Friday, July 23, 2010

Behind Enemy Lines

Private Kensin Fole sat on the ramp of “The Spirit”, one of the company’s valkyries, as he ate the last cracker of his meal. He was a lean somewhat small man, with short black hair. The sun had darkened his already tanned skin and stubble was growing thickly on his face. Many people he knew despised the munitorums meals, but he’d always been somewhat partial to them.
After having been a street urchin on long gone Adventus, anything hot was his favorite meal. With his meal finished, he took a swig of water, and looked around. The camp was not bustling as much as it usually was, being between orders. Word had it that the “I” was having them lay low for a while. The 17th had been on harassing runs against the enemy since they hit the dirt a month ago, scouting ahead of the main forces who had begun laying siege to the capitol a few months ago, and were now camped in a desert canyon in a large mountain range north of the capitol city.
“Hey Fole! Sergeant Klaine wants to see you down by the well.”
The voice of Corporal Lomec cut into Kensin’s daydreaming.
“What’s the Sarge want?” he replied, looking up at the large form of the Corporal, hooding his eyes with a hand as the sun beat down.
“Emperor knows, prolly wants you to work that mechanical magic and appease the machine spirits of the water pump again.” Lomec mentioned “machine spirits” with a hefty amount of sarcasm.
Many of the 17th Adventus thought the Mechanicus a bunch of addled fools with their worship of machines. As such, their company had a large amount of individuals who had a great deal of mechanical skills, along with a large amount of innovations that they usually hide from the Mechanicus. It’s not unusual for vehicles attached to the unit to leave somewhat better off than they were before, and for the units weapons to be somewhat more powerful or accurate than others. Since the “I” though, what the men call the Inquisitor who hands out most of their orders, is in charge of them, they are able to get away with a few things.
Kensin stood up, stretching out the lethargy that had set in and grabbed his Standard Pattern Lasgun, slinging it over his shoulder; he patted the side of “The Spirit”, muttering a small prayer for luck before setting off. The 17th didn’t believe in the machine spirits of the mechanicus but they were very superstitious, and the old valkyrie was believed to bring them luck. Many men carried charms or tokens, and all carried a symbol of the Emperor.
Kensin made his way to the water pump, picking his way through the relaxing men. The 17th Adventus is a dead world unit. They were taken from their world after years of fighting, just before the Inquisition ordered an Exterminatus. Surprisingly, the men were in full support of this. They had fought for 2 years against the encroaching 15 Houses that governed the world onto the last Faithfull House, House Hykonen, and the 17th Adventus, or the “Hykonen Rifles”. To see their world end by their own hands and not that of the enemies was very closing for them.
This led to logistical problems for the company though. Being the only company rescued, resupply was problematic. The only House member to survive, and by default the commander, was Lady Seras Hykonen. Barely 25, she had only just seen the field because the House was losing so many members, she was the last option being the youngest. Luckily, she realized her inexperience and often leaned on Major Sylas Conin’s experience. Through this she has become a competent commander, and has been taking more missions planning onto herself lately. It’s because of the two commanders combined experience which has led to the major success the unit had been having here on this world.
The rest of the regiment was made up of survivors, and a few of the abhumans called Avias. Men and women both serve within the company, and most still use the worn, weathered equipment they brought with them from Adventus. The squad of Avias with them mostly keep to themselves though, or with Rocks Rangers, humans who were close friends with them while on Adventus. Many of the men and women tend to stay away from them, the Avias had many myths associated with them from Adventus lore, most of them not that flattering, but they have proven to be great allies of the regiment, and the Lady had become good friends with their leader.
Kensin reached the pump on the outside of the camp, and found there were several individuals there, the companies more notable ones. Lieutenant Cy’kon Telmar, his platoon commander, Sergeant Yasil Klaine, and Lady Seras herself. They seemed deep in conversation, motioning at the well.
“Uh oh. What did I get into now…” Kensin mumbled to himself.
“Private, good timing!” Sergeant Klaine says, grinning as she sees Kensin walk up. Klaine was the only female sergeant in the company, and earned her rank through hard fighting; this can be seen from the nasty scar that went down her neck where she barely missed the biting edge of a chainsword going for her head.
“Sergeant. I was told you needed me, ma’am?” Kensin said, coming to attention and saluting her and those around her.
“Yes, at Lady Sera’s request. We’ve found something that requires someone of your skill to check out. M’Lady?” Klaine turned to Lady Seras, who nodded and stepped forward.
The Lady herself doesn’t look like the commander type, let alone sound like it. Barely 5 foot 6 inches with blonde hair blue eyes, and not a scar on her, she is dwarfed by all of the men and some of the women under her command. The men found early on though, that size doesn’t matter so much if you have the massive Major Conin backing you up. She has, luckily, acquitted herself quite well with the company since her promotion though, and the men have begun thinking of her more as a devoted commander now than anything else, and have begun following and trusting her completely.
“We seem to have found an old tunnel system beneath the well. The ”I” has contacted me as he thinks it may be a back door into the capital hive city that the Lord General has been breaking his head against for nigh on 3 months now. We need you to go down into the well and check out this tunnel. I believed your…previous occupation may be useful in this. So what do you say? Crawl into a wet, drowned tunnel, possibly filled with Emperor knows what and end the war sooner than later?”
“Yes, m’Lady. Sounds like a day at the Solstice Ball to me, ma’am.” Kensin said, without much enthusiasm.
“Very good then! Lets gear you up and get you down that hole! I can see the excitement in your eyes, don’t try and hide it.” Klaine said with a grin.
Kensin was reprimanded for letting a groan escape.

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