War, Only War Never Changes

Only War – RPG/TRPG Session

Run by Will

Imperial Guards;

Baine Bravith – Jason (jymmijamz)

Jools (NPC) – Chris (alcoholandaphorisms)

Hans ‘Loki’ Lokisson – Me

Odetta – Tanja

(Write-up by Chris)

Official site

EPISODE SIXTEEN

The Hellhound tank careers through the mass ork formation, its target – the foot of a giant ork monstrosity, half idol, half weapons battery. It is that which is their main objective here. The thousands of orks between them and their objective falling back before the regiment of imperial saints, born again in fire and decimating the xeno filth. The end of the war is nigh  and only the gargantuan ork idol stands in their way.

The squad of the Hadeon 13 are quickly preparing themselves, the tank is going to impact at full force, hopefully breaching an entry point. Their grav chutes are not intended for land use, but they should suffice to help slow their speed as they leap from the tank, enough at least to survive impact with the ground.

Through the smoke and dust behind them they see two tanks who have made it through the destruction, two small allies. There’s a popping sound, and the track spins off one of the tanks, flipping it through the air where it detonates from some unseen attack. One small ally left. As the wreckage showers down Jools grabs the vox to the surviving tank “Lad, we’re going into the idol, can you cover us with your flame weapon and keep the xeno off our backs?”

“You’re going in?  Throne, ok, you’re the Hadeon 13 right? Good luck”

“And you” Jools smiles” We can compare kill counts after this” cutting the vox Jools turns to the others “Nah, I was just kidding about that, we’re dead meat. I was just trying to keep their moral up, see, leadership skills” The rest of the Hadeon 13 just stare at him.

Something finally clicks in the mind of their Albion tank pilot at that “That is the plan isn’t it. Crash into it. How will I get off?” he says, pale faced

“You have the controls locked down lad” Jool says “Just hold onto the ogryn when he jumps off, that way he loses all his flesh and you don’t die”

The pilot stares still pale as a sheet “Ok…oh emperor save me”

“Don’t worry, the emperor favours the brave and the stupid and the Hadeon 13 is both” To the pilot’s eternal fear the Ogryn nods cheerfully along with Jools’ statement

Thus, with ghostly vassals surrounding their tank, surging forwards and clearing a path to the ork idol, the Hadeon 13 stand ready.  Moments before the impact they leap from the hellhound, grav chutes billowing in front of them, cushioning their forward motion. It all seems to go in slow motion, the front of the tank crumpling as it impacts with the bulkhead affixed to the front of the idol, Jools bouncing painfully across the ground, sliding to a stop just before the wall, dragging himself up on sprained ankle, Baine grinding across the ground as he lands, losing layers of flesh, the cracking sound as the pilots arm snaps on impact, and finally Loki gracefully swan diving through the dust, sliding to a halt, flamer at the ready.

Time snaps back like elastic, the next few moments surging forwards, the crumpled tank fuel reserves rupturing into the air, xeno everywhere confused and scattered, grabbing for weapons. Jools spies the pilot lying in shock on the ground and grabs his good arm, yanking them both towards the breeched open doorway.

The ruined hellhound that shields them from the worst of the incoming fire sparks and flares as bullets bounce off its hull and fire flicker across the spilled promethium. Jools has just enough time to push the two of them through the breech and into the idol’s legs before the entire tank explodes. Shrapnel, broken greenskins, fire and gears fly everywhere. The hulk still burning, Baine looks around confused standing still right next to where the explosion took place, chunks of metal piercing his body and armour, fire blazing from where promethium caught him. With a pained shrug he pushes through the fire, raising his ripper gun and readying for the war within the idol.

Finally, raising from the sand outside Loki readies his flamer. He managed to dive clear just before the explosion. The area is clear for a moment, the explosion purging the xenos from the surroundings.  A good start. As the fire dies down he runs to the entrance, into the monstrosity against the emperor the xeno have built.

Inside the monstrosity is a mess of rusted metal and wires, the walls welded together from looted relics of the saint’s tombs. Inside this room of violated sacred trusts, this room that makes up the foot of the monstrous idol, there stands a group of very small, very shocked greenskin who find themselves looking down the barrel of Jool’s las carbine, the tank pilot still slung over his shoulder

“Imperial Guard Repo Squad assholes, we’re here to take this back” A double tap from Jools carbine and the first greenskin drops dead with a steaming chest wound.

He barely has time to smile when his instincts tell him to hit the ground, the air fills with the rattling of ripper gun belts disintegration and the hail of lead. Three greenskin slam back against the walls,and Baine steps in grinning, uncaring of how close the rounds came to his comrades.

The two surviving greenskin stand paralysed with fear as Loki steps in, calmly walking past them at setting up point at the far end, watching the corridor onwards.  One greenskin looks to the other, looking for some kind of moral support, finding instead only air as the other creature runs fill tilt under the ogryns legs, heading for open air.  It finds instead the butt of Jool’s rifle smashed into its teeth, stumbling back it collapses onto the floor just in time to  see Baine lovingly plunge his knife through the other paralysed greenskin.  Then its entire view is taken up by Jools mounting its body and plunging the butt of the rifle down over and over again into its skull until all is black and lost.

Looking up from the crushed skull of the greenskin Jools sees Loki leaning calmly against the wall and Baine casually raising his ripper gun. “Move!” he barks “Surprise is the only advantage we have and they will be on us soon enough”

Loki just shakes his head and leans back on the wall with a fake yawn. The theatrics are cut off as the legs of a greenskin are seen coming down the rusty iron spiral staircase at the end of the corridor, the only way up through the xeno idol. The greenskin has not seen them yet, happily padding it’s way down the stairs, mind on the possibility of a good brawl to come.  Loki waits until it is nearly upon him, until its gaze is turning to him, and then he lets loose the flamer. The creature shrieks in surprise and pain that turns into a bellowing of rage. Loki smiles, meeting its gaze as it charges forwards, stepping to one side at the last moment, the creature burying its axe in the wall beside Loki. The greenskin pulls, tearing the axe free and with that motion turns to see the barrel of Baine’s ripper gun. Moments later as a mix of green and red mist settle on the ground the ripper gun settles still once more. During the battle Jools has managed to drag the pilot to behind a set of barrels to be used as cover and rested the man’s las carbine across it. Odetta has shot him full of painkillers and his broken arm now just hangs limply by his side.  “Right lad” Jools says “Your job to watch if anything gets past the burning tank. If it does, shoot it and let us know. We’ll be back for you”

With their back covered the remainder of the squad advance up the stairs, Baine on point, Loki behind, close in with his flamer and Jools as tail end charlie. The rest of the squad in between with las carbines ready.  Quickly they move up five stories worth of stairs, pushing past a wealth of dangling cable that weaves between the rusted holes in the stairs.  A set of thick power cable twisted around each other catch Loki’s attention. Pointing to them he speaks to Jools “See those, think they may be being used like muscle, moving this thing. We break them and we may slow it down a little”

Jools thinks “Could be, we aint too far from the knee now lad. Good plan, lets head up top and cover whoever cuts it. Soon as that thing goes we will have their attention”

Loki smiles and pulls out a krak grenade tossing it up and down in his hand

“Save it lad” Jools says “Somehow they haven’t noticed us yet, we don’t need to rush. The Ogryn can cut it, we can save grenades for when we are under pressure”

Baine smiles, flexing his muscles and watching the ripple of sinuous movement as he does so. With one motion he pulls loose the machete like thing he calls his knife and heads to the wire to start hacking. “Minute” he says thinking, then rushes down the stairs back to where the dead ork lies. Soon he reappears toting a giant ork axe happily and then starts slashing away while the squad cover him from the level above. The first swing does it, the second finding empty air as all the tension in the wire snaps loose, flicking out and flying upwards like a lethal elastic band, as if shot from a cannon.. Almost instantly screams of pain and confusion echo out from above.

“Now we need to move fast” Jools says “Krak anything important you find” and with that Jools and Loki are up and moving, pushing their way double time up the stairs, hoping Baine will catch up with them quickly. They can’t afford to wait. Green arms, and a lower body bounce down the stairs towards them, forcing them to leap over in their progress upwards. The spinning limbs are ragged cut and squirt foul smelling liquid as they do so, leaving a trail back towards whence they came.

It doesn’t take long before they feel the approach of another creature, the rumbling of its weight upon the steps foretelling its coming far before the sight of it. Bracing onto what cover they can get from the curvature of stairway they see polished gleaming armour in massive hulking boots, then legs, then finally a spike armoured torso of the largest greenskin they have ever seen. The creature’s small eyes looks at them, a smaller greenskin sitting on its shoulder polishing the armour with a small cloth.

Loki’s response is immediate and burning, the flamer fired again. Somehow the giant ork ducks under the fire, the heat pulling it up above the ork and its body shifting with deceptive grace out of the way before the sticky burning liquid falls where it was moments before. The smaller greenskin is less lucky, left straight in the way of the flame and sliding backwards for a long drop to the ground, screeching in agony.

Baine finally catches up with the others to be confronted  by the sight of the hulking xeno filling the corridor. His reflex is as instant as loki’s, the ripper gun fire. The lead fills the air, but the barrel has been pushed aside by the ork, puckering holes through the metal walls into open air. Pushing the ripper gun to one side the ork grabs for Baine’s throat, wishing to drag him closer into its tusks. Baine wrenches the ripper gun from its grasp and pushes it out as a barricade in front of him, holding the beast at bay momentarily, the heated barrel of the gun sizzling where it touches the xeno skin.

The sound of sizzling from behind is the only sign that Jools has entered the fray, point blanking fire repeatedly into the orks back to no effect.  Jools looks disbelievingly at  his weapon and its utter lack of use against this creature.  His moments pause is snapped by the sound of a shattering bone, looking behind he sees Loki kerb-stomping the smaller flailing gretchin, its skull rupturing in two.

Stoo leaves his cover to run up alongside Baine, the two working in practised tandem, Stoo luring the ork into overextending itself to reach him then Baine stepping in, drawing his axe and plunging it into the xeno’s outreached arm. Roaring the ork punches out at Baine but cannot reach beyond the axes blade that holds it at bay.

Separated from this melee Loki can hear something from above, the clacking of wood on wood, items being spun around, a sound like football clackers, a number of them whirling in disjointed rushes.  Kneeing and covering the  spiralling corridor he waves Jools on to investigate.

Slowly Jools advances up, the sound of the fight below still echoing up the metal ridges. Keeping low he spies an open clearing, the room of the kneecap itself. Small greenskin are running back and forth, swinging clackers in the air and screaming high pitch sounds at each other. Winches swing back and forth, seemingly in time to these odd instructions.  An excitement is thick in the air, almost a physical presence oozing from the creatures.

“Multiple contacts up here” Jools whispers over the micro bead  “They seem excited, if you can move up I’ll keep an eye on what they are up to”

“Confirmed” Loki says, moving up, hugging the staircase walls, setting himself up just at the lip before where it enters the room, unseen.

“Right” Jools says “Looks like they are using the clackers to organise operations. Obviously the wire we cut sodded something up. They’re trying to withdraw. What do you  you think, can we clear the room and get hold of those clackers?”

“Worth a try” Loki replies.

As they talk the sound of struggle continues below, Baine and Stoo have finally managed to bundle the giant greenskin to the ground.  While Stoo hangs franticly onto the beast’s legs Baine brings down the hammer end of the chopper over and over into the creatures chest, slamming the air from its lungs and shattering ribs

Something snaps in the ork and it surges up, tossing Stoo away against the wall, running on adrenaline and rage it is up before Baine can react and it grasps him, tossing the ogryn effortless back down the stairway, tumbling across the ground. Dazed Baine grabs hold of the rusted metal steps slowing his descent, before he can do move a giant green foot stomps down on his skull repeatedly, gurgled joy rising from the ork’s bloodied throat. As the foot comes down again Baine brings up the chopper edge and the ork screams as it bites into his leg. Baine keeps pushing, the blade going back inch by inch, blood gushing until it settles against bone. Unable to keep its balance the ork sags to one knee and Baine shoves it to the ground, mounting its prone body, pinning its arms with his legs and punching down with his meaty fists, trying to keep the ork down pinned against the stairs.

Unaware of the progress of the battle below Jools looks to Loki “Right lad, I’ll take the far one, you take the near one, and I’ll be in Hadeon before ye”

Loki nods and waits for Jools to start off the conflict, Jool holding his breath, sighting down the las carbine at the unaware greenskin.  A three round burst takes the greenskin at the back that was talking into a tube on the wall, internal organs and liquids splatter against the wall as it collapses in a crumpled heap. Then the flame comes, Loki holding down the flamer trigger, waving it across the room.

One greenskin almost vanishes so fast does the flame take it, breathing them in and consumed from within, two more collapse writhing in pain. The chattering of panic soon turns to rage and Loki finds himself beset by small greenskins swinging knives and wrenches. He cannot evade them all , but gets nothing but notches in his armour for the strikes. A smile comes to his lips as he rises the flamer up dousing more and more with the emperors glory. Several puddles mark those consumed by its joy. With several greenskin on him as well, Jool kicks one back, a three round burst at point blank range dropping it to the ground.  Moments of dedicated violence later the room is clear but for the smell of burning oil and the stink of greenskin blood. Below Baine holds the pinned ork down by its throat, punching its chest again and again, blood gushing from its throat from the onslaught. Finally Baine reaches down, pulling his knife free and drags it across the greenskin’s throat. It is done

As Baine rejoins the rest of the squad upstairs he find them gathering the odd rattling devices and distributing them between them “Right” Jools says “Just run around waving any which way, I’m guessing the conflicting messages in such short time will cause whatever this has for machine spirits to shit themselves”

After several minutes of shaking and clacking the ork behemoth shudders and twists, forcing against itself in ways that nigh bring it tumbling over. Loki locks his arm around a nearby pipe to hold steady as the rest slam painfully against the walls. The surfaces roll drunkenly back and forth, metal creaking and stressing until finally the metal idol stills. Angry roars coming from above, the sound of foots stomping down to find the source of the miscommunication.

“Right lad, that should have weakened it” Jools says “Now we are out of time, its time to place the grenades and blow this leg out.”

“Lets do it!” Loki pushes the grenades into spots weakened by the twisting, pushing what material he can behind them to focus the blast outwards.  Pins pulled and grenades packed they count down, their counting matched to the footfalls coming closer and closer. Four grenades go off as one, blowing the front of the kneecap out, air bellowing out the hole, Jools satches as the blast dislodges the grenades he has set and they tumble out into the air to detonate harmlessly.

“THRONE!”

The leg is barely holding on, weakened, blast damaged, but still the idol moves and all their krak anti materia grenades are gone, the frag rounds will do little against this.
“THRONE. THRONE….” Jools looks to Loki “Loki my friend, I need to ask you to make the ultimate sacrifice.  Your promethium canister, could you tie it to the remaining metal?”

Loki jumps from tattered platform to platform, trying to match his leaps to the swinging of the limp hanging leg. With his backpack strap he ties the pressurised cannister to the metal strip.

“Baine..blow it!”

Baine smiles and tosses the bandoleer with his remaining grenades at the canister, and the squad of Hadeon 13 turn and run, the frag shards detonating out and rupturing the cannister which explodes in a sheet of flame. Finally the leg gives, the squad hurtling out into the air, flame blasting out above them. Debris falls, metal rends and the idol sways back and forth dangerously, creaking ominously.

Grav chutes easing their fall the squad can see a single hellhound still in the midst of the remaining orks, fire billowing this way and that. Trying to open a micro bread coms link Jools neglects to alter his grav chute for landing, bouncing once and twice across the ground, his pained grunts echoing across the link

Staggering up on twisted ankle he sees the rest of the squad running away from the tottering shadow of the metallic idol.

“Albion Hellhound this is Hadeon 13, we need pick up, watch for the flame burst!”

Loki, hearing this pauses in holding the xeno off to spray his final flamer round to the air to mark their position.

“You survived that?” the tank pilot says incredulous “We’re coming in on your mark now”

“By the way” Jools says “If you were wondering, that explosion was us. Hadon 13 , Only in, first blood and mental bloody bastards”

The hellhound screeches to halt beside them, support fire pushing the orks back long enough for the squad to embark, Baine lifting the limping Jools up onto the vehicle. The engine roars and the tracks kick up dirt as the tank pushes away, barely out of the idols shadow as it tumbles and finally falls, the giant chainblade impaling the ground, mulching numerous orks even before the rest follows it to the ground in multiple explosions.
“Guess now they’ll send in the bastard air strikes” Jools mutters as sleep takes him once more.

He wakes to find the Commander waiting for them at home base

“You see” The commander says as the men disembark “That wasn’t so bad was it? We can leave the mopping up crew to finish off, we are not needed any more. Tell me, what happened to the xeno monstrosity?”

“It went boom and tripped “Baine says

Jools looks to Loki who waves for him to do the explaining “Sir, we used the hellhound to breech an entry then managed to confuse their navigation process, the stress weakening the joints enough we could take it down with krak grenades sir”

“Very impressive.”

“Compared to working in the mines back ‘ome it was nothing was it lads?”

“Well good work anyway, we will be sure to send you in as a team on future encounters”

“Thank you sir. Will we be provided with actual anti materia weapons next time sir?”

“We shall see if they are needed first. Well team, well done, its time now to return to the orbiting ships before your next encounter”

“Sir yes sir” comes the chorus of replies and salutes.

So it ends, with a aquilla lander rising up through the planets atmosphere, with the orbiting void ship welcoming them back.  With the familiar cells to which they return, the familiar bars that slam shut down sealing in the Hadeon 13 convict regiment.

First in, first blood and utterly expendable.

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