Welcome to Librarium Online!
Hey there guys. Long time no see eh? Who am I kidding, no one here ever knew me! XD Anyway! I was just going through some old stuff and I saw this story I had been working on before I abruptly stopped, and I decided to rework it some and add in a few paragraphs of new stuff as well.
Comments and crits much appreciated, and I hope this isn't too long. If you don't want me to post more, you can either tell me here, or not reply and I'll get the message
Hylar was once a beautiful world. Lush and green with many forests, fields and calm rivers. Most of the year was in spring, with only a twelfth of it taken by winter's icy grip and most of the planet in temperate weather zones. The men on this planet led a simple, cheery life. Most of the world was taken by large farming communities, as the world's weather was perfect for it. There were very few cities on the planet, two on either of the massive continents. The world's only tithe to the Imperium of Man was grain once every decade. The people live long happy lives.
Until, as one may have guessed, one year, things began to change. Suddenly there was a burst of new births. In two years the population doubled. In a few short decades where once there were a hand full of people living in peaceful farming communities, there were teaming billions. Cities grew in size and number. Factories sprung up where once meadows had stood. Violence and crime rates soared. And then it was made known who had brought this all to fruition when the world erupted in a violent revolution. Chaos. Subtly, the Lord of Change had influenced the events of these unsuspecting people until he could win worshipers over to his will.
The world's Planetary Defense Force was dredfully under prepared, and was barely able to hold out long enough for a distress signal to be sent out to any that would hear it. Fortunately for Hylar's loyal inhabitants, a division of Imperial guard, on it's way to garrison a boarder system on the far reaches of the Eastern Fringe, heard their plea, and answered it in full force. Five full regiments of infantry, the 501st, 2nd, 88th, 14th heavy and the 203rd Grenadiers, along with three artillery regiments, the 1st, 3rd and 22nd.
Following an orbital strike, it seemed like the forces of the Imperium would triumph in a matter of weeks, some suggested it would be a matter of days even, against the disorganized, under equipped traitors. Despite the trench warfare that the campaign had slowly ground down to, Imperial hopes were high.
Unteroffizier Dietrich von Richter was sitting on a firing step, auto gun held between his legs, and head leaning against the wall of his trench, 'resting' his eyes. Then, a large clot of mud smacked into his face, making a sucking noise as it slid down his neck. Jumping up, having been startled from his sleep Dietrich whipped his head from side to side scanning for enemies, rifle raised. After a few moments he noticed the roaring laughter coming from everyone around him, and the lump of mud on his collar. As he look around at his squad mates laughing at him, his face turned from surprised readiness to a mask of indignant anger. Wiping the mud from himself he asked, as calmly as he could manage
"Who, pray tell, thought it would be a funny idea to throw a clod of mud at my face, eh? Who did this? Come on, fess up or it'll be latrine duty for all of you!" It didn't seem possible, but the laughing got even louder. Then, Oberleutnant Jarrel von Gresk, stepped forward and managed to control his laughter long enough to say "I did!" Then he burst into a fit of laughter so hard he fell on his ass, which only made everyone else laugh all the louder. Scowling, Dietrich stalked off angrily. Oberleutnant von Gresk was always humiliating him, Dietrich thought to himself. He always pointed out that Dietrich had failed officer's school, disgraced his noble family, and was forced to serve as an NCO. Always lorded over him because of it. And even when his squad's Feldwebel had died of a previously unknown bowel sickness, and Dietrich had taken charge of the squad, he had refused to promote him.
It took what seemed like half an hour, but was probably closer to only a few minutes for the laughter to die down. Finally, when von Gresk had left, Dietrich had every man in his squad volunteer for latrine duty for the whole platoon. Dietrich may not have been able to let out his anger on the Oberleutnant as he would have liked, but his squad would suffer for partaking in the joke so whole-heartedly.
"Oh come on feldy, it's not like we're the ones who did it or nothin'. We were just laughin' with the Oberleutnant. Agreein' with the commander was all." said Gefreiter Allen Thompson with his thickly accented lower class accent that sounded as if he were perpetually on the verge of yawning. Back on Kieselrich, the Regiment and whole division's home world, there were two casts of people. The descendants of the Anglects and the descendants of the Reinreichs. Back before the Great Crusade, the two had been warring nations. However, a mere fifty years before the planet had been brought into the Imperium, the Reinreichs had won the war and with it control of the planet. Now virtually all of the Reinreichs were noblemen, or at the very least wealthy merchant families. And almost all of the Anglects were the lower class, with the exception of a few Low House Noble families and a small middle class. As such most of the military's officers were Reinreichs, and most of the line troopers were Anglects, though the two did have members in the opposite ranks. Dietrich was one such exception, though by rights he should be an Officer. "Well," said Dietrich "since you were only agreeing with the commander, I guess you can agree with me and do the whole month's latrine duty then, can't you?"
"Yes, sir" said Thompson as he walked off muttering to himself. The rest of the evening passed as it usually did between battles. Cards, dice, bad food, more cards, more dice, assigning sentries, sleep.
The next morning, while Dietrich was shaving, a courier came over with a letter from command, undoubtedly containing the orders for all the squad leaders. "What's it say Feldy?" asked Edward Langreen, a simple trooper who barely passed the intelligence test and could not himself read. "I don't know Edward, I haven't opened it yet" Dietrich said with a sigh while working the wax seal off of the envelope. Most of the squad called Edward Ed or Slow Ed, but Dietrich insisted on calling him Edward. Sadly for Edward, he was not a physically impressive man, at only 5'6" and skinny at that, it's a wonder the Guard wanted him at all, though Dietrich supposed the Guard would use five year old children if it could get away with it. Once the letter was opened, Dietrich skimmed through it quickly stopping at any areas that looked like they needed paying attention to. "Well boss?" Asked Edward.
"It says we're making the big push today, it should, if it all works as planned, break the back of our erstwhile companions the traitorous Chaos worshiping scum opposite us" Dietrich said motioning across no man's land. Noticing the blank stare he drew not only from Edward, but from all of his squad mates that had stopped what they were doing to listen to their new orders, he rephrased himself "We're attacking today, ten minutes before noon". That got a grin out of the squad, an a whoop out of Edward. Dietrich then went resumed shaving, perhaps for the last time, he thought to himself. He was the only one in his whole platoon, except perhaps von Gresk, who had the luxury of shaving on the front lines, due to his shaving kit he had brought with him from home, a present from his mother. It was really quite exquisite, a set fit for a General, not some expendable Unteroffizier linemen. It contained two straight edge titainium razors, with graven handles of Terran ivory, depicting the scene of when the Emperor of Mankind himself had had signed the treaty bringing his home world into the Imperium. In all honesty it was probably worth more then the combined salaries of his entire company for ten or more years at full strength. But then, that was his mother. Always one for sentimentality, and loved to spoil he children to boot. Most of the men had to wait for the monthly rec time behind lines, when they got to shower and then spend a day or two in one of the cities. When Dietrich was done shaving, he made sure to secret his kit away in a safe place, when no one was looking, to ensure it wasn't stolen. He had to be careful to pick a different place every few days, just in case.
Five minutes. Dietrich looked at his pocket watch, gas mask already on, helmet strapped tight, his extra grenades dangling from his bandoleer, rifle shouldered, his other hand on the trench ladder. Four minutes. Then the artillery started, first HE shells, then gas. Then they would go over the top. Dietrich wished they had tanks. Because the system they were going to garrison had two manufactorum planets, both solely producing tanks, they were sent with only infantry artillery and a few bombers that could enter the atmosphere. Three minutes. Dietrich looked around at his squad mates. They all looked as tense as he felt, though they looked resplendent in their uniforms that had been sent to them clean right before the engagement with a note attached saying "A clean enemy is a fearsome sight", signed by Uberkommandant Durst von Heimlan himself. Dietrich swore the old man was either senile, or had the best sense of humor of any officer he had met (or not met, in this case). He couldn't be sure which. Stone grey trench coats, brown ankle boots leg wraps that went to just below the knee, and backpack in case they spent extended time without supply. Dietrich had to admit he rather liked the style. He checked his pocket watch. One minute. Dietrich could already hear the first shot being fired in the distance, a dull roar as the artillery spat out High Explosive death. Then the first shells began landing, thunderously loud, shaking the earth all the way across no man's land and further still. For ten minutes constant thunder roared, before it suddenly came to a stop.
"Alright boys, over the top!" Dietrich yelled, voice muffled by his mask. A battle cry rose up as the line surged forward, charging as fast as they could across no man's land in the hopes of reaching the other side before the enemy could react. No man's land was a sea of dark grey helmets shrouded in luminescent green gas as the Imperium's soldiers struggled across the craters, barbed wire and and various other obstacles. Just when Dietrich thought the enemy would stay in their dugouts until his squad reached their trenches, the first shots began to ring out from the enemy lines. As the traitors who survived the bombardment and quickly fitted their gas masks regained their senses, they opened fire with a heavy bolter, followed by another and another. But it was too little too late. The first Guardmen were already close enough to bombard the trenches with their grenades and sections were already fighting in hand to hand combat. "Stick together!" shouted Dietrich to his squad as he slid into a large crater followed one after the other by his squad mates. "And make ready your grenades!" Dietrich poked his head over the lip of the crater. He could see the enemy trench from here, it was a destroyed Autocannon emplacement with little activity. "We're in luck boys" said Dietrich as he skirted back down to the center of the massive crater. "This section of the line's all blown up, we just need to lob a grenade or two and we'll have it." "Sounds good to me, Sir" said Will Turner, who had tried to get out of the assault by faking an illness. "Right. On three, I want Langreen and Thompson to throw the grenades. As soon as they're thrown, everyone rush out, the grenades should go off right before we get to the trench lip. Got it?" the squad chorused yes and prepared to run like mad while Allen and Edward took out their grenades. "One" Edward and Allen removed the pins "two" they drew back their arms and got ready to throw "three" Allen and Edward threw the grenades as hard as they could while the rest of the squad charged out of the crater.
And then Dietrich was running. Faster, faster he couldn't go much longer. The grenades went off in near unison with a dull "thump". He saw two of his men jump in, he couldn't tell who. He was in. He looked left and saw the ragged form of a traitor fighting what looked like Franklin. He couldn't be certain with the gas mask covering his face. He looked to his right in time to see a crazed traitor running at him with a combat knife. He fired two shots into his chest and one to his head, dropping the man easily. Before he could turn around he was kicked from behind and lost his footing. Hitting the ground, Dietrich rolled to the side in time to avoid the strike of an arm wielding a combat knife. Up close he could see the traitor the arm belonged to was beginning to mutate. His hands had suction cups like a squid on the palms and his eyes were reptilian, with the pupil running top to bottom in a narrow slit. Repressing the feeling of revulsion, Dietrich kneed the man in the belly, knocking the wind out of him, which made him lose his grip on the knife. Wrenching it from the slimy grip from his opponent, Dietrich plunged the knife into the traitor's neck. He could hear the muffled gurgling of the man as the blood filled his mouth, lungs and then his mask. Kicking the body off before too much blood had spilled on him. Dietrich picked up his rifle as he stood up and looked around again. He now saw the dugout the traitor had come from to get behind him. Looking around the narrow confines of the enemy forward trench line, he saw that most of his men had won their respective grapples and brawls. He noticed Gruber, the radio operator and only other Reinreich in the squad peeking over the side of the trench, watching the enemy flee.
"Gruber" he called "get me the Oberleutnant" Gruber looked at Dietrich, snapped out of whatever thoughts he had been dwelling on and mumbled a quick "Yes, sir" before busying himself with the radio.
Gefreiter Hanz Gruber handed the handset to Dietrich when he had finally got Oberleutnant Jarrel von Gresk on the line. Dietrich awkwardly fiddled with the handset, trying to fit in a way that would let him speak while keeping his mask on. He wished they had been issued with microbeads as other regiment were to ease communication when wearing hazardous environment protection (in this case, gas masks) "Oberleutnant," began Dietrich "we've made it to and secured the enemy's forward trench, the traitors are in flight. What orders do you have for us?"
"Well old boy boy" replied von Gresk, voice distorted by static, though the haughty tone in his voice was still easily made out "current orders for all units are to press the advantage. Besides, we've got some special reinforcements coming in"
"Reinforcements? From where? I thought we had gathered all the resources that could be spared for this push?" Dietrich inquired concerned, and put off that he had been left out of the loop.
"Oh, I wouldn't want to spoil it for you, you'll see soon enough. Just concentrate on pushing forward. That is, if you can manage it..."
"Roger that, over and out"
Gruber looked at Dietrich as he was handed back the handset, waiting for him to give the order he guessed would come. "Alright men, listen up" Dietrich began as the rest of his squad gathered 'round "we have orders for a general push forward. We'll press the attack as hard as we can, as long as we can. Now, I have been told we will be receiving some..." he paused trying to think of the right words for the lack of information given to him by von Gresk "unexpected reinforcements so we shouldn't be stretched as thin as we had at first thought. Everyone got it?" Dietrich looked around at his men, looking for someone with a question. He took time an marveled at them as well, not a single man dead or wounded. Even with the defense as sparse as it was, he would have expected at least one casualty... That was either good luck or bad luck yet to come.
"Alright then" Dietrich said said as he snapped out of his thoughts "let's move out".
"Gruber, I want you close by in case I need to call something in. Thompson, Turner, I want you to take point. Langreen, bring up the rear." Dietrich always tried to keep him out of the thick of the action. He didn't think that Edward would last long if he didn't. Allen was the first one over the top, followed by Will, Dietrich, Gruber, Franklin Dees and Edward struggling to lift himself over the top of the trench. Their squad had been under strength ever since their Heavy Bolter team had been burned to death when the flame thrower operator, Jeff his name was, took a shot to the fuel tanks. Picking their way across the smaller no man's land of the secondary trenches, Dietrich noticed that they were taking no fire. Whatsoever. That meant that either the enemy had fled, or there was a trap. Over the years Dietrich had found being prepared for the worst was always the most viable option. "Keep your guard up and your eyes open. Keep your eyes open for anything suspicious" Dietrich told his men, scanning the seemingly deserted rear lines.
After only a few steps, a las bolt was sent their way. "Get to cover!" Gruber shouted, though it sounded as if he were giving a mild suggestion due to the mask he was wearing. The squad instantly reacted, diving for cover. More shots rained down on them, but not as many as Dietrich would have expected. It seemed like there was only one man fireing away at them, trying to make it seem as if there were more to intimidate his squad into non-action. Dietrich peer over the lip of the shallow crater he had landed in when the squad had made their dashes for cover. A shell exploded in the distance, but it was close enough to cover the sound of Dietrich pulling the pin out of the bottom of his Shtel hand grenade, which allowed him to "cook" the grenade and trow it with the traitor being none the wiser. With a nod to a squad mate he could see from his position - he couldn't tell who - Dietrich raised himself to a crouch and threw his grenade under the cover fire of one of two autoguns. It spun end over end in a long arc, and Dietrich stayed out of cover just long enough to make sure he was on target. He ducked back into his crater just as the trait peered out of his. He could see through the traitor guardsmen's goggles the look of surprise when he saw the grenade headed towards him. At that point it was too late, the grenade exploded in mid air - right above the lone mutant. Debris and body parts scattered in a wide radius. Dietrich waited a few seconds then heard the all clear chorus from his squad and cautiously pull himself out of his crater, autogun shouldered and at the ready.
"That's odd" Franklin said.
"What's odd?" what Dietrich thought was Thomas asked.
"Why was he by himself? The traitor?" The squad thought about this for a few seconds while they scanned the area for threats before moving on.
"Maybe he was a rear guard? Or the rest of his squad died in the bombardment?" Gruber offered.
"Doesn't matter" Dietrich said. "Let's move out. We have an offensive to win". Silently the squad took up positions and pressed on.
"Do you hear that?" asked Will looking around in the air "sounds like jets" he continued. Dietrich stopped and cocked his head to listen. He could just barely make out the dull roar of jet engines in the distance. "Maybe it's a bombing run from the Laviticus." said Allen who now had his head cocked to listen as well. Dietrich looked around and noticed the whole squad had stopped their advance to listen. "
Alright now, get a move on. Whatever it is it's on our side, the enemy doesn't have any aircraft." And with that the squad snapped back to the present, as if they were in a trance that was broken only by their commander's orders. "Sorry sir, it's just odd is all. We haven't seen bombers in weeks. I thought it was too risky to send them in" Said Franklin as he trotted around a section of barbed wire. Franklin was one of the brightest Anglects Dietrich had ever met. His parents had managed to save enough to keep him in school until he had finished all 14 years, where as most of the lower class, made of entirely of Anglects, had to have their children begin work at the age of 13, the minimum working age on Kieselrich, to cover the cost of the younger children (the average size of a family, Anglect or Reinreich, being 8-12). Franklin had actually joined the Imperial Guard, as opposed to being conscripted to fill the tithe as most Anglects in service were, so that his parents would receive a monthly check of 200 Credits to pay for his younger Brother's school.
"Well" said Dietrich "obviously, since the traitors are on the run, they must not have the time to man their anti-aircraft emplacements, thus making it safe to call in air support". In truth Dietrich was as curious as his men, but he needed them to focus on their surroundings. It would be too easy to walk into an ambush if everyone was talking about jet engine noises.
"I don't like this" said Gruber "not one bit. And my arm agrees." Gruber had taken a shot in the arm the first day of fighting, and ever since he said his arm acted up whenever things were about to go bad. Dietrich tried to dismiss it as Gruber trying to make himself important to compensate for being an even lower rank then Dietrich and being a Reinreich, which he did often in a variety of ways, the problem was he was almost always right.
"If Gruber's arm says something's wrong I say we wait for those reinforcement's Feldy said was coming" said Allen now looking at every rustle of barbed wire in the wind, every crater, every phantom noise as if a legion of daemons were about to spill forth to take his soul. "We push forward as ordered," said Dietrich "we've wasted enough time as it is." It was eerily silent, and they were about two yards away from the enemy rear trench and had seen not so much as a mouse move. Dietrich stepped on a discarded lasgun he hadn't noticed. Well, the enemy had been here at one point, he thought to himself. Hylar's military had used lasguns, like most of the Imperium's warriors, and thus so did the rebels. The forces from Kieselrich preferred autoguns, which their ancestors had used to fight each other for centureies durning the Old Night. This discarded lasgun was the first trace of enemy activity Dietrich had seen since their encounter with the lone renegade. They hadn't seen any other squads from their platoon either, which was both odd and contradictory to what von Gresk had told him. The jets were getting much louder. Dietrich turned around and looked up to see a Thunderhawk roaring by overhead. Obsidian black with a bleeding white rose emblazoned on the side.
"Thunderhawks? Those- those are what Space Marines ride in aren't they? Emperor's throne, they're real!" shouted Will as he waved his helmet in the air and jumped in excitement. A whoop went up from the rest of the of squad. Except Dietrich, he had a smile on his face, but a knowing smile, as opposed to one of sheer excitement the rest of his squad had. "I'm afraid these are not marines" said Dietrich. "Yes it is true that the blessed Adeptus Astartes ride these vehicles into battle, however" Dietrich continued as his squad slowly stopped celebrating when the words began to sink in. "I recognize the emblem on the side of the Thunderhawk that passed us over head. These... 'Surprise' reinforcements, as the Oberleutnant put them, are Adeptus Sororitas" Dietrich finished. Once again he got blank stares from his squad. "Sisters of Battle. They're Sisters of Battle" Then the squad looked at each other "Hell ain't they supposed to be just as good? Plus we got a chance of getting lucky with them!" Allen said, getting a laugh followed by cheers and whistling from the rest of the squad.
"All right, all right" Dietrich said, interrupting the cheering and jokes the squad had broken into, "this isn't a bar, we're still in a battlefield in case you haven't noticed." Though with the amount of resistence his squad had found he could see how they might have 'forgotten'. "Let's get a move on" Dietrich half barked, reminding himself he probably shouldn't be yelling.
"Well, this must explain why we haven't seen anyone, the Sisters must of killed 'em all" said Will when they were well and truly behind the enemy's front lines, a bit too enthusiastically. He always was a coward, and everyone in the squad was getting sick of his BS. He always seemed to be trying to convince himself - and everyone around him - that he didn't need to fight, or didn't have to. Dietrich rolled his eyes and shouted to the squad "Alright boys let's not let the Sisters have all the fun, forward before the enemy's all dead!" Dietrich started off, but then stopped when he noticed Gruber fiddling with his radio, a frown on his face. Dietrich walked up to him as the rest of the squad jogged past, taking bets on who the first one score a kill would be. "What's wrong?" Dietrich asked.
"I don't know, I'm not getting a signal. All the sudden every frequency just turned to static." said Gruber with not just a hint of annoyance as he turned a dial first one way, then the other.
"Well, it doesn't matter" said Dietrich try to quiet his own growing sens of unease "we have our orders, and the Sisters" and with that he ran to catch up with the rest of the squad, Gruber following close behind.
They had run unopposed all the way to the rear supply lines, with no one in sight. No enemy, no one from the platoon, no Sisters of Battle. They had even noticed supplies and ammunition laying around, as if the enemy left in such a hurry that they did not have time to collect them before they moved out. Everyone had just supposed that was due to the Sisters' clearing them out, until Franklin pointed out that there were no bodies. Anywhere. This continued to perplex the squad until they reached a bunker towards the rear that had corpses stacked two high surrounding it. The problem was, they were allied troops. Not just fellow guardsmen, but Dietrich noticed their own platoon's markings. What was more distressing was the manner in which the bodies were left. Some decapitated, some with intestines cut out and used to strangle the owners to death, others in manner more horrific then any man's most terrible nightmares. Will and Edward dropped to their knees, almost in unison and tore their masks off to vomit their meager breakfast out onto the field, stomach acids mixing with blood while Gruber was barely able to suppress the bile from spilling forth in a similar fashion.
"Who" Allen gulped "who could have done this?" Dietrich was about to answer when he spotted Jarrel von Gresk, stumble out from the other side of the bunker, helmet and gaskmask off, soaked in blood, leaning against the wall. "Oberleutnant!" shouted Gruber when he noticed him. von Gresk looked up at them, and focused on Dietrich before shouting "Run! Get out of here you fools!" he took one step towards them before a sword exploded from the middle of his chest. Blood gushed out of the wound at an alarming rate before he was raised two feet of the ground and then thrown to the side, like a rag doll being discarded by a disinterested child. Then the owner of the sword stepped into view. An Adepta Sororitas, aquila torn off the glistening black armour and replaced by the eight pointed star of Chaos.
Dietrich stood, rooted to the spot in horror. Will and Edward still hadn't noticed what was going on, unable to stop themselves from vomiting. Gruber was the first to react, he gave a muffled shout of warning before raising his rifle and firing off three shots into the chest of the Sororitas. The Autogun rounds bounced off the Sororitas' chest plate, serving only to draw her attention and ire. Snarling she unholstered and raised her bolt pistol. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. As the traitor Sororitas was raising her pistol, Dietrich was able to see that it was a hideous parody of an Imperial issue bolt pistole, deformed barrel formed in the shape of a gaping daemon mouth, red eyes glowing on either side of it, just before the chamber mechanism. Dietrich shouted out a wordless cry as he jumped towards Gruber in an attempt to knock him out of the way. It was too late. She fired. The bolt round whizzed by at ultrasonic speeds connecting with Gruber's chest with a wet smack before detonating. Fully half of Gruber's torso was reduced to a bloody spray.
Dietrich collided with the remaining half of Gruber and landed on the ground in a heap. Allen had finally got his rifle up and was pouring automatic fire into the Sister, eschewing accurasy for valume of fire. He watched as bullets bounced harmlessly off of the thick power armour of the former Sororitas. The Traitor Sororitas just looked at him through the twisted daemonic visage of her visor, not moving to do anything at all. Allen's leg was torn off as another bolter shot rang out. Dietrich look around to see three Traitor Sororitas had flanked around the other side of the bunker, two with bolters and one with a heavy flamer. Allen dropped his rifle as he screamed out in pain, and was shot twice more before falling to the ground in a heap. Will had finally regained his senses, and pulled Edward in front of himself as a bolter shot screamed it's way towards him. The shot hit Edward in the abdomen, but failed to detonate. The concussive force however threw Will back two feet. He landed hard and the air was driven from his lungs. Franklin had leaped into the nearest trench and began firing at the cluster of three Traitor Sororitas. "We have to get out of here!" he yelled while Dietrich stared off to the distance, dumbfounded. How could this be happening? The Adepta Sororitas were the soldiers of the Ecclesiarchy! how could they betray the Emperor? Then Dietrich thought of the Adeptus Astartes, Space Marines. Even the Emperor's finest fell to the siren call of the ruinous powers, and the Sororitas were not even a tenth the greatness and purity of them, or Horus and the other Primarchs when they were still loyal and true to the Emperor.
Dietrich snapped out of his shock induced stupor, picked himself up and sprinted to the trench that Franklin was firing out of. With ground exploding around his feet, and dirt kicking up all around him, Dietrich thought there was no way he could make it out of this. There were only two of his squad left, one of which was down, and they were outnumbered and by finer troops then his own and himself. They had better equipment, training and, undoubtedly, sorcerous powers. Even if they managed to get away from this one small squad of Sororitas, the whole Imperial force was probably destroyed or being destroyed right this very moment. He jumped and just cleared the trench lip, landing in the trench head first. He looked up and saw Franklin letting out disciplined three round bursts at the oncoming Sororitas. As Dietrich pulled himself up on his rifle he could hear bolter rounds whizzing by overhead an- the world turned upside down as he was flung to the side from a massive explosion. Bells were ringing, everything was black. His mouth tasted like it was full of pennies. He opened his eyes and saw an ex-Sister standing over him, but looking elsewhere. He quickly shut his eyes again. They must think I'm dead he thought to himself. The ringing started to fade and he could hear his assailants talking. One with ripping, gurgling voice was saying, "Must of hit a fuel barrel. These two look dead enough." the revolting Sororitas finished with a grunt. The grotesque sounding ex-sister was about to continue when another voice spoke, this one was far off, and was in complete contrast to the one that had just spoke. It sounded light, incredibly feminine and sweet, one of the most seductive and arousing things he'd ever heard. Dietrich shuddered uncontrolably just from hearing it say "There's one alive over here, looks like he was hiding underneath one of his friends. Want me to kill him, or would you like to have some... Fun first?"
Dietrich could hear several sets of feet climb out of the trench, and dared to open his eyes a crack. As he slowly raised his eyelids he saw Will being held suspended in the air one-handed by the most beautiful women he had ever seen or could ever have imagined. Full lips the colour of a blazing red rose in full bloom, large perfectly shaped eyes, coloured just as clear deep almost indigo sky, hair a glimmering silver, skin perfectly smooth and a shade of violet that was beautiful, and slightly disquieting all at the same time. She almost radiated beauty she was so astonishing, though something was always nagging at the edge of Dietrichs concience as he looked over her, top to bottom to top again. Next to her was a Sororitas that was hideous and grotesque on her own, and fared no better when so close to the intense, raw beauty of the silver haired Sororitas. With what looked like a head growing out of her neck, a hand that's fingers were slowly turning into large claws, and spines growing out of the length of her back. Her face looked like it was being molded out of clay, and was let to slide down on one end whilst drying. The seems of her battle corset were bat the bursting point with what Dietrich hopped was fat.
"By all means" she grated, "it's your turn".
"Mmmm" the beutiful one moaned. "You," she said and turned Will around to face her "do you wish to live?"
"Yes" will rasped quietly.
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you" she purred.
"Yes" said Will, louder this time.
"Hmmm, one more time"
"Yes, I want to live!" he shouted now
"Mmm, that's good. Very good. And you may yet continue to do so. All you have to do is renounce you rotting, deceitful corpse-god. Let me hear you say it. Tell me you renounce your corpse-god." the beautiful woman purred.
To Will's slight credit, he did hesitate before meekly stammering "I-... I- I do."
"You do what?" the silver-haired woman inquired with a face of mock confusion, which Dietrich had to admit was even more arousing then her previously expressionless demenour. It took all of his self control to keep himself from bounding towards the seductress and prostrating himself at her feet.
"I renounce my corpse-god!" Will said struggling to keep from whimpering. His face was a mix of fear and absolute adoration. Dietrich had never seen such an odd expression in his life.
"Good, he learns" the woman smiled as she mocked the man in her grip. The Sororitas sorrounding them chuckled, though the repulsive one seemd to snort and cough.
"Do you take Slaneshi, the God of" she paused to lean in close to Will's face and whisper "pleasure, to be your new master?"
"Oh, yes. Yes I do." he replied, now all traces of fear seemed to have left his demeanor as he hung limply in the hand of his questioner, eyes closed in bliss.
Smiling, the beautiful Sister licked Will's face from chin to forehead, leaned back, smiled again, and slit his throat. She tossed to corpse to the hideous Sister, who grabbed him and opened her mouth, which had small sharp teeth in row after row, wide and bit down on Will's neck. She began to suck the blood from Will's still twitching corpse. Dietrich shut his eyes as the beautiful one looked back his way. "Burn all the bodies and join us with the Sister of Supreme Torment when your done" she said.
Dietrich could hear the majority of footsteps recede into the distance. He heard one set of heavier ones coming up behind him, along with the hiss of an idling flamer. Feeling around on the ground, he realized his rifle was no where near him. He reached down to his belt and let out a silent prayer when he felt his bayonet still secured on his belt. He slowly undid the fasten as he heard the steps getting closer. Heart racing, he waited until they stopped. The he yanked the bayonet free, and launched himself at the direction of the footsteps. Fortunately he was spot-on and the sister was directly in front of him. Before she could raise her heavy flamer, Dietrich was inside her guard, and plunged his bayonet in the weak spot between her gorget and now-affixed helmet. As blood rushed out of the repulsive Sister's neck she sprayed a gout of flame into the air before dropping the flamer and clawing at her throat, searching in vain for the bayonet which had been submerged entirely in her voluminous flesh. She fell to her knees as blood began to bubble out of the filter on her helmet. She then fell forward on to her face. Dietrich looked around to make sure non of the other Traitor Sororitas had stayed behind. He saw no one. Satisfied, he dug his bayonet out of the revolting corpse at his feet and began his search for a rifle when he heard a voice say
"Bloody good work, couldn't have done it better myself". Startled, Dietrich whirled around with his blood-drenched bayonet at the ready, when he realized it was Franklin. Burned, broken, but still alive.
"You frightened me half to death franklin!"
"Is that all it takes?" Franklin said as he removed his mask and coughed. Dietrich just then noticed the clouds of poisonous gas had dissipated and that is own mask was stifling and unconfortably hot. He undid his helmet and removed his own mask. A rush of cool, if putrid, air rushed to meet him. He had nearly forgotten the corpses. With his mask on he couldn't smell them, and could hardly see them from the supply trench. As the wind changed in his direction the stench hit him in full force and he gagged and barely stopped himself from losing his lunch. Dietrich was tempted to put his mask back on when he heard groaning. Dietrich stood strait and listened to make sure his mind wasn't playing tricks on him. Sure enough, he heard it again, coming from where his squad had been butchered. Someone was still alive. Franklin must have come to the same conclusion and they shared a look. Dietrich hauled himself over the edge of the trench as Franklin ban pulling himself to his feet. He ran towards the noise, tripping over the occasional body part, but he tried not to think about that as he made his way across the killing field. It was Edward. The bolter shell which had miraculously not detonated seemed also to have missed any vital organs or arteries. Unfortuaneately even Dietrich could see the hole it punched in him was so large that if it wasn't sealed soon Edward would bleed out in a few minutes.
"Edward" Dietrich said in what he hoped was a soothing voice. Without opening his eyes Edward said "Yes, Unteroffizer, sir?" Dietrich smiled. "Hold on" he said, "I'm going to go look for a medi-kit". Edward moaned faintly in response. Franklin was limping over and Dietrich was just about to search for a medi-kit when he heard something. In the distance, headed towards their position. The whine of engines. Dietrich looked up at Franklin and they shared a nervous look. He realized the traitors must be coming to check on the downed Sororitas when she failed to radio in. Dietrich started to pull Edward as gently as he could while maintaining a decent speed when the air was split by an ear-piercing shriek.
Adailia let out another shriek. Her knees felt weak. How could this happen? She stared, eyes locked in horror on the body of her beloved, laying on the ground, lifeless. Who could have slain her Balbina? She was as fierce a warrior as she was a kind, caring, beautiful woman. Out of the corner of her eye, Adailia saw movement. Her gaze fell on two guardsMEN, dragging a third towards a trench. Of course. Vile, spite-filled, oppressive monsters. Men were the root of all evil in the universe. They had used Adailia and her sisters. Filled their heads with lies. Sent Adailia and her sisters to do the clergy's dirty work. The clergy. Nothing but old men who tried to keep humanity in the darkness. The Bloodroot Order, lead by the glorious Dark Canoness Quintessa had learned the truth. Learned of the power and freedom being denied to them from the warp. Adailia snapped back to the present when she heard the footsteps of her sisters approach from behind her. Sorrow turned to rage. Her face turned to an angry sneer, distorting her beautiful features. The sun was setting over the bunkers and and craters of the broken landscape, the light playing gently on Adailia's violet skin and gleaming silver hair as she slipped into a rage.
"What happened, sister superior?" sister Desi asked as she rounded the corner of a nearby bunker before seeing for herself the scene that had played out. As the two remaining sororitas, Echidna and Kae arrived they each let out a gasp, distorted by their helmet's vox units.
Adailia was quivering with rage. "Kill them! Kill those scum-sucking worms!" she screamed, sputtering with rage before wildly firing her own bolt pistol. She dimly registered the sounds of her sisters joining in. Adailia couldn't tell if she was hitting anything, her vision having gone completely red. She started to rush forward, wanting to cut the despicable men to pieces when she felt a hand latch on to her shoulder and start to pull. She struggled against it but a second hand gripped her arm. Adailia turned around, furious when she saw why, Desi it turned out, had been pulling her. A Valkyrie gunship hovered in the air behind where she had been standing. The doors on the side slid open to reveal a storm trooper manning a heavy bolter. Echidna and Kae leveled their bolters at the gunship and opened fire and the hopes of taking out the gunner before he could open fire. The traitorous sororitas in their haste were unable to accurately zero in on the relitively small target and their shots pinged harmlessly off the armoured plates of the Valkyrie. Desi pulled Adailia to the ground, throwing herself over the Sister Superior to shield her from the worst of what was to come. The helmeted storm trooper opened fire, letting rip a hail of high-caliber tracer rounds that stitched holes in the ground and punched through Echidna and Kae's power armour. Adailia felt an impact through Desi, and felt her convulse before going limp atop her. Adailia felt another impact, harder this time and was unable to remain conscious, and felt the blackness take her.
Dietrich was still breathing heavily. He wasn't sure how any of them were still living. He remembered seeing the beautiful sororitas. He remembered dragging Edward back to the trench. He remembered the hail of bolter fire that chased after them. Was Franklin still alive? Dietrich looked down one length of the trench, then the other. He didn't see Franklin, but he noticed that in addition to his previous wounds, Edward was now missing half of his right foot. Dietrich started to stand, then fell back down. After a few seconds more, he attempted to stand again, this time using the wall of the trench to lift himself up. As soon as Dietrich was at his full height, he saw Franklin. He noticed Franklin was talking to someone; a storm trooper. Dietrich moved to check on Edward when the realization struck him. Storm troopers! That meant the Imperial forces weren't destroyed, and they would more then likely have a medic with them that could help Edward! Dietrich climbed out of the trench and made his way to where Franklin was talking to the storm trooper, when he saw The Valkyrie. Dietrich stopped to look at the idling vehicle. Finally! Things were going the way they were supposed to. As Dietrich drew closer, he noticed Franklin was not so much talking to the storm trooper, as arguing. All Dietrich heard when he got close enough was
"Those razors better be real" the storm trooper said, resignation in his voice.
"Don't worry, they are. Just get your medic out here, alright?" Franklin said, and the storm trooper jogged back to the Valkyrie before emerging angain with another trooper who bore the symbol of the medicae.
"What was that about?" Dietrich asked.
"Dietrich? You're walking, that's great!" Franklin said with a smile and a look of surprise on his face.
"What do you mean, why wouldn't I be walking?" Dietrich asked, befuddled.
Franklin raised and eyebrow and pointed at Dietrich's leg. Dietrich looked down and noticed for the first time a fist-sized piece of shrapnel protruding out of his leg.
"Oh," said Dietrich and instantly his legs felt weak. Franklin caught him before he could fall and put his arm around Dietrich's shoulder.
"Let's get you to the bird, eh?" Franklin said as two storm troopers ran by with Edward on a stretcher between them. Franklin noticed Dietrich look of concerned and said
"I'm sure Ed'll be fine. Come on, let's get a move on."
Apparently, things weren't as good as Dietrich had hoped. Things had mostly gone to hell, there had been no word from command since the comms had gone dark, and the last transmission the storm trooper squad had received was garbled message from high orbit, some low level officer screaming about how they had come under attack. So help from the fleet at this point was out of the question. No one knew how many traitor Adepta Sororitas there were on-planet, and it was a stroke of luck that the Valkyrie Dietrich now rode in survived at all, let alone found him and his remaining two squad mates just in the nick of time. Dietrich wondered again, how could this happen? Things were going so well. The rebels were on the verge of defeat, and now this. He looked over at Edward. The medic was doing everything he could, but it looked like Edward wouldn't make it. Dietrich placed his head in his hands and winced as his elbow put pressure on his wounded thigh. He glanced around the cabin. Blood, shell casing and discarded medical supplies were everywhere. All of the storm troopers had not so much as a scratch on them, as they were just about to deploy when the comms went out. Right before they were about to grave-chute out anyway, despite the communications loss, a sororitas ship had engaged their Valkyrie and tried to shoot them down. It was testament to the pilot's skill that they had made it out at all, let alone that he had managed to take down the enemy craft. After the dogfight they made the desicions to attempt to return to command when the chanced upon Dietrich and Franklin fleeing from the traitor sororitas. The plan now was to return to HQ and await further orders.
I know it's kind of fundamental to your story, but it's my understanding that very few Sisters actually turn to Chaos. Supposedly Grey Knights have no traitors ever, Sisters only have a handful, Marines were spilt about half-and-half. I suppose it does happen (there is evidence of it happening) and it has always been Slaanesh that has corrupted them.
In terms of your writing... there are a few sections where you get a little repetitive with your phrasing, and you tend to overuse commas and run your sentences on a little.
I admit that I just started skimming towards the end because (as you admitted) it is a bit long, but plot-wise the story's not bad. I like the way you set up the characters and conflicts between them, and you work your descriptive passages in rather well, something I've always struggled with.
I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more, if you've got the time to write it!