Novaskaggi Heimrocs

The Refinery, Part IV

“Drive, Drive!” Tamarova shouted. Krash was already moving through gears on the Mule-pattern utility truck. It was difficult to tell, and she was paying more attention to the monstrosity bellowing in the rear view mirror anyway.

“You should duck,” Krash said calmly as he spun the wheel to the right, avoiding the dozen or so orks streaming into the refinery yard on their left. Some kind of energy blast slammed into the truck, just before a fusillade of boomer fire.

“Piece of shit beast,” Krash cursed the machine, “The omnissiah forgot you in his blessings, you bastard.” He swung the truck around violently, Tamarova was aiming her lascarbine out the window, but wasn’t pulling the trigger.

“Shoot it! Shoot it!” Krash hadn’t felt this in a long time. Adrenaline, that was common, it was good, it meant he was alive. This was something else, his shifting was not as smooth as it should be. He was looking in too many directions.

“I can’t,” Tamarova whispered.

“Shoot it!” Krash shouted again, finishing the u-turn, getting them back behind the generator and out of the line of fire.

“Where did it go?” Foreman Vladoff demanded over the microbead, “Rusty, where is it?”

In the southwest watchtower, Rostilav could barely hear her voice over the sound of shattering rockcrete. The ork boomers may not have been accurate, but their volume of fire made-up for it. “I can’t see anything!” he barked back, firing another grenade over the ledge and jamming another into the breach. He could hear, over the roar of gun fire, Father Volkov screaming holy righteousness from across the yard.

“Rusty, we’re picking you up,” Tamarova shouted over the bead.

“We’re getting out of here, rally alpha, rally alpha,” Vladoff ordered.

“Krash, I an not getting on that suicide sled,” Rostilav shouted, launching another grenade as the orks seemed to focus their fire on the truck.

“He’s right,” Tamarova fired her lascarbine from the truck window again, “this thing is about to die.” They were rounding the corner of the barracks structure, under the cover of a couple of Rusty’s smoke grenades.

“I like your thinking,” Krash said with a blue twinkle in his eye.

Rostilav peeked over the edge of the watchtower again, only to be greeted by another barrage of huge bullets. His luck ran out, and he watched his blood splatter across the floor. There were also a few orks wielding flamethrowers approaching dangerously close, but the boomer fire was waning. “I’m hit!”

“We’re pinning them down, how bad?” Vladoff’s voice came over his earpiece.

“I’ve had worse,” Rusty grunted. At least everything was still attached this time.

“We push the advantage! Fight on! Fight on!” Vladoff yelled.

“Yeees! For the Glorious Emperor of Man!,” Father Volkov bellowed, laying down more heavy bolter fire from the nest near the main gates. He watched the enemies of the emperor scatter in fear from this ancient, holy weapon of perfection, “Yanov! Keep firing! Keep firing, my children!” The truck, riddled with bullet holes and a smoldering rocket blast, came barreling back out of the smoke from behind the barracks.

“Now!” Krash shouted over the bead, ork fire fell like a swarm of mutant bees on the vehicle, which slowed, ignited, then exploded. Then it exploded again, much more violently. The shockwave threw the greenskins to the ground.

“Krasheninnikov! Your sacrifice shall be remembered!” Father Volkov yelled as he continued to fire.

“Volkov, get back to your tower, you’re exposed,” Vladoff ordered over the bead ,“Keep the heavy.” There was a second’s pause before she continued ," and Krash didn’t sacrifice anything but a broken-down truck."

“It died nobly,” Krash said over the bead. The orks recovered quickly from the blast, almost energized by it. One of the largest among them, the flamer nob, bellowed with battle-lust as he charged toward the priest.

“You think fire will frighten me? Ha Ha Haaa!” Volkov laughed as he sprinted toward the tower, lugging the heavy bolter along with him.

Tamarova knocked a cabinet aside as she rolled through the barracks window, followed by Krash. “Where’s Kaminev?” she asked. Krash took off through the room’s door.

“Running the other direction,” He said. Oksana glanced out the window, and saw the medic’s assistant sprinting toward the southwest tower through the smokescreen. “Your bomb went off early,” she touched her hand to the shrapnel wounds in her side, trotting after him.

With the heavy bolter silent, there was little keeping the orks pinned down aside from las fire, and it wasn’t working well. The nob was still charging after Father Volkov, and Vladoff was continuing to fire on the orks in an attempt to salvage this operation. The boomers were close enough to have clear shot at her position, and they opened up their heavies.

The rounds chopped chunks of her cover away, walking along the wall until they found her arm. Still rattled by he beast which had torn apart Ty’win and Stenson, she choked upon seeing the blood on her uniform. “Yuri get it off!” she shouted, but her voxman was likewise paralyzed by fear.

“Keep firing! Keep firing! I’m hit!” she screamed, almost hysterical on the bead. Vladoff tore at her sleeve, trying to get the blood stain away from her, as if it would close the source, “Yuri!” She shouted at her stunned squadmate, “Yuri get out of here…Jump!” He didn’t move, staring wide-eyed and frozen at her arm.

Krash rolled carefully into kneel out of the barracks roof hatch, sweeping his carbine in a circle. There weren’t any orks on the roof with them. Kaminev was in the watchtower fiddling with a medikit while Rostilav lobbed another grenade out of view. Yanov was two towers north, laying on the trigger of the autocannon he could barely control.

He passed his sights over the smoke trails of his handiwork around to the gate. He couldn’t see the foreman, but he could plainly see the automatic fire tearing apart her cover. Finally, he saw the priest swinging his flamer nozzle around. A massive greenskin was about to reach the top of the ladder. He waved to Oksana and took careful aim. Their carbine’s snapped in unison, the blasts striking the back of the monster’s head to little apparent effect.

“Fight like Skaggis! Fire! Fi-,” Vladoff’s shout twisted into a squeal and was drowned-out by another explosion. Krash’s head jerked reflexively as he looked to the foreman’s tower. Twin rocket trails hung in the air leading up to it, smoke and fire pouring from what remained. A chill rolled up his spine as time seemed to catch in his throat.

Yanov’s voice broke the silence, “Foooremaaan!”

“You bastards!” Rusty cursed quietly. A grenade blast followed shortly thereafter, then a louder transmission, “You Bastaaaaards!”

Debris was raining down on the barracks roof a dozen meters away, and then the ork on Volkov’s watchtower ignited. Time started to speed-up. Volkov’s voice came clearly through the air, “Faalll Baack!” The flaming ork leapt through the tower window after Volkov, out of the refinery, leaving it empty. Krash looked at Oksana, sweat and blood glistening on her steely face. He held up his demo-pack, and they both looked to south wall. She nodded, and they sprinted straight off the roof.

“Dammit,” Rusty twisted the grenade in the chamber, then slammed it in. He reached the weapon around the corner of the tower wall and pulled the trigger.

“We’ve got to go!” Kaminev yelled, just as a second sun rose to the east, a fiery, burning sunlight. It took a few seconds of watching flames engulf Kaminev before Rostilav realized his own legs were on fire.

“NO!” he yelled defiantly, “NO! You don’t get to kill me!” he bellowed through the smoke. Brushing at the flames, trying to get the promethium off his clothes. He wasn’t afraid, he wasn’t panicking. He was enraged. “NOOOOOOOO!!!” he shouted long and loud. He felt something shake the floor, but he didn’t care. He rolled, somehow struggled to his feet, and leapt out of the inferno that had been his shelter a few moments before. He screamed in rage as he fell, rolling when he hit the ground. The flames were dampened by the wet grass, but as he tore across the open field, they grew again.

“Nnggnngggg!” he tried to scream, but his lungs were burning as he ran toward the trees. His equipment began falling off piece by piece as the straps burned away. He had third degree burns across fifty percent of his body, but still raw adrenaline and stubbornness drove his limbs. He couldn’t see, his eyes scorched shut fifty meters from the tree line, but he knew which way to go, “NNNGGGGGGHHH!”

Then he was beyond pain. He crashed into branches. He was distantly aware that he’d stopped moving, but all that consumed his mind was anger. That this is how he died? That Krash had managed to get out, but he was burning to death? No. No, he wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. He wouldn’t give the orks the satisfaction, or the powder-heads or the countless other idiots that would still be alive after this fight. No! He didn’t live through the whole Cytheran campaign to die in some cozy forest. He was vaguely aware of another presence, but his nerves had all been burnt away now. He floated weightlessly in darkness, unfeeling, and somehow cold. Perhaps that is death. No trumpets, no light, no homecoming; just the void of space.

Do you smell that? Tamarova signed to Krash. It smelled like burnt meat. They kept walking quietly through the trees. They heard movement and stopped.

“Yanov?” she whispered.

“Tamarova?” the trees replied. Krash and Tamarova pushed through a bush and saw the charred body laying in the undergrowth.

“Rusty,” Krash immediately recognized the unrecognizable body.

“He’s still alive, I think,” Yanov jumped down from the branches above them.

“Too dumb to die,” Krash stated, immediately laying his poncho out next to Rostilav. They carefully rolled the medic onto the make-shift litter, wiping the ooze from their gloves on their pants without complaint.

“What do we do now?” Yanov asked, looking at Tamarova, who looked at Krash, who stared back at both of them for moment before shrugging.

“Back-up is coming on the road.”

They were waiting in the trees a few dozen yards off the dirt road when their microbeads buzzed to life.

“Delta squad, do you copy? Gamma to Delta squad do you copy?” a male voice crackled. The trio stared at one another for a moment.

“Delta squad, respond.” Oksana reached to key her mic.

“Delta here, gamma,” she stated.

“Zrena, it’s good to hear you Tamarova,” the microbead range was near maximum, and transmission quality reflected it, “where are you?”

“By the road, few miles from the base, where are you?” Yanov asked.

“The bog, same place you dropped. What happened? Why isn’t Vladoff talking?”

“The foreman’s dead. So is most of the squad. We lost the target,” Yanov answered. There was a long pause.

“Who’s left?”

“Tamarova, Krash, Rusty, and me. Rusty’s bad, you have medevac?”

“Negative, base lost contact, sent us in to investigate. Mounted is coming on the road, shouldn’t be long.” There was another long pause, “We’re going to recon the target, I’m sending a few guns your way.”

“Copy, be careful, there’s still about a dozen left with a lot of firepower and two technicals,” Yanov cautioned.

“Is Krash secure?” the vox stated.

“Yes, the traitor’s not going anywhere,” Yanov said, turning to stare at Krash.

Krash’s eyes widened, pulse quickening as he realized his hands and feet were manacled. He looked to his jump-mate.

“Oksana?” he pleaded, confused. She just stared at him, disappointed. Krash looked back to Yanov, who shook his head and looked at Rusty’s body.

Rusty’s eyes opened, stark white agains his blackened skin, staring straight at Krash, accusing and silent. Krash jerked back and touched something cold. He spun his head around and saw Foreman Vladoff leaning against a tree, missing both arms and one leg, half her face a gaping whole. Krash screamed.

He tried to rise but tripped on his hobbles and fell. He was laying next to Ty’Win’s mutilated corpse, the psyker’s emotionless eyes staring through him. His mouth moved without making any noise, traitor.

Krash rolled away and rose to kneeling position. Volkov was standing over him, bullet holes and cuts oozing blood. The priest was holding a tome and pointing an accusatory finger in his face, “I pronounce the Traitor cursed! May the warp torture his immortal soul!”

Kaminev stood behind Volkov, signing curses with his charred, skeletal hands. Stenson’s voice twisted Krash around again. The overseer’s severed head was perched on a log, speaking into his autolog, “let the record show that Tundraman Tamarova, having failed to fulfill her duty to keep Tundraman Krasheninnikov from committing heresy against the Emperor, shall be punished to the maximum extent of Imperial Code.”

“You brought this upon us, Krash,” Oksana said, she was tied to post before a firing squad now, the marks of dozens of lashings on her bare skin, “I trusted you, Krash. We were supposed to have each others backs. Don’t you remember?”

“I didn’t mean to…” Krash begged.

“Didn’t mean to?” Commissar Aldonis, towering fifteen feet tall above him, bellowed, “It doesn’t matter what you meant to do! You’ve had your chances, Krasheninnikov…” Krash’s gaze drifted to a line of almost thirty skaggis, all aiming lascarbines at him. Each face that of a dead man or woman.

FIRE!” Aldonis bellowed.

AHHHHH!” Krash’s scream pierced the darkness of the Heimroc’s barracks in the supply depot, “NOOOOOOOOO!” He opened his eyes, slapping at the pair of hands shaking his shoulders. Finally a hard slap brought him out of the nightmare.

“Krash! It’s safe, you’re safe! You’re safe!” Tamarova was repeating in calm, quiet voice, “You’re safe, Krash. You’re safe.” Krash was shaking, too much to cry, so he just coughed instead, rocking in his rack, “Sshhhhhh,” Oksana soothed. She knelt there, next Krash’s cot, holding him as he shivered and rocked. Saying nothing, for there was nothing to say, but it was enough. After an hour or so, he drifted back to sleep, clinging to her like a terrified child.

The Refinery, Part III

Transcript: Post-Contact Debriefing

Commissar Dexin Interview of Acolyte Artho Yanov, Novaskaggi VII Drop Infantry

AY: Sorry, Sir…I…

“Drink, Artho.” Pouring liquid “You can verify the events of Overseer Stenson’s autolog?”

AY: Thank you, sir. Yes, they are accurate.

“There, good for the constitution, yes?”

AY: Yes, sir…coughing… Very good for the constitution.

“Why don’t we stop the recordings, just tell me what happened after you dealt with the remaining few orks left inside the refinery.”

AY: Yes…they went quickly, once we set-up cross-fire. One them said something about a big mech…Father Volkov knew the most about xenos, we thought it meant tanks were coming. After they were dead, we stacked them with the other xenos and burnt them with the proper curses from Father Volkov. It was after that Foreman Vladoff collected the cognomen tags from the KIA’s.

“…And there were none missing? All of the base personnel were accounted for?”

AY: Yes. Father Volkov performed a good death speech, and Foreman wrapped all the tags in a bandage before putting them in her pack. This I remember clearly. The rest of the night is a bit of a blur…"

“Nobody can remember everything…”

AY: Krash does.

“We will have plenty of time to discuss what Krash is and is not capable remembering soon enough…for now let’s focus on what you remember.”

AY: Yes…I know Krash, Oksana, and Rusty shut-down the refinery…they all had a lot of experience with the equipment from Home, I think. It didn’t take long.

“Do you know what kinds of repairs they made?”

AY: Repairs? I don’t remember them saying anything about repairs…they were shutting it all down. The greenskins did a lot of dangerous things. Then Foreman had us build-up the perimeter, with the mines and the bombs; I helped build the barricades.

“What did you use for these barricades, and tell me what was done with the Imperial vehicles found in the complex.”

AY: Yes, sir. The greenskins had sacked the whole barracks, everything was broken and filthy. We dragged what we could lift outside and piled it into defensive lines behind the gates. We took as much equipment from the KIAs’ as we could find a use for, every battle station had extra lasguns and charge packs. We used the extra armor, along with the flat pieces of garbage, to make defensive platforms on the roof. One of the utility trucks we found torn apart by the Greenskins, we dragged that one close to the gates and mounted the heavy bolter on the deck. The working utility truck we added walls to, and Krash was able to build an autocannon mount on the deck.

“With one of the watchtower cannon correct?”

AY: Yes, sir, the one removed when we first cleared the refinery.

“…And the xeno-tainted vehicles? What was done with these?”

AY: Yes, we took the wheels from them after pulling them in place, blocking the gate with their length. Krash rigged the fuel tanks to explode with trigger wires that led to the heavy bolter emplacement.

“Anything else?”

AY: hmmmm…No, Sir. That sounds like everything. Then we slept in shifts at our positions on the perimeter, waiting for reinforcements to come or the orks to counter-attack. It didn’t take long.

“Can you remember where everyone was when the ork counter-attack began?”

AY: Yes, Foreman and Gregori were in the watch tower north of the gate, Father Volkov was in the one on the other side, just south of the gate. I was on the west wall. Rusty was on the barracks roof with the grenade launcher, Krash and Tamarova were in the working utility truck, and the rest were in the heavy-bolter emplacement.

“The rest being Psyker Ty’win, Overseer Stenson, and Tundraman Kaminev?”

AY: Yes, sir.

“What was the first sign of the enemy?”

AY: Yes, a squad of grots came up from the road, from the east. They were too small to trigger the AT mines, but there weren’t any of the regular orks behind them. Vladoff ordered us all to hold-fire, I think she wanted us to take them out quiet-like, so the others wouldn’t know we were there.

“Did that work?”

AY: I don’t know, but it didn’t matter. They got to the gate and then they started shooting at each other, I don’t really know why, but I think Ty’Win had something to do with it…anyway, Krash helped jump the xenos that got through. About the same time they were engaging, Yuri got the call from FSD Command that the reinforcements we’d been promised were enroute. Rusty had to go back to the voxroom and let them know about the AT mines.

“Why not Yuri? He was the mission’s voxcaster technician correct?”

AY: Yes, sir. He tried to raise them on the portable vox, but they didn’t respond. We’d had to use the long-range vox station in the barracks earlier to communicate with command…so, Rusty did that again.

“There is no record of Tundraman Norin ever having received technical training on voxcaster systems. How successful was he in this?”

AY: Yes, Krash had to give him instructions on the squad band, but he’s a smart skaggi, he figured it out quickly.

“Very good, Artho. Go on.”

AY: Yes, that was the beginning of the end. A dozen boomers emerged from the west flank. Even Vladoff knew it.

“The squad had been out-flanked, duped.”

AY: Yes, sir…we underestimated them. The ones we’d fought up to then were like animals…just charging straight on.

“Yes, an error in judgement. What happened next?”

AY: Foreman kept calm, giving orders, keeping us going, but I she knew we were in trouble. Rusty started to aid me, I think he made it to the southwest corner gun before the rockets started coming in.

“What did the rest of the squad do?”

AY: Krash and Oksana broke-off fighting the grots, they got the gun-truck going and picked-up Ty’Win, Kaminev, and Stenson. That left Father Volkov with Foreman and Yuri to finish-off the grots at the gate. They were still firing at them when the boomers broke through.

“Where did they breach the perimeter?”

AY: Almost in the middle of the west wall. Rusty had been pinned down, but I remember hearing his autocannon firing all the way up to the breach.

“You are not here to incriminate your comrades, Artho; no one is questioning their courage or yours. The Emperor demands of us to accurately record contact with the Great Enemy and its allies. Now, at what point did the daemon appear?”

AY: Coughing Yes…it was just after the breach. Krash had placed the gun-truck behind the generators for cover, and everyone on board was firing at the orks coming through the gap. I could see about twelve, with two of the burly nobs. I remember Ty’Win howling, terribly screeching…

“Take it slowly, Artho. Here, drink.”

AY: Thank you, Sir…I don’t know how much help I can be…the rest is hazy…

“You must try, Artho! Be specific.”

AY: Yes, sir. It came out of the pond, the…the daemon. It must have been over ten feet tall…as big as an Akyragh…I remember it looked at me…even from over 100 yards, it looked into my soul, sir. It saw to the depths of me and it looked away. I couldn’t move. Krash had somehow gotten back in the cab, the daemon dashed toward the back of the truck….By the Emperor the way it moved!

“Artho, breathe…”

AY: …sobs… so much blood…so much blood! He tried to get away, the truck wasn’t fast enough…I saw Ty’Win’s face!

“Artho!” slap “Focus!”

AY: …sobbing… I saw his eyes when the daemon… Sobs… so much blood!

“Acolyte Artho Yanov. Compose yourself!”

AY: …sobs/moaning…

“Doctor! Sedate him.”

Door opening “Yes, Commissar. There now, son, relax. Relax, you are safe.”

AY: NO! …breaking glass_… NO! NOOO! …_furniture movingAHHHHH!

DOCTOR: Relax! Oof! Commissar!


“Artho!” breaking glass, several punching impacts

AY: Nnngghh…heavy breathing

DOCTOR: Shhhh…shhhhh..there you go


DOCTOR: Commissar, with all-due respect…what he’s been through…

“He will go through ten times as much, if he is lucky! These skaggis are supposed be hardened warriors, and he a Ministorum Acolyte. So much for the ministorum’s heedless fervor.”

DOCTOR: They’re good guardsmen, Commissar. I was present for the others’ debriefings…barely a twitch. You would have thought they were reciting the Primer.

“That is what concerns me, Doctor.”

DOCTOR: That they were calm?

“That they were reciting…”


The Refinery, Part II

Autolog.293 – Schola Psykana Overseer Stenson

>>With the Orks advancing on us from inside the refinery complex, Delta squad dug into our position in the trees. The greenskins emerged in a disorganized rabble, sprinting toward the trees in ones and twos until Ty’Win unleashed the heavy bolter…



>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>The greenskins pressed-on at first, only a handful turning back, but as soon as the largest among them turned to hide, the rest followed suit. They dove into the polluted stream between us and the compound’s shattered gates, or hid behind the burnt-out trucks left from their own assault the day before.

Ever since the Incident, Ty’Win’s reticence to channel the power of the warp has torn at his soul. I’ve seen his jaw strain in agony whenever a moment arises he may be called upon to summon forth the Emperor’s Blessing. When those shells barked forth, so simple in their brutatlity, so predictable, I saw a calmness in his expression.

Calmness is certainly the furthest thing on my mind, or the others, I can assure you. For those who’ve never faced a charging band of orks on a rainy night, the feeling in your gut indescribable. The barrel of a Leman Russ battle cannon is not that fearsome. Then again, I suppose staring into the horrors of the Warp, no matter how brief, can be matched by no mortal terror…except possibly those transpiring in the depths of the Black Ships.


>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)>Cease fire! We need to kill them, they’re out of las range wait until the front runner reaches the brushline.

>VOICEPRINT(TY’WIN)>"As you command,"



>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)>Conserve your ammo

>VOICEPRINT(ROSTILAV)>You said kill them. This is how you kill things.

>VOICEPRINT(VOLKOV)> Listen to the Foreman, brothers! The sooner they approach, the sooner they be cleansed by His light!

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>With the cessation of bolter fire, the orks have rallied quite quickly. Within a moment they’re charging forth anew with not a trace of forethought or cohesion. The pair that had been stunned by Rusty’s grenade are already within a hundred meters, but the foreman stays our triggers. The enemy closes, ninety meters…eighty….nearly to the brushline.


>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)>Wait for the big one.

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> The foreman’s voice is calm and steady, not nearly as inspiring as the sight of Yuri behind her, his knuckles white around his weapon. The largest of the orks, surely thrice as tall as any man present, barrells toward us, far out pacing his smaller brethren. Those at the head of the pack are still far closer than he as they close within range of our guns.

>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)> Take aim. steady on…steady…
>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> The lead ork reaches the brushline, slashing at the vegetation with a crude blade



>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>The enemy charges into our guns, some scattering only to turn back towards us once our fire had moved to another. The rest continue headlong, even those hit three times. Rusty hit one of them squarely in the head, the beast’s face disappeared as the crude pelt he wore ignited.


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>In the cooly-lit rain, the blazing ork is a beacon as it continues to run, like a nillet with its head cut-off. Father Volkov’s shots are blessed by Emperor, he fellS one after another. Still they come, the big one drawing closer..


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>until a blast from one of Rusty’s grenades throws him to the ground.

>VOICEPRINT(ROSTILAV)>That’s right you bastard!

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>I tell you nary a single shot falls a-foul of its target, but these greenskins cannot feel them at all, even as their flesh cracks and bones cook.

By the Emperor! The ork leader rises from the bushes into which he’s tumbled,



>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>He staggers forward, setting-off one of Krash’s grenade traps, the only effect of which was another great roar.


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> All I see were the blood-flecked segments of imperial guard armor strapped to his huge chest, and the huge pole adorned with teeth and jagged metal.

>VOICEPRINT(ROSTILAV)>We’ve got to fall back


>VOICEPRINT(VOLKOV)>Nay brothers! Let Faith be your anchor, no foe shall move us so!


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)I feel a tingling in my flesh I have not felt in a very long time. I look to Ty’Win, his eyes were wide…and shining blue light. I know it was not just rain dampening his face. I smell smoke and kingberries, musty leather. The veins of Ty’Win’s face ripple, lighting sparking between his teeth, and his arms jerk-up with unnatural speed, under their own control.


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> Reality bulged as the warp tunnels through it, I heard the deafening scream of daemon in my ears, for only a moment, and then the great ork exploded into flame. The tree next to him errupted too, and the beast stumbled forward, bellowing.



>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)Real is real, warp is warp, be clear, think clear, hold to the real! Hold to the real! There…he’s come back, his flesh ceases to twitch and roil.

>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)>What the hell was that!


>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)>Do it again! Bring it down!


>VOICEPRINT(VOLKOV)Beloved Emperor, let your light shine through us and destroy the Enemy! Destroy the Xeno!


>VOICEPRINT(VOLKOV)>The Emperor Protects!

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> The xeno’s howling ceased but it did not fall. I nearly passed-out as the headless alien continued thrashing. It turned, as if confused, and charged a few meters out of the woods before falling to the ground.

>VOICEPRINT(ROSTILAV)>There’s still plenty more comming!



>VOICEPRINT(VOLKOV)>Plenty to spare no xeno!
>VOICEPRINT(TY’WIN)>Five canisters remaining.
>VOICEPRINT(ROSTILAV)>Four power-packs, 6 frag, 2 stun.

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> The ranks of orks are thinning. Most of the remaining xeno’s are fleeing back to the protection of the compound walls. With only a few enemy remaining in the field, Ty’Win stands and advances. As we’re moving, I see a shadow of movement across the clear-cut field. There’s another, it’s Krash and Tamarova, sprinting headlong through the rain toward the wall.


The last ork falls, after having both of his legs burnt and the flesh of his head melted to the bone, it took the explosive amputation of his arm before he finally ceased advancing and fell.

>INC/VOXPRINT> Cover now!



>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>Miraculously, none of us had been injured. To this hour I do not know how. We fell back through the trees, well out-of-sight of the guard towers, and began advancing west, around the compound. Shredded leaves and wood pulp cling to our skin and clothes, soaked through. Were it not for the rain, I doubt I could play-off my shaking as shivers.

The faces of my squadmates, though, barely quiver, aside from Yuri’s. The two of us share our disbelief in reassuring looks. It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one shaken by what I’d just survived, but it seems even Yuri recovered within a couple of minutes. In this moment I feel as Ty’win must always feel, desperately alone. Though instead of a blessed curse, I am alone with my own mortality. I glance at my charge and companion, perhaps searching for comfort in some sign of disturbance; but his eyes are placid once more, devoid of any sign of what roils behind them.


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>We form a defensive circle without a further word.

>INC\VOXPRINT (KRASHENINNIKOV)> Badguy’s in the north four towers. One good truck, dze south towers are empty, no one in dze barracks. Generator in dze middle, I can get to it…cut dze lights…

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>There is a momentary grin on the Foreman’s face, as if a memory had flickered through her mind.



>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> Krash’s response is so light,I wonder, as I often have, whether Tundraman Krasheninnikov is ever truly aware of gravity in any context.

>VOICEPRINT(ROSTILAV)>That idiot better naught get caught. I’ll gut him with joy.

>VOICEPRINT(Artho)>You’re not capable of joy. Not that there’s ever a reason for it. We’re all going to die in agony.



>VOICEPRINT(VOLKOV)>We will die with joy in our hearts having served the God-Emperor well!

>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)We’re not going to die at all! We’ve killed half of them already, they’re leaderless, and we’ve still got the initiative. They’re fucked, so keep your victory dance dry.

>INC\VOXPRINT (TAMAROVA)> We’re starting over the south wall

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> From experience I can tell you Krash is almost over the wall already.


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> We’ve continued through the forest, and it’s been several minutes before I realized the rhythm of the autocannons had stopped. The night is eerily peaceful as we hike through the gentle rain.

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> We’ve come around the south end of the field, Krash just let us know they are in position, the south end is clear. We creep to the edge of the woods, looking out across two hundred and fifty meters of open ground.

>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)>Get ready..Lights out….Go Go Go!


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>We sprinted in through the darkness. After the first fifty meters, my legs started burning. By the time we hit the wall, I all but collapsed, but Rusty was already climbing the rope left by Krash and Tamarova. After several failed attempts, slipping on the wet stone, Foreman Vladoff grabbed the rope from him.

>VOICEPRINT(VLADOFF)>We’ve got to get in there.

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)> Foreman Vladoff, Yuri, Artho, and Father Volkov are over the wall…Rostilav struggles above us on the rope.

>VOICEPRINT(ROSTILOV)> Gah! Stop recording you idiot!

>INC\VOXPRINT (KRASHENINNIKOV)> Two grots, southbound on the east side

>VOICEPRINT(STENSON)>Rusty’s made it over, Ty’Win and I struggle on the rope, the rain has soaked it through and my boots can find no purchase on the wall.




>INC\VOXPRINT (VOLKOV)> Squiggly-beast!

>INC\VOXPRINT (VLADOFF)> Quiet_…_Rusty, get ready to take the grots.

>INC\VOXPRINT (ROSTILAV)> You want me to use a knife?


>VOICEPRINT(STENSON) Finally, Ty’Win made it to the top of the wall, and held a hand out for me. I grabbed it, and we tumbled over the top. Fortunately, I was able to get my feet under me before the ground hit me. We both rolled across the lawn, unhurt. I can hear the dull roar of the gas flares across the compound, dim shadows flicker across the walls as we hurry to join the rest of the squad…


The Refinery, Part I

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.


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