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Colonel Ibrahim looked slowly up and down the trenches of his forces, his breath misting slowly in the frosty air. It was quiet, only the gentle thuds of the guns far behind him firing on the city in the distance broke the silence. It was day 817 of the campaign to bring the world of Askos back under the dominion of the Emperor. Ibrahim’s battalion of more than 2000 men had faced down all that the traitor forces had thrown at them and given it right back. He was extremely proud of them, they had done all he had asked and then some, even the implacable commissar standing to his right was pleased, in his own grim, determined way.
“Your thoughts, commissar?”
“Something is going to happen; you can feel it in the air, on the tip of your tongue. Your men feel it too, they grow restless.”
“Yes, I feel it as well. Unfortunately, we must do nothing until we are ordered.”
“A proper answer, colonel, the Emperor’s light shines on those who obey.”
“As always, commissar.”
Just then, a huge gout of earth was blasted into the crisp air followed closely by the crack of the cannon that fired it. Ibrahim turned to his companion with a glint in his eye. “It seems our waiting is at an end; ranging shots.”
The light artillery along the enemy lines began firing in rapid succession, creeping closer and closer to the trenches occupied by the Cadian 17th. As a siege battalion, they responded in kind. Heavy Morters and Earthshaker cannons opened up in a terrible counter-battery fire. The air was alive with the sound of roaring guns and deafening explosions from where the colonel observed in the command bunker above the main trench. Behind him, he could hear the dull metallic collisions as his own cannoneers hurried to reload the big guns.
Ibrahim strode out and joined his men, the commissar and his command squad only steps behind him. “Men of Cadia,” he roared, his voice echoing through the trench through squad’s vox-casters. “Once more the enemy rallies to attack, once more he has somehow grown the nerve to face our guns again. Will we let him breach our lines? Will we allow him any quarter at all?”
His men responded in one voice, “No!”
“Then stand ready men, stand strong; the Emperor protects!”
With that, all 2000 men began checking their weapons and equipment, ignoring the explosions around them. As one, it seemed that the enemy trench just got up and began charging that of the imperials. Artillery blasted them and still they came. Heavy bolters and autocannons shot them, and still they came. Finally, lasguns burned them and, although they had taken massive casualties, the traitor guardsmen still came as though they were hellspawn themselves, red eyes glowing dimly beneath their helmets.
Ibrahim activated his power sword as his commissar did the same. Charging forward, bolt pistol blazing, the colonel attacked the traitors just as they hit the lines. Bayonets flashed in the morning sun as blood stained the grey and white uniforms of the Imperials. Such a toll had the guns of the battalion taken on the enemy that they were killed to a man in only minutes. As the colonel looked up from the decapitated foe in front of him, he could see a dark, bulky figure standing in the middle of the ground between the 2 trenches. Although the entire line fired at him, no damage was done, it was as though he were protected by the fell energies of chaos itself. Slowly, the figure raised its arms and softly began to levitate a few meters above the ground. Gently spinning, it began to scream an unholy scream. Suddenly, the figure exploded in a gout a blood and gore, all that remained was a black, shapeless mass. Slowly, that mass congealed into the form of a demon. As the figure grew and multiplied in size, Ibrahim gasped, it was a bloodthirster!
When the form was complete, it let out a terrible roar, blasting the ears of those lining the trenches. Around it, more shapeless black forms began appearing, themselves coming into existence as bloodletters and hounds and other demons too terrible and unrecognizable to name. With another roar from the great maw of the bloodthirster, the entire mass began to move forward, charging ever faster towards the men of Cadia.
Ibrahim turned to his vox operator. “Get on the net and direct the fire of every artillery battery in range onto the position. Call for reinforcements and as much air support as is available. Do it now!”
As the terrified man hurried to comply with his orders, Ibrahim turned to his commissar. “I fear we shall not survive this attack,” he clasped the hand of the quiet, brooding man. “Know this, it has been an honor serving with you in his name. May the Emperor protect you.”
“And you as well Colonel.”
At that, they again activated their weapons, watching as the horde grew ever closer, watching as shot and shell had no effect. Thunderbolts and Vultures strafed the ground as the regimental artillery slammed the position but still they came. The two companions charged forward to meet the enemy and the Emperor.
The last thing the colonel saw as he lay there on the frozen ground, steam rising from his opened belly and blood pooling around him was a Terminator shrouded in silver stepping out of a shimmering void. Ibrahim closed his eyes and slept, knowing that he would soon be at the Emperor’s table, eating his fill.
Last edited by Black8; October 9th, 2008 at 15:18.