Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Stories of the 42nd, Part Two

When we last left Captain Sorin, his assault on the Eldar stronghold in the woods was at a critical point. Angel Company had been mauled on the left, but Chain Company was gaining ground on the right flank. It was up to Faith Company to hold the center, and support Chain's assault.

Lt. Revnik's heart sank as he watched the xenos beam carve its way through Katya's hull. The jouncing of his Chimera's hull made it hard to focus his periscope on the stricken vehicle, a Chimera that had been with the regiment since it's inception. There is no way that anyone could have survived that! Then, he saw the Company's banner unfurl. Though, all things are possible through Faith! Heartened, he turned to his men. "Boys, get your flamers ready! We have xenos to burn!" The red light of the cabin washed over the mud-streaked faces of his squad. The pilot lights of their flamers flickered as they bounced their way across the rutted no-man's land, tiny devotional candles to the Emperor.

The xenos weapons tried to make their mark in the Chimera's hull, but found no purchase. The tank's gunner fired its weapons haphazardly, doing little more than keeping the Eldar heads down. Revnik ordered the driver to press into the woods. The driver's reply was terse. Revnik heard the questioning and fearful tone even through his combead, but knew that his order would be followed. The beast was likely to be bogged down inside the tree line, but it would bring the squad's flamers to bear that much sooner. Anything to confound the enemy and take pressure off the assault. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a fist sized hole being bored into the turret. The gunner (or what was left of him) fell back down into the hull. Cauterized, he though dully. No, cooked. Putting his flamer aside, Pvt. Dyalov alone had the presence of mind to quickly get a blanket to cover the tanker's body. With the boy covered, Revnik snapped out of his shock.He was from the motor pool. I didn't even know his name.

The driver, ever professional, warned the squad that they had ten seconds to the tree line, and that they should brace themselves. The Chimera roared over the embankment that hid the Eldar, and pressed into the woods. Its heavy flamer was a font of vengeance for the fallen men of Valhalla, its flames a benediction for the men behind the Revnik's squad advancing into the Eldar guns. The rear gate slammed down, and Revnik's men poured forth. The xenos, armored blue and yellow, turned their strange weaponry toward the squad, but the Emperor's wrath would have its say. A fan of flame poured forth from the squad. Revnik added his laspistol to the assault. They even die gracefully. Aiming for one alien's chest, he watched as it danced its way out of fatal wound, the lasbolt hitting it in the arm. It was spun, a dervish now sans an arm. You can't outrun light, though. He put an other lasbolt right in the thing's chest for good measure. By now, the Eldar's infernal disc throwers were sending stray shots the squad's way.

Heedless of the danger, Revnik charged the line of Xenos in the trenches. Gurov took an unlucky hit to the fuel line. His promethium tank went next, and the spark from the Eldar weapons ignited the remaining gel and Gurov with it. His screams did not slow the remaining men. Wielding their flamers like clubs, they savaged the remaining xenos near them. The Eldar seemed frail, but proved quick and strong enough to leave Kozmin lying on the forest floor, his large frame bleeding from a dozen delicate cuts. What Revkin and his men lacked in finesse, they more than made up for with their zeal. The Lieutenant's chainsword carved into the peaked helmet of one of the Eldar citizen-soldiers. A foe had stabbed through Dyalov's greatcoat, only to have his alien blade turned aside by the hidden flack vest. Dyalov responded in kind, but with better luck. Maisky overbore his opponent, toppling the alien, and made he short work of it. The remaining Eldar seemed hesitant to engage such savages, and that hesitation cost them their lives. The Demolisher shell hit the far end of the trench, followed quickly by the atomic bright flash of plasma. The alien menace had been vanquished by the superior fire power of the Imperial Guard. Not a single enemy stood in sight. Ears ringing, Revkin was shocked into speechlessness for the second time in five minutes. And then he began to laugh. It was the laughter of a man who assumed himself dead a second earlier, and found himself given a reprieve. Dyalov and Maisky soon joined him, the laughter sounding madly through the smoke and flame of the wood. They laughed till it hurt.

That was, until Maisky's head took a round and exploded. "SNIPERS!" shouted Dyalov, as he tackled his Lieutenant into the trench...

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