A/N: See first chapter for disclaimer. Nothing much to say, school and painting up some chaos cultists are taking some time away from writing. Also I would like to apologize, last chapter I said miles instead of kilometers when describing the size of the hive, so after reading this I hope you may now make the mental transition to kilometers.
Suliman-Angelus Hive- 4th Ratical Regiment HQ
As far as the regiment command thought of Corporal Narabi and Julius Bracket, they were high value wall paper. The pair kept to themselves and out of the way the command structure, which was scurrying about while helping to run a war. The only time they did get involved was when Narabi would ask about updates on the Lord-Commissar's location and status. So far he and the company he was with had penetrated two kilometers into the Hive and was still alive. Happy to know that his father was still alive and kicking butt for the Emperor, Julius let sleep overtake him to rest. Narabi though didn't have such luxury's, though she had been awake for more than twenty four hours, she had a duty to look after her bosses son.
A guardsman offered her a cup of caffe." Eh, I think you need this sweet eyes." Kaci ignored the line, put took the caffe." Thanks." She took a sip of the caffe and winced. It seemed that people from off world had different ideas as to what caffe was. In her world it was a light chocolate color that was sweet and kept you alert. While the latter was true with most other versions of caffe, the name, texture and taste all changed from world to world. The Draconians had tea that though easy to swallow lit a fire in the belly, the Canenids had a midnight black version that was extremely bitter called coffee and the Raticals… she tried not to think about what was burnt floating on top of the caffe.
"Eh no problem, I don't like seein' girls look so tried I prefer to be up for anything." She rolled her eyes at his comment and said." Hey I think that scout is looking at your butt." The scout turned around and scurried off when he saw a fem scout, who wasn't quite looking at him as having a conversation with a commander.
After telling off a rat guardsman, Lieutenant Riza Corlionia turned back to her colonel." As I was sayin', da girls are reporting that da guard are makin' their way pretty easy into the city. Our Regi's are movin' the fastest, the foxies and pups are right behind, the scalies though are having a hard time. Don't want to get their robes dirty or their calv to dismount." The colonel snorted. He was a medium sized radical with slicked back black hair, a leather jacket with a T-shirt below that decried his fashion sense and a gold chain with '4th' done up in diamonds and ruby's." Scalies don't know how to get dirty, just look good for Da Big Cheese." He said in a dismissive remark." What about da sewers?" Riza shrugged." We're trying to get in, either the PDF or the Xeno's blew up da entrances. Da locals think the xeno's are using the sewers as bases." The colonel nodded." Get in there Riza. I don't want Xeno's popin' us in the back of our heads. Dismissed." Riza gave a curt salute and left.
Meeting her on the steps of the former adminstratum building was her spotter, Sergeant Carla Fenna. The Sergeant was a black furred rat with dirty blond hair, a clear contrast to Riza's light brown and red combination, they both had red eyes. Carla tossed her commanding officer her jezzail pattern long-las." What's the plan boss?" She questioned." We're going to get into the sewers with a scout squad." Riza answered. Carla blinked." How youse going to do that?" Riza smirked her incisors showing." I'm going to make dem puppies earn der pay."
Lieutenant Tiberus Sensa, of the Second Canenid Regiment, his world's first artillery regiment for the Imperial Guard, was sitting in the cupola of his command basilisk. His battery of three artillery pieces were making their way to their firing position at an abandoned parking lot on the eastern side of the hive. He was excited for battle, real battle, not the fighting between the various houses of his home world. Yes they were violent, but they were also honorable affairs between the houses for control over resources. So he never really had a chance to deliver anything more than harassment fire rather than crippling fire, since his commanders back on Canenid didn't want total destruction. Rather a means to an end for their own ambitions.
He had ambitions of his own, Imperator Knows, but his ambitions would have been limited back on his own home world. He was the grandson of the head of House Scripi, but only because his father was a bastard child. So despite his blue blood, he was given limited opportunities in his world. The choice was very limited, either he joined his house's military or join as a cleark. The clerical job paid better but he would have been left as a one of the uncounted accounts calculating coffee bean shipments and utterly unrecognizable for any talent. So that left him with the option of being part of the military, which he took.
It was thanks to his blood that he was sent to a military academy, though be it one for commoners, he was able to excel at mathematics and was chosen to be an artillery man. He was made a non-com, a sergeant in charge of an Earthshaker in the Scripi house guard. For three years he forged friendships and made a had a small pack following among his crew, that was till a trade war broke out between House Scripi and House Brutus.
The lasted over a year and was fought over a spice island that house Scripi owned. Most of the war Tiberus was stationed on the island and didn't see very much action, besides some skirt chasing. Most of the war was fought at sea and even then it was maneuver with only a couple of conflicts had happen. That was till House Brutus was able to launch an invasion of the island. It was then that he and his artillery crew were able to show their skill. In the first day of the invasion they sunk three landing craft and destroyed a tank, even with House Brutus navel shells landing all around Scripi's other batteries. The enemy had used a specially built cruiser-battleship to destroy most of his houses artillery because of its speed and fire control systems. By the following morning his piece was the only one still emplaced, this was due both to the fact that his vox unit was busted so he didn't receive any of the orders to retreat and the fact that he had luck on his side and the enemy thought they destroyed his entire battery.
By the morning of the second day of the invasion a troop ship and the cruiser had moved in closer to shore and anchored to support fresh reinforcements. Determined to at least make a dent in the enemy invasion Tiberus had his men carefully set their sights on the troopship, then fired one last round from the Earth Shaker. The Earth Shaker did a lot more damage than he or his crew could of dreamed. As it happened the shell missed the loading ramp of the troopship but impacted on the ammo storage area for the armored support groups. Not only did this blow up the ship but the explosion was so large that it also sunk the battleship-cruiser, ripping off its bow.
Needless to say he was promoted to lieutenant due to his actions, but again because of his common blood he was reassigned to a battery far away from where he could distinguish himself. So for seven years he waited in boredom till the call of guardsmen went up and he took the chance for movement. Now at thirty two he could prove himself and drive a tank with a gun that could level entire fortresses. It was a good life for an artillery man.
His battery came to a halt in the parking lot and over his com-bead, built into his centurion helmet, he received new orders." Mangola Battery 5, your orders are to provide sustained bombardment of Sector 24, Subsection 4, for 15 minutes." Tiberus checked his data-slate looking at the down loaded map." Roger that command, providing sustained fire in 1 minute." He then buttoned down his cupola's hatch and repeated the order to his men. They hopped out of there basilisk hatch's and started the loading process. A Gunnery sergeant to aim the gun and two loaders to make it ready.
"Mangola 1 ready, Mangola 2 ready, Mangola 3 ready." Each sergeant clicked on, giving their planet's local name for the Earth Shakers." Roger all guns pre-pare to fire on my mark… 5…4…3..2..1… fire!" All three of the heavy artillery pieces fired at the same time. The force of the blast was enough to shake the earth and shatter nearby windows." Independent fire at will." Tiberus ordered and his men commanded. He leaned back in his command seat, and scratched his Dalmatian spots. Today was a good day.
Sergeant Fenna whistled at the destruction the Basilisks had leveled against the collapsed entrance to the sewer. Formally collapsed entrance, now it was blown open." Alright let's move in." Riza said to the squad. The special weapon squad moved forward, it consisted of Lieutenant Corlionia, Sergeant Fenna, another sniper team with the spotter carrying the vox-caster and a plasma gun team with the ammo carrier with a demo charge. Like the other scouts in the platoon they were all female. This was because the Ratical females were smaller and more flexible than their male counterparts and were able to crawl through smaller pipes then men. The two sergeants in the squad wore red beries as did their lieutenant, the trio of corporals wore grey forage caps.
The squad entered the sewer the plasma gunner going first. She hopped down and checked left and right, finding it clear she waved down the rest of the squad. Once Riza was able to get into the sewer she sniffed the air. Her nose twitched and smelled the scent of steam, smoke and burning. After years in the sewers of her world she could tell the different smells apart from each other, if it smelled of chemicals and waste it meant all was normal, the scent of burning or grease meant weapons have been discharged or were recently discharged. The smell was drifting, so that meant there was some weapons being carried around." Left corridor, quick quick but silent." She said her legs moving through the water but not leaving it, that way it sounding like the sludge was naturally lapping against the walls of the sewer instead of the 'plomp' of the feet entering the water.
The smell grew stronger as the Guardswomen marched through the sludge, the only unnatural sound they made was the low hum of the plasma gun. They soon found a platform and walked up onto that and followed their noses. They found a blasted out wall and the smell of grease now mixed in to the burning." Subway Tracks." Said Fenna. Riza looked around and through the hole." Remember back home in Big Apple Hive Carla? When we found a bunch of teenage muties?" Fenna nodded." Yeah boss with that crazy rat leading them." The sergeant handed Riza the night vision ocular." Thought so, pair of sentries left an' right, three hundred meters. Sergeant Hoka switch to night vision and take the one to the right." Riza switched to night vision as the other guardswoman did as well. Riza counted down from three with her fingers mouthing the words to Hoka.
As Riza mouthed fire the pair of snipers turned through the blast hole and quickly took aim. There were two silenced blasts of las-fire that took the xeno's through their bio-mechanical hearts The girls keep still and waited, after a few moments Riza said." Clear." Followed by Hoka.
" Right side subway station, Corporal Histi, you first." Histi did as she was told and lumped through the hole then ran. The other squad mates followed her a moment later. The station landing was clear, but the guard was protecting something and the smell of battle engines grew clear. Silently the special weapons team made their way up the subway's stair case and heard the sound of metal on metal. Riza called a halt and crawled up the last few steps on her belly, with her eyes just poking above the stairway.
She saw an armored depot, what was once a plaza for awaiting trains had been turned into a staging area. She could see armored suits being attended to by many legged, skittering, spider like creatures, the regular troops were acting as guards and finally there was a 'floater'. The floater was the nick name the guard called the Xenos leaders, since they floated like butterflys… who were powered by rockets and looked more like octopuses.
Riza slinked back down to her squad and whispered to them." There's an entire armored' deboe up there. Its lightly guarded and if we want to protect da boys up above we better do something quick." She then handed out her orders to the girls. After another count down they moved up the stairs and took aim. The first time the enemy noticed something was wrong was when the floater got a plasma round to the chest followed by a spider. Next two Regulars fell with smoking hot las rounds through their hearts and two more fell from the red las fire of full auto. Another two spiders fell down at the same time.
The women were precise and moved up to cover behind an armored walker, in contrast the few guards remaining were firing back but their shots were wild and inaccurate in the extreme. More of the guards fell with las-gun rounds through their chests or having half their body's melt from the superheated plasma gun. The enemy was down to a pair of guards when one of the spiders climbed into the walker and activated it." Take it down Histi!" Ordered Riza. As the heavy Vulcan cannons of the walker sped up and started firing, piecing through its fellow walkers and striking Hoka, her chest exploding into a gory red mist. Histi fired twice, the first plasma round did little more than melt some of the front armor on the walker, but the second round punched through melting the driver inside. The other two guards were quickly taken down." Corporal Histi, take your spotta and rig the demo charges for 5 minutes on anythin' that looks like a ammo or fuel container. As soon as your done tell me and we'll run like da warp is after us." As the corporal and her spotter did as they we ordered, Riza bent down and took a dog tag from Hoka's neck, she gently closed her eyes." May Da Big Cheese look afta ya sister."
"Charges set." Hista shouted as she ran to her lieutenant. Riza stood and said." Right lets scurry out of here quick quick." She then ran, leading the way for the rest of her squad. They practically jumped the stair cases taking the steps four at a time when none of them were above five feet. They ran out onto the subway tunnel and it was only when they reached the blasted entrance to the sewers did they slow. As soon as the last guardswoman was through the hole did the explosives blow. The walls of the sewer shook, small pieces of ruble hitting the ground, and the light of a fire ball could be seen from that hole." Don't stop moving till were back on the surface." Riza ordered not wanting to be around when the xeno's decided to investigate what blew up their armor depot. Her girls, though not stating it directly, were on the same train of thought and didn't need any further encouragement. Unlike the first time they waded to the subway this time the guardswomen were running and making lots of noise as their feet dropped into the sludge.
Ten minutes later they were out of the sewers and back where they began their journey." Get me the vox, the high ups need ta know about this."
Kaci, after deciding that watching the going's on at the command center with nothing to do was quite boring, got up and went over to the coms officer." Sir." She saluted him." I would like to request knowledge of Commissar Brackets whereabouts and current mission." The comms officer nodded." Sure Narabi. Your boss has detached himself from Rizzo's company and reattached himself to… give me a minute." He checked a clip board." To Captain Skiwinski's company. They're going to be doing a sweep of the sewers, apparently there's a substantial xeno force. One of our scout squads detected it."
Kaci nodded." Thank you sir…." She bit her lip there was a more personal question she wanted to ask him." Sir, might I ask but you don't have an accent like the rest of the regiment, why's that?" He smiled." I was part of the INN network, after talking to off worlders for so long, I guess I lost the accent." She nodded." Thanks again sir." He snickered." Hey call me Blinx, saying Sir makes me feel old." She smiled and nodded." Of course Blinx." Then she went back to sit next to the sleeping Julius and waited for him to wake up so she could finally get some rest. Waiting was boring, especially when your tried.