“… Then I turned around and ran forward, firing as I went forward… Because after all, we are still Batavirans.” Sergeant Allen Walker took a sip of the cup of soup, grinned at his soldiers and warmed his hands on the hot cup. He looked at the faces of the four soldiers that looked back at him. The fifth lay somewhere behind him, keeping an eye out for the heretics. Walker pulled the blanket around him a bit tighter before he continued: “Want to hear how I received this scar?” The Bataviran, Konrad Kessler, who had made the soup, stood up and went with a hot cup towards the sniper who lay near a wall around ten meters away from them. He handed over the soup and sat near the fire again. “Graziano still hasn’t seen the enemy, sir.” Walker thought about what he should say but before he had the chance to do anything, the young Thurovian Fritz Kreuz said something. Walker hadn't exactly heard what it was but since Kessler handed him a fresh cup of soup he had could have guessed what it was. “Onux still produces the best soup in the entire Imperium,” Kessler grinned. Walker stared into the fire, the smoke went up in the air and out through the large hole where once should have been a roof. Their backpacks lay in a corner. Snow fell down around them. It would have been a peaceful occasion if it hadn't been for this bloody war... In the distant, heavy artillery rumbled. It was an hour, maybe two before it would be dark. Walker hoped the enemy appeared before the darkness, so they could use the cover of the dark to get back to their friends.
They had left the other Batavirans, who where upon a hill maybe two or three miles outside of the city, three days ago, for a raid behind enemy lines and right now, ammo and food were running low. Out of the ten that started, there were six left. Not too bad… They had destroyed two tanks with meltabombs and slaughtered a small patrol. Kreuz started reloading his shotgun, Kessler handed out the last bit of the hot soup before making out the fire and Paulli Winters placed ammo for the Heavy Bolter near the wall. After making out the fire, Kessler loaded a fresh clip into his boltpistol while slowly humming the Litany of Reloading. He had found the boltpistol during another raid behind enemy lines. Their officer had died and Kessler picked up the pistol. Kreuz suddenly yelled to Graziano: “Hey! When are the heretics coming?! We are getting bored here!” As a reply, the sniper raised his fist, the signal for ‘hold still’. Everyone froze immediately. The Graziano left his place near the Heavy Bolter and ran towards them. He spoke in a low voice, afraid to be heard by the enemy outside: “There are around twenty five soldiers approaching us. I spotted nine mortars. The majority of them are old men. Perhaps a small patrol, but I don’t know. We got around two minutes before they see us. What are your orders, sir?”
Walker thought about it for a second or two before he said: “Alright… Winters and Lahinsky, you guys just fire away with the Heavy Bolter at those heretics from the front. Graziano, I want you to go to the building next of us and take up a position on the third floor. Kill the highest ranking soldier you can find. Kessler, you hide on their right flank. Try to get as close as possible without being seen. Kreuz, you do the same but then on their left flank. If you have some grenades left, throw them when you can. Don’t let any escape. And to all of you, do not, I repeat, do not fire until I have fired.”
Kreuz, Graziano and Kessler quickly vanished into the surrounding area. They knew the terrain pretty well after three raids. Walker quickly got into position next to the Heavy Bolter. The Heavy Bolter was behind what once had been a window. Lahinsky got in a comfortable firing position while Winters carried the last ammo around. Both were a bit nervous. The enemy would walk straight into them. Walker putted some snow in his mouth so the enemy would spot his breath and reloaded his laspistol. The first soldiers were walking into his view now. It appeared to be a group of older men, well past the optimal age for a soldier, armed with only mortars and pistols. The heretics wore white robes with the right part of their chest uncovered. Walker aimed at the heretic who walked on the left flank.
Kessler jumped through the dark hole and rolled over the floor. There he lay for a moment to let his eyes get used to the darkness around him. The little bit of light that was inside the dark house was from the window on the street where the enemy would be. As silent as possible, Kessler crawled towards the window and lay himself flat against the wall. He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer to the Emperor. He could hear the boots of the heretics stamping upon the street outside.
Fritz Kreuz lay upon the first floor of a ruined building. The wood creaked every time he moved. Kreuz tried to lay as still as possible because the heretics in the street below might hear him. Suddenly the first soldiers walked into his view. The mark of Slaanesh clearly visible upon the back of one soldier. If the enemy turned around, he would be a sitting duck… He placed a couple of grenades next to him. He said a prayer to the Emperor and switched the safety of his shotgun.
Orso Graziano crawled around between the rubble until he found a firing position he was comfortable with. With one hand he covered the scope of his sniper rifle, to prevent the enemy from seeing him. He quickly looked through the scope to see what could be the highest ranking officer. He found one tall guy wearing some sort of special armor. He didn’t wear white robes like the others, but some sort of glittering armor. Graziano settled the crosshairs between the eyes of the enemy.
Walker looked at the Heavy Bolter team next to him, Lahinsky rose a thumb up and Winters gave a light nod. Walker took a deep breath and aimed his laspistol at a heretic. The enemy was perhaps forty metres away. The sergeant aimed carefully and pulled the trigger. The old man on the left just fell to the ground, his hands clawing for his throat where blood rushed out. A second later the Heavy Bolter spat death and decay upon the surprised heretics. Several heretics went screaming down when they were hit. One tall guy, with glittering armor, started yelling something and waving his hands around. Suddenly his head was blown off, the glittering armor provided no protection against the large slugs that Graziano fired. This caused confusion among the ranks of the heretics, some tried to run away, dropping their mortars and everything with it, while others tried to load their mortars to fight back against the unseen enemy. An unknown enemy started yelling about their reward and the pleasure they would receive. The majority of the enemy didn’t flee, because in the street was enough cover for them to hide from the Heavy Bolter.
Kessler lay behind the wall when he heard people opening fire. He kept his breath to wait until he had to fire away. A grenade exploded in the street next to him. He was scared senseless when suddenly a heretic dived through the window. Apparently the Slaaneshi follower thought this was a safe place from the Heavy Bolter in the street outside. Kessler dived forward and placed his hand upon the heretic his mouth, with the other hand he drove his knife deep in the back of the enemy. Kessler stabbed the enemy a few more times, just to be sure. The Slaaneshi follower died without letting out a scream. Kessler picked up his bolt pistol and looked out through the window. The face of an old man appeared in front of Kessler. Both stood there for a moment and Kessler didn’t need any more. He opened fire with his bolt pistol. The lower jaw of the old man disappeared and Kessler pulled the man through the window. The heretic let out a shriek but Kessler just stabbed him with a knife through the eye. After it he cleaned the knife upon the heretic’s clothes. After it, the Bataviran started firing into the street.
Kreuz had kept his shotgun aimed at a heretic below him. When Walkerhad opened fire, Kreuz threw a grenade down into the street. The heretics dived for cover everywhere. He waited a second and then threw the last grenade. One heretic bravely jumped on top of a grenade. His body and several pieces were blown into the air when the grenade exploded. Because of the sacrifice from their comrade, some heretics managed to fire their mortars. The mortars lay almost flat to get in the favored firing position. They aimed for Winters and Lahinsky…
Walker pressed himself flat against the ground when he heard the mortars firing. One mortar exploded far behind them, another one exploded far to his right. The last mortar fell in front of them. Lahinsky twisted in his seat from the many shrapnel’s that had hit him. The left side of his face was cut off and several large pieces of hot iron stuck out of his chest. “Fire! Fire! Fire,” Walker yelled. Winters grabbed Lahinsky’s body, pressed it against his chest like a large baby, whispered: “We will meet again in the Paradise…” and then pushed Lahinsky’s body away from behind the Heavy Bolter. Winters sat down behind the large gun, quickly said the Lithany of Shooting and opened fire. One mortar team was very quickly killed, their bodies flew back as if they were punched by a gigantic fist. Several heretics tried to run away now. The unknown commander grabbed one of the escapees and kicked him in front of the Batavirans their Heavy Bolter. Winters ignored the others who tried to make a run for it, Kessler and Kreuz would kill anyone that tried to escape. Another mortar team died when Winters hit their ammo, the ammo exploded and pieces of hot metal as sharp as razor blades flew through the air. He now aimed for the last mortar team…
Kessler was busy dealing with the escapers. It were three soldiers that tried to make a run for it. Kessler killed two with his Boltpistol. The last one tried to hide behind a wall, but Kessler had found him pretty easily. The heretic fumbled with a knife and whispering something about Slaanesh having promised pleasure not pain. Kessler aimed at the heretic his head, he just wanted to get over with it. In the last moment the heretic jumped at Kessler who fired into the leg from the enemy. The leg was blown off from the body and the heretic fell screaming down. Kessler aimed again, but this time the boltpistol just clicked. He was out of ammo. He went through his pockets to find a fresh clip but couldn’t find any. With no bullets left Kessler approached the heretic and took his knife in one hand. With one quick slash, he lay the throat of the enemy open. Dying this way was too good for the heretic, after everything they had done to the other Batavirans. The heretic would be glad to die such a quick death. After it Kessler looked for more that tried to escape, couldn’t find any and went back towards the others.
Kreuz had two escapees, one just walked straight into his shotgun, screaming about becoming immortal and that Slaanesh would reward him for it. The old man would never get any reward and still was a mortal. The large slug that Kreuz fired at the man in a close distance ripped the enemy almost in half. The other enemy, after seeing what happened to his comrade just turned around and ran away. Kreuz fired once, missed and fired again. Both of the legs of the heretic were blown away. The enemy, after seeing Kreuz approaching him, tried to crawl away. Kreuz slowly came closer to the last heretic. Unlike the other soldiers, this was a young guy. His face covered in some weird sort of make-up. The heretic tried to beg for his life: “Please! Don’t kill me! I will do anything for you! Anything!” Kreuz just aimed the shotgun in the enemy’s face. “Why can’t they take their death like a real man should?” he thought when he pulled the trigger…
“The mortar! Aim for the last mortar! There are just five left, kill the last mortar!” Walker screamed at Winters. The Bataviran fired at the last mortar and killed them, but not before the crew managed to fire one more round. The round exploded in the building next to Walker and Winters. The entire building started to collapse. Walker could hear Graziano screaming before the sniper was crushed beneath the stones. Winters jumped away from his gun, because otherwise, he too, would have been buried under the stones. The heretics, reduced to three, had found their courage again and ran forward. One of the heretics was screaming about their rewards and the pleasure they would get if they killed the Batavirans. Walker fired twice at the heretic, shooting him once in the belly and missing with the other. Yet the heretic kept running forward, his guts dragged behind him like a large, bloody worm. Another round to the head, putted the man down. The other two jumped over the wall and let them fall upon the Batavirans. They were armed with only knives…
One heretic grabbed Winters and both rolled upon the ground. The heretic raised his hand with the knife while with the other hand he kept Winters pinned to the ground. He tried to stab Winters, who at the last moment twisted his head. The knife sank into the ground. The heretic, enraged that he had missed his prey, lifted his entire body so he could stab again while with the other had kept around Winters’ neck. Knowing it would be over within moments, Winters drove an elbow into the man’s testicles, the most vulnerable part of a Slaaneshi worshipper. The man fell upon the floor, vomiting and cursing. Winters didn’t give him a second to recover and kicked the man just below the ribs. The heretic screamed in his pain: “The prince promised pleasure! He promised pleasure!” Winters, wanting it to be all over, gave a new kick against the heretic his head, just behind the ear. The heretic now lay silent upon the ground.
Walker had tried to dodge when the heretic jumped at him, but he wasn’t fast enough and the heretic grabbed his coat. Both fell upon the ground. Walker landed on top of the heretic and desperately tried to keep both of the heretic his hands down. Slowly the other soldier began to twist free. In both hands he had a knife and it wouldn’t be long before one of those knives ended up in Walker’s arms. The sergeant quickly let loose of one hand. While holding his index finger and middle finger like a fork, he shoved the fingers into the man’s nose and yanked upward. The heretic dropped both of the knives and tried to recover his nose. The heretic screamed about his beautiful appearance that was ruined now. Walker stood up and picked up the laspistol. He aimed it at the enemy’s face, decided it was too good for the heretic that probably had killed so many of his Bataviran friends. He placed the laspistol back in the holster and picked up his shovel. The heretic tried to protect his face, screaming: “Not my face! Please! Not my beautiful face!” Walker grinned and holding the shovel flat, hammered upon the heretic’s face. Fingers, eyes and bones were reduced to a bloody pie...
Walker looked at the remains of his squad. There were just three of his soldiers left. Kessler was grinning about a joke Kreuz had made. Winters came back, carrying Lahinsky’s and his own backpack. Walker would carry Graziano’s backpack so nothing would be wasted. They couldn’t afford it, since they might need the equipment later. It was getting dark outside, just what they needed to get back to their friends upon the hill just outside of the city. Walker looked at the faces of his soldiers in the fading light, the faces were grim, insolent and determinate. “Well let’s get the hell out of here.”
Later that night they reached the other Batavirans.