Hi everybody! Thanks for stopping by again - I was trawling through my computer and came across this little gem, a short story I wrote a few years back. It was intended as a write-up for a kill team game a mate played against my Imperial Guard.
I always like my fluff to serve a purpose (apart from entertaining people): so this one is a write-up for a battle as well as a little story. In others I drop in some info on the Palladians, so rather than writing something up in prose I can just describe it as part of the story.
I realise how dull reams of text can be so I'll split this into two posts ... tune in later in the week for part two! If this goes well I have several other stories, I'll make Storytime a regular slot.
|He didn’t know it then, but it was |
the last sunset he was ever to see.
He wasn’t a real colonel. He had been turned down for service in the Guard because of the two missing fingers on his left hand; a relic brought out of a hive-pit fight from years ago. If the Imperial Banner wouldn’t have him then the Enemy could. They’d almost overrun all Imperial resistance on this backwater moon, and soon Flirus could look forward to a quiet retirement as a rebel colonel with his own house and leagues of wide, open steppe to call his own. None of the squalid hab-blocks of Terrum Doxtus back on the planet. He’d had a cousin in the Navy before he turned, a Quarter-Lieutenant on the Radiant Light when it docked on Palladia. Apparently it would take years for the distress signal to reach sector command, and decades for a battlegroup to dispatch. Flirus could look forward to the quiet life.
He turned back from the wrecked tower to survey his command. An old Munitorium relay station used by the loyalist garrison before it was overrun. In the vehicle park stood a venerable laser destroyer Leman Russ. Only the Praetorians would ever get to see the like of this grade of armour normally, and he’d captured one without a fight. Its powerful laser cannon could burn through armour better than a battle cannon or even a lascannon, and was worth ten of either. He looked back over the tower where his men began to clear away the rubble of the Aquila. Now free of all the symbol and signage of the Imperial oppressors; his masters would be pleased.
He didn’t trust the Renegade Marines. He was terrified of the things, so fetid with disease and death and standing a clear seven feet tall, clad head to toe in scarlet power armour, menacing down on him and his men. They’d never spoken to him directly. He’d only ever seen three before and he hoped they’d just leave him to running this backwater moon in peace.
“The cleansing is complete, Colonel.” He was stirred from his thoughts by the report of his deputy. “Good work, Sarpia,” he murmured, turning to look across the steppe at the setting sun. “Set the guard, I shall retire for the night.”
“Very good, sir.” Flaris turned to descend the stairs into his bunker and stopped. He turned around, and squinted into the reddening sun as it was setting. He didn’t know it then, but it was the last sunset he was ever to see.
|He was terrified of the things, so fetid with |
disease and death and standing a clear
seven feet tall, clad head to toe in scarlet power
armour, menacing down on him and his men
They were ready.
They were scouts of the Adeptus Astartes; they were always ready. Not clad in the impenetrable powered armour of their tactical squad brethren, but their skill in assassination, infiltration, reconnaissance ... they all added to the terrifying aura that crept ahead of them whenever they entered a warzone. Fuel relay, tank park, enemy commander – no distance between a given target and the front line could guarantee security.
“Davis Flirus,” began Falconius, reciting the orders from the tech-slab to his squad as they listened in silence. “Ex-sergeant of the PDF, self-proclaimed regimental commander of the rebel forces on the Imperial moon Kohl. Satellite of Palladia. Guarding a rare laser destroyer self-propelled gun, captured from the 9 Battalion of the Guard six days ago. Reconnoitre the area, ascertain enemy strength and if possible, eliminate the traitor Flirus.” He shut the slate and looked up at his men. “This is one to play quietly, brothers.”
* * *
To be continued ...