Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested


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Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Commissar-General at 03 Jul 2006, 02:54

This is my first 40k story (though not my first story in general), it was originally posted in multiple postings, but it is already finished, so I will post it all as one work here. Anyways, I hope you enjoy, comments and constructive criticism are requested.



“What’s the story, gentlemen?”

“Situation is bad, Governor.”

“How bad?

“…Bad enough.”

“How are Old Gurgenstein and Farfinburg holding up?”


“Is something wrong, gentlemen?”

“Sir, at 0800 hours this morning, Old Gurgenstein broadcast Code Omega-Omega-Violet.”

“Excuse me? Did I just hear you correctly?”

“Yes, Governor. We hit it with three thermonuclear blasts. It no longer exists.”

“My dear sweet God-Emperor…Farfinburg?”

“We believe it is currently under Ork control, sir.”

“May the Emperor help us, gentlemen. Has the Penal Legion been mobilized?”

“It has. As well as the Armored Corps and Civil Air Patrol.”

“I see. Begin air strikes against Farfinburg at the earliest possible date. And I want the Penal Legion to have Heimlin Fortress locked down with full defensive positions within 48 hours. I assume that steps have already been taken to secure the tubes against the Orks coming in that way?”

“Yes sir. We have three regiments of Penal infantry securing the tubes. They won’t get in that way. The tubes leading from Old Gurgenstein have been sealed to prevent radiation leakage.”

“Good, good. Gentlemen?”

“Yes, Governor?”

“Have we the slightest chance of success?”

“No, sir.”

“I thought as much. Send word to sector command. Get as many Imperial Guard units here as quickly as you can.”

“The proper actions have already been taken.”

“Good, good. I suppose there is nothing to do at this point then, but watch, and wait.”

“Yes, sir.”

“May the Divine God-Emperor have mercy on us all. Dismissed, gentlemen.”

Governor Gonsalves leaned back and scratched his goatee, taking another puff of his cigar as the collected generals stood and filed out of the darkened office.

“Secretary?” he said over his comm.

“Yes, Governor?”

“Get my wife and daughter off this planet. And make preparations for me to leave at a moment’s notice. I want to be out of here before the Ork blockade becomes permanent.”

“Y…yes, Governor.”

Gonsalves momentarily considered inviting her along as well. No, no need. There were other, equally attractive young women who knew how to satisfy the many…needs, that a man of his import had, on Raglon V. No need to raise any undue suspicions with his wife. She could die with the rest of the planet. Then the governor thought of something else.

“Secretary, come in here for a moment, will you? Oh, and before you do, arrange a meeting with the Arch-Deacon for later today, I will be in need of confession.”


Lord-General Julian Montego, commander of the 207th Kazarkanian Assault Infantry took another puff of his cigar, and a another sip of brandy. He reclined in his leather chair, in his well furnished office aboard the Imperial Navy cruiser Templar, reviewing casualty reports. His unit had been through a lot during Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade, which they were presently returning from. His boys had seen action on Nemesis Tessera, in the attempt to retake Saint Josmane’s Hope, and finally in some of the more climactic battles on Cadia. Beyond that, Montego himself had fought alongside Brother-Captain Tycho and Commissar Yarrick on Armageddon, and had the privilege of personally attending briefs with Lord Castellan Ursarker E. Creed during the Cadia campaign. He was a distinguished commander, a recipient of Saint Macharias’ Cross twice and the Honorifica Imperialis three times, among many other, lesser medals. A man in his late fifties, with the same dark swarthy skin as all Kazarkanians, and a graying, black mustache and hair, his face was lined with deep wrinkles and deeper scars. His emerald eyes were dulled with years of battle and sorrow. He stood at six feet three inches tall, an imposing man, clad head to toe in a metal gray storm coat replete with medals, and a brilliantly decorated scabbard, in which he kept an impeccably cleaned saber. He was a man as proud of his appearance as he was of his performance on the battlefield and that of his division, which was often lauded. He was considered by many to be among the finest assault infantry commanders in the Guard.

But he was tired, and so was his division. The sharp reports of the Cadian artillery still rang in his ears, and the ears of his men. He looked forward to a time at home on Kazarkia with his wife, Rosa and their two sons Benicio and Antonio. He smiled to himself for a moment, thinking of her warm smile, the smell of her impeccable cooking, and the sweet air of their mountain estate. Yes, it would be good to spend some time at home after so many years of war.

A soft beep at his desk console stirred him from his memories. The message was brief, but it drained from Montego immediately all the hope he had just been entertaining.


The blood drained from Montego’s face at the last two words. Hive siege. Hive sieges were affairs that lasted years, sometimes decades on end, with no discernable victory one way or another. Montego could be robbed not only of his time with his family but of decades of his career spent defending a backwater hive on a backwater world. A twist of fate so cruel, he had rarely encountered.
Sighing, Montego took one last puff of his cigar, and pressed his comm.

“Secretary, please call my colonels to my office. I need to give them a short briefing.”
Montego sunk back into his leather chair and gazed at the Imperial seal that hung over his door. It was a seal he was proud to defend, but he was weary of war. He was weary of the smell of death, and the screams of young men. It was a pity he was so good at waging it.

“Very well.” Montego whispered to himself, closing his eyes. “I suppose it is once again, into the breach.”

As a mighty Imperial battle group shifted course and prepared to make it’s way into the warp, tearing through the fabric of space and hurling forward with all the might and ingenuity of man, utilizing the powers of technology and religion to bend the very universe to the will of the Imperium, one old general sighed, sadly, before putting out his cigar and taking the last sip of his brandy.

“Well, you’re where you should be
All of the time, and when you’re not, your with some underworld spy or the
Wife of a close friend, wife of a close friend, and you’re so vain”

“How truly benevolent of the Emperor! To grant us an entire division with which to defend our humble hive! Delightful, delightful! I cannot tell you how happy I am to have you here, Lord-General!”

Governor Alphonso Gonsalves was not looking at Lord-General Julian Montego, who stood behind his desk, ramrod straight. Gonsalves was facing away from Montego, gazing out the glass wall of his office at the very top of New Gurgenstein’s main tower. Outside, Imperial drop ships were busy at work, descending over the city and deploying troops from the 207th Kazarkanian across the great wall surrounding the city, into the streets, and even into the massive trench network that had been constructed outside, now replete with a series of electrified bunkers and defensive artillery with which to meet the Ork army when it came. The dropships looked almost graceful, silently (or at least it seemed silent, from the soundproofed office) and quickly going about the work of preparation. Preparation for the organized slaughter on a truly mass scale that defined life in the 41st millennium.

“Yes, quite. I can assure you that we will accomplish our mission as swiftly and efficiently as possible here on Hargon.” Montego replied, rather coldly. He had little time for the faux niceties of a cheap politico such as the governor.

“Wonderful then. You have the complete cooperation of my military commanders. You might want to converse with General Flaviun. He commands my personal bodyguard unit. It is a regiment sized group of storm trooper-level soldiers. You may find their aid quite useful during the coming siege.”

Montego paused. This was something he had not expected.

“Yes, Governor, of course. I will seek out the good general imminently. For now I must go and see to the emplacements of my position for the defense of your city. As for my troops, I have granted a number of them leave passes within the hive, as they are not needed immediately. I assume that is fine with you?”

“Oh yes, Lord-General of course, no problems, no problems. Every soldier needs to have a little fun from time to time, eh?” The governor winked slyly.

Montego smiled, and turned to leave the room. He was not amused, and he was quite sure that he trusted the Governor far less than he could throw him.



“TO THE EMPEROR!” the cries returned.

Corporal Michael Callus grinned widely and chugged the blackened, thick, lager he had been using to toast with. He was an infantry solder in the third company, second battalion, first regiment, of the Kazarkanian 207th assault infantry division, and today was a good day, regardless of how bad tomorrow might be. They may have been told that, upon returning from Abaddon’s Unlucky 13th, they were being thrown right back into the fray, this time against the Orks, but at least for now the Imperium was letting them have a few drinks in the meantime. Some of them anyways. Callus’ company had been one of the very few lucky enough to receive leave passes, and life was good.

Callus sat back down at the table with his squad mates. Some of the boys, including the Sarge, had been killed on Cadia, which left Corporal Callus in command of his buddies. Namely, his Pfc and best friend, Steve Haydn, his tech specialist, Omar Jackson, his heavy weapons man, Frankie “Ox” Zimmermann, his medic, Joe Brenner, and the nervous young com-operator, Milton McClellan. A mousy and red-haired lad of nineteen, McClellan was both the youngest and greenest of the crowd, a transfer from another squad. Ox was a big man, with a totally shaven had and huge muscles. Jackson possessed the even darker skin of Kazarkia’s southern continents, sharp brown eyes, and a close cut buzz. Brenner was an older, more tired guy than the rest of the squad, at least forty with hair that was already starting to gray. Haydn was tall, well built, and confident, with blonde hair and blue eyes, and skin unusually pale for his home world, he was the poster-child Guardsman. As for Callus himself, he was muscular but wiry, with close cropped black hair and dark brown eyes that caught the gazes of many an attractive young lady.

And Callus was looking at one right now. A young blonde girl of about twenty, with a full red lips, a plunging neckline, and more than generous cleavage. Every girl in the place was eying a guardsman, in their well pressed gray and black uniforms, tight berets, and muscular, well built bodies, they were hardly the stuff of the local Penal Legion. But this one was looking right at Callus, and he was looking right back. Between shots, Steve leaned over and said under his breath;

“Whose your girl over there Mikie?”

“Cool your jets, Private I know what I’m doing.”

Haydn chuckled, taking another swig of ale.

“Yea just like you knew exactly what you were doing when you charged that nest of ‘gaunts on Tarflin IV?”

“I did know exactly what I was doing! We won the battle didn’t we?”

“Sure, thanks to my heroic rescue of you.”

“Oh yea, real heroic, you charged in after me and we were both about to get mauled when air support showed up. Not that that dame over there is anything like a nest of Tyranids.

“Excuse me? She’s a woman, isn’t she?”

“Good point.”

Callus finished his beer and put it down.

“Well gents, it’s been great talking to you, but I’ve places to see and people to do, so I’ll have to excuse myself.” Callus said with a smirk, getting out of his chair and strolling over to the bar.

“Well, hello there, excuse me if I seem forward, but I’m new in town, and I sure would like to know your name, Miss.” Callus said, leaning against the bar with a raised eyebrow and his most charming smile. She smiled back.

“I’m Brandy, soldier. What’s yours?

“I, Brandy, am Corporal Michael Callus, of the third company, second battalion, first regiment, 207th Kazarkanian assault infantry division. A genuine hero, as they say.”

“Oh, a hero are you? Have you come to save me from the big bad Orks?” Brandy asked, with a chuckle and a smirk to match Callus’ own.

“I do believe that’s the mission statement.”

“Now, as a soldier in the service of the Emperor, aren’t you sworn to personal celibacy…corporal?” Brandy asked, running a finger down his chest.

“I suppose I am, technically. But to be honest, I’ve never been an overly religious man.” Callus replied.

“Oh, well to tell the truth, I am a very religious girl, myself.”

“Are you?”

“I am. In fact, I often sit down with my local preacher and get religion…all night long.”

“Indeed? Well Brandy, I am sure your Preacher is a very nice man, but, I think that tonight I have a better idea…”


Michael Callus stirred and woke up. He was lying on a dirty old mattress in an under hive flat. He thankfully remembered how he had gotten from the makeshift barracks that he had been ordered to stay in. It wasn’t that far. In any case, he was not due back until the afternoon. Brandy lay next to him, clothed in nothing but the white sheet that lay draped over her. Callus smiled, remembering how much he had enjoyed watching her undress herself. And how much he had enjoyed the rest of what followed. Brandy stirred, rolled over, and opened her eyes, looking at him. She grinned.

“Hey there, soldier.”

Callus grinned back, leaned, in, and kissed her. His personal communicator was beeping, annoyingly. Reaching over for his pants, he picked it out of the pocket and checked his messages in text format.


Suddenly, Callus’ eyes were bugging out of his face.

“Gonna have to take a rain check on that breakfast, babe.” He said hurriedly, kissing her on the cheek and leaping to his feet, pulling on his pants.

“What? Where the hell are you going?”

“Duty calls, babe!” Callus cried out, pulling on his dress jacket and beret and slamming the door shut behind him. He was off.
“YOU’RE A REAL rather unsavoury chap, what-ho old bean?!” was the last thing he heard Brandy say to him.

“Funny how most of my relationships end that way.” Callus thought, as he began to run.


“And I can’t help but wonder, no, Willy McBride,
Do all those who lie here, know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, and dying, it was all done in vain,
Oh Willy McBride, it all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.”

The shells were hitting again. Callus hit the trench flood hard. Emperor be damned, did his head hurt. Struggling his feet he cried out to his men.

“Move! We gotta get to the trains, Go! Go!”

The Orks had hit the trenches a good six hours ago by now. The Guard had held the line for a while, but not forever. The greenskins had starting hitting the line with siege artillery, and before long the sky was so filled with shells, from both sides, that Imperial air support had no means to get into the fight. The guard were on their own, caught in a storm of death. The lines had broken, and the Orks were pushing through now. They had taken eight, maybe nine, trenches. The Guard was in a state of fighting retreat. The penal troopers were getting it the worst. They had fled almost as soon as the greenskins had come to close. The Kazarkanians were still putting up a fight of some kind as they pulled back.

Callus poured a few rounds over the edge of a trench, knocking out a couple Orks fighting in no man’s land. His squad was working it’s way through one of the many back-trenches, trying to get it’s way back to the main line and take part in the pull-back to the train station that would get them to safety, behind the city wall.

Callus turned a corner. Big mistake. Beyond the line were twenty of the meanest looking Orks Callus had ever been the displeasure to be in the face of.

“We got trouble boys!” Callus screamed, pouring three rounds into the face of the first one, sending it down with a gurgle.

The one beyond it smashed Callus in the nose, sending him literally flying into the trench wall.

Callus’ could hear Ox’s stubber pouring out rounds as he struggled to his feet. Suddenly, he was being grabbed by the chest plate and pulled to his feet. Haydn was looking him in the eyes.

“How many fingers am I holding up, Mikey?”

“Uh, three?”

“Close enough, let’s go.”

And then they were back in it. Callus was dodging, kicking, biting, screaming, shooting, and doing all the normal things an Imperial Guardsman does when he finds himself in the middle of a horde of angry Orks. Somehow he got his bayonet on to his barrel and started stabbing, as well. By the time he realized where he was they were all dead and Haydn was pulling him along the trenches again.

“That’s battle for you.” Callus thought to himself as he stumbled along.

“Stop, stop for a moment!” It was Brenner.

They stopped, and Haydn told Callus to sit down. He did. A flashlight was being shone in his eye.

“Minor concussion, nothing to worry about right now, but we need to get him attention when we get back in the city.”

The stubber was firing, Ox spoke over the loud report.

“We better move if we hope to ever get back in the city!”

Brenner nodded quickly. Callus was being pulled to his feet again.

“Alright Mikie, this is gonna be real easy. Follow us, and when you see something green, point and click until it’s dead. Real easy, right? Right. Let’s go.”

They were running again. Shooting. Crying out. Screams surrounded him. The blood was running so thick that it seemed as if a thin red fog had taken over the land. Dirt, body parts, and shell, were as a constant rain. The sky was dark. Callus was only vaguely conscious of the battle cries that emanated from his own lips as he charged, shot, stabbed, and killed the enemies of the Emperor.

A shell hit somewhere nearby. A combination of dirt and blood covered the side of Callus’ face. He felt the taste of copper on his tongue. The blood was not his own. He spit it out.

A gigantic, roaring, green mass was suddenly in front of him. A huge steel claw was rushing towards him. He pulled the trigger. The roaring face disappeared in a few flashes of red light. Pink and gray bits flew into the air, and the mass of muscle and steel hit the floor.

Then, as if a great veil was lifted, Callus returned to full consciousness. The roar of the shells and the screams of the dying was infinitely louder. To his left, a man in the orange jumpsuit of a penal legionnaire lay sobbing, his legs blown off, bleeding profusely. The field was littered with the bodies of Orks and men in equal number. The din of battle was deafening.

The trenches shook with the fury of war, artillery surrounded them as they charged through, into the battle, and out of it. Firing in quick bursts, killing Orks and then running back into, and back out of, Imperial held trenches. They had to get to the trains.

The Orks took the trench in front of them, and charged up, into no man’s land, charging directly at them. Callus hit the wall with the rest of the squad, grimacing and pouring rounds into the greenskins. There were far too many of them to strike them down before they reached their trench.

“So this is how it ends, then. Caught between a trench wall and a mob of Orks.” Callus thought to himself.

Out of nowhere, as if by magic, the Orks evaporated. Turning in wonder, Callus saw a huge, steel, blue vehicle above them. A Leman Russ, unmistakable. The blue paint marked it as the property of the New Gurgenstein Armored Corps.

Cheers were going up throughout the Imperial lines. Reinforcements! Reinforcements had come! The Armored Corps was here.


The voice that was emanating from large vox-towers the tanks were carrying on their backs was unmistakable. They came from the Lord-General himself. Montego was broadcasting.

“Alright boys, you heard the general!” Callus cried, firing a quick burst in the general direction of the Orks. “LET’S ROLL!”


“LORD-GENERAL, AM I TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE ORDERING A GENERAL RETREAT FROM THE TRENCHES!?!” Governor Gonsalves burst into the command room, Colonel Flaviun at his back.

Lord-General Julian Montego turned from the command-vox from which he had been broadcasting his orders to the men.
“Yes, Governor, that is correct.”

“AND WHERE EXACTLY, DO YOU THINK YOU DERIVE THAT AUTHORITY FROM?” The Governor was clearly enraged. A vein in his forehead appeared as if it was about to pop.

Montego coughed, and spoke;

“I seem to remember something, Governor that you said about placing me in command of your defenses.”


“Yes, I do. These trenches cannot be held without a massive expenditure of lives. I plan to retake Heimlin fortress after we drive off this attack. Now, Admiral Chadwick has expressed to me confidence that, should we retreat from the trenches, her air power will be able to dispatch the greenskin forces there. Maybe we wouldn’t have come to this situation if the good Colonel Flaviun had allowed his storm troopers to be utilized in the defense.”

Flaviun narrowed his eyes at Montego. If looks were lasers, the Lord-General would have been a smoking crater.

“My men are the Governor’s personal bodyguard. They are the most elite forces on this planet. They will not man the trenches like petty grunts.” The Colonel spit.

“So far, my good colonel, it would appear that the Orks are the most elite forces on this planet.” Montego replied, coolly.

Flaviun’s lips curled, and a low growl emanated.

“ENOUGH! I will see you court-martialed for this action, General! Court-martialed!” The governor said, before turning to storm out.

Flaviun gave Montego one last once over, and then turned to follow his commander.

“Now that that is over, let us get back to handling this war, shall we?” Montego said to the adjutants surrounding him.
He gazed at the command door one last time before turning back to the command-vox operator. No, he did not trust Colonel Marcus Flaviun. He did not trust him at all.


Another blast shook the station as Callus led his men down into the train station. Subways were shooting off and coming back in what seemed like record speed as imperial and local troopers hurried to get aboard a transport. The Orks lines had advanced near the station now, and it wouldn’t be long before the trains fell. As for the men trapped there…only the Emperor knew. The station was teeming with remote charges. The plan was to detonate them once the last available train left to ensure that the Orks could not use the tunnels to get under the wall and into the hive. Any man in the station when those charges went off would have no chance of survival.

“There!” Jackson cried out, pointing towards the nearest train. It was nearly full, but there was still some room left.

Callus nodded, and the squad moved forward, they were about to reach the train when the heavy bolters stationed at the entrance began to fire, and a great battle cry went up through the station.


As if out of nowhere, a green tide burst through the door and into the station. The Orks had arrived.

Callus turned just in time to have a gigantic mailed fist hit him hard in the chest cavity and send him hard to the ground. His back hit cement, and he was starting into the lights on the ceiling. Didn’t look much different than the white light he was supposed to see before going to meet the Emperor. Then a gigantic knife entered his field of vision, held in a chubby green fist, rushing down toward his eyes.

Callus sighed, more exasperated than anything.
“Here we go again.” he thought to himself, more exasperated than anything.

Rolling out of the way, he heard the knife bust through cement. Leaping to his feet, he wheeled himself around just in time to see the Ork trying to pull his knife out of the ground. Callus smirked, before kicking the Ork in the elbow as hard as he could. He was rewarded by the sound of a breaking bone and a scream of pain. Quickly drawing his auto-pistol from it’s holster he aimed it coolly at the Ork’s temple and pulled the trigger. The recoil was quick and hard, and the top of the Ork’s skull exploded in a mist of crimson blood and gray brain.

Callus shoved the pistol back in it’s pistol and bent down to grab his lasguns. Just then a very familiar mailed fist grabbed him by the throat and pulled him into the air. Callus found himself staring into the mean, crimson eyes of the Ork he had just killed. And sure enough, the top of his skull was indeed missing, along with a good chunk of his brain.

“Holy Emperor, the beast doesn’t know he’s dead yet!”

Suddenly he heard a shrill, high pitched battle cry, and the rest of the Ork’s head was annihilated in a flurry of lasers.

Callus fell to the ground, landing on his feet, and prying the dead green fingers from around his throat. Quickly looking around, he saw McClellan standing there, shaking, staring at the corpse, the barrel of his las-pistol smoking.

“Private, you saved my life!”

McClellan stared at him. No response.

“First kill huh? Yea, I thought so. Anyways, come on, we gotta go!”

Callus turned to board the train with the rest of his squad, who were now aboard, he turned to get McClellan to follow, and suddenly, Callus’ eyes widened in shock and fear.

McClellan was running towards the closing doors, screaming out Callus’ name. He was being chased by a gigantic Ork clad in power armor, a chain-axe whirring in each hand.

“McCLELLAN!” Callus cried out, raising his las fire and hammering down the trigger.

Ox and Jackson had taken notice now, and they both joined in the fire. Ox’s heavy stubber trained itself on the Ork and began to rip it apart, piece by piece.

Not quick enough. The chain-axes came down hard on McClellan’s shoulder-blades, going right through his torso and tearing his body into four pieces, in a large, X-shaped slice. As the doors closed and the train shot down the tunnel, the last thing Callus saw was the shocked, horrified, and betrayed gaze of Private Milton McClellan of the 207th Kazarkanian assault infantry division, first regiment, second battalion, third company. Soldier in the care of Corporal Michael Callus. And then there was only the darkness of the tunnel.

“Here comes the rain again
Falling from the stars
Drenched in my pain again
Becoming who we are
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost
Wake me up when September ends”

Corporal Michael Callus thought he was going to puke. Staring there, into the rushing, never ending blackness, he couldn’t see anything, anything but the betrayed, terrified eyes of Private Milton McClellan, looking at the man who was supposed to keep him south, mouthing those terrible, silent words as the blades came down the crush his body.

“Help me.”

But he didn’t. Callus tried. He stood there, screaming, wanting to reach out and pull him in, he squeezed the trigger for all it was worth. It wasn’t enough. The Ork was faster than he is. And one of his men was dead. Callus cried out, punching the glass. Spider web cracks appeared across it, and blood red rivulets ran down Callus’ arm. A Penal trooper cried out.

“Hey buddy, just what the hell do you think you’re doing!”

Big mistake.

In a flash Callus had wheeled around and delivered him hard uppercut to the jaw, combined with a strong left knee in the stomach. Whirling, Callus hit him hard with a haymaker, sending him down, hard, in a cloud of his own blood.

Suddenly, a hundred lasguns were trained on his head. Callus looked around. He didn’t even care at this point. He’d seen too much. Too much war, too many young kids torn apart, too many worlds ruined, too many mothers crying, too many fathers dying.

“INCOMING!” The voice was Haydn’s.

Callus turned to see what his friend was talking about, and then he realized. The train had not left fast enough. The explosive charges lining the walls of the tunnel were blinking red. Then, the blast. Then, the darkness.

Callus was vaguely aware, momentarily, of falling through an endless blackness filled with other material. Spinning through the air, he was at peace. Then, it was if he was being sucked into a funnel hole of pure darkness, and he was gone.


Michael Callus woke up, bathed in the warm sun. He was lying on sand, the cool waves were lapping at his ankles. His ankles? The tide must have come in. He closed his eyes again, for a moment, and smiled. Life was good. He had just been released from basic training, and had two weeks of freedom before getting shipped off to the school of infantry.

Callus stood. The sun was setting over Kazarkia. He would need to be home for dinner, and then the evening mass. Father Thorpe wouldn’t be happy to see Callus miss prayer on his first day back. Running his hand through his raven hair (it was already starting to grow back. It always did grow fast) Callus turned to and grabbed his shirt, pulling it on and making his way up the road toward his small village. A trio of Lightning-class fighters were streaking overhead. Kazarkia was a strange world, to say the least. An odd mix of a rural agri-world in the country side and a bustling metropolis of imperial civilization in the cities. The world itself was nearly devoid of any satellites, but a large space station hanging just outside of orbit served as a docking and refueling point for the local Imperial Navy detachment. Michael’s older brother, Johan had been the pride of the family when he had received high enough marks in math to attend the Imperial Navy academy on Kazarkia’s third moon.

Callus opened the door to his home, and stared in silent horror. What was left of his mother and father were spread across the tiny kitchen and living room. Everything was drenched in sticky, red, blood. In the center of them stood a pale white being, glowering at him. He knew what it was. He had seen it in his training vids.


It lunged at him. He dodged, running, slipping in the blood and entrails of his parents, dry sobs taking over his chest. He smashed his shoulder into a wooden cabinet, tearing open skin and sending a jet of blood out behind him. The daemon gurgled in delight.

Callus burst into his parents bedroom, slamming the door shut and locking it, he sprinted for the closet and tore the door open, fighting back the urge to vomit and sob and break down all at once. Pulling his father’s bolt pistol down from the shelf he found a clip, tearing off the cover and slamming it in, racking the pistol. He turned just as the door broke open and the creature lunged at him. He raised the pistol and squeezed off three rounds. The daemon’s head exploded in a cloud of crimson that sprayed across Michael’s chest and face. Grabbing two more clips he shoved them in his pockets and ran. He had to get to the Church. He had to warn Father Thorpe.


Callus fiddled with his lasguns nervously, sitting in the tiny steel boat at blasts shook the ocean around him. He was a newly stamped Private in the Kazarkanian 207th assault infantry division, first regiment, second battalion, third company. Lieutenant Pearson’s platoon. They were on the moon of Dansing, pushing the Elder out of their positions. This was his first combat mission, a beachhead mission. He had seen this in his training vids. He hardly relished the idea.

“ALRIGHT YER LAZY LUGS, FIX BAYONETS!” The voice belonged to platoon sergeant Borges.


The jungles of Schoeman’s World. Platoon sergeant Borges being torn limb from limb by a Tyranid Warrior. Screaming like a little girl. Callus armed his grenade, and threw it.


Dansing again. Back in the boat. Sliding the bayonet into it’s position, checking his lasgun. Safety off, set to burst fire mode. Full power. Good. The ramp swung down, Callus screamed and charged. First he was running through water, then sand. The world was exploding around him. He looked around him. Next to him, a man was running. A blast of warp energy. The soldier’s face was gone. There was nothing but his grinning, white, skull. The eyes were still resting in their sockets, staring out. Green. Macabre. Dead. The body kept running. It kept running, and running, and running, until another blast hit it in the chest, and it was gone. Callus stared forward, lost in his horror. Screams. Screams, everywhere. Death surrounding him. He just kept charging. He just kept charging. He just kept charging. Emperor’s tears, he just kept charging.


The Church was burning. The cries of Slaanesh worshippers filled the air. Michael Callus was hiding in the confessional, reloading his bolt pistol. He had arrived at the church just in time to see his fellow villagers tearing Father Thorpe’s last leg off. He’d shot them. He’d shot all of them. Then, as Father Thorpe stared up at him, bleeding to death, his face ashen, barely keeping his eyes from rolling into his head, Michael had finally cried. And then, he’d shot him too. As the Emperor gazed down at him from his marble eyes, he’d shot his priest.

Falling. Blackness. The air rushing up around him. Callus momentarily regained conscious. Vaguely, from far away, he heard the sound of bone cracking against rock. He fell back into the darkness.

Natalie Walker. The first love of Michael Callus. Pretty little blonde lass from his village. She was nailed to a black, wooden, cross. Her throat was slashed open and her entrails were spread across her legs, and on the ground at her feet. The cries of the dark god’s name were going up across the city. The whole world had gone mad. The whole world had gone mad.

The Sisters of Battle were putting the city to flame. The Inquisition had come, swiftly. Death comes on swift wings, as the old saying goes. The rebellion had been put down. Callus was standing in a straight line, in full parade uniform. His eyes looking at nothing, seeing nothing. Seeing everything. The Inquisitor was patrolling up and down the lines, commending the men of the Guard for their service in putting down the rebellion. The planet’s Arch-Deacon had gone mad. Had devoted his worship to the Chaos God Slaanesh. He was being loaded onto the black ships even as the Inquisitor spoke. Taken for questioning, somewhere in the stars. Order had been returned to Kazarkia. Two million dead. Slaanesh had taken two million souls from the people of Kazarkia. Two million subjects of the Emperor had been killed or gone into darkness.


“Sweep, two by two. Alpha pattern. Emperor protect.” The Captain was speaking. Callus raised his lasgun and began his sweep with unerring professionalism. The subjects of the Dark Eldar’s experiments were laid out on tables and nailed to the wall. Eyeballs floating in the darkness, suspended by anti-grav generators. Tortured bodies, tortured souls. The Eldar’s dark cousins were gone now. They had been driven away. There was nothing left to do but take inventory of their madness. The Ordo Xenos would arrive soon enough to take what it wanted. Until then, it was up to the Guard to maintain security in what had once been a colony-satellite orbiting unpopulated world XV1-2R7.

A scream. There was one still on board. Lasguns turned, lighting the air with super-heated beams of red light. The Dark Eldar warrior was incinerated where it stood, dropping the Guardsman it had held by the throat.

The air was erupt in fire. The small landing craft shook as it fell towards Nemesis Tessera. The ground rushed up to meet them. The retro-jets fired. They hit the ground. The door opened. Callus tore his lasgun from the rack and charged. He found himself simply staring in awe. The Gray Knights were already in the field, lacing their way between ranks of daemons, storm bolters firing, halberds glimmering in the air. Chaos bowed down to their imperial will. By the Emperor, they were fast.

War. Everywhere, war. It was all he knew. As he fell, war flashed in front of his eyes. A lifetime of war. Dead enemies from a thousand campaigns were in front of him. Eldar, Tau, Tyranids, Orks, Men, women, and children. He had killed them all. He had killed them all in the name of the Emperor.

“All I have ever done is kill in the name of the Emperor. When will I die for him?”

His eyes snapped open. He knew that the black mass he was staring at was the ground, somehow. He hit. The sickening crunch of bone. Everything was silent.

“The Walking Dead couldn’t tell us any better
It’s a tale you gotta live to know
Yeah the story you’re telling is from the book I wrote
I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know
‘Cause at the end of the day, when the hope fades away
It was an outlook you could never afford
You’re on one last stand with the boys and the band
Before the daemon strikes the final chord.”







The light at the end of the tunnel. So, he was finally dead. The Emperor was smiling. Callus smiled in return, and walked towards him. He had always had a sneaking suspicion that the Imperial Cult was a bunch of bunk made to control the masses. Thank the Emperor, he had been wrong. He was standing in his holy presence even now.

Callus approached the immortal divine God-Emperor of Mankind, and squinted. He was forced to, considering the golden light that surrounded the figure that towered over him. The Emperor’s smile, Callus now realized, was a look of caring concern. Callus looked around, to make sure there was nobody else. He returned his gaze to the Emperor’s eyes. He was silent. He could be nothing else, in the presence of great power. Death wasn’t so bad, really. It was warm, and everything was white, and he was with the Emperor, and he felt like nothing would ever be wrong again. It was a far sight better than ratty hive city anyways, that was for sure. Callus gazed at the Emperor, as he slowly fisted a golden gauntleted first palm open, as if to envelop Callus’ soul. Suddenly, there was nothing the Corporal wanted to more, than to become one with his immortal, divine, God-Emperor. And then, his deep voice booming like the clear, clarion call of Heaven, the Emperor spoke. And what he said, in that singular moment of divine revealing, to this lowly corporal of his Imperial Guard, was this;

“How many fingers am I holding up?”

His vision swam. The Emperor disappeared. Suddenly, his head hurt. A lot. Callus slowly opened his eyes. The warmth was gone. It was cold, and he was laying, apparently, on a bed of rubble. Callus groaned. The Emperor was gone. Brenner had taken his place.

“How many fingers, am I holding up, Corporal”


“Correct. Very good Corporal. Surprisingly, it looks as if you are not seriously injured. The fall was not very far, thankfully. We appear to have been lucky enough to land above the rubble, as opposed to under it. Unlike, sadly, the rest of them.

Callus looked around. Everywhere, crushed bodies rested under blood-stained boulders.

Ox was priming and loading his stubber, Haydn was a few feet away, standing guard, lasgun in hand. Jackson had a new, smaller las-carbine slung over his shoulder, and was busy typing away on his monitor. Brenner was simply holding an auto-pistol, apparently having lost his weapon. Callus also, was without a weapon.

He got to his feet. Every muscle in his body ached, but he didn’t seem to be injured seriously. Crawling over the rubble, he found a lasgun sticking out of the rubble, and dragged it out. It was dented and damaged, but looked functional.

“Shall we, gentlemen?”


The squad moved down the strangely silent streets in standard Beta Omega fashion, one by one. Callus was on point, hugging the walls and shadows. Haydn and Jackson were sweeping the area with their lasguns, guarding the right and left flanks. Ox traveled in the back, providing the squad fire with his stubber, and Brenner was next to him, more or less useless in a long range firefight, being armed with only an auto-pistol.

The buildings here were small and stocky, hardly typical of the popular image of a soaring hive city. Their windows were smashed, and their doors kicked in. It appeared as if they had been shelled out. Some were even smeared with blood.

“Figure ahead! Possible hostile!” Callus barked, training his rifle on a human-sized figure standing in the darkness.

“Haydn, Jackson, cover me!”

“Aye!” came a simultaneous bark.

Callus was off, in a running couch, his rifle never leaving the figure. It appeared to be facing directly towards him, but it was not moving or speaking. A shadow obscured it. Callus stopped about fifty feet from it, and cried out.


A long pause. Nothing.


Again, nothing. No speech, no movement, nothing.

“Identify or I shoot!”

Silence. It was broken by the fizzling and crackling of air as a crimson lasbolt streaked through oxygen, striking the figure in the chest and sending his crashing to the ground.

Giving a silent hand signal to his squad, Callus ran, still crouching, towards the figure. He soon realized it was clad in the deep blue carapace armor of the Governor’s elite guard unit. It was just after realizing this that Callus was hit with the stench. This man had been dead for a long, long, time.

Bending down to examine the body, Callus saw a large, melted hole in the man’s face plate. Under it, what had been an eye was simply a blackened crater. He had taken a lasbolt directly to his left eye. A hell pistol was clutched in his hand.

Voices, ahead. Callus looked up. Light. Another hand signal. He was up and moving again with the measured silence of a professional soldier.

The squad turned the corner to find a group of ten men, nine armed with auto-rifles, two holding torches, which explained the light in this place of darkness. One was in a large fur coat, and appeared to be unarmed. Though Callus was facing the back of him. They were surrounding someone, speaking cruelly and laughing. They had not noticed the guardsmen behind them.

Callus turned to his men, nodded to them, and they fell out of combat positions. Callus walked towards the men with deliberately noisy footsteps and addressed them in a friendly tone.

“Hello there gents, how are ya doin? Listen, we’re with the 207th Kazarkanian, defending your city from the Ork incursion and all that, and we were wondering if you could tell us how exactly to get out of here.”

In an instant there were nine auto-rifles trained on Callus’ head. The men wielding them were clearly hive-gangers, clad head to toe in leather and covered in myriad piercing. Slowly, the last man turned, a corpulent, bald man, clad in a huge fur greatcoat, with sunken, sallow eyes, and disgusting yellow-green teeth. He was grinning menacingly.

And, in turning, he revealed who he had been addressing in such a predatory manner. Lying on the ground, clearly terrified, was the most beautiful girl Callus had ever seen in his life.

She was clad unflatteringly, in baggy jeans and a black t-shirt, but her stunning beauty was obvious. She was possessed of long, raven black hair, and deep green eyes. Her lips were red and pouty, and her breasts, rising and falling in short, ragged breaths, were clearly bountiful. He legs were long and shapely, obvious even through the jeans. She appeared frail and frightened, like a young deer, and it was obvious that whatever these men intended, it was not pleasant.

“I think it would be best if you buggered off and minded your own business from now on, off-worlder.” The fat man in the fur coat said, his voice low and menacing.

“Hmm.” was Callus’ only reply. “Who’s that?” He asked, seeming inquisitive.

The fat man sighed.

“Again, guardsman, none of your business. But this little morsel is a slave whore who decided to go running on me. Now my men are going to show her what happens to escaped property.”

“I see. I’ll buy a ride.” Callus said, coolly.


“She’s a whore, you said. I’ll buy a ride.

The fat man smiled.

“Alright then my good fellow, perhaps we can do business. Boys, lower your guns.

His men obliged.

“Big mistake.” Callus said, a non-chalantly as ever.

Haydn’s lasgun raised and fired two quick bursts, striking two men in the chest, sending them down hard. Brenner raised his auto-pistol, and squeezed off a shot, quickly bursting through one man’s skull. Ox’s stubber fired to life, sending four of the gunmen flying through the air, lacerated by high caliber bullets. Jackson’s carbine downed two more, and Callus coolly raised his own gun, firing once, and blowing through a gunman’s throat. This had all happened in a matter of seconds.

“Now, how about you let the girl go, big fella?” Callus asked, resuming his friendly and upbeat tone.

The man snarled and drew a needle pistol. Immediately Callus’ knife was in his hand, flashing, he grabbed the man by the left elbow, yanking hard, and raising his knife. The final effect was that he yanked the man’s forehead onto his waiting blade, sticking him through the brain.

A thick thud accompanied the contact of the bald, greasy forehead, with the hilt of Callus’ knife. Pulling it out, Callus let the body drop and went about cleaning his blade and returning it to his sheath. Silently, he dropped his damaged lasgun and picked up one of the auto-rifles, collecting ammo picking up some grenades the gunmen had on their belts, and checking the quality of the weaponry. Brenner did the same. Only then did they resume notice of the girl.

Callus approached her, silently, extending a hand.

“Are you okay?” He asked her, concerned.

Slowly, she nodded, taking his hand, and rising to her feet.

“I’m Corporal Michael Callus, of the 207th Kazarkanian assault infantry division, I’m in command here. This is Pfc Haydn, my second-in-command, Private Brenner, my medic, Private Jackson, our tech specialist, and Private Zimmermann, our heavy weapons operator. We call him Ox.” Callus said, quickly, pointing to each man. They all nodded in assent.

Callus turned back to the girl, wearing his best smile.

“And what’s your name?”


Callus smiled warmly.

“Daniella. That’s a pretty name.”

The girl smiled, timidly.

“Well Daniella, could you tell us how exactly to get out of here?”

The team was hurriedly advancing along the same silent streets, rapidly approaching the lift to the main hive that Daniella had told them about. She traveled with them, somewhat clumsily carrying one of the late gunman’s auto-rifles and wearing Callus’ helmet, which he had given her. It was too big for her and wasn’t strapped, and it bounced around on her raven-haired head.

“That way!”

Callus nodded curtly, enveloped in his professional soldier mentality again, his squad wheeling around a corner.

Standing in front of them was another two men, clad in the blue armor of the Governor’s guard.

They groaned, lowly. Instantly, Daniella was staggering backwards, eyes wide with fear. Callus turned to her, concerned.

“What is it?”

Already Haydn was approaching them.

“You boys alright? You don’t look so good!”

“NOO!” Daniella screamed, just before they struck.

The first one grabbed Haydn by the throat. The second bit hungrily into his throat, causing blood to spurt force. Haydn screamed as they dragged at him, biting and tearing his flesh.

“EMPEROR’S TEARS!” Callus cried out, firing a quick burst, pumping three rounds into the head of the first one.

Brenner fired as well, sending the second to the ground. Silently, Haydn tumbled down.

Callus rushed over him, bending down to check him. It was obvious that it was too late. A huge, gaping, chunk of Haydn’s throat was missing. His eyes stared up, blinking constantly, like some kind of fish, mouthing words he could not speak.

Callus closed his eyes, a silent tear running down his cheek, and drew his auto pistol. With great sorrow, he put his best friend, Private, First Class, Steven Haydn, out of his misery.

Callus got to his feet and turned to Daniella.

“What were those things?” He asked, his rage palatable.

She gulped for a moment, and then spoke.

“Uh, corporal, have you ever heard of the Creeping Death?”

The blood went out of Callus’ face. And then he heard the groans, in multitude emanating from all around him. In Quarantine Zone 44, the dead walked.


Callus’ legs burned as he ran, barely keeping his weapon in his hands, the recoil kicking against him, holding down the trigger, rounds punching through the skulls of the seemingly endless legion of plague zombies. They were almost there now. Almost to the lift. Just a little bit longer and they would make it.

Another burst. More plague zombies down, in a cloud of ichors and grime.

Running, constant running.

“The lift! There!” Daniella cried, pointing a rackety looking caged-door elevator at the end of a long street.

“Move out!” Callus cried, swinging around his auto-rifle, and firing again.

Closer. Closer. Closer. Closer. Soon, they would be at the elevator. The stinking mass of the dead seemed to never end, always trying to claw, to bite. Always failing. The crack of weapons discharge near constant. The hordes of the living dead just as constant. And then they were there. They leaped into the lift, slamming the door closed shut behind them. Callus smashed the up button. And…nothing happened. The lift wasn’t functioning.

“NO! EMPEROR PLEASE NO!” He screamed, slamming his fist into the door.

The beasts were knowing through the cage. It couldn’t be long now. Callus hugged Daniella against his chest. He didn’t want her to see this. He shut his eyes, raised his auto-rifle, and began to fire. He wasn’t going to go down without taking a fair number of these abominations with him.

And then, suddenly, as if from thin air, the crack of hell guns. Boots smashing against the cement. The groan of the dead was gone. Callus opened his eyes, slowly. The lift was surrounded by at least a company of the blue-suited Governor’s elite. They were lead by a black-coated Commissar clutching a huge bolter in his arms.

Callus opened the cage door and stumbled out, beginning to speak.

“Oh thank the Emperor you men showed up! We were just about to be killed!”

The Commissar was sticking the bolter in Callus’ face.

“Drop your weapons. By decree of Governor Gonsalves, you are all under arrest.”

User avatar

RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Commissar-General at 03 Jul 2006, 03:00



“Well I just got back from a break in the fight,
I was weighing in heavy but feeling alright
All I hear in the distance is mines and shells
Here come the sirens wailing another attack to be repelled
Do you think we’re gonna make it?
I don’t know unless we try
You could sit here scared to move or we could take them by surprise
It’s submission that they want
It’s surrender that they need
When we’re doing it their way their aims will be achieved.”

Captain Lucien Gaudin, ranking officer aboard His Most Holy Divine-Emperor’s cruiser Defender patrolled his bridge silently. Along with the sister cruiser Patriot Gaudin was patrolling the system. The Admiral’s Grand Cruiser, the Crusader remained in orbit around Hargon.

The Defender circled the system silently, fighters swarming around it like piranhas around a whale. The gigantic cathedral-ship was powerful and deadly as it was ancient, a prideful craft in the service of the Imperial Navy, the galaxy’s pre-eminent fleet.

The bridge was silent, servitors and young commissioned officers going about their work as quietly as possible. Under no circumstances did Gaudin tolerate excessive noise aboard his ship. His deep blue captain’s uniform was pressed and starched impeccably, his thinning gray hair combed into a flawless part and covered by his peaked officer’s hat. His navy issue auto-pistol rested on his right hip, perfectly cleaned and up kept, and his glove-clad hands were clasped elegantly at the small of his back. He was, in every way, the poster child of a naval commander.

“Captain” a deck officer spoke, looking up from his monitor and breaking the silence. “We have some kind of contact. It appears to be a warp disturbance.”

“I see. Coordinates?”


“Hmm. Bring weapons online to full power, put the fighters on full alert, inform security headquarters to prepare to repel boards if necessary. Continue patrol as before.”

“Yes, sir.”

A few moments later the door to bridge slid open and a full combat team of naval storm troopers entered, clad in carapace armor and holding hell guns.

“Greetings, Lieutenant” Gaudin said, turning.

“Greetings Captain. If the enemy boards I am going to request that you leave the command deck until such a time as they are repelled.”

Gaudin grunted, not liking the idea but acquiescing.

“Sir, warp signatures getting stronger. We believe a naval force will be entering the system momentarily.”

“Noted, adjutant. Transmit the information to the Crusader and Patriot immediately.”

“Yes sir.”

“And bring the shields online as well.”

“Yes sir.”

Gaudin moved from where he had been standing, immediately in front of his command pulpit across the bridge, to find himself standing directly in front of the viewing glass. Suddenly, a ripple caught his eye.

“There. Space is tearing. The warp is about to open. Face prow two degrees southwest.”

The ship began to move nearly immediately. It was just reaching it’s position when the warp opened a gigantic wound in space, gouging out a massive fleet of Ork ships. The Captain never lost his cool, immediately turning to walk, quickly, back towards his command pulpit. He remained, even under the enormous stress of an imminent attack, an ideal naval officer in every way. The calmness he gave off nearly as an aura extended to his crew, keeping all those aboard the Defender cool-headed and professional.

It did not do much good. The Captain never reached his pulpit. The Defender was vaporized in mere moments under the blast of a massive Ork flotilla. Captain Lucien Gaudin, perfect officer of the Imperial Navy was, within seconds, perfectly dead.

Upon realizing what had happened, the Patriot and the Crusader rallied admirably, drawing up in perfect defensive lines and playing everything by the book. They died just the same, and within five hours the Ork fleet had achieved total supremacy in the skies over Hargon.


Callus sat in his cell and stared morosely out of the iron bars. Somewhere, he could hear a man screaming under the torture devices of the local commissariat. Ox and Jackson sat in another corner, and Brenner was crouched on the floor, looking as tired and morose as ever. Daniella was hugging her legs against her chest, sitting in a bench in the middle of the cell.

Callus sighed to himself, allowing his head to rest against the cold, steel, wall. Two of the blue-clad storm troopers walked by, on their patrol.

He looked over to Daniella, biting her lower lip and staring into space. She was stunningly beautiful for such a young girl. She looked up and caught his eye, smiling at him warmly. He smiled back.
For a moment, Callus was satisfied to just sit, regardless of his situation. It had been explained to him that he was under arrest for being in a quarantined zone, though that was obviously not the reason, as he had no actual control over it. He imagined that the Governor was probably not to keen on it getting out that the under hive of his city was crawling with plague zombies.

Daniella got up and walked over to him, sitting down next to him.

“You saved my life, I didn’t thank you then, so I’m doing it now.”

Callus gave his trademark smirk.

“Just another day in the life.”

She chuckled.

“Do you have any family, Daniella?”

“No…no. I never knew my parents, and my older brother was a hive ganger, he was killed a few years ago. I ended up working as a pleasure girl for Marv. That was the fatass back there. But I couldn’t take it anymore, so I ran. Right into quarantine zone 44, by mistake. He chased me, and you came upon us in the nick of time. As for what I do now…I don’t know.”

Callus was silent for a time, then spoke.

“Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out. And until we do, you can stay with me.”

It was Daniella’s turn to smirk;

“Thanks for the offer, but it isn’t as if there is a lot of choice in the matter.” She said, gesturing to the bars.

Callus smirked back.

“Oh, I get the feeling that is about to change.


“Colonel, appraise me of the situation, will you be so kind?”

“Yes, Governor. To put it bluntly, it has gotten infinitely worse. A large Ork fleet jumped out of the empyrean on the edge of the system approximately seven hours ago and destroyed the imperial cruiser Guardian. About one and a half hours ago they destroyed the Crusader and the Patriot just outside orbit. They are currently in orbit around Hargon and there appears to be no way to dislodge them. To be honest I am not yet sure why orbital strikes have, thus far, not begun.”

“…I see. Have our good visitors been forthwith with any solutions?”

“No sir.”

“They are becoming more trouble than they are worth, I must say. Do they know about quarantined zone 44?”

“We have no evidence to suggest that they do, sir.”

“Well, finally something goes right. Dismissed colonel.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Oh, and colonel?”


“Try to raise the Ork leader on the vox if at all possible. Tell him that the planetary governor wishes to…negotiate.”

“Yes sir.”

A moment of silence passed as the Colonel stood and left the darkened room. The governor sighed, and finished his brandy.

“You can get out as well.”

His secretary got off her knees and scurried out in silence, wiping her mouth as she did. Gonsalves chuckled to himself. Everything would be fine. Just fine.


Footsteps, in the hallway. The Commissar was coming down, flanked by two blue-armored storm troopers. Callus turned to Daniella and winked. She simply looked back, her head cocked in a confused look. The door opened and the three men walked in. The commissar was still gripping his bolter, and the storm troopers both had hell guns. Imperceptibly, Callus nodded to his men gravely. Jackson, Brenner, and Ox, nodded back.

“Alright you filth. By order of the governor I’m to bring you in for questioning. Come with me. Men, cuff them.” It was the commissar speaking.

One of the storm troopers started towards Jackson, a pair of restrains in hand. Jackson looked as if he planned to go peacefully, then, as if from nowhere, produced a knife, grabbed the trooper by the arm, twisted it around, and had him facing towards the commissar with the knife to his throat, who immediately raised his bolter. The other storm trooper began to raise his hell gun, but suddenly Brenner was on his feet, auto-pistol to his head. Ox too, produced a gun and trained it on the commissar.

“Looks like your men weren’t exactly thorough in searching us, old chap. Sorry about that.” Brenner said, his voice ice cold.

“Firstly, you all hand over your weapons.” Callus said. “Give me the bolter.”

Slowly, the commissar placed the bolter on the ground and kicked it over to Callus, who picked it up.

“You too.” He said to the troopers in the cell, who obliged, handing their hell guns over to Jackson and Brenner.

“Right. Now you all stand here with your arms on your head while we leave this cell and lock you in. Commissar, I assume you have a keycard with fairly high security clearance. Give it to me, now.”

“I have nothing of the sort, scum, and-”

“Give it to me or I’ll blow your brains out the other side of your head.”

The Commissar produced a small plastic card and handed it over. Callus examined it. It had a photo of him, with a microchip from scanning and an ID number. It seemed to check out.

“Okay boys, now you stay right where you are.”

The squad filed out of the cell and slid the door shut. It locked in place with a loud click.

That’s when the shooting started.


“Lord-General, we have some bad news.”


Lord-General Montego had been in the command pulpit for nearly nine hours. He had long ago removed his officer’s cap, and his graying hair was tousled and unkempt. He was patrolling the pulpit, overseeing the defense. He had managed to keep the Ork assault neutralized outside the city, just barely. They were in constant assault on the city wall. One gigantic green mass, roaring and snapping and thirsting for the blood of man. He had taken heavy casualties in the trenches, and wished he had never committed troops to them in the first place.

“An Ork armada has come out of the warp and established orbital superiority over Hargon. The battle group that delivered us has been completely destroyed.”

Montego turned, slowly, his face a death mask of pale white.

“What did you say?”

Suddenly, massive green balls of energy began raining down into the city, destroying massive sections of the hive. The orbital strikes had started.

“Go! Go! We have to get to a safe location!” Montego was yelling to the officers in the pulpit, as it rained death over New Gurgenstein.


In the temporary holding cells at Precinct 27, in the under hive of New Gurgenstein, the storm troopers would have completely lacerated Corporal Michael Callus, turning him into little more than strips of bloody flesh, if the strikes had not hit.

Callus hit the ground hard as the ground began to shake, the sounds of Jackson’s and Brenner’s hell guns firing accompanied by Ox’s auto-pistol. Rolling over onto his back, Callus took aim at what looked to be a full platoon of storm troopers and opened fire. The bolter rifle cut through them with ease, blasting massive holes in their carapace armor and the wall behind them.

“Come on, gents, I say it’s time we go!”

Callus scrabbled to his feet and ran down a hallway, his men following.

A constable was at a desk near the door, and when he saw them he rose, bolt pistol in hand. Callus trained his rifle on the man’s head.

“Drop the gun, sit down. Everything will be fine. You won’t get hurt.”

The constable obliged. Daniella scooped up the bolt pistol while Ox kicked the door in on a nearby weapons locker, pulling out a combat shotgun and loading it up.

Ox stared grimly at Callus, racking the weapon and nodding.

Callus nodded back.

“Give us the keys to one of your armored vehicles.” Ox was speaking to the constable.

“I, I don’t have the security authorization to get into the garage.”

“Don’t worry, we do. Now lead on.” Ox said.

The man stood and took them over to a sliding door, while Callus produced the security card and opened it.

Immediately, fire.

“Holy Terra! Gun servitors!” Callus dropped to his knees and hid behind the door. Turning, he nodded to Jackson, who replied with a cut nod of his own, and turned and walked away.

Daniella looked at Callus inquisitively.

“He will be back momentarily.”

Five minutes passed. Then, hell gun blasts. Jackson’s voice.

“Gun servitors are disabled.”

Callus turned to the constable.

“You go take the rest of the day off now, my good man.”

The constable nodded and bolted out of the precinct.

The squad fanned into the room, seeing a locked desk with a label reading “Keys”, Callus made a hand signal to Brenner, behind him, who blasted it with his hell gun.

Approaching, Callus moved to opened the desk,

“HOT! HOT! HOT!” Callus cried out, waving his hand.

The skin on his hand was singed and burned

Stepping forward, Daniella grabbed a plastic marker that had been on the table, and used it to hook under the handle and drag the drawer open. She turned and smirked at Callus.

He smirked back. Resourceful, too. He was starting to like this girl.

Reaching in, Callus grabbed a set of keys marked “52-A” and turned to his men.

“Alright, boys, let’s move. The wars going on without us!”

“Driving down the highway, and I’ve got no lights
Dreaming about my future, but it’s fading away in the night
What do you want out of life, when you don’t play by the rules
I’ve got no expectations and I fully expect to lose.
‘Cause I was born to ramble, yea, I was made to roll
Livin’ my stinkin’ life to yesterday’s
Rock and Roll.”

Even as the earth rumbled with the blasts of orbital strikes, it was a rarely peaceful night in the under hive if New Gurgenstein. Penal legionnaires had arrived a short time ago to herd the citizenry into bomb shelters, and not even the gangers were wandering the streets. There was nothing around, save for the New Gurgenstein armored corps and penal legionnaire troopers on patrol. It was quiet, down here. The rumbling from the main hive far above was dim, distant, and only intermittent. The steps of black combat boots could be heard distinctly on the cement as soldiers went on patrol. There was no indicator of the chaos that beset the main hive far above.

That’s when, the iron door that covered the garage of precinct 27 came busting down with a screaming roar, and an armored troop carrier truck came squealing out, making a sharp right down, nearly slamming into the stores on the other side of the streets. Rubber burning, engine squealing, the truck peeled off down the road at ungodly speeds.

Instinctively, the surrounding penal troopers raised their lasguns and sprayed

Inside the truck, Michael Callus whirled the wheel in his hand, sending the truck careening around, trying to avoid hitting the men who were just doing their job.


“GET ROUGH?” yelled back Daniella, sitting in the passenger’s seat.

In the back, Brenner, Jackson and Ox were sitting, or at least were making a sporting attempt at sitting, as the truck careened and pitched itself along the road, swerving around corners and knocking over street lamps and signs. Chaos enveloped the truck, troops firing at it from all around, las bolts bouncing off of it’s thick steel armor.



The hatch atop the truck popped as Ox came out, wielding the heavy bolter that was attached to the underside of the roof. Turning to face the troops firing on the truck, he fired a few rounds in the air, not looking to kill anybody, but trying to scare them off. Deliberately aiming high, he starting pouring rounds into walls and windows, but not men.

The ploy worked, troopers diving to and fro to avoid the fire, as the truck screeched off and away.


Far above, in the main hive, all was chaos. Massive balls of bright green energy had long since decimated the wall, and a random mix of Kazarkanians, penal legionnaires, and civilian volunteers were running around in what so far appeared to be a vain attempt to hold off the Ork assault. The governor’s guard had still not deigned to show up, but the hive’s commissariat was out in full force, screaming orders to the men and pouring rounds into the enemy. The streets were filled with the running, mixing blood of orks and men. The only anchor upon which the imperial forces could lock themselves were the navy blue tanks of the New Gurgenstein armored corps. At their head, poking out of the top of a Leman Russ battle tank, was General James Miller, commander of the city’s armored forces, viewing the lines with his long range binoculars and speaking to the other commanders over the vox. General Friedman was in his command chimera and headed to take control of the penal legion at the front, while Lord-General Montego and Admiral Chadwick had gone to find a place to re-locate central command to. Montego was sending Colonel Hawk, commander of his first regiment and overall second in command of the division to the front in Friedman’s chimera.

The battle was complete bedlam, and presently the orks were having a grand old time, doing what they did best, and tearing through guard ranks in close combat. However the new arrival of the tanks and commissars to the line of battle was starting to change that, pushing back the greenskins and providing a range of firepower that was long enough for the infantry to draw up battle lines. Finally imperial forces were beginning to counter the Ork assault with a sustained field of fire. Unfortunately at present there seemed to be nothing that could be done about the constant rain of death that was coming from orbit. Missiles were firing up from the city, and while they would enter orbit and certainly do some heavy damage to the orbital ork presence, they could not do nearly enough to offset a group of vessels that large.

Miller grimaced and barked out orders for his gunner to unload a battle cannon shell into a mob of ork “boyz” charging up a hill. The blast massacred them in a satisfying cloud of ichors and gore.

Missiles and high caliber rounds began to pierce the ork lines in rapid succession. The civil air patrol had finally decided to pay them the courtesy of showing up, Miller noted with a mix of relief and displeasure at how long it had taken Jaina’s pilots to deploy themselves into the field. Now if maybe they could just get that bastard Colonel Flaviun to send his oh so precious storm troopers into the breach, they could really start pushing back this green menace.

A massive blast sent Miller’s tank careening into a wall and he was sent flying from his post. The last thing he felt before everything went black was his skull slamming into a brick wall.


“We may…have a slight problem…”

“You think?” Replied Daniella.

“It’s a distinct possibility.” Callus shot back.

Their armored vehicle was currently sitting still. The penal legionnaires had, for the moment at least, given up their pursuit. From the sounds coming from above, Callus assumed they would soon be recalled to repel the attackers. Spread out in front of their truck, for what seemed like at least a half of mile, standing perfectly still, perfectly silently, were a mass of very hungry, very unfriendly looking plague zombies.

“Hey Ox?”

“Yea Mikey?”

Callus began to rev the engine, sending the tires spinning in place and smoke rising.
“Right about now is good.”

The heavy bolter pintle-mounted above opened fire, tearing through the soft flesh of the zombies in great bloody gobs, and Callus slammed his foot on the accelerator sending the armored truck careening through them at full speed.

The creatures were screeching and screaming now, clawing at the sides of the truck, their teeth gnashing into steel they had no chance of breaking through, leaping at the hood only to be slammed by a truck going nearly a hundred miles an hour and getting thrown away. Or simply getting torn under the tires and shredded. Ox was holding the heavy bolter down on full auto, clearing a bloody swathe through the screeching, hungry beasts as Callus attempted to get the car through their ranks and towards the ramp that would lead them into the main hive, and back towards imperial lines.


The ground shook as the door on the back of the chimera dropped open and Colonel Arthur Hawk strode out, drawing his chainsword and bolt pistol as he did. An ork running past him never got very far, Hawk’s sword ripping down into his back and coming out his lower abdomen. Spurting blood, the greenskin fell to the ground with a death scream as Hawk strode over him, stepping on the back of his neck and being rewarded with a satisfying crunch of bone snapping. He could see that imperial forces were showing considerable improvement from the total route he had seen over the cameras before leaving for the line. Raising his sword and pumping a few rounds into a nearby greenskin, Hawk called out;

“Kazarkanians! Penal legionnaires! Civic volunteers! Guardsmen, to me!”

A cheer went up among the Kazarkanians as they saw one of their greatest leaders, the beloved Colonel Hawk, was among them, slaying the orks alongside them.


Ox fired off a shotgun blast before sealing the hatch and leaping down inside the car. The truck was covered in the living dead now, zombies leaping alongside it, the vast majority of them being killed but a few managing to grab onto the sides as the car careened two and fro. Callus was deliberately smashing it onto walls in order to knock off plague zombies. Ox had continued to fire for a long time, but once the creatures began to crawl on the roof, he was forced back down into the truck. The car was covered in streams of dull red blood and bits of gray, rotten flesh, and the stink of burnt rubber and heavy bolter discharges filled the air. Callus pulled the wheel hard, just barely making a left and knocking over a bench, smashing into a store front window, and sending undead bodies flying.


Colonel Hawk grimaced, the bolt pistol kicking hard in his hand, rounds flying towards the xenos enemy. His arm was tired, struggling to drag his chainsword through the tight, massive musculature of ork bodies. The green tide seemed constant, the beasts roaring, their piggish, green eyes glaring with an bestial intensity. The orks were nothing like the silly and stupid fools often presented by imperial propaganda. No, they were hulking, horrifying beasts that stank of death and blood. Their teeth with razor sharp and threatening, their arms as bid as a man’s torso, and completely heir eyes…oh Emperor their eyes. They were like something out of a horror vid, full of lust for killing and a complete lack of compassion for life. They were everything that mankind was not. Man was civilized, they were barbaric. Man was intelligent, they were dumb animals. Man sought peace, they sought constant war and death. Man had religion, and the Emperor, the Orks worshipped crude totems of their imagined God.

Hawk took a small bit of pleasure the next time a bolter round from his gun blew an ork skull into tiny, fleshy, chunks.

“I recall when I was small I thought I’d be a legend soon
But that was then and this is now, and a harder road could not be found
Don’t get me wrong good times were had
Sometimes the good outweighed the bad
But all in all, now said and done
I can recall more bad than fun.”

The truck roared around a corner and started up the ramp that led from the under hive to the main spine. There appeared to be nothing that could stop them now in their quest to return to imperial lines and re-engage in the battle against the Orks.

That was when a gigantic ball of green energy swept down like the wrath of an angry god and blew a massive chunk out of the ramp.

Callus screeched to a halt, barely stopping in time.

“Great! What now?” Asked Jackson.

“Let me think.” responded to the Corporal.

“There has to be another ramp. We’ll find one.

“Well I hate to tell you, but that area is crawling with plague zombies and troopers who think we’re hostile!”

“And it would appear that they have found us.” It was Daniella now. She gestured to her rear view mirror.

Callus checked his own. There were a good fifty plague zombies gathered at the bottom of the ramp behind them.


“Okay boys, get ready for a little trip.”

“Whenever you say something like that Mikey, bad things happen.”

“Don’t worry Jackson, have I ever lead you wrong before?”

“Yes. Many, many times.”

“Right, well, I’m not doing it this time.

Callus shifted the truck into neutral and slammed on the pedal. It stood in place, wheels screaming, engine revving, smoke gathering around it.

“You might want to say a prayer boys, because it’s about to get rough.”

Callus shifted the truck into reverse and it sped backwards down the ramp at alarming speeds. When it slammed into the zombies it made a sickening crunch, blackened blood flying into the air and onto the truck. The few survivors were scratching at the steel, biting and clawing what they could not possibly hope to break through. Callus shifted back into neutral and once again slammed the acceleration.

“Okay! HERE WE GO!” Callus shifted to drive.

The truck went screaming up the ramp at alarming speeds, rushing towards the massive hole in the structure.

“CALLUS! YOUR GOING TO GET US KILLED!” Brenner was crying out in alarm.


The truck passed over the abyss. They hung in the air for what seemed like hours. Then they hit.


Lord-General Montego strode into the underground bunker that had been set up as a temporary command center. It was covered in vid screens showing the battle going on above. A man in the blue uniform of a New Gurgenstein Armored Corpsman approached and saluted.

“Lord-General, we regret to inform you that General Friedman has been slain in battle against the Orks. The armored corps has been placed under the command of Colonel Marcus Flaviun by edict of the governor.”

“Thank you, adjutant.” Montego replied, with a quick salute and striding onwards.

This was hardly ideal. He did not like the idea that a commander so detached from the battle as to actually refuse to commit his troops to it was in commander of the only armored support that the Guard had on the world.

Turning to his adjutant, Lieutenant Farthing, Montego spoke;

“Get me the governor on the vox.”

“Yes sir.”


Colonel Arthur Hawk barely dodged the massive knife, actually feeling the hair of his thick gray-black being sliced. Raising his bolt pistol he pumped four rounds into the big Ork’s chest cavity, sending it flying backwards, explosions ripping through it’s rip cage, heart, and lungs. His chainsword came down on another, tearing through it’s bone, sending blood spraying into the air and evoking a dull scream from the creature. Another appeared in front of him and took a shot quickly to the face. Slowly, surely, the ork lines were being pushed back by a determined Imperial resistance. It was right about then that the flying truck showed up.

The truck hung in the air for what seemed like hours. Then it slammed into the ramp on the other side of the abyss and squealed forwards, soaring over the ramp and through the air. They had made it into the main hive. The only problems were that there was a battle going on all around them, and that they were flying through the air.

The truck flew for a full thirty seconds before slamming down on it’s side right on the edge of Ork lines, smashing through greenskins in a bloody mess and sending sparks flying through the air. It would slide along the ground for a full 28.7 seconds, as vid-recordings of the scene would later show, before smashing into a shop-front window in a storm of glass shards.

Callus leaped from the window of the car and landed on his back, rolling quickly and rising to his feet, he let off a quick burst from his bolter, ripping through a handful of Orks. As if out of nowhere, a huge Ork appeared and smashed Callus in the chest, sending him down hard. He stared up at it as it roared, preparing its massive axe for his face.

A laser caught it through the head and it hit the ground hard, clearly dead. Rising to his feet Callus looked back to see Daniella crawling out, hell gun in hand. She winked at him before climbing out and running over to him. Soon, Ox arrived with his shotgun, and Jackson and Brenner as well. Daniella handed Jackson his hell gun back to him, and they quickly and wordlessly made a break for imperial lines.

Callus ran so fast that he could feel the veins in his feet pumping, holding down the trigger on his bolter and causing Ork bodies all around him to explode in mists of dull red and pink organs. He dodged and ducked, never letting his hand go over the trigger. The Orks surrounded him like a green mass of singular death, axes, knives, and other makeshift weapons coming down all around him, seeking to cleave through him even as clumsily aimed rounds chased him across the field. Dodging to and fro like some kind of hamster in an ungodly race, Callus could here the rest of his squad directly behind him, doing much the same, shooting orks whenever they got the chance. Ox’s shotgun particularly, was a constant background noise. The staccato of heavy bolters loomed ahead, and Callus knew they must be approaching the imperial lines.

“Not much longer now Mikey, hold on just a bit longer…”

Colonel Arthur Hawk was directing heavy weapons fire to tear through the Ork lines when suddenly five guardsmen in the uniforms of the Kazarkanian assault loomed ahead of him, as well as one girl in civilian clothes, wearing a Kazarkanian helmet and hefting a large auto-pistol.



Callus shot an Ork through the back of the neck, blowing it’s head directly off it’s shoulders. Shutting his eyes tightly and swallowing, he thought to himself;

“Okay. This is it.”

Callus opened his eyes. Guard sandbags loomed in front of him. Bolters were firing. It appeared as if he was part of the greenskin charge. He got to what he estimated was close enough. And then he made the leap of faith.

Callus landed hard on the other side of the sandbag, directly on his arse. He hardly had time to yell out before Brenner landed more or less on top of him, Jackson, Daniella, and Ox all following.

Callus rubbed he head, his hand running through his black hair, when a voice barked at him.


Slowly Callus gazed up. The man standing over him had a hard face, with gray-black hair that covered his head in a thick mane and full beard. His nose had clearly been broken multiple times, and his eyes were a steely metallic blue. He was well-muscled, and head a bolter pistol in one hand, and a flesh-covered chainsword in the other. Callus recognized him immediately.

“Oh…uh, hey Colonel Hawk.”

“Corporal Callus. Should have known. What exactly are you doing?”

“Uh…returning to imperial lines sir.”

“Excuse me?

“Our train went down after we left the trenches. We ended up in the under-hive. Doing our duty to return to the war.”

“I see. And who exactly, is this?” Hawk asked, nodding toward Daniella.

“This would be uh..”

“Private Daniella Auburn, sir.” Daniella spoke.

“Private? We hold a rank now, do we?” Hawk was clearly somewhat amused.

“Uh…yes sir. I’ve been…brevet promoted.”

The colonel smirked, and looked at them, the big pile still laying or sitting at the ground.

“Carry on, soldiers. We have a war to win.”

Hawk turned and walked off.

Callus laughed.

“Nice line. Not that he believed it for a second.”

Gingerly, he got to his feet and picked up his bolter. He turned just in time to see the green menace burst through imperial lines and come straight for him.


Big Dakka Boyzsmasha was the best nob thar eva waz, so he told da boyz. And wasn’t it troo? Had ‘e not earned heself a shiny suit of mega armor from da bozz, with a supa-shoota and a big powa klaw? Had da bozz not sent Dakka to be in da soopa-elite pre-liminary strike farce? Theze ‘oomie boyz were like nuttin! They weren’t even da crunchy onez, what das dey called again? Da marinez! Dakka saw da ‘eavy dakkaz behind da sand bagz and roared. Diz was gonna be fun!

Dakka ran and leaped, flying over the sand bags and landing hard on his feetz. He saw sum ickle ‘oomie there and knew that he had found ‘imself his first kill!

The ickle ‘oomie raised his bolter and pumped a round into Big Dakka’s face. It had gotten a third of the way through his brain when it detonated, turning his head into a fine pink mist.


“Ewwww….” Daniella said slowly, in disgust. Callus was covered in Ork blood.

“Uhh, yeah. Not cool.”

“Gentlemen? I feel it is time we stage a tactical pullback.” Brenner said.

Callus looked up. The Orks were in the process of completely overrunning Imperial lines.

“Good idea. Run.”

And so, they did. Along with the rest of the Guard, they were quickly in full scale retreat at the Ork numbers swelled seemingly endlessly. It was not quite a rout, the Guard pulled back in a manner that was both orderly and efficient, while fighting, but never the less, it was a retreat.

“Soldiers write the songs that soldiers sing
The songs that you and I won’t sing
Let’s not look the other way
Taking a chance
Because if the bugler starts to play
We too must dance.”

Callus grimaced as his feet dropped into the cold, clammy, smelly water. He raised his lasgun, the flashlight on the end providing some illuminating in the sewer.

“All clear.”

Brenner and Jackson hopped down, hell guns drawn. Ox came down after them with his heavy flamer, and Daniella was last, lasgun in hand. A flashlight was also attached to hers, providing some weak illumination in the blackness of the sewer. It had been about four days since they had returned to imperial lines, and it had been four days of near constant battle. The orks never seemed to relent in their assault. The Guard would cut them down in mass numbers, but always, slowly, ever so slowly, the imperial lines would be pushed farther back into the city. Whoever was in sitting on the command ship in orbit had marshaled a seemingly endless number of greenskins to his banner.

Finally, the Orks had been stopped a chokepoint known as Liberation Square. It was a huge monument dedicated to the celebration of the day that the Emperor had arrived on Hargon, bringing with him the light of mankind’s royal ascendance. The Guard had turned it into an impregnable fortress, lines with artillery, tanks, trenches, and heavy weapons. The Orks were throwing themselves on it in wave after wave, to no avail.

Intel suspected that they might try to get past the square by crossing through the sewage system under it. That’s why Callus and his team was here. Combat patrol.

Silently, professionally, with the careful grace of a trained soldier, Callus took point, his flashlight sending a thick beam of illumination over the seemingly endless darkness of the sewer. Daniella took up a position behind him and covering. She was quickly taking to the art of war. Brenner and Jackson wordlessly assembled themselves on read guard, and Ox marched up the center, his heavy flamer prepared to provide support in the case of attack.

Callus raised his index and pinky finger in the air and indicated that the squad was to move forward at regular patrol speed, and be prepared to take fire without notice. The team did exactly that, their heavy, leather boots, causing hardly a sound against the cement and water of the sewer system. They were the consummate imperial troopers. Quiet, efficient, deadly. And most of all, expendable.

The squad’s patrol was interrupted by a long, low pitched. The grating sound of steel dragging against rock. There was a low, whining buzz as weapons were turned to full power and switched to automatic fire.

Callus turned around to his squad, made a series of quick hand signals, and nodded curtly.

Ox moved up to the front of the team. Moving up to a sharp turn in the tunnel, he sent a short burst of flame against the far wall. The squad waited for a reaction. Nothing. Not a sound. Callus nodded again. Another short burst. Again, nothing.

For a moment, Callus and Daniella stared at each other, almost as if they were communicating telepathically. Callus couldn’t suppress a grin. She looked ridiculous, in baggy jeans, a dirty black t-shirt that was too big for her, and Callus’ helmet, oversized on her head, always drooping down over her eyes. The lasgun in her hands was far too big for a girl her age. And she was smiling. She was beautiful.

Callus ran his hand through his short cropped black hair.

“Don’t do this, Mikey. This is how you get killed.”

Callus shook his head quickly and returned to the real world. Looking to Ox quickly, he nodded. The team dove around the corner, weapons at the ready, fire positions taken up immediately.

Callus nearly choked.

The myriad stenches of the sewer had covered the stench. But there was no mistaking the sight. A squadron of penal legionnaires. One of the other combat patrols. What was left of them had been hung from the low ceiling by barbed wire. Long blade tears had reduce their flesh to crimson and pink ribbons. Their head had unceremoniously been torn off of their bodies. Their leader, or what had been their leader, anyways, had his chainsword still drawn. His body was swinging silently, the chainsword dragging along the concrete wall every few seconds.

Michael grimaced, then looked to Ox.

“Burn it.”

The Emperor’s holy flames were never holier.


“Intel have anything on the enemy? We know who their leader is?”

“Yes sir. We believe this to be the xenos in command.”

The intelligence officer, clad in a starched black dress uniform pressed a button on the holo-table and an image emerged of a massive Ork, at least eight feet tall. Of a light green skin color, he was covered in what appeared to be random scraps of astartes-issue power armor, and had a huge chainsword in each hand. His neck was strangely elongated, and his head was quite low on his shoulders. His eyes were beady and crimson red, and he had the largest, sharpest teeth that Montego had ever seen.

Lord-General Julian Montego took a puff of his cigarillo and removed it from his mouth.

“We got a name?”

“We believe he is called Drazgar. We have no secondary name.”

Montego spat.

“Xenos filth. Is this a full scale waaagh we have on our hands, or what?”

“That would seem to be the case, Lord-General.”

“I see.”

Montego put his hand on the shoulder of a passing adjutant.

“Raise Holy Terra on the vox. I need to relay an urgent message to Guard central command.”

The adjutant saluted and walked off in another direction.

Montego returned his attention to the intelligence officer.

“What else?”

The image changed to a map of the southwestern branch of the galaxy, where Hargon was located.

“Well sir, we believe that Drazgar began to consolidate his power here, in the Gulf of Kappa systems. The Orks took this area during the gothic sector conflict, when the Imperium was far too distracted to notice or care. It is not strategically important, and the Imperium never returned to re-conquer that area. The Orks have carved out for themselves a tiny little empire in the region. Drazgar appears to be the first warlord that was capable of uniting all the greenskins of the area, and it would appear that he now intends to lead a waaagh straight into the heart of the Imperium.”


“Sir! We have Terra!”

“Thank you adjutant.”

Montego nodded to the intelligence officer and turned to leave. Raising a psychic signal directly to Guard central HQ was a rare opportunity, and he would not waste it by dallying.


Ox was turning his flames on the last of the rotting corpses when the gunfire started. The Orks burst out from the water in the tunnel behind them, raising their large guns and opening up in a huge barrage of gunfire. Callus hit the ground hard, rolling over and raising his lasgun. The flashlight that was harnessed under the barrel illuminated at least ten Orks. Callus squeezed off a burst, sending three las-rounds into the face of the first one. It hit the ground hard, it’s skull exploding in an expanding halo of blood-covered bone. Callus saw the large, mean-looking knives clutched in their green fists and knew immediately who they were: What the Orks referred to as “Kommandoes”.

What was left of Brenner went splattering against a wall, skin torn open, blood pouring out. Callus cursed, slamming his finger down on the trigger and sending crimson bolts of superheated light towards the enemy. Ox roared a battle cry, clouds of flame opening up and covering the tunnels in cleansing light. Callus whirled as he heard something drop behind him. He barely caught sight of the huge creature before a blast blew his flashlight into a cloud of razor dust. Soon, Daniella’s light had gone as well.

The sewers were enveloped in pitch darkness, interrupted only by the crimson light of las-discharge, the illumination that came from a burst of Ox’s flamer.

Callus hit the ground hard, something roughly shoving him over. His face splattered directly into the stream of sewage waste. Gagging as he rolled onto his back Callus felt much more than he saw a huge Ork lunging at him. Raising his lasgun and using it as a sort of splint, Callus met the massive weight of the beast and managed to hold it over him. Gagging as he spit filth out of his mouth, Callus was forced to crane his neck back as far as possible, to avoid the snapping teeth of the xenos monster. He grimaced as it’s thick, disgusting saliva splattered onto his face.

“OX!” Callus cried out. “I have a situation here!”

Callus shut his eyes and pushed his head further back into the sewage as a cloud of super-heated promethium spread out over him, lifting the Ork off of him and sending it running around screaming like a living torch. Rising to his feet, Callus pumped two las-rounds into it’s head and put it out of it’s misery.


Governor Alphonse Gonsalves smiled as he sniffed his fine scotch. The xenos known as Drazgar had been most reasonable. Ensure that the Imperial defenses faltered at the right moment, and Drazgar would in turn do nothing to stop Gonsalves’ personal ship from escaping the world at the correct time. Flaviun’s troops were carrying out the mission even now. The Governor’s guard would place explosive charges at key points across the city. When the time came, they would be set off by remote, and Colonel Flaviun would “report” to the governor that an insurrection was underway, courtesy of Lord-General Montego. The Governor would order his personal guard to mobilize and attack the off-worlder, while he escaped with the colonel and his most trusted troops aboard his personal yacht. Gonsalves expected that the Orks would be overrunning the main spine even as he was making the jump to warp space.


“Move! Move!” Callus cried, the squad falling back rapidly.

The tunnels were filling rapidly with the Orks. Thankfully Ox’s flamer was keeping them from advancing into melee range, supported by Jackson’s hell gun and Daniella and Callus’ lasguns. The squad was falling back through the pitch dark tunnels towards the small hole of light that indicated where the manhole could be found, thankfully still open. The sounds of Ork roars and weapons fire filled the tunnels, bouncing off the tight walls.

The light reflecting on the water beneath them created a strange mirror effect, causing crimson and yellow light to fill the tunnels in a kaleidoscope of war.



“Steve walks warily down the street
With the brim pulled way down low
Ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet
Machine guns ready to go”

Colonel Arthur Hawk took another drag off the crooked, wounded clove that hung from his cracked lips. His Chainsword was draped warily across his right shoulder, his bolt pistol hanging loosely from it’s holster. The Guard was making it’s stand at Liberation square. The 207th Kazarkanian first battalion, the 5th and 3rd battalions of the New Gurgenstein Penal Legion, and the New Gurgenstein Armored Corps 7th company. Taking into account the mass of priests and confessors that had been provided by the local ecclesiarch, just over six thousand, all told.

The square was a massive structure. A huge, marble floor pattern, it was surrounded by ornate gothic cathedrals, all devoted to the hymns of the Imperial Cult. It was essentially empty, except for the center, where, on a massive, black marble base carved with the word IMPERATOR, was a huge statue of the Emperor, sword drawn, resplendent in his golden terminator armor, shoulder-length hair wreathed in a crown of laurels. Behind him, at his right hand, was a smaller statue, of a man in a white toga, large scepter in one hand, his head decked in a golden helm. The man was Arcturias Hargonus, the only king to ever unite the entire peoples of Hargon under a single banner, and, once the Emperor arrived, the first Imperial Governor of Hargon. At his left stood a man in a proud dress uniform, hair slicked back, nose long and hooked. Carrying a copy of the Liber Imperialis in his right hand and a long officer’s sabre in his right, the statue represented Baron Tacitus Dalmaticus the founder of New Gurgenstein and eventually also an Imperial Governor. Since the reign of Dalmaticus just over four hundred years previously, the seat of the governorship had never once seen any but a citizen of New Gurgenstein, the planet’s greatest hive, sit on it’s throne. The three great statues watched over the square like gigantic parents, visual representations of the glory of the Imperium.

Normally the square was a place of bustling trade and business. No longer. It had been cleared entirely, replaced by sandbags, heavy weapons teams, heavy weapons platoons and tank positions, cleared paths for melee counter-attacks, and large vox-towers for officers to cry out their orders to their men. Liberation Square was a choke point. One could not get from the main hive to the upper hive without passing through Liberation Square.

Not unless they went through the sewers.

Colonel Arthur Hawk finished his cigarette and dropped it to the ground, squashing it out with his boot. He ran one hand through his long hair. The sewers. He knew the Orks would figure it out eventually. He was surprised they had not come through yet. They had attacked three times thus far today, having been repelled with ease each time by the carefully set up chokepoint defense. The last attack had come nearly nine hours ago. Hawk had slept once, only for about an hour and a half. He had had nearly constant correspondence with the Lord-General, who was overseeing the broader defense of the city from a bunker in the uppermost section of the hive. A man approached Hawk, clad from head to toe in a bright blue uniform and a black beret. One of the civilian volunteers in the Penal Legion, who made up it’s officer corps, from squadron level sergeants to the General himself. His uniform lacked the six digit number stamped on the back of his prisoner brethren in their bright orange jumpsuits.

The officer approached and saluted. Hawk returned it.

“Colonel, we have lost nearly contact with all combat patrols that we sent into the sewers. We are presuming that the Orks have seized the territory.

“Right then. Prepare to repel an attack from underneath us. Alone it will not be able to do anything of significance, but it could provide the crucial distraction necessary to allow an Ork wave to take the square the old fashioned way.”

“Yes sir. Ave Imperator.”

“Ave Imperator.”

Hawk had barely finished his sentence when a huge shell smashed into the statue of the Emperor, blowing his head into so much dust and rubble. Hawk turned, alarmed. The Orks were attacked. Reacting instantly, he thumbed the activation rune on his chainsword and began to bellow orders into the vox-mic hanging from his collar, his words emerging from the towers set up all over the square;


And then the green tide was upon them. The confessors and priests were lighting up with prayer hymnals as the men they preached too were lighting up with their guns. There were few things more horrifying than an assault from the Orks. They were massive beasts, their skin a sickly green, their teeth yellow and fearsome, their eyes small, red, and piggy. They were a sick assortment of stolen and looted technology, and simple, murderous brawn. They seemed to take some kind of joy out of war, which made the xenos all the more horrifying. The green tide was like some kind of cruel, malicious child, given the strength of ten thousand warriors.

The ranks of the Guard held strong. Professional soldiers the Penal legionnaires were not, but they were inspired by the example of their much more hardened off-world brethren, and by the fear of death. They stood and fired in disciplined, well executed patterns, setting up deadly lanes of fire that sent Ork bodies crashing to the marble ground in bloody ribbons of their stinking flesh.

Hawk was pouring bolt rounds toward the enemy, swinging his sword about for dramatic effect. He placed one boot on the sandbags in front of him, making him the very image of a conquering hero. It was something he did not particularly like doing, not being a man given to theatre, but he knew that the men benefited from it, and so he did it.

Nobody did notice a small squadron of blue clad gubernatorial storm troopers creeping behind enemy lines, setting a series of melta charges, and stealing off in silence. As battle raged in Liberation square, the Gonsalves Heresy unfolded. If the Lord-Deacon had known, he would have declared the governor extremis traitorus. No such luck. He and his entire guard had been personally assassinated by Colonel Marcus Flaviun not two hours previously. Soon the melta charges would be detonated, rending through imperial lines in a massive blast. Even if the sewers held out, there would be no hope to defending the square. Colonel Flaviun would declare that his intelligence had found that this was the beginning of a rebellion, sponsored and led by Lord-General Montego, and the Governor would accept it readily, mobilizing his storm troopers to engage the “Traitor Guard” in battle. All this would provide a good cover for the escape of the Governor and his most trusted Colonel on his personal yacht. The Ork lord, in return, would receive Hargon right onto his lap. The Governor would be long gone, sitting in some much more comfortable palace with far fewer activities on a faraway world before any reinforcements had a chance to arrive, and any nosy Commissars had a chance to look into the matter.


“I WANT A COUNTER-CHARGE ON SECTION A-27 NOW!” Hawk’s lungs were hoarse from his screaming. Overall, the defense seems to be going rather well, but he found himself continuously worried about the Orks busting in through the sewers. He had them defended quite well, but auto-cannon teams and a squadron of Leman Russ tanks. But there was something picking at the back of his mind. Something was not right.

The penal legionnaires fixed bayonets and threw themselves into the counter-charge against the Orks, performing surprisingly well, the managed to push them back until a special weapons team equipped with flamers and grenade launchers was able to take over and suppress the ork breakthrough totally. And then the melta charges went off.

Hawk didn’t have to worry about the orks breaking through the chokepoints above the sewers anymore. There was no more chokepoint. A massive portion of the marble flooring of the colossal square had been blown apart, tearing massive holes in imperial lines. If there had been any orks in the sewers below, they had been annihilated. Not that it mattered now. Men had been flung like rag dolls, imperial lines had been blasted through like massive holes. There was nothing left. The Orks would take the square in moments. Somewhere, Corporal Michael Callus heard the blasts, dimly over the continued blasts of his lasgun and wondered what had happened.

Hawk turned his attention from the blast just in time to see a huge Ork charging at what was left of his line. He fired his bolt pistol, pumping two rounds into it’s face and felling it. His chainsword decapitated the second in a single clear swipe. The third one buried it’s massive axe into his skull, lacerating his brain and nearly cleaving it in two. Blood shot forth from his skull as the blade was pulled from his cranium, and his body hit the ground face first.

The pict-recordings that survived that day were a horror to see. Three battalions of infantry and an entire armored company, caught between a chain reaction of melta charges and a seemingly relentless green tide, were massacred. By the time it was over, the squad literally ran red. Six thousand fighting men of the Imperial Guard lost their lives, right down to a man. There was not one survivor. Later, Lord-General Julian Montego would be quoted to have said to his command staff, upon hearing the noise, the following quote;

“Gentlemen, steel yourselves. We no longer dwell in the Kingdom of the Emperor. We have passed into the Kingdom of the Damned. And there will be no mercy. We have passed into the Kingdom of the Damned.”

The decapitated statue of the God-Emperor of mankind was torn to the ground, and shattered into rubble, as the green mass continued through the great gate at the end of Liberation Square and into the upper spire. The end game had begun. On the eve of a Waaagh untold in it’s fury, some time late in the 41st millennium, the beleaguered defenders of Hive New Gurgenstein, on the relatively out of the way world of Hargon, passed into the Kingdom of the Damned. There would be no mercy.

User avatar

RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Commissar-General at 03 Jul 2006, 03:01



“The Greats come alive, the water’s on fire
Have I been to this place before?
Yeah, we danced through the night as the flames burned bright
And the Patron’s passed out on the floor”

Callus sighed. The warm water of the shower ran through his hair and into the dirty drain below. Leave. Finally. He’d been shifted off the front for two days. Yesterday had been the first. In the meantime, from what he had heard, all hell had broken loose. The Orks had taken Liberation Square and somebody had assassinated the Lord-Deacon. Apparently the Governor suspected that an inside job was going down. Michael didn’t care. He just wanted to get out of this God-Emperor forsaken hive alive and well. He’d already lost three friends to this death-pit, he did not intend to lose any more. The shower protested with a squeak as he turned it off and stepped out, ruffling his hair with a white towel. Quickly drying himself he pulled on his olive drab BDUs and black boots. The rest of the showers in the bathroom were empty as he walked down them, his boots clacking against the tiles. It had to be about noon. Last night had been quite an adventure.

He turned a corner into the bunks. Daniella was smiling at him from his bed. She was covered in his blanket and nothing else. He grinned like a fool. Quite an adventure.

“Glad to see you’re up.” he said to her, walking towards the bed.

Approaching the footlocker on the end of the bunk he opened up and pulled out another set of BDUs and some boots, passing them to her.

“These will be too big for you, but better than what you had on. Sewage musk isn’t the most attractive smell.”

She giggled.

“Ork blood isn’t the best cologne in the galaxy either, Corporal.”

“Really? Damn. And it costs so much, too.”

This time they both laughed, as she rose and walked towards the shower.

Callus sat down on the foot of the bunk and pulled out a black cigarette and lighter. Even for a day off, he was surprised there hadn’t been any commissars by to bash his head in. He could hear the cloves crackling inside the paper as he lit the cigarette and took a drag off of it. It tasted like vanilla. He breathed out, smoke crawling in tendrils around his head. The barracks were dimly lit, and there was no sign of Jackson or Ox. They must have gone out already. Probably already drinking. He took another drag. The smell of vanilla filled his throat. The shower started to run. How many days and nights had it been since he had shown up on this world? He didn’t even know. He was fairly sure that he had been fighting for at least days. Weeks? No. Days, yes. It was so difficult to tell in this hive, where the sun never managed to break through the constant cloud of smog. What was left of his biological clock was holding on for dear life at this point. Callus finished his cigarette and was pulling on his belt and holstering his las-pistol when Daniella emerged, buttoning the front of her BDUs. They were too big for her, but she looked cute in them. He smiled. In the drunken haze of the previous night, they had let the mutual attraction that had been running through them both go. Callus was surprised they hadn’t invoked the wrath of the officers with all the noise they must have made.

“Let’s get something to eat, shall we?” He asked.

“Sure. I’ve never been to the spire before, but things are quite pricey up here.”

Callus laughed.

“You’re with the Imperial Guard now. When I got here I received eight months worth of pay. I’ve barely gone through two weeks worth in the bars. I think we’ll manage.”


“Forty eight hours. That’s how long we’ll give them, Enough time to make it look like we had a real investigation into the matter.” Gonsalves took another sip of his Brandy. “And then wean get the hell off of this forsaken world.”

Flaviun nodded back, stoically as ever. “The Lord-General has made another request for aid from my storm troopers.”

“Denied, as always. Tell him that the governor feels unsafe without his personal guard around him. But get your men in line to mobilize against the Kazarkanians once I give the order. Prepare an assault on the command center. I want the good Lord-General to be as dead as possible as soon as possible. If this assault becomes difficult for Drazgar he might not look kindly on our deal.”

“Of course.”

“You have the penal legion and the armored corps at your command as well. I won’t risk being defeated by these off-worlder. I will call for the populace to rise up. Dismissed, Colonel.”

Flaviun saluted and left. Gonsalves ran his hand over the finely crafted needle pistol on his lap. He didn’t trust the colonel farther than he could throw him. When the time came, he would deal with him.


Daniella squealed with delight when the dish was served, a salad made of leaves imported from another sub-sector, and the finest dressings and toppings in the Imperium. Callus got a large juicy stake, also imported from somewhere off world, and they shared a bottle of wine on ice. It cost him nearly three months worth of his pay. The up-hive waiters were clearly quite disdainful to have such dregs as Imperial Guardsmen in their restaurant, but neither of them cared. The food was delicious and the wine was exquisite. Finally Callus broke the silence with the question he had been longing to ask.

“When this war is over and we’re shipping off this world. I uh, well I was wondering uhm…”

Daniella just gazed at him.

“Well I was wondering if you wanted to come.”

Silence followed. Callus had a sudden urge to stare into his steak. Instead he laughed nervously and smirked.


Callus finally let out the breath he had been holding in.

“Will they let me?”

“Yea. There are always stragglers. They don’t care. Camp followers and what not. There are so many people, you’ll never be noticed.”

She was beaming. Callus smiled himself. He was afraid that the answer would be quite different. The only reasoned he asked was because she had previously mentioned that she had no family in the hive, and he assumed, nothing holding her there besides an inability to leave.

“Well, we should probably find Jackson and Ox. You want to hit the clubs again?”

“Of course.”

The spire never slept. Not even in the midst of an Ork invasion did the clubs and bars close down. Later, when the greenskins were charging through the doors and wallowing in the slaughter of young nobles, the denizens of the spire would find that the decision was quite regrettable.


The command center was a tempest of command data and tactical information. Montego was in his element, standing at the core of a sea of raging sea of adjutants, servitors, psykers, and priests, as the eye of a storm, issuing a thousand orders at a time, dividing his attention, dividing his attention to ten people at a time and yet somehow processing all this information effortlessly. One did not attain the rank of Lord-General in the Imperial Guard for no reason. He had not a single augmentation to his normal body. He didn’t believe in them. Montego was of the philosophy that machines and augmentations harmed the purity of the Emperor’s form, in which all mankind was made. He was a highly religious man, and had no time for such toys, which he regarded as corrupt. He would use servitors and cooperate with the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but he secretly found them to be loathsome. He saw the squadron of blue-clad storm troopers enter the room as soon as they did so. He started to shift his attention away from them when he realized that they were raising their hell-guns. He caught the barely audible whirr of a las-weapon charging, and the stench of super-heated air wafted into his nostrils. His bolt pistol was out of his holster and in his hand before the first shot was fired. He and the first trooper fired at the same time. The scarlet beam grazed his left shoulder. The bolt round buried it’s way into the troopers head an detonated, turning his skull into so many blood stained chunks. The command center became mayhem. Las-rounds and bullets were tearing the air apart. Montego dived behind a terminal of computers and drew his power sword, his thumb passing over the activation rune and igniting it. Diving out he fired a three round burst, one hitting a far wall and the other two burying into the chest of a second trooper, blowing out his heard and lungs.

Somehow Montego was not surprised by this. What the motivation was, he did not know, but he had known not to trust the governor or his colonel ever since he had arrived on Hargon. In front of him, a servitor was torn to shreds by hell gun rounds. A bodyguard in the blue uniform of a volunteer in the New Gurgenstein penal legion raised his las-pistol at the troopers. Two hell rounds cut through his head, turning him into a smoking corpse. Montego rose from his running crouch and sliced his sword through the air, knocking the head of the newest trooper clean off it’s shoulders. He raised his pistol and shot another in the throat. Four down. Six more. Another was felled by a lucky legionnaire, a lasgun round cutting through his chest and sending him down. Montego whirled, slicing through an abdomen of one and chopping of the other one’s legs at the knees. He shot the next in the back of the head as he turned to fire at a legionnaire. Montego whirled to find a hell gun in his face. The last trooper was standing at point blank range, his barrel nearly touching Montego’s noise. There was nothing he could do now. And then a thin red bolt of light sliced into the trooper’s left temple and toppled him. Montego turned.

It was Farthing, standing, las-pistol drawn. Montego nodded curtly in thanks, and then shouted out to the half-destroyed command center.



“Colonel Flaviun on the vox for you, lord governor” The secretary’s voice came into his darkened office.

“I’ll take it.”

“We have encountered a problem. My assassination squad was eliminated. The target survived.”

Gonsalves sighed and finished his brandy in one swig.

“Very well. We will move things ahead of schedule. Mobilize your troops. Dismissed, Colonel.”

Alphonse Gonsalves cut off the vox on the colonel and contacted his personal pilot.

“Mr. Greenwich, prepare my yacht for departure. We are leaving this world imminently.

In the spire, in on of the many night clubs, strobe lights flashed and music played ear-deafingly loud, and Michael Callus danced with Daniella Auburn, and tried to forget the world for as long as he could, enjoying the night, knowing that in the morning, they would be rotated back to the front and the slaughter would start all over again. And he might never get to go off world with this young beauty because there was nothing like a guarantee that either of them would survive. And the Corporal was acutely aware of the fact that they were losing. That the imperial lines were being pushed back and that reinforcements had not yet come, and that it had been too long. He had inferred from the orbital strikes the orks had sent down that the ships that had delivered him to Hargon must have been long destroyed. He didn’t know if Daniella knew, or if Ox and Jackson did, dancing with their own women on the floor, but he had every intention of sheltering her as long as he could, and he knew that if it came to it he would be willing to die to protect her. And he didn’t even know why. He had only known her for a matter of days and yet he could already contemplate life with her. However short it might be at this point.

And as night fell over the Hive, blue clad storm troopers opened fire on their Kazarkanian allies, and the Governor’s voice appeared over the city’s vox network and told his citizens of Lord-General Montego’s insurrection, and bade them to rise up and defend their home against these off-world tyrants just as they would rise up to defend themselves against the foul xenos menace. The Orks marched on, and reinforcements had still not arrived, and the Gonsalves Heresy began. And the eleventh hour ticked away.

“Buddy you’re a young man, hard man
Shoutin’ in the street gonna take on the world someday
You got blood on your face
You big disgrace
Wavin’ your banner all over the place”

Callus awoke with a snap. What little sunlight there was, was filtering through the windows. Daniella moaned in her sleep and snuggled against his chest. His eyes were wide open. He immediately knew something was wrong. He was to be rotated back to the line today. But nobody had come. He sat up in bed and looked around. The bunks were empty. Everybody was gone. His vision scanned down to the hall, to the door. Ox and Jackson were standing there, in full flak, lasguns in hand, crouched in firing positions. Ox made a quieting motion with his hand.

Callus silently slipped out of his bed and moved over to his foot locker, pulling out a fresh set of BDUs and putting on his boots. He strode across the room to the nearest weapons locker and opened. Flak gauntlets to cover his boots, a chest plate, a helmet, and lasgun. Provisions, extra power packs, a bayonet with boot-sheath. The lockers were all prepared to move out early this morning. But the officers hadn’t come. Callus quickly got his gear on and went to rouse Daniella.

She awoke, quietly, and he silently motioned her to get gear on herself. She did so, and once they had both loaded and charged their lasguns, they quickly moved up to Ox and Jackson. She looked a bit silly in flak armor clearly made for a man and a bit too big for her.

Callus dropped to one kneed and spoke quietly to Jackson.

“What’s going on.”

“Check your helm-vox.”

Callus tapped the switch on his helmet’s vox and static briefly filled his right ear, followed by the chatter of gun fire and shouted orders;


The voice was cut off. Static filled the vox again. Callus let his thumb off the vox.

“What’s going on?”

“The governor has declared the Lord-General to be a traitor. He’s ordered the planetary forces to mobilize against us. We’re being attacked by the Orks on one side and the Gubernatorial Guard on the other. Most of the Penal Legion have remained with us, as have a good portion of the armored corps and civil air patrol. But there’s no telling really. This war zone just got a hell of a lot worse.”

Callus cursed.

“Any idea what got this damn foolish idea into Gonsalves’ head?”

“No idea, but I’m with the Lord-General, do or die.”

Callus nodded and turned to Ox. He nodded, grim and silent as ever. Callus turned to Daniella.

“Well, this may have just got a lot more complicated.”


Callus leaped over the pile of rubble and landed on his back, rolling deftly to his feet and rising into a crouch. He squeezed off three rounds and downed a storm trooper that had been aiming at him. Tearing a frag grenade from his belt, he thumbed the charge and hurled it over the pile of rubble the blue-clad troopers had been hiding behind. He was satisfied by the death screams that came from the resulting blast. Moving forward fast, he scrambled up his side of the rubble and found five corpses. Five. There had been six. He looked up. About thirty feet back, the last trooper had aimed his hell-pistol square at Callus. The corporal dropped his gun and raised his hands. A tiny black blur slammed into the sergeant’s chest and detonated, ripping through his chest cavity and abdomen and sending his entrails spilling out across the rock. He never made a sound.

Ox was behind Callus now, hefting the grenade launcher he had confiscated from a group of penal legionnaires that had attacked them earlier and suffered the same fate. From what could be discerned from their helm-voxes, the Kazarkanian forces were walled off in sector 7-9-2. Callus’ plan, for now, was to fight his way to that sector, reunite with his regiment, try to find Colonel Hawk, if he still lived, and see this fight through to whatever end it lay in store.

He waved his squad forward and moved along the grid. The tiny digital map screen that had been on his belt identified them as currently being in sector 7-8-9. Three map sectors away from Kazarkanian lines. Not particularly far now. Only about two and a half miles. Two and a half miles crawling with greenskins, storm troopers, enemy tanks, air craft, and currently being torn apart by greenskin artillery. The ground shook. Callus grinned. He liked those odds.


It is an extremely rare event that a Lord-General of the Imperial Guard goes so far as to personally take the field against the enemy. Usually only in the largest of movements, the most grand of battles, the most legendary of campaigns, would a Lord-General command forces from the front. This was one such event.

“FOLLOW ME!” Cried Lord-General Julian Montego, his flaming power blade crackling in the air as he ran towards enemy lines, at least a good company of his trusted Kazarkanians at his back. The enemy storm troopers fired, trying to hold their line. They managed to fell a handful of Guardsmen. Then Montego hit their lines. And when he did, he was a terrible thing to behold.

The storm trooper sergeant was foolish enough to leap up, knife drawn, and attempt to kill the Lord-General. The power sword hit at the top of his helm, entered through his scalp, and sliced his brain in two. It didn’t stop until it exited his body from the crotch, cleaving the governor’s storm trooper into two neat slices.

The next one dropped his hell-gun and raised his hands in surrender. Montego pumped a bolter round into his throat. He grinned a feral grin when the round exploded and sent the man’s head popping clean of his shoulders. His men arrived after him, bayonets fixed, and swept over the line, washing the blue-armored soldiers aside in a tsunami of death.

A fleck of blood splashed onto Julian Montego’s lips and steel gray mustache. He licked it off. He was going to enjoy killing the good governor, and his lapdog colonel. He though of his wife, at home on Kazarkia. He had accepted now that he would never see her again. He would never return home from Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade as he had promised her that he would. Instead he would kill Governor Alphonse Gonsalves with all the fury of Rogal Dorn, and then die a hero’s death making his last stand against the Orks. The fate of all followers of the Emperor, ultimately, was the same; death. Montego was determined to die well.


“Colonel, your performance troubles me. My reports indicate that your allegedly elite storm troopers are being steadily pushed back by the Kazarkanians. It seems that my loyal penal legionnaires have, almost to a man, sided with them, and that we have not nearly the amount of armored support that you had suggested. What am I to make of this?”

“I am confident that our lines will hold long enough to make good the escape, Governor.” The colonel was as seemingly emotionless as ever.

Governor Alphonse Gonsalves rose from his seat and turned away from the governor. He had a cigarillo in his hand, and was enjoying the fine, smoky taste. His office was, as always, in near total darkness. He hit a button on the underside of his desk and the concealed windows behind him opened. It revealed that he was situation near the very top of the New Gurgenstein main spire. Laid out before him was a city burning. Massive sections of it had been totally blow away, were smoking, and fires consumed a good majority of it. The flashes of gunfire could seen near below the tower, as guardsmen fought each other and the orks, who had not been so kind as to cease their assault in the face of a civil war. He could see the flashes of battle also, from much lower in the hive, where he assumed that the local populace of the city were making what futile stands they could. Beyond the burning husk that had once been New Gurgenstein, the black fields surrounding it teemed with a seemingly endless horde of the greenskins.

“Colonel, you have disappointed me. Consistently you have made inaccurate predictions about the nature of our strength and our ability to hold this city. Your failing here has forced me to perform what I do consider to be a very distasteful task; making a deal with a xenos to save myself. You have botched our attempt to turn on the Kazarkanians and now they swiftly advance towards this tower. They are led by their heroic Lord-General, whom was supposed to have been assassinated by your men. They, of course, failed in this endeavor. You have been in general, a failure. I do not tolerate failures.”

The governor’s needle pistol was drawn in a flash, as he whipped around to aim. Colonel Marcus Flaviun had already drawn his hell-pistol. They fired at the same time. Two long, thin, crimson, beams of super-heated light struck out across the room. Gonsalves’ beam tore through Flaviun’s left shoulder, leaving a deep burn that bored directly through. Flaviun’s beam slammed into the Governor’s forehead, crushing his skull and slicing through his brain. It emerged from the other side of the head and sent him flying into his window.

The glass shattered and the body Governor Alphonse Gonsalves, divine imperial commander of Hargon and ruler of the hive of New Gurgenstein careened down a full three miles before it eventually smashed into an under hive bridge. The orks that were advancing along that particular bridge would have trampled his corpse under their large, heavy boots, had it not liquefied on impact.

Colonel Marcus Flaviun smashed into the back wall of the office with a grimace, pain pulsing through is body. The door was kicked in as three blue-clad storm troopers, hell guns drawn, entered, doing an instantaneous sweep of the area and then turning to their commander. He nodded to them, curtly.

“Get an insertion team to the gubernatorial yacht. Inform his navigators we are departing immediately.”


Callus hit the floor hard on his stomach, narrowly missing the hell-gun shots that were screeching just over his head. They were moving through an old, shelled out hab-complex, and being fired on by a squad of storm troopers. They had a missile launcher. Another blast shook the floor. Frag missile shots. Callus tapped his helm vox;

“Ox, we gotta get hat heavy weapons specialist down! What can you do?”

“Nothing, as of now! Jackson and I are cut off! Two of the enemy have laid down a field of suppressive fire against us!”

“Great” Callus thought to himself, despairing.

“I’m cut off as well.”

Another frag missile blast. A lot closer this time.

Then, suddenly, the sounds of lasgun discharge. The missile launcher and the hell gun that had been pinning Callus down stopped. Daniella’s voice cracked into his ear.

“Done and done.”

Callus grinned, then leaped to his feet and, in a crouching run, turned the corner. Now that they had lost their heavy weapons support, it was only a matter of time.


Lord-General Julian Montego had just brandished his power sword and was about to give the order to charge when, all across the line, blue clad storm troopers pulled back, silently, as one. He had to admit, he was perplexed. The Kazarkanians were being successful in their endeavor to push back the gubernatorial guard, it was true, but not without heavy casualties and slow fighting. He could think of no reason why they would suddenly abandon entrenched positions.

Something was wrong.

Only a few hundred feet away, Corporal Michael Callus, leading his team back to Kazarkanian lines, was equally surprised. In fact, all over the city, the storm troopers were dropping out of entrenched positions and falling back towards the tower.

Colonel Marcus Flaviun was making good his escape.


“Evrywhere I hear the sound of marching, charging feet, boy
cause summers here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy
But what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock n roll band
cause in sleepy london town
Theres just no place for a street fighting man”

Callus coughed as he stepped through the smoke, waving his hand in front of his face to clear it. The stink of laser rounds and charred bodies filled his nostrils with the sweet perfume of death. The air was filled with the din of battle, the Orks assaulting even as the governor’s troops engaged in what seemed to be a universal withdrawal. The constant hymnals, the speeches whose giver imagined them inspiring, the constant reinforcement of imperial dogma and assurances of victory that had accompanies this whole war were gone. In a way, even in a city that was being torn apart by the ravages of war, all seemed silent. The weapons discharges, the screams of dying men, the berserker roars of godless Orks, all seemed like background noise, hardly audible.

Then, walking through the low hanging cloud of dust and red mist, Callus saw a form of a man. Heavy boots knocking against the concrete ground, long, gray, greatcoat hanging off his shoulders, ornate bolt pistol in one hand, and crackling, blood encrusted power sword in the other.

Callus saluted as Lord-General Julian Montego stepped forward from the fog of war.


“So what’s the story, General?”

“It would appear that our good friends the Lord-General and his Colonel have turned on us. His men are pulling back, which tells me they are planning to make good some kind of retreat from the world. I can only imagine how he plans to get through the Ork armada in orbit. I assume he has some sort of deal worked out. Emperor-damned scum.”

Callus nodded, grim faced. Daniella, Ox, and Omar gathered around him, each of them appearing grim and angered by what was going on.

The world seemed to shake with the blasts of orbital strikes, massive portions of the hive being hurled through the air as the orks pushed through what was left of imperial lines with ease, confused guardsmen, being attacked on both sides, torn apart like so much tissue paper.

“I for one, do not intend to allow the good Colonel to leave this planet alive.”

A characteristic smirk began to play across Callus’ face as the General spoke.

“Well then, you’re supposed to be assault troopers, are you not? Let us assault.”


“Why isn’t the shuttle ready yet?” Flaviun barked at the tech-priest.

“W-W-We had such short notice, Colonel, I am sorry. Why does it matter, we will never clear the Or-Ork block-blockade.”

“Leave that to me you worthless cretin. GET THE SHUTTLE READY!”

“Yes, Yes Colonel, at once.”

Colonel Marcus Flaviun was rapidly losing his patience. The Orks seemed to push closer to the launch tower with every blast of an orbital strike, and he did not trust Drazgar to have told his men exactly who he was and why he was to be left unharmed. He had ordered his regiment to fall back to inside the main tower, set up defensive positions, and await orders for planetary detachment. He had every intention of leaving them all to die, but he wanted to make sure it took that damned Lord-General as long as possible to make it to the shuttle, leaving the Colonel as wide as possible a departure window.

But of course, these bumbling adepts of the machine God had failed to have the shuttle prepped and ready to launch when he arrived. A vein was forming in his forehead. His face was flushed red. In all honesty, he was afraid. Afraid that the Orks, or that the Kazarkanians, would make it to the launch pad before he was well on his way out of orbit. Afraid that he was going to die in this hellhole war zone of a hive.


Platoon Sergeant Karl Metternich was overseeing two of his men drag a large desk over into the hallway, as part of an ad hoc defensive position he was building, when the door opened. He turned to see who was entering when a las-bolt struck him directly between the eyes, tearing most of his brain out of the back of his head.

The storm troopers stared, nearly in awe, at Michael Callus, cigarette in his mouth, lasgun raised. How the Kazarkanians had arrived so quickly, none of them knew.

Callus nodded to them;

“The immortal God-Emperor sends his greetings, gentlemen.” He said, in a friendly tone, before hurling a frag grenade over the desk and quickly stepping back behind an alcove. The hell guns had just opened fire when the grenade exploded, killing every last one of the blue clad soldiers.


The hall was filled with smoke. And quiet. Far too quiet. A boot crunched against shattered glass. Callus look across the hall, to Daniella, taking cover behind the identical outcropping a few feet away from him. Somebody was moving out. They had entered the tower approximately fifteen minutes ago, quickly sweeping through the first three floors. Upon hearing of what Callus’ team had gone through, he had assigned them to lead the assault. They were the very tip of the spearhead. The first into every action. The ones who would kill that traitor bastard the Governor and his Colonel lapdog.

Another crunch. One more. A third and a fourth. Moving more quickly know, the enemy point man was getting confident. Big mistake. A dull thud rang out. Ox’s grenade launcher. The tiny black ball shot through the smoke before landing somewhere. A blast. Screams of pain and the sounds of tearing flash. One dead point man. Callus dropped to his kneed and came out from the alcove, opening fire as fire was returned. Two more grenades, further into the field of smoke. Two more blasts, five more screams. But the time the debris settled Callus was among the enemy, knife drawn. He made quick work of the few survivors, all of whom were heavily wounded. Rinse and repeat. They had taken each floor in this manner, and were continuing to do so. Outside, the screams of artillery could be heard in the distance, and the blasts of Leman Russ tanks. Most of the penal legions and civilian armored corps had taken sides with the Kazarkanians against the Orks, who were now once again in full assault. The Civil Air Patrol had as well, but at range this close they were more or less useless. Callus realized just as well as General Montego that, barring a miracle, there was now no chance for survival. The planet was fallen. Montego had decided to make bringing the Emperor’s revenge to those that had betrayed them his final act in this world. Callus figured he might as well go out with him. The good general had carried him through the defense of Ichar IV, the Third War for Armageddon, Abaddon’s 13th Black Crusade, and countless other campaigns. He had spent his life fighting under the General’s banner in the name of the God-Emperor, he may as well die under it.


“The shuttle should be prepared to launch within twenty minutes, Colonel.” The Tech-Priest said.

“Not good enough. You have ten.” Barked Colonel Marcus Flaviun in response.

The Colonel was extremely uncomfortable with the present situation. The Kazarkanians below were taking floors at an alarming rate, his troops crumbling much faster than he had expected to. Maybe it was a mistake to accept the Colonel’s plan as readily as he had. Too late now. The Lord-General had surmised his role in all this, he was sure of that. And Orkish victory was now achieved in all but name. He wanted to be off this planet and comfortably in the Empyrean when the greenskins reached the tower. Which he did not calculate could reasonably take more than an hour or two from now. He had no desire to delay his departure unnecessarily by fighting upstart Kazarkanians to make good his window. He did not have the luxury of excessive time.

He glanced at the defense monitor across from him. Another level, displayed in green, flashed for a moment and then turned red. Another level lost. There were now only two floors between his own level and the Kazarkanians.

He turned to an adjutant.

“Activate the combat servitors.”


Private, First Class Omar Jackson rose from his position and charged, firing twice. The first round smacked harmlessly into a wall. The second tore through the throat of the storm trooper he had aimed for, killing him instantly. That was when a panel in the roof above him fell to the floor, and, suspended by wires, a corpse severed at the waist fell to hand in front of him. A servitor.

Jackson realized too late that its left arm ended in a wheel of blades. It raised it to the same level of his neck as the blades began to spin in a blinding flash of death, and jerked hard to the right. His head was cleanly severed off, at about the halfway point of his neck, sending a single stream of blood shooting into the air.

Callus stared in shock at Jackson, his attention turning only when a flood panel in front of him slid away, and a huge servitor, arose. It had a mechanical spider like body from the torso down, and a graying Ogryn corpse from the torso up. It’s arms had been replaced with dual heavy flamers. Callus had barely dropped to the ground when jets of fiery petrol shot above him. He rolled aside quickly as the flamers turned down to face him and more petrol shot out. Leaping to his feet, he barely dodged, again. Wresting his knife from it’s sheath, he stabbed the thing in the back of its neck, tearing as hard as he could through its throat in an attempt to disable it by tearing its head off. It worked, after a fashion. The creature was clearly unable to properly function. It did, however, maintain the pesky habit of firing its heavy flamers in a constant pattern across the floor, quickly lighting the hallway ablaze.
A third servitor, that appeared to be little more than a sea of blades, emerged from a wall only to roll directly into a wall of flame and fall over, slowly melting.

Daniella and Ox managed to dodge their way through the flames to Callus’ position and keep ahead of the flames as Callus contacted Montego on his helmet-vox.

“Lord-General, this is Corporal Callus. We have a problem. Combat servitors appear to be emerging from the walls, floors, and ceilings to attack us. Level 78 is also aflame.”

“We are quite aware of the servitors Corporal. We are beset as well. As for the hallway, I’ll have teams take care of it. No time to talk. Montego out.”

Callus head the scream of steel on steel as the General’s vox fizzed out into static and then silence.

He turned to look at Ox and Daniella. The fire was raging now, spreading along the walls fast.

“Nowhere, to go but up.”

“Up we go.” Said Ox, hoisting his grenade launcher. Callus shrugged, and made way for the lift at the end of the hall.


First Lieutenant Stavros Yagudin was nervous. Sweat ran down his brow, and his hell gun was gripped far too tightly in his hands. He had never intended to be a real soldiers. He had joined the gubernatorial guard with a commission because his father had ordered him too, in order to advance his political career later. His command squad, more or less ten of his academy friends, was made up of mostly the same. The gubernatorial guard, supposedly the most elite fighting force on the planet, were in actuality mostly made up of young nobles chiefly concerned with their political prospects further down the road. That’s not what the Kazarkanians were. Stavros had managed to get through this Emperor forsaken war, if a war was what you could call it, more like a massacre he thought, so far, without seeing action. He knew that was about to change. Soon, those lift doors would open and he would do or die. Yagudin swallowed hard. Time to put up or shut up. The light on the lift reached his floor, and dinged. They had set up the elevators so they could travel no more than a floor at a time. The doors slid open.

Yagudin would do anything to avoid getting shot. He yelled out.

“Stop, in the name of the Governor!”

The las bolt hit him in the chest, melted through his carapace armor in seconds, went through is right lung with ease, and sent him hard on his back. He couldn’t breath. He died in a matter of seconds.


The red robed tech priest turned.

“Colonel, we are prepared for launch. I recommended you recall your troops now.”

“No time, we launch immediately.” Flaviun replied with a sigh of relief, beginning to march towards the hanger.

“B-but, Colonel.”

“I said we launch immediately, shaman.”


Callus rose hit the ground hard, rolling, and rising quickly. Slamming hard into the trooper in front of him, he drew his knife and stabbed it into the throat, between the two sealed off portions constitution the next and chest of the carapace suit. Rising, Callus picked up the dead trooper’s hell gun, what had been the last of them. Daniella picked up another, while Ox hefted the heavy flamer one of them had been wielding.

The lift door opened behind them, and Lord-General Montego stepped out, flanked by adjutants, troops, and servo-skulls.

“Gentlemen.” He said, nodding to Callus. Callus nodded in return.

Montego gazed up a long ramp, towards a large iron door.

“The central control room and spire hangar.” He said.

“I reckon so, General.” Replied Daniella.

Montego’s power sword ignited. He had discarded his pistol long ago.

“Well then, let’s have at it, shall we?”


Colonel Marcus Flaviun was just about to pass into the internal hanger when he heard the door slide open behind him. He knew, almost by instinct, who was there. Pivoting, his suspicions were confirmed as he gazed at Lord-General Julian Montego.

“Hello, General.”

“Hello, Colonel. Pray tell, where is the Governor? We have a meeting.

“Dead, I’m afraid. Quite tragic.”

“Not particularly surprising. Not particularly distressing, either, I must admit.”

“Quite. My good General, let’s not go through unnecessary pleasantries. I am leaving this planet, now. I am quite aware killing you will be involved in completing this objective, so let’s commence.”


The General began to charge even as Montego raised his hell pistol.


Brothers on the block knowing
From this point on, it only gets rougher
Sisters at the crib knowing
From this point on, it only gets rougher
Preachers at the Church knowing
From this point on, it only gets rougher
But still we get by

Admiral Salvatore Moscardi was becoming rapidly impatient. Standing on the bridge of his Emperor class battleship the Sol Invictus, he sighed heavily.

“Hargon sent for aid at least a week ago now, ensign, and at that time the Orks had already breached the city. We are taking far too long. What is our ETA?”

“We should enter the system within the hour, Admiral.”

Not good enough.”

Moscardi had been placed in charge of the naval portion of a massive Crusade that was under organization to retaliate against the incoming Ork Waaagh! He would have under his command twelve battleships, of mixed Emperor and Retribution classes, a force of forty two cruisers and grand cruisers, and seventy frigates. Included in that were twenty divisons of the Imperial Guard, including infantry of both light and heavy, mechanized, armored units, artillery, drop troopers, ogryn auxiliary forces, storm trooper regiments, and various expert ork-fighters. Seven companies of the Adeptus Astartes had pledged themselves to the crusade, among them a company of the Deathwatch under the command of Ordo Xenos Inquisitor and Ork slayer Saeed Al-Deayea. Cardinal Serhiy Shevchenko had been made ecclesiarchal legate to the Crusade, and had brought along with him two full convents of the Adepta Sororita. The Crusade was still undergoing preparations and waiting arrivals in the Deluxian sub-sector, but Moscardi, losing his patience, had taken another battleship, the Emperor class Angel of Retribution along with two divisions of guard drop troopers, the 49th Ellysian and 23rd Trardorian, and set off for Hargon. He intended to smash through the siege and seize the initiative against the green menace.

Moscardi smiled. He would slay many of the Emperor’s foes this day.


The first shot tore through Montego’s right kneecap. The second punched a hole in his abdomen. The third, his left lung. He went down, hard, with an oof.

Flaviun holstered his hell-pistol and turned on his heel, marching for the door. The twelve storm troopers that made up his personal bodyguard raised their hell guns to fire. They were met with a company’s worth of lasguns.

Their sergeant dropped his hell gun, and raised his hands in surrender.

He and his men were obliterated in a hail of crimson light.

The plasteel door slammed shut behind Flaviun just as Callus reached it, punching and kicking at the impregnable surface, screaming a litany of curses and obscenities that would leave Abaddon himself as perturbed as an old nun.

This stupid piece of amphetamine parakeet in a blue uniform had cost him his life with his dumb little games of betrayal. Who knows how much longer they could have held out if the gubernatorial guard had been present on the line. Long enough for reinforcements to arrive, maybe. Long enough to win. Now they were all dead. It wasn’t fair. They were on their way home. They were supposed to go home.

Daniella’s hands were on his shoulders. He let out a long, heavy breath of frustration, as she kissed him on the cheek.

Callus turned. Medics had already arrived, placing the Lord-General on a stretcher, and rushing him from the room to administer care to him. A full company of guardsmen were milling around, suddenly leaderless. As if out of nowhere, they were looking to Callus. Maybe it was simply because he was the closest to the door, and thus standing before them. Maybe it was the look of cold rage in his eyes. But for whatever reason, Corporal Michael Callus realized immediately that he was suddenly expected to be a leader.


In orbit above Hargon, War Boss Drazgar smiled, his beady red eyes glowing maliciously, as he watched the governor’s yacht leave orbit and make its way, tentatively, through his fleet of hulks. True to his word, Drazgar had told his boyz not to fire.

Colonel Marcus Flaviun was actually rather pleased with himself, as he reclined in the governor’s fine leather chair, smoking one of his cigars and sipping on a glass of his fine liquor. Besides himself, only the tech-priest, two pilots, and a navigator had made it onto the yacht. He had been forced to leave his men to die so that he could make it to the yacht in time. Oh well, sacrifices did have to be made in war, after all.


As Callus exited the main tower of the hive, he found himself at the top of a long road that went rapidly downhill all the way to the wall separating the spire from the upper hive. IT was only then that he realized exactly how bad things have become. All along that wall, Guardsmen were fighting tooth and nail with Orks, who were clambering up siege ladders in an attempt to cross the wall. Gunfire was utterly constant, as well as the screams of the dying, both man and greenskin. Of all Hargon, the Imperium of Man now held only the spire of New Gurgenstein.

Callus pulled out a cigarette and lit it, slapping a fresh power cell into his lasgun as he started down the road. A small crowd had gathered around a preacher in his flowering purple robes, golden aquila pendant around his neck. In one hand he held his staff of office, in the other a copy of the Liber Imperator or, the Book of the Emperor. The Holy Scripture of the Imperial Cult.

The Preacher was recanting a tale of how the Sons of Guilliman Space Marines chapter, cut off and surrounded by the Eldar on Trasmus VII in 833.M37 had been rescued at the last minute by a legion of angels.

Callus took a drag on his cig as he passed by the preacher.

“Got any angels for us now, holy man?” He asked, never breaking stride.

The preacher opened his mouth, undoubtedly about to admonish Callus as a heretic and a traitor, but a stray shot hit him in the left eye and he went down from the pillar, what was left of his head a bloody mess.

Callus took another drag on his cigarette. He hardly noticed when people around him died anymore.


Callus saluted the first man to salute him when he reached the wall. Rank was unimportant at this point, so many were dead. Callus had about a company of guardsmen at his back, that put him in a position of authority.

“What’s the situation?”

“Well sir, to put it succinctly, bad. We are running low on ammunition, and fast. A moment’s break in the firing line will allow the Orks to pour over the wall. We can only hope they pull away for the night.”

Callus frowned, trying to decide whether or not they would.

“What’s their route of assault?”

“They are coming up three main roads. A-394, B-292, and C-134, and assaulting the wall at three main gates, Saint Antonio, Saint Vladimir, and Saint Gregory.”

“I see. And what if a strike team where to somehow go into the Ork lines and disrupt these roads. Perhaps destroy them?”

“Well, sir, if that were possible, I, uh… it would certainly delay the assault considerably.”

“I think I know how to deal with this. Have any spare demo charges?”


Callus booted over the box full of armor piercing rounds, pouring them into the backpacks. Among himself, Ox, Daniella, and Lieutenant Picksten, as the man had identified himself, they had eight backpacks, each filled to the brim with demolition charges, melta bombs, krak and frag grenades, missiles, explosive ammo rounds, and anything else they could find that would go boom. Eight backpacks filled to the brim with all manner of explosives. Callus intended to destroy the roads.

Besides that each of them had picked up a few sticks of dynamite in order to blow the bags.

“Okay,” Picksten said; “They’re filled. Where to now.

Callus gazed at him grimly;

“The sewers.”

At 12:34 PM that day, A-394 caved in on itself, engulfed in explosive fires, sending hundreds, if not thousands of Orks that had filled the street careening for miles into the hive below, before finally meeting their grisly end. At 1:30 pm, the same fate befell B-292.

At 3:30 pm, Callus’ strike team reached what, according to Picksten’ auspex, was the area of sewer line most likely to destroy C-134 if it’s support was removed.

Callus slid another power cell into his lasgun. The orks weren’t dumb. When they had reached the last two vulnerable points, there had been teams of kommandoes waiting for them. Callus had brought along Ox, Daniella, Picksten, and two Kazarkanian troopers called 8-Ball and Rat.

Callus slowly trained his rifle around the darkness. He saw nothing.

“Okay. Be quick about it.”

Ox moved up the line, a bag in each hand. Pressing them against the roof, he quickly used lines of adhesive strip to stick them on, and pulled out the dynamite sticks.

As he lit them, Rat gurgled. Callus whirled, just in time to see the huge Ork behind him finish dragging the long dagger across his throat.

“Throne of Terra! How does something so big move so quickly!?!”

No time to think. Chaos erupted as more Orks burst forth from the water and the shadows. Callus turned to Ox,


Ox nodded curtly, quickly lighting the sticks of dynamite and tossing them in the packs, before hefting the flamer he had traded in his stubber for and covering two orks in a wall of flame.

“RETREAT! BACK TO THE SPIRE!” Callus cried, sending a burst of rounds into the darkness and running.

A round from one of the green skins caught 8-ball through the back of the neck, sending him down in a storm of crimson. No time to check if he was alive. No time to do anything but shoot and run.

At 3:35, C-134 exploded in a mass of fire, melta, and shrapnel.

“Go! GO!” Callus cried to Ox, laying down a field of fire as the big man climbed the ladder into the spire.

“Daniella, you next!”

She did as she was told as Callus and Pickston laid down fields of las fire. There was seemingly no end to the Orks, who kept charging out of the shadows in an endless stream.

“Alright, you go up next, I’ll come after you.” Callus said to Picksten.

The young lieutenant grimly shook his head.

“There won’t be enough time for both of us. Go.”

“Lieutenant, if you think I’m leaving you---”


Callus sighed, and shook his head. Pumping four more rounds into the enemy, he swung his lasgun over his shoulder and climbed the ladder.

One lasgun wasn’t enough to do the job. As Callus exited the sewers, the Orks were on Picksten. He barely had time to scream before he was gone.

Callus dropped a frag grenade into the sewer as the green skins began to swarm around the ladder, and slammed the manhole into place. At its blast, their barbaric roars of victory were turned into horrified screams of pain. It was the most satisfying sound Michael Callus had ever heard in his life.

“That ones for Picksten, and Haydn, and Brenner, and Jackson, and all the rest, you stinking green xenos bastards.”


“And so the story's told of a hearty group of men it's a tale of their triumphs and their woes.
Be it raids and melees ancient or the modern worker's struggle
that inspires men to stand up for their rights.
And should we fall down by the wayside in this ever-changing world
we can look back to these heroes of our past.
With their staunch determination and ferocious iron will,
no tyranny would quell them in their task.”

Lieutenant Picksten died just over three hours ago. Callus thought he had substantially slowed the Ork invasion by blasting the roadways. How stupid of him. Instead he’d just shown them the path through the sewers. How very, very, stupid.

Callus took another drag on his cigarette. Daniella was asleep, his arm around her. He offered to Ox, who took a long drag.

“Tastes like crap.

“Guard issue, what did you expect?”

“The finest cigar from the finest fields of Havanar VI.”

Callus laughed.

The artillery was pounding again. Ork artillery of course. The imperials had nothing left. No armor of any kind, in fact. Just random soldiers, some kazarkanians, some civilian volunteers, some penal legionnaires. Some citizens of the spire that had had a lasgun shoved into their hands and told to shoot. All of them were cramped inside the small space of rubble that they still had left. The end would be here soon. The Orks would come, and then they’d all be dead. Callus had accepted it, more or less. He took another drag on the cigarette. A shell impacted somewhere near the hole of rubble he was sitting in. He hardly noticed. A wall of red light escaped from what was left of the spire. They were shooting back at the orks.

“Why bother?” Callus asked, aloud.

“Why not?” Ox said. “Might as well bring as many down with you as you can.”

“I’ll save my rounds. I’d rather go down shooting when they tear me apart.

He only had two power cells left, one half empty and resting in his rifle, the other on his belt. His knife had broken in two an hour and a half ago. Lodged in the skull of some green skin filth. Ox’s flamer was useless at anything but immediate range, so he wasn’t firing either.

The ground shook, again. Ork artillery.

Then, screaming.

“Fall back! Fall back! They’re charging! Incoming!”

Callus dropped the cigarette and smashed it with his boot, shaking Daniella to wake her up.

She picked up her lasgun as he spoke;
“Come on girl, we got killing to do.”


Moscardi grinned a feral grin as his fleet emerged from the warp. The small, brown planet that was Hargon loomed in front of them, surrounded by Ork rocks. Imperial fighters and interceptors poured forth from the fleet.

“All available power to shields and weapons systems. Engage the enemy head on. The Emperor Protects.”

Moscardi was immensely giddy at the prospect of bringing the retribution of His Most Holy Majesty to His foes. He found himself, crying out, unbidden;



AVE IMPERATOR!” The cry went up spontaneously across the imperial lines as the foul green xenos charged. Corporal Michael Callus found himself joining in, despite himself.

Then all hell broke loose.

Callus poured six rounds into the chest of the first green thing that came at him, screaming like the foulest warp-beast.

Ox’s flamer lit up sending the beasts into the jaws of perdition a bit early, as Daniella’s lasgun began to fire, sputtering at first, then firing on full auto.

This was it, Callus knew. This was the last stand.

Somewhere in the deep, the drums of war were raging, and the dread chant of the Orks was picking up;


Then, as if with a single voice, deep, terrible, and animalistic. A single cry of foul xenos victory.


Callus’ rib was broken. He was, quite literally, flying through the air. He landed with a sickening crunch atop a pile of smashed rubble and human corpses.

He made his way to his feet, gingerly, aiming his lasgun once again.

The Ork was big. Bare chested and clad in steel toed boots and what was left of a pair of black pants, he held a huge slugga in one hand and a choppa in the other. One of its yellowed fangs had been completely torn out, and it had a missing eye. The other glowed with red fury. It roared again, charging.

Callus opened fire, the bright red lances tearing off bits of its skin. It didn’t stop. It didn’t even seem to notice the fact that it was trailing blood from a thousand different lacerations. One of Callus’ rounds tore into its chest. It had to have nearly obliterated its right lung, Callus reasoned.

It didn’t seem to reason the same.

It was about to smash into the corporal again, full bore, when Ox finally caught up with them, and poured flame over its body. It finally seemed to remember what pain was, as it squealed in protest.

It turned to face Ox, raising its choppa. And its hand was blasted off at the wrist by Daniella’s lasgun.

Callus raised his rifle again, quickly ejecting the spent power cell and slapping in a new one. The whirr of the weapons charge hadn’t finished when he began to pour rounds into the Ork, forcing it to the ground, and finally killing it.

There was nothing resembling lines anymore. Just complete Chaos. The Orks were in among the spire, rampaging. Civilians, penal legionnaires, seasoned and hardened assault troopers of the 207th Kazarkanian. All were fleeing, screaming, a futile attempt to avoid their fate.


“Evasive maneuvers! I said evasive maneuvers!” Moscardi cried out, as the Sol Invictus banked hard to the left, avoiding a flurry of fire from one of the ork kill kroozers.

The Imperial fleet was making short work of the orks in orbit above Hargon. Even know, fighters, bombers, and troop carriers, laden with the soldiers of the 49th Ellysian and 23rd Trardorian were spewing into orbit, making their way done to New Gurgenstein to relieve what was left of its beleaguered defenders.

A single division of Guard drop troopers, made and specialized for light, fast, assault, tasked to defend a hive city in a prolonged siege. It was the single stupidest strategic decision the admiral had ever heard. He would have the head of whomever ordered it.

But that would come later. Now was the time for felling the foes of the Emperor.

“In the name of His Most Holy Majesty, the God-Emperor of Mankind, King of Terra, and one true Master of the Galaxy,” Moscardi began, using the Emperor’s full title;

“I command thee to smite these foul xenos, that His progeny, mankind, may continue on in its glory unhindered. Fire!”

The Sol Invictus had, by this time, trained all its weapons on the Kill Kroozer, and come around to its broadside.

As Moscardi’s command, it emptied its weapons battered in a single flurry of destruction that tore the primitive craft to shreds, leaving the mighty hulk nothing more than a floating field of orbital debris.


Callus dived behind the burning husk of what had once been a Chimera, Ox and Daniella following soon after. The screams of the dying were everywhere. Gunfire surrounded them.

A junior preacher, in the purple robes of his office, gold aquila pendant around his neck, had already been sitting behind the APC, reading from the Liber Imperator hurriedly, muttering to himself. At their sight he slammed it shut and hugged it to his chest, rising to his feet and recoiling from them as if he expected them to seize the Holy Scripture from him. His hood fell back to reveal a bookish young man, with violet eyes and close cut blonde hair. His skin was of a golden bronze.

Callus nodded to him as he sat up, leaning around the chimera and squeezing off a burst towards the still advancing xenos.

Popping his last cigarette from his pocket, Callus lit it on the igniter of Ox’s flamer, taking a long, stiff, drag. It tasted sweet, knowing it would be his last.

He handed it to Daniella, and she took one as well.

She looked him in the eyes, tears welling. She didn’t say anything, she just hugged him for a moment. He hugged her back.

“Uhm, I hate to break your rapture, but who are you?” The Preacher asked.

Callus grinned, stifling a laugh.

“Corporal Michael Callus. This is Private Daniella Auburn, and that is Pfc. Zimmermann. Call him Ox. We do.”

“I see. I am Junior Preacher Timothy Lazero.”

“Good to see you, Father Lazero.”

“The Emperor Protects, Corporal.” The preacher returned, beginning to grin.

Callus fired back at the Orks again.

“No, no I am afraid he clearly does not.”

“Excuse me, Corporal?”

Callus was suddenly angry.

“Where is the Emperor now? Where are the angels to come save us now, Father Lazero?” Callus spat out the word.

The Preacher was clearly flustered at this unexpected turn of the conversation.

“I-I-, you listen here trooper, according to Imperial edict #738-B, it is a high crime and misdemeanor to question the teachings of the Temple of the Savior Emperor.”

“Oh me, oh my, father, I sure am sorry.” Callus mocked, cruely.

He didn’t care. He was angry. He was angry at the universe. He was angry at Colonel Marcus Flaviun for stealing his life. He was angry at the Imperium for sending him into this hell hole when he had been promised he was going home. He was angry at the Emperor for throwing him into the meat grinder his hole life and now discarding him, when, in all his infinite wisdom, he wasn’t worth it anymore. Corporal Michael Callus was angry.


“What exactly is that?” Moscardi asked his ensign.

“Uhm…it appears to be a yacht sir. It is attempting to hail us.”

“The Orks aren’t firing at it.”

“No sir, they are not.”

Moscardi stared for a moment, stroking his chin.

“Destroy it.”

“Yes sir.”


“So, running isn’t going to be necessary after all!” Colonel Flaviun said to himself, taking a drag on his cigar and grinning. “It appears that the Imperium has decided to arrive. Hail them.”

“Yes, sir” His astropath said.

Flaviun sat down in his chair, picking up a bottle of whiskey to pour himself as his astropath made contact with the naval battle group. He stopped to read the label.

A fine, fine vintage, the Lord Governor had kept on his yacht. A fine vintage indeed. He was going to enjoy drinking it.

His yacht pulled up directly in front of the prow of the imperial battleship Sol Invictus in order to better facilitate psychic contact.

Flaviun looked up at it for a moment, relatively disinterested. It was a rather fine craft. A deadly, floating cathedral, riding upon the waves of space, destroying the enemies of His Most Holy Majesty. For a moment, a twinge of the old imperial patriotism stirred in Colonel Marcus Flaviun’s heart. He almost wanted to salute.

Then, in the space of a single blink of the eye, the battleship opened fire, and he was completely, utterly, obliterated.

When he opened his eyes again, the Emperor was not smiling.


“Where are the legions of the Emperor’s angels now, Father? Where are they, come to save we beleaguered champions of humanity from the threat? I’ve never seen them before. I’ve seen plenty of good men die, for no real reason, but I’ve never seen great celestial angels, come to save us all!”


“That’s right, go ahead, preacher. Always the same with you religious types. You can’t shut up when you’re extolling on the virtues of the imperial citizen, trapped up in your comfortable studies, and once it hit’s the fan, you don’t have a single thing to say. You’re all the same. You sicken me. There aren’t any angels, preacher man. There isn’t nobody coming. Not now, not ever.”
allus dropped the cigarette and smashed his foot on it, grinding it into the ground as he spit.

Turning from the stammering ecclesiarch, he hefted his lasgun, squeezing off some of his last rounds. He saw one of the green skins fall with a satisfying thud. Just one more to drag down into hell with him.

“The Emperor Protects.” The preacher finally managed to stammer out.

Callus tensed, then turned.

“He’s not protecting us now, is he? No, he’s left as all alone to sink or swim on our own. I don’t see the Emperor here, do you? I don’t see His Most Holy Majesty coming to save us. Where is he, priest? He isn’t here.

That was when the angels came.

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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Commissar-General at 03 Jul 2006, 03:03


Lord-General Julian Montego winced as he stepped over the dead body of a young man in a Kazarkanian uniform. The bandages wrapping his wounds were stiff and uncomfortable, but he tried his best not to show it. His storm coat hung around him, wrinkled and dirty. He pulled his officer’s cap over his rumpled hair, to effect a more professional appearance. He looked up into the sky and sighed, sad and relieved at the same time. Streaks of fire passed across it.

Troop carriers of the Imperial Navy, he knew. Two and a half weeks ago, the 49th Ellysian and 23rd Trardorian drop troopers had appeared on the planet, seemingly just as they were about to fall. With two divisions of guard infantry added to the mix, they had quickly seized the initiative, and began to take back large swathes of the hive. One week ago, the crusade had begun to arrive in force. Many more guard divisions, space marines of the Adeptus Astartes, and the female warrior monks of the Sisters of Battle had all arrived. The Orks were on the run now, being driven back across continents by the might of the Imperium. Montego had been informed that agents of the Ordo Xenos would be arriving soon, with Deathwatch kill-teams at their backs. Titan legions also. Titans.

The Orks were beaten. Most of their fleet had managed to escape back into warp space, but those that were still on the surface of the world had no hope of victory. Mankind had prevailed yet again.

Montego lit a cigar. So sweet the taste. The scent of the rich smoke helped block out the stench of death that surrounded him. Years later, the Adeptus Terra would conclude that over one hundred million men, women, and childen, had given their lives to stop Hargon from falling into the hands of the foul xenos.

But that wasn’t now. For now, there was to be a Crusade. The Imperium planned on retaking the Gulf of Kappa from the small Ork empire that had carved out territory there. The 207th Kazarkanians were coming along.
Montego rolled his cigar around in his mouth, and sighed.

He would have to put off that visit to his wife and children a bit longer.

Around him, men were carting goods around, cleaning up bodies, administering medical aid and passing out food to civilians. A young junior preacher in a purple robe, who looked really quite pleased with himself about something or other, was lecturing a group of children about Angels.

Montego was proud of his men. They had dealt with xenos, cowards, traitors, and everything the enemies of the imperium could throw at them, and they had held out long enough for reinforcements to arrive. They had held out long enough for the war to be won.

Montego gazed into the distance for a while. Then, out of the smoke, emerged a soldier he recognized well.

Corporal Michael Callus stood before him. The pretty young girl with brown hair he had been with before was with him, and so was the large man he had called Ox. Montego smiled. It was good to seem them alive. He approached.

“Good to see you made it through, General.” Callus said, grinning.

“Same to you, soldier.”

“So we really won. I find it almost impossible to believe.”

“We really won, soldier. I hope you’re ready for more though. We’re Crusading into the Kappa Gulf.”

Callus groaned, by the General could tell his spirits were still quite high.

“All in day’s work.”

“All in a day’s work soldier. But you know, before we go crusading, this division is going to need some serious reorganization. I’m in need of a new commander for B battalion, second regiment. What do you say…Commander Callus?”

The young corporal balked.

“I…well General, I really..”

“Come on, I’ll even let you pick your own officer corps.” Montego said, slapping Callus on the shoulder in a fatherly manner.

“Well, I don’t see why not.” Callus replied, a wide grin taking over his face. Daniella squealed and hugged him, and Ox even broke his normally stoic manner to laugh happily.

Montego produced his last cigar, and handed it to the new Commander.

“Congratulations, Commander. The finest from the fields of Havanar VI.”

Callus looked to Ox. They both laughed again.

Montego slapped the young officer on the shoulder one more time, before turning and walking back into the smoke that still hung around the spire.

Somewhere, the Emperor smiled.


There it is, hope you all enjoyed it

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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby IBBoard at 03 Jul 2006, 11:49

I'm away from my main computer at the moment (visiting my fiancee's family before a job interview on Wednesday) but I just skimmed the start of the first bit of speech and it seems interesting :) I'll give it more of a read and review later - possibly Thursday. If I haven't said anything by the weekend, give me a prod.

Also, can I add this to the FanFiction section of Hive World Terra?
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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Commissar-General at 03 Jul 2006, 13:49


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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Hulls Raven at 06 Jul 2006, 10:14

Its good to see you finally posted your story here Commisar G.
I finally got chance to read the end. Brilliant work.

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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby IBBoard at 07 Jul 2006, 13:36

Just a few comments :)

Firstly, are we missing Chapter 2? I can see Chapter 1 - Callus, but then it goes to Chapter 3 - The Trenches. Everything follows, though, so it might just be a mis-numbering :)

Story-wise it's great. Well worked characters, good dialogue, and good description. The story flows well, plenty of action, and not too much description, which is always something I hate. Give your readers a bit of credit, and don't detail every tiny thing!

Also, it's good to see that you don't do the terrible thing of attributing every single bit of speech in some way. My fiancee runs a beta-reading website for Harry Potter FanFic and it's worrying the amount of people who insist that every line of speech should have "he said" or a variant with it! Even if there's just two people in the conversation and you've said "...Fred said", they'll insist that it's not clear that the reply is from Bob!

Are the little quotes at the beginning from anything in particular, or did you just make them up?

There's the odd word that could do with 40K-ificating (e.g. cement and brandy - they use ceramite, plascrete, rockcrete etc and drink amasec from what I've read) but otherwise the vocabulary is pretty much fitting. I'm not sure whether a Guardsman would actually be told about Slaanesh and the Chaos gods in training, though, and a normal human isn't likely to have a bolter, although some exceptional characters and higher ranking officers (like Commisars) do.

Now for spelling and grammar comments :)

You end up talking about Creed and saying "his...he..." and then the next paragraph is about Montego again and starts "But he was tired,". It might be best to change that to "But Montego was tired," for clarity.

The line
“Very well.” Montego whispered to himself, closing his eyes. “I suppose it is once again, into the breach.”

Should be
“Very well,” Montego whispered to himself, closing his eyes. “I suppose it is once again, into the breach.”

as "Montego whispered" is how he spoke it and so should be followed by a comma. It's the same in a couple of other places as well - comma needed where you put a fullstop, because it's "attributed speech" as I call it. There's another example in the Grammar Tips thread.

There's also a couple of minor incorrect words in there - the one I just spotted was "The greenskins had starting hitting the line with siege artillery" should be "The greenskins had started hitting the line with siege artillery". I'll change them when I upload the story as well :) Also, be careful of its (possessive of 'it') and it's (abbreviation of 'it is')

If you're mentioning 'guard' as in 'the Imperial Guard army' then it should be capitalised. The same applies for Imperial.

I'm not so sure about the block-caps for the Govenor shouting. Yes, it indicates shouting, but I'm not sure how novels usually indicate it as lots of block-caps is harder to read.

I changed the Ork's "power armour" to "powered armour" since power armour implies specifically Space Marine armour, while powered armour could be any form of heavy, movement-assisted armour.

I also changed "looking at the man who was supposed to keep him south" to "looking at the man who was supposed to keep him safe", since 'south' didn't make sense. If that's wrong, I'll change it back.

I left all of the American spelling and grammar oddities in there (gray, defense, 'Oxford Comma' - although that's spreading more in to standard English now) since they're stylistic to you :) I left 'bugged' and 'bust' in as well, although I'd have used "bulged" and "burst".

That's it for section 1. I'll post them and look over the other two sections shortly :)

As a final aside - Hulls Raven, you forgot the HWT FanFiction section from your list ;)

[edit] Okay, the first five chaptersof Battle for Hive Hargon are up. I've assumed that you've just ended up mis-numbering them due to the fact that you've got a prologue, so each chapter after the prologue and the first is a chapter number down on what you've titled them. If you want any of the synopses changing or improving, or if you don't like any of the changes/corrections I made, just give me a yell :)
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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby IBBoard at 07 Jul 2006, 16:30

Okay, I'll make this a new post so that my last comments don't get over-long and confusing.

I've now added 'part two' to the site. Some things I noticed:

  • The troops seem to be calling the Corporal 'Mikey'. Although he's only a Corporal, I'm not sure whether they'd really get away with that.
  • The Corporal was rather casual in his speech to the Colonel. I think that'd have earned him a court martial! Try to keep the speech more military and appropriate for the various ranks.
  • There's some words you occasionally capitalise, but don't always. Titles, names of military groups, names of races etc should all be capitalised.
  • Not to give things away, should people read these comments first, but the actions of the Warboss seems a little more intelligent than they should be. Do Orks even have Imperium-compatible vox equipment? Also, minor detail, but Orks get larger and darker as they get more veteraned and mature. Grots are pale, Nobz are dark and the Warboss should be about as dark as they get.
  • Definitely be careful of words like "its" and "it's", or "of" and "off", or "to" and "too". There's only a couple of times I've spotted the latter, but the first occurs a lot.
  • Directed speech needs commas before whoever it is directed to. e.g "Yes, Sir.", or "Are you with me, men?" or "To be honest, Private, I don't give a feth about your opinion"

The general plot is still good, though, and the group dynamic is working well. I like the way that the section ends with the fate of Callus not being entirely clear. Yes, the blast is far away, but then 'everyone' was supposedly killed and they were still in the sewers, which were destroyed. Most of the little issues are mainly just me being grammatically picky :)

Now on to the last section!

[edit] Okay, I think that took me most of the afternoon to read through and correct (I like to read slowly and really take things in ;)), but it's all up there now.

I liked the story a lot. A good plot, a good ending, and some nice little nods to various earlier events at the end (the priest and the last line especially). The huge variety of troops seemed like it was slight overkill from the Imperium when the company or two of Guard were very nearly holding it on their own, and it was a shame you didn't include more of them, but maybe in another story.

Great work, and hopefully others will think so too. I look forward to seeing more.
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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Commissar-General at 07 Jul 2006, 20:29

IBBoard wrote:Okay, I'll make this a new post so that my last comments don't get over-long and confusing.

I've now added 'part two' to the site. Some things I noticed:

  • The troops seem to be calling the Corporal 'Mikey'. Although he's only a Corporal, I'm not sure whether they'd really get away with that.
  • The Corporal was rather casual in his speech to the Colonel. I think that'd have earned him a court martial! Try to keep the speech more military and appropriate for the various ranks.
  • There's some words you occasionally capitalise, but don't always. Titles, names of military groups, names of races etc should all be capitalised.
  • Not to give things away, should people read these comments first, but the actions of the Warboss seems a little more intelligent than they should be. Do Orks even have Imperium-compatible vox equipment? Also, minor detail, but Orks get larger and darker as they get more veteraned and mature. Grots are pale, Nobz are dark and the Warboss should be about as dark as they get.
  • Definitely be careful of words like "its" and "it's", or "of" and "off", or "to" and "too". There's only a couple of times I've spotted the latter, but the first occurs a lot.
  • Directed speech needs commas before whoever it is directed to. e.g "Yes, Sir.", or "Are you with me, men?" or "To be honest, Private, I don't give a feth about your opinion"

The general plot is still good, though, and the group dynamic is working well. I like the way that the section ends with the fate of Callus not being entirely clear. Yes, the blast is far away, but then 'everyone' was supposedly killed and they were still in the sewers, which were destroyed. Most of the little issues are mainly just me being grammatically picky :)

Now on to the last section!

[edit] Okay, I think that took me most of the afternoon to read through and correct (I like to read slowly and really take things in ;)), but it's all up there now.

I liked the story a lot. A good plot, a good ending, and some nice little nods to various earlier events at the end (the priest and the last line especially). The huge variety of troops seemed like it was slight overkill from the Imperium when the company or two of Guard were very nearly holding it on their own, and it was a shame you didn't include more of them, but maybe in another story.

Great work, and hopefully others will think so too. I look forward to seeing more.

-Well, Corporal is a very low rank. I don't think it would matter. Hes not even a full NCO

-Ork Warlords are often very intelligent. To think of Orks as stupid is a common misconception.

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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby IBBoard at 08 Jul 2006, 07:30

*thinks* yeah, I guess Corporal is somewhat low. I've never know the level of NCO, but Corporal probably would be below it. He still shouldn't have been speaking to the Colonel like that, though :D

And I know Ork Warlords are intelligent - I play Orks myself - but it was more a matter of whether they'd communicate with the humans, or whether they'd consider them too weak, and whether the brutal-cunning intelligence of an Ork Warboss would work on the level of letting a Planetary Govenor escape in a bargain.
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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Hulls Raven at 08 Jul 2006, 08:33

NCO RAnking system.
Lance Copral
Colour Sergeant
Sergeant Major.
Thats the NCO ranking.

Just in case you were wondering
I was in the army.

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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby Commissar-General at 09 Jul 2006, 03:40

IBBoard wrote:*thinks* yeah, I guess Corporal is somewhat low. I've never know the level of NCO, but Corporal probably would be below it. He still shouldn't have been speaking to the Colonel like that, though :D

And I know Ork Warlords are intelligent - I play Orks myself - but it was more a matter of whether they'd communicate with the humans, or whether they'd consider them too weak, and whether the brutal-cunning intelligence of an Ork Warboss would work on the level of letting a Planetary Govenor escape in a bargain.


von Stab cooperated with Thraka during the Second and Third Wars for Armageddon. Its also not really an alliance, just a sort of understanding. Let me escape alive, and I'll make the invasion easier on you.

But anyways, thanks for the words of encouragement! :D

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RE: Battle for Hive Hargon: C&C Requested

Postby IBBoard at 09 Jul 2006, 08:37

Fair enough, can't say I've actually read detailed Armageddon background. All of the Orky stuff I've read makes it look like Kommandos are the only ones who are sneaky enough in the right way to consider an understanding/bargain like that :)

Now to see when I can look over the other one and Hulls Raven's new epic!
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