The Refinery, Part I
The meteoseers foretold heavy rains with a low cloud ceiling overnight, perfect for an undetected insertion, but dangerous for those jumping. The winds would make the drop difficult to control and the landing zone, a small lightly forested area 12 km northeast of the refinery, difficult to spot in time. They were promised a sentinel scout walker, but upon speaking with the base quartermaster, they discovered all of the walkers were deployed hunting down remnants of the ork assault.
Despite this disappointment, they were still able to get demo charges and a squad heavy bolter, which would both make fighting the unfathomably touch greenskins a bit more manageable. Krash had already requisitioned extra running fuel, which he received and promptly stashed. Rusty took possession of a case filled with stim doses. He hid the bulk of them in the barracks, taking only a handful into the field.
The squad exercised, preparing their bodies, hearts, and minds for the task at hand. Then they mounted the valkyie, modified to as many of Krash’s specifications as the Navy could stomach, and prayed.
The insertion was smooth, no enemy contacts; they flew in over the rain clouds, dove through them, and nailed the landing zone. The only flaw was Father Volkov being blown into a tree by a sudden gust just before touch down. Rusty had him battle-ready shortly after, and once they’d retrieved their gear from the drop canister, the team moved southwest. Krash was on point with his auspex, and before long they came in sight of the refinery’s bright lights. Rusty climbed a tree and scanned the complex through magnoculars: Orks had taken the site.
At least one for each guard tower, though they appeared distracted, meant enough autocannon to shred them and a good number of vehicles should any attack be mounted. Proof of that took the form of several burnt-out, ramshackle trucks littering the road approaching the base, including a pair situated in the middle of the blasted-open gates. The fate of the two score soldiers and technicians manning the refinery were also painfully clear: an undignified pile of corpses outside the base wall. Inside, the northern half the refinery was dominated by the installations apparatus: distillation towers, plumbing, and chemical storage tanks. A massive, 750,000 KL promethium storage tank sat adjacent to main apparatus, next to heavily polluted pond that drained through slits in the perimeter wall, creating a stream leading from the base to the forest. The southern end of the site housed a barracks and administration building that would have housed the assigned personnel. It had likely already been defiled by the greenskins.
With Yuri’s voxcaster, the squad reported back to command what they discovered. Their new orders were to begin the assault to re-take the refinery. Support units would be there in a matter of hours. Despite that promise, they were less than confident about the roads in the area, cutting through dense forests where an ork war mob had recently retreated. None the less, orders were orders, and Father Volkov was eager to bring glory to the Emperor and Novaskag.
They devised a plan to draw some of the orks from the protective walls of the refinery. Krash rigged an explosive trap from a demo charge and a field ration, while Father Volkov prepared to ignite a tree with a fuel canister from his Blessed Flamer. When the squad was in a good ambush position, they lit the blaze. The refinery began hooting with excited ork shouts. Soon, a pair of orks came charging out of the gates towards the burning tree, heedless in torrential rain. They reached the tree, the stronger of the two quickly consuming the field ration bait. However, to the skaggi’s disappointment, the bomb failed to trigger. Not that it mattered, the orks were soon dead from a disciplined volley of fire from the hidden squad. The resulting shots, detonating the orks’ ammunition, and in turn triggering the latent bomb trap, were more than enough to send the already curies orks in the refinery into a frenzy. They began pouring from the gates individually or by pairs. Eventually, a specimen larger and faster than the rest barreled toward them across the clear-cut perimeter.
Ty’win, on the heavy bolter, began sending shells down-range, sending the enemy running for cover. The larger greenskin dove behind a burnt-out truck. Seeing the orks scatter just out of range of the squad’s las-carbines, Foreman Lavrov ordered the squad to cease fire until the orks were well into the kill-zone. They waited, still largely hidden in the dense foliage, darkness, and rain. As they wait, Lavrov directed the quickest and quietest of the squad, Krash and Tamarova, to maneuver such that they could make a sprint for the wall when opportunity presented itself. Having rigged a pair of grenade traps between the squad and the on-coming orks, the pair started off through trees, moving west to get an angle of approach to the rear of the refinery, out of sight of the greenskins coming out of the gates.
The night was just getting started.