1171st Conscript Battation - Reglanders

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Captain Mothman regarded Forner with the disgust of finding ork drool on his great coat. Twenty-seven years of hard fighting, tens of thousands dead just so the planet could be cleansed by nuclear fire. Waste. Waste is not the word for it, the callous respect that the departmento munitorum had for the value of human life, they who did not know the true horrors of the bio-fiends.
The 1171st Conscript battalion had landed on Forner with the aim of wiping the 'nids from the system. 34,580 raw guardsmen, 172 new tanks, 43 sentinels and about 400 light and heavy artillery pieces were fielded. The early stages of the conflict had gone well the bugs had been all but wiped out. Time was telling though, 5 years and the bugs were yet to be defeated. 7 years and no-one cared, left to fend for themselves platoons had disappeared, one by one, all the time the 'nids grew stronger. Supply grew thin, ammunition scarce, and all the time men were dieing, vanishing. 213 men and 4 sentinels had existed till now. Those who fell in the first battles where the lucky ones. Captain Mothman composed himself. His men would never suffer like this, it was more than his duty, it was his purpose. Commissar Luttin observed the young captain, his scared face showed age that was beyond his years. Sighing he returned to his quarters upon the troopship TS/Alpha-33.
"Captain Mothman report to General Runne's command quarters" the vox caster blazed at the Captain. Leaving his slumber Captain Mothman pulled on some ragged clothes and stumbled into the tight pack corridors that wormed though the transport. General Runne's quarters were situated off the command deck so it was quite awhile before the captain arrived. "Captain Mothman reporting" he stated. "ahh, Captain Mothman, I hear the 'nids got the better of you? General Runne commented. "No sir, we were poorly equipped and there were too many of them in the first place." "hmm. well we are to be deployed on the death world of Regland. We are to check up on an outpost there, it's all in the report." Promptly the general handed the report aaaaover to the captain. "Sir did I hear that we will be deployed?" "Yes captain, I will be your superior, but I will be commanding the 567th penal legion. My suggestion is to brief your men, may the emperor guide  you." With that captain Mothman was escorted from the room.aaaaaa
Regland death world. 7.82 weeks travel by the warp. Regland is not a planrt in is own right, but a moon that orbits the gas giant DHP-163.34a. It is an ice world but its proximity to its planet causes it to be geologically unstable. Volcanic eruptions and unpredictable mud slides makes it a most undesirable homeworld. As his men prepared for planetfall, it occurred to the captain that this may become another Forner. Bang, whoosh.Creek..Bang. Bang. The dropship plummeted to the surface, wing tips glowing red with the friction of the atmosphere. "Not enjoying it Lewis!" Captain Mothman shouted above the terrible din. "n-nn-no s-sir" "good lad" The retro rockets fired as the prompt screen flickered 'brace'. All movement stopped. The tick tick of the craft cooling was all that could be heard. "We aren't dead, thank the emperor" a guardsman hushed. The captain strode out of the dropship as the guardsmen scurried around readying weapons and equipment. "Men, we stand on a new world, another victory for our glorious emperor. We stand today as proof of his divinity have faith in your hearts, THIS WON'T BE ANOTHER FORNER!!!" The exalted cry's and cheers were pleasurable to the captain. Glancing around his vulture eyes picked up a raving Luttin bawling his head of at one of the young recruits. The poor guardsman wasn't far off crapping his trousers, as Luttin's Laz pistol was aimed at him. A sharp crack resounded of the towing glaciers surrounding them; Luttin threw his gun into the snow where the shot had melted itself a scorched crater.
Mothman strode over, snow crunching beneath his feet. "Commissar, what appears to be the problem?" Mothman shouted. "The fragging cretins haven't dropped any of our Chimeras." Luttin spitted, before resorting into a frightful volley of curses. "Well commissar, if we don't have our transports order the men to put on their marching boots." With a piecing glance Luttin saluted and march off shouting orders and swinging his power sword around. Looking down the mountainous valley one thought went though Mothman's mind, 'a good walk'. The slog was hard. Mud slips, avalanches and jagged rocks slowed them to a crawl. Frost bite clamed noses toes and fingers, and the dark thirty-two hour night froze them to the bone, camps were haphazard and poorly situated. All were tired and sapped of their strength. Five men had died before they reached the outpost. The ragged outpost stood on spiky crag of black basalt, the view was dismal with the snow closing in and the earth groaning with geological activity. The slushy mud oozed down thin cracks and gouts of steam rose from mean looking vents. As they neared the outpost Captain Mothman felt uneasy. Not only were there no lights or any signs of any activity, he was increasingly aware of scorch marks and long black shapes lying in front of the gate. Halting the company he called out to his sentinel commander. "Erwin. Get Fren and Logan up here we're going to scout the place out. Something's not right." When Erwin came back Mothman jumped onto the sentinel and hauled himself up with his bionic arm. "Captain" Erwin chirruped "Where to?" "Move up and keep a loose order. Be wary." The rolling gait of the sentinels was not to Mothmans liking but as they neared the outpost the sight was much worse. What appeared to be black shapes were the mutilated copses of guardsmen. Many were covered in pulsating sores and pustules. After a quick check of the bodies they moved on. The rust corroded gate hung at an odd angle and the scars of a quick but furious battle were obvious. A quick bust of multi-laz reduced the gate to a melted pool of slag. The interior was a mess of tangled metal and bloated bodies. The command tower was in a similar state. Captain Mothman took a seat on the burnt out chassis of a hellhound. A small groan escaped his mouth as he buried his head in his hands. "Captain may I suggest we return to the boys?" enquired Erwin. "I agree.Erwin what does all this crap tell you?" "It seams to me that they were surprised and virus bombed, Captain. This bears the mark of chaos to me." "I concur  Erwin." Agreed Captain Mothman "Fren go tell the troops to get their sorry arses up here." He ordered. Later as the men trooped in, their faces full of misery and horror Captain Mothman addressed them, "Men it seams we know our enemy, the vile scourge of chaos has tainted this world. The garrison here fought hard, but they were overrun. It is our duty to discover what has happed to this world. This is why I call upon your courage to assist me in journeying to the other outpost, even though it is half way across this, death world." As the men's faces dropped even further he gave them the good news. "Don't be disheartened, the garrison here has working transports and a couple of Russ' s." Turning to Luttin "see to it any supplies, guns and spare ammo are taken with us, I expect that chaos will have some surprises for us." Captain Mothman bluntly stated.
As soon as they had left the outpost it became apparent why the chimeras hadn't been used. The thick slimy mud ground the tracks to powder, constant repairs had to be made just to keep the vehicles moving. Twice the percussive rumble of the tracks set avalanches off burring the end vehicle in hundreds of tons of snow. 116 Kilometres from the their target, the transports uttered their last rumble. The rest of the journey was to be hard slog up and over the mountain in their way. 14 men fell victim to falls and frostbite before they reached the pass to 'Beta OP-Regland1' As the long night began to set in the Captain got Luttin to strike camp while he and a squad scouted the outpost.
The pass was cruel, a deep steam filled crevasse opened up to your left, and a great sheer face of rock and ice towered up on your right. This left a road no bigger than a dirt track to walk along. To be honest the captain expected a guard to be on watch, but his auspex and sharp-eyed sniper McLee noticed nothing. Even though they kept to the shadows and lumps of ice, as they cleared the pass and looked down into the next valley their worst fears were made true. Off to the left, a shanty camp of tents, junk and ruined vehicles made a camp for the heretics. Promethium barrels belched oily clouds of death into the night air. As their eyes moved to the compound below they saw it already bore the markings of battle. "McLee, what do you see?" whispered the captain. "There are three guardsmen sitting by an autocannon, and two more talking in the command tower. They are free from taint sir." He replied. "Good, we will make a break for the compound while its still dark. Hopefully we can slip past the heretics before they spot  us."
The preparations were made, and the troops stood ready. "Men we make for outpost keep your heads down and be quite. If they spot us run, and keep running." Mothman advised. "McLee and his pals have gone on ahead to tell our brethren down there we are coming. May the emperor protect us." They quick marched down the slope keeping behind the drifts, and delving into the crags which dotted the hillside while the sentinels watched their backs. Captain Mothman plodded on, hunched back and laz-pistol in hand. Sometimes taking a quick look over his shoulder. As he turned back to watch his footing on the slippery mud, a laz shot pinged of the ice where he had just been. Basic training instinct cut in. Throwing himself into the slush and rolling round to get into a firing position. RUN!!!  He screamed. His men shoved past as he cracked off several poorly aimed shots. Waiting until all his men had passed Mothman observed the cultists charge towards him before Erwins multi-laz cut them down. Turning to run himself a stray bolter round smashed into his shoulder the delayed explosion ripped the flesh from the bone and splattered blood across his face, wiping his own gore from his face he sprinted the few hundred metres to the compound, dodging shots all the way.
The gate clanged shut and he collapsed against it, before him stood a strange array of guardsmen, and it took him some moments to realise that some were his own. He vaguely felt a medic bandaging his arm before his eyes watered up and blackness surrounded him.
Swaash clicked his boltgun-hand appendage, a poor shot for a being like him. Two hundred years expertise in slaughter and he missed. If the important looking guy hadn't run, that shot would have taken his head off. Cursing his luck he examined the bloated pustules growing above his eye. Yes - He liked Nurgle. Nurgle who gave him power. Nurgle who gave him life in this barren wasteland. Chukling Swaash fitted a new clip, yes I will have his head as I prize for Nurgle he thought. He spat on the ground before limping away on his withered leg.
Coming round Captain Mothman noticed the sun had come up for its three-hour spell, a sharp sering pain shot though his arm. Argh. The night came back in a wash of pictures. Wincing he sat up and looked around, here and there his men sat smoking or enjoying some rations cooked over small fires. To the right of the gate the command tower sent a shadow over to where he sat. shivering he got up and shuffled to Krensal the medic. "Captain!" beemed Krensal "see, you're on the mend already. Nothing a good long rest will see out." Grunting Mothman sat down and helped himself to some fried brown paste which was meant to be meat. After shovelling this down for a couple of minutes he asked "what's the deal with the garrison here? Where are they?" "Up there" Krensal pointed. "Their head guy wants a natter with you" "er. thanks for the.meat Krensal" "no prob. It'll do you the world of good." The inside of the command tower was well organised compared to the pile of junk in the courtyard below. The only mess was that of the papers on the desk and these looked well thumbed and tired. Before he got to the table to take a look something shifted from the shadows "General.?" the figure stated. The captain glanced around as though someone else had entered the room. "Captain then?" the figure asked. "Yes. I am a captain. Captain Mothman if you want to know. Whom am I addressing" enquired Mothman. Steping out of the shadows into one of the shafts of light the figure spoke. "I am sergeant Cornelius Rathe of the Regland PDF." His chiselled face appeared as if it had been carved from rock in the harsh white light and the battle dress he wore was riddled with hole and rips. "I assume Captain you are our relief?" "Sorry sergeant you are mistaken. We are just the scout force for General Runne's 834th Rifle brigade. We hoped that this outpost had faired better than the last, that is why we are here." The sergeant took a seat at the map table. "Captain do you have any information regarding the scum outside?" "No, I wish I did. We though you would know what has happened here." Mothman Replied. "That I do know. The other outpost was virus bombed from orbit, the men stood no chance. Some of us escaped here to warn them. Here we were also bombed but we stayed inside, a week later the chaos scum arrived, they came to the gates saying they were friends, but already they had the mark of damnation. We sent them back to the warp. Few survived. Unfortunately more came and then more, till a vast army camped out before us. The attack was brutal - a full out assault they topped our walls but we fought them back. Most of them (he spat the word) are over there." "Thank-you sergeant, may I have your permission to command you and your troops? I need reassurance that you will help us to survive this." "Indeed, you may. I trust you, because I have faith in the emperor" "The emperor protects sergeant. Tell your men to gather in the courtyard." The men arranged themselves into neat rows, looks of stern defiance shined on their face. "Men. Our enemy stands at the gates. It is the emperors will that you stand today; the foul heretics will not wait for us to defend this position. We stand to die, but die we will not!" the men cheered and set to work with extraordinary zeal. Ice bags were laid, heavy weapons fixed to the walls, contingency plans crafted. Then the wait. The fear of the battle to come. The day waned and dusk approached. Captain Mothman drew out his field-glass and auspex. The warp spawn had retrieved reinforcements though-out the day. Ones and twos, but a constant stream. The worry descended on the young captain, it was like Forner the calm before the storm. There was a storm brewing, a snow one. It was a black veil falling across the mountains. It would hit in an hour Cornelius said.
Snow pounded against the compound, it found all the holes and cracks and forced its way in. Many men had built shelters and lit oil drum fires to keep warm. Mothman looked out across the waste to where the heretic's camp should be. Nothing but a wall of white could be seen, visibly was zero after just a few metres. He sighed. Those scum could walk all the way up to the wall before they were even spotted, let along attacked. Regretfully he turned. Out of the corner of his eye he spied Krensal. Well, what was left of his body as it slowly topped over blood flicking up into the air as the autocannon shells ripped his torso apart in a red mist. "ATTACK" the cry when up. Laz shots and plasma splashes impacted on the compounds wall, men scurried to what little cover could be found. Three men being cut down as they returned fire, Captain Mothman ducked behind a sandbag pile snapping shots of into the mist as the discussing horde materialised.
Swaash was impetuous, all the slimeballs in front of him were blocking his line of fire. He flicked his forked tongue and put some slugs into the backs of those in front. There bodies crunched satisfyingly as  he advanced. The sad follows who called themselves cultists were hiding behind the snow drifts, only firing back occasionally. Swaash continued further, The wall of the compound stood before him. He stood their as shots smacked into the snow around him, unaware of his peril he raised his bolt-hand appendage and systematically assassinated all guardsmen he could see.
Cornelius rained down hell on the cultists before him; none could fire back without being hit by him or his men. The squad had taken up good positions along the south section metal plating and barrels provided ample protection. Suddenly a monster appeared out of the fog. It stood there as his squad took aim and fired, but try as they might their shorts were short or misplaced. Cornelius lowered his gun as the thing raised its 'hand' The last words to leave his mouth were "BRING IT DOWN" the bolt pieced the side of his face, a fraction of a second before it detonated, spaying the surrounding area with his brains.
Mothman was holding out well Erwin had come to support him, the mulit-laz on his sentinel burnt holes though the ranks of advancing scum. Mothman stood proud many of the horde now lay dead in the snow, they dammed blood turning it as black as their hearts. The battle grew quite as the guardsmen finished off the few left, the silence drew swiftly over them. The captain sat down heavily, it was over, for now. At least the men had suffered light casualties. Boom. Boom.Boom.Boom the low rolling shock waves echoed across the valley, followed by the high pitched whistles of incoming shells. "SCATTER" the bombardment brutally smashed into the walls, men flew thought the air, the odd limb or lazgun left behind. The section of wall crumbled before captain Mothman exposing a new wave of crazed cultists. He threw himself behind a pile of rocks as autocannon shells, laz-bolts and a rocket lunched impacted into parapet where he had been standing. At the same moment he felt something hit him hard in the side. McLee prodded Mothman in the side "Ready to take a crack at the crapheads sir?" Mothman turned away to take a couple of shots down the breach.
'The emperors finest' no. They where not. Swaash advanced towards the breach slowly, new targets were up there. He clicked his bolt-hand. They would die, yes, die. Most horribly.  His tongue writhed in perverted pleasure.
Men were dieing right and left. One of the new recruits Castellan had picked up a heavy bolter from somewhere and set it up on the rubble next to McLee. The screams came from the air came again, throwing the captain down the breach. It occurred to him that a sharp throbbing pain was in his arm. A bolter shell had scraped his lower arm. A laz bolt impacted the rock next to his head followed by another closer to the mark. In his hand he found a shotgun, loaded but heavily scratched. He picked himself up but his legs failed him, more shots clipped the rubble around him. Down the slope the cultists surged towards him, he tried again his foot finding a firm footing, "FOR THE EMPEROR!!!" One foot in front of the other, more shots scraping past, a burning pain in his leg. The ground rushed up to meet him.
The important guy. Yes, my prise, Nurgles prise. Swaash took careful aim. The bolt curved through the air smacking into the captains leg. Yes, he would die slowly. Yet no, others picking him up. No. Some young squirt with a heavy bolter. Chatter.phut..phut ping.
Vaguely aware of Castellan and McLee Mothman continued his charge, their was an 'it', a dark demon of chaos. A slobbering mound of filth with a strange greasy appendage stretched out towards him. The shotgun reverberated in his hand. The rotted skin fell away from it in chunks. More shots slammed into his torso. The shotgun boomed again. Bang, Mothman was blown back, his eardrums burst. Though his darkening eyes the orbital bombardment smashing down upon the chaos horde looked like fairy lights.

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