They sat and listened as their Commanding Officer told Conward and his platoon of men the story of the raid of the Imperial planet from the Dark Eldar. He told them of the ships as they rained down towards the planet with the sound of shrieking pain from the Horrorfex’s, as the Dark Eldar Raiders screeched towards their planet. He told them of the look of doom on his comrade’s faces as the Dark Eldar fleet covered the sky and the Imperial Ships crashed to the ground in flames. But most of all, he told them that all 200 of his company had all gotten slaughtered, and tortured. “I barely escaped.” He finally said after he was done telling his story.
No one asked any questions after he finished – all was quiet.
Breaking the silence, the Commanding Officer then said, “Not to worry though. We will be prepared, unlike when we were raided. None of you should be scared. Trust in the Emperor, and we will all be fine!”
The next day, they were going to scout a planet that was thought to have Dark Eldar inhabitants.
Sergeant Conward lay in his bed as he wondered what the planet would be like. He thought and thought, thinking through all the possible situations that he might get in. What if we are captured? Will we be tortured forever? Was the Commanding Officer’s story true? He thought. He finally went to sleep after sitting in bed. It was 10:30 p.m. before he finally went to bed. In 8 hours he would be leaving on the scouting mission.
Sergeant Conward and his platoon of about forty guardsmen had finally begun their scouting mission on the unknown planet where the Dark Eldar were thought to be. The unforgettable torture from the Dark Eldar still lurked in their minds as they patrolled through the underground tunnel in the midst of the night. Their footsteps and the sound of the radio were the only things to be heard.
Unaware of the evil sneaking through the dark pathways, the squad moved through slowly. Suddenly, bright flashes of light filled the air temporarily blinding the squad. Three members of the platoon had disappeared.
“Get into position! Attack!” Conward yelled. Lasgun fire blasted through the air in ferocious bursts towards the direction of their nemesis, but all was gone. Once again it was silent. “Advance in shooting positions,” commanded Conward. They continued working their way through the tunnel. Once again, the Dark Eldar attacked, but this time they were going for the full-blown kill. Sharp projectiles ejected from the Warriors Splinter Rifles slicing through the Imperial Armour. The Guardsmen attacked back, returning fire with their lasguns.
The Dark Eldar then charged with evil laughter filling the air as they swung their blades through the crisp, cold air that filled the tunnel. Conward using his power fist crushed several foes, although in doing so took a hit. His vision blurred as he staggered back, towards the tunnel wall catching himself on the cold, hard surface painted with blood running from his tattered body. He sat their watching the battle, but got himself back up and pounded a couple more Dark Eldar Warriors to the ground with his powerfist, but he was too weak. He fell to the ground once more. Too weak to stand up he crawled towards his radio, which had fallen on the ground.
He attempted to call for reinforcements, but the concrete walls blocked the signal. He watched his men being slaughtered helplessly just before he fell through the weakened cave floor. He blacked out on impact…
He awoke with sudden abruptness from hearing the screams and howls of torture from his platoon that had been slaughtered over and over again. He fumbled around with the med kit tell and he found some bandages and covered his main wounds. He tried once more to radio, but as before the signals could not escape through the thick concrete. Strong enough to walk, he slowly got up and stumbled through the completely dark tunnel, unaware that he was walking towards the eternal doom of his life.
The memories of being tortured by the Dark Eldar grew greater and greater as he kept stumbling through the tunnel. His memories kept running through his brain. He fell down on his knee’s covering his ears as the painful sensations were racking through his body. He imagined the torture and pain that was soon to come. Although they were only thoughts, they were about to become real. He looked up, and saw the Dark Eldar Lord, laughing and smiling at the Conwards eternal torture…
Then, he woke up. It was just a dream. Sweating, and breathing heavily, he couldn’t get back to sleep. It was now only 3 Hours before he had to leave. He sat in bed, not being able to fall asleep. Again, the same thoughts went through his head as before. Finally deciding that he probably wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep, he got out of bed and started packing his supplies and getting ready. After he was set, he set all his supplies by the door of his room, ready to go.
He went outside to take a walk in the chilly night. As he walked, he looked up at the sky, and saw all the other stars, moons, and planets sparkling in the night sky. It was amazing, until the thought came to him that he was soon to leave. He thought about all his friends that he had, and that they would be lost after he left. And, then, the daunting thought came to him. What if he died.
As he got back to his room, he started to hear the sounds of other troops getting ready to go. He got the few belongings that he was taking, and his supplies. Walking down to main area, he met up with his bud, Tom. His real name was Thomas, but everyone called him Tom. Conward saw Tom shaking. He was nervous, and scared, and all he could do was guess what was going to happen.
Sergeant Conward readied his platoon, as they filed into the briefing room to be informed of the mission in greater detail by the Commanding Officer.
The room was filled with talking, as the soldiers conversed with each other curiously, until all fell silent when the Commanding Officer took his place towards the front of the room.
“We are sending 5 companies to scout the planet, that we think is controlled by the Dark Eldar. Company 1 will be positioned in sector 1.0, Company 2 in sector 3.0, Company 3 in sector 6.0, Company 4 in sector 9.0, and Company 5 in sector 12.0. When we land, it will be dark for hours before daylight comes, hopefully making it more safely. The planet is covered in many abandoned buildings, factories, and tunnels, so I’m warning you to be careful and take many precautions. If you are ever encounter a small amount of enemy forces, then attack. We will get to you as soon as possible if you need any reinforcements. Artillery support is provided only when necessary, because we want to be as quiet as possible. Retreat only if neccesary. Any questions?” There were no questions, so with a satisfied look, he ordered the different Companies to their ship.
Sergeant Conward of Company 1 boarded the ship along with his platoon. After riding for an hour or so, he ordered his company onto their designated Lander.
“Get buckled up; prepare for landing. This is our sector!” He yelled loud enough for everyone to hear. His company, and the other companies loaded up in their Landers.
“Ready. All systems look good to go.”
The Lander was released from the ship. The engines blasted furiously to maintain stability. A clear shield went around the ship filled with electrical currents. They were zooming towards the planet, but slowed before they hit the ground. Conward stood ready to unload out of the ship and to get into position to scout their area. They all unloaded, and slowly moved across rough ground. They then saw a tunnel. Already, he had a sense of fear as they crept towards the opening of the dark tunnel.
“Get your flashlights on, men!” he told his platoon. Then, abruptly, bright flashes of light filled the tunnel – just like it had in his dream. Just as that happened, a flood of thoughts entered his mind. Will I die? What will happen? Is what happened in my dream actually going to happen?
After the light had disappeared, 3 members had vanished. That’s it, he thought, I must order a retreat. But then, he remembered that he was told only to retreat if necessary. What would the Commanding Officer think of me if I ordered a retreat just because of a dream? Conward didn’t know what to do.
“Retreat.” Conward finally said. His platoon was in astonishment.
“But, we have orders to only retreat if necessary,” a Guardsmen replied.
“I don’t care, just retreat!” Conward then said again.
“Now!” Conward said angrily. “Do you want to die, or not?” With that, they started falling back. As they were slowly moving backwards, Conward heard footsteps.
“Wait! Hold your positions! I heard something.” Conward said just loud enough for his company to hear. All went silent, as they listened. Just as they had emerged from the cave, a powerful bolt of dark energy found its way into the back of guardsmen. Totally dismantled, the Guardsmen begged for help. The only thing they could do however, was shoot him. He was too badly injured, and being caught alive by the Dark Eldar was certain death and pain. After that, more shots fired.
“Return fire!” Conward commanded. “We need artillery support! ASAP!” Conward messaged to the ship in orbit above the planet.”
“It’ll be 10 minutes, Sergeant; you’ll have to hold out tell then.”
Conward then saw something he dreaded. Tom had been stabbed to death. Conward ran towards him, almost in tears. He had been stabbed and shot at least 20 times. Conward then angrily took his powersword and Bolt pistol and turned around to face a Haemonculus. Its eyes wide and red, mouth in a smile as it held two sharp scythes in its hands.
Conward slashed his powersword in the direction of the Haemonculus only to miss. The Haemonculus had incredible speed. Dodging Conwards attack, it used its scythes and sliced open Conwards side as fresh blood spilled out of the wound. Conward screamed in agony, pleasing the Haemonculus, which then launched another attack towards Conward, which bounced off Conwards armour.
Conward then viciously attacked back with a series of attacks from his powersword, finally taking down the Haemonculus.
Then, above roared the engines of the attack ship above.
“Fall back to cover!” Conward commanded. “We got artillery support! Fall back to cover!” he repeated once more.
The rest of the platoon that had survived ran to the safety of their Lander as furious explosions, and racks of fire pounded the Dark Eldar behind them.
They took off in the Lander and joined up with the rest of the companies on the ship which had already finished their scout mission.
Finally, they were safe…