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The Poriphon War

Space Marines Tyranids Harlan Skorus 212th Heralic Hive Fleet Vritra Imperial Guard Knights Vindicant

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#1
Harlan Skorus

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What started out a few months ago as a detailed history of my homebrewed Chapter, the Knights Vindicant, quickly blossomed into a full account of the Poriphon War and the struggle with Hive Fleet Vritra. Some of this included some fluff centered around a few miscreants of the 212th Heralic Armoured Infantry, which you're about to be subject to. I will update this bit by bit as I'm going through rewriting it, but feel free to gush forth with praise/exercise your cutting and profound critique-muscles. Yes, it will feature more power armour as it goes on.

 

Anyways.

 

+++

 

List of Contents:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

 

Interlude 1: Glossary of terms

Interlude 2: The Poriphon System

Interlude 3: Showdown at Fort Caracus

Interlude 4: The 212th Heralic Armoured Infantry

Interlude 5: The Poriphon War

 

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764.992.M41: Gunnery Private Elisa Cassidy; Fort Carancus, Heral, Poriphon System.

 

The rain hammered down, soaking her to the bone as she shivered on the gunnery platform of the Basilisk. They'd invented a cannon she could use to fire a 38kg high ordinance shell over 15 miles, putting a crater in the ground large enough to swallow a Baneblade with room to spare, and they hadn't even put a roof on the damned thing. That about summed up anything anyone needed to know about the Emperor's glorious Astra Militarum. Heavy, noisy, uncomfortable.

 

Elisa Cassidy looked on in quiet misery from her vantage point through the plasteel-link fence, all that separated the 212th Heralic Armoured Infantry and the rows of tanks from the crowds of desperate civilians trying to buy, beg or force their way off-world. The 212th had long ago given up trying to police that little stampede. They'd tried at first, straining together against the pressed mass of bodies, but that had soon stopped once the cults and the rioters had started using the crowd as a mask, launch sudden attacks here and there on the thin line of soldiers and fading away before anyone could respond. There was even talk that a platoon of the 111th, over at Fort Rathan, had been mobbed by looters and torn apart. It hadn't taken long after that for the order to go out. Better to let the Arbiters sort out that mess, Colonel Garlon had said. They'd need their guns for a greater threat.

 

It was almost three weeks since the chaos had started, all of it caused by one word: Tyranids. Apparently they'd already attacked Karath and Demros, stealing into the Poriphon system undetected. Heral was next, more a city than it was a planet, billions of people all trying to escape at once. Garlon was right. A couple thousand soldiers couldn't do anything to sort this mess. So Cassidy stood on her tank, behind a fence, watching people trample each other to get on the next shuttle as Arbiters struggled helplessly against the weight of the crowd.

 

She'd had enough of the sorry scene. Turning away from it, she looked through a gap in the massed ranks of tanks, across to the parade ground. A platoon stood to attention, a Commissar prowling about them, yelling himself hoarse. A blindfolded man had been forced to his knees in front of the platoon, and as the Commissar concluded his speech, he turned and put a bolt through the man's head. She watched the body crumple to the floor and the blood wash away in the rain, wondering what crime the man had committed. Not that it mattered, of course. It wasn't really encouraged to argue with the Commissariat. The sight held little more for her than the ugly river of humanity at her back, so she leant back against the loading chamber of the Earthshaker cannon, staring at the sky in disgusted exasperation.

 

An hour went by before Lian turned up. The Basilisk's designated loader climbed up to join her on the platform, his wiry form struggling clumsily for purchase on the slick metal of the tank. Even once Cassidy had helped him up, he was still a good hand shorter than her. Lian couldn't look less like a soldier if he tried, an unimposing man with a tic in his left shoulder, occasionally jerking his head and arm about when he spoke. But then the 212th had been taking all sorts. Even women, Cassidy thought with a taut smile. Lian had proven himself as able as she had; in training, at least.

 

Lian shook vigorously, trying in vain to dislodge some of the cold rain that permeated the comically large greatcoat, standard issue for the Heralic Armoured Infantry regiments. “You've been out her some time, Cass. You looked soaked. Watchin' tic the crowds again?”

 

“Not a lot else to do, Lian,” she replied with a shrug she wasn't fully committed to. They'd been confined to the cramped confines of Fort Carancus for the last ten days, all two-thousand or so men and woman trying to fit into a complex designed for barely a quarter of their number. At least out among the tanks she could get some room to herself, a quiet slice of damp solitude. “Some poor bastard just got found wanting on the parade ground. Fourth company, I think. Couldn't see which platoon.”

 

“I heard. All the buzz in the canteen. They're sayin' he tried to sell off his kit for a place on tic the shuttles.” Cassidy stood in silence for a moment, Lian obliging her, both letting it sink in. The technicalities of the crime had been left unsaid, but they all knew of it. Desertion was the main concern of the Regiment's commissariat, judging by the amount of propaganda – or 'urgent info-comms' – they'd seen about it over the last few weeks. Not even a glimpse of the alien sword hanging over all their heads yet, and they already had casualties. That was probably the only other thing you'd want to know about the Emperor's glorious Astra Militarum – your life only held as much value as the weapon you held in your hands. Lasguns were damn cheap. Cassidy silently counted herself lucky to have been selected for the fledgling artillery company of the 212th.

 

The regiment was newly formed, less than a year old and barely out of basic training. They hadn't even made it off-world yet, or seen real combat; save for a few of the more senior officers, transferred in to command the regiment. Colonel Garlon was one of them. So was Captain Ferris, a tough old man who'd lost a leg fighting cultists on some world she'd never see. All scarred face and wild grey hair, and the heavy limp of a man with a cheap bionic leg. To Cassidy, Lian and all the other crew of the artillery tanks, he was the face of those who had the impossible responsibility of trying to forge a bunch of petty criminals, bored dilettantes and the odd d'n'd – the devout and delusional - into something resembling a functional fighting regiment.

 

Cassidy fell somewhere between the second and the third of those groups, born into enough money to be comfortable, not enough to ever have status. She knew enough about Lian to class him firmly in the first band, although by the sounds of it he'd been an awful thief, and probably much better off in the 'Guard. She looked out grudgingly on the mass of people trying to move through the Spaceport, wondering where each of them stood on the spectrum of personalties, of economic standings. Who had families, who had loved ones, who'd lost them and who would in the coming days. She'd never seen so many different types of people in one place. All trying to escape. And here she was, stood shivering in the rain, watching them all leave while trying to fool herself into thinking she'd made the noble choice to stay and fight against an enemy so terrible they were beyond comprehension.

 

She sat with Lian for a while, now perched on top of the main body of the tank, resting back against the gun shield with the cannon looming over them. They shared a flask of the local vintage, Mayr, that Lian had either found or 'found'; it was cheap, but the burning in her throat wasn't too unpleasant given the gloomy circumstances. It was enough. They laughed in the face of the rain, sharing old stories from before they'd signed up, talked about the few hopes they had for the future. That conversation ended when they'd strayed onto the topic of the coming war, both of them falling into a morose silence. Luckily a few members of other crews had picked that moment to wander past, climbing up to join them and pitching in with their own stories and alcohol. There wasn't much, but the welcome sense of companionship and shared misfortune was enough to break the dull monotony of the wait.

 

It was late in the afternoon when they began to notice the buzz around the Fort. One the distant parade ground, guardsmen were animated, moving with more energy than they had that morning to form little groups of excited gossipers. Eventually, Cassidy leapt from the tank to physically shake the attention loose from a passing soldier, asked him roughly what was happening. The answer was short.

 

“The Astartes! The Space Marines are coming!”

 

The parade ground had already filled by the time they got there. Crowds of recruits milled about as frustrated junior officers tried in vain to organise them into their companies, platoons, squads. There was barely enough room for the whole regiment. Cassidy found it odd how the morning's execution, the seventh this week, had disappeared from conversation like last year's news. It seemed everyone had been given a new lease of life by their impending salvation. She was more cautious. The superhuman Space Marines were terrifying warriors, or so went the holovids, saving the Imperium time and time again from it's greatest enemies. No-one else had seemed to notice that their presence indicated the danger they were all in.

 

They saw the first of the Thunderhawks less than an hour later, silver prows breaking through the dark clouds overhead. They heard them soon after. The flyers were massive, vehicles the size of a Baneblade gliding through the air. It seemed unreal. Other smaller aircraft followed in their wake; Cassidy spotted a few Stormravens, and many more she didn't know the name of. They landed on the military pads beyond the far reaches of the parade ground, each one touching down for just long enough to empty it's hold before taking off again. The Guardsmen stood to attention in their massed ranks, banners waving lethargically beneath the weight of the rain, as soaked and limp as the men and women beneath them.

 

There were hundreds of them, Cassidy thought. The great plates of their ceramite armour were pure silver, so pale to almost be white, and with rich blue detail. They looked so regal as they formed up, moving with purpose and in tight formation as soon as they'd set foot on the pads. The first of them made their way to the parade ground as the last of the ships gave up their cargo: three Land Raiders, the most heavily armoured tanks in the Imperium. Even she was impressed. She watched as what she presumed was the three commanders, with decorated armour and laurelled helmets, strode towards General Garlon and his entourage at the front of the regiment.

 

She couldn't see much, the artillery company being situated at the rear of the regiment, but the Marines were tall enough to be visible even from where she stood. She watched as the one at the front removed his golden helmet, approaching Colonel Garlon; it was impossible to hear what was said over the pounding rain and the ragged cheers of the guardsmen, but she saw the Space Marine look over the regiment. If he had any opinion of them, he didn't show it.

 

+++


Edited by Harlan Skorus, 15 July 2014 - 08:03 PM.


#2
Aqui

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The story drew me from the start, which is half the battle when writing thumbsup.gif

I'll be waiting for the next part msn-wink.gif

In the darkness between the stars, the weak and the faithless find no deliverance. We are raised to believe that the God-Emperor watches over us all. And so we are charged to cleanse the mutant, the heretic and the alien. We must not falter. We are His sword. We are His wrath. Even in the face of death, we shall not submit. Suffering is our prayer. Faith is our armour. In Battle He offers us redemption. And for those who proves their worth, the Emperor sends sends forth His Angels!


#3
Olis

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You turn a good phrase there, brother. I like your prose. I also like where this story is going. Keep it up. ^_^


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#4
Harlan Skorus

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Have another part! Worth noting is that on my original text document, helmeted-marine speak is written in Copperplate Gothic, which seems infinitely more fitting. I liked House of Leaves, can't you tell?#

 

+++

 

766.992.M41: Colonel Sammander Garlon; Fort Carancus, Heral, Poriphon System.

 

The command bunker at Fort Carancus buzzed with activity. Military aides darted here and there, carrying reports, orders, directives, positions, numbers, names; Lieutenants and Captains pushed their way through the crowded corridors in twos and three, hurried conversations being conducted as they walked. And no matter who was before him, they all split before Colonel Sammander Garlon as he plunged through the chaos, flattening themselves against walls and launching into a rolling tide of salutes. Good little boys and girls, he thought. Someone had been drilling them well.

 

Garlon had no doubt that their impressive display was not, for once, solely to impress him. High Commissar Bernart followed him, stony-faced as always, raking the junior officers with a gaze that dared them to step out of line. He had a grudging respect for the High Commissar, but he didn't enjoy the man's company. The way it had to be. The old man was fierce, and his reputation twice as bad – Garlon knew enough that it wasn't entirely unwarranted. In his younger days Bernart had served with the Armageddon Steel Legion, his regiment one of the many that fought in the Second War for Armageddon. Some days, Garlon couldn't help but wander what Bernart was doing on Heral, serving with what accounted to little more than a well-equipped militia.

 

But on this day, even the High Commissar was not the cause of the hush that preceded Garlon and his little party. Next to – over – Garlon strode all many feet and lots of inches of Captain Indrus Baeloc of the Knights Vindicant. Baeloc was surprisingly quiet for his size, but Garlon would suffer a hundred days in solitary with Bernart rather than risk another 'appraising' glance from the Captain. Heavy footsteps echoed through the corridor, lest Garlon forget the other two were there; alongside Bernart, Captain Jaraxes and Captain Thyris were just as large and intimidating. No wonder everyone was flattening themselves against the walls, mused Garlon. The corridors weren't exactly designed for width.

 

Turning a corner, Garlon led the group into the bunker's briefing room. Staff Sergeant Trent greeted Garlon with a sideways glance, his ever-present meltagun clutched tight to his chest. That weapon had saved Garlon more times than he could count, and Trent was the most loyal man he'd ever had serve under him. Completely unnecessary for him to be carrying the weapon at the moment – or at least Garlon hoped so - but that was Trent. Always ready, never surprised. His face was a perfect blank slate all day long. Sometimes the Staff Sergeant managed to contort his youthful features just enough to look bored, but that was about as far as his emotions went. Garlon envied him, him and his emotional control. And his lack of grey hairs. The short range of a meltagun ensured that when it inevitably saved Garlon from some terrible fate or the other, it was always close enough for him to find a few more steely threads the morning after.

 

The chart desk that formed the centrepiece of the room was already operational, showing a blue-tinged hologram of the Fort and surrounding areas. Garlon circled the table, staring deep into the display. It looked so... clean. Macharius' bloody teeth, already the damn thing was lying to him. Bernart and the Space Marines spread themselves out around the table, Bernart and Trent to Garlon's right, the three Captains to his left. Garlon took a deep breath, trying his best to give the impression the Marines didn't make him nervous. Emperor damn you, Trent.

 

“Let's get to it, then. This is us, Fort Carancus, here in the middle.” The sentence sounded redundant before it had even left his mouth. The mighty Astartes were most probably well aware of where they'd landed just two days ago. In quiet desperation, he waved his hand to indicate the fort in the middle, like the Captains might not have noticed it otherwise. “As you can see, the surrounding area is dense urban territory. Good for cover, less so for movement.”

 

“THE TYRANIDS DO NOT CARE FOR COVER, COLONEL. NOR DO MY BROTHERS. SPEED AND FOCUS ARE OUR BEST WEAPONS HERE.” Emperor above, Garlon wished he'd remove the damn helmet. It was hard enough to look at them and remember that they were people, once, and not some arcane golem. Captain Baeloc had obliged Garlon's silent request, holding his golden helmet at his side, but Jaraxes had not. Neither had Thyris, but Thyris was much less... forthright.

 

It was Baeloc that answered whilst Garlon was still choosing his words. “Be that as it may, Brother Jaraxes, but the guardsmen do not share our resolve. And besides, we are here to fight a defensive action, not to strike the killing blow. Speed and focus are good weapons and true, but at some point we will have to stand our ground and fight. Let the guardsmen armour themselves with stone and steel, and we shall armour ourselves with faith.” Captain Thyris nodded his assent, before Jaraxes bowed his head. “YOU ARE CORRECT, BROTHER BAELOC. CONTINUE, COLONEL.”

 

Garlon blew air out of the corner of his mouth as if to dislodge hair from his eyes, but it was little more than a ploy for him to earn a moment longer to stop his damned hands shaking. A moment later he gestured in the direction of the chart desk, and the projection changed, zooming out to show Heral in it's entirety. Three pulsing dots appeared, with a fourth green dot in the middle. “We're at the green marker, Captains. These red dots are Fort Scurrus, where the 70th Armoured Infantry are stationed.” The marker flashed accordingly. “Fort Rathan, and the 111th Siege Regiment.” Another flash. “And down here is Fort Iziah, and the 203rd Tank Company.” The last blip made itself obvious.

 

“HOW LONG WOULD THEIR JOURNEYS TAKE THEM, COLONEL GARLON?” It was the first words Thyris had spoken to him since they had been introduced.

 

“The 70th, a few days. The 111th wouldn't take much longer, a week at most. The 203rd have a long distance to cover, but they can move quicker. Two weeks, three if we're unlucky.”

 

“It may be that we do not have two weeks, or three. Have them leave as soon as possible, Colonel. We will need them in the coming days. Should they dissent, inform them of who's authority you speak with. We must defend one spot in strength, rather than lose many in weakness.” Garlon wondered if that wasn't a slight hint of bitterness he could hear in Baeloc's strangely soft voice. With his cropped black hair and a chin that would serve as the prow for a battleship, Garlon had been surprised at how quiet Baeloc was. And not just him. Each of them was over eight feet of hardened ceramite, enhanced muscle and whatever else, but they were all so damn quiet. No laughter, no cursing, no arguing. You'd never hear them if it wasn't for the fact they weighed the same as a bloody Battle Tank, Garlon thought. That made him more uneasy than anything else. Get rid of all that armour, and what was left beneath?

 

“I'll have your orders sent to them immediately, Captain Baeloc.” He motioned to Trent, who left the room without a word as Garlon changed the image again to show a more detailed plan of their surroundings. Good ol' Trent. “Now, whilst I'd suggest we use Fort Carancus as our stronghold, we can't fit all four regiments inside. We can barely fit the one as it is. We'll need to extend our lines, and the hill makes Carancus perfect for forming defensive lines; I'd suggest we use two extra lines of defence here...” He pointed a circle around the Fort, using the roads as markers, before circling a second further out, at the base of the rise that the Fort was situated upon. “...And here. Two kilos and five. Even at the first line artillery from the Fort would be in comfortable, accurate range. Even if we get pushed back, we'd be able to lay down covering fire all the way to the second line, and then even more between the second and the Fort. We'd only need to worry about the Tyranids touching down between our lines...” Jaraxes interrupted him with a harsh rumble, the voxcasters on the Captain's helmets leaving Garlon unclear as to whether it was a a cough or a laugh.

 

“WORRY NOT, COLONEL. OUR BROTHERS OF THE FORGE ALREADY PREPARE A SHIELD-DOME TO ERECT OVER THE FORT. THE KNIGHTS VINDICANT ARE NOT PREPARED TO YIELD EVEN AN INCH TO THE ENEMY WITHOUT TAKING A HEAVY BLOOD TOLL. IF YOUR LINES ARE SECURE, NONE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH.” Garlon didn't like Jaraxes' 'if', but he knew the Captain had a point, belligerent as the bloody Marine was. His regiment was barely trained, unbloodied, and though they'd fight like any animal that had been forced into a corner, he couldn't rely on them to stay concentrated even when the enemy was directly in front of them, let alone remain disciplined if they weren't.

 

“Thank you, Captain. But that's a big 'if'. My regiment is newly formed, and their discipline, is, well...” Bernart interrupted him. “Their discipline will be sufficient for the task at hand, the Colonel will no doubt agree.” Emperor, that bloody edge in the High Commissar's voice. Bernart with one of those damned helmets, now that was a terrible thought. “The Commissariat will ensure they stay focused, by all the means we have.” Garlon knew exactly what that meant. He'd got his first posting to Company Captain as a Lieutenant fighting the traitor guardsmen of Jarara Prime, after his own Captain had been given an urgent re-education by the Company Commissar after ordering... attempting to order a general retreat.

 

It was Baeloc who was first to respond “The Commissariat will not need to, thought their efforts are no doubt appreciated. Brother Jaraxes, have all your squads save Corion, Albas and Scamalar set to patrols. Make sure the Brothers are well served with auspexes. I will suffer no Xenos to surprise us from above or below. Corion, Albas and Scamalar I will need for other tasks.” Jaraxes nodded assent, and left the room in a series of thumps as Baeloc turned to Thyris.

 

“Brother Thyris, your Devastators have assessed the terrain for optimal firing solutions?” Captain Thyris nodded. Garlon tried to hide his surprise. He hadn't even noticed Marines leaving the compound. “Then, Brother, show us where your weapons might best serve us.”

 

Thyris stepped forward, towards the chart desk. “MY BROTHERS CAN GUIDE THEIR FIRE FROM THESE AREAS. WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE COLONEL'S MOBILE UNITS, WE WILL ENACT A HEAVY TOLL ON OUR FOE BEFORE THEY EVEN CATCH SIGHT OF US. WE SHALL TACKLE THE HYDRA AS BEST WE CAN, AND CLAIMS AS MANY HEADS AS THE EMPEROR DEEMS NECESSARY.” Baeloc turned to Garlon. “With your position, Colonel Garlon. Your men and vehicles will most valuable to Brother Thyris, I assure you.”

 

“Oh, but of course, Captains. By all means.” Taking my bloody men already. This better be good.


Edited by Harlan Skorus, 10 June 2014 - 07:35 PM.


#5
Olis

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Nice work. One thing: 

 

 

 

“WORRY NOT, COLONEL. OUR BROTHERS OF THE FORGE ALREADY PREPARE A SHIELD-DOME TO ERECT OVER THE FORT. THE KNIGHTS VINDICANT ARE NOT PREPARED TO YIELD EVEN AN INCH TO THE ENEMY WITHOUT TAKING A HEAVY BLOOD TOLL. IF YOUR LINES ARE SECURE ARE SECURE, NONE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH.” Garlon didn't like Jaraxes' 'if', but he knew the Captain had a point, belligerent as the bloody Marine was. His regiment was barely trained, unbloodied, and though they'd fight like any animal that had been forced into a corner, he couldn't rely on them to stay concentrated even when the enemy was directly in front of them, let alone remain disciplined if they weren't.

You might want to edit that duplicate out. ;)


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#6
Harlan Skorus

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You do the Emperor's work. Edited.



#7
deathspectersgt7

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Ready for the next part.smile.png 


gallery_70393_10089_14134.png     gallery_45765_11559_21519.png


#8
Master At Arms

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Really enjoying this already!



#9
Harlan Skorus

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Sorry! Meant to update on Sunday but lost internet, and work, and Game of Thrones. Have part 3 in penance.

 

NB: Originally contained much worse language, because I swear like an inebriated sailor. As of today, 'Scav' is a Heralic curse word, deriving from 'to scavenge', used as an insult due to the term's association with the less savory underclasses of Heralic society. I may change this, but it works for now.

 

+++

 

885.992.M41: Corporal Zeke Favre; Hab-Block 674A, Heral, Poriphon System.

 

Only the dust stirred as Favre swung his rifle around the wall and stepped out, keeping his head low and looking down the sights as he moved swiftly around the corner and into another grey corridor. He heard the soft pad of Arun's footsteps behind him as they moved through the building, checking the rooms as they went but finding them all empty. At last they came to their destination, slowing as they neared the windows. Favre flattened himself against a wall, peering around the edge of the window to scan the street below. It was empty.

 

Arun let out a deep breath, his broad chest shifting. “Think we found us a nest.” Favre nodded. It was a good spot, with a clear view of the open crossroads to their right. The road beneath them would be the one the Scrits would come along. Favre closed his eyes, and decided he could hit a Scrit on that road with his eyes shut from where he was. It was a good spot.

 

Arun swung the heavy vox-caster from his shoulders, dropping it to the floor in front of him and kneeling next to it, fiddling with some on the dials and switches. Favre scanned along the road, picking out markers to judge his distances by – not that he needed it, but it was good to keep in practice. He spied a drain, a broken bottle, steam rising from a vent, a heap of rubbish in a doorway. The area was deserted, it's occupants probably having fled a long time ago. Favre didn't know where they would have gone. The Scrits were above them now. It'd be stupid to get in a shuttle.

 

“Sabre-Three-Two to Sabre-Three-Command, we are in position, have eyes on the pen, over.”

 

“Sabre-Three-Command to Sabre-Three-Two, read you loud and proud. Sabre-Three moving up, over.”

 

The rest of their squad would be there soon, Favre knew. He could already hear the low engines of their Chimeras, tracks rumbling along the concrete. They seemed so ponderous as he watched them approach the crossroads from the sideroad, rear ramps lowering, troops spilling out and into the surrounding buildings. Five of the tanks rumbled off into the side roads, maneuvering to form road blocks, turrets rotating to aim back at the open ground beneath the looming buildings. Favre frowned. They'd have to be careful not to shoot each other, like that.

 

The sound of boots on rockcrete echoed through the building as the rest of their squad came to join them. Darnan was first, Rax just behind, the two of them carrying the heavy box containing the squad's autocannon to the windows. Sergeant Mavonel was next, tall and broad, his round face easily recognizable beneath his thick beard. Favre tried to grow a beard once, but his hair wasn't as thick as Mavonel's, and Commissar Waldron had told him to shave it.

 

Jarl came next, bounding into the room with a grin on his face, slapping Favre on the shoulder and making him jump. Jarl did that a lot. Jarl was Favre's oldest friend that he could remember; they'd grown up together and signed up together. Now they'd fight together, too. Not like before, when they were kids, and they'd get into fights with other kids all the time. Favre didn't have a sniper rifle then.

 

Malky, Heath and Dorrans were the last to come into the room, joining the rest of the squad by the window. Oryn was still in the infirmary after what happened two days ago. Favre could see the other four infantry squads in the buildings around the crossroads, all sizing up firing angles and making jokes. He could see them laughing. It didn't seem like a good time to be making jokes. Some of them might be dead soon. He looked down to the crossroads, where Lieutenant Grivviths was talking to first squad, waiting by the sixth Chimera. The bait. Favre felt sorry for them.

 

Jarl sidled up to him, clutching his lasgun. “Seen any of the scavvers yet, Fav?” Favre shook his head. He'd be worried if he had. The bait team were still in the middle of the crossroads.

 

“Shame. I'm itchin' to put a hole in summit.” There was a crash as Rax dropped the autocannon's tripod, swearing loudly.

 

“It's only been since yesterday, Jarl.”

 

“I know. I'm scavvin' bored, is what I'm sayin'.” Jarl got bored easily. It was probably why he got into trouble lots. It got Favre in trouble a lot, too. Like when Jarl had dared him to put that powder in Mavonel's food at the canteen one day. Sergeant Mavonel didn't find it very funny. He shouted at Favre a lot, then made him clean toilets. Favre didn't think Sergeant Mavonel liked him much after that.

 

“You get bored all the time, Jarl.”

 

“Only when I ain't killin' Scrits, Fav. You know me. Colder'n a Commissar's... wife.” Jarl grinned his goofy grin, and Favre frowned. Looking over Jarl's shoulder he saw Malky roll his eyes.

 

Outside, first squad saluted Lieutenant Grivviths, and started off down the road below Favre, their Chimera rumbling after them. Lieutenant Grivviths walked back into the doorway behind him, and a minute later Favre could see him in one of the windows opposite, talking to Sergeant Yates from fourth squad. Favre gripped his rifle tighter as Sergeant Mavonel started ordering the squad to get ready. Dorran and Malky went over and stood by the door, watching the corridor behind them. The rest of the squad all crouched behind the windows, and he did the same. It wouldn't be long now.

 

This was the bit Favre didn't like, when everyone went quiet and they were just waiting. He chewed his lip. They had to be quiet, or the Scrits might know they were there. But it made him nervous. It had the first time he'd done this, and it did both times yesterday, and it did now. He looked over. Sergeant Mavonel was looking up at the ceiling. Darnan and Rax both crouched by the autocannon, it weapon's tripod balanced on the grey case it had been packed in, both of them looking bored. Arun was silently mouthing something. Jarl caught Favre's eye and grinned again.

 

Nothing much happened for the next five minutes, before the sound of an engine faded back into Favre's hearing. Everyone else heard it too. He saw them tense, clutch weapons. Heath was mouthing something now as well, his eyes shut. Favre shut his eyes too, and listened to the sound of the engine. He reckoned they had a minute. No, less than that. Half. It was approaching fast. Favre frowned.

 

“Steady...”

 

The sound was loud now, less muffled. They were on the road. Favre checked his gun. It was still there.

 

Steady...”

 

He heard the Chimera pass beneath them, the crackle of the multilaser. He could the the Scrits, too. It was what they sounded like. Scrit scrit scrit. Claws scratching on concrete.

 

NOW!”

 

He was up before the rest of the squad, lining up a shot as the Chimeras in the side roads started firing, multilasers cracking and heavy bolters barking. There was a swarm of the smaller ones firing weapons at the chimeras, and three of the bigger ones stood together in the middle of the group. Someone threw a grenade. Favre pulled on the trigger, watching a spray of purple erupt from the back of the closest big Scrit. The other squads were firing now. Favre slammed the bolt back, forwards. The grenade exploded, tossing the smaller Scrits into the air. Favre fired again, the second big Scrit falling. The autocannon just feet away started firing, and it became all Favre could hear.

 

The smaller Scrits started scattering as the last of the big ones died. Some tried running away, so Favre shot one. Some carried on fighting. He shot one of them, too. It didn't take long before they were all dead, and the guns all around went quiet, and smoke winded it;s way into the air. As the crossroads went quiet, Favre heard the screaming. He looked across the room, where Arun was collapsed, holding his arm. When he pulled his hand away, his fatigues were burnt and twisted, the acid eating into his arm. Arun started sobbing.

 

There were shouts from the crossroads, too. First squad tumbled out of their Chimera, Favre counting them as the exited. Seven. They were missing Gyle, and Fraddick was limp, being half dragged, half carried by Kolts. Someone started yelling for a medic. It was hard to tell where the red blood ended and the purple ichor began.



#10
Harlan Skorus

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Aw, to hell with it. Have an interlude. I will try and remember to add this as we move through the story and more things come up. Suggested additions are welcome.

 

+++

 

INTERLUDE 1 : Glossary of terms.

 

Blacked - verb, from 'Black on black' (friendly fire). The act of killing a comrade or ally, whether intentionally or not.
 

Found wanting - term, verb. To be executed by a Commissar.
 

Hyr-Ants - noun. Insect native to Heral.
 

Kilo - abbreviation. Kilometre.
Klik - abbreviation. Kilometre.
 

Mayr - noun. Alcoholic beverage local to Heral, made from fermented Nyeroot.
Maro - noun. A vegetable crop, high in nutrients, farmed in great fields on Ymirica.
 

Nyeroot - noun. Weed-like fungi found on Heral, it is noted for it's durability and strength, and has been known to pierce hardened plascrete over time.
Nyestick - noun. Finely cut Nyeroot wrapped in thin paper for smoking.
 

Recaf - noun. Caffeine-based beverage.
 

Scav - noun/verb. Heralic curse word; derives from 'scavenge', having picked up negative connotations over years through association with the poor, often criminal underclass of Heral.
Scrit - noun. Term used by the 212th Heralic to refer to the Tyranids of Hive Fleet Xenos.
Swirly - adjective. Mad, unhinged, not of a sound mind.


Edited by Harlan Skorus, 05 July 2014 - 01:44 PM.


#11
deathspectersgt7

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A good readthumbsup.gif .Ready for the next.yes.gif 


gallery_70393_10089_14134.png     gallery_45765_11559_21519.png


#12
Nuclear Fridge

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Liking the slang term for Tyranids - "Scrits" - after the sound their claws make on hard surfaces...



#13
Lysimachus

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Very nice, looking forward to more!



#14
Teetengee

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WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD!!! (Good stuff, I like how you write guardsmen.


My Chaos WIP Thread (Bigger Pics and Foul Xenos offsite) Hall of Honour, My Storm Reavers (DIY SM Chapter) Story, My Chaos 7.5 Homebrew Codex Thread
In us burns a fire for vengeance that will only be quenched when we stand triumphant over the smoldering ruins of Terra. Our laughter on that day will haunt their survivors till the end of time. We will stride forth victorious through the shattered gates of their fortress, holding high aloft the defiled corpse of their rotting god as our prize.
Wulfkry, on 02 Jul 2013 - 3:38 PM, said: So an inquisitor is receiving SM implants using GK geneseed stolen off the fields of armageddon interesting..
Captain Semper, on 29 May 2015 - 4:10 AM, said: There is crazy and there is Teetengee crazy... ph34r.pngnuke.gif

Warsmith Aznable, on 30 Jan 2016 - 01:16 AM, said: 13. Teetengee wrote "Warp Born" and I won't even go into how disturbing the subject matter was.
The Psycho, on 26 Apr 2016 - 10:50 PM, said: That's either really disturbing or really cute, I haven't quite made up my mind yet.

gallery_48988_15465_38466.pngR9n4SPM.pngCall_of_Chaos_9_Medal_02.gifsml_gallery_29004_12090_4775.pngETL_Medal_04.giffriday-award.pngx9we_badge_teetengee.pnggallery_29004_10514_2007.jpggallery_29004_10514_234.jpggallery_48988_6285_1348.png

I'm not dead, and I like 8th better than 7th.


#15
Harlan Skorus

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Probably my least favourite section of the full thing - it's hard to make artillery interesting from a very small viewpoint. Words for the Word God, Text for the Text Throne!

 

+++

 

977.992.M41: Gunnery Private Elisa Cassidy; Carancus Hill, Heral, Poriphon System.

 

“Distance: five-seven; elevation: seventeen-one-five-five.”

 

Lian's grunts as he hauled the shell into the firing chamber were drowned out by the groans of metal straining against it's own weight. Leaving the firing controls, Cassidy rushed to the front of the gunnery platform, one hand on the firing leaver, the other pressing a holoscope to her eye.

 

“Baris said one-seven-nine, Cass.”

 

“And I'm saying one-five-five, Lian.”

 

Lian opened his mouth to reply, but thought better of it. The short bald man pursed his lips as he braced himself against the railing of the platform. All along the battery, men and women were doing the same, as the hum of activity dropped away the hide behind the thrum of idling engines.

 

“It's artillery, Cas. We're artillery. Not Sharpshooters.” She ignored him this time, waiting for the crackling of the radio. It took all of a few seconds for the crackle of the vox-unit inside the Basilisk to reach her. The order was relayed a moment later. Baris, a hulking and hairy man that had been placed in charge of their tank for some forgotten reason, looked almost comical as he raised his large head through the small hatch, turning with effort in the cramped confines of the vehicle's interior to face Cass.

 

“FIRE!”

 

Cassidy briefly raised her hand to check her ear defenders one last time before slammed the firing lever down. The tank beneath them roared in response, bucking backwards and forwards, as all down the line high-explosive shells were flung into the air. Cass swore as the holoscope she'd been holding too close smashed into her eye socket, leaving it feeling raw and bruised. Lian suppressed a laugh, and she did her best to ignore him, raising the holoscope to her eye once more, albeit a little tentatively.

 

Before her, the city dropped away from Fort Carancus, fading into the pink horizon. She could see over the top of the second line, all the way down to the first. Great swathes of buildings had been gutted in front of each line, and in front of the Fort. All that remained were two heavily fortified rings, and nothing but dark brown killing fields between them. In the far distance, plumes of smoke ascended from the city where the Space Marines were still fighting their desperate delaying action. Closer still, at the first line, Cass could see the flicker of lasfire between the explosions and the smoke. She watched the ground heave as the artillery barrage struck, tiny red and pink bodies flying through the air.

 

The Tyranids were attacking for the second time that day. Although the silvered Space Marines fought on alone in the city, breaking up the steady advance of the Tyranids, the attacks were steadily becoming more numerous, more vicious, more coordinated. Before long the Astartes would be forced to fall back, as the 212th Armoured Infantry had already done so, and then the full force of Hive Fleet Vritra would be upon them. For now, the first line was holding.

 

No time to be lost in your head, Cass. Back to the firing mechanism. She'd made note of where the various shells of the artillery barrage had hit, the holoscope calculating vectors to tell her which shell had been theirs. It had landed just a little closer to their lines than the rest of the barrage, directly on a large group of scuttling aliens. She might have smiled, if it wasn't for the fact that the impact had been like dropping a match into a swarm of Hyr-Ants.

 

“Orders: five-six, mark one-seven-one-zero-zero.” The orders crept closer to their own lines. Baris was making an exaggerated point of putting effort into pronouncing the numbers clearly, leaving no room for error. Despite herself, Cassidy finally raised a weak smile. Lian said nothing, struggling with another shell. They went through the firing procedure in silence, a procedure they'd practised hundreds of times now. She'd felt a sense of pride using it in an actual battle at first; it gave her a rush to finally have escaped endless training drills, to be fighting an actual war, and to be fighting it damn well. No sooner had that thought come than it had been soured by the blood and suffering on the tiny figures, five kilos into the distance.

 

As the next barrage was sailing through the air, Cassidy raised the holoscope again, scanning the lines. It was still holding, but only just. Another wave of Tyranids was charging over the open ground in front of the line, innumerable and horrifying, a wave of fangs and claws come to consume them all. The Earthshaker shells blew another series of holes in the crowd, but they were being replaced quicker than the Basilisks could fire. They fired barrage after barrage, and she checked after each shot. They were getting too close to their own lines. Impossibly, the aliens were finding a way through all that firepower.

 

It was between shots that she saw the Chimera hurtling down the hill to the lines directly in front of her, across the open ground between the first and second lines. The line was dangerously close to breaking, the foremost squads beginning to fall back from their positions in the face of the 'Nid onslaught. But the Chimera made it their before the line collapsed completely. As the passengers disembarked from the Chimera, she saw the regimental banner unfurl, the iron eagle of the 212th flapping in the wind. It was Colonel Garlon. He might have been ten feet tall and made on sunlight as he strode towards the line, yelling orders as his command squad fell in behind him. All around, Cass could see the squads that had been retreating moments ago turn to face their enemy head on once more.

 

The Colonel marched straight into the fray, storm bolter blazing, undaunted. Soldiers moved along beside him, lasguns riddling Tyranids with holes, one with a meltagun turning anything that survived the first volley to ash. The Chimera, unmoving, added it's weapons to the defence. She saw the High Commissar exhorting the men around them to hold – and the men did, hardened by their Commander's resolve. They didn't just hold – they pushed the Tyranids back. Step by step, they were forcing th-

 

“CAS! ORDERS!” It was Lian, shouting at her. She snapped back to action, though she'd barely heard the firing solution, earning a reproachful glare that reddened her face as she asked Baris to repeat himself. The shell exploded a few hundred metres directly in front of the Colonel and his men. Given a quiet fury by her embarrassment, she urged urging Lian on, helping him with the shells. They could beat this. They could survive this.

 

The 'Nids finally fell back a quarter hour later, leaving a field of their dead in front of the lines. Weapons were thrust into the air as men started cheering in silence, framed by the holoscope magnifiers. She watched as the Colonel climbed on top of his transport, waving his hands excitedly as he gave a speech to the assembled men. She could feel the energy that animated the men and women on the line, the adrenaline in her veins. Her hands were shaking.

 

“What's goin' tic on down there?” It was Lian, standing at her shoulder, craning his neck to catch a glimpse of events. She handed him the holoscope, grinning as Beris and Nylis, their driver, clambered up to join them on the gunnery platform. The relief in the air was palpable, and she saw the other Basilisk crews celebrating as well, laughter replacing the grim, taut faces of a few minutes ago.

 

Everyone had assembled by the road as the regimental command Chimera passed by, cheering and applauding. Colonel Garlon was sat on the turret, talking to the vehicle's commander in the hatch, whilst the standard bearer stood unsteadily behind them, waving the regimental flag. Even Captain Ferris had hobbled over, the Colonel sliding off the side of the vehicle to give the one-legged veteran a salute and a pat on the back. The Colonel's grin stretched across his square face, wrinkles showing around his eyes. The men around him cheered all the harder. We can beat this, thought Cassidy. We can survive this.



#16
Harlan Skorus

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Sorry about the delay - life.

 

+++

 

058.993.M41: Colonel Sammander Garlon; Fort Carancus, Heral, Poriphon System.

 

The command bunker was dark and dusty, poorly lit, and infested with a bunch of incompetent, good-for-nothing, Emperor-damned waste-of-space craven bloody-

 

“I don't care how many damned spores they're dropping on your bloody position, you've got the damned rebreathers for a reason, you moron! Pass that on to Captain Lothan. Yes, especially the bit about him being a damned moron! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!”

 

The messenger ran like Khorne itself was breathing down his neck. Emperor help me, Colonel Garlon thought as he slowly massaged his temples with his palms. It was like they'd all upped and forgotten what a damned vox-caster was for. He stalked around the room for a few moments before slamming his big hands down on the table, causing the various utensils and bits they were using to represent formations to jump into the air. What had happened to the bloody chart desk? Why was it still not working? Where was a damned technical officer when they were needed? “Saint Sabbat's thrice-blessed tits, why the-”

 

High Commissar Bernart coughed and scowled. Emperor above, that was all Garlon needed now; the wordless reproach of the most miserable bloody bastard to ever wear that black uniform of miserable bloody bastards. “Fine. Saint Sabbat's thrice-blessed teeth, where the-”

 

“I don't care which part of Saint Sabbat's body you prefer to be referencing, Colonel.” Bernart's sharp voice cut through the gloom. “I care that you do not take the holy Saint's name in vain, in any which form you choose. You are a Colonel of his Emperor's Imperial Guard, not some snivelling hive-scum. Act like it.”

 

It was all Garlon could do not to roll his eyes. “Actually, High Commissar, I'm swaying both-”

 

“Insolent! I will not hesitate to relieve you of your command, should I deem it necessary. Remember that, Colonel. Do not give me cause.”

 

Please do. At least the dead got some bloody rest. Garlon sighed and looked down at the crudely drawn map of the Fort and their defensive lines. “Has Major Vanric reported in from the northern line yet?” There was a silence, during which Garlon found himself grinding his teeth. “Someone answer me before I beat a damned response out of you, damn it!”

 

Some Lieutenant spoke up, Harris or Harvey or Harold or something. Something with money. “Not since the start of the last wave, Sir.”

 

Great. Bloody great. “Lieutenant, take your Chimera and go check he's still breathing. If he isn't, pin the stripes on the nearest breathing man or beast that isn't your own sorry hide, and get back here.”

 

“Sir, my Chimera was lost on the first line.”

 

“How the hell have you been moving about then? Bloody hells. Fine, take mine.”

 

This time it was Sergeant Kyiss. “Sir, yours has no fuel, and you commanded us to ration what we had left.”

 

“Oh, for the love of – then walk, run, crawl, I don't damn well care, just find that bloody Major before I send out to the lines through a bloody Earthshaker!” That seemed to get the Lieutenant moving.

 

He took off his officer's cap, flinging it at Trent who plucked it out of the air with his usual nonplussed expression. Even that irritated Garlon. He ran a hand through his sweaty hair, feeling drops wind their way over his brow. At least on Jarara Prime with the 187th, his troops had been battle-tested, competent. That and they'd been fighting cultists. Cultists had the damned grace to run away when they got hammered. These things, they just kept on coming.

 

The door swung open again, dust dancing in the dim light. “Gunner Cassidy from twelfth artillery to see Colonel Garlon.” He waved the other figure through the door. Come one, come all. Not like I'm fighting a war or anything. He looked over to the newcomer, his grey eyes following her as she entered the room and rattled off a crisp salute. Short, waifish thing, covered in dirt and grime like the rest of them. Mousey. The smell of engine oil hung on her. “Gunner Cassidy. Huh. Not too many women in the artillery.”

 

Clearly the girl didn't quite know what to make of that at first, but she soon shot back a reply. “Their loss, Sir. I'd bet a week's rations you couldn't find a man who can call it more accurate than me over ten kil's, Sir.”

 

“Huh.” Garlon smiled. “I like you, Cassidy.” Would that all his men had that confidence. Hell, he could do with some of it right now.

 

“Hopefully not too much, Sir. Infantryman's Primer forbids that kind of thing.”

 

He allowed himself a chuckle. Bernart allowed himself another scowl. “What can I do for you, Gunner Cassidy? Be quick, make it good.”

 

“Not... not a lot of good to report, Sir. The second line's still holding.”

 

“I know that, Gunner. Try again.”

 

She shifted uncomfortably. “All out of shells on the eastern, Sir.”

 

“Thank you for the heads up, Gunner Cassidy, but that's an issue for your Company command, not the Regimental.” Garlon looked at her as he spoke, watched her eyes drop to the floor, and cursed inwardly as the Gunner swallowed back her fear.

 

“Not got much of a Company command left to ask, Sir. One of those... floating... things... got him.” There was an awkward pause. “I'm sorry.” Garlon's face had dropped, and he felt the fatigue course through him. Ferris... Ferris was one of his oldest, longest friends. Was.

 

“Completely out?”

 

“Dry as a bone, Sir.”

 

Garlon blew air out of the corner of his mouth. “Well.” He pushed himself away from the table, paced the room for a few moments. “Captain Scorric, how many-”

 

“Not enough, Sir. We'll be as dry as Cassidy as soon as the next wave hits.” Garlon swore.

 

The High Commissar looked to Garlon, then fixed Cassidy with those dead eyes of his. “You have passed basic training, Gunner Cassidy? You are aware of how to fire a rifle?” She nodded slowly. “Then find one. There are enough spare. You will join the firing line. Find a squad that needs bodies. Your crew as well. Dismissed.” Cassidy snapped another quick salute before retreating from Bernart's scowling features.

 

Emperor watch over us, thought Sammander Garlon. We've got no bloody artillery. Where was Lieutenant Henry when you needed him...



#17
Teetengee

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NOOOOO don't send Cassidy to the front!!!


My Chaos WIP Thread (Bigger Pics and Foul Xenos offsite) Hall of Honour, My Storm Reavers (DIY SM Chapter) Story, My Chaos 7.5 Homebrew Codex Thread
In us burns a fire for vengeance that will only be quenched when we stand triumphant over the smoldering ruins of Terra. Our laughter on that day will haunt their survivors till the end of time. We will stride forth victorious through the shattered gates of their fortress, holding high aloft the defiled corpse of their rotting god as our prize.
Wulfkry, on 02 Jul 2013 - 3:38 PM, said: So an inquisitor is receiving SM implants using GK geneseed stolen off the fields of armageddon interesting..
Captain Semper, on 29 May 2015 - 4:10 AM, said: There is crazy and there is Teetengee crazy... ph34r.pngnuke.gif

Warsmith Aznable, on 30 Jan 2016 - 01:16 AM, said: 13. Teetengee wrote "Warp Born" and I won't even go into how disturbing the subject matter was.
The Psycho, on 26 Apr 2016 - 10:50 PM, said: That's either really disturbing or really cute, I haven't quite made up my mind yet.

gallery_48988_15465_38466.pngR9n4SPM.pngCall_of_Chaos_9_Medal_02.gifsml_gallery_29004_12090_4775.pngETL_Medal_04.giffriday-award.pngx9we_badge_teetengee.pnggallery_29004_10514_2007.jpggallery_29004_10514_234.jpggallery_48988_6285_1348.png

I'm not dead, and I like 8th better than 7th.


#18
deathspectersgt7

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Yessssssssssssss send her the Hive mind cares not need foooood!!!!. Forgot!! GOOD READ.


Edited by deathspectersgt7, 17 June 2014 - 11:39 PM.

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#19
Harlan Skorus

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You quisling. tongue.png

 

+++

 

102.993.M41: Corporal Zeke Favre; Lower Carancus, Heral, Poriphon System.

 

Favre crouched behind the waist-high wall that ran around the belfry, looking out into the thick smog that hung over the city through the scope of the sniper-las. He'd taken it from Corrans in the fifth platoon. Corrans was dead, and wouldn't need it. Favre scanned back and forth, trying to spot something he could shoot, but there was nothing. Bricks and rubble, but nothing worth shooting. The Scrits had retreated for now. Licking their wounds, if they did that. Not like they stuck around long enough for him to know.

 

“Behind you.” Jarl climbed through the trapdoor, holding a mug of something warm, steam winding its way upwards. Favre only glanced at him before returning his gaze to the scope, waving a lazy hand in greeting. Jarl slumped down next to him and held the mug out in offering. Favre shook his head. It smelt like recaf. Favre didn't like recaf.

 

“Ain't seen nothin' yet, Fav?” He shook his head some more. “Shame. Gettin' boring, now, sat up here with just your miserable ass for company.” Favre reached out to punch him, but Jarl ducked his head and slid away, grinning. “Hope your aim's better than that when the Scrits come back, Fav.” Jarl always had a joke for everything; it made Favre seem even slower and more sullen in comparison. It'd always been this way, as long as Favre could remember.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, Favre saw Jarl motioning to the two grenades placed by the trapdoor hatch. “Where'd they come from?”

 

“Sergeant Mavonel.”

 

“Nice of 'im to be showing generosity in these troubled times. Any particular reason?”

 

“He said that if we hear 'em dying down below, we should drop 'em down the hatch. Make sure whatever it is down there keeps 'em company.”

 

Jarl chuckled. “Emperor above, he's almost as scavvin' miserable as you, Fav.”

 

The voices of the rest of their squad carried up through the hatch, laughing and cursing. Probably gambling, thought Favre. They'd started gambling lots again. He didn't understand it. Favre was always just happy with what he got. There wasn't any need to go wasting it trying to take more, especially from your own squadmates. Maybe it was something the soldiers from the other squads had been doing. A lot of them were in different squads now, shifted around and mixed up as others died. Sergeant Mavonel was bellowing something at Rax and Darnan, something about the autocannon shells and improper use. Mavonel was always bellowing at someone for something these days. Usually it was Favre.

 

“He gave us an autopistol as well. Two bullets. Said it was for if the grenades didn't work, but Commissar Waldron took it away. The ammunition was too valuable he said, to be used on anything 'cept the Emperor's enemies.”

 

Jarl chuckled, folding his greatcoat beneath him to cushion his knee as he knelt. He did that a lot. The chuckling.

 

There was the sound of engines below, and as Favre looked down from their nest he saw a squadron of Leman Russ Battle Tanks moving into position, placing themselves behind the barricades on the road. He watched the hatch on the turret of the first tank pop open, and one of the crew climbed on, and sat on the edge of the hatch, feet dangling inside the tank, trading jokes and insults with the infantry guarding the barricade. Favre didn't get all the laughing. Most of them would probably be dead by next week.

 

An hour went past, then two. There was still no sign of another attack. Favre shifted from knee to knee, constantly scanning as far as he could see through the high-powered laser scope whilst Jarl talked about all kinds of unimportant things. They shared a nyestick, even though it made Favre cough. Eventually, Jarl tapped him on the shoulder and told him to get some rest. Favre huddled under his greatcoat in the corner and tried to sleep, but it was hard. His eyes stung, and the belfry was uncomfortable.

 

He awoke with a start, to the sounds of frantic shouting. Jarl was kicking him. “Get up, Fav! Movement down the line.” Favre threw the greatcoat off and grabbed his sniper-las, kneeling next to Jarl and resting the long barrel of his gun on the wall. He looked down the scope, and saw nothing.

 

The line of the 212th had gone quiet. The tanks had all their hatches shut, engines purring softly as they idled, servo-motors whirring as the turrets tracked ponderously back and forth. The smog hung over the empty space where there used to be a city, cleared to make a killing field between the first and second defence lines. Favre couldn't see any Scrits, could hardly see anything through the smog. He was looking, but he couldn't see.

 

Then, all at once, a tide of claws and fangs appeared, racing over the open ground.

 

He fired, already aiming at a second before the first had fallen to be crushed by the weight of those following it. He heard the thud-thud-thud of the autocannon in the church below, the crackle of lasguns, and the deafening roar of the tanks as flame burst from the end of their cannons. Favre saw where the shells hit, the explosions sending ichor and body parts flying through the air. He saw a swarm of the flying ones, and plucked one, then another, out of the sky with his rifle. Grenades blew more holes in the onrushing tides, heavy bolters and multilasers cutting through the onrushing horde, unable to miss a shot against the onrushing mass. Jarl was shooting at one of the weird floating ones, purple lightning crackling around it. Favre lined up a shot and fired, and saw the back of the thing's bulbous head explode, it's limp body collapsing to the floor.

 

All around the church, men were yelling and firing. The horde of creatures died in their hundreds, inching closer and closer towards their lines. It had been like this for weeks now. Didn't matter how many of them died, they kept coming and coming. Occasionally they'd reach the lines, but they were always thrown back again, and then they'd attack again. Even Favre knew that was stupid. The artillery barrages had stopped a few days ago, but they were still able to hold the aliens off, push them back every time they came forward.

 

It was then that Favre noticed the swarm of flying ones turning back on them, heading for the tower. He ducked behind the wall as shots from their guns buzzed past. He jumped in shock as Jarl fell away from the wall, screaming and flailing his arms. There was something on his face, something hissing and spitting and writhing and there was blood and hissing and Jarl's screams, those horrific screams. Favre stared wide-eyed at his friend contorting on the floor. Then he raised his rifle and pulled lightly on the trigger.

 

He stared at Jarl's body, his face... his face was gone, a gory mess where it should have been. Always smiling. Jarl had always been smiling, even when everyone around Favre was angry at him, at them. He'd smiled when the bigger kids used to beat Favre up, and Jarl hit them with sticks to stop them. He'd smiled when they'd left home and slept in alleys and alcoves. That was it. He'd had enough. Slinging his rifle over his shoulder, Favre swung onto the ladder, frantically climbing down as gunfire still rang out across the line. Sergeant Mavonel was shouting at him as he reached the bottom, and so was Rax. Darnan was lying in a pool of blood, staring at the ceiling. Favre ignored it all, ran to the back of the church, ran for the door.

 

He stopped when Commissar Waldron held an autopistol, pointing it at his face. Everything seemed to go very quiet, everything but the pounding of blood in his ears. Favre didn't know what else to do, so he ducked.

 

He felt the round pass through his hair, felt the heat of it singe him.

 

He lunged forward. Waldron wasn't expecting that, and the pair tumbled to the floor, Waldron's sword still in it's scabbard. Pushing the old man's face down, Favre drew his knife and stabbed the Commissar in the neck, three times, onetwothree.

 

“Scavvin'...”

 

“Favre, he's swirly...”

 

“He's only gone and blacked him...”

 

Favre felt tugging at the back of his neck, and allowed himself to be hauled off of Waldron. Sergeant Mavonel was looking down at him, his face taut under his beard.

 

“It's Jarl. They killed Jarl. They killed...”

 

Mavonel cursed. The rest of the squad had crowded round – well, most of them. Harley, Rax, Anais, Marric... that was all there was left, Favre realised. Slowly, he pushed himself to his feet. Mavonel ran a hand over his smooth scalp.

 

Anais was the first to speak. “We're so scavved.”

 

Mavonel glared at the gangly man. “Scav that. No-one needs to know. No-one's going to know.”

 

“Who said I was talking about the scavvin' Commissars?” Anais pointed through the window behind Favre, and the others all looked with him. Rax muttered something under his breath. Malvonel looked down at Favre, grabbed him by the arm and hauled him towards the door, over Waldron's body. “Right, lads! Game's up, back to the Fort. Leave the scavvin' cannon. Go! Scavvin' move!” And then they were all running, out of the church, joining the tide of men retreating, running as fast as they could up the hill, towards the walls of Fort Carancus.


Edited by Harlan Skorus, 07 July 2014 - 06:48 PM.


#20
Teetengee

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Is it bad that it makes me happy whenever a commissar dies?


My Chaos WIP Thread (Bigger Pics and Foul Xenos offsite) Hall of Honour, My Storm Reavers (DIY SM Chapter) Story, My Chaos 7.5 Homebrew Codex Thread
In us burns a fire for vengeance that will only be quenched when we stand triumphant over the smoldering ruins of Terra. Our laughter on that day will haunt their survivors till the end of time. We will stride forth victorious through the shattered gates of their fortress, holding high aloft the defiled corpse of their rotting god as our prize.
Wulfkry, on 02 Jul 2013 - 3:38 PM, said: So an inquisitor is receiving SM implants using GK geneseed stolen off the fields of armageddon interesting..
Captain Semper, on 29 May 2015 - 4:10 AM, said: There is crazy and there is Teetengee crazy... ph34r.pngnuke.gif

Warsmith Aznable, on 30 Jan 2016 - 01:16 AM, said: 13. Teetengee wrote "Warp Born" and I won't even go into how disturbing the subject matter was.
The Psycho, on 26 Apr 2016 - 10:50 PM, said: That's either really disturbing or really cute, I haven't quite made up my mind yet.

gallery_48988_15465_38466.pngR9n4SPM.pngCall_of_Chaos_9_Medal_02.gifsml_gallery_29004_12090_4775.pngETL_Medal_04.giffriday-award.pngx9we_badge_teetengee.pnggallery_29004_10514_2007.jpggallery_29004_10514_234.jpggallery_48988_6285_1348.png

I'm not dead, and I like 8th better than 7th.


#21
Harlan Skorus

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It makes you a dirty stinkin' Heretic. Here's another Interlude! It does not yet contain spoilers but I will edit them in as stuff happens, much like the first interlude.

 

+++

 

INTERLUDE 2: The Poriphon System.

 

The Poriphon system is a small, single-star system within the Barus Sector, on the fringes of the Ultima Segmentum. With six planets orbiting the star AV-217, it's only remarkable feature is the Hive World, Heral (home to the Heralic Mechanised Legions).

 

Planets.

 

Name: Orsi

Classification: Rho

Type: Gas Giant

Population (approx): 150 (in Orsi Ergito)

Position (from star): 1st

Description: Small gas planet with orbiting research station, Orsi Ergito. Orsi Ergito came under light attack during the Poriphon War, but its inhabitants successfully defended the research station with weapons improvised from their scientific tools.

 

Name: Talacra

Classification: Delta Tau

Type: Ocean World

Population (approx): 300

Position (from star): 2nd

Description: Ocean World, with one continent formerly a Death World-esque jungle. The continent was subject to an extended orbital bombardment during the end of the Poriphon War, and is now barren and uninhabited. The atmosphere was greatly altered by the extent of Tyranid infestation, and Talacra's weather patterns have since become very unpredictable, with much of it's sea life dying out. Currently occupied by the Knights Vindicant Space Marine Chapter.

 

Name: Heral

Classification: Delta

Type: Dead World

Population (approx): 0

Position (from star): 3rd

Description: Dead World, formerly Hive World. Subjected to Exterminatus by order of Inquisitor Allarez after being attacked by Hive Fleet Vritra, 993.M41.

 

Name: Ymirica

Classification: Alpha

Type: Agri-World

Population (approx): 20,000,000

Position (from star): 4th

Description: Technically Agri-World, although could also be classed as Civilised World or even Hive World. Large cities intersperse country-sized fields of crops. Remnants of Hive Fleet Vritra fled here after their destruction over Heral in 993.M41, but were hunted and destroyed. Small infestations appear on a semi-regular basis to this day, but the continued presence of the 212th Heralic Armoured Infantry and the Knights Vindicant Chapter of Space Marines have kept them suppressed.

 

Name: Demros

Classification: Delta

Type: Dead World

Population (approx): 0

Position (from star): 5th

Description: Penal World, formerly populated with criminals from nearby Heral. Destroyed by Hive Fleet Vritra in 992.M41.

 

Name: Karath

Classification: Gamma

Type: Mining World

Population (approx): 0

Position (from star): 6th

Description: Small Mining World. The population existed entirely in underground settlements due to a lack of planetary atmosphere. Destroyed by Hive Fleet Vritra in 992.M41.


Edited by Harlan Skorus, 15 July 2014 - 08:26 PM.


#22
Harlan Skorus

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Possibly my favourite bit, and also a bit contentious/pretentious. Hey, look! Power armour!

 

+++

 

102.993.M41: Gunnery Private Elisa Cassidy; Lower Carancus, Heral, Poriphon System.

 

Cassidy leaned on the pile of rubble that had been amassed to block the road, trying to keep her aim steady. Her arms ached, her legs ached, her whole damn body ached. And those things, Scrits or whatever they were being called this week... they kept on coming. She squinted, trying in vain to keep the rain out of her eyes, firing shot after shot into the onrushing horde. The gun jumped after each shot, giving the impression that it was as nervous as she was. A burst of hot air on her left caused her to recoil, the missile lost in a trail of smoke before plunging into the aliens.

 

The squad she’d fallen in with were, at the least, towards the back of the platoon. Not that that was her intention; it just happened they'd needed people after a run in with the aliens, but still... looking past the missile launcher, she saw one of the squads to her left fold in on itself, turning to run as a group of bladed Scrits leapt over the barricades they were defending... when did they get so close? There was no supporting fire coming from the church any more, not like it was supposed to. What was left of the squad tried to flee, and Cassidy twisted, aiming across the line to try and cover them. Lian, lying next to her, followed her lead. The fleeing squad didn't get more than a few steps before they were caught by their pursuers.

 

She heard Lian gasp next to her. “Holy...”

 

The awful sound of tearing metal had filled the air. Directly ahead of her, a great snake-like creature had burst through the ground next to one of the Company's tanks, stabbing at it with claws the size of her leg. The squads around the tank backed away from it, firing at it as they went, lasgun shots not even causing it to pause. The missile team next to her aimed and fired again, and her heart skipped a little when the creature fell back against the tank... but it was back up a moment later, leaving the tank to race after the fleeing men, scything them down with a roar.

 

“The line's fallen! Retreat! Get to the Fort!”

 

Cassidy looked up and down the line. All around her now, soldiers were streaming past, a few occasionally turning to snap off a shot or two. There were screams, people shouting orders lost under the thud of heavy feet. To her right there was a wet thump, and a group of men fell to the floor clawing at their faces. No-one stopped to help them. A Commissar stood atop a mound of rubble, firing his pistol over the heads of the men flowing around him. Lian was tugging her to her feet, urging her to get moving.

 

Shouldering the rifle, Cassidy scrambled to her feet and followed Lian's small frame, leaping over the detritus that used to be the back wall of the building, and ran. She tried to ignore the cries of the wounded as she passed them, gritting her teeth against the rain, skin crawling and eyes stinging; darted to her left, as the man next to her yelped and fell, with something burrowing into his back; vaulted through a window and out the back door of a building; ducked as dirt and rubble flew past her head, the ground heaving.

 

Lian was in front of her, yelling at her. She couldn't hear his voice, but she knew to duck when he raised his rifle, moving forward in a crouch, so slowly. It was all that saved her when the ground where Lian stood exploded, and Cassidy half-stumbled, half-fell into a giant crater. There was a pounding in her head, and her hand was wet and warm where she touched it to her temple. She collapsed to her hands and knees and retched into the gathering puddles of rainwater, the thud of footsteps fading as the rest of the unit raced on without her. The lasgun lay on the ground a few feet from her grasp, on the bank of the crater. For all the good it would do her.

 

There was a hiss behind her. She froze.

 

Slowly, so slowly, she looked around. The beast was stood there, not fifteen feet away at the far lip of the crater, just looking at her with those two black insect eyes at the front of a wedge-shaped head. Even hunched over as it was, it was still twice her height. Two of it's arms ended in long, curved talons, folded up and ready to strike; two more formed some sort of gun, a long fleshy barrel aimed directly at her. The beast opened it's mouth, full of rank upon rank of needle-sharp teeth, and let out a shriek like nails on a chalkboard. She tried to crawl backwards, unable to look away.

 

"MOVE."

 

Cassidy had been so distracted by the creature she hadn't even noticed the Space Marine approaching until she heard the crackle of a power sword. It moved past her, a gleaming silver angel, footsteps thudding over the hum of it's sword. She looked up, feeling like a child again, as the towering Marine planted itself between her and the Tyranid in the centre of the crater.

 

"MOVE, GUARDSMAN."

 

Cassidy tried to stand, and screamed in pain as her ankle gave way. She could only watch helplessly as the Space Marine lea[ at the Tyranid, ducking under a swing of the creature's gun, raising his bolt pistol only to have it batted aside by one of the claws, stepping back as a second claw lashed out, lopping the end of the claw off with his sword, raising his pistol again and blowing a chunk from the creature's carapace, battering it's face with the pistol as it snapped it's jaws, blocking the other claw with his sword again.

 

Then the beast dropped its head and rushed forward, colliding with the giant and knocking him back, both of the figures tumbling down the slope of the crater, landing in the puddles within spitting distance of her. The beast slapped the Space Marine with it'sptgun, knocking him back to the floor as it stood over his sword, raising it's gun. Cassidy swore. She had never been given to overtly religious sentiment, but she had a prayer on her lips as she pulled her pistol from it's holster, aimed, and squeezed the trigger.

 

The gun jumped in her hand, one shot fizzing against the alien's carapace, a second flying past it's head. It looked at her and shrieked again, and her thoughts seemed to grind to a halt. Well. This is it, Elisa. You're going to die in the mud and the rain. The thing raised it's claw, the shadow falling over her.

 

But then the Marine was on one knee, bringing his bolt pistol back up. The weapon roared as it blew apart the Tyranid's leg joint, cutting the limb in two. As it fell back to the floor, the Marine threw the weapon aside, and she heard the hum as one set of knuckles started glowing a pale red, deepening as the digital weapons powered up. The creature raised it's head to snap defiantly, but the Space Marine leapt on top of it, battering it to the floor with a series of heavy blows before wrenching it's head open with one hand, thrusting the glowing red gauntlet into it's mouth. There was a sharp crack and the back of the Tyranid's head exploded in a shower of Ichor. The Space Marine didn't miss a beat, standing and calmly shoving the creature's carcass aside to retrieve his sword, before stomping back over to her and hauling her up with one hand, gripping her collar, holding her high enough that she dangled in the air, right foot flapping about to find purchase. She saw the laurels on the helmet, her blooded and dirty reflection in the pale blue eyes. The Captain stared at her for a moment before dropping her back to her feet.

 

"MOVE, SOLDIER. YOUR PRESENCE HERE IS NO LONGER REQUIRED."

 

The roar of bolters filled her ears as she stumbled back towards the Fort, gritting her teeth against the pain in her ankle. Tanks flew past, hatches opening and squads of the Marines disembarking to spit defiance at the oncoming horde, buying the guardsmen time to retreat. As she stopped to gather her breath, she watched one of the smaller Tyranids leap at a Marine; he dropped his bolter to catch it in mid-air, tearing it in two with his bare hands before grabbing his weapon from the floor and continuing to fire into the onrushing horde, as casually as a daily routine. Another beat an alien to the floor with a plasma gun, stamping on it and forcing the barrel of his weapon into it's mouth before pulling the trigger. Fumes filled the air as a unit of Assault Marines flew overhead, landing in the middle of the horde with chainswords hacking and tearing. One of the biggest Tyranids she'd seen, the size of a house, started charging towards a squad before a nearby tank blew it apart with lascannon fire.

 

Cassidy had seen enough. She turned away again, crying, and limped towards the Fort.


Edited by Harlan Skorus, 07 July 2014 - 06:49 PM.


#23
deathspectersgt7

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BOO HOO!!! Good to see a commie get his due!! Run Meatsacks RUN !!!!. Enjoyed the latest.thumbsup.gif 


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#24
ALIENAGENUS_Musketeer12_FALSUS

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nice mate msn-wink.gif

Musket



#25
Teetengee

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I really like it, but I do have a small critique: some of the action seem to have a huge amount of information in a single sentence. This can make the scenes somewhat hard to follow (although that is fine if intended to show the confusion of war.).


My Chaos WIP Thread (Bigger Pics and Foul Xenos offsite) Hall of Honour, My Storm Reavers (DIY SM Chapter) Story, My Chaos 7.5 Homebrew Codex Thread
In us burns a fire for vengeance that will only be quenched when we stand triumphant over the smoldering ruins of Terra. Our laughter on that day will haunt their survivors till the end of time. We will stride forth victorious through the shattered gates of their fortress, holding high aloft the defiled corpse of their rotting god as our prize.
Wulfkry, on 02 Jul 2013 - 3:38 PM, said: So an inquisitor is receiving SM implants using GK geneseed stolen off the fields of armageddon interesting..
Captain Semper, on 29 May 2015 - 4:10 AM, said: There is crazy and there is Teetengee crazy... ph34r.pngnuke.gif

Warsmith Aznable, on 30 Jan 2016 - 01:16 AM, said: 13. Teetengee wrote "Warp Born" and I won't even go into how disturbing the subject matter was.
The Psycho, on 26 Apr 2016 - 10:50 PM, said: That's either really disturbing or really cute, I haven't quite made up my mind yet.

gallery_48988_15465_38466.pngR9n4SPM.pngCall_of_Chaos_9_Medal_02.gifsml_gallery_29004_12090_4775.pngETL_Medal_04.giffriday-award.pngx9we_badge_teetengee.pnggallery_29004_10514_2007.jpggallery_29004_10514_234.jpggallery_48988_6285_1348.png

I'm not dead, and I like 8th better than 7th.