Saturday, July 18, 2009

Acceptable Casualties.


A loud roar struck over the battle field, somehow managing to over come the constand din of artillery, and heavy bolter fire. The landscape was in ruins. Nothing but wasteland was left. Trenches dotted the landscape. The sky was full of dust.But the Death Korp didn't care. Chaos could not, and would not, have a world, even one as desolate as this. And so, the Death Korp fought.

Left and right, men were cut down by machine gun fire. Not one was caught running. Within 5 minutes, a full company had been lost. It was worth the scant ground gained. Within another 10, a platoon was caught in the barbed wire. They died without a sound, as the manned guns blasted them apart.

Another 3 minutes.

Tanks rolled over the Barbed wire, unknowingly crushing the remains of the platoon. Cannons fired, blowing traitors apart. They were the lucky ones. The unlucky ones lived.

With a resounding cry, the Death Korp surged forwards, following their tanks. The men on the front died from the desperate defensive fire, but more kept coming. The dead were simply rushed over. The tide couldn't be stopped.

1 minute.

The Emperor's Vengeance had arrived. Surging through the trenches, the Death Korp struck. Flamers purified the forsaken souls of the rebels. Bayonets stabbed and lunged, cutting into men from both sides. Bodies clogged trenches. Flamers roared. Men screamed, fought, and died.

The advance force of the Death Korp stumbled across a force of Rebels, forcing the Rebels to surrender. When they moved on, each rebel lay dead, one bayonet wound put cleanly through the head.

A group of Death Korp Tanks were caught in an ambush. The crews died, literally cooked alive as flamers continued hosing the tanks.

Death Korp and Rebel met each other in open ground. Both were annihalated, as bombers over head strafed the battle, heedless of friendly fire.

As the Death Korp met the last line, they came across what could be a war ending obstacle.

A set of fences on the the sides of a road.

It was a massacre. Volley after volley fired into the Death Korp's ranks, slaying men left and right. Alone trooper managed to cross the second fence, and tried to lead a charge against the line. He was shot dead before he could take three steps.

Yet despite over 50% casualties, the Korp reformed, and charged.

"For the Emperor! Not one! Step! Back!!!"

With a resounding roar, they surged forwards. Despite the hail of fire raining down on them, not one took a single step back. They crashed into the Rebel line. The Death Korp tore it apart. Tanks crushed the bodies of those unable to run away fast enough. Bayonet and lasgun tore through the trenches.

The Rebels panicked...and ran.

They were cut down as they run, the Korp was merciless. Those who fought, died. Those who surrendered, died. Those who ran, died.

Over the course of the day, 500 klicks were gained.

Over 500,000 were lost.

High Command had called it:

Acceptable Casualties.


I was one of the lucky ones. Unlike many others, I survived. The years went by. I didn't measure time by the years anymore. I measured it by the decades. I outlived everyone of my original unit to settle here, on this peaceful world, and help restore it. All the battles and campaigns I fought in blended together, into a mix of hope, despair, rage, and fear. But there's one battle I'll never forget.

I was only 19 at the time, and I was fresh out of basic. I had been pressed to serve in the 482nd Hell's Bane, after my home world of Radan II. (Or was it Kural VII?) Anyways, it was my first mission, and we were fighting the chaos forces. I was assigned to be in a heavy weapons team with Sergeant Larks. She was legendary for her skill with heavy weapons, and the Lieutenant took me aside, and told me that if I followed her orders, I'd get out of here alive. Speaking of the LT, I wondered what happened to him after all these years....

I get ahead of myself. We were attached to 2nd squad, 1st platoon, 3rd company. Our platoon was ordered on recon, and Larks and I was issued a rocket launcher. Our company was in a city, and as such, we were clearing buildings along a route, with no resistance. I still remember hearing a shot, and seeing someone on my left fall and crumple to the ground. I also remember firing a frak round into a mob of cultists. You never forget your first time.

I mostly stayed back with Larks, occasionally popping up my head to fire at a target designated by Aesti. I thought things were going pretty well. Sarge had told me before hand to wait for the tap on my helmet before firing, and I did, even in the heat of battle.

The moment things start getting clearer in my memory is the exact moment things started getting worse for us. I recall hearing something that sounded like a heavy bolter, only lighter and less intense. Being the new kid I was, I ignored the screaming, and stuck my head up over a wall I was hiding behind. It was a seven foot tall monstrosity, and at its feet were several guardsmen. Larks dragged me down and told me to keep quiet, probably cause I was screaming my head off at the time. I moved over to a break in the wall, and watch the Lieutenant fire his own bolter at the Chaos marine. It simply shrugged it off, and grabbed him. The marine must have noticed me, for it let go, and threw the Lieutenant at a wall. He was barely alive, which was surprising considering the wall was now all cracked and almost broken from the impact. The marine turned.


I pulled the trigger, but my shot when wide, circling around, and exploding behind the marine. The rest of my platoon had taken cover, content to deal with the marine's followers. The marine raised its bolter and fired at several other guardsmen, before stopping and pointing it at me. All the while, Larks and I were cursing, and when we ran out of words, we started just screaming indiscriminately. Actually, I was the only one screaming.


I pulled the trigger, and so did the marine. I saw the marine's head disappear in a cloud of fine red mist, his upper body taken off by a krak rocket. I couldn't believe my luck that the marine had missed.

"Sarge did you see that?! We took out a marine! Sarge? Sa-"

As I turned, I saw a sight I would remember for decades. The marine hadn't missed.