Yes, the never ending campaign. I've been skipping posting write ups because they mostly suck. This one caused a couple chuckles though, so I went ahead and posted it. We mixed it up a little with three players - two gangs and a small force of space marines trying to escort their Rhino to an exit point. We tweaked a couple rules, but not much. Enjoy!

For Death and Glory

Young "Purty Boy" Arden had never seen the sun. Nothing had prepared him for the sight and it was all he could do not to gawk at the sight of the expanse stretching before him. At the moment the sun had just barely completed rising above the horizon, but already his pale grey eyes were having trouble looking toward that half of the sky. Despite the tearing eyes, he still felt drawn back to look at the incredible sight. Nothing. Absolutely nothing but empty land as far as he could see.

At his height, the ground was covered with a haze from the dust and smoke in the air, but he could see it stretching out for what must be... He stopped, he didn't know how to estimate that sort of distance. The largest thing he had ever seen before was Korrine Dome which was over 200 meters across and close to 70 meters high.

As part of the Topek gang he had seen more of the Underhive than he had ever imagined, and now, now he was sitting in an open cart sailing along the outside wall of the Hive. As a Juve he wasn't needed for security, but was being brought along as part of the image the gang was putting forward. He didn't know what was going on other than his gang's Leader, Jeraze, had wanted a group of three people to go along with him for a meeting. His orders were to look tough. Not a hard thing for Arden after he had recovered from the latest gang fight. A flamethrower could put Horrible Scars on anyone. Perversely his gang now called him Purty Boy.

Two minutes later, the screeching cart pulled onto an outcropping from the massive ferrocrete Hive. Waiting ahead were three figures. Arden didn't know who they were, and when he had asked who they were meeting, Mike's response was a single word, "Spyrer". Arden hadn't really believed him, but now he wondered.

The middle figure was a woman, he thought, though the massive suite of armor could have hidden any figure. He had never seen a full suite of armor, much less one festooned with obviously expensive metals, but had heard some tales at the gang's Drinking Hole. Expensive and far too unreliable in the Underhive with no one to maintain it, it was still obviously powerful. He doubted the AutoPistol he held would do more than dent it.

As they stepped out, he felt the eyes of all three scan over them and he did his best to glare back at them. He was somewhat gratified to see one of the guards start slightly and touch his sword when their eyes met. Maybe his scars did come in handy at times. But his brief jump of spirits plummeted when he looked at the Matriarch - the face and head looked to be melded to the machinery of her suit as pipes and tubes fed from her neck and face into the armor. Something colder than cryo touched his heart when her head slowly turned and their eyes finally met. Was she still human? Was she still alive or was the armor merely mounted by a dessicated head?

J Boss moved forward to meet the trio. While his Leader was a large man, both in height and mass, the armored suits dwarfed him. Arden had a sudden flash of the figures reaching out to grab Jeraze and casually crushing his head in their armored gauntlets like he might crush a lizard egg. In two minutes the conference was over and a bag was handed to J Boss. All three of the armored figures turned as one and walked back into the door which dropped into place with a crash.

The return trip was accomplished in silence, and Arden only noticed that they were about to re-enter the Hive as the cart plunged into the cavernous entrance. He spun in the seat to catch a last glance of the outside, but the cart had already screeched around a corner and all he could see was an orange-tinted light reflection from the wall.

The sky and sun had vanished like they had never existed.

One Day Later

Tickles fingers itched. Not in the normal way that the warped digits seemed to always tingle, but itched with a desire to touch the heavy metal object in his belt. He knew it would make a really big boom. He liked big booms. He loved to make things go boom. He didn't much care what it was that went boom, as long as it did so.

Maybe if he stuck it on Oleg's back before he made it go boom Warboss wouldn't know he did it. That would work. He reached down and started to pull the pouch open.

Light exploded in his head. A moment later he looked up to see Warboss standing over him about to kick. Alarm shot through him and he rolled, curling aside to dodge the kick. He was partially successful and the kick caught him on his hip, sending him on a quick tumble. He caught himself to his feet just in time to be grabbed up and slammed back down again, this time with the Warboss's face an inch away from his own.

"Touch again before fights, I rip all you teefs out," came the rumbling growl. Tickles was no longer the smallest ork in the pack, but only because there were new orks. He was definitely the smallest Nob. Warboss was half again as tall and massive. He was Warboss. Tickles curled his head to the side and covered his face with his hands.

"No touch! No boom! Tickles knows!"

Warboss growled again and shoved down hard on Tickles as he got back up. He stepped over, kicking Tickles face as he crossed.

"Hide again. No touch."

Tickles jerked to his feet and crouched over to his previous place, behind the large mound of rubble.

He didn't touch the Krak Grenade again, and his fingers weren't itching any more. At least not much. Warboss was close by. They didn't itch much.

He saw Warboss cuff one of the new orks, a little grunting ork barely able to swing an Axe. Tickles felt better looking at the new ork. Tickles had more teef and was bigger.

He saw an insect of some sort crawl across the oily sludge on the floor and snatched it up and put it in his mouth. He felt it struggling in his mouth and the moved it from side to side, enjoying the tickling sensation. Crunch.

He knew they were going to fight. Warboss was good at finding fights. People even sometimes gave them stuff to fight. In this case they had gotten these Krak Grenades to use to blow up a Rhino. Tickles had heard of big trukks with lots of guns and making one go boom sounded fun.

And if they made it go boom then they would get a Drinking Hole from some little pinks. Tickles liked Drinking Holes. At first they had just fought with the pinks and drank what they found, but Warboss had beat them until they stopped and would trade pieces of metal for the drinks. Having a whole Drinking Hole of their own would be great! But first he needed to blow up the Rhino trukk with his big boom grenade. The ...

His fantasy was interrupted by Boomstick running up to the hiding group. Boomstick ran to Warboss and growled something which made Warboss jerk up. He waved to Manslayer and the other new ork. Tickles wanted to know what was going on and started crawling forward.

"... tunnels close to them. Don't let umans attack Rhino. Manslayer use Flamer. Boomstick use small Flamer. Kid, you charge umans. Keep busy. We shoot Marines and Rhino trukk. Compinsatin' stay here with 'eavy Bolter."

Warboss started to turn and Tickles scrambled back, just dodging a casual swipe of an axe. Warboss growled deeply, barely enough to carry to the six hiding nearby, "Uman gang coming up road. Some going to slow them down. We stay here and kill Marines and Rhino. Wait for Warboss before attack. Tickles, you use grenades on Rhino."

Tickles nodded eagerly. Big boom! Lots of big booms were coming!


"Sergeant Tiberius, Sir."

Tiberius had served for over eighty years, thanks to the protection of the Emperor. Never in those eighty years had he heard anyone talk quite so much as Otool. However, he had served for 20 years with Otool and the man's familiarity had loosened up his tongue. It was a small price to pay to keep the man's skill with a Missile Launcher available.

"Yes, Marine?"

"Sir, I was wondering. Is there any chance we're going to have further action in this system? If this data really does show a house to be consorting with Demons, we'd be called to execute the heretics, right?"

Tiberius didn't reply for a second. Otool had been picking for information at the contents of the data cores they were extracting from the Hive. His most recent speculations were that the data showed that one of the Houses in the Hive were heretics. This was getting closer to the truth. Tiberius himself didn't know the specifics of the data, but knew it was the result of a covert Imperial investigation into House Ti'yun.

"If it is about heretics then they shall burn."

That it was House Ti'yun was an open secret. Or maybe not so secret. The House had put out a bounty on the data. Of course they couldn't prove it was the House, but they were the only ones who would have an interest in putting out a bounty on destroying the data.

They had suffered two aborted attacks by groups of people trying to cash in. Neither attempt had been worth anything - merely some Stubgun-wielding Hive scum. The first had happened two kilometers after they had picked up the data from the agent hiding in an abandoned dome. Otool had fired a Frag Missile a heartbeat after the first shots had hit the Rhino. Three figures were chewed into bits in the blast and the remaining people had taken off running. Tiberius and the other marines walking behind the Rhino hadn't even fired.

The second was a bit more organized in that the attackers had hidden beside the road, but that was it. Tiberius wasn't sure what the group had expected to do to the Rhino with chains, clubs, and Stubguns, but they had attacked anyway. This was a larger group, at least fifteen, but they had been chewed up without breaking a sweat. His own Power Sword had barely crackled as it sliced through the arm of his own attacker. One of his marines had a dent in his armor, but that was it. After the attackers had broken and fled, the Rhino's Storm Bolter had blown apart two more as the ran away.

Now they were less than a kilometer from the extraction point. The Emperor had smiled on them.

"Well, I was wondering if we would be able to do it ourselves, or if we'd need to call in another order."

"We shall have the glory of destroying the enemies of the Emperor," Tiberius replied. That wasn't what Otool was really asking. He was wanting to see if there was an opportunity to do some back-room deals with other Marines for off-planet goods.

"Well, how ..." Otool began before Tiberius cut him off.

"We aren't out of this yet. Eye up. Mouth closed."

They was less than half a kilometer from the outer wall exit. They were getting close, but not close enough to start relaxing. There was a Thunderhawk waiting for them, or at least would be once they sent the signal. Once they were on that, then they could relax.

Face scarred from scores of major actions, and battle armor decorated for far more honors, Tiberius wasn't about to let down his guard, no matter how close they were. The Emperor demanded the best of his servants and First Sergeant Mikhale Tiberius of the Ordo Templari Space Marines would allow no possibility of weakness to contaminate his service. Honor and service were his lords and there would be no relaxation from his duty until he appeared at the Emperor's throne.


Mook stared ahead, hearing a rumbling that signaled the approach of the Rhino. He had been tasked with the close combat wing of the gang. He almost groaned at the thought. He had three juves with him, they had all been recruited less than a month ago. Theoretically he guessed that he had been that green at some point, but he couldn't imagine it.

Sure, they had picked up some skills in the two small skirmishes they had been in, and a couple of them had some pretty Horrible Scars to show too, but by the GODS were they ever green! Every stupid statement had to be laughed at, and if something hadn't been said, then they had to say something. Girls and drink was all they seemed to talk about, and the funniest part he was pretty sure they were all virgins and would probably get drunk on their first drink.

Still, they knew how to fight decently well when push came to shove. At least for Juves. Guts even had become a fair shot. If he kept it up, he might be the gang's top shooter. He was pretty good with throwing too, and had been given one of the Krak Grenades. For now though, Mook figured he would have to cover for them as best he could.

He loosened his sword and took a calming breath. He always seemed to go a bit Berserk in fights, but that was probably all for the better. Really he and two others were to assault the Marines to give Guts a clear opening to blow the Rhino if it was necessary. As long as they could keep the Marines tied up for just a couple seconds, they would be in good shape.

The gang was set up at a bend in the road just eighty meters before the giant gate to the outside. The Boss and the heavies were set up in an old building twenty five meters to his left with a nice overlook of the road. Four more members of the gang were set up on the opposite side of the road with a load of Auto and Boltpistols. Mook knew Boss had taken one of the Krak Grenades and was prepared with his Grenade Launcher to take out the Rhino. Guts and Iron Mike were the backups with Krak Grenades ready to throw. With fire coming in from three directions at once, they were ready to sweep the Marines clear. Someone had hired them to capture the data in the Rhino and the rewards were worth the risk. Mook figured they could sell the data and cash in on the reward for destroying the data if they played their chips right.

Mook's head jerked up, he heard a blast of gunfire coming from the direction of the approaching Marines. That was a lot of firing! A heavy machine gun was firing, maybe a Heavy Bolter? Before Mook could react he heard more firing from off in Iron Mike's direction and he could hear the distinctive crack of the Bolt Pistol firing.

What did the Old Ones have against them? Couldn't something go right?


Gork no! They had opened up with everything they had! Warboss suddenly had a sinking feeling in his stomach. All seven of them hiding behind the rubble had popped out as the Marines trotted by and opened up nearly point blank, joined by Crumpin's Heavy Bolter from slightly further back. His ears still rang from the noise.

The Marines still stood there. Teefs had thrown the Krak Grenade but it had missed, exploding a few lengths in front of the Rhino. They had more. But they might be too busy to use them now.

The rain of fire had been mostly ineffectual, the massive Armor suits shrugging off even the Heavy Bolter fire, and the tank's rear armor barely even being marked by his own Plasma Pistol which he had fired at full strength! Sure, one of the Marine's was Down, but that left four more to return fire.

What did Gork have against them? Couldn't something go right?


Iron Mike was swearing a solid stream of profanities. The never-sufficiently-damned Orks were here! The explosion of gunfire from up the road had caught him off guard and he had jerked his head around looking for anything nearby. It was then that he saw an Ork coming out from a building off to the left. He had been focused on the road.

"To the left! Guys, to the left! It's an ambush - Orks!"

Around him were Yank, Hot Stuff, and Screamer. They were the left wing with the most small arms fire, ready to shred the coming Marines. Now though, they had a more pressing problem. Who cared what was going on up the road, they had Orks on their tails.

"Move up and take out the Orks!"

The Orks were still inside the building, but that limited their range of fire as well as providing them cover. Keep them pinned down! He and the others moved forward to get clear shots at the Orks inside and opened fire.

He saw one of the Orks fall back from a shot by his Bolt Pistol, grabbing at its stomach. But the other two orks he could see seemed to shrug off the lighter fire of the others' AutoPistols. They didn't even seek cover, roaring at each other.

They jumped out and Iron Mike went pale. Flamer! Nothing was going right.

He turned to run, but was too slow. His world lit up in pain as the flames swept over him.


"Otool, get Ontanius into the Rhino! Move up, we're going to the extraction point to take cover. We can't stay here! Move! Use the Rhino for cover! Arkus and Jacks try to keep the attackers' heads down but keep moving to the extraction point!"

Tiberius was on the far side of the Rhino and couldn't see how many hostiles there were, but that was a LOT of fire and some of it sounded heavy. He had seen the blast of plasma against the rear of the Rhino and heard the chopped explosive sounds of a Heavy Bolter from behind them.

This ambush was better planned, but it wouldn't be enough. Once Ontanius was on board, they would be able to keep retreating from the attackers toward their extraction point. Most of the attackers seemed to be next to or behind them. The Rhino would move ahead and they would cover it.

Ontanius was down though, and Otool was busy for a bit tossing him into the Rhino, but as soon as he was free they would have some heavy firepower to bring to bear.

He heard a bestial scream of pain following some firing from his Marines.

That sounded like ... no, it couldn't be! Orks! There hadn't been Orks in this area of the galaxy for a century at least! How had Orks gotten into the Hive?

Then he saw the Rhino jerk to a stop and suddenly begin firing. The Storm Bolter on the front of it spat out a stream of firepower at a building up ahead. He saw the side of the building explode in gouts of dust and a figure fly back and another go diving to the ground.

More attackers ahead? Could nothing go right?


The entire area descended into chaos. Jeraze couldn't believe how everything had come apart at the seams. Someone was trying to steal the data before they could get to it, and his left flank had completely come apart as three of the four people over there were Downed by flames. It looked like one of them might have only gotten slightly singed, but he couldn't tell from this point.

There, it looked like Screamer hadn't been hit and was Charging one of the orks, but that left another ork there with a Flamer. One of his heavies, had gone Down from the Rhino's fire and it looked like the other was Broken and not about to do anything.

He could hit the Rhino, hoping to take it out, or he could try to keep that second ork from flaming everything and rolling right over them.

He would take the Ork. Hopefully the Rhino would be occupied by whoever, probably the Orks, was attacking the Rhino ahead.

He swapped in a Frag Grenade to his Grenade Laucher, pulled it to his shoulder and fired.

The arc looked good, looked good ... Yes! Direct hit!

The dust obscured his vision for a moment, but as it cleared he saw the Ork looking his direction. It looked like he was staying Pinned for a moment, keeping cover from possibly more shots, but it would only be a minute before the Ork decided it was safe to start running his way. He glanced around and it looked bleak.

Screamer was fighting the other ork over there, but the ork seemed to Step Aside from every blow. He glanced to the right. Mook and the Juves were running forward toward the Marines as fast as they could, but they were too far away.

Hopefully he could keep the Orks down with his Grenade Launcher, but it wasn't looking good unless Screamer was able to take out the Orks pretty quickly. And if the Rhino didn't start firing at him too. They had to have seen his grenade launcher fire.

Should he call a retreat? No, they had been in tougher spots than this and made it through.

Then his heart stuttered and a wave a relief washed over him. It looked like Yank was getting back up. Probably just a Flesh Wound. He was a Crack Shot and should be able to help take down the Orks over there.

That should free him up to focus on the Rhino! He pulled out his Krak Grenade and began to load it in his Grenade Launcher.

Maybe things were looking up!


The Orks were boiling up out of the ground, but after their fire had proven ineffectual the first time, they had run forward and the closest was only a few meters away. Their Heavy Bolter had stuttered once, but then fallen silent. Tiberius wasn't sure what had happened to it, but was glad for whatever it was. It was time to lay down some fire before the Orks got to them.

"Squad! Positions and fire!"

Tiberius was proud of his men. They were the Emperor's men and served well. Like a turning predator they spun in place, paused for the briefest of moments to gather themselves and the opened fire.

The crowd of Orks charging them seemed to collapse before the sound of his marines' Bolters. A Frag Missile also arced down and added to the devastation.

Had they been humans, Tiberius wouldn't have given them a second thought after that outpouring of fire, but they were Orks. He had fought them on four different occasions and never underestimated their Toughness. But in this case it looked like it was pretty effective. The largest Ork, certainly the Warboss was Down as were three others. That left just three, and one of those was digging in the dirt scrambling for a bit of cover, well and truly Pinned.

He heard the chatter of the Rhino's Storm Bolter ahead and figured things were probably doing well enough ahead of them.

Things were looking up!

"To the glory of the Emperor!" he roared!


Things had gone horribly wrong.

Mook could still hear some sporadic fire, far too his left, but he didn't know how things were going. He could just see that Screamer and an Ork had been fighting, Screamer's spiked chain flashing around, but the fight was still going on, the two figures now circling each other.

But the Boss was down.

Mook cursed. The Storm Bolter on the Rhino had fired again, and this time had taken on the Boss's perch behind a barrier on the roof. The entire area was a smoking ruin. He had seen Boss's body go flying back and nothing more. That meant their entire center of heavy weapons was gone.

Ahead of them, still too far to reach in person was the Rhino and next to it was a Marine carrying a massive Missile Launcher. His gleaming armor looked invincible. Their guns would be lucky to scratch the Marine ... wait.

"Guts, get up here."

The Juve came up and Mook grabbed his shoulder.

"Look, we might be on our own for a bit. The Boss is under fire from that Rhino." He didn't mention that he was pretty sure the Boss was Down. He didn't want to give any cause for alarm.

"If you can take out that Marine there with your Krak Grenade, the rest of us will be able to get to the tank. The gun on there won't be able to reach us if we can run up far enough on its side. But we need to take out that Marine. We're going to run up, and you take him out with your Grenade. Got it?"

To his credit Guts didn't even look worried. His Initiative was a bit low from a wound a couple fights ago, but for the moment he looked cool. He nodded and pulled out the grenade, hefting the heavy object.

Mook turned to the other two, "Guts is going to take out the Marine, we're running up as far as we can. We'll be out of that Rhino's firing area and then we'll take the Rhino."

Mook didn't know how they would be able to take the Rhino without any Krak Grenades, but maybe something would come up. He glanced across to where Screamer had been and saw him standing over a heap on the ground and then stagger a couple steps. Well, that was a bit of good luck. Time to see if it held for them too.


Guts took several steps and heaved the Grenade. Mook took off and heard the others follow him. Juves they may be, but they were good kids.

As he ran he saw the grenade flying overhead. The Marine looked up at the motion and began to dive to the side, but was too slow.

Mook didn't know how a Krak Grenade worked other than it seemed to pull things into itself and then explode in a tightly contained flash of light and heat. Everything for an arm-length around the grenade would get pulled in before spraying back out. Even solid battle steel walls seemed to lose coherency and get ripped apart by the pull.

A person had no chance if hit. The Marine was diving when the grenade hit his thigh and went off. For the briefest moment the Marine was pulled into the odd implosion, most of the body was stretched and pulled apart. Then a flash and the distinctive "KRA-A-CK" sound and the shoulders and head of the Marine went flying out from the flash of light and sound. Finely shredded gore covered the ground for five meters around the spot.

Mook smiled as he heard several of the people behind him whoop a quick cheer as they sprinted ahead. He didn't have any idea what to do with the Rhino now that their Krak Grenade was gone, but they had at least a couple moments to figure it out.

Just maybe they would make it.


Compinsatin' was a freakin' genius by Ork standards. He loved machines and making them work. This Heavy Bolter was his pride and joy. It hated him. He loved it.

It didn't like him and took every opportunity to stop working and Compinsatin' took every opportunity to beat it back into submission. At the moment they were in a match of wills. He would not let it win!

He slapped it several times and tried pulling the trigger. Nothing. It had fired off just a single bullet before it had sneaked up on him and stopped working. He wouldn't let it get away with that.

He opened it up and chewed on the bullet magazine a couple times. He chewed gently. He didn't want to kill the gun, just show it who was boss, just dent it up a bit to remind it.

He had barely noticed that the Orks below had been mowed down by gunfire as he had stuck a claw down the barrel. Now he felt he was about to win his battle. He could tell the gun was almost ready to give up. He paused a bit, letting it think it might have won.


He suddenly roared as loud as he could, gaping maw a claw length from the gun. He then started shaking it as hard as he could, and finally as the final move slapped it as hard as he could, right on top of the trigger.


A round shot off, scoring a furrow across his thigh.

Exultation coursed through him! Once again he was the victor!

He looked down and saw the remaining two Orks charge one of the three Marines he could see below. Weren't there four before? Who cared. Now it was time to shoot again. He considered shooting at one of the Marines, but decided not to. The big Rhino trukk was much bigger and easier to hit and it was bigger. Bigger was better. Better to shoot big things than small things.

He gave the gun a quick shake and pointed it carefully at the rear of the Rhino, making sure there was no doubt that the gun knew what it was supposed to be hitting. He had learned that if you didn't point it carefully, it would get confused and not hit what he wanted it to.

It was a stupid gun. But he was smarter and bigger. Bigger was better.

He pulled the trigger and the started firing round after round down toward the rumbling Rhino. The gun kept firing and firing! Ha! He had shown it who was boss! It had never fired this much before! Yes, he was boss ork and it was scared of him!

The Rhino below bounced as an explosion of flame and smoke shot from the rear, throwing open the rear hatch. He didn't know what had happened, but they had won! Warboss had said they needed to destroy the data in the Rhino trukk!

Compinsatin' danced and hooted waving the gun around his head.

Things were good!


"Fall back! Fall back!"

Arkus turned and looked around. Jacks was waving for him.

He shook his head and just looked around. Things had gone to hell faster than he could have imagined. He thought they had wiped out the Orks. He had never seen one before, but surely nothing could have made it through the fusillade they had produced! But two massive Orks had made it through none the less. They had charged the Sergeant and while the Sarg was fighting it, the second had chopped into the Sergeant with the largest Massive Axe Arkus had ever seen.

He had been stunned to the point of immobility for a second. Sergeant Tiberius couldn't die. He was harder than the armor he wore!

The freeze had lasted hardly a second before the second blow hit him. The Rhino exploded in a gout of fire, heat rolling over him and sending him to his knees. The thing they had been tasked to protect was sitting with the rear door hanging open with smoke pouring out. Ontanius ... the best friend Arkus had on the squad had been in there. His information display showed his signal as down, probably dead.

A moment before the Orks had charged, Otool's signal had suddenly gone away, and he had heard an explosion. There had been no time to investigate before the Orks had charged, but it had almost sounded like a Krak Grenade. He hadn't particularly liked Otool and his constant chatter, but he was part of his squad. He was a brother.

And now even his Sergeant was gone. With a dull shock he realized that he and Jacks were the only two left. Of their five-man squad, they were the only two left. The knowledge was distant, but it was all he could see. The world around him muted. Ontanius was dead when they had thought him safe in the Rhino.

Two cracks rang out behind him. That must be Jacks shooting at something. He started to look around and then a sight caught his attention. On a small hill they had just run by a moment ago, an Ork was dancing, holding a Heavy Bolter above its head.

It must have been what had destroyed the Rhino. Nothing else could have. It had killed Ontanius.

In a daze, Arkus lifted his Bolter. It had killed his best friend. It was one of the Orks which had wiped out what was as close to a family as he had known.

A shot rang out and the gun in his hand bucked.

The figure on the hill flew back.


Mook stood still, shaken and confused. "What the !?!"

"Somebody blew the Rhino!"

"Thank you for stating the obvious," Mook replied. He could see a pile of Down Orks on the road, and there had been some shots sound from around the Rhino somewhere. He didn't know what exactly was going on, but had heard a howl of victory from the other side too, just before the Rhino had exploded.

There couldn't be many more people back there, especially with the Bolter fire which had just cracked out from beyond the vehicle. He looked around him. The two Juves with him were the best of the hand-to-hand fighters among the Juves, and Guts wasn't really too far behind to catch up.

"Ok, come on guys," he could tell their courage was brittle having their Leader Down, but they were still game.

"There can't be more than a couple people still left after all this slaughter. We're going to run up to the edge of the Rhino and take a look around. The four of us should be able to take care of whatever is left on the other side after we can see what we're going into. Got it?"

Purty Boy and Lucky both nodded. Mook turned and waved to Guts to follow and then turned to run to edge of the Rhino, just looking around the edge.

"Uh oh."

There were more figures there than he had hoped. Two orks were there together, and two Marines were standing about ten meters apart. Oof. He was glad they had played it safe and had some cover behind the Rhino. While he thought he and his boys could take out either group, taking on both didn't sound like fun.

He heard more shots ring out from back where Iron Mike's group had been. At least they were still active over there. Screamer and whoever was shooting could probably hold their own especially since Screamer had downed at least one Ork. Now they were probably keeping the enemy over there Pinned. Good enough for now.

"Hold up guys. Let's see how this turns out."

The Marines and Orks would probably fight, killing at least a few. Then they would Charge and mop up.


Tickles was feeling nervous. His Warboss was down as were almost everyone else in his tribe here. He had just seen the Marine in front of him shoot Compinsatin'. He didn't know what was going on with the three sent out to attack the pinks, but he could still hear gunfire from that direction.

He and Oleg had charged out of the holocaust filled with bloodlust. He had attacked the Marine but every strike had been blocked. But then Oleg had come up and swung his Massive Axe from behind and chopped almost completely through the Marine. Oleg had roared in triumph.

Sure, one of the remaining two marines had shot at them, but the shots had gone wild. Then the other Marine had slowly raised his gun and fired. Not at them, but at Compinsatin' behind them. Tickles had spun just in time to see Compinsatin's body land in a pile.

Now he wasn't sure what he wanted to do. He fiddled with his belt and his warped fingers touched the Krak Grenade.

A flash of brilliance lit up his face. He could use the Krak Grenade! Sure, the big trukk was done for, but he could use it on the Marine! It should make a nice, big boom!

He snarled at Oleg who was also looking unsure. He began to Charge the Marine and heard Oleg yell and begin to follow. Tickles slowed down and let Oleg take the lead this time. Tickles had a plan.

Oleg reached the Marine a moment before Tickles and swung his Massive Axe at the Marine's head. At the last moment the Marine reacted and twisted slightly taking and glancing blow which his Armor Saved. Then Tickles was on him. With a roar of triumph he jumped on the back of the Marine and slammed the grenade into the figures armor, trying to jam it inside the neck opening.

The Marine flung his shoulders forward going down onto one knee and tossing Tickles into Oleg.

The grenade was pulled along with Tickles and dropped to the ground.

Tickles landed looking at the Krak Grenade from a hand span away. His eyes got wide as he saw a light go yellow on the rounded grenade. His eyes went up and locked for what seemed an eternity with the marine's who was also looking up from the grenade. A realization of horror growing in both their eyes.

Then time snapped back to normal. Tickles scrambled to his feet and grabbed Oleg. With a heave he pulled himself behind Oleg, placing Oleg between himself and the Krak Grenade. He liked big booms, but not when they were on him!

He saw the marine pull back, stepping back and raising his forearm in front of his face.

A sudden pulling sensation twisted his gut in knots and sent a wave of pain through his body. He felt Oleg pulled forward from his grip and then a blast of light, heat, and sound surrounded him. The blast wasn't as big as he might have thought, but from only a meter away it was plenty big enough to hurl him almost straight up.

He landed with a thump. Dazed.

He looked up.

Towering over him was the Marine, smoke and steam rising off his armor.

The figure slowly lowered his armored forearm from his face. The armor was covered from head to toe with a solid red covering of pureed and misted flesh. The face though was clear and looked down at Tickles with a stony face which admitted no softness, hew in a flesh far harder than mere armor.

Terror lanced through Tickles and his soul Broke inside him under the infinitely cold and unyielding gaze which held him. He was Wounded deeply but his Orkish body could take many wounds. His mind could not.

He fled.


Mook and the others stood transfixed starring at the image before them.

The armored figure loomed far taller than its nearly two meters, smoke writhing and hovering about his body.

"That ... Krak ... but how ... it didn't even..."

The whispers floated around Mook, from the others with him or just in his head, he didn't know. That Marine couldn't be mortal. Surely it must be an avenging spirit.

As the Ork had fled, the Marine had only looked up to watch it flee, face clear from gore and clear of emotion. Then the head slowly turned and caught Mook in their gaze. He felt his own soul quail at the attention, the time stretching into infinity.

Then they were dismissed and the Marine turned and walked back out of view behind the still-smoking Rhino.

As a single being the four turned and retreated.


Neither the Marines nor Quaos gang had a desire to continue the fighting, and truly there was no further point in fighting.

The Quaos gang would gather those who were down and hope they could be saved by their Medics.

The Orks fled and recovered, for Orks are nothing if not resilient

Rumors would flow through the Underhive on a million different channels. Many contradictory, most wrong. There were some with truth - the Orks had attacked the Marines and destroyed the data, gaining much renown and the payment for their services. Some said the Quaos gang had won the battle, and indeed they were the ones who were on the battlefield when interested parties came to investigate.

Rumors rose and fell through the Underhive, most fading into obscurity, being replaced by newer events.

But there was one which was forever. The Imperial Space Marines never fall.