Aldan Schuster entered the command bunker and took the indicated seat at the table. He wasn’t sure quite why he was here. He was a gunnery officer, commanding a battery of mortars and nothing more. The fight against the Tyrannids in Haslough still weighed heavily on his mind. The Tyrannid had been everywhere a completely saturated ‘target rich environment’ which had rapidly degenerated into an ‘untenable position’. He still was not sure where the conscripts had appeared from or how he had forced them into some semblance of order before the gaunts had arrived but it had happened. They had survived, most of them anyway.

He looked around the table the faces of the assembled officers registering. A woman, commissar by the looks of her. General Havelan, who almost seemed pleased. Bursar Cavendish, who looked dyspeptic, as usual. There were a few other junior officers, all of whom he knew personally. All of them were looking at him in a strange way that he couldn’t quite identify. Aldan was feeling less and less comfortable every second, surely the presence of a commissar did not bode well, for him...

“Rabidly punctual as always Schuster.” General Havelan commented. “I’m sure that most of you have guessed why we are here already. First of course we have to discuss what happened in Haslough. Then we can move on to the core of these proceedings.” It was in fact about what Aldan had expected, this was the opening of a Court Martial. All the pieces were in place, the commissar to prosecute, six of his fellow officers as the Jury, and the General presiding as Judge.

They talked over the way that the engagement with the Tyrannids had progressed, from the first salvo of the basilisks to the last bloody flamer burst burning the final nest outside the city. At the appropriate point Aldan was asked to describe the how’s and why’s of his battery being overrun. He stated his case calmly and dispassionately, making sure he stuck to the facts and not assigning blame. He went into detail if asked and followed the chain of events if not. He only hoped that he had shown that he had done his duty.

At length Havelan Tidied the stack of papers in front of him and looked around the table. “I feel we have at the present time covered the subject background sufficiently. Now we can get down to business. We lost allot of men at Haslough, over seven thousand dead and half that many wounded. Casualty were especially heavy in the officer core, the monsters almost deliberately singled out the leaders of our front line forces, and our rear positions when they broke through. We have lost allot of good men. Which brings us to the point of this meeting, gentlemen meet your new commanding officer.” The General gestured at Aldan with the sheaf of papers he was holding. “As of now Corporal Schuster is promoted to Major and given command of a reconfigured battle group consisting of the command elements that you are responsible for. Major Schuster, allow me to properly introduce to you Commissar Jarucia Mundhenk. She will be your Commissariat attaché for the foreseeable future, so it would be wise to begin forming a good working relationship.” Aldan was a fast on the uptake in this situation as he had been in combat. Though shocked that he wasn’t about to be executed for abandoning his position he quickly extended his open hand toward the commissar. “It is a pleasure to meet you, and I hope we will form a functional team in the service of Him-On-Earth.” Jarucia took his hand and shook it firmly but cooly. “I also hope that we will earn success in His service. Now I already know the rest of you, so lets get on with the meeting.”

Now it was Bursar Cavendish’s turn to speak. “Major Aldan, your previous experience has been with mortar teams, and by extension heavy weapons in general. I therefor have allocated you a large contingent of heavy artillery, ten missile launchers, ten auto canons, and fifteen mortars. I am given to understand that there are not enough experienced men available to crew all of these weapons however when fresh troops become available in sufficient quantity you may be accorded extra men to bring your combat capabilities up to full strength. Depending on how you preform in the intervening period of course. We also have allocated a Basilisk Artillery tank, under the command of warrant officer Janet Cristmeer.” A nod in Janet’s direction. “Her crew are well trained in the use of their vehicle and I think you will find it easy to adapt your previous artillery training to feeding them pertinent battlefield coordinates. Mister Jasper would you please describe the intended purpose of your Grenadiers?”

Staff Sergeant Milo Jasper bowed slightly, not an easy thing to do siting down, and took up his part of the briefing. “Put simply my boys are your fast response section. They were going to allocate you several sentinels and another tank but the nids tore up allot of gear. For the first few months we will probably be operating without any real fast assault or scout capabilities. We aren’t exactly thrilled at working without support but we can plug a breach in the line and in a pinch I think we could hold an objective long enough for the rest of the troops to catch up, but things would be dicey. Rest assured though, My men will do their best for you.”

“I thank you, I am sure that your service will be all that could be expected. There is only one section here who we haven’t heard, Lieutenant Jarred Colens if you please?” “Much obliged, We have worked together before you and I Major as have all of us I suspect though some faces are ones I personally have never seen. My Icebreakers will be the main contingent of troops under your command, we will supply the manpower to crew the guns and get the job done. As I’ve said we have fought together before, I hope your as good a commander as you were a comrade.”

General Havelan looked over the assembled “I think that’s all we need for right now. The 4th has been called to a new war-zone and we ship out at dawn. You will get time to train and integrate on the troopships, use it well. Dismissed!”

Heirs to the legacy of the War for Kastafor the 4th Legion has been ripped apart and reassembled combining the dregs and remnants of over 70 ruined regiments. Christened the ‘Steel Survivors’ the 4th is a legion built to house and utilize the human wreckage of warfare. The Kastafor 4th is constantly absorbing the last few survivors of ruined regiment from any war-zone they are involved in, making use of whatever ability the human flotsam has left. Casualties are replaced with fresh warriors inducted on Kastafor or the incorporation of even more remnant troops. They put this extra talent to good use, training to be adaptable and able to utilize variegated strategy.

Like all the guardsmen coming out of Kastafor these days the 4th are equipped with gray urban cammo fatigues and dull metallic body armor.