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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
“One Shot, One Kill” A short story set in the Warhammer 40k universe

As he crawled to the tree line at the top of a low ridge, Battle-Brother Ignatius knew his squad had come across something of great importance and hoped Brother-Sergeant Cragg would be pleased. Ignatius immediately made the hand signal to halt. He was the point man for an 8-man detachment of scouts from the Stone Judges Space Marine chapter, sent on a seek-and-destroy mission. What exactly they were meant to find out here in the hinterlands of Ranthor Tertius, the southernmost continent on this planet he was quickly coming to despise, was anyone’s guess.

As each Space Marine in the column saw the hand signal to halt coming from their Battle-Brother to their front, they slowly lowered to one knee and melted into the tangled underbrush, scanning the perimeter for targets.

It had taken but a moment for the signal to halt to reach Brother-Sergeant Cragg, who had hoped beyond hope that Ignatius had finally spotted something worthwhile. The column had been moving for the past 20 hours, initially through the tough scrubland where they had disembarked from their 2 Land Speeder Storm transports and then through this Chaos-damned forest. Once entering the forest, the team had stopped several times to investigate the headless corpses of men and women, their flesh carved and branded with the 8-pointed star of the ruinous powers and other unmentionable and unintelligible sigils of Chaos. Cragg was becoming anxious to locate and eliminate his objective, as he was well aware that his Scouts were deep behind enemy lines and thus moved smartly, yet skillfully silent up to Ignatius’ position.

As he moved up through the column, he noted how each of his scouts had taken branches and foliage, attaching it to their armor to add to their camouflage. He even broke the hint of a smile as he looked to their faces and saw mud smeared in order to break up their silhouettes. “They’ll make fine scouts in my company alright, yes indeed they will,” he thought to himself.

As Cragg approached, Ignatius made to salute, but Cragg caught him with a look and Ignatius stopped.

“Status?” said Cragg.

“It, it seems there is a camp set up around some ruins, about 2 clicks south of our location,” replied Ignatius.

“Why do you stutter so Ignatius? This is the target we have been sent to destroy. Within those ruins lies some foul artifact of the ruinous powers, and we will bring the Emperor’s wrath down on it, along with those forlorn heretics excavating it,” whispered Cragg.

“Sir, I think you should see what I’m talking about,” stammered Ignatius.

Cragg immediately swung his ancient sniper rifle to his shoulder and sighted down his scope at the ruins and the camp surrounding them. He felt the weight of the rifle in his hands, and he was reassured by it. Cragg remembered back to all of the times he had meted out the Emperor’s justice with a single shot ringing from on high. As he peered through his rifle’s optics, he could not help but pity the misbegotten heretics he would destroy in the next hour.

Cragg’s pity was soon replaced with a mixture of fear and loathing when his sights crossed what looked to him like Space Marines. Fifteen he counted, each one’s face a hideous mask of flesh stretched across a nearly visible skull. Their armor was blood red and decorated with innumerable markings of Chaos and what looked like human skulls, some of which were fresh as the flesh had not yet decomposed.

“By the Emperor”, Cragg whispered.

“My sentiments exactly sir,” replied Ignatius.

“So fifteen traitor Marines against our eight scouts? I like those odds,” said Cragg.

“You forgot the two Predators and a Land Raider sir.” Ignatius said curtly.

“Where the frack did you see them?” spat Cragg.

“Under the tents to the north of the main tower of the ruins sir.”

“Damn my eyesight, I must be getting old!” replied Cragg with the tiniest hint of a laugh.

“So what do we do? We don’t have the armour nor the weapons to withstand sustained fire from those tanks!” said Ignatius.

“I’ll think of something. Remember, the Emperor doth provide.”

10 minutes later, Cragg had assembled his scouts and began to explain their plan of attack. None of them seemed phased that they were facing heavy armor and Khornite traitors with their small squad of 8 Space Marines. This pleased Cragg, as it reinforced his confidence in his selection of personnel for this mission as well as the training he had given all of his men.

“We have two missile launchers, two heavy bolters and four snipers. Each of you are crack shots, that’s why I picked you for this mission. We will deploy Ferton and Raz on the Missile launchers half a click north down the ridge, Tarn and Rin on the heavy bolters will deploy where we are currently, while Ignatius, Roth, Cygrin and I will deploy half a click to the south. Communication will be kept to a minimum until engagement. Remember boys, make every shot count, as we have limited ammunition. Am I perfectly understood?”

“Yes sir,” they whispered in unison.

“Ferton, Raz, listen up. I want you to initiate the attack. When I give the signal, you open up on the Land Raider. Once that is destroyed, take out the Predators. Once the heavy armor is dead, I want you to switch to frags and help with the traitor Marines.”

“Roger that,” they said as they moved slowly into position.

“The rest of you, our targets are the Marines. Do not let them get close enough to engage us in hand to hand. Though our spirit is unbreakable and the Emperor is with us, we will be no match against them in assault. Understood?”
“Yes sir” was the reply.

30 minutes later, Cragg and his scouts were in position. By his estimation, they had 3 hours of daylight left. He prayed that if they survived, they would have time to destroy the demonic artifact and make their extraction before more Chaos filth overan his meager team. He keyed the microbead in his ear: “Marines, pick your targets well and make every shot count. Remember our motto, ‘One shot, one kill’. You may fire when ready.”

Stay tuned to see how Cragg and his boys fare in the next installment of One Shot, One Kill

369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Can anyone say if they give a thumbs up or down? After reading it again I feel like they are IG and not Marines.

Premium Member
6,993 Posts
Its interesting, but the dialogue seems to play out more like guardsmen than space marines; especially young space marine scouts and an older sergeant.

I don't know, but that made it harder for me to get into the story; it just didn't feel right. Also, why would this team of snipers have four heavy weapons? Are the Stone Judges a very codex divergent chapter or something?

369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Its interesting, but the dialogue seems to play out more like guardsmen than space marines; especially young space marine scouts and an older sergeant.

I don't know, but that made it harder for me to get into the story; it just didn't feel right. Also, why would this team of snipers have four heavy weapons? Are the Stone Judges a very codex divergent chapter or something?
This is supposed to be a "special ops" type mission. I'm going to explain why in the after action report by Sergeant Cragg. I think my reading the Gaunt's Ghosts series at the moment is bleeding through, as I haven't really read what Space Marine dialogue is like.

369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
After finishing his transmission, Sergeant Cragg pulled the butt of his rifle tightly into his shoulder, welding his cheek to the stock and lining up the holographic sight on the obscured Chaos Land Raider. Hoping that Ferton and Raz could destroy that ancient affront to the Astartes and Imperium itself, Sergeant Cragg could not help but let his thoughts wander as he imagined the countless lives that armored behemoth had snuffed out since the Traitor Legions had split and turned their backs on the Emperor’s light. Cragg thoughts were immediately brought back to the task at hand as he heard the telltale sound of missiles igniting and screaming towards their prey, expertly aimed and loaded for bear.

As he watched through his sights, he could not help but smile as both krak missiles hit their marks with a vengeance. The Land Raider’s aft hull was punctured and the massive tank exploded not a moment later, as fuel and munitions were ignited. The blast from the initial explosion sent the squad of Chaos Marines sprawling and ducking for cover as rounds were cooked off in the smoldering inferno that was once their heavy tank. Immediately, as if on cue, Tarn and Rin opened up on the traitors with their heavy bolters. The initial shot’s landed short, but the skilled operators slowly adjusted their arcs of fire, walking their rounds into the squad of Chaos Marines with devastating effect.

Sergeant Cragg watched as two of the Khorne-worshipping scum were caught in a fusillade of bolter rounds, torn to bits by the mass reactive rounds. Having faced filth like this a thousand times on as many battlefields, Cragg knew that his small contingent’s window of opportunity for easy kills was waning, as Chaos Marines would quickly identify his scout’s firing locations and begin to lay down suppressive fire and counter attack. Even with the element of surprise and the fact that they had scored a quick kill against the Chaos heavy armor, the Stone Judge scouts had to work quickly, else they would be blown to bits by autocannon and bolter fire alike. Knowing this much, Cragg and his snipers immediately went to their grim work.

Drawing a bead on one Chaos Marine who was firing wildly into the hillside, Cragg exhaled slowly and squeezed off a round. The shot entered its prey’s left eye plate, blowing off the top of his head. The heretic slumped to the ground with his hand still locked in a deathgrip on his bolter, which fired wildly into his comrades. As Cragg scanned the ruins for other targets, he could see Ignatius and Cygrin were faring well, each felling traitor-Marines where they stood.

Cragg scanned for the location of the Predators, and knew that if his heavy weapons couldn’t eliminate them quickly, they would soon fall prey to overwhelming fire.

“Ferton, Raz, report! Status on the Predators.” yelled Sergeant Cragg into his micro-bead.

“We have a lock on one, taking the shot” was the response from the missile-team.

As Cragg followed the con-trail of the missiles, he saw as they both hit resoundingly against the side of one of the Predators. It exploded in a bright red plume of burning promethium and munitions. To his horror, the second Predator moved out of cover and through the smoking wreckage of it's twin and traversed it’s autocannon, aiming directly at Ferton and Raz’s position.

“FERTON, RAZ, GET OUT OF THERE NOW! YOUR POSITION IS COMPROMISED!” shouted Cragg, hoping beyond hope that the predator’s aim was foul and Ferton and Raz could move before being obliterated. “Ferton, Raz, come in! REPORT!”

“We’re moving sir, I don’t think they have our position pinpointed. Where do you want us to…”

The transmission was abruptly stopped by the sounds of large-caliber shells impacting and then, static.

“Ferton, report!” bellowed Cragg, already moving from his position north down the ridge towards Ferton and Raz’s location. Emperor damn it! I should have had them move after the initial shot. Frack, I’ve killed two of my Marines! Sergeant Cragg could not help but think the worst had befallen his missile-team. He was passing behind Tarn and Rin’s position, yelling for them to keep up the fire and keep the Chaos Marines’ heads down.

“Ferton, come in!” Cragg spat. The moment he had finished speaking he saw the carnage the autocannon had wrought. Raz lay slumped, his body blown in two and entrails spread across the woods. Ferton was crawling towards him, his left leg gone and a shrapnel wound in his right arm. Cragg immediately grabbed Ferton’s missile launcher, which he had dragged with him, and slung it under his shoulder. Grabbing Ferton, he hefted the younger Marine over his shoulder and began running back to the heavy bolters' firing position.

“Tarn, Rin, target that Predator. I want that thing brought down.” was all Cragg said to the heavy-bolter wielding scouts. He put Ferton down and assessed his wounds. Ferton had pulled the shrapnel from his arm, and already his Larraman’s Organ was creating a layer of scar tissue over his ruined stump of a leg and knitting together the gash in his arm.

Cragg caught Ferton with a piercing gaze.“ Target the remaining Predator. Avenge Raz” was Cragg’s only order, and he swiftly moved back to the snipers’ position.

Jumping down and fitting his rifle to his cheek, Cragg drew down on a Chaos Marine running for cover. His shot went high, as the traitor had dove at the last moment behind a boulder. The Chaos Marines were advancing on their position quickly, moving in two groups of four, one laying down suppressive fire as the other rushed forward and found cover. At this rate, the heretics would be upon them quickly. Even though Cragg's snipers and heavy bolter team had whitled their number down to eight, eight Chaos Marines would be difficult to overcome at close range, especially with a Predator supporting them.

Just at that moment, a single rocket sailed out down the slope of the hill. It scored a direct hit on the Chaos Predator, blowing it's turret fifty meters into the air and incinerating a traitor-Marine nearby. It turns out that Ferton's grievous wound had not hindered his aim at all, and the momentum of the battle was shifting in favor of the Stone Judge scouts.

Taking aim yet again, Cragg squeezed off a round which impacted and exploded the chest of a Chaos Marine who had just broken from cover. Though the heretic was wounded, he continued forward, spraying bolter rounds at the scouts' position. Cragg fired another round into the traitor-Marine, this time cutting the abomination in half and sending its soul to be devoured by some heinous demon within the warp.

Despite the withering fire from sniper rifle and heavy bolter alike, the Chaos Marines advanced methodically. By this time, their number had been reduced to four, thanks to a head shot from Roth and a tight stream of heavy bolter fire from Rin. The Chaos Marines were within thirty meters by now, already at the base of the slight hill the scouts had taken up their firing positions on. Cragg could see the heretics pulling chainswords from their hips and discarding spent bolters.

Cragg's squad knew this was the moment of truth. Readying combat knives, they waited for the word from their sergeant.

"Cragg to all Marines! Do not suffer the Heretic to live! CHARGE!"

369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cragg was the first to burst from his firing position. Bolt pistol and chain-sword in hand, he led the charge down the hill into the oncoming forms of four traitor-Marines. The five other able bodied Space Marines of the Stone Judge Chapter followed Brother-Sergeant Cragg down the hill, combat knives and bolt pistols in hand, bellowing the battle-cry of their beloved chapter, degenerating into a blood-curdling roar as they sprinted into the fray.

Although the demon-worshippers were shod in power armor and empowered by unknown warp-spawned magic, Brother-Sergeant Cragg and his scouts were infused with inhuman strength and rage, a rage kindled millennia ago. The Emperor was watching Cragg and his scouts, they all knew this much. They would not fail their father. They could not fail their Chapter.

“For the glory of the Emperor!” bellowed Cragg as he fell upon a Chaos Space Marine, tackling the armored behemoth to the ground. Where he had found the strength to accomplish such a feat was unknown, even to Cragg. Every sinew of Cragg’s being strained to subdue his prey, who fought back savagely, landing a blow to Cragg’s face which would have shattered a mortal man’s skull. Straddling the heretic, Cragg slashed and slammed mercilessly into its helmet with his chain-sword while firing round after round into the traitor’s chest plate. Initially his sword sparked against the power armor, showering Cragg in sparks and red flecks of ceramite. Eventually though, the flecks of armor were replaced with blood and gore. Smashing his foe into a crumpled wreck of flesh and metal, Cragg rose to his feet, face and torso drenched in the blood of his ancient enemy.

As he rose, Cragg caught a glimpse of Ignatius and Cygrin locked in melee with a Chaos Marine, firing with bolt pistols and slashing with combat knives, all the while deftly dodging and parrying lunging slashes from the traitor’s keening chain sword. Roth and Tarn were faring similarly well, the only sign that the situation was not in hand was a brutal gash across Tarn’s cheek from the heretic’s blade.

Rin was not faring as well. He was holding his arm where the Chaos Marine had hacked into it with his chainsword, his camo jumpsuit drenched in blood.

Cragg immediately ran to Rin’s aide, but before he could reach his Scout’s position, Rin was dead. A kick from the traitor had laid Rin flat on his back, the wind knocked out of his lungs. The heretic had closed quickly, standing over Rin and impaling him with his weapon.

His blood boiling, Cragg roared a challenge at the Chaos Marine. “Come and find the Emperor’s justice, you heretic! You bastard!”

The traitor turned to face Cragg, but not before crushing Rin’s chest with his armored foot and pulling his chainsword free. Immediately Cragg realized this was the leader of the Chaos Marines. He stood a full head taller than Cragg, his armor blood red with bright brass fittings. Fetishes of some unnamable Chaos god adorned his body and his face looked like a skull with skin stapled in place. This would be his biggest challenge yet, and Cragg readied himself.

They stood not ten meters apart, swords clenched in hand and spent bolt pistols discarded.

Cragg was the first to move, bolting headlong for the traitor-Marine who had just mutilated one of his battle-brethren. Closing the gap quickly, Cragg swung hard with his chainsword in a downward arc, intending to catch the Chaos Space Marine in the neck and decapitate him. To his surprise, the traitor deftly side-stepped Cragg’s lunge and parried the slash away.

“You have some skill, for a hell-spawned bastard!” spat Cragg, as he regained his footing and squared to his opponent, circling to his right.

“And you as well, mortal” said the Chaos Marine.

His voice was inhuman, demonic. Or at least what Cragg imagined a demon would sound like. Bother-Sergeant Cragg wondered how long this traitor had served the ruinous powers. What gifts his blood-god had given him.

“I trust you will not die as easily as your comrade” spoke the traitor.

“I trust you will die as easily as yours!” was Cragg’s reply. He launched a second slash at the power-armored behemoth, hoping to catch him unawares and distracted by their impromptu conversation. This attack was only a feint by Cragg, hoping for the Chaos Marine to circle into a side-long slash. But this time, the heretic blocked Cragg’s blade with his own. Chainswords keening against each other, Cragg had to act quickly else he suffer Rin’s fate. With a flick of his thumb, Cragg reversed the direction of his chainsword’s teeth. Using this opportunity, Cragg disarmed his opponent with a twist and push of his blade. Taking a step back and grasping his sword with both hands, Cragg delivered a blow to his now weaponless opponent’s neck, severing his head and sending it flying several meters. "The Emperor protects" murmured Cragg as he flipped his chainsword to idle.

The honor of his Chapter and the Emperor maintained, Cragg surveyed his scouts and their progress. Both of the remaining Chaos Space Marines were dead, with only minor wounds suffered by his scouts. The only casualty of the melee was Rin, who's body would be taken to the extraction point for internment on their home world.

Gathering his Marines, Cragg explained the remainder of the mission and timetable. The team would have to demo the Chaos artifact and exfiltrate from this location within the next two hours. Time was of the essence.
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