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Thread: [M] War in the Dirt - Imperials IC

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    Spoiler: Legio Sirenia - Perinetus 
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    Spoiler: Haven 14th, Cam’s Lot Militia, Cadian 2451st - Baraspine 
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    [OOC - Space held for Gerry, Crenshaw and Loyal Legion introduction]

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    Spoiler: 100th Adrantean Infantry, 112th Kriegan Mechanised, 2451st Cadian Armoured 
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    Cadian 2451st RAR, 2nd Company:

    The fighting had died down, the men and women of the 2451st RAR, 2nd Company began making the most of their halt. The tank commanders brought their machines into halt positions. They backed their vehicles into the shade, behind buildings or behind rubble. Anything to obscure their machines. They kept themselves spaced well apart, at least 70 metres between every machine. In the case that the enemy counterattacked with artillery or aircraft. Their crews unbuttoned, throwing open their hatches and clambering out of their machines.

    Crews immediately got to work. Tensioning tracks, checking engines, tending to minor repairs, replenshing turret ammo storage, barrel cleaning and re-sighting the main gun. Everything had to be thorough, if anything was missed it could mean machine failure on the march, or worse, in the midst of battle.

    2nd Company, 1st Platoon:
    1st platoon were the first to complete their tasks. They were the most experienced in the company, and they suffered the least damage. The combined crews of Mad Man and Mauler took off to Manifesto, who was still dead-in-the-water. Her engine silent.

    Lieutenant Linus ran behind the machine and went for the infantry telephone. The receiver had a cold chill about it, as if it had been left outside during a cold winters night.

    "Mad Man to Manifesto." He challenged.

    There was no response. The veteran sighed. He had seen the witch on top of Sergeant Helen's tank. At first he was jealous as he saw the witch "catch" the Hydra's shells midair. That jealousy turned to anger when Manifesto's comms went dead and the machine itself suddenly stopped. Linus held back the urge to ball his fists. There was a reason his tank was named Mad Man, the Lieutenant was quick to temper. His temper only held in check this time because he knew the Captain would be of the same opinion as him.

    "Get the pioneering tools. We need to get them out, dead or alive." Lieutenant Linus ordered, as he turned to face the rest of his section troops.

    "Yes, sir." They returned. Before parting in separate ways, each crew going back to their respective tanks before quickly returning. Linus began climbing the ladder rungs on the hull side.

    Maulers crew had begun the halt procedure on Manifesto. They looked her over and were satisfied that the witch did at the very least protect the tank.

    "Pass them up and climb up." Linus called down to his crew. One of which tossed him up the track tension bar. He caught it in both hands and laid it on the hull roof. He doubted they could pry the hatch open. A locked hatch was designed to remain closed, short of welding or an explosion. This wasn't the propaganda vids where the lone Guardsmen climbed a lone tank and lasgunned the crew after opening the unobservant TC's hatch.

    "Let's try the hatch first. Hopefully Helen kept it unlocked for us." Linus suggested, not wanting to actually waste the effort of prying the cupola door open. Linus crouched down beside the hatch and grasped it with both hands. Aridius, Mad Man's gunner, came to the other side and did the same. Both of them lifted, and were greeted with a groan as the metal parted metal.

    "Good girl." The Lieutenant jested. "Now, are they dead?"

    Aridius reached a hand into the turret and placed a pair of fingers on Helen's neck.

    "I have a pulse. She's alive." Aridius stated.

    "Good, get the poor bastards out and signal the medicae. We need them back in action before the halt is over." Ordered Linus.

    2nd Company, 2nd Platoon:

    “All tanks, the Captain has given us the halt order. The fighting is over. Back yourselves into cover and lick your wounds. We’re going to give the Captain a little surprise. Show her how much we’ve learned from 1st, it’s time to grab some extra armour.” Lieutenant Ennius called over the platoons vox frequency.

    “Won’t the added weight tax the engines?” Squawked the reply of Sergeant Alexandre over the vox piece.

    “Let me answer your question with a question. What has 7 men and 2 sponsons?” Ennius returned. One of his crew were laughing.

    “A Leman Russ with 2 sponsons?” Alexandre’s voice was confused.

    “That’s right, and how much weight have we saved by lacking their presence?” Ennius said, as glanced up to look through his cupolas periscope to see Mighty Brazier reverse next to one of the destroyed Hydras.

    “Roger, Lt. We’ll check our vehicle over first and then grab the welder.” Sergeant Alexandre’s voice vanished as he cutoff the vox channel. The Lieutenant could see the crew of Mighty Brazier already beginning to dismount.

    “What about our hull gun, Lt?” Maximum Precision’s hull gunner spoke up.

    “When the support elements arrive we’re going to borrow a crane and a hull weapon from one of 3rd platoons tanks. We just need to swap the guns from their mountings.” Ennius was confident in his idea.

    “What about Lieutenant Marcellus?” The hull gunner caught themselves and made the sign of the aquila. “Sorry, what about Lieutenant Wilhelm?”

    “He won’t be happy, but he’ll understand. We need everyone combat ready before this halt is over.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    2nd Company, 3rd Platoon:

    The survivors of Midnight made their way out of the hab block and back to their destroyed machine. Their expressions turned sour and somber. They'd seen death before, it was common place in the Imperial Guard, but they would never get use to it. Seeing Midnight in her current state was like looking at a ghost, the flames had subsided and Lieutenant Marcellus' body was gone, fallen into the darkness of Midnight's hull.

    "What do we do, Dieter?" He returned the very same question his peer had asked him minutes before in the heat of the fighting. Peter had an idea then, his mind was blank now.

    "We wait, I'm sure Wilhelm will have something for us." Dieter made the sigh of the aquila.

    Around them medicae staffers came running about. Tending to the wounded and dispensing triage. While medical servitors packed the dead into bodybags and placed them onto stretchers to be removed. Six emotionless wetware machines brushed passed them, laying stretchers before Midnight and began to climb onto the hull.

    Peter blinked, stunned at the ruthless efficiency of it all. He could only watch as they reached into the hatches and began pulling out the blackened bodies of what use to be their crew. He had to close his eyes, otherwise it'd be ingrained in his mind forever.

    Dieter grabbed his arm and shook him softly. "Peter, they're gone."

    A head of them lay 3 bodybags on their stretchers. Their zippers closed making it impossible to distinguish who was in them. This is only the beginning. Peter reminded himself.

    "They're with the Emperor now." Peter said, assuring himself as much as Dieter.

    "Forever onwards." Dieter looked to the sky, as if he was waiting for a sign.

    "Hi boys." Came the down-beaten voice of Selene, Matchlock's hull gunner. She was a mess. Her blonde hair was almost brown with dust and dirt. Beside her was Hera, Matchlock's driver.

    "Selene, Hera, are you all that made it?" Peter returned. He'd seen what happened from the rooftops. His plan was good, but he wasn't fast enough. They struck a pair of krak missiles into the side of their quarry to no avail.

    "Fokking Vanquisher. Got us before we were able to hit it with the lascannon or the hunter-killers. Paying your respects as well? Mind if we join you? We've already said our goodbyes." Selene’s voice was raspy. Peter knew how she felt, he was sure they all did. He waved the female tankers over.

    They stood in quiet solitude. Giving their respects as fresh men and women began to move passed them in clean formations. Their silence was interrupted as a pair of ragtag dressed guardsmen began to take notice of their situation. Their armour was old, surplus gear most likely.

    “Hey, you fokking pedestrians!” Sergeant Selene called out. Her fists balled. She was ready to fight. “Turn around and keep on kicking rocks, would you?”

    "Selene?" Peter asked, as he turned around. "What's the problem?"

    Midnight's new sergeant took measure on the newcomers before them. He had to hold back a laugh. Were these professional soldiers? White shields had better equipment than them. They seemed more like civilians pressed into service given whatever equipment they could scrounge up.

    Two soldiers of the Adrantean Loyal Legion stood in prayer. One was a rake- thin young woman with naturally tanned skin and her chestnut brown hair lashed in a severe bun. She cradled her helmet behind hands clasped in the Aquila. The other was a thickset older man with hiver, and was Baraspini by his mask and the pale skinned hands which were interlocked by the knuckles to make the Cog.

    “Apologies, we meant no disrespect.”

    The Baraspini assured, as he quickly broke from his reverence. His mask was etched with the same cogwheel his hands, now raised to placate the irate Selene, had been making a moment before. The woman sighed resignedly as she folded the Aquila in and hugged her helmet against her flak vest, and raised her head to regard them and the hulk of Midnight as her companion tried to make peace.

    “We only stopped to honor your lost crewmates and the spirit of this machine.”

    “Okay, thanks, now if you doggies would kindly keep on stepping.” Hera chimed in, making her own displeasure known. They were grieving, they'd spent years with their crew. This wasn't the time for chit-chat.

    The Baraspini tensed at the rebuke, and after a moment of silent consideration, he offered a respectful nod to Hera and then the rest of them. “Of course, and again, our condolences. Come on, Madeline.”

    The young woman remained stationary, as she continued to examine the damage on Midnight. There was an oddly intense light in her green eyes, as she glanced aside at her older companion.

    “This was an LR-V’s work, wasn’t it?”

    "What did you say?" Peter asked, he was taken aback. "How did you know?"

    Peter glanced to either side, Dieter, Hera and Selene were just as confused as him. It seemed that her singular question had defused the situation, instead leaving the tankers in bewilderment.

    “Madeline.” The Baraspini firmly stated, as he tossed a thumb over his shoulder at the column of similarly drab, gray clad soldiers who continued to file past. “We have intruded enough, let’s –”

    “How many Vanquishers did you say the Div’s had, Dragomir?” The young woman, Madeline, asked with no indication she received the subtle message on civility she half turned to face her fellow soldier.

    “Apologies, again.” The older man, Dragomir, sincerely offered. He sighed, and reached out to snag his oblivious younger companion by a webbing strap to drag her back into line. “Come, young lady…”

    “No, no need for that.” Peter offhandedly dismissed, urgent “I’d like to hear that answer.”

    Selene looked to Peter, she could tell her counterpart was already getting an idea. Intelligence was intelligence. It could give them an edge.

    The Baraspini paused, glanced back from Madeline to him and Selene. “Nine.”

    “Son of a fokking bitch…” Dieter said with a sigh.

    “Of course that information is eighteen months out of date. I was only aware of those in my regiment,” Dragomir promptly explained, and as quickly paused as he caught and corrected himself. “In my former regiment, I should say, or any which may have been acquired the traitors in secret.”

    “What, the Patriot’s didn’t invite you to their meetings?” Hera's voice was one of accusation. If they had known, their tanks may not have suffered the same fate.

    “That’s why we’re in the Guard.” Madeline quietly answered with hardness in her eyes.

    “You were a tankie.” Selene said, placing a hand on Hera's shoulder. “You were both tankies.”

    “Tephaine PDF, ma’am.” Madeline answered, obviously displeased with the former association.

    “Twenty years in the Divinatory Guard, after my time with the militia and resistance in the Crisis…” Dragomir confirmed, reservedly, with the hint of a thoughtful frown behind his impassive mask as he trailed off. The Baraspini wordlessly scanned the ruined and smoke wreathed horizon of the hive.

    “Throne…you’re ancient.” Dieter whistled, irreverent.

    The Baraspini chuckled, with an edge of relief, as he turned towards Dieter. “It certainly feels that way, some days… I was ordered to drive one of the last tanks out of the manufactorum, and I never stopped.”

    “You’re a driver…” Peter and Dieter exchanged a serious look. This was getting interesting. Peter glanced to Madeline. “And you?”

    “Gunner, sir.” The young woman answered.

    "Sir? No, he works for a living." Dieter smirked. "Were you any good?”

    “First in my training class,” Madeline answered promptly, and appraisingly tilted her head at Dieter as she sensed where the conversation was going. “However a gunner’s only as good as her loader.”

    “Well, holy shit…” Dieter's smirked turned to laughter. "Peter, one more and we're back to combat effective."

    Selene, eyebrow cocked as she watches the mass of Loyal Legion march on by. “Are there any more tankies living the grunt life?”

    “A dozen former tankies and service crew in our company.” Madeline said, as she idly began to drum her fingers on her helmet. She frowned thoughtfully. “Not sure about how many in the regiment.”

    “I would think at least a hundred.” Dragomir cautiously estimated. “There could be more.”

    The day had turned interesting. They were 2 tanks down, 6 KIA. Now they were faced with the prospect of 100 men and women to bolster the company. They didn't even need vehicles, Peter was certain the support elements could use them and he was sure many of the Loyal Legion would prefer being off the front lines. Peter's thoughts were put aside as another ragtag individual made their way over.

    The stranger was tall and vital, his face was bearded and weathered and his dark hair tousled and dusted by the polluted Baraspini air. His was armored in brown leather flakweave, which was covered by a black and white quartered tabard with a stylized, pointed cross divided in the opposing colors stitched in the center of his chest. There was a las-pistol in a utilitarian Guard-issue holster on his intricately tooled leather sword belt, where the blade was sheathed and spiral bound in parchment with devotions inscribed with charcoal. It was secured to his right wrist by a black iron manacle and length of chain.

    Peter almost took him for one of the militia nutcases who had been separated from the herd, and was about to shout him away, until he noticed the same green armband that their new Adrantean friends wore and the Ministorum rosarius about his neck. Ah, the shepherd come after his flock…

    “Brother Löwe.” The preacher introduced with a formal nod; his voice was solemn, and surprisingly soft. He assessed the knot of soldiers, before he settled on the three sealed bodybags. The swordsman raised his silvery-blue eyes to respectfully meet Cadian violet. “Might I have the privilege of their names?”

    "For the respect of the dead, aye." Peter returned. "Our KIA are Marcellus, Michael & Uwe. Good men, loyal men, I'd known them for yours.

    "Mia, Gaia & Rhea." Selene added. "Brave women, some of the best I ever served with. I can't believe they're gone."

    Selene gave Madeline a sideways glance as if to say no offense.

    The preacher-swordsman listened intently, and nodded once the Cadians had named their fallen. He advanced with an athletic grace, slightly marred by the hint of a limp, and stood before the shrouded bodies. The chain which bound Brother Löwe rattled as he clenched his fists and made a cross with his forearms, rather than the traditional Aquila. He closed his eyes and reverently lowered his head.

    “Immortal Imperator, savior and sovereign of Mankind, I commend unto you the souls of your loyal and devoted servants Marcellus, Michael, Uwe, Mia, Gaia & Rhea. They now stand amongst the hosts of martyrs and saints beside the Throne, Deus. They now reside within your light and power, Dominus. They now know your peace and serenity, Pater.”

    Brother Löwe unfurled his fists and brought his hands into the Aquila, as he raised his head and held the devotional gesture over each of the fallen Guardsmen in turn as he offered one last benediction in High Gothic. The preacher-swordsman formally bowed to the martyrs, and then turned to address the living, his eyes keenly appraising the odd mix of Cadian tankers and Adrantean infantrymen in conversation.

    “Was there anything else, before we all return to our duties?” Brother Löwe calmly asked the soldiers.

    "Yes." Interjected Peter, "they're coming with us to see the Lt. Then to the Captain. We need them."

    Captain Antheia, HQ Section, 2nd Company:

    Schenke deciphered her meaning and gave a slight flicker of his eyebrows, twisting the scar across his forehead. “Actually, I’m thinking the exact same thing as you, captain.”

    The Captain made her way back to My Fair Lady. Fokking Commissar. She thought to herself. Antheia was just glad the crew of Manifesto weren't dead. There'd be hell to pay if the worst had happened. She'd escalate the situation, take it straight to the Colonel. It was funny, initially the company captains hated the man. He was Cadian just like them, but he wasn't local. He wasn't a part of the Grain-belt pal battalion, that had served and bunked together ever since enlisting. During and after Telfus, everything changed. Colonel Quirinus had earned his reputation and their respect.

    Captain Antheia sympathized with the man and jested that he just be their pal. The Colonel had taken the joke to heart, his attitude changed and he ditched the cold ruthless efficiency that was drilled into him during officers school. Off the battlefield he drank, gamed, smoked and joked with his men. Antheia had taken a liking to the man, he looked good in his tanker fatigues, she even spent a night with him once the campaign was over. In battle his demeanor changed he was calculated, well researched; studying the strategic maps with keen eyes, he got to know his men and sent the best fits to where they needed to go and let them remain autonomous in their actions.

    "How did it go?" My Fair Lady's gunner Consus' voice knocked off her train of thought.

    "As well as you'd expect with the local political officer. He's given us a concession at least the frateris militiamen won't be joining us in the next push." Captain Antheia returned. "I need the maps, we need to plan our next move. We're advancing onto the spaceport."

    "So soon? We're 2 tanks down, potentially 3 if Manifesto don't recover in time." Consus' concern was thick in his voice.

    "We've got Imperial reinforcements. The Colonel can't commit any additional 2451st forces, they're tied up already. So is the rest of the Army Group, General Velius was probably forced to bite off more than he could chew." Captain Antheia's words weren't reassuring.

    "Then what?" Consus' questioned.

    "I'm going to speak with our counterparts. As I said, I need the maps." Captain Antheia brushed passed the man and climbed the ladder rungs of My Fair Lady. She disappeared inside the turret and returned with a cylindrical tube out of the basket.

    "What about us?" Pity called out.

    "We're on a halt. Tend to the tank." Her usual sassiness disappeared, replaced with a voice of command.

    Captain Antheia walked away with a purpose about her, she needed to know what forces they had to bear, what support elements they had and what the coming road would look like.
    Last edited by Jarms48; Yesterday at 01:22 PM.

  7. #37
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    “Quit staring and get to your muster point. Now!” Valkyr’s voice was sharp with a bite like cyber-mastiff to match if she were pushed too far. She had noticed the looks members of the Death Korp were casting towards the so-called “Loyal Legion.” The Commissar could practically taste the distrust in the air but she could not afford the patience for it. Keep the boys focused on getting their gear checked and the Chimeras prepped to move at a moment’s notice. Thankfully, the Watchmasters of the 112th were laser-focused on the task and kept the grim processions of soldiers moving. Valkyr’s gasmask was fixed to her belt for the time being so that at there was at least one human face among the newly arrived mechanized regiment. Her main goal, for the moment, was to foster at least a slight good impression of the 112th among their new comrades-in-arms.

    The 112th moved like a well-oiled machine thanks to the solid leadership of the Watchmasters and in particular the recently appointed Watchmaster Alpha, replacing the previous Senior Watchmaster who gave his life gloriously for the Emperor. The newly promoted officer hoped he could one day do the same. But until then, his job was to make sure all the pieces of the regiment moved where they were needed. He observed the regimental tech-priests making the requisite blessings upon the Chimeras as each one rolled into position, marking on his data-slate which would receive a breaching blade or a minesweeper attached to the front.

    It was during this inspection that a Munitorum aid scurried up to the Watchmaster, practically wringing his hands and wearing a rather distraught look on his thin face. “Forgive me, sir, but there’s been a…problem.”

    “What kind of problem?” Alpha asked curtly, not looking up from his data-slate.

    “Well, sir… The mine flails never made it to the supply dock.”

    Alpha finally paused in his work and turned his masked visage to the aid who may have soiled himself just a bit at the sight of that impassive face casting judgment upon his entire life and lineage. “So the mine flails that were painstakingly and specifically requested,” he began, “and approved that were supposed to arrive with the rest of our resupply shipment never arrived. That’s what you’re telling me, boy?”

    “Y-yes.”

    “Very well. Walk away from me immediately before I have to strapped to the front of a Chimera instead.”

    Such negligent mix-ups were to be expected, at times, from such a massive operation. The loss of the attachments did not render the regiment’s mechanized capabilities useless but did throw a damper on the situation where they would have to re-think a few approaches if the way to the objective was indeed mined. But as Alpha looked over to where the Loyal Legion was meant to be mustering he considered that there were always alternative solutions if one knew where to look. But the Watchmaster was not about to get anything his way, that was clear, and resigned himself to that fact.
    Hit me up on discord: Mags#3126
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