Sunday, 30 August 2015

523 - The Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 2

Korpsman Anders Eriksson's story;
262 Line Regt Liaison Detachment
Death Korps of Krieg.


With a sigh, Korpsman Eriksson strapped himself into his seat, grinding his teeth a little at the patronising, sing-song vox voices piping out over the building roar of thrusters: these Cadians took this ‘health and safety’ stuff way too seriously. 

Eriksson couldn’t complain: the transport was desperately overcrowded, and he knew he’d been lucky even to get a seat. Then again, he felt lucky that he was still even able to use a seat: most of the poor wretches near him were on stretchers, and some quite evidently wouldn’t even make it through take-off, let alone the short hop back out into orbit. 

He sighed again. He was one of only a handful of korpsmen whom they’d been able to rescue, and he knew that he’d lost an awful lot of friends down there. 

The Combined Artillery Park of the Cadian, Praetorian and Krieg forces. NB: In this image, Korpsman Eriksson is manning his autocannon in the bunker in the foreground (battery left); the Penal legion can be seen to the right of the Malcador tank, just behind it, and Bdr Schmidt is manning his DKK thudd gun in the line behind and between the two bunkers.
It’d been fine at first: the fire missions came through the net loud and clear and the thunderous explosion of ordnance leaving countless batteries had sent intense shockwaves through his bunker: a sound a feeling to make any man of Krieg proud. After the opening salvoes, of course, the guns had found themselves in a more settled rhythm, and the reports back from the spotters – broadcast over the vox for any who could still hear well enough – were very encouraging. It had seemed as if the entirety of the ork first wave had been blasted apart in places. Glorious. 
The DKK thudd guns - Bdr Schmidt is fourth back from the front. NB: The Imperium fielded NINE thudd guns this day, and the orks very very quickly grew to hate them. A lot.
But with the more regular rhythm came a lulling sense of ease, and the orks had come – taking them by surprise. 

Of course, they were defended: the gun park was neatly corralled and defended by a perimeter of Korpsmen, their line bolstered on battery-left by a smattering of Cadian penal legion too. But the ground was not kind: space available for siting the batteries had been extremely limited, and as a consequence, guns of all shapes and sizes – Cadian griffons, Praetorian thud guns and naturally the big siege mortars of the Death Korps – had been jammed way too close together. A very tempting target for any outflanking orks. 
The orks roar into view...on both flanks!
They had done their best, those like Eriksson on the perimeter. They’d cut down countless orks in the time they’d had, but the time they’d had was way too brief, and the greenskins way too fast and way too strong. Dead ground only fifty yards away had sheltered the orks as they closed in, and the only decent warning they’d got had been the guttural growl of engines: scores of nob bikers had suddenly appeared and let loose a terrifying fusillade of coarse shoota bullets. 
After the ork shooting thins the lines a bit, the DKK and (at the back) the Penal Legion sally forth to fight back.
The Krieg perimeter had held for a while, of course: it’s what they were bred to do, and the defence lines were strong, but in the time and space allowed, they couldn’t kill enough of them quickly enough. And then the bikers and waggons were upon them. It’d been clear to Eriksson, once they’d wrenched his autocannon round inside the bunker to fire back in on the battery, that the lines simply could not hold: the defenders were as brave and fearless as they should be, but even the finest Krieg bayonet training could do little against two tons of a huge ork bike with its spitting death and whirring blades. 

Eriksson had seen heroism like never before. Battery-right he saw the Hauptmann split a biker from the nave to the chops with his powersword before the dying ork – mid-throes – simply grabbed and wrenched off the poor man’s head clear off before, like grotesque puppetry, it had sprung back on the rubberised tube of his re-breather. He shuddered at the image. 

Old Bdr Schmidt had died well, too. Having scooped up the standard from the command section as it fell near his thudd gun, he seemed almost just to sense the ork leaping at him from the saddle. Without so much as flinching he rammed the standard hard into the ground, knelt down – looking for all the world like he was on the artillery drill square – and calmly watched the ork nob spit itself on the shaft, thrashing impotently until dispatched with Schmidt’s laspistol. That was the last he’d seen of Schmidt. 
Immediately before Schmidt's heroic act
As above; high angle.
It wasn’t just the Krieg either – over on battery left he saw the orange-clad NCO in charge of the strangely well-disciplined Cadian Penal Legions wade through the fallen men of his own section to face up against a hulking ork biker Warboss Raknor, toe-to-toe. He actually buried his chainsword so deep in the warboss’s sternum that it snapped off at the hilt: Eriksson had time enough to see the man punch the ork in the armoured jaw before the nearby Praetorian Malcador, ‘Dauntless’ was ripped apart by a massive explosion. Everyone nearby had died except – astonishingly – the NCO, who staggered, dazed over the fallen corps of his erstwhile foe before being gunned down by the crazed gunner of one of the waggons. Such bravery! 
Yet another hero of the Penal Legion attached to the Cadian 24th: our ludicrously brave NCO may be seen behind the Malcador. Obviously, this pict is from the initial Imperial deployment.
Such bravery. 

Eriksson’s survival was nothing but luck. His autocannon – the last intact in the bunker – had jammed, badly, and with no more shells streaming forth from the firing slit, and with the bunker door held shut by ork corpses the orks had failed to notice them anymore. Seeing the slaughter of the gunpark unfold before their eyes, and knowing the OC to be amongst those bodies currently being looted, he and Gunnison had re-tuned their own vox-set to the command net for new orders. 

“Cease fire,” the order had come down. “We’ll get you out – you may know something of use, so don’t get yourselves killed now.” 

Gunnison then sent intermittent sitreps over the next while as the orks quickly got themselves back in what could loosely be described as some sort of an order before heading off again. “Enemy are moving towards you, Sir,” urged Gunnison down the vox. “I say again: enemy are moving – at strength – towards your position Sir. Acknowledge, over?” 

But Eriksson had realised even then that with no more support from the big guns, the rest of the Krieg and all of the other troops would already be feeling the pinch at the front line. And now they were really in trouble. 
Meanwhile, the DKK fight off the green menace on the high ground in the middle of the main battle.

With a sigh, Korpsman Eriksson settled back into his seat. He knew Bad Things had befallen the Imperium this day, and both he and Gunnison had already realised they hadn’t seen any other Krieg uniforms on board this transport – wounded or otherwise. 

His teeth started to grind once more.


NB: I'm terribly slow at writing fluff, and Real Life (TM) has sucker-punched me in the last two weeks, but please allow me to draw your attention once again to these marvellous contributions from my co-conspirators in the camps of Col. Gravis and Col. Winterbourne respectively:
  • Gravis (part 1; plenty more thereafter: link here)
  • Winterbourne (part 1; more to follow: link here).
With particular thanks to Zzzzz,

- Drax.


  1. Replies
    1. Yup. An awful lot of stinging went on in this battle...

  2. Nice of you to slot the H&S reference in there !

  3. Slow is fine. Thoroughly enjoyed this!

    Shame about the arti-park tho...

    1. Tell me about it. They should've had picquets out...

      Cheers, BTW.

  4. Very enjoyable! I liked the capitalisation of Bad Things... I'm going to start doing that at work.

    1. Why, thank you: I'm delighted that you noticed!

      It's in homage, really, to the seminal and excellent '1066 And All That'...


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