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Welcome to the first ever piece of 40k fiction I have ever written. This is my a short story(part1) about my home-made regiment, the Severites. Enjoy, and I look forward to C&C!! thank you!
“To be honest with you commissar, I find the whole situation distasteful.” Colonel Igor Kiodor Massif fumed at his political officer with contained wrath.
“I must remind you yet again, Colonel, that this issue of discipline falls squarely in my lap as your representative from the Commissariat. Failing in that duty would run parallel to my failing the Throne of Terra.” Commissar Hlibros steepled his hands over the documents he had been reviewing, “So you can understand my reluctance to abscond from this issue and ‘Let the regiment handle it.’ Sir.” Massif could never grasp how one man could put so much disrespect and scholarly disdain into an honorific so tied into his commission. Commissar Hlibros had that effect with his words. He reminded Igor of a Sholam Master whom had once tended over his family academy. Just like Hlibros, he used his advanced vocabulary to heap shame on any student he found wanting. Unlike Hlibros he used a meter long ruler to chastise wrongdoers and malfeasance in his class. The commissar tended more to a bolt pistol for that particular task. Hlibros had a reputation for turning a disciplinary action into an object lesson for a Gaurdsmens squadmates. He would have the offender stand before his assembled comrades and then commence haranguing him. The troopers called it, ‘The Firing Squad’. So like the manner of a bullying Scholam tutor did he have, the troopers joked that Hlibros had started as a school master. Upon finding his class had summarily failed his final exam, he field executed them all. Instead of being punished for what equated to the wholesale murder of a class full of ten year old boys, the joke went, he was recommended for duties as a commissar.
“Surely you can see where such extreme censure could only damage the regiments’ morale, comissar? The Sergeant was acting in self defense, and it is my personal belief, the interests of the regiment. That Munitorium Supervisor was a rival clansman of my troops and was issuing faulty munitions during the defense of Ketell City. Have you not heard the reports from the dog soldiers up?” Massif stepped forward to the comissars’ desk and rested his fists on the edge of the desk, “Las-packs half full? Dud grenades and mortar rounds?! Bones of the Saints, we lost half our fusiliers to malfunctioning rockets!!”
“I am well aware of the complaints of the line soldiery regarding munitions; I have tasked my counter-parts in Munitorium Oversight with the investigation. As to Sgt. Meddelfel, the case is clear cut. Murder. I have already filed reports and my signature is needed on these with regards to the debacle at Ketell.” He indicated the stack of multi-colored reports he had been signing off on, “Be thankful that your name is on none of them.” There it was. Hlibros never threatened anyone. His authority was like a sabre that was drawn and lying on the table in front of him; directly at hand and whetted for use. That meant this conversation was over. Massif straightened and breathed deeply to assuage his boiling blood. If this matter couldn’t be handled within the regiment, it would be handled by the regiment. Meddelfel was innocent. Hot-tempered and willful, but justifiably innocent of wrongdoing. He wouldn’t face a firing squad while Colonel Massif was his CO. Like Hell.
“I will leave you to your duties then. Commissar.” Hlibros absent-mindedly got to his feet and saluted, Massif returning it stiffly. As he left the Comissars’ office he resisted the urge to slam the door behind him…and the concurrent compulsion to use his sidearm to blow a few peepholes in said door.
“You seem tense, sir.” Corporal Vodel didn’t so much escort his colonel as he did get pulled along in his wrathful wake. Something had the normally glacial blood of Colonel Massif on the hot side. Vodel knew exactly what it was too. The rumors surrounding Sgt. Meddelfel and his alleged murder of some Munitorium pogue had spread like crotch rot in a big city bordello. They had only gotten more dramatic and outlandish as the time went on. At first it was said that Meddelfel simply walked into the dispensary of the armory, demanded to see the Munitorium Supervisor, and black crossed him. Almost a week later, he heard a version that had the Sergeant pulling out a power-sword, while denouncing the pogue in High Gothic. The story differed as to whether the Supervisor then used hidden Psyker talents like lightning from his fingertips or balls of fire shot from his fundaments, but the story ended the same. He was dead.
“It is my belief that we will have to secure the lawful release of the Sergeant ourselves, Corporal.”
“Commissars already ‘started the paperwork’ as it were, sir?”
“Indeed,” sneered Massif, “nothing short of a full invasion of Greenskins on one of their Hell-bent-for-leather holy wars could slow him.”
“Even then Commissar Hlibros would just demand they quiet down. Probably all walk away like schola students told that the big game was cancelled, sir.” That brought a predatory grin from the Colonel. Irritated as he was, the image of the patrician Hlibros scolding a crazed mob of Orks into shame held a pearl of amusement.
“So what do we do sir?”
“Gather all the witnesses and potential witnesses together. I also want to see that dispensary. Medellefel is hot-tempered, not stupid. Something happened that justified the Sergeant defending himself. I want to know what.”
They exited the makeshift admin building, an old commercia that had seen better days. Such as those that came prior to a brutal Ork Waaagh! and predations by Eldar corsairs. The recent rededication to the Holy Emperor of Mans’ realm had done little to improve conditions. Sanitation was nonexistent outside of Guard controlled camps, as was even basic medical attention. There were rumors of fighting amongst the prodigal ruling class, and food riots around makeshift cafeterias. It seemed like just after the Guard had fought so hard to eliminate the Greenskins that they might just lose the planet to mankinds oldest adversary; itself.
“Reminds me of home.” Quietly mused Massif, his ire slowly ebbing away as he viewed the devastated landscape.
“Severite, sir?” Vodel looked about quizzacly and quirked a bemused smile, “Oh right!...well…except for the lack of trees. Streets. Outhouses. Houses. Or grass. Yeah, just like home.”
“You sarcastic shite.” Massif gave him an indulgent an indulgent smile, “Home, with all the fighting. But this is different. This scrabbling desperate fighting.” He scanned the immediate surroundings. “Like vermin squabbling over crumbs.”
Lieutenant Gravasi had always enjoyed socializing with the men. He enjoyed it so much that his seniors often told him that it might be viewed poorly for a member of the commissioned staff to appear to favor the common troopers to the company of ones peers. “Damn straight I do.” He had bald-facedly told Massif during one such discussion. “I’m the tenth child of a used up old whore that never had a vague sense of who his Da might be. That makes me the bastard son of a woman of the night, Lieutenant Percival Declion-Tesi Gravasi. By the starry sky I’ll drink with whosoever I please.” The Colonel had merely pinched the bridge of his nose and reminded Gravasi to keep his carousing to a minimum. He liked Igor. He knew when to push and when to give. He also knew that Gravasi was very popular with the men, due especially to his salty nature. Also to the manner of his ascension to Lieutenancy. Percival was the only officer that started as a trooper. A combination of luck, backbone and the foresight of Colonel Massif had seen to that. Percival accepted his saber and bolt pistol as the burden of responsibility that a sturdy farm animal feels when attached to the yoke; “Well, I’m here, and no way is the guy holding the whip going to feed me if I don’t pull my weight.” Gravasi placed his beret on the lonely taprooms bartop and gazed out a dirty window. It was days like this one when he wished his rank had fallen on anothers’ shoulders. They had pushed the Greenskins off this rock despite the calamity at Ketell City. The regiment should have been kicking up its heels in congratulatory celebration. It was more a funeral parlour than a jubilant victory party. Whole platoons had to be reordered due to the high amount of casualties taken during the final push. The mood wasn’t helped by the situation with the ammo, either. The general concensus was that the bastard responsible for it had already been dealt with. Some said Meddelfel had done the no-neck REMF a favor by killing him quick, had the men had their way they would have given him an up close and personal lesson on what Severites do when their packs run dry and munitions are detonating in their faces. The Orks formerly fighting for the Kracked Toof Mob had already received their lesson.
“And I’m sayin’ that things will be a lot more smoov round-abouts w’out Sempley hogging all the action!” What appeared to be three disheveled looking Munitorum clerks in dingy brown overalls stumbled into the bar, clearly enibriated.
“’Smoov’ ‘e sez. ‘Smoov’ because he’s inhertin’ the stupid gits seat, but what about his contacts, eh? Ya can’t do what Sempley done w’out his men on the inside, or his connections around the beauracracy!” the large toadish looking one slurred out.
“Psssh, Semp was a twat if I ever met one. A simple name and a face. If he were smarter he wouldn’t ‘ave frigged with that big dumb grox what came sniffin’ about lookin’ fer answers. Only reason we can continue with his entrepreneural pursuit is ‘cause we did that quick bit of clean-up prior to M.O. showing up.” The supposed sucessor to ‘Sempley’ indicated by Toady, spat out. Beak-nosed and conniving. These were, beyond a doubt, the Munitorum Supervisors assistants or under-clerks. Yes, now that Gravasi thought about it, the briefing on the incident with Meddelfel mentioned the victim as ‘Clerk Supervisor Class-C Sempley’. Percival eased off his stool and crept around the bar to get a clearer ear on the drunkenly clandestine conversation.
“Can you belive that moron pullin’ a weapon and firin’ on that ape?” sneered Beak-face.
“I wonder if Semp shat hisself while he was pulling the trigger?” guffawed Toady,”could ave been why he missed the bugger from three meters away!” Both Toady and Beak-face fel into paroxysms of hiccuping laughter. The third companion has as yet to speak, he was lean and had a cool look to him. He glanced around as if looking for eavesdroppers, then leant over the table to drawl at his companions.
“Well it were quick thinkin’ enough that Sempleys pistol disappeared. I am in utter disbelief that he actually kept records of his skimming in his own desk, unlocked even. What say you mate, what about those data slates?”
“Oh, you know,”Beak-face coyly responded, “got ‘em kept real safe-like. In a place only I know where to look.” Beaky was clamming-up. He didn’t trust his compatriots that much. It was a shame, thought Gravasi, no honor amongst thieves? Tsk, tsk.
“Kept ‘em?!” shouted Toady, “Is their naught but vacuum betwixt yer ears?!”
“They have all his codes, names, and his methods recorded in ‘em.” Calmly replied Beak-face. “S’like finding buried treasure. All that’s left to do is contact the principles and let’em know about the new game in town. That, and order a round of the finest this hovel can offer in the way of refreshment. Barkeep!!” The three companions continued to chortle on about what they would do with their increased wealth. Gravasi pondered over his discovery. So meddelfel had fired in self-defense, and these bottom-feeders had hid all incriminating evidence against the Supply officer to avoid further scrutiny. He considered jumping the three sloshed supply clerks and taking them into custody, but these simpletons wouldn’t confess to what would lead to a long torture session, hard labor sentences, or execution. He had to catch them red-handed in their dirty dealing. And he knew exactly how to do it, and who to talk to. Gravasi eased his way past the bar abd found the back door, leaving without a sound.
“You’re certain these are the events as accurately as you can recall them Sergeant?”
“Does the Emperor shine the seat of the Golden Throne with his arse? Errr…Colonel, sir.” Sgt. Meddelfel grinned sheepishly at the Colonel when he realized his misstep. It wasn’t that Colonel Massif wasn’t used to salty language or the occasional blasphemy, far from it. He just wasn’t used to it from a man of character such as Meddelfel. While the Sergeant had a temper like Horus at the Gates of Terra itself, he rarely, if EVER, spoke so crassly. Massif had never met a man whom could radiate rage and ire like him, yet never use profanity. A scowl from Meddelfel, went barracks talk, could split solid stone and make a bowl of wet noodles stand stiff at attention. If Massif were the father of this regiment, all benevolence and devotion to his cantankerous children, then Meddelfel was the harried mother, ready to apply a wooden spoon to the side of the head of any trooper failing to keep his weapons in disarray or not wipe his boots off at the door. At one point, some artistic Gaurdsman had drawn a –very- tasteful illustration of Sgt. Meddelfel wielding a rolliing-pin in one hand and a baby sporting Gaurdsmen fatigues in the other. The picture slowly made the rounds and when it came to Meddelfels’ attention, he dismissed it as rubbish, “I look terrible in checkered white and red!”, in dicating the apron his pictured self wore.
“That is to say, yes sir, that is my account sir.” All the details seemed to be there. The sergeant had entered the dispensary in one of his trademark moods and demanded to see the Clerk Supervisor to discuss the situation as it were, in regards to munitions. Meddelfel confronted the supervisor, a Head Clerk Class-C Eduar Sempley. Sempley had retreated to his office as the Sergeant demanded an explanation. The clerk had locked the door, to which Sgt. Meddelfel responded by kicking it down. Keen to continue the conversation with Mr. Sempley, Meddelfel entered the office and was greeted with a semiautomatic laspistol. According to the Sergeant, Sempley fired two shots, at which point he did what any combat-trained Gaurdsman would have done. He ducked and produced his sidearm, then painted the back wall of Sempleys office with Sempleys last thoughts. And a bit of his skull too. Several shaken Munitorum clerks appeared at the doorway with hastily loaded weapons.
“I was actually kind of flattered, sir.” Apparently amongst several lasrifles and pistols, one of the clerks had thought it prudent to drag a flamer, tank and all, to ward off Meddelfel. He then fled the scene, returning to the 6777ths’ HQ and informed the staff of his activities. An hour later, Commissariat troopers in black uniforms arrived and escorted the Sergeant away in chains charged with Sempleys murder. Here he sat still, in a near blasted-out precinct building formerly housing the areas Adeptus Arbites garrison, in chains and behind bars. His manacles clinked dully as he shifted position on the wooden bench serving as his cot. His augmetic hip was clearly bothering him. It did that in damp environments. Massif examined the Sergeant closely. His body was a fleshy record of the actions fought by the 6777th. Half his right hand blown off by a splinter round, now replaced by simple augmetics. A portion of the back of his skull was fused ceramite after an Ork had clipped his head with a massive sledgehammer bigger than most mens upper body. Countless pieces of shrapnel from mines and grenades. His hip was a plasteel present from a rebel AFV that used him as target practice for its heavy stibber, a single round had hit him in the pelvis shattering half of it like a plate dropped from fifteen stories. After his squad had knocked it out using anti-armor rockets, Meddelfel demanded a shard of the wasted hull to be turned into whatever piece the medicae would have to replace in him. One lippy Gaurdsman(a suspect for the identity of the “tasteful illustrator”) noted that the Sergeants’ wound might mean he had his arse shot-off. The comedian concluded that if such was the case, they would need the entire tank to replace Sgt. Meddelfels’ arse, not just “a shard”. Meddelfel retorted that it would be a shame if he had to shoot the comedian in the face, as the Imperium did not have the resources at their disposal to repair his big mouth. So the good Sergeant ended up with a plasteel hip from the very bastards whom took it away in the first place. Massif couldn’t allow one of his finest NCO’s to be executed for defending himself….he just had to figure out how. The alleged sidearm produced by the supply clerk had disappeared, and the blast marks made by the exploding lasbolts on the offices’ wall had been magically erased. They had no witnesses from the regiment, and the supply clerks from the Munitorum dispensary all attested that Meddelfel had fired at the Supervisor without provocation.
“Well Sergeant. I’ll do what I can for you.”
“Oh sire, you know me. I war for the Emperor, and for the regiment.”
“You have the support of your brothers in the 6777th.”
“I know sir, my boys won’t let me down.”
"Courage without the presence of fear is like a pistol without bullets. Meaningless." Colonel Igor Massif, 6777th Severite Rifles M40
Why haven't I read this before? This is great work!
My only real criticism is the last section (Meddelfel and Massif discussing the prisoner). You seem to be trying to explain too much at once. Or maybe it's the fact you jump back to recounting past events and then jump back to the present again... I don't know. Something just seems a little odd about the last section.
Other than that, a rather enjoyable story. Now you have me wanting to know what happens next!