General Masteen sat quietly in his office at the Imperial base of operations on Semper. He sipped a hot cup of local coffee, steam whisking up past his face, while he read the latest report on Captain Arachas' stand off with Sturmm.
Sturmm, that bastard. It had been a matter of days before Semper had finally been under complete Imperial control. Nothing was further from the truth, as they had found out. Sturmm had managed to galvanize the resistance, making use of forces that were far beyond any mortal. Once HQ got wind of mutated renegade soldiers attacking Aeterna, Masteen had known they weren't anywhere close near victory.
Arachas, after his intial defeat by Sturmm, had vowed revenge on the renegade Major. Would he get it? Masteen was certainly hoping his First Captain would personally put a bolt through that traitor's eyes...
Early morning, local time. Sergeant Hoyt, forward scout of the unit, peered through the glasses of his binocular. The far end of the street showed what they had been expecting for several hours now: movement. Later than the Captain had anticipated, but here they were: Sturmm and his man. From their movement, Hoyt surmised Sturmm anticipated an ambush along the street. The renegade squad split up in two groups, one entering the old factory on one side of the street, the other opting to take a route through the destroyed Sanctum.Scout probe images
"Sir," Hoyt called through his vox. "They're here."
"Excelllent," said the Captain's voice. "You know what to do."
Rapier Squad knew exactly what to do: kill those renegade bastards, before they could reach the other side of the city, where the Imperial HQ was located.
Hoyt crawled back from his forward position to join the rest of the squad, where the Captain was handing out orders. It was a formality: they'd been over the attack plan several times this morning: one group would take the flamethrowers and hold off the enemy's advance through the church. The other would engage Sturmm directly through the buildings on the far side of the street. The first group would then sweep up from behind and clean up whatever was left.
With grim faces, the first group set off through the church. Scout probe images
"Move!" called Arachas through his voxcaster. He needed those troopers in position before... too late! Gunfire was coming from the Sanctum, with the troopers in the church having to duck for cover. Sturmm was already entrenched! Within seconds, bullets ripped through the fear-stricken troopers.Scout probe images
Arachas himself, over on the west side, pushed his men through the buildings, to make they got into position on this flank, before Sturmm would arrive.Scout probe images
Suddenly, a large *thud* could be heard, the sharp *pang* of a pin being released. Sturmm's men were covering their advance with smoke. Looking from out of his cover, Lieutenant Silenus could finally see the enemy: as usual, Sturmm's pet Ogryn was also there.
"Hold position here!" said Arachas. "Wait for them to come around the building."Scout probe images
Tilting his sizable bolter towards the nearest renegade, Arachas let fly and downed his target. Bullets started flying everywhere in response, including across the main street: looking to his left, Arachas could see his regulars being slaughtered by concentrated fire from the Sanctum. This was not going well! And where was Sturmm? Scout probe images
"There he is!" called out Sergeant Locke, facing the street on the east side of the building they were hugging. Sturmm was clearing the cover of the Sanctum ruins and made for the Manufactorum across the street. "I can get him, sir!"
"Take the shot!" cried Arachas, even though everything within him wanted to personally put a sword through that traitor's throat. A loud pang from Locke's autogun sounded, following by a roar and a moment of deafening silence.
Locke turned to look at Arachas, almost dumbstruck. "Sir... I... I got him! I shot him! I got him straight in the neck, right between his carapace plates. I saw blood spraying everywhere!"
Locke lifed up his rifle and wanted to oust a cheer, but at the same time a cannonade of stubber fire blasted from the Sanctum, shredding Locke and the flamer-toting trooper next to him. The young sergeant slumped to the ground, as surprised by being shot so suddenly as by his astounding feat from just a moment ago.Scout probe images
Enraged by the apparent death of their leader, Sturmm's men surged forward, stopping at nothing. Arachas desperately tried to organize his line, but his men were panicking from the sudden onslaught. Pounding the Ogryn with bolter fire, it nonetheless charged relentlessly forward, only to be locked into a flurry of blows with Lieutenant Silenus, who gallantly kept his own against the beast.
Lieutenant Kassad, not so lucky, was riddled with shots while trying to take out the female member of the Sturmm squad. Left and right, the Cadians were dropping like flies. The east-side assault had failed, while Arachas' men were getting slaughtered on the west flank.
With a look of pure hate on his face, Arachas sounded the retreat.
General Masteen put the report down. Another defeat by the treacherous Sturmm. It was to be expected, though: Arachas' new squad was young and inexperienced. Sturmm, though he was in the process of rebuilding his forces, had more experienced men at his command. Masteen had no doubts that Arachas would manage to kill his nemesis at long last... soon.
For not long after that battle, intel had reported sightings of Sturmm. Alive and well, though the scout probes had clearly shown a critical hit that could only be described as a master shot by Sergeant Locke. Sturmm had been dead, that much was sure. How he ended up walking again... Masteen had a few theories, but he did not let his thoughts wonder there...
The cost of the defeat had been high. Lieutenant Kassad, though initially thought on his way to recovery, lost sight in both his eyes. His wounds were too severe (and his rank too junior) to warrant a set of bionic replacements. He was forced to retire from the service.
Scout sergeant Hoyt would never forget the images of that day, but Masteen thought the man would recover, more hardened then ever before. The same could not be said for first sergeant Locke: he would most likely suffer from his wounds the rest of his life. At least he could still fight.
All in all they got off pretty lightly, considering the amount of casualties sustained. Masteen leaned back in his chair. Next time they would get Sturmm. Next time...
Mord told me to organize my games better, so I could play them faster. Well, I did organize:
Did it work? Nope, this game still took us over two hours.