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Cretanis VI, Chapter 1

 Post subject: Cretanis VI, Chapter 1
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:14 pm 
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The Imperial lander made slow orbit from the transport ship Tokugawa. The soft blue-green planet glistened with vast oceans and bright, plumed white clouds. Until three years ago, this planet had never heard the sound of an internal combustion engine. Now, there were starports, communications towers, industrialized farming, industrial mining and the chants of Imperial praises in the newly built Imperial chapels.

The first Imperial lander made port at the city of Angelus, of the Kingdom of Kitain, the most welcoming of the cities on the planet. Many people of the planet did not appreciate being welcomed back into the Imperial fold, mostly those of the old feudal power base that refused to swear allegiance to the black warbird. A task force of Imperial Guardsmen, the Imperial Navy and elements of the Adeptus Astartes Angels of Absolution brought most of the non-aligned kingdoms into order. There was still negotiating, minor guerilla fighting and mild friction, but mounted knights and infantry wielding spear and sword didn't stand up to artillery strikes, mortars, heavy bolters and lasguns. It was almost a shame to see the inhabitants of the disloyal ruling heretical houses to be brought to Imperial law by flame, almost.

The men of the 1789th Furyondian Rifles assembled on the parade field. In the distance, the Imperial lander, with it's 30 meter tall black Aquila painted on its side rested a mile away. By all accounts, the starport at Angelus looked like any other starport in the Imperium; masses of transport vehicles, ships and landers, rogue trader sprint landers, Imperial Lightenings, thousands of metric tons of supplies and machinery lined the field. The sun shone brightly in the sky, the clouds offering short respite from the hot summer sun.

A reviewing stand was set up in front of the men, its rows of seats bare, except for a few support personnel and logistics officers. Three servitors roamed about, inspecting supplies and canisters. A junior officer of the Imperial Guard spoke with a white robed, lower member of the Adeptus Mechanicus. It limped away as the officer made his way to the stand. An older Sgt smoking a...smoking something saluted, ""Fine trip, fine day sir." The Lieutenant nodded and returned the salute, "Fine trip First Sergeant. The men are anxious to..." The Sergeant smiled, "The men are anxious to meet you." The Lieutenant pulled off his cap and wiped his sweating brow, "First Sergeant, I believe that is the first lie you have said to me, I would appreciate it if it were the last. You and I both know the men don't give two shakes of a rats ass about me. I just want to make quick introductions and get them moving. I hated parade dress at the academy and I'm sure they do too. The men are anxious to get out of the sun and get some real food in them. This sun isn't helping either. Do you agree First Sergeant Birmingham?" The sergeant smiled, immediately taking a liking to the young, pragmatic officer. "Yes sir!" saluted the sergeant.

"I am Lieutenant Daniel Konrad. I am responsible for your welfare. We will immediately board transport to our first assignment. We will travel to an area known as the Ward Hills just west of the Rune Mountains. There we are to secure a transit point for the Adeptus Mechanicus. We will secure the area until further notice. Your First Sergeant is Sergeant Birmingham. He is an outstanding NCO. I don't want to be out here anymore in this sun anymore than you do I'll wager." The guardsmen allowed themselves some laughter at the bluntness, relaxing the mood. "For the Emperor and the 1789!" bellowed the Lieutenant into his microphone. The men in response yelled, "For the Emperor and the 1789!" The Lieutenant turned to leave and suddenly stopped, turned and yelled, "Bulldogs!" And the men yelled with joy and pride, "Sick'em!"

After the first sergeant had the men form lines for travel, he walked to the Lieutenant who was once again speaking with the robed figure of the Adeptus Mechanicus. "Sir, we're ready for transport" offered Sgt Birmingham. "Very good Sgt Birmingham. As we wait for our transport, which will be here momentarily, I have a question. I understand that your nickname is Bull? You served in the Bellgram Campaign I understand. That was with the 11th armored? Charge of the Black Bull?"
Sergeant Birmingham nodded, a mixture of sadness and pride welling in him. "I see. May I call you Bull?" asked the Lieutenant. Sergeant Birmingham shrugged, "The men do, I see no reason why my commanding officer shouldn't." Lieutenant Konrad smiled, "Very good."

A line of wooden wagons driven by what looked like dirty farmers and clawed horses made their way towards the parade grounds. A farmer, obviously the headman, waddled over to the Lt and first sgt. "Eh be Lordling Dan and Master at Arms Burmanhem?" Mildly confused, Lieutenant Konrad nodded, "I am Lieutenant Daniel Konrad and this is First Sergeant Birmingham." The headman bowed slightly and picked his nose, "We be loading ye men to the Ward Hills, Lieutenant Dan." The officer closed his eyes momentarily and with a sigh replied, "Very well. First Sergeant, have the men load up please." After a painstaking hour of settling the men into the wagons and some very unnerved horses, the first sergeant sat next to the Lieutenant. The young officer sighed, "Great a 100 mile ride in some very...did they transport swine in these wagons or something? This is..." The lead driver smiled a gap tooth grin at the two men, "Lootenat Dan, we be ready. You men must be smellin fierce to rattle me horses, they even gots the gases they so 'cited! but we ready Lootenat Dan." The young officer winced at every butchered word of the Imperial Gothic. He looked at his smirking first sgt, "What do you think Bull?" As the wagon motioned forward with what seemed a bum wheel, the first sergeant smiled and smoked wad of deep chocolate colored leaf and a nauseating cloud of noxious vapor bloomed from a gaseous horse, "I think this is going to be fun Lootenat Dan!"


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