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Sgt. Baker yelled out over the noise of the Leman Russ "Halt!"
Lance Corporal Drake quickly shifted down into first gear then hit the brakes and throttled down; the Leman Russ shuddered to a halt as Drake pushed the brakes down too hard, the sign of a novice tank driver. Baker popped open the turret hatch and surveyed the tall grass field in front of them, the summer was very harsh this season and all the grass was dried golden yellow. Behind the field was the small town of Abersbruck , which was slightly damaged by light skirmishing last summer. Drake looked through the driver's hatch, hull mounted driving positions were so low to the ground that he couldn't see much, the tall grass obscured most of his limited view as well.
rake called up to Baker "Well?"
"Can you see anything?"
"Not a thing, now get that engine revved up Drake"
rake had the engine roaring on his second attempt, Baker closed and locked the top hatch, the two sponson gunners, Hanns and Lysan, readied their Heavy Bolters. Baker called for a radio check over the Comm-Link, he wanted to make sure the other two tanks in his lance could hear him and were ready.
"Delta One, Delta Two this is Delta Zero radio check over"
"Delta One ok over"
"Delta Two ok over"
"Delta One, Delta Two standard arrowhead formation, follow my lead over and out"
The tank lance rumbled into an arrowhead formation with Baker's tank or 'Delta Zero' taking point and the other two tanks close behind. Drake shifted gear into second gear after going about 50 yards, Delta One and Two followed suit, to enter the village they'd need to be in single file. Drake gave the order over the Comm-Link.
"Delta One, Delta Two this is Delta Zero single file formation over"
"Delta One ok over"
There was a pause, Delta Two wasn't responding. Baker said again in a slightly annoyed voice, he could see Delta Two behind him and all looked well.
"Delta Two, do you copy over" There was a slight pause
"Delta Two ok, single file formation over … sorry, over"
"Shut up Delta Two" despaired Baker.
The tank lance moved onto the towns main road in single line formation then headed for the centre of Abersbruck, the sponson gunners kept their eyes open, looking down the side streets for any sign of the enemy. The noise of the tanks engine made it hard to give verbal orders, especially when during fighting; the tank commander would simply tap the driver with his foot on the corresponding shoulder to turn left or right. Right now the lance was just following the main road, Baker couldn't see any sign of the enemy through his turret sight, perhaps they'd pulled out? Then above the sound of the engine came an all too familiar sound, the sound of a Tau's Hammerhead Railgun firing from a side street to their left, the whole lance was in view, then an explosion from the rear. Delta Two had been completely destroyed; the turret had been knocked over and was listing to the right hand side, flames were coming out of the inside of the tank. There was no hope for the young crew inside, they were done for. Baker kicked Drake twice in the back, which ment full ahead. Drake shifted into third gear which was the top gear, the engine roared, lurched then shuddered to a stop, then the engine went silent.
"Drake you idiot" Shouted Baker
The Railgun fired again, the sound tore through the air and hit Bakers Leman Russ in the side, punching a hole straight through the tank. By some miracle it had missed the engineand the ammunition but both the sponson gunners were killed out right and the tank was now useless. Delta One was now trapped between the two ruined hulks.
"Get out Drake, get out!"
Both Drake and Baker opened their hatches and jumped out of the tank but they didn't get far.
A Tau Fire Warrior yelled to Drake and Baker in broken human "Halt, Gue'la"
rake could see all the Fire Warriors that had trained their sights on them from the windows above so he halted but either Baker didn't see them or wouldn't be captured alive. Baker got five more paces before he was shot; it only took one well placed shot in the back to take him down. The Tau Hammerhead Gunship trained its sights on the last remaining tank; they didn't put up a fight and simply climbed out of the tank with hands in the air. Not a single shot had been fired by the Leman Russ Lance.
The Tau rounded the five prisoners up; what looked like a leader approached the terrified prisoners, his pulse rifle pointing skywards.
"Your war is over Gue'la, you have been spared" said the Tau in very well spoken human.
rake replied questioningly "What will happen to us?"
"You will be taken from here via Devilfish then to a Gue'la colony by Barracuda"
"For the Greater Good"
Sure enough a Devilfish pulled into the village and transported the prisoners away; they were safe in the hands of the Tau.