“Fine, fine. You pulled me up from the motor pool for this? So what, Serge’s word wasn’t good enough for you and you need true facts from one of the hard bitten? Hey, easy now with that las pistol – I got it. You didn’t have to send the brutes to gather me up. Once I was done inspecting the hellstrikes I was on my way over.”
“By the way, is that creepy servitor-thing in the corner going to stare at me the whole time while it records this? HEY, DON’T THINK I DON”T SEE YOU OVER THERE, freak!! I’ve got my eye on you!"
Okay, sure. lets get this over with. All of the Ad-mech hardware around here is making the hair on my neck stand on end. Just let me light up one of these sweet, sweet Lho sticks. You don’t mind if I smoke, do you? It’ll help me take the edge off"
“Good, where do I begin…”
“After that disaster on Ya-six we were herded into this fine tin-can of a bird where I got to listen to the sweet sweet music of her deck plate rattling and thrusters belting out a constant chorus. Honestly most of my time was spent coordinating with my gunner, prepping my ride, and making sure the litanies and catechisms were being performed ever so correctly to appease the machine spirit. When I wasn’t doing that I was assisting Johns from E-squad. Yeah, Epsilon.”
“Things were going good. Well, as good as could be for one of the penitent. That was until we made skyfall. I guess no one told those Navy boys that the flak would be as thick as sugar-tar. Ultimately, we split from the other drop ship and thanks to a few unexpected rounds through our transport we had to ditch in the ocean some ways off shore. When I came to we were upside down and the bird was taking on water. Everyone else was out cold and it seems the fly boys had gone to the Emperor’s light. I was eventually able to get a hold of E-squad’s Chimera and with masterful piloting skills not seen since the days of the glorious crusade I not only freed my upside-down ride from certain doom but Epsilon’s as well. In time I was able to get to shore and John’s was right behind me. Of course now there was just the two transports, no air support, and virtually no idea of where were were in relation to the designated DZ/LZ. Concerns of having no pick-up worried me but I figured there might be a hostile flight we could snag if need be.”
“Mmmm, sweet menthol! Think I’ll have me another.”
“Ah where was I? Sorry sirs but that guy over there with the reams of parchment coming out of him is giving me the evil eye. It’s distracting! It doesn’t help that them servo-skulls keep getting awfully close. Anyways.”
We all pilled out when we made the clay with the operators and command staff of both Chimera’s going over what plan B would consist of. There was no sense in trying to raise the other drop ship what with not knowing if they made it in and with such a short-range vox-coms. Couldn’t risk getting triangulated. Only choice was to plot a course and double time it. So we set out."
The scenery was nice, from what we could see of it and surprisingly we didn’t encounter any initial enemy prowling about.
“Sometime in we encountered a patrol. Mostly light infantry supported with modified civilian light vehicles vaguely similar to pattern Tauros buggies. As expected heathens and their shoddy vehicles were no match for the Imperium’s might, even if that might came from a convict regiment.”
Whoa! I dunno who’s been feeding you shit but it was my operational accumen that had us leave the road. I mean Sgt Renal was alright but tank driving he did NOT!” That isn’t expected from his type.” S’pose after that we carried on at good pace. Wanted to clear mud before the enemy was drawn to the firefight. Them flashlights glow pretty in the night time as you know.”
“Next night while driving we came along a lare body of the enemy. Again mostly infantry supported with converted civilain buggies. Added to that were a number of light transport trucks towning light artillery. Mortars, light thudds, cannons – that type. We popped out and the ratlings went a scouting.
Us operators took time along with command to draw up some attack plans. The goal was to have E and T flank on the right using some light wood as cover and then when they were in place the Chimera’s would roll in guns blazing to draw off most of the fire, destroy the heavier stuff, and allow the foot troop to do some ambush flanking.”
“Mostly went off without a hitch. Mostly”
“When the smoke cleared we’d dispatched all of the enemy. Sadly, E-squad’s ride was knocked out of commission and it’s machine spirit wasn’t motivated enough to move. Epsilon lost about half of their men as well. We fared a little better. My Chimera took some damage to it’s drive engine but just enough to slow it down. If I treated her right, and followed the primers incantations I knew she’d deliver us. The infantry kept watch and helped some Imperial prisoners they’d found we took to destroying as many of the artillery as we could and using the chimera to push the rest off a steep cliff on the left flank.”
“When all was finished us operators gathered round to scuttle E-squads Chimera. I’m sure none of you would understand the how’s and why’s but we had to do it. I know the troops with us couldn’t understand. Wasn’t fair to the machine spirit to leave her wounded in the hands of the corrupted. It was a mercy killing really.“
“With the parts we could scavenge and what little repairs we could do we set out- albeit more gingerly. Last thing we needed was to lose our ride. Would’ve been certain death out there.”
Again, we encountered a patrol. Light vehicles, Cavalry of some sort… I mostly ran em over with the Chimera and we mopped up the rest. Poor ol’ Sarg took a round and was in rough shape but Archangel did a patch up and we put him in the cabin. Epsilon’s Sgt – Torric took over command of all the remaining squaddies and we were out like the wind. I’m sure the Tallarn would have been proud of the pace of the attack.”
“Long story short we eventually made it to the Imperial Gov’ners estate and with great fortune found it’s defensive shields still active. I sent the code and we rode in. Place was a mess. They had no defence forces, no defences, and staff who were told nothing. Here we divided up the duties. Command, along with T-squad’s Corporal went to speak to his highness, Archangel and Sarg went to rest in the barracks, the Ratlings went roof side to keep watch, and the rest of the troop went to rest, guard, and eat.
I took the time to check out their motorpool in hopes of doing some repairs to the Chimera and take stock of their vehicles. I figured the more we could evac out the better. Even if it was to provide cover to the ride.
I encountered the Gov’ners Chauffeur and he got me in touch with the ground warden. That fella and I came up with an alternate route to the DZ/LZ and he agreed to lead us up that way. The plan was he’d take a bike, along with a few of our boys and act as outriders and scouts and we’d follow. The chauffeur would follow up in one of the gov’ners staff cars with some of the house staff in regal clothes to act as a decoy.”
We didn’t have that long. Pretty quickly the Ratlings informed us that the enemy was at the gates, or well close enough to it, that we’d warn out our welcome. Sadly, no one even bothered to rally the house staff – either for escape or defence. I’m sure most of them were murdered helplessly. What a waste! We could have taken em, given em las, and made em fight for every inch the enemy took.
No, instead we took a bunch of stupid hounds which did nothing but take up space. Useless mutts! I tried to get em into the staff car but the gov’ner wasn’t having any of it. Say, I wonder if he was executed for losing an Imperial world? I hear that’s bad! But where was I?”
“Renal demanded to stay behind with a righteous fury along with all the demo packs/ charges I had to muster some sort of defence. We heard the estate blow so he accomplished the goal of keeping it out of enemy hands. Lets open another pack of these minty lho’s in his honour. Mmmm, so cool, so smooth.”
“So we hit the ground running as fast as the transport could take us and thankfully because of the back roads avoided a lot of the enemy. Only a few vhicles followed us and they weren’t that serious a threat.
At some point in the hills we came across 3 large, red monstrous mutants – maybe mutated Ogryn, all wielding massive metal swords. With engines screaming I made an unexpected detour off the side off a cliff. Did you know Chimera could fly?” Alas the staff car behind us wasn’t so prepared and one of the mutants landed on it, chopped the machine spirit to pieces, and killed everyone inside. At least they served their duty as decoy’s.
“We made it to the DZ/LZ and surprise surprise the other bird was there along with what was left of Sigma and Fury. They’d lost a Chimera and Sgt. Bosley decided that they would act as a rear guard to protect the ship. I guess their other squad was lost trying to make it to the estate.“
“For some dumb reason we were ordered to abandon the remaining Chimeras. Too bad – what a waste of material and machine spirits. Again those of us with the knowing performed the rights and detonated them. Best we free them for what would have been enslavement and forced servitude to the ruinous powers. We had room to take em too! Damnit man!”
“With one last look I hoped in the bird, and what with my expertise was asked to bring it back to base. Of course I can fly one of those babies! What do you take me for, a White shield!?!”
“We done now? I got duties to uh, do… and stuff. Besides, this pack is done. Gotta fetch me another.”