"Machine spirit, please take my gift though you may strike his enemies as he has given us the gift of living."
Loader Ditter, Operation Emperors Garden
At warseer is a guy with a death Korps of Krieg thread where he builds a new Squad and then publishes a short story for it. As I will never produce such an output on stories and perfectly modelled models like this genius I will simply try my humble story here and there and creep along with my own project.
The rain found its way through the camouflage net easily. Not that the net wouldn’t be completely drenched after three days of constant rain anyway. It still bothered Loader Ditter that not only he was completely wet and lying in a pool of cold water for the last two days, but also got a fresh supply of ice cold water from the heaven. Ask and the Emperor provides, that would have said his father in such a situation. Not aloud and not of course if some stranger or official persons where present. He looked left and saw Schütze Wesselsky curled up on the dirty ground, snorting like a grox. Very fitting thought Ditter, only that grox’s didn’t stink as much as the sleeping soldier. They haven’t slept in proper fieldbeds since a week, not to think of the chance to clean or shave. The nearby Trupp of Grenadiers who have taken the house on the right side as a field post haven’t such problems. They where in dry rooms with probably a well in the kitchen and some private place to get rid of the field rations they where eating for weeks.
The former occupants of the house, or a more appropriate name would be mansion was maybe the towns Schulz. Where he was now? Ditter doesn’t know and doesn’t care. Maybe the Schulz thought that in the crisis the people of this little town could look after themselves and left his position or which was more likely he was taken away by the xenos filth that was harassing that planet for half a year. Six month in which the Baran Troops tried to bring that enemy to a fight. But the xenos where avoiding the imperial troops. If the Baran Division where massing at the A2 named main road, then the xenos would attack some supply convoys in the hinterlands. If the troops spread thin then they where amassing and taking on a single Kampfgruppe after another. Ditter didn’t get any real reports of course, but he had his ears here and there. And soldiers talk. But since the last two days he was here, hiding in the garden of the Schulzs Mansion. Hiding with an anti tank field gun the size of a kübelcar. They had taken position in a group of three brushes and put the camouflage net on top of it. From 5 meters away you couldn’t even tell by the eye that they where there. But only for the eye. Ditter tried not to think what evil devices the xenos have at their disposal to find hidden enemies.
He tried to shift his position to get one or two centimeters closer to the shield of the PAL 38. There he would be at least protected from half of the rain. His hands at least where dry. He had put them under the tarpaulin which protected the lascannons battery from the wet. At the beginning of the campaign he had seen a soldier getting flogged for letting the battery caught water. At the test firing of the gun, the battery was simply worn out and the gun was virtually without any use. Well, that soldier wouldn’t do that mistake again, and Ditter didn’t dare to let them be without proper power when the moment arrived. Or get flogged too which was even more motivation to avoid it.
Maybe he should also take a nap like the Schütze. Take some sleep and wait until the action start, or someone higher up decides that this ambush was a stupid idea after all. Activating an emergency vox beacon in an almost empty town in the hinterlands. Predicting that an administratum official was stranded here and need evacuation. After two days the xenos wouldn’t be that stupid to came here anymore or believe that story. Also the transmission was encrypted and in their imperial tongue. Ditter doubts that the xenos could even understand it.
Just pack together and get back to the field camp. Eat, sleep, get dry and see if some amusement could be arranged. His thoughts of a particular very female amusement was cut short when there was muffled sound.
‘Oh scheiße, Wesselsky you stinking….’, but his hissed accusations where cut short as he heard that sound again. But this time it was followed by a series of piercing sounds, like someone was throwing knifes. He shivered but not of the cold. The xenos must be here. The human-takers, stories to scare children in his youth have set fear in some hardened veterans recently. But, by the emperor, where was Feldwebel Kessel. He is the commanding NCO of this mission and had sat the last two days with them in this position and waiting for the enemy to come. And now the enemy was here, and the Feldwebel gone. And that grox Wesselsky is still grunting like he is on baran at home.
He peaked past the protection shield of the field gun through the maze of the camouflage net and saw the last moments of the Feldwebels life.
He cam in view at the left side of the marktplatz. A square to sell and buy goods of the nearby farms. Before the xenos came of course. Despite the rain he was clearly visible as he wore his white underwear and was running as fast as he could towards the Schulz’s mansion. Actually it wasn’t very fast as he was obviously wounded and that wound has already painted his right side in a deep red. He was screaming for help and for the emperor. Where his uniform was or his weapon Ditter could not tell. But he had the idea that not all of the former inhabitants had left the town, or where caught earlier.
The Feldwebel was getting slower, his wound draining the power from him. He was half over the platz when there was another series of slicing sounds, but this time the soldier saw the projectiles. Tiny knives or pieces of sharp metal flew towards the Feldwebel and impacted with his right leg. The flesh seems to vaporize in a cloud of red mist. The NCO hit the ground, screaming like he was set on fire. From his knee downwards his leg was a mess of sliced flesh and bone. Ditter have never heard a man scream in such pain in his soldier’s life. Death screams or last words, yes, lots of it. But this was pure pain, and the shot was not meant to kill the man in the open. Only to inflict pain. He had to act quickly; he took the battery from under the tarpaulin and tried to connect it to the heavy power cable feeding the lascannon. But his hands where shaking and the wailing of the Feldwebel was not helping either. At least Wesselsky was waking up.
‘By the emperor ba…’ he began, but was cut short when Ditter kicked his helmeted head as hard as he could. Enraged Wesselsky turned around only to see the terror in the loaders face. He understood fast enough that leisure time was over and peered through the gunshields slit. But there was no one to see except the heavily wounded soldier, he turned to Ditter. ‘Calm down boy, calm down’ he whispered to him.
He hated it when the only two year older Wesselsky called him like that. But he was saying the truth, Ditter tried to calm down and recited the litany of quick reloading. His hands shacked less as he concentrated on the text, a hundred times spoken. He managed to put the power cable in the batteries slot. The machine spirit of the lascannon gratefully hissed a merely audible whining sound. He nodded to Wesselsky. The Schütze nodded back and looked again through the tiny slit.
The black clad xenos were approaching.