It was an odd thing, to see the Catachan of the CXLIX mixing with the Tallarn of the 23rd - for desert and jungle do not often mix. Yet here were two experienced commanders sitting and sharing a drink.
"Lord Commander, you do us much honour," Nemo smiled as he took a sip.
"It is nothing. I am glad to be on the front lines, I seem to be forever stuck behind a map or report it feels."
"Even so, to sit and share a civilised drink before we travel to battle. A fine thing."
"Well, maybe. Maybe so. Good to water before battle." Graves gestured towards the jungle behind him where his men had spent the last week.
"True, true. The desert is a harsh mistress," Nemo nodded at the sandy expanse behind him.
The two men sat quietly enjoying the recaf as their men finalised their preparations.
"So, on to Tore Saramu then?" Nemo stood as his men assembled for inspection.
"As planned, yes, we'll need to take it within two days in order for the 144th and 711th to move past and engage the enemy counter attack," Graves nodded as he stood to his own men's assembly.
"Have no fear Lord Commander, my Stormtroopers will breach their walls on the first charge," Nemo gave a small bow.
"Oh, no, I think you'll find it'll be the Catachan who take the walls first."
The two men looked at each other, neither even blinking.
"Very well. We shall see who the Emperor favours!"
The two commanders hurried off to mobilise their men - but not too hurriedly. You don't want to look like you're making too much of an effort after all.
Though each regiment would claim to have made the first breach history would record that such was the fury of their assaults that it was largely irrelevant.
Rank III - 3 phases completed (Continued)
"My lords, message from the front - sector BY98 has been cleansed and captured!" the young officer hurried over to the planning desk to hand over the data but Commissar Elmo waved him back to his duties. He tapped a few times on BY98 to record the new Imperial status of the sector.
"Not going to check? That's pretty damn quick, we only sent them in yesterday." WarriorFish cast a quick sideways glance.
"No need, that's the Life Guards."
Elmo gestured with his recaf cup and WarriorFish nodded.
"The Levallosians, under Prins wasn't it?"
"Colonel Prins, yes," Elmo waited for the water to boil, "their contribution was made to capture cities along with no small measure of skill at the task."
"Yes, of course, I remember now. Even had a psyker with them too."
"Indeed. I've heard impressive reports of their effectiveness and cohesion - even with the Ogryn Auxillia." he stirred the cups a little.
"Excellent, then we had better send them on immediately. We'll have another regiment secure BY98."
WarriorFish nodded as he took his cup, raising it slightly in thanks. He had heard of the Life Guard method of war and he knew it was no easy thing getting the most from the Auxillia, but the reports of reliance on psykers for strategic plans was not without concern. All very well if it gave victory, but something to keep a discreet eye on no doubt. For now though the 7th were a vital part of recapturing the outer hive and the Emperor does work in mysterious ways. Who was a servant to question His divine will?
"Is it Lord or Lady Commissar if they're a woman?"
"You know, for the title? Or doesn't it matter?"
Corporal Reed just shrugged and returned to cleaning his melta.
"Well, I just don't want to get it wrong you know? Be rude and that."
Reed ignored him. A few minutes of slightly awkward silence followed before Remfry silently emerged from the inky black of night.
"Right boys we're up. Orders are to infiltrate a promethium plant and either capture it or, if not possible, destroy it. Bridges Pegasus and Bellaphron are to be destroyed in that case, but preferably captured.
The veterans of Foxhound Company looked at each other.
"Is that all?" Reed frowned as he slung his melta over his shoulder.
"We've only got eight hours to do the lot."
Remfry's soldiers were packed and moving in under a minute. Capturing a promethium plant and two bridges? Anyone could do that, but in an eight hour time frame - now that was more like it.
"Commissar Elmo sir, response from Lt Colonel Remfry: plant and bridges captured, awaiting new orders."
Elmo glanced at the time.
"Tell Remfry to use the remaining two hours to fortify and await the relief force. Send his Sentinels to fuel relay CF02 to perform recon, where he is to repeat the feat when he rendezvous with them."
Elmo signalled another officer.
"Tell the 8th Jotunheim that their way is open to cross Pegasus. Their orders are to flatten Fortress Berghen and proceed to engage the enemy armour in sector CD34."
The officer neatly stepped aside as WarriorFish's familiar shadow loomed through the doorway.
"What did I miss?" he remarked at the hurried activity.
"You're going to love this," Elmo grinned...
Even the mighty Leman Russ battle tank looked like an insignificant insect from up here. He could see the plumes of dust rising from the planes as the 8th Jotunheim made their charge to Pegasus bridge. A spark from the traitor side saw a fresh, darker cloud start to form - another enemy tank knocked out by Vanquisher fire. Even as a pilot he knew it was folly to stray into Major Schroeder's sights.
Better hurry up, or there won't be anything left for me...
The Vulture's engines seemed to protest as he made for a steep dive. Plunging through the flak he released a couple of HKs into advancing enemy Chimeras before peeling off to search for more inviting targets.
Marshal Hammet felt some satisfaction as he crossed the bridge. It was in good shape despite the fighting and would easily allow his armoured vehicles to cross. The littered corpses of the enemy and their armour was always gratifying no matter the planet.
"Tell that flyboy to move on to CD34, give us a bird's view," he gestured to the Vulture soaring overhead, still searching for something to shoot.
"All units, full speed! I'm already missing the action!" he roared, waving forwards to all who could see.
The enthusiastic cheering was music to his ears.
"Plenty more glory to be won on this dirt ball. Plenty more!"
He must have been grinning all the way to CD34.
Your selfless dedication to annihilating the heretic wherever he makes his nest has not gone unnoticed. Both by His Inquisition and surely the God-Emperor Himself. Such piety and duty must not be wasted.