It was a very humid day on Garalax, the sun was unrelenting and if it wasn’t for the dense foliage and trees, they would have been cooked a long time ago. Their training maneuver was in its 11th hour now and Leif was slouching forward with his head on a tree, trying to catch his breath. He was a new recruit into the ranks of the Catachan jungle fighters and they had come to this god forsaken planet for supplies, fuel and additional training in the art of guerilla combat within dense foliage. They had taken the newest recruits from the 4 platoons on site and had set up a reconnaissance and strike exercise with 4 smaller squads of 10 men. Just as Leif was about to sit down to take a break, sergeant Wiely bellowed: “Lets move out ladies!?

Wiely was a real hard ass but no one would dare cross this veteran for they knew that he had seen more action than any of them probably would in their life time. Leif snarled but did as the sarge asked of him and got up. They started on their way back to the settlement and everyone knew that it would take some time to get back. Every part of Leif’s body was aching and every step was followed by a silent contempt at taking another step. Soon, he thought to him self in between breaths, soon he would be back at the settlement and soon he would be able to sit down, have a break and hopefully some shut eye.

The ground was very uneven and in some places, the water that was collecting on the big palm like trees from the humidity was dripping off into puddles of dark green water. The emerald ferns that were brushing Leif as he passed next to them were sticking to his skin due to the hot sticky air that surrounded them. The loud caws and chirps from exotic fauna were being heard all around and the sun was breaking through multiple holes in the carpet of trees. This was the Catachan’s favored battle grounds and Leif was now ready to fight alongside his brothers in arms in this difficult terrain. His training had culminated into the skills that befriended every imperial guardsman and that they relied on to fight for the glory and survival of the empire.

Leif’s feet were getting extremely heavy, and he was having a hard time keeping the pace of his squad mates. The word soon was now a loud voice in is head and it followed every heart beat. Hours passed and all that was registering in Leif brain was the thump of his feet as they hit the compacted dirt. Then like a veil lifted from his face, the communication antenna of the settlement appeared in the distance and this renewed Leif’s spirit. His feet picked up the pace and they weren’t as heavy as they once were. The closer they got, the more relief he felt and the faster he seemed able to go. They hit the two perimeter guard towers, large two leveled tree born platforms armed with multi-laser turrets and at least half a dozen jungle fighters. “Two click to go!? yelled the sarge. A sense of pride overtook Leif for what he had accomplished and he could start to see the small barracks as they approached closer to the settlement. Finally in what seemed to be an eternity, they passed through the small troop gate and they were in the compound.

“FORM UP!? echoed from the mouth of Wiely.

-“As you all know, we will be leaving this planet in 3 days. What you don’t know is that we are going to join up to the 112th on their way to Craxus IV in the adjoining sector to fight the greenskins in a fetid jungle! It should be great right?.?


- “Dismissed!?

That word was the one the entire squad wanted to hear. With that word, the men dispersed and either headed for the mess or the barracks. Leif decided to grab a quick bite to eat before heading for a much deserved sleep. As he entered the mess, the fighters from the other recruit squad were already sitting at the far table and eating. Leif spotted Erickson and after grabbing what could be described and “tyranid brains in motor oil?, he went and sat down next to his friend. They had enlisted together and as luck would have it, they were posted to the same platoon. “So how was your hell march?? Erickson asked?

-“Horrible!? Leif snapped “what about yours??

- “Bah the same, but we got a good laugh when Grids passed out from the heat and broke his nose when he fell forward?

Grids was a classic clown and it’s a miracle that no sergeant hadn’t executed him yet. Sure enough, across the table, there was Grids with a nose guard. Looking down at his food Leif didn’t care what it looked like, he dug in like he hadn’t eaten in a month and as soon as he was done, he saluted Erickson and headed of to the barracks for some shut eye. Leif put his rifle next to his cot and just dropped and fell asleep. Finally, the soon was now!

Klaxons blazing, the ground shaking and the sounds of mass explosions woke Leif. Dusk was settling in and smoke was billowing outside. Wiley burst in the platoon’s sleeping area and screamed; ?Looks like the Greenskins wont wait for us! We have a preemptive strike! Move it move it move it!?. Leif jumped out of his cot grabbed his Lasriffle and off he went. Once outside he saw the extensive damage that was done. The Greenskins had burst through the western wall behind the landing pad and destroyed it with the fully loaded transport that was there. The transport had flipped over crushing the command center over the bunker. The massive fight that was raging in the compound was made worst be the tanks and sentinels that were scrambled to push back the invaders. Leif’s platoon settled around a set pillbox in front of the mess and started firing at the horde huddled in and around the ruined landing platform. Shot after shot, no matter how many orcs fell, new ones took their place. One of the Chimera’s was hit on its side by a rocket, and blew over crushing half a dozen guardsmen. One of Leif’s squad members was hit in the head by a big shoota round and his head liquified as his lifeless body fell to the ground. Slowly, the guardsmen were losing ground and troops and soon, they would have to retreat or face annihilation. As the Nobs were pushing forward and cutting down the guardsmen the order was given to retreat to the eastern guard towers and the protection of the gargantuan trees. Wave after wave of Orcs were pourring through the breached wall and the tanks were doing their best to cover the retreat. Chimeras were mounting troops as fast as they could and driving eastward all the time firing behind them. The Chimera Leif boarded was hit by a rocket and the multilaser turret exploded killing 2 more inside.

As they approached the eastern guard platforms, every unit that was out on patrol was already gathered there. Automated sentry turrets were being deployed and tanks were being positioned as they arrived. Troops were setting claymore, detonation charges and flame traps along the road where they could. The last Leman russ arrived and was positioned and the new fortified boundary was ready to lay waste to whatever would be throwing themselves at them. They didn’t have to wait for long as the pursuing orcs began to emerge into sight. Unbeknownst to them, the Orcs barreled down the jungle road and started hitting the traps and charges that were set. Whole sections or the road was blasted sky hi with Catachanian precision. Orcish bodies were being melted and thrown left and right before even getting into range. Finnaly, once the Orcs had tripped most of the traps they were starting to be in range of the mechanized force. The guard unleashed a torrent of concentrated fire down the road and decimated every Greenskin in sight. Multiple groups of Orcs broke off from the road group and tried reaching the fortification via the forest. The nimble jungle fighters were moving like shadows in their practiced medium and were flaming and cutting down anything that moved. Boiling and burning bodies littered the forested ground and the smell of charded flesh reigned.

The Catachan guardsmen had used their superior jungles fighting abilities and stopped the wave of ravenous Greenskins. Leif looked around and thanked the emperor that he was spared to fight another day. Sergeant Wiely came around and let out a war cry! “YAH!? to witch every jungle fighter raised their riffle and answered by their own “YAH!?. He turned around and Screamed “I need a damage report! And for the Emperor’s sake, please find out who is in charge!?. The remaining troopers saluted and turned to do his bidding. From left and right, Cries for “MEDIC? were abundant and although they had stopped the Orcs, the Imperials had taken massive casualties. One of whom was Leif’s friend Erickson. He had taken a round to the chest and lay bleeding profusely from his heart. Leif bent over to tend to his friend but it was too late, he was gone. Wiely came to his side and said; “Don’t worry about your friend lad, let the Emperor guide his way. We have more pressing matters to tend to.? Leif knew that he was right but in his heart he knew he would miss his friend. Returning to the fort, the report was in. Wiley was the most senior officer there. It seems the rest were killed when the transport crushed the command center. Plus, the damage report wasn’t to good. 3 Leman russ battle tanks and 2 chimera’s were still operational but one of the chimera’s Multilaser was blown off. Of the hundreds of men stationed at the base, only 40 remained and half of those were badly injured.

Sitting at a table in one of the platforms, Wiely stared at holo maps of the area as a group of 10 men entered the tower. “At ease? ordered the sarge.
-“We have gotten reports from some men that made it out alive that the Orcs force is here to raid our fuel stores, vehicles and ammunition for the fight we are taking to them on Craxus IV. There is no way I intend to let them take it. This is why I have called you here?.

-“Sorry sir, but what can 10 men do against what is left of the Greenskins?? asked Leif

- “We are going to infiltrate the base and detonate the fuel stores located under the Armory before the Orcs have the time to pump them. While we are doing this every last able body soldier will be hitting the east wall with all the tanks and fire power we can muster?

Leif seemed perplexed. Why would the sarge bring me along, there are other more experienced guardsmen here.

- “Ok, we will be leaving at 0900 hours because we will be infiltrating the base through the hole the Orcs punched in the western wall and I want our diversion ample time to get in place. I have collected the necessary gear for you and all the ammo we will need. Sirus, your gona be my sniper on this one?

- “No problem boss?

- “Leif, and Craden, you take the demolition packs, and don’t lose them, we need them to blow up the stores?

Leif stepped forward and said “Yes sir!?. Wiely nodded and made sure everybody new what they were doing. 0900 hours came and off they went in the turretless Chimera. They drove for 2 hours to take a long way around the forest to avoid contact with the Greenskins. Once in position Wiely contacted the diversion group to start pounding the settlement. Looking through his magnalens, he waited till most of the Orcs were gone to the east side of the settlement and he gave the signal to stay behind him. They sneaked from tree to tree, each guardsman taking his turn to offer cover and once they reached the wall they all put their backs to it. Slowly they crept up to the breach in the western wall and once close enough they made a sharp right inside the compound. Fortunate that no enemy had seen them, they slowly made their way to the armory using the broken shards of steel and plascrete as cover. Once close enough, they had a problem, two Nobs were guarding the entrance “Sirus, up front...? pointing to the left Nob, Wiely gestured Sirus to shoot him and the 9 others would take a shot at the second Nob. Came the order; “FIRE?. Simultaneously, the 10 guardsmen unloaded into the Nobs. The one shot by the sniper riffle just fell with a muffled thump. The one shot by the rest of the group, got thrown back as his chest burst outward through his back.

-“ HURRY INSIDE!? yelled Wiely

The group scuffled to get inside but they were spotted by a group of slugaboys and 10 of them came running in their direction. Wiely turnned and with authority in his voice said:

“****! Hurry get inside! Barricade the door with the crates, while I get the access trap open!?

A small keypad was on the rear wall of the building and Wiely ran to it. He input a 5 digit code and the metal trap on the floor hissed and unlocked. Everyone turned and looked at the door, it was just a matter of time for the Greenskins were banging it down. Wiely looked at the door, looked at Leif and ordered him down the access hatch. Once Leif had climbed down the ladder a huge crash was heard as the door was flung off its hinges and crushing 2 guardsmen into an ammunition rack. With a cool tone of voice Wiely looked a Leif and said; “you know what you have to do? and with that, he threw a small piece of paper down the ladder and closed the hatch and sealed Leif inside with the Gargantuan Fuel reservoir. He could hear the Greenskins as they were slaughtering his friends and all of a sudden the gunfire went silent. He was startled by the axe wielding Orcs banging on the access hatch. Leif picked up the note and on it was a 5 digit code and Reservoir hatch he looked at the top of the reservoir and there was a other small keypad there, so without hesitation he jumped on the ladder and climbed to the top and input the code. The hatch in front of him swung open and he looked down into the massive tank. Leif looked back as the access hatch was busted open he looked down into the tank once more and murmured “I know what has to be done? he took out the demolition pack flipped the safety switch and thought “well, at least I will be seeing my friend. Emperor, guide me? With that, the fearless guardsman jumped into the tank and pressed the button.