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Keen4e 11-26-11 09:14 PM

Into the darkness [an Ig story]
 
I have decided to write another story about my custom regiment the Krugs. The original story about them: the Traitor Librarian can be found here

Chapter 1: The commissar


Cadet commissar Petronia was watching the front line with her vigilant eye. All infractions, no matter how small, were reported by her. One had to be remain vigilant. Especially with scum like these penal legionnaires fighting for the Catachan 45th regiment. She was hated by everyone. Her mentor, commissar Diron, always told her not to be so harsh and avoid denouncing too much, but she did not listen. To her, every sin had to be punished. If it was up to her, she would put men to firing squads for not cleaning their lasguns neatly enough. Why was she so strict and exigent even by commissar's standards? Who knows.

"Commissar. " she voxed.

"What now my dear cadet?" asked commissar Diron who was getting tired of her constant reports.

"Sir. Some of the men don't recite proper the proper litanies while loading their weapons." she said.

"Anna please, leave them be. They have already enough troubles and do not need a commissar in their back to tell them to recite the Litany of Reloading each time." answered Diron.

It was unbelievable, how dogmatic people the Schola Progenium produced. The more they stayed in there, the more brainwashed they were. And from what Diron has heard, this new cadet stayed there for quite a long time.


Had she not this cursed surname, Petronia, she would grow up just like any other girl. Her life may have been as hard, but at least she would have parents to love her. Not that after all these years of indoctrination she cared. So far she could remember, she was always in the Schola Progenium. At least she did not remember her parents. Her oldest memories went back to when she was about four years old. She lived in that would be orphanage with other children. Most of them were older and she got beaten up by them a lot. No one actually cared. Some even encouraged them: "The more children fight among each other, the stronger they will be as adults." they thought. The only person who somewhat liked her, was her uncle. Being a colonel in the Imperial Guard, he however had little time to see her. He sent her a lot of toys that's true, but these were always some models of tanks or soldiers of the Imperial Guard. Nothing to interest a little girl, though she was lucky to even have toys. When she learned how to write and read, they communicated via astropaths. Sometimes life in the Schola was so difficult she dared to complain about it to her uncle, but that simply irritated him. He told her she must remain strong in order to serve the Emperor. He told her about the hardships every guardsmen under his command encountered and about how heroically they endured them.

So she had to endure her ordeal. She was the youngest among all the orphans and not only weakest, but somewhat clumsy as well. When she was getting older, her teachers always said she lacks the zeal to become an Emperor's servant. No matter how hard she tried, they always scowled at her. She spent most of her free time in solitude until one day in her late fourteens.

That day, she just stood in yard and watched sadly other people discussing. Then suddenly she just wanted to stand up and go somewhere. She did not know why, she did not know where, she just wandered where she felt to. She passed by a statue of the Emperor and neared the marble stairs. Instead of going to the Schola, she just passed by to the left and went round the waste. She saw a wooden door. She opened it and came into a dark room.

"Hello." she heard a whisper from behind. She turned startled.

"Don't be afraid" said the voice. It was a male voice, but a very soft one. It somehow calmed her. She could not clearly see the figure that was in front of her, but she was not really afraid any more.

"What are you doing here?" she asked the stranger.

"Wandering." he answered "Just like you."

"Oh really?" she asked sarcastically. "You leave the door shut wait until I come in and say hello to me behind my back. You call that wandering? How the hell did you know I was going there anyway?"

"I..." the stranger hesitated "I guided you there."

"You what?" she almost cried out.

"I... just used my... gift." answered the stranger.

"So: you're just saying that you're some kind of psyker and that you tampered with my mind?" asked.
When she heard no answer, she took it as a yes. "You freak!" she slapped him.

"Please. Don't be offended." answered the psyker. "I just wanted to talk to you... in private."
Despite finding all this weird, she was getting curious. "What do you want?" she asked "and stay away from my mind."

"Oh if I just could." said the psyker. "You see I can exactly know how you feel. I fell your anger and... frustration. You are lonely. That's why I just thought you would understand me." apparently I was wrong" said the psyker with sadness in his voice. "You see, I have to hide what I am for people would kill me if they knew. I know I will once master my skills to better serve the Emperor. That's why I don't denounce myself. Still others just avoid me: as if they knew what kind of freak I am."

"You take a lot of risks by telling me that." asnwered Petronia. "You know I could just denounce you."

"I know." answered the psyker "I know. It's just that, if even you don't understand me, then I guess nobody in this place will and what's the point of living like this anyway?"

She saw his point. She knew her duty, but she simply could bring herself to do it. They became friends and later she even felt in love with him, but all that did not last.


After less then one year a dean came in her classroom. All the students got up and the teacher made an aquila sign, then knelt in front of his holiness to kiss his ring.

"Stand up son." said the dean.

The teacher did as he said and asked "To what do we owe your visit Father?"
The dean simply ignored him and turned his attention to the class. "Is Anna Petronia here?" he asked.

Petronia's heart began to pulse quickly. She stood up and tried to hide her nervousness. "Yes father" she said "Present."

He beckoned with his finger, inviting her to come with him. When they left the classroom, two Sororitas put handcuffs on her and the Dean said "By the order of the holy Ecclesiarchy, I arrest you."

They took her to prison for heretics. Desperate screams could be hear all over the place, but the guards seemed deaf to them. Sororitas put her in a small cell with nothing in it. Nothing but web , lots of spiders and... a human skeleton. "What are you going to do with me?" she asked with a trembling voice the two sisters of battle.

"That's for the dean to decide." one of them answered and locked her in.


After a couple of hours they took her to the interrogation room. Four members of the Ecclesiarchy were sitting behind a table and a huge aquila gleamed over them.
When she arrived in front of them, the dean let her kneel and kiss his ring and then they all said a quick prayer. "Emperor of mankind, praised be thine name, thine will be done. Purge us of our sins as we purge the unfaithful and from the temptation and evil deliver us."

"Sit down please." said the Dean and offered her a seat. "Do you know Mathiel Az?" he asked.

She cast her eyes down and said "Yes."

"Look at us when you are talking." said the dean.

"Yes father." she repeated and looked into his eyes. Although his voice was very paternal and he looked as someone who wants to help her, she did notice the malice hidden behind his friendly eyes.

"Did you know he is a psyker?" asked the father.

"Yes father." she answered.

"And why did you not denounce him to the Holy Ecclesiarchy? Don't you know what your duty is?"

"Father please. Try to understand: he is not evil. He trusts the Emperor. His faith is stronger than even mine. He sincerely believed, that he could master his skills enough to be useful to the Imperium. He wanted to serve the Emperor as we all do." she said.

"So you still think, that you did good when hiding his secret." said the dean.

"I do father." she answered.

"I am afraid he deceived you using his witchcraft." said the dean with false sadness. "He turned you into a witch."

"No! That's not true! " she answered horrified.

"Denial is the first reaction of all witches. If we have to force you to tell the truth, so be it." he said, then he ordered to the Adepta Sororitas guarding the door "Get off her clothes."

Had he not been a holy man, Petronia would swear he was enjoying the sight of her being naked. The sisters leaned her on a table full of wires and began tie her.
"This is the last chance to tell us the truth." said the dean.

"That was the truth!" she cried out.
Then the infernal machine was turned on. At first she felt a pleasant warm, but the heat began to rise quickly. Petronia found out she was completely paralysed and could not even scream. She had a constant feeling that her bones were going to break. She saw the acolytes praying, but she could not hear their words. After a couple of minutes, the pain ceased.

They let her drink and then asked her "Are you ready to confess?"

"What do you want me to confess?" she asked in desperation "I will tell you anything you want!"

"Now you are only trying to avoid the pain." answered the dean. "We cannot accept your confession, for it would not be sincere."

Then the torture continued. After several hours of interrogation she somehow knew exactly what these four men wanted to hear and if not, the pain was there to guide her. She was telling awful lies about herself. How she was venerating false gods with the psyker, how they were planning on releasing awful Daemons in this world, she had to denounce her family she did not event know about and so on. At the end they gave her a paper to sign. She was so exhausted, she did not even take look at it. She just signed it whatever was in there. She just wanted to be back in her cell. That's exactly where they led her. When she was finally there, she laid on the floor and slept.


A female voice woke her up. "Anna Petronia?"
"No no no please please don't take me back there." she babbled.
"Take these clothes." said a sister of battle. "You are released."
In front of the prison her uncle waited her. She hugged him, tears in her eyes. "Uncle... I"

"Not here." answered her uncle. "Wait until we get in my aircraft. We can talk there."

When they got in, he asked her "What the hell were you thinking? Do you know how lucky you are, that I was going to pay you a surprise visit? If not, the Ecclesiarchy would just burn you tomorrow. You are lucky I have some friends in there. Do you know how many people I had to bribe to get you out alive? If this got to the Inquisition, even I would not be able to save you. Harbouring a psyker is a great crime, why did you do this?"

"I loved him." she said "What happened to him?"

"Blackships. That's what happened to him." answered her uncle. "As for you my young lady, you are not old enough to know what the true love is and even if you knew, you still must not forget that above all, you must love your Emperor. You know what he teaches us: suffer not the witch to live."

"I am sorry uncle." she said.

"That's not enough." he answered "From now on, you must promise me, that you will be a perfect student in this Schola. You know you are very lucky to be here. If you get yourself in any kind of trouble, don't expect me to help you a second time. You already disappointed me enough: do not fail me again. Remember: our family name is important and I don't want you to let anyone a slightest opportunity to ruin it. Especially not the Ecclesiarchy."

"I won't uncle. I won't" she promised.

She took her promise very seriously this time. She decided to join the Imperial Guard one day and make her uncle proud. At sixteen, she began the training to become a commissar and despite all the hardships she encountered, she always did her best.

Her first training was with the drill sergeant Rahdim, who was infamous for being very cruel and who even trained the future stormtroopers.

They lined up at the training centre and Rahdim started his shouting "Listen to me maggots! You want to become commissars? It won't happen unless you become perfect guardsmen first. I won't tolerate weaklings understand? If you die during training it's not my problem. Do you understand ? "

"Yes drill seargent." answered others.

In the first session, they were given guardsmen uniform with lasguns on their back and they had to run, get down, up and run back to their place. They did this for endless hours until complete exhaustion. The sergeant Radhim certainly wasn't joking about deaths at his training. Those, who were clearly unable to follow the quick pace, were shot on the spot. When he finally eliminated those whom he deemed weak willed, he said:
"Allright that's enough for today. Change clothes and attend to the mass. Tomorrow, we will do the same, but with gas mask and yes there will be an extremely lethal gas, so you had better learn how to put your mask correctly. You will be given masks tonight, so consult the guardsmen uplifting primer on how to put them and practice it."


Besides the rough training by the sergeant Radhim, she had to learn about Imperial Guard tactics, about Imperial Guard jurisdiction, the working of Munitorum, a techpriest gave them rough instructions concerning Imperial vehicles and finally they had to learn some rhethorics. That's where Petronia discovered her skills, that were unknown to her before. She had a very persuasive voice. In one of her first classes she already quoted Lord Solar Machrius' speech with a very convincing voice.

"Men! Here we stand again. Another enemy to defeat, another world to conquer. As always our enemies underestimate us. We are only men they say. I say it is more then enough. As soon as they will see our glorious armies they will change their minds. Disciplined volleys of lashots will strike them down. Our heavy weapons teams will pierce their armour and our artillery will bring the very sky crushing down upon them! We will use everything we have to our advantage. Nothing but ashes will remain of them. Despite of this great amount of weaponry, you must however not forget our greatest weapon. It's not our mighty earth shakers, it's not our immense plasma canons, it's not our numerous lasguns: courage my friends, courage beats them all. So do not hesitate, fight in the Emperor's name and earn your glory as Imperial Guardsmen!"

After this speech everyone was eager to get already on the front, but Petronia did not seem quite satisfied. She began to improvise. "I know you are far away from your homes and families. I know you are tired of these endless fights. You are from so many worlds and you carry them in your hearts, but never forget why you had to do these sacrifices. It is not for me, but for your families and loved ones you fight. You fight for humanity. The Emperor protects us all, but you must do your part, if we are to survive. Our enemies are numerous and we fight them on thousands of fronts and we will crush them all, so that one day we dominate the Galaxy. Prosperous industrial worlds are our future guardsmen and we contribute to it by our blood in the Emperor's name!"

This improvisation was quite unexpected, but it really moved the teacher, because it reminded him of his young days, when his elder brother was recruited to the Guard and he had never seen him again.

At her seventeenth birthday she had received by an astropath a message recorded by her uncle.
"Anna. This will probably be the last time you hear from me. We are loosing this war. You just cannot imagine how deadly these creatures we are fighting are. They are called Tyranids and will be the death of all of us. Before I die I want you to know how you ended up in this place. I know they never tell people why and that's for their own good good, but if I die here, I think you should know. Unlike most orphans here, your parents are still alive. Your father, Alexander Petronius, is a well respected aristocrat. You just have the misfortune of being a bastard. Your mother was your father's maid. When he learned, that she was pregnant, he wanted her to abort, but she refused. She seeked my help and I had pity of her. I knew your father could not officially accept you as his legitimate daughter, so I adopted you and made sure you were taken here at Scholam."

That was the last time she had seen him. He was apparently devoured by Tyranids along with all the men under his command. She became somehow apathetic to it. After all these years of indoctrination she only cared for one thing: joining the front as soon as possible. She simply had no emotions for her family any more: she did what her uncle always wanted her to do: she loved the Emperor above all. After several years of training, she was eventually ready to join the Guard as a cadet commissar.


The fray was incredibly bloody and as always Petronia was in front along with the penal legionnaires. After ten years of training she received from commissar Diron, she came to understand them much better. The days she was just a mindless fool were gone. She now knew the guardsmen psychology and learned how to motivate them. When she first came to the 45th Catachan regiment, she was dissapointed that the reality was far from what they taught her at scholam. The guardsmen were less pious and disciplined, then the Imperial propaganda pretended them to be, but now when seeing these penal legionnaires desperately fighting the orks at close quarter, she realised that the real guardsmen are even more courageous then she thought them to be. They used everything they had against enemies: bayonets, shotguns, knives, fists even teeth. Perhaps they fought for their own lives, but they fought bravely nevertheless.

Then she saw this giant monster. Using her bolt pistol, she cleared the way towards it and with a mighty voice she screamed "Rally to me!". Several legionnaires spotted her target and they started shooting at it with their shotguns. With one mighty blow of her power fist, she struck the weakened ork Warboss and it literally exploded. They have won! The penal legionnaires held their line while the Catachans pushed the orks from the flank. Now that their warboss was dead, the orks lost their will to fight. They have retreated. Winning the war was now a matter of days.


That night the Catachans celebrated wildly their victory drinking and dancing. Petronia was surprised by their musicians. She had to admit, that they played very well. Their insturments were crude, but they made a pleasant sound.
An imperial officer came to her. "Cadet Petronia?" he interrupted her thoughts.

"Yes sir." she saluted.

"At ease Cadet." said the captain. "May I ask you why are you not celebrating with the officers, rather then these filthy Catachans?"

"I prefer to be with my men." she answered. "We fought for ten years together and I grew fond of them."

"As you wish." said the captain. "Our general wanted to give you this.", he took out a medal. "But as you were absent, I was given the honor to give you your first decoration." He pinned the medal at her chest. "Good job killing that Warboss." and shook her hand.

"Thank you captain." she said.

"I take my leave now. The Emperor protects."

"The Emperor protects." she answered.


The next day she was summoned by commissar Diron. "I see they gave you a medal Anna."

"They did sir." she answered proudly.

"I'll give you something more." he said and took out a commissar's hat. "It's yours now."

"You mean..."

"Yes your training is finished Anna." he said. "I have already signed your promotion a week ago, but I needed you there to help me. Now you have definitely proven, that you deserve it. The war will soon be over and the High Command decided to relocate you to another front and another regiment, where they desperately need new commissars."

"What kind of regiment sir?" she asked.

"I am not really sure. They are some fresh recruits from a world called Krug. This world was somehow special that they did not have to pay tithes in men. Now they do, so they have raised something like two thousand of regiments of rookies and they desperately need all the commissars, they can get. You will be assigned to the fifth regiment under the command of colonel Aigar."

Ambush Beast 11-27-11 03:30 PM

Real good
 
When I first started to read this I noticed bad grammar, bad punctuation and bad spacing, but hold on! I pressed forward and started to be drawn into the story. There are not too many stories that deal with the feminine side of things from the perspective you have presented.

The more I read the more I enjoyed your work and by the time I had finished reading I only wanted more.

The grammar, spelling, punctuation and spacing will come with time and discipline so don't be discouraged. You have an enormous amount of talent so work hard to develop your skill. Other than the aforementioned faults that come with being new to the writing lifestyle, over-all, this story is Awesome!

Keen4e 11-27-11 07:38 PM

I am glad you like it. I grew very fond of this commissar and the regiment, so I think they deserve my attention.
Before continuing this story, I will try to correct the text, because despite the appearance, I believe grammar to be very important. It's just that I am quite lazy and English is not a language I use often.

Keen4e 12-05-11 05:11 PM

Chapter 2: The governor.

The governor Argdan Retius was checking an extremely long list of numbers. To most people on this planet they were just meaningless figures, but he knew, that he held the fate of the whole world in his hands. It looked very bleak. Almost no aluminium, very few iron, no gold, no gems and only coal was in satisfying quantity. The Administratum however asked for more and more. They knew they just could. They knew, he would just obey them as always, for he knew what would happen otherwise to him, his family and this whole world. When the quantity of resources sent to the Imperium began to be slightly lower than what the Administratum expected, they answered politely, but very firmly for more. With some penalties as well. Retius found it amazing, how quickly they reacted to this compared to his requests to send an Imperial fleet to get rid the world of Dark Eldar raids.

To prevent any discontent of the Administratum, he increased the minimal working hours from 9 to 13 hours a day. Yet they still could not find enough resources. He had to diminish the tithes he paid to the Administratum constantly and with each decrease, their answers became less and less polite and more and more threatening. What could he do? He was a good man. Life was harsh at his world, just like any other, but he did all he could for his population. Just like all his predecessors. The Krug population had an unusually high life expectancy and in their prosperous days, they even had a somewhat good social system, where people could actually save money for a retirement. All this, because they had exceedingly rare and yet vital resources for the Imperium. After a mutual agreement, Krug had to pay their tithes resources only and ever since then, not a single man was forced to join the Imperial Guard. Retius did all he could to continue this tradition. The conditions he imposed to the miners were very harsh, but he still believed them to be better then life in the Imperial Guard. To leave forever one's birthplace and say goodbye to all loved ones was an idea that always haunted the governor.

Now that all the resources were almost depleted, he knew he could not meet the Administratum's conditions who already sent him a final decision. Unless he pays all his debts, they will requisition men at equal cost. Could they understand a man's life was priceless? He seriously doubted it.
To them everything were just figures and charts. Imperial bureaucracy was just one enormous machine optimising and calculating. A machine that cared little for the imperial citizens. What they calculated as equal cost was about half a billion of poor souls to be taken by force away from their homeland. "No! This is not going to happen." he thought and summoned all the important men of his planet.

Around two hundred rich people came in the conference room. When he said rich, he meant exceedingly rich. A clerk from the Administratum would certainly calculate that their wealth combined was worth billion times more, than the wealth and organs of the rest of the population combined. They always sickened him, but he knew, that he needed them.

"Gentlemen," he began to address them."We face a crisis here. We are no longer able to cope with the Administratum's requests. I have depleted most of the governmental stocks and it still makes less then half of what is needed."

"These tithes become insufferable." said mr Treg, owner of the mines of Riana. "How can I make profit, if three quarters of it are sent to Emperor knows where? "
Similar complains were raised and the governor waited for the industrialists to calm down.

"I believe the time has come to face the problem." said the Governor. "We clearly cannot pay tithes any more, so I propose that we specialise in another area and pay taxes in another goods. We still have enough coal. We could provide vital metallurgy for the Imperium. "

"We could, if there are some benefits of it." answered others.

"The problem is, that the Administratum is not going to wait. We need to give them something before we can adapt. I know I ask you a lot, but I hope that you understand the gravity of our situation and that you will comply. You are selling a lot of resources for your own benefit and I want you to give what you have, so that we can pay all the debts we own to the Imperium." Now most of the industrialists had to do a great effort to remain calm. "I will raise the taxes if I must, but I will have the tithes paid."

Mr Rius stood up and said "This is outrageous! You may not know, but our beloved governor hides from us for quite a long time that the Administratum already proposed an alternative resource. It is a very cheap one: our employees. Most of them are useless anyway now that all the resources are almost depleted. "
The governor got angry. Where did that snake find out about that? Surely he bribed one of his clerks to get this information from him. He stood up and called guards from his personal retinue. Then he said "You are under arrest, for stealing governmental secret."
All the industrialists protested loudly, but the governor shouted even louder "Silence!" All of them closed their mouths in fear. "I know you do not care about your employees, just like the Administratum does not care about their subjects. I however do care. Whether you like it or not, I will not have them recruit a quarter of our population at once, just because we did not meet some stupid quota. You will pay exactly the price I ask you, or I will have it by force if necessary. Thank you for your presence. The Emperor protects and all that stuff. You may leave now." they left without complaining, but he knew what they would do, as soon as they leave the meeting room. Exhausted, Retius drank his cup of water.

"Are you all right sir?" asked Streck, his favorite assistant.

He dried sweat on his forehead and said "Yes. Thank you for asking." Streck was from a very simple family. His father died in a working accident and his mother alone was simply not able to feed him and she had no other relatives to help her. She somehow got to Retius and pleaded him to help. Retius agreed to adopt Streck. He taught him to write and read and made him his assistant. Streck was very hard working and being raised among miners, he had more understanding for these people, than Retius had. That is why he was very useful to him.

"What do you think they will do now my friend?" he asked him.

"Oh I know these men. They will certainly not let it go." Streck answered.

"True. " agreed Retius. "I wonder, whether I should have them arrested when they were all locked up in this place. Now, if they make any trouble, it will be much harder."

"I definitely would governor." said Streck. "I hate these people. They basically killed my father."

"That's a bit exaggerated don't you think?" Retius asked.

"No sir. I don't think so. You know there are virtually no safety conditions in most of the mines, despite our demands. Had they not been so greedy, less miners would perhaps die." said Streck very firmly.

"Actually, that's also my fault." answered the governor. "I imposed them high quotas. They need to do everything they can to get all the needed resources."

"There's a big difference sir. It is that you actually mind and they don't" said Streck with contempt in his voice.

"You are right." said the governor "They care for nothing but their riches. I can't however get rid of them so easily. They still have lot of power and political influence. Sometimes I just feel to be their pawn. This world is sad and yet I assure you that compared to most of the planets, Krug is a paradise. Thanks to the hard work of my ancestors, of whom I am very proud. I am just not sure I can walk in their threads."

"You must sir!" insisted Streck "You are our only hope."


Finally home. The dinner was already prepared and his whole family awaited the arrival of grandpa. He was exhausted. He hung his coat and went straight to the dinning room.

"Late as always." said his daughter in law. "Dinner is getting cold."

"Sorry everyone. I just had a very busy day." said Retius.

His daughter in law put the soup on the table. Then they all stood up and Retius began to recite the prayer. "Emperor, we thank you for giving us this meal. Bless this food to our use and us to thy service. The Emperor protects."

"The Emperor protects." said the rest of the family. Then they could finally sit and eat.

Oh how glad he was to finally spend some time with his family. To finally be able to forget all his troubles and simply tell his grandchildren a fairy tale. These little kids seemed so happy, that this happiness affected him as well. No troubles any more. He was really glad to have them. They preserved his sanity.


In a month the restructuring was in full process. The governor just prayed that, the Imperium will requisition less men than it intended,when they get all the tithes. Streck arrived in his office. He had strange wires in him and looked like a zombie. "What happened to you?" the governour asked.

"I do not understand. Specify your question." answered Streck in metallic voice.

The governor just realised, that he was not speaking to a man any more, but to a machine. He was completely shocked. He made an aquila sign.

An Administratum representative entered his office. "He spoke blasphemies about the Administratum. As a punishment he was turned into a servitor." he told him.

Seeing the man's arrogant face, he wanted to speak blasphemies too, but his reason overwhelmed this impulse. He knew he had better be diplomatic.
"I see the imperial justice is swift indeed." he said "May I offer you a recaf master?"

"That won't be necessary." replied the bureaucrat and he sat down. "I was sent here by the master of Erentis Alpha sub-sector to represent the Emperor's will. My master learned some troublesome news about your planet. A faithful imperial servant, whom you put to jail informed us, that your planet is running out of resources. Instead of paying your debts in men, you are foolishly trying to postpone what you know is inevitable. We have given you special privileges not to send men to the Imperial Guard, but the only reason for it, and you know it, are your planet resources. If they get depleted, there is no reason for all these miners to be here."

"That snake!" thought Retius. He knew he was very dangerous. He knew that one day, he would be the death of him.

"According to the Imperial law, you should be immediately degraded and put to death. I however have other plans."

"Which are?" asked Retius frowning.

"My master believes politics are a waste of time. I do not share his opinion. I studied the situation on this world very carefully. I have learned that you are a very popular man among simple people governor. My opinion is, that the announcement of mobilisation should be done by you and not by some random governor put hastily in place. I believe, it would have a much better impact."

Retius started to hate this clerk even more then the others. Others were as cold and obsessed with efficiency as him, but this one was also malicious. He was delighted, that he had Retius in his power.

"Let me get this straight." he said. "You want me to become your pawn and help you persuade half of my beloved people to go to warfare?"

"Exactly governor." answered the clerk.

"And what makes you think I will obey?" aksed Retius.

"Every man has a weakness governor. You have an obvious one. You care too much about your people. I know however that you have an even bigger weakness. You have three beautiful grandchildren. See what became to your friend and assistant Streck? The same could happen to them."

"You would not dare." said the governor.

"Oh I assure you I would. Imperium puts to death a million souls every day. Do you think I would mind making servitors of three little kids?"

"What do you want me to do?" asked the governor. He simply resigned. Fighting a superpower like the Imperium was beyond him. He knew his men were to become lambs to slaughter, but what could he do? He began to write what was to become a death warrant for his people.

"People of Krug rejoice. For a long time we have provided Imperium with vital ressources. Now that these are depleted, the Emperor in his wisdom has given us the opportunity to serve otherwise. We are to become his warriors. We are to join the Galaxy's greatest fighting force: the Imperial Guard. You {insert name here} are to become a proud soldier. You are summoned to the recruiting station at {insert address, date and hour here}. The Emperor counts on you.
If you do not come in time, you will be considered as outlaw, hunted down by the righteous Adeptus Arbites and put to death according with the Imperial justice.
The Emperor protects.
Governor Retius.

Thought for the day: A man who has nothing can still offer his life."

With tears in his eyes, he watched the endless list of names that were spat by the cogitator. That's it. Krug was now fully part of the Imperium. Krug was now doomed.


There were huge celebrations. He could somehow not grasp how so many people could be willing to fight and yet he saw masses enjoying themselves, while the Krug PDF did their military parade. Perhaps they were glad that after all the hard work they did, the governour accorded them a week off. It was the least he could do for them anyway. He disliked these celebrations in spite of the fact, that they were the last opportunity for the people enrolled to the Imperial Guard to spend some time with their families.

If there was some discontent, the adeptus arbites dealt with it quickly. Unhappy people somehow vanished. Retius just felt so helpless. Everything was now done by that awful clerk with horrifying precision. After all his carefully elaborated propaganda, people loved their governor even more, but Retius was simply disgusted by all that artificial love. He saw most of his friends put to trials, not because they protested against new order, but only because they could protest. That made them dangerous. They were accused of many sort of crimes. Most of them were absurd . Some were accused of trying to assassinate Retius. Some were accused of impiety. Some were accused of squandering imperial ressources and all were put to death. Trials were public and were somehow part of all the celebrations. People simply went there for their amusement.

Then the priests came. Not the sort of gentle priests Krug had, but bloodthirsty and brainwashed maniacs that installed fury in the crowd. They started another series of trials involving witchcraft and heresy. These trials were even more violent, because they were done by zealous fanatics, who were nothing more then tools in the hand of the Administratum. These priests made Retius ashamed, that he ever worshipped the Emperor. After seeing all these purges he could not believe in Him any more. Perhaps despite being the master of all the Imperium, he was a puppet just like Retius.


After two weeks of public amusements, the representatives of the Imperial Guard eventually came. They came right into governor's office. A general and a commissar. "By the Emperor's will, we are here. I am sorry for this delay, but as you know, the warp is sometimes very capricious. I am General Lucas Kwarg and I will lead your men to glory. This is commissar Daniel Sidor. He will be responsible for the recruiting process."
Retius had a good eye for judging people. General Kwarg seemed like a very arrogant and ambitious men. He openly displayed his medals in a provocative way. His body language clearly shown his contempt for all the civilians like Retius. It was not a very good sign. He certainly did not want the Krug to be commanded by an ambitious fool, who would sacrifice thousand of men just to earn a medal. As for this commissar Sidor, one thing was certain. He was very loyal. His stature was menacing. His dark eyes burned with the so called righteous fury. His carefully shaved moustache marked his strive for perfectionism and his look was overall very grim. An unquestioning and loyal fool in the hands of an ambitious men was the worst combination for all the guardsmen.

Retius got up and tried to be as polite as he could. (He still had his family to save.) "You are most welcome General." he shook his hand. "May I offer you a recaf?"

"I certainly would not mind drinking one." said the General. "What about you commissar?"

"Why not." said the commissar.

"Streck, make us some recaf." ordered Retius.

"Yes my lord" answered an emotionless voice. Retius still couldn't get used to his friend being a mere machine now.

"So how are the preparations going up?" asked the commissar, eager to get to the main point.

"Very well. Shipments of several hundred thousand of lasguns arrive every day." said the governor. "At the cost of my own people. We don't want the munitorum pay additional charges for us."

"Very wise choice indeed." said the general. "Tell me. How many man had you in PDF before our arrival?" he asked.

"Around fifty thousand." said the governor.

"Have they already seen some action?" asked the general.

"Not much, but we have been raided a couple of times by dark eldar. Before the Imperium sent Imperial Guard to us, we were more or less on our own." answered the governor.

"Good." nodded the general. "We will make veteran squads out of them. They're not quite what one would expect of the term, but a regiment always needs some more experienced soldiers: in your case these men."

"As you wish general." answered the governor.

"And how is the recruitment process going?" asked the commissar.

"We are printing as many of conscriptions as we can." answered Retius " However, if I can give you some advice, it would be wiser not to recruit too many people at once. It could lead to rebellions and I am sure you understand that we don't need too many of these."

"Don't worry about that." answered the commissar. "We know how to keep the situation under control. If some people refuse to come, simply put their village to fire and then put all the families including children to firing squads. People are very obedient when it comes to their families."

"Sure they are." thought the governor. "If I had no family, I would shoot you in your stupid face on the spot.", but he managed to master his anger and simply nodded.

"How many Arbites do you have to keep the order?" asked the general, who was not completely at ease with the idea of a rebellion.

"Around hundred thousand. Not many comparing to our population, but until now it had been enough." answered the governor.

"And the local law enforcers?" asked the commissar.

"About two times more." answered the governor.

"It should be enough." said the commissar "Provided they are loyal to the Imperium of course."

"They are loyal to me." answered the governor "As for the Imperium, I cannot really tell you." There was a hint of despise in his tone and he hoped, that the two men would not notice it, but unfortunately the commissar was too vigilant to overlook any mark of disloyalty.

"Are you suggesting governor, that you recruit people who doubt about the Imperial justice in the ranks of your police?" he asked.

"Of course not." answered the governor slightly nervous. "I just cannot be accountable for all the individual failures among them. You, a man who represents the Imperial justice in the ranks of the Imperial Guard, certainly understand that."

"I do." answered the commissar "I just found your lack of faith disturbing."

"Do not question my faith please. I am a loyal servant of the Emperor in all things." insisted the governor.

"Very well then." said the general. "Thank you for your time and make sure we have all the recruits ready in less then a month. The Emperor protects."

"The Emperor protects." said the governor, but inside his head, where nobody could reach, he thought "Does he?"

Keen4e 01-19-12 05:17 PM

Chapter 3: The scout.

Scout sergeant Gregory Dereck ran silently through the dense forest. After all these months in vessel, it felt good to be on the ground again. It was a pleasure indeed to run in the open air. The gravity was lower than on his native planet, so his pace was quicker then usual. A refreshing breeze blew around him and he felt like in paradise. He liked to run, but most of all, he liked forests. It was mid Autumn on this planet and as always: nature created beautiful colours. The trees on this unknown planet were different from those on Krug, but their fallen red leaves were just as lovely.
He suddenly stopped running, took out his laspistol and turned. He saw nothing. Yet he had a feeling someone was following him. Not that he heard something. He just... felt it. There was nothing. Nothing but beautiful landscape. He really should focus more. He was getting too distracted and yet he could not help but appreciate all the beauty he was seeing around him. It was an uninhabited planet yet to be spoiled by humans. He knew its fate and it really saddened him. Few were the places, the human being has not yet ravaged. He knew exactly what his fellow humans can do to nature. He has seen it with his own eyes...

Back then he served as a ranger to mr Treg, who had in his possession an enormous forest. It was a big luxury on Krug, a planet with so few soil, to posses woods. He was glad, he made it through the rough selection to work for him, since he liked the forest a lot. By working hard, he became eventually the chief ranger and maintained the forests in more or less good shape in spite of the surrounding pollution During his free time, he wandered over Krug mountains. His dog Quin was always by his side. He had no family. His forest meant everything to him and its trees were like children to him. He knew almost all of them by heart and even gave them names.
Then one fatal day it happened. He received a letter from the planet's administration. "People of Krug rejoice. For a long time we have provided Imperium with vital resources. Now that these are depleted, the Emperor in his wisdom has given us the opportunity to serve otherwise. We are to become his warriors. We are to join the Galaxy's greatest fighting force: the Imperial Guard. You Gregory Dereck are to become a proud soldier. You are summoned to the recruiting station at 7th avenue of Saint Garro - Rareck Town 05 634 297 Orion region at fifth day of Apples at 16:20. The Emperor counts on you.
If you do not come in time, you will be considered as outlaw, hunted down by the righteous Adeptus Arbites and put to death according with the Imperial justice.
The Emperor protects.
Governor Retius.

Thought for the day: A man who has nothing can still offer his life."

He was mad. He went straight to mr Treg. That bastard promised him, he would not let him to be recruited in the Imperial Guard.
Mr Treg seemed busy, but Dereck did not care "Sir." he called his attention. "I have received a conscription. How is it possible? I thought..."
"I am sorry Greg. " answered mr Treg. "I am going to sell my forests. The techpriests offered me a price I could not refuse. Therefore I have to dismiss you."
"But..." Dereck was unable to find any words.
"I know how these forests are dear to you. I liked them too you know, but in these troubled time we must all do sacrifices." said mr Treck. "As for me I will leave this planet. There is no profit to be made any more."
"Excuse me, but what exactly have you sacrificed? You are getting paid. You'll just get to another planet and live your life like you did before." said Dereck unable to remain calm any more.
"I never imagined you could be so rude." said Treg. "Now leave my house or I will have you kicked out! "
Dereck threw angrily his ranger hat on the ground and left.
He walked in the forest, he loved so much for the last time. He looked up at the sky. The sun was setting down and cast beautiful colours on the white mountains. This may have been his last sunset on his home planet. After that, who knows what suns on other planets look like? Will there be forests and mountains? He spent his last night outside under the stars. It was freezing cold, but at least he could spent a little more time in his beloved place.
In the morning a chainsaw sound woke him up. He saw about twenty civilian sentinels cutting all the trees. Chimeras with dozer blades followed and cleared the terrain. Dereck was horrified to see how quickly his beloved forest was becoming a crude soulless place. At least he was going to be be far away and would not see it. His dog squealed. How could he have forgotten him? Well anyway the Imperial Guard was not a place for him.
"Go away" he said, pointing with his index. But the dog stayed, leaning to his legs.
"I said go away! Bad dog, bad dog!" he shouted. This time the dog understood. He turned and walked away slowly. It was very difficult for Dereck to see him leave, but he had no choice. He just hoped, he would be able to take care of himself. With tears in his eyes, he left for the recruiting station.

They have seen his abilities. His movements were quick, he could easily hide and his shooting was sharp. He impressed his drill sergeant with three precise shots on moving target. Two in the heart, one in the head. When he asked where he learned it, he said he used to be a hunter. His sergeant told him that even most of the soldiers in PDF are not as good at shooting as him. He told about him to his superiors. They made him a scout and gave him a sniper rifle. He quickly raised in rank and became the regiment's scout sergeant. He was a solitary person. While all other soldiers spent most of their free time drinking together, he just sat under the sky and smoked his pipe. Others considered him weird, but he simply did not like company. At least not company of humans. He rather befriended animals. They have seen him several times sharing his rations with mice and thought him mad. Yet there was an exception. One day, when their training was almost finished, he was looking the stars again with pipe in his mouth.
"Good smoke? " asked him a man who approached. "Where did you get it?"
"I cultivated it. " said Dereck. "Want to give it a try?"
"Why not." he answered and rolled the powder in paper as he did not have any pipe. He sat down next to him. They stayed quiet for a long time, then the man asked him
"What is your name?"
"You should call me sergeant Dereck, but as I don't stand on formalities, especially not off duty, just call me Greg."
"Very well, Greg, my name's Ben Dragun." Then he looked up at the sky. "I see you always looking at the stars. Are you interested in them?"
"I was not until now. Night sky is beautiful isn't it?"
"Aye." agreed Ben. "You know that people give names to groupings of stars? Look there." he pointed "It looks like wolf doesn't it? And there a deer."
"Really. I've never really thought about this, but you are right."
"From each place, the stars look a bit different. Every world has it's own myths about them. Now look: see that small star over there? It's called the Sun and there lies Terra. The Emperor guides us from there and our ancient ancestors come from here too."
"How do you know all this?" asked Dereck.
"It's my job to know." answered Dragun. "I've been a savant and a philosopher for a noble, who liked to entertain himself with poetry and knowledge. I was under his protection, until the day he was deemed of heresy and burned at stake. To stay out of this, I immediately joined the Guard before being dragged into his trial."
"Oh I am sorry for you. I was also under someone's protection. It was the famous mine owner mr Treg. I used to be his ranger, but then when he found out there was no more profit to be made from his mines, he simply left Krug... and his forests with it. I was then conscripted in Guard, just like anyone else."
"A ranger?" said Dragun. "I guess that's why you're so good at this scouting job. Some man here even fear you. They say you're like a ghost."
"Good. At least they leave me alone." answered Dereck with contempt.
Dragun, along with thousands more guardsmen was killed in the first assignment. With no combat experience they were supposed to hold against World Eaters. Had they not been saved by the Ultramarines, they would all perish under their axes in their first mission.

That was now more then a month ago, but the memory of the screaming victims was still in Dereck's head. Yet this planet, he was now on helped him forget all this. It's beauty was stunning. He even forgot about his home planet for a while. "Sergeant report." he heard on his vox. It was colonel Ruffius.
"Sir things are absolutely quiet here. My scouts have nothing to report at all. Orbital scanning shows nothing but dense forests and sentinels that are moving through spotted nothing."
"Keep looking." answered Ruffius. "According to the archives the Space Marines of the Red Lions chapter were spotted here for the last time. If mighty Astartes disappeared on this planet, it's not as peaceful as it seems."
"Yes sir." acknowledged Dereck.
He couldn't but believe these reports erroneous. If Astartes were killed here, mighty battles would have been fought and the planet would not look as preserved as that. It would have been scorched by orbital bombardments and some signs of battle would have been seen. Oh but let the colonel believe what he wants, at least they will stay here longer. Then he saw a flower, that got his attention. Its unique colours were astonishing. Violet background with red stripes. He never seen any flower like this on Krug. He knelt to pick it and... gunfire! He did not hear the gun, but he heard the shot hit a tree nearby.
He immediately duck behind a cover. "I'm under attack." he voxed, but he heard only static. What happened to his fellow scouts? He had no time to wonder. This enemy was still out there. He took a mirror from his pocket and tried to take a look behind his back, only to find it exploded by a beam. It did not seem like a bullet thought. He has never seen a weapon firing like this.

"Lucky Mon Keigh" Selean thought, but he remained calm. Certainly no human could beat him in fight. He killed their finest warriors, who called themselves Space Marines. He simply changed position he was firing from and patiently observed the place where the mon keigh was hiding, waiting him to do his last mistake and he did it. He dropped a smoke grenade hoping that he would not be seen in the smoke coming out of it. He shot aiming the place where he anticipated his head to be. So slow, so cumbersome and so noisy. He simply had no chance. Selean approached the place where the mon keigh died checking there were no other reinforcements.
Then he looked at the guardsman's corpse. That was it. He was dead. He was apparently the leader of their scouts. If this was supposed to be their best, their race was very pathetic. With despise, he prepared to dispose of the corpse, when he suddenly realized, that something was wrong. He heard heartbeats. He quickly aimed at the mon keigh, but he got kicked in his rifle and the shot missed. With furious battlecry the monkeigh took out his combat knife and tried to stab him.
Damn this eldar was quick! No matter how he tried, he simply could not stab him. He had to do this the hard way. He took out his laspistol and shot him.
"No!" Selean cried out in pain. To be killed by such a primitive creature was the most humiliating death he could ever imagine. Perhaps the farseer was right. They were crude, but not to be underestimated nevertheless.
That was it. The eldar was dead. It was quite surprising he could fool him so easily, but his master's were right the eldar were arrogant fools. The shot did hit his helmet, but not his head. Instead of this, it hit a sack full of red ink he put on it With the smoke all around, it was enough to fool the eldar's keen senses. He took a great risk, but he knew he had no chance against their kind in fair fight. Derek took his vox and contacted the HQ "Sir, put immediately the base on alert."
"What's happening?" asked colonel Ruffius.
"The eldar, sir! They killed all my scouts."
That's all Ruffius needed to hear. He immediately hit the alarm button.

"The Mon Keigh already discovered our presence." said the farseer Ashiel. "I can feel that one of our rangers has been killed. He failed at his task. We should abandon now."
The warp spider exarch Falan'thas frowned. "Farseer we should strike now, while we can. They just sounded the alarm. They are yet unprepared."
"If you wish then do so. My knowledge in the art of warfare is limited and if you believe this to be the opportunity to strike, I won't restrain you. However I warn you that I have not predicted what would happen if Selean died. I trusted his abilities."
"Never mind farseer. They will never know what hit them." answered Falan'thas.

Before his all his officers got into the HQ, a warp spider appeared there out of nowhere. He searched for the best target and found the colonel. He fired his death spinner at him. In a fraction of second a crude and brutal mon keigh got into the shot's way and roared bestially Humans called these primitive beasts ogryns. He was resilient, he had to give him that, but he had no chance against his death spinner, which nearly tore him apart. Now that the mon keigh were fully aware of his presence they threw a table to block him and tried to escort their colonel to safety as more warp spiders began to appear. A commissar took out his bolt pistol and shot two of them however the third one disarmed him with his blade. He did not kill him however. He had a much more important target. He teleported where he estimated the officer would be and got shot by a salve of lasguns. Soon the guardsmen were ready to fight the eldar back.

Keen4e 03-18-12 08:51 PM

Chapter 4: The boy

Why was he still alive? He saw death all around him. Officers went down first. Whoever tried to issue an order was silenced quickly. The worst of all was, that they saw nothing. Standing on the wooden palisade, they desperately tried to shoot their enemies, who were playing hide and seek with them. The guardsmen with heavy bolters mounted on the watchtowers were already all dead. The boy just duck and covered himself. Every time he looked, someone died, so why was he still alive? Was it Emperor's benevolence that was protecting him? All shells somehow seemed to avoid him.
Then their foe finally appeared. It was a warp spider. Rius read about them in the uplifting primer, but he never imagined they could be so fast. Before he even aimed at him, three of his comrades were dead. He shot, but hit nothing but air. The eldar was already gone. With horror he realised, he was among the last man standing on the palisade. Next wave would definitely kill them. He sought his protector Kulgur, only to find him badly injured. "It will be all right boy." his wounded friend told him, while slowly chewing morphium. "Just hide somewhere."
He ducked in a pile of corpses and wounded soldiers and pretended to be dead. As they defeated the last men holding the post, the warp spiders opened the gate for the rest of the eldar. Rius saw a guardian squad running close to him, but they did not notice he was still alive. Either he managed to fool them or he was too small nuisance to be bothered with. Anyway, they did not shoot him. Oh Emperor. What was he doing there? He obviously was no soldier. He obviously did not belong here. Had he known better, he would never sign up...

Rius saw several figures approaching. They did not spot him. He was well hidden behind a tree. He nodded toward his comrades and they nodded back. Then they all jumped out of their cover and yelled as loud as they could "Charge!"
The group they charged was taken by surprise, but they reacted quickly. They grouped themselves and ran toward Rius and his group while yelling "Waaaagh!" Soon the two groups clashed. After a few minutes of fight, Rius said "We've won. We've taken five of you by shooting and the rest by bayonets."
A boy from the other group frowned slightly and said "This ain't no fair Arvin. Why can't we kill anyone by shooting and why do you always win?"
"Cause you're the greenskins and we're the Imperials silly. Imperials always win." answered Rius.
"And why can't I play a guardsman?" asked the boy.
"Cause I gave you the guns", Rius pointed to the toy replicas of lasguns, "So I decide who's playing who."
"This is so unfair." complianed the boy, but a muscled bully stepped forward and said "Beat it. Arvin's the boss here"
"You're only saying that, cause he bought you a bike." said the boy.
"Isn't he nice?" grinned the bully.
Suddenly an adult appeared and dragged Rius by hand "Master Arvin." he said "Come quickly. Your father is very upset."
"Please Morgan. Can't you just pretend you did not spot me?" pleaded Rius while trying to get free from his grip.
"Sorry master, but I can't do it any more. Please just stop trying to escape, or you will get both of us in trouble." answered the servant.
The rest of the children silently watched them walk away and then one asked "What do we do now?"
"Let's go swimming." answered the others.

His father, mr Rius was not pleased at all. When the servant brought him in, he frowned and said "I told you a hundred times not to leave the gardens especially not with those peasants and yet you do it again!"
"But dad, it's so boring there." protested Rius.
"How can you be still bored after I bought you all that crap?"
"I wanna play with other boys. Not just the toys. I'm fed up with them." answered Rius.
"I have had enough of this! From now on, you don't go outside the villa, unless accompanied by Morgan and if you ever invite one of your peasant friends here, I swear I wil have them shot. Understood?"
Without any answer, his son ran to his bedroom, where he cried.
Mr Rius just sighed. If only his mother was there to educate him, but then he realised, she would not. She was always too nice with their only son. When Arvin was only five, she was kidnapped among many others by Dark Eldar and not even Rius's wealth could bring her back. Everyday, he prayed for her death, which was the only release from the horrors of Commoragh. In his prayers he also cursed the governor and his pdf, for failing to save her. He did not care, their intervention was swift enough to save Emperor knows how many worthless peasants. All that mattered to him was his wife and she was taken from him.
When Arwin was fourteen, his dad announced him, that he found a fiance for him. She was a baroness with title, but no money. The marriage between Rius and her, would be an excellent opportunity for their family to gain a noble title. She was only thirty years old, so she would still be able to have a child with Arwin, when he grows up.
After hearing this, Rius fled. He wandered in town, confused and annoyed. He swore, he would never go back to that cursed villa, that was a prison to him. His father kept him there for nine years and seldom allowed him to leave. The worst of it was, that he was there alone. The only person who liked him was the old servant Morgan. He wondered whether his father ever loved him. He doubted it. If he did, he would never force him to this stupid marriage.
Soon he realised what he has done and fear took over him. What good was fleeing for, when his father would find him and punish him. He would certainly pay a big reward to anyone who would bring him back and then Emperor knows what kind of punishment awaited him back home. While walking in the streets, he saw several posters with propaganda. They were portraying commissars and all of them mentioned some famous quotation of imperial maxim. "Serve the Emperor today, for tomorrow you may be dead." "It is better to die for the Emperor than to live for yourself." "Join the Guard and see the galaxy."
That was something for him! He always wanted to become a soldier. He'd never see his cursed home again and he would embark for an adventure like no other. He'd simply sign up and vanish among other guardsmen. Not even his father would find him there. With proudly straightened head, he walked to the town's recruiting station.
He stopped in front of an endless queue of young people eager to sign up like him. He was however youngest of them all. "Hey kid. That's not a line for lollipops you know." mocked him a youngster who was about sixteen years old.
"I'm not a kid." answered Rius offended.
"Course you are and you'd better get back to your mom before you get spanked. Guard's for real men."
And so it went on until they finally got inside the barracks, where a junior officer greeted them. When he saw Rius, he looked suspiciously at him and asked him how old is he. "Eighteen" answered Rius. He looked at him weirdly, then shrugged and gave him the pen for signature. If the boy wanted to get killed at all cost, it was his own problem, he though.

When mr Rius learned that his son fled, he immediately sent people to search for hi. After a week, he has learned that his son joined the Imperial Guard. He went straight to the governor and asked him to relieve his son and bring him back.
Retius searched through some files and then said "I am sorry, but the regiment your son has been assigned to has already left Krug and was deployed. Your son might already be dead and even if he is not, it is unlikely, that the munitorum will waste time and resources to send him back. You may have lot of power here on Krug, but on the scale of the Imperium even the sub sector, you're a nobody."
"But how could they have recruited him? He's only fourteen damn it!" asked Rius.
"As you can see, your precious Imperium does make mistakes." answered the governor Retius, stressing the word 'precious'. Then he added "Or perhaps it does not. If having as many meat shields as they can get in their armies is their goal, then recruiting your son was the most logical choice."
"It's my son you're talking about!" answered mr Rius and took out a laspistol.
"Go ahead and shoot me if you dare. I don't care how you got through the security with that gun and as a matter of fact I don't even care for my life anymore. But if you do care for yours you had better put that gun back to your coat. I can't help you, even if I wanted to, so threatening me won't help. Right now your son is probably dead anyway."
Without any further remark, mr Rius holstered back his gun and left.
The Governor was ashamed of it, but he was enjoying to see him so desperate. At least he finally understood what wolves, he threw Krug to.

The fight seemed to be finally over. At least no further eldar were reported. Colonel Ruffius sent immediately his personal surgeon dr Alexander Garwick to attend to his wounded bodyguard Grog. When this orgyn was first assigned to his regiment as his personal bodyguard, Ruffius was not very happy about it. He hated pretty much everything on ogryns. Their smell, their stupidity, their grotesque size, their clumsiness and so on. But seeing the courage with which the ogryn threw himself between Ruffius and the warp spider that tried to assasinate him, he changed his opinion about him. He put his faith into the Emperor and dr Garwick's expertise praying that Grog would be saved.
"Will he live?" he asked the surgeon.
"I am not sure." answered Garwick. "I do not know much about ogryn physiology. If he were but a normal human, he would be already dead. He is very resilient I have to give him that."
"I trust that you will do your best doctor." answered Ruffius "I take my leave, for I have to attend to my officiers. The Emperor protects."

When the fight was finally over, Petronia sat to her desk and did the same routine as always in the aftermath of a battle. She reviewed reports from the battlefield, analysed tactical decisions and passed judgements on the soldiers. Her punishments were harsh, but she seldom sent people to death. To her, most of the times a confused and frightened soldier was but a mistake of his superiors. If they messed things by willful neglect that was however quite different. She did not hesitate to punish harshly even the best of the veterans in that case. Among the list of the people, she found Rius. Apparently the boy was found hiding among his dead and wounded squad mates. Where others saw it as cowardice, she simply saw it as common sense. What else could an untrained boy like him do anyway? She dismissed the paper. She would judge him only when and if he grows up a little. If someone was to be blamed for this, it was the man who enrolled him in the first place.

The farseer Ashiel meditated in silence, when exarch Falan'thas of the warp spiders came to him. "Don't bother telling me. I already know we lost." said the farseer without turning to him.
"But how can this be? My timing was so...."
"Perfect?" said Ashiel "Selean, may Isha protect his soul, thought certainly so as well. Our hubris was once our undoing, we must not make such mistakes again."
"So what do we do farseer, do we unleash our last resort?" asked the exarch.
"I certainly hoped to avoid it. I had faith in your military skills Falan'thas. " answered the farseer.
"You already used it once." reminded him the exarch.
"Yes and I took a great risk, but I had no choice. These Space Marines were about to discover what we were planning and we had no strength to stop them."
"Sooner or latter these mon' keigh will discover our secrets as well. It won't be possible for us to fight back. There is too many of them and we cannot hope for any reinforcements from the craft world, since we are rogues. Perhaps some rangers will come, but it still is not enough."
"Very well. If you think you won't be able to deal with the mon' keigh, they will."

"So what are the reports?" Ruffius asked his adjudants. "Causalities are not so high sir. Our regiment has already seen worse."
"Don't remind me that." said Ruffius remembering their fire baptem when they had to fight the World Eaters legion. Back then, they lost almost all their men no more then month after their founding.
"However we lost many officers. All our scouts died except their sergeant, who warned us. The eldar were well prepared. In just one brief moment they eliminated many of our key elements and had we not been warned, they would slaughter us all in this confusion."
"Well at least we're still alive." said Ruffius "If he survives, remind me to praise this scout sergeant one day. But that's still not all isn't it?"
"No sir. The bad news is that the navy reports, that the eldar have infiltrated our ship. Many naval officers were killed and we are without navigators and astropaths."
Ruffius frowned "So that means we are trapped here. What's the worst news?"
"The scout sergeant reported strange metal beings moving slowly towards our base. He took a pic of them." said the adjudant and handed it to his colonel. "Do you know these beings?" he asked.
After taking a brief glance at the pic, Ruffius turned bleak "Terra." he whispered.
"What is it sir?" asked the adjutant.
The colonel stood up and said to all his officers "I have heard about these xenos,... but I never imagined I would see one of these in real. Gentlemen it has been an honour serving with you, but know that we are nearing our last stand, for our foe is no one else, but Necrons."

Keen4e 06-11-12 03:16 AM

After quite a period of exams and general laziness I finally came to some inspiration for writing next chapter, so here it is:

Chapter 5: The veteran.

They were slow. That at least gave Ruffius and his officers time to elaborate a quick plan. Not that it would help much, because on almost any report Ruffius ever read on necrons the Imperials lost. Not only the Guard, but even the mighty Space Marines were often unable to vanquish these xenos. Most of his officers were young and had little, if any knowledge of their formidable foe, so they were not panicking like he would except them to do. Ignorance is bliss, he thought.
"So, we know we are cut off and Emperor knows when anyone will send reinforcements. It's not impossible that this world will simply be forgotten by departmento munitorum for another hundred years. If we are to make this our last stand I want it to be a good one. First thing first, we must tell our men, that reinforcements will be coming soon. Maintaining a good morale will be critical at this time. Commissars I count on you that you will do whatever you can, to give courage to our men." Both, Sidor and Petronia nodded. "Necrons are coming from some sort of caves. We do not know yet at which stage of their awakening they are, but we must except the worst. I will send fourth and seventh company to scout these caverns and help us learn whatever we can. Commissar Petronia you will go with them and make sure, that nobody tries to flee. Twelfth, third and ninth companies will defend our base. I want our Leman Russ battle tank operational and ready to provide fire support in case the necrons attack us with their monoliths. Only it's battle canon has any chance to penetrate their armor. Be advised necrons are very good at sabotaging our vehicles. They use some sort of metal eating bugs... I think they're called scarabs. Target these in priority since they can eat our best armor in a matter of seconds. The rest of our companies will be in reserve and ready to strike as soon as our sentinels find where the eldar are hiding. I want to know what role they play in this, so capturing their leader is our priority. You have your orders, now go to your companies and carry them out and may the Emperor protect you."

The engine of the ancient Leman Russ roared. It was the only tank Krug had. Their regiment relied more on light vehicles like sentinels and infantry. This tank was has seen lot of battles and crushed countless xenos and traitors under its treads. It has been a gift from 264th Cadian Armored regiment. During a conflict in Thalas campaign with the orks, they lost too many men and their regiment was virtually extinct. What left of it was sent to other regiments and 5th Krug got lucky to receive an ancient Leman Russ with experienced crew. Although the crew resented it, the tank was redecorated with the new regimental colours and the Krug motto "Mors nobis servit." The Krug mainly used the tank to provide artillery support to troops and rarely employed it in front. This time was no exception and the Leman Russ was positioned, so that it could provide covering fire.

"Move in guys. Go go go." shouted sergeant Gwenck. He and his squad embarked quickly in a Valkyrie. Despite being in a veteran squad, this was still quite new to him. He was used to roaring engines of chimeras, but Valkyries they were quite a different thing. Their reactors made annoying sounds and they shook differently. Where chimeras were shaken by terrain, Valkyries were by air turbulations. It was also upsetting that they could all easily die in there. In chimeras he felt much safer. He had faith in their armour and also... if crashed they could be easily evacuated. He believed that if their Valkyrie ever went down, they were good as dead. He however hid his nervousness. He was a veteran sergeant after all and he had to hide all his weakness if he could ever hope to gain his squad's respect.
He was always questioned by that arrogant trooper Draco. That man served as a volunteer long before Krug regiments were raised. By his own means he managed to get to the closest guard regiment and served there for twenty years. He was a true veteran, Gwenck had to give him that. Not like the rest of his squad, including himself. They were just regular PDF soldiers and seen little action, although they still had more experience than most of Krugs. Draco was much more of elite soldier. His bragging was perhaps exaggerated (He claimed to have destroyed a necron monolith with his melta gun and even survived the explosion.), but he had a Saint Ollanius Pius cross and that kind of medal was not given lightly. Especially not to simple troops. Draco hoped that after being reassigned to his home regiment, he would become at least a junior officer. Instead, he was assigned to Gwenck's squad. At first he felt pity for him, because such an excellent soldier deserved more than just being a suicidal trooper with a melta gun, but after he saw the arrogance Draco displayed, his pity changed quickly to resentment. Draco was not only constantly questioning his orders, but even sometimes disobeyed them. Not that Gwenck could complain much about it, because he was usually right, but... it still got lot on his nerves. The rest of his squad was checking their lasguns. "This is headquarters. We are making final vox checks. Can you hear us? Over."
Trooper Ricky Rocs took his vox and answered. "This is Charlie veteran squad we can hear you, over."
"Good luck out there. The Emperor protects. Over and out."
So everything was ready. First time fighting Necrons. He was not sure what to think, but seeing even Draco nervous, he knew it was not going to be easy. Draco was the only one to see them and as a matter of fact he was one of the rare survivors of his former regiment. Would they be worse than the Dark Eldar he fought? Gwenck doubted it. Necrons may have been the most powerful killing machines in Galaxy, but they only killed their enemies. If only the Dark Eldar were that merciful.

Back then he was a simple PDF trooper. He volunteered not that much because he wanted to serve the Emperor, but because he loved his home planet and he wanted to protect it. He had a wife, two children and unlike most of miners he got paid enough to feed them well. His life was great until he took his first glance to the horrors of the Galaxy. Dark Eldar raids were quick and devastating. Before they could even respond to distress calls thousands of civilians vanished. Their vehicles were quick and it was almost impossible to shoot them. Before they could set up their lascanons, their foe was long gone to pillage another village. Sometimes they left survivors. Gwenck knew he would never forget these horrors. Those poor tortured peasants were barely able to speak. Most of them became mad. He saw woman lamenting, that their children were taken away from them and tortured in front of their very eyes. He saw entire towns burnt. No one was spared. Rich and poor alike were either killed or worse captured by these dark raiders.
Twelve years lasted that horrible experience before departmento munitorum finally answered requests for military aid. They sent mighty Adeptus Astartes to exterminate these foul xenos. The entire war was painful, but at least he took something from it. He learned value of speed and mobility. He and his squad mates who were among the lucky survivors became quite efficient rapid deployment units and when they joined Imperial guard, they became best droop troops of their regiment.
If there was anything more painful then witnessing this war, it was the day he was summoned to the Imperial Guard. Gwenck was obedient soldier and did not say a single word against, but his sadness on his face was too obvious even though he tried hard to hide it. He had little if any interest in fighting wars on Galactic scale. He loved his home planet and it was a pleasure to protect his family, his homeland, but to wage wars far from it was just too much. When he saw his wife for the last time, her tears reflected his own. To her he was good as dead. That feeling they would never see each other again was just unbearable. She prepared for him brams on sticks with fresh vegetables. His favourite meal. After it they just silently watched sunset. Oh how he just craved seeing his wife smile at him. He did not want his last memory of her being the one of a sad widow , but a lovely and beautiful wife. She gave him that white scarf with blue strips and told him "Please I know you don't believe in these things, but I want you to carry it with you. My mother gave it to me when I married you. It always brought me good luck. I want you to have it so that you survive that hell the Guard is."
He silently nodded and took it. Ever since, he proudly carried it tied around his head.

"We have almost reached our destination. Get ready to drop." told them the pilot.
"You heard him men. Now I want you to get your ass up and move. Get those parachutes now! Go go go, they don't pay you for sitting here!" said Gwenck.
When they got to the rally point, scout sergeant Dereck greeted them.
"Glad to see you made it. This place is now crawling with necron warriors."
"What are they armed with?" asked Gwenck.
"Mostly Gauss weaponry. "answered Dereck.
"These things can penetrate power armour can't they?" asked Gwenck, who was quite worried.
"These things can tear a land raider apart." said trooper Draco. "Not that this matters much. Any necron weapon can penetrate our flak armour anyway."
"So what do we do?" asked trooper Teveran. He was the newbie in Gwenck's squad. He came shortly after Rodrogor's death by some unknown rebel. Not the most glorious death in Galaxy, but he was missed anyway. Teveran was the first Krug to get in a veteran squad without serving as a PDF trooper before. He earned it, after showing enormous devotion to the Emperor. Draco couldn't just stand him and often said, he just was lucky. Perhaps that was why Gwenck liked him. Anyway trooper Teveran was just as courageous as any other veteran trooper and even lost an eye just like Draco did.
"We do what we're good at." answered Gwenck. We do hit and run tactics and destroy the most valuable equipment the enemy has with our melta guns.
"You know, there is something really strange about these necrons." said Draco.
"What is it?" asked Gwenck.
Draco frowned (a very unusual expression for him) and said "They do not have any lords with them. All necrons you see in the column are just mindless goons. They need leaders with them. Otherwise they are just machines. If there were any leaders, I'd suggest to strike at them first, but there are absolutely none."

"Get these things of my tank, now!" shouted sergeant Kleitos, whose leman Russ was being eaten by necron scarabs. How the hell could tose things get in here? He had no time to think. He took out his bolt gun and tried to take down as many as he could, but it was not enough. A trooper came with heavy flamer, let out a battle cry. "No you idiot!" Kleitos tried to stop him, but it was too late. Flames consumed the spiders, but the tank's promethium reserve, that was chewed by scarabs got on fire. Luckily Kleitos and his crew managed to escape, but the trooper was burned beyond saving. His last shrieks were horrifing, but Kleitos and his crew had much more pressing concerns. From the flames came Necron warriors. "Our base is under attack, repeat base is under attack!" voxed Kleitos and immediately ducked to cover. The place which the guard was supposed to defend got on fire and more scarabs were on their way to consume al valuable equipment they could find. The troops had to redeploy immediately to actually fight the necron threat from within their very walls.
As Kleitos was fleeing, he stumbled on a rising necron. As he turned his face, he saw the necron warrior aiming at him with his gauss rifle. He took out his boltgun. One shot two shot, three shots and... click. Oh Emperor how he hated this sound. He forgot to reload his gun after leaving the tank. The necron warrior quickly recovered and then... he got completely torn apart by father Tullius. A priest, that Kleitos always thought being insane and now he finally proved it. With upsetting laughs, he disappeared into the flames taking dozens of necrons with him. Insane or not, he actually saved Kleitos's life and he was grateful for it. He recharged his boltgun and tried to rejoin infantry troops.
"Sir. We should escort you to safety." said sergeant Vork to colonel Ruffius.
"No thanks. Within a few hours there won't be a safe spot on this planet anyway." answered the colonel. "My place is here with my men. I just regret I did not shave this morning. An officer should always look good when it comes to last stand. Too bad you never have time to prepare for them."
"Well sir, " Vork was quite embarrassed. He never seen his colonel joke before.
"Anyway let's give them hell. Grab our standard and bear it proudly. I hope that it will give some courage to our men. I am just wondering whether our troops sent to these caves fare just as badly."

Gwenck made a sign to his squad. Using their lasguns as a crow they rolled giant rocks on necron warrior column marching beneath them. If commissar Sidor saw them illtreating their equipment like this, he would send them to penal legions, but it was much more effective, than just shooting at the necrons. Despite all the propaganda around the divine weapon of mankind that was lasgun, veterans like Gwenck and his squad knew, that use them against advanced armor was just too suicidal and he did not want to waste precious demolition charges on the necrons below. Some of their clumsy warriors were quick enough to hide behind the annihilation barge, their priority target. Krug began to descend slowly, covering behind rocks. They had to be quick, because every necron shot vaporized these. Gwenck saw one of his troopers to get hit in leg. It was not a pleasant sight to see his entire leg disappear instantly. Lying in a spray of blood, the trooper lost conscience. Gwenck knew there was nothing that could be done for him now. They simply continued their descent, when they reached a place with very few cover. Now was the time for smoke grenades. Hidden under cloud of smoke, the veteran squad advanced quickly towards Necron position. Then a demolition charge was launched. It scattered the surviving necrons around and immobilised the annihilation barge. With almost a psychotic rage, Draco held his melta trigger and cried "Fry fry fry!". It did. While melta was not as efficient as gauss weaponry, it was enough to disintegrate necron living metal. At leas at that close distance.
"We did it!" said trooper Rocs, but his joy quickly faded as he saw the necron corpses rising again.
"Guess, that now we're dead. At least we destroyed that thing." said Gwenck.

Keen4e 12-09-12 09:41 PM

Phew... I finally finished the story. I often experience lack of inspiration/interest in middle of my writings, but I forced myself to make an ending, because I hate to leave a work unfinished, but I guess it won't be as good as the beginning. :(

Chapter 6: Into the darkness.

"Our Leman Russ is lost." reported Kleitos.
Colonel Ruffius just sighted "Damn. Does anyone have some good news here? Get behind the firing line. I still may need you. " then he turned to his adjutant "Now get me an auspex scan. I want to know where these necrons come from."
"Yes sir." saluted the adjutant.
Slowly the necrons were encircling them. He saw Sidor fighting heroically with his power fist some of the enemy Flayed ones. It was slightly weird to see that natural swordsman using a powerfist, but since when Sidor lost his arm, he simply lost his touch with his weapon. A mechanical substitute was nothing like his own arm, so he just swapped for less elegant weapon. Seeing how clumsy Sidor was with his new weapon, Ruffius swore that if by some miracle they would get out of this alive, he would find him a better augmentic arm, whatever it takes. After all, he earned it even though Ruffius still did not forget how mercilessly he executed his former commander, colonel Aigar. But where was his mind? He still had a regiment to command. "Relay me to our men " he said and then gave order to regroup at the palisade.
"Sir. I've completed the scan as you ordered." told him his adjutant.
"And what did you find?" asked him Ruffius.
"They are actually just several meters beneath us."
"Damnit." cursed Ruffius. When a Necron warrior appeared behind Ruffius, his Adjutant shouted "Look out!". When Ruffius turned, he saw his ogryn bodyguard back on his feet, tearing the necron with his rippergun. Then the ogryn smiled at him and said "Me love smashin' little crons". It was actually more scary then the Necron themselves. When Ruffius collected himself from the shock, he ordered all his reserve companies to exit the camp.
When they were outside the camp, he ordered a valkyrie run on the ammunition depot to blow the whole camp up.
"You idiot! " said some trooper. "Now we're without any ammo. How are we going to fight the necrons now? We're supposed to shout at them or what?"
As an answer, he just shot him. Despite his dislike of field executions, that kind of insubordination could not go unpunished. He wondered whether the trooper was not actually right, but he was the commander not some unskilled soldier like him. If he did not bombard his own base, they would get quickly overwhelmed by rising Necrons.
"What are your orders now?" asked him one of his company commanders.
He took out a map and explained to his officers how he wanted them to spread. "And fetch me some eldar. I want to have a word with these bastards" he added, but then he changed his mind "Or rather not. Just kill them on sight. At this moment, it does not change anything."

"For the Emperor!" Gwenck heard. When he looked where the noise came from, he saw that guardsmen were coming from underneath the hill. They even brought some heavy weapons which they installed, while covered by lasgun fire. Gwenck threw a smoke bomb making an escape possible for him and his squad mates and ordered "Charlie squad. Get to the rocks, now!" When he heard that the guardsmen received order to fire at will, he shouted half the way "On the ground now!" By some miracle they survived. The bolts passed around them and finished the rising necrons.
When the threat was over, Gwenck got up and saluted "Sergeant Gwenck of the Charlie veteran squad. Glad to see you made it here." he said.
"Good to see, that my company could assist you sergeant." said the company commander. "Our orders are to get as close to the source of the necron invasion as we can and hold our ground. Do you know where are these bastards coming from?"
"I can be of some assistance." said the scout sergeant Derreck, who emerged out of nowhere and startled the company commander. "Sorry sir." apologized Derreck "I am the scout sergeant."
"I know who you are Derreck. You have quite a reputation in the regiment." answered the company commander. "Now speak."
"Look over there." Derreck pointed out. "There are several holes, that the necrons actually blew up. They are coming from the caverns in these mountains. When it was possible, I peaked in there between two necron waves and I must say that, they looked huge. There were about fifty different holes from which the necrons were emerging."
"Very well sergeant. Report back to the colonel. We will take it from here." said the company commander.
"Yes sir." saluted Derreck and got back to shadows.
"Well... down we go." thought the company commander as he lead his men into the caves. The cave was very humid and the men grew nervous about constantly hearing some drops falling on stalactites. They changed their bayonets for flashlight. It was a common joke among the veteran guardsmen, that it actually made their lasguns twin-linked. They had to tread carefully. Some holes were so deep they could not see their bottom despite the strong luminosity of their standard issued flashlights, but most of them were actually used to it. They were miners and caves were their natural environment.
"End of the line." said the officer when they got to a large abyss. Several phalanx of necron warriors were creeping out of it. "Get me some plasmas here. Now!" he shouted.
As an answer a hot rain of plasma killed the necrons who fell back to the Abyss.
"It's deep." commented the officer. "Trooper Greick I want you to scout this area. Get him a rope men! "Alpha squad, provide him some cover."
Trooper Greick slowly descended into the abyss, and soon vanished into the darkness. The rope got lighter and a scream could be heard. After a few minutes another phalanx appeared, but this time men were ready for it with their heavy weapons deployed. A quick salvo sent it back to the abyss.
"I need another volunteer now." said the officer. His men were all avoiding his eyes when he was looking for another trooper to scout the area.
"I will go." said Petronia breaking the awkward silence.
"Commissar you are too valuable to risk your life like that." said the officer.
"If you consider that a risk, you obviously never served with penal legions." said Petronia. "I am going in."
"If you insist." said the officer who anyway did not give a damn about her safety and said as much as was expected of him. Why Petronia did it? Krug mentality hardly accepted women in the army and despite all her rank as a commissar, she still felt some men did not take her seriously enough. By volunteering for something all men in this platoon feared to, she hoped to prove them she was just as courageous as any commissar despite being a female. She tied the rope around her waist and slowly began to descend, her bolt pistol in one hand, her flashlight in other. From time to time, men heard some bolt shots, which meant she was still alive and after a couple of minutes she got back.
"It looks like the Necrons are really coming from down there." she said. "It seems like a large dead city. An impressive sight." as if admiring the necrons , but then she corrected herself quickly "For a xeno architecture of course. From time to time some dormant necrons woke up and tried to kill me and I must say they are surprisingly good at climbing. Anyway if our goal is to destroy as many necron equipment, as we can, we should start here. Get down and put some demolition charges in there. "
"Well thank you for your advice commissar, but I remind you I am the ranking officer here, so I make the tactical decisions." said the officer
"But of course." answered Petronia. "But you see being down there gave me some more insight, so I shared my opinion on the matter."
She was subtle in it, but she made clear to the officer that, she knew he was afraid to get down there. Even with his few hundred survivors still under his command. She was politically correct not to call him coward in front of his men, but she knew. Who did she take him for? With annoyance in his voice he ordered "Men we must get down. First platoon get us some ropes and guard them the rest of us follow me."
Another ten men died while descending and the officer began to wonder how long they could last. Yes he had many men when he came, but their numbers were diminishing. But he will not be called coward. Especially not by a woman! While being covered by about a hundred lasguns, veteran squads began to melt down all necron buildings that stood in their way. Under the heat of the melta guns and explosions of demolition charges, the ancient architecture began to collapse, but from the ruins more and more necrons began to rise and it was clear they could not hold them for long. When he saw a horrifying form of a flayed one a trooper began to flee. His sergeant was occupied trying to hold off the necrons with his chain sword and did not have time to think about his unit. The trooper stopped in front of the barrel of Petronia's bolt pistol.
"Where do you think you're going she asked him." Then she shouted "Watch out!" the trooper threw himself on the ground, and using her bolt pistol, she hit a seemingly dead necron who was just about to get up. "I just saved your sorry arse, so you owe me a beer. Now get back to fight Hendrick. " she said after looking at his tag.
"Yes ma'am. " He saluted and rejoined his squad.
The guardsmen were being pushed by the necrons and soon they were cut off the way from which came. They had to take refuge in an alley that was a defensible position. After a few waves of necron phalanxes the attacks finally stopped for a moment. That left the survivors a brief respite and the officer could finally recount his men and found out that there were only forty seven men able to fight the rest were either gravely wounded or dead. "Damn. I hate this job." major Daur sighted.
"Sir, we found something." reported veteran sergeant Gwenck. "You had better look at it."
The officer looked the way that the sergeant pointed and saw a hundred of dead bodies in power armor. "So that's where the missing Space Marines are." he said.
"Search for any equipment we can use." ordered commissar Petronia "drop your lasguns and take their bolters. We will be much efficient that way."
"Isn't that a blasphemy to give holy equipment of Astartes to mere guardsmen?" asked the officer.
"Technically yes." answered Petronia "But if you think, that the Emperor is looking at us down here, then you are very over confident of your importance and even if he was, I think he would understand our dire situation and gave us all his blessings."
"Well men. Do as she said. Take their bolters and kill as many of them as you can." and then he he picked up a data slate, which he found on the Space Marine Chapter Master and began to read it.

"First day after deployment. After Sicilla campaign, we have taken heavy loses, and I must confess, that I am very afraid for the future of my chapter. I am one of the few battle brothers who survived the attack on the ork bastion and as a highest ranking survivor I became chapter master Elean Dreyfus, the Red Lion. I swore an oath to chaplain Raychim, that I will uphold our chapter's tradition, but it seems so empty now. Our traditions will fall with our chapter, so we need to fill our ranks as quickly as possible. I have made a deal of which I am not proud, but essential to the survival of our chapter. There is a group of techpriests, who focus on study of organic life. Many puritan factions of Adeptus Mechanicus consider them tech heretics and they pursue them. They sought refuge in our domain. They promised us their cloning technologies. Our side of the bargain is to protect them during two Terran years. I agreed, because training and finding new recruits would take much longer.
The group of techpriests with which we are now associated is looking for intelligent life to study. Their laboratories are full of screams and sometimes their vile heresies are more disgusting then what the fallen Chaos Space Marines ever did. We now disembarked on an unknown planet in search of more xeno intelligence. Despite the tech priests analyses, this planet seems to be devoid of any intelligent life. But they are insist, that there are some.

Second day after deployment. It was a terrible mistake to leave our battle barge unguarded. It has been infiltrated, we do not know yet how and destroyed. I do not like to say this, but for once, the Codex Astartes gave a piece of good advice, we should have followed. As if it had not been enough, we had been attacked by necron warriors. If these are the intelligent 'life' forms the tech priests have been looking for, then Emperor preserve us.

Third day after deployment. We have sent a distress signal. I have avoided telling the details, because I do not want me and my battle brothers be branded as heretics. If any help comes, I will deal with the consequences later. Until then we will do our best to contain these necrons. Auspex scans show, that they are coming from some caves under mountains. We are headed towards there.

Forth day after deployment. More and more necrons awake with each hour and we are slowly being overrun. I believe this is the end. The Emperor certainly punishes us for the heresy we have undertaken. So be it. We will redeem ourselves in our last stand. We are His Space Marines... and we shall know no fear.

"
"How can we prevail, where even the Space Marines failed? " asked the young boy Rius, who obviously was the first to realise that this was a suicide mission.
Everyone looked towards their commissar for reassurance. They hoped, she would say something like that these Space Marines were weak heretics, but she did not. She was too realistic and saw the end coming very soon.
"We can't" she answered. There was no point in lying now anyway. "Our communications are disabled and our astropaths dead. We can neither call for reinforcements or flee even if we wanted to."
"But,... that means..." Rius babbled and Petronia could see tears in the boys eyes. The rest of the men just looked at her shocked.
"Well yes we are to die here," she said "but ask yourselves: does that actually change anything? You know as well as I, that when a guardsman performs his duty, death finds him on battlefield on day on another. All that we can do is to make our death the most useful one and by the Emperor we will make our sacrifice were useful. Not a damn necron will pass our defense till the last guardsman still draws breath. I will see to that. By discipline and inspiration, I will make of you the tools of the Emperor. We will avenge these Astartes and by doing so we will meet them at the right hand of our glorious God. So prepare yourselves guardsmen: by giving our blood we will show these heartless xenos the true meaning of courage. For the Emperor, for the Imperium."
This was the happiest moment of her life. She longed for a heroic death and even though no one would remember her last stand, the Emperor would see it and that was more than enough.

"Sir, I've spotted some kind of pylons." reported scout sergeant Dereck. "It seems to be heavily guarded. "
"Can you see any aircraft defense?" asked the colonel.
"No sir, but it could be concealed. I have already seen too much of eldar trickery today."
"Very well, keep me updated." said Ruffius and he ordered a bombing run on the place. A few of his air crafts were shot, but it did not matter much at the current situation. Whatever the eldar were doing, he would have them paid.

"No! What have these fools done?" cursed the farseer. All his meticulous work was crushed under those crude bombs. Now that the necrons were awaking, these pylons were critical. As the enemy troops were approaching, he knew there was no time to do any foretelling. He did the course of action, that seemed the most reasonable to him now. He surrendered himself to the Mon' Keigh.
"Sir, something strange is happening." reported sergeant Ian Mc Kruu to his platoon commander. "We have the eldar witch advancing alone towards our positions. He threw away his weapons and looks like he wants to surrender." Mc Kruu was one of the most psychotic soldiers of the fifth regiment. He was always eager to hear the order to charge or at least always hoped his squad would get charged. He personally slew an ork boy with his chainsword and his squad would never forget this bloody image of him covered in blood, shouting the most foul insults toward the xeno. It was known, that he kept his head as a trophy. If it was up to him, he would add the head of this eldar to his collection.
"This could be a trap. Wait for further instructions." said the platoon commander and contacted his colonel.
When Ruffius learned, that the eldar was surrendering, he suspected a trap as well, but... what had he to lose? His regiment was on the verge of defeat anyway. "Bring him to me." he ordered.
Not even chains could break the eldar's pride. He stood in front of Ruffius and his senior officers, stripped of his weapons and his armour and no fear, only contempt was visible in his eyes. Had he not surrendered, Ruffius would even admire him. "Human. Do whatever you please with me, but first heed me, for I have foreseen a terrible doom for both of our races." said the farseer in very elegant high gothic. Few were the humans, who mastered this language with such eloquence. It was insulting to hear this crude xeno speak with such a perfection. Nevertheless Ruffius had other things to worry about, so he let the xeno speak.
"I am what you humans call a renegade. I left my own craftworld, because my own kind did not believe in my interpretation of prophecies. My choice was to fight fire with fire. I used the pylons you destroyed to control the awakening necrons. Now that no one controls these beings, they will go and fulfil their original purpose. Kill al life. "
"Are you really that weak, that you need to use other races to win your fights?" asked Ruffius with contempt.
"You presume too much human. Despite your insolence I will offer you my help. But do not be mistaken human. I am only doing it so that you stop the necron threat. I can send an astropathic message to your army. Call in for reinforcements hoping that they will be able to hold against the necrons with your inferior weapons. "
Ruffius answered "Are you out of your mind witch? I am not going to entrust our access codes to a xeno."
"The problem is human..." said the eldar with a smirk "that I have already read them from your mind. But fear not. Now that I have failed my mission. I do not need to harm you. On the contrary the more of your armies come, the better chances you have to stop them. "
"You disgust me witch and I am not going to take any chances. Men: execute him now. " ordered Ruffius.
"Rest assured human, that the feeling is mutual. " said the eldar before being shot.

The far seer was however true to his word. Due to some anomaly in the warp, the reinforcements were en route before he even sent the message and arrived an hour later.
It was decided to make an exterminatus on the planet, since it had no valuable ressources for the Imperium. Fortunately it was done before the necrons were able to defend themselves. The Imperial fleet was magnanimous enough to evacuate the surviving Krug. They had taken too many loses however and had to be mixed with another regiment from the same planet.

"May I ask you a personal question?" asked a techpriest Sidor, who was lying at the infirmary.
"Please do." answered the commissar.
"Why do you insist so much on growing a crude biological arm, when I could make you a much better augmentic one? " asked the techpriest.
"I was the best damn sword fighter, before loosing my real arm in a fight with a Chaos Space Marine. Now with those crude augmentics I am barely able to beat my own troops in sword fighting. "
"These augmentics are indeed crude, but I could make you much better ones." said the techpriest "Instead of growing some imperfect biological arm."
"No thank you. I want to feel the sword in my hand again." answered Sidor.
"As you wish." answered the techpriest still unable to understand how could someone prefer imperfect flesh over metal, but since colonel Ruffius donated a large sum to his biological research, he had to as he wished.

Petronia was looking from the command bridge at the bombarded planet. The sight of the massive fire power, that the fleet could deliver made her feel proud to be human. She witnessed the uncompromising might of the Imperium and it really made her spine shiver. It was the first, and probably the last, time she saw an exterminatus and it was a magnificent sight indeed. As soon as the planet was nothing but dust. The fleet left the star system for a new battlefield. This time she felt that the Krug were ready for any horror, that the universe could throw at them. They were no longer greenhorns, but real guardsmen.

Dave T Hobbit 12-10-12 12:54 PM

Well done on completing the arc. I feel every writer struggles once the initial buzz of the idea goes but only some of them have the will to push through.

I like the ending; it completes the story but leaves the feeling that more happens in the future.


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