vulture carried could still cause some damage to them by nature of the sonic wave after it went off, especially if it over shot. The last thing they wanted to was an avalanche on top of them to top things off.
“Open the sky Alok, and let the Emporer’s enemy feel his wrath”
“Trident Six-Two this is Demescu White, danger close is authorised, danger close is authorised, code Falcon Nine Seven Bravo.”
“Lets just pray they don’t hit us” Alok laughed nervously. Before he could get his final words out there was a boom that split the heavens and giant plume of smoke rose above the canyon corner ahead. The single slow moving dot on the auspex was replaced by two fast moving ones. Then the rush of jet engines banged overhead as the VTOL aircraft banked and turned. Hard rounds already began to impact on the enemy positions as the noise mounted heavy bolters opened up. Two black crosses with a double tail hovered into view and sides soon became illuminated in their muzzle flash.
In the previously calm valley the wind now picked up, artificially enhanced by the turbines of the craft above. The sand swirled in great tornados but the men of the Kush stayed active, experience teaching them that to duck for cover was asking for trouble, working hard they pulled their wounded comrades aboard the remaining half track and began to prepare to move it out. Overheard Trident six-two opened up with its twin punisher cannons, wracking the path that the enemy had been occupying with fire and above them Trident six-three with its anti-armour load out maintained over watch, taking shots with its heavy bolter and occasionally using its lascannons to obliterate any heavy cover the punisher cannons couldn’t chew through.
Body’s tore and screams filled the air. Explosions light up the night as munitions cooked off from the mass reactive bolts. Stone chips flew at lethal velocity and the blood splattered on the canyon walls was quickly covered by swirling sands.
After a full 60 seconds of carnage the Vulture’s guns fell silent.
“Demescu White, Trident six-two, I think you owe us a drink, fire mission complete and targets destroyed, you guys want an escort back to the lines?”
“Negative Trident six-two I’m sure we can find our way back, beers are on us, Emperor’s blessings Demescu White out”
Trident six-two’s pilot was chuckling as he replied “Five by five Demescu White, see you back at the FOB, safe trip .Trident six two over and out”
With a scream of jet wash echoing against the walls the Vultures were gone as quickly as they had arrived.
Silence descended on the valley as Sagarmāthā and his men pulled the body of Satya from the front seat of the half track and placed him in the back. They rigged up the first half track with hidden demo charges on the engine block and gas tank. The timer was set for 3 hours time, enough time to clear out and hopefully for the Rebel re-enforcement and salvage teams to arrive and get caught out.
It was as they laid the last fuse that the grenade was thrown. One of the rebels, thrown clear in the strafing run had landed 5 meters from the first half track, his pulped body clinging onto life just long enough for the Vultures to leave. With a hacking bloody cough he pulled himself to standing and threw the grenade into the group of Demescu men. It landed at the feet of Salvir with a clunk. The Guardsmen froze, a moment in time then, to the horror of his men Sagarmāthā, threw himself body first onto the live grenade just at the same moment as Rupal’s las pistol blew the traitors brains out the back of his skull. Even though it was a muffled WHUMP, the sound of the grenade still echoed from the stone walls.
The crackling of the fire brought Hasit back. Had it not been for the Vulture Patrol coming back from a recalled strike mission none of them would have made it out of that valley alive. At best they would all be on pyres like the one before him, at worst rotting in the desert. Ainesh had died on the drive back, his blood loss finally doing what the Rebels could not and Salvir’s arm had to be amputated above the elbow when they arrived back at the Forward Operating Base. They also learned that victory had finally been declared. 3 years of war over. The 67th destroyed... and as such they were to be redeployed to Colthanx for training duties.
The flames had all but consumed the bodies now, the heat bouncing off the walls and back at them. From out of the shadows appeared, hulking and imposing in the half light. 7 feet tall, shrouded in a white and green robe he cut an imposing figure. As he stepped into the fire light he lowered his hood to reveal a shaved head with solid features as if carved from stone.
Super Human. Astartes. Warrior. Space Marine.
Alok spoke first, his voice barely showing his fear.
“Lord? Forgive us, have we offended you in some way?”
All of the Demsecu had encountered Space Marines before, marines of the Rock Wyrms chapter had been fighting on Uilo for the past 6 months and Silver Skulls before them.
“No brother, you haven’t, I’m sorry for your losses, I understand there are not many of you left” Although his speech was halting like the words were foreign, his voice was smooth like treacle on their ears, slow and heavy. It wasn’t any wonder his words were off as to the shock of the men around the fires he spoke in Kushtan and this Astartes was defiantly not Kushlite, where they were a dark olive skin colour with black hair and small slanted eyes he was a paler pink with round eyes and blond eye brows.
“Who is your commander?”
It was Salvir, his left arm bandaged at the stub replied
“I am, Lord, Captain Salvir, Commanding Officer 67th Kushlite Infantry: the Fighting Demescu and no there’s not many left, in fact you’re looking at them”
“And you are to become instructors yes?” Everyone the Guardsmen visibly bristled at this, the thought stirring revulsion in them. They knew what was too come. The dead were the lucky ones.
The marine smiled as he took another step forward. On the shoulder of his robe was a red eagle head and metal implants could be seen on the back of his skull. His next words stunned them
“I thought so... My name is Brother Sergeant Taskilm, of the Mentor Legion, and I have an offer for you Captain...”
Thats it thats all, check out the log and enjoy