Only War Episode 5

Tea of the Session: In honour of releasing the first podcast I made myself a Thermos of Spice Imperial. Which was awesome.

Recording: Recorded but not up to standard to cast.

Picking himself off the floor Vyn found himself face to face with the last remaining hound which had not been killed when his Grenade went off. As Narine his companion tried to find her feet again Vyn prepared to fight the mutated creature. However before he leapt on it with his knife, the Commissar vaulted into the pump house and engaged the beast. Vyn’s knife and the Commissars “borrowed” power sword flashed but they only just managed to hold it at bay.

On the west flank of the battlefield one of the handlers tried to get the hounds to leave squad two alone and instead rush the command squad. The hounds had their blood up however so instead continued to savage the guardsmen, dragging another man down and eviscerating him. The guardsmen kept their nerve and killed one of the foul creatures, but slowly the tide was turning against them. On the East the two handlers dragged themselves over the trap and rushed into cover behind the remains of the tithery. The handler in the fountain leapt over the side and damply sprinted to the hole in front of the statue of Sanguianius, just the other side of the barricade from the Techpriest. As Byarl fired wildly towards the handler in the open with the Multilaser, with very little effect, Liana realised that if he left the handler the other side of the barricade it would end badly. Pulling the pin on his grenade and saying a prayer to its tiny machine spirit, he lobbed it over the barricade. However he mistimed his throw and the explosive landed in no man’s land and exploded with no effect.

Argatha and Jellin the Medic had been heading to help Vyn with the Hounds, but now they saw the Handlers moving up they realised that they needed to finish the remaining hound quickly lest they be overwhelmed. Argatha dived forward, and heedless of both Vyn and the Commissar Fired his shotgun into the swirling melee. Whether by luck or aim, he caught the creature between the shoulders, bloodying it but failing to kill. The Doctor meanwhile seeing the two handlers moving through the ruined Tithery threw one of his frag grenades, but it landed short peppering them with shrapnel without much of an effect. They prepared to charge him, pulling wicked looking hooked knives from their belts.

Over on the West the Handler finally got his Hounds under control and they streamed away from Squad 2 in the Primarcherie, although one of them was caught by the Guards as it left , six of them falling on it and stabbing it to death with their knives. The remaining three Hounds headed off towards the command squad.

The Handler who had been the other side of the barricade finally gathered his wits and leapt the barricade diving down onto the Techpriest. Byarl who had been ineffectually firing the Multilaser at the handler in the open, realised that the Techpriest would probably be out matched, so abandoned the heavy weapon to dive into the swirling melee with his companion X. The Tech priest was busy struggling with the Handler, whose wicked hooked knife had already slashed him slightly. In desperation he ordered his servitor to help and tried to knock the handlers legs out from under him, but the man’s legs were like iron. Above him the crazed cultist laughed through a mouth whose lips had been cut away. As the blank metal faceplate of the Handler leaned down towards him, he realised that he would be in trouble.

Which is when Byarl arrived, plunging his Taelorn trench knife into the Handlers chest through one of the metal plates of his apron. The Handler turned and hammered his knife into Byarl’s chest armour. At first he thought that he was fine but then realised that the blade was flat to his chest, and he couldn’t see the hook. The handler ripped the knife back out, taking part of his rib with it and leaving him stunned and winded. The Handler stood over him and was then slammed back as the Tech priest shot him with his Stub Revolver.

Back at the machine gun nest, the Hound was still holding Vyn and the Commissar at bay, it had nearly tagged the Commissar a number of times but his whirling power sword had driven it back time and time again, but he was not able to actually hit it. Narine, Vyn’s companion was still down in the pump house, so Vyn shouted her up, which she did albeit somewhat reluctantly and ineffectually. While he was looking away however the hound took it’s chance and latched its mouth around his hand, shearing off his fingers and thumb with its powerful jaws.

Seeing the heavy gunner staring in shock at his ruined hand, and Narine hanging back from the fight the Commissar decided he needed to properly motivate his men. The Squad in the Priest house had continued according to his orders not to open fire unless ordered and the other squad in the Primarcherie was now disengaged. He pulled his Bolt Pistol, and in one move Shot Narine through the head for her “cowardice”, and bellowing at the men to fight to the last, swept the head off the Hounds shoulders. Vyn looked shocked, and his working hand fell to the Krak grenades at his belt as he glared at the Commissar, but instead dragged his auto-pistol from his holster and then advanced on the Handler in the open firing as he walked.

Jellin meanwhile ordered his Companion X to deal with the Handler on the left as he moved towards the one on the right. As the Handler whirled his knife-whip above his head, the medic darted underneath and jammed his Injector into its neck. The Handler pushed him away and then took a faltering step forward, before his eyes rolled up in his head and he keeled over unconscious. Jellin scrabbled at his medical pouch reaching for another vial of sedative as X was knocked to one side. The Handler raised a knife more like a hatchet and prepared to strike, as Jellin realised he would not be able to reload the injector in time. As the Knife descended however Argatha stepped smartly up to his side, jammed his Combat Shotgun against the side of his head and fired, obliterating it utterly. The knife clattered to the floor, falling from the Handlers dead fingers.

Over at the barricade the Handler was more than holding his own against Byarl and Liana the Techpriest and their compatriots.

However Byarl began to push him, stabbing out with his knife, pushing the man back. Finally Byarl had him against the corner of the barricade and the statue of Sanguianus. However as he prepared to end the Cultist, the hounds finally arrived and one of them latched it’s horrific maw onto the back of his thigh. There was a squirt of blood and his leg went partially numb, and seeing the damage Liana shouted for the Medic. To his right as Byarl staggered, the squad who had been in the Priest house dived out of the windows and charged into the melee. Byarl reached down to his leg as the hound was bundled by squad one and found himself scratched but not badly damaged. Then he pulled a pack of Tomato flavoured Rations which had been thoroughly punctured by the Hounds jaws. The blood it turned out was in fact the juice from the rations, which was exceedingly lucky! As the Squad of men clubbed the remaining hounds and the handler to death, the Commissar directed squad 2 to kill the Handler in the open. As Vyn continued advancing on the handler, who was busy taunting the Commissar squad 2 opened fire, obliterating him.

Which is when they heard Argatha’s shouted warning that more troops were coming.

The Commissar barked out orders, sending Vyn back to his Heavy Bolter on his own and setting everyone else up behind the command barricade with squad 1. Squad 2 however was seeming somewhat shaky, ready to retreat from their position due to their losses. The Commissar however called on the Honour of the Taelorn first, appealing to their well known reputation for holding positions that no one else could hold. Bolstered, the squad held on.

Jellin quickly rushed to Byarl and dressed his wounds and then continued on to Vyn. Seeing the ruin of his hand he quickly ensured that the fingers and thumb were reconnected to the blood supply and then sprayed the whole thing with sealant, allowing him to put off the surgery until later.

He had just completed his work and retreated to the line when another group of the enemy appeared. Whereas before the enemy forces had been ragged and tattered, the group of troops on the eastern side of the square were obviously well trained, wearing the an old pattern of Guard Flak with the sigil of the Hunter of Bayle carved into the armour over the left side of the chest. They moved forwards in standard guard formation, some covering as the others advanced. The enemy on the West flank however were in no way normal. They too wore the uniform of Bayle, but on them it was stretched and ragged, as if their flesh had pushed through it. They were massive warriors, but misshapen, and each of them had in place of their right arm a bulbous mouth like appendage with a spike at its centre leaking foul hissing fluid.

Vyn acted first, spurred by a need to see things die as he sat alone in his Heavy bolter nest next to the wrapped corpse of Narine. He opened up on the Mutants but sadly not producing much damage. Byarl however swung the Multilaser in their direction and opened up. Unlike firing at the hounds and handlers he seemed to have found his range and one bolt struck home knocking a mutant from his feet. The rest of the command squad variously aimed or opened fire with their las-carbines although the effect of the first volley on the mutants was not that much. Squad one and Squad two both opened up on the squad of cultist guard whittling down their number, but the cultists returned fire blasting two of the troops in the Primarcherie back away from the barricades dead.

The Mutants strode forward weathering the storm of fire reaching out for them, eager to get to grips with the guardsmen. As they rushed forward however they were not paying attention to their footing and every single one of them fell into the trap that the guardsmen had set. They plunged down into the metre deep pit, triggering the frag grenades in the pit below. There was an eruption of shrapnel and earth, the mutant that Byarl had knocked down, and had only just dragged himself upright was once again blown from his feet bleeding and slashed. The others were also wounded but it was when the command squad opened fire that they began to take casualties, Byarl hit one in the chest blowing a hole clean through him as another was hit by a number of las gun rounds causing his flesh to catch fire and the mutant to emit a high pitched screeching sound. Vyn poured fire out on the mutants, hitting one in the thigh and shattering it in a splash of blood and bone. Two mutants survived, one still with a hole clean through him which was spewing blood and one which was cut but otherwise undamaged, and they dived into cover by the Paupers Sacristy. This took them out of sight of the command squad, but not out of Vyn’s angle of fire.

The Cultist guard squad and the two loyalists guard squads traded gunfire, but with emplaced positions and heavy bolters the Taelorn squads got the better of the deal, dropping all of the cultists with only another lost man on their side.

Vyn awkwardly reset his heavy bolter with his ruined hand and opened fire on the remaining two mutant shredding them to pieces with the mass reactive shells. A pool of blood many metres across was the only thing left of them.

Silence descended.

Then with a roar that shook the buildings, something else charged onto the battlefield, Diving into cover from the Command Squad and Squad 1 as it aimed at Squad 2 with a weapon more usually seen on light vehicles. The thing was massive, it wore the remains of its original guard armour as little more than scraps clinging to its hugely, grotesquely expanded frame. Its face was twisted with two mouths hanging awkwardly open as another bellowed its anger and rage. In its hands it carried a huge heavy stubber, a weapon usually found on the cupola of a heavy tank.

As it rushed forwards its body twisted and moved in horrific ways, its skin stretching almost to breaking point. The sight of the terrible beast charging in caused everyone who saw it to recoil in horror. The troops of Squad two held firm, bolstered by the words of the Commissar earlier, however Squad One were overwhelmed by the sight of the thing, and with Byarl and Jellin turned to run. Liana looked on in shock but Argatha and the Commissar were relatively unaffected, only a tremor in the hand of Argatha betraying that they felt anything. From where he was, Vyn could not see the beast but instead continued pouring fire into the corpses of the Mutants.

The Beast slammed into cover at the Paupers Sacristy, covering all but its left arm from the Command Barricade and opened fire on Squad 2 hitting one of the squad square in the chest and painting the Statue of Leman Russ head to foot in his blood. The Squad held its ground and returned fire but with so many dead the volley was slightly weak and only the Heavy Bolter really took it’s toll.

The Commissar seeing so many of the men running once more lifted his bolt pistol and executed the nearest member of Squad one. As the boom of the bolt exploding echoed round the square all of the fleeing men ceased to run. Jellin turned and aimed his carbine at the creatures arm, while Byarl leapt back to the Multilaser and opened fire on the Mutant. The incredibly powerful laser blast ripped clean through the stone of the building and smashed into the side of the Mutant causing it to bellow in pain. Jellin added insult to injury by drilling it through the left wrist with his Las Carbine, the Medic proving that he wasn’t just about keeping people alive. As the Commissar and the others poured fire into the mutants cover the stone chipped away and shattered but with no real effect. However the heavy bolters of both Squad 1 and 2 managed to hit it, first tearing into the things legs, and finally hitting it in the chest causing it to explode and taking its ammunition with it. The huge corpse staggered and then slammed into the ground unmoving.

Silence fell once more across the Square of the Martyrs, apart from the drip drip drip of the blood splashed across the Statue Primarch’s axe.

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