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.
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.|
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!|
|After the ork shooting thins the lines a bit, the DKK and (at the back) the Penal Legion sally forth to fight back.|
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.|
|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.|
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,