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I was leaning against the squads Rhino, polishing my boltgun and refilling magazines. Tonight we were to move on Eamon Mach, a city occupied by renegade Blood Angels claiming that their commander was a Messiah or some such religious ***** that I put no stock in.
"Never had a need for religion much..." I thought simply to myself.
As I was completing his task, my good buddy Jaun approached him, walking with his usual swaggering gait--Jaun was a man of incredible "self-confidence"--and stopping right in front of Aemon. He nudged me with his boot and said, "Hey Aemon, get up. The Sarge wants a word with the squad before we go into combat tonight." Seeing as how this clearly wasn't an invitation but an order, I stood slowly and grabbed my helmet and boltgun on my way towards the Company CP (Command Post). Arriving at the CP I saw that most of his squad was already there, standing around wordlessly waiting for Sarge to start talking.
"Alright men, we're gonna get this started." Sarge began in his usual way, talking in his husky voice that has gone all raspy on him from yelling in combat. "Tonight 4th Company has been assigned the task of obliterating the Blood Angel radicals that have holed themselves up in Eamon Mach. Basically, they're already lying in their coffins, we just need to nail 'em shut. Keep it simple, no heroics," he always said that even though he knew some of us were just dumb enough to try something "heroic" in combat, "and show no mercy. We're Space Marines, not little wussy Imperial Guards. If each one of you doesn't bring back some kind of Blood Angel memorabelia after this battle you're washing and polishing the Rhino." the squad laughed, but we all knew he meant it. "It is now 0900. We have three hours until we're moving, get your ***** together and meet back here at 1030 so we can check out all of our equipment and make sure the Rhino's loaded. That's all you worthless wastes of mass, get out of my sight." And with that we departed.
The squad, minus Sarge, went back to our row of tents and we all grabbed our backpacks, utility belts, anything we wanted to bring. Sarge never cared how much we brought as long as we carried it all ourselves. Jaun and I were Fireteam C, the third in five teams A through E. Each Fireteam was a pair of soldiers, and each team was assigned a specific specialization so we could perform any task that needed to be done. 1030 came in no time and soon the squad was back at Company CP, where Sarge promptly moved us to our Rhino. We affectionately named the squad Rhino "Hardass" after we ran over a Terminator once on accident and the Rhino didn't suffer any damage. Sarge made us check our packs and other equipment with out Fireteam partners, and after we'd all been checked out, we looked over Hardass and decided that Squad Able was ready for combat. We all packed into the Rhino and waited for our orders to mobilize. This time Jaun and I got picked for Bolter Duty, or in other words we were to man the dual bolters installed on our Rhino. I always enjoyed seeing the enemy flee in terror from our Rhino while I shot them in the back. I pulled off my helmet and kissed it between the eyes, something I always do before a battle. The reason is twofold; the first reason being that I was told by our Chapter Librarian that it would bring good luck, and second if I ever get shot (I haven't yet in fifteen engagements) I want it between the eyes.
Eventually our Rhino was rolling out of the camp behind four other Rhinos from squads Brave, Courage, Desirem and Emperor. Eamon Mach was a forty five minute ride, so we all sat back and relaxed a bit. I eased the targetting site over my eye for my bolter, so it would aim wherever I looked, and sat back in my seat a bit, but not so relaxed that I could not jump to action if need be. After about twenty minutes I could see Eamon Mach on the horizon, ten or so pumes of black smoke billowing out of the city from our earlier artillery barrage to soften defenses. About five minutes out from the city our column of Rhinos ground to a halt. Word passed along that we were to debark and make our way on foot from here. Apparently the Angels had trapped the surrounding area of the city and it would be "safer" for us to enter on foot. Our squad shared the thought that the Command platoon just didn't want to risk the Rhinos, and would rather lose the squads.
Sliding out of the gunner's spot with Jaun, I grabbed my boltgun off the rack on the wall and debarked the Rhino. Our squad formed up loosely and we began our trudge towards the city. I looked around briefly to see what kind of terrain and other attributes I could use to my advantage, but Eamon Mach was put right smack in the middle of a huge meadow. Luckily, the grass was waist-high so I could just fall down if I needed to hide. The formerly tense atmosphere melted away a bit again so we all began to talk quietly, Sarge gave us a look that said, "One more word and I'll kill you myself." The rest of the trip was made in silence. We entered the city without meeting any resistence, and none of the apparent "traps" had been tripped, so we all began to wonder what was going on. Sarge put his hand to his ear.
"Alright Able, break up into Fireteams and spread out, but no more than one building seperation between the teams. You know the drill, get moving."
Jaun and I joined up and broke off as the squad split into twos. The first few buildings showed nothing. In fact, Jaun and I had decided that the Angels just up and left because they knew we were coming. It was about a minute after this decision was finalized that the first shell hit the city. It impacted exactly where Squad Able had been standing ten minutes before. The following explosion knocked out the two buildings nearby and they collapsed in a giant heap of rubble. Jaun and I raced out of the building and into the street, hearing the sound of gunfire. We ran as hard as we could to meet up with Fireteams A and D, none of us knew where B and E were. Sarge was missing too. Now wasn't the time for thinking, now was the time for action.
Our slightly diminished squad moved quickly towards the action and happened upon a main road that lead all the way out of the city. Out there we saw at least three Rhinos painted in Blood Red with men clad in red armor running all over. We moved forward into a more favorable position and opened fire. My first kill was the unlucky man picked to be first out of his Rhino. The following four Angels out of that Rhino were subsequently killed by my compatriots, and the rest of them smartly stayed inside while the Rhino maneuvered to a better position. We split into Fireteams again. Jaun and I vaulted over the blasted wall that was our cover and moved into a hole blasted in the ground that was deep enough to be a foxhole. An explosion to my left sent pieces of rubble clattering off of my armor, and immediately thereafter three Angels stepped out of the clearing dust. Completely exposed I had no choice but to go down blazing. I raised my gun and squeezed the trigger but the gun backfired and the barrel blew off! I looked to my left but Jaun wasn't there. The Angels saw me now, and instead of killing me they moved to capture me, big mistake on their part. I reached down to the thigh scabbard I had and pulled out my 6" knife. When they were about five feet from me I threw it and caught one of the Angels in the eyepiece, killing him instantly. I launched myself on the other two and managed to knock one over before the other caught me in the face with the butt of his boltgun. He was intending to shoot me right there on the ground but I hooked his knee with my foot and his shot went wild as he fell to the ground. I leaped on him and ripped off his helmet, revealing a man with dirty blonde hair and brown eyes, with a number of nasty scars on his face. My first blow broke his jaw and I crushed his skull with his own helmet. Although I'd killed two I still had one to deal with. We has perched triumphantly above me with the dead Angel's boltgun, clearly about to finish me when I heard...