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Zeroth
Beachhead I.
The players are loaded aboard their company's designated Tetrarch Heavy Lander, and are now descending towards the surface of this world. Little intelligence is to be had on the world and it's defences, and after nearly a century under chaos rulership it is entirely possible all maps and data regarding the layout of the world and its city-factories before its fall are entirely innacurate. Regardless the planetary assault cannot be called off or postponed, the Regiment will land on the surface and must push through miles of fortifications and barbed wire to capture the first of many command positions.
Hidden 2 days ago 2 days ago Post by Ollumhammersong
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Ollumhammersong

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“Soldiers of the Imperium, do not be afraid. The great enemy awaits us and glorious battle will soon commence. We stand as part of the greatest army assembled in service to the Lord Regent. Our victory is assured.
Trust in the God-Emperor of Mankind, maintain your daily rites of faith, ad-hear to the wisdom of his appointed generals, and he will protect.

...Glory to his name, that is all.”


….

“Soldiers of the Imperium, do not be afraid….“

It was a soulless mechanical drone that repeated itself every few minutes. No doubt spoken by some unfortunate servitor slaved to the ships communication system. It would almost be annoying except for the fact that it could barely be heard over the riot of noise coming from All around the lander as there were literal tens of thousands of souls gripped in a mixture of organized panic and chaos. Soldiers were either waiting idle at parade attention or were being ushered into one of the scores of massive troop landers. Each one large enough to carry a whole company’s worth of infantry. The landers purposed for ferrying the many armour pieces were even more massive. Tech adepts and their servitors prayed fervently over each and every machine they passed. Sprinkling oil and foul smelling incense over the holy machines and their crews.

The entire loading bay, even for this one naval transport was simply huge. There was no other way to describe it. And the knowledge that you were a part of this truly incredible war machine, one small cog…. It made one feel both painfully insignificant to the grand scheme of the war, but also powerful in the knowledge that ‘you’ were a part of such a force.

Artyom knew that there were two other transports in the fleet just like this one. Each with more or less the same amount of soldiers, armour and weapons on board. And each undergoing the same preparations as themselves. Ever since the translation into real space the situation on-board had exploded into activity. Soldiers went from enjoying a lazy, if nerve racking journey through the warp to this new theater of war to being ordered, whipped, struck and corralled into the loading bay and their assigned transports.

The mechanicus were not the only ones performing their rituals. Some men knelt in prayer, either on their own or around the feet of their regiment’s munitorum priests. Others fidgeted and wiped their weapons down with oiled rags. Others drilled for lack of anything better to distract their thoughts. Everyone on-board the ship knew that the battle for Molov would be taking place within mere hours. And each was trying to handle the stress in their own way.

It was difficult for Artyom to imagine what was going on outside of the vessel, in the void of space. Such things were not necessary for a lowly lieutenant to know but he imagined that there was some kind of conflict going on with the fleet. Punching a way through whatever orbital defenses the great enemy may or may not have deployed in preparation for Imperial counter invasion. Or maybe the world was undefended and the fleet was bombing the surface of the world in preparation for deployment? Or maybe the fleet was already destroyed and the transports themselves were about to be consumed in fiery retribution? Or maybe… such thoughts could spiral quickly and Artyom smacked himself in the face to remind himself that it did little good to dwell on things he could not control.

Artyom watched as his company commander turned about with a parade ground snap and bellowed for his platoons to start filing on board their assigned transport. Already company after company of his rag-tag regiment was marched out of formation from their position in the loading bay and into the belly of one of the great landers. Swallowing the men and woman whole like a monstrous steel beast letting itself be force fed to fatten it up. Ten companies in all belonged to the regiment, but only half would land in the first wave. The rest would wait until the landers returned from vomiting their human cargo onto the blighted soil below. unfortunately Artyom’s company was one of those five going down with the first wave. It didn’t have to be said that those five companies in the first wave were going to suffer more than the reserves. All the guardsman in this regiment were there because they were familiar with the reality of war and the toll it could take. Still, no one had any idea what could be expected down there.

Artyom spun about like his captain and sucked in a deep breath as he surveyed the blank eyes of his platoon. They all knew what they were being ordered to do. For Artyom to shout it aloud just seemed like an unnecessary redundancy. But protocol was protocol and orders had to be given down the chain. Artyom rolled his shoulders and fidgeted, his new officers epaulets felt unnaturally heavy. Like they weighed as much as or more as his entire rucksack. A very pointed reminder of his uncomfortable elevation. Being made an officer was only ever something he talked about with his old comrades. Bitching and boasting as any soldier did in their off hours. He never dreamed it could ever actually happen, and now that he had it he desperately wished it could be given to someone else. But the minutorium in their infinite insanity proclaimed he had seniority. To some mind boggling minute degree he couldn't understand. So now he was stuck leading men to the jaws of death just as he once was. No longer able to fall back on the comfort and routine of relying on orders from above to solve his problems and answer his doubts because he was the one who had to provide his own answers. Did the platoon see his uncertainty? Did they look at him as some highborn fop like the many other millions of junior officers? Or a jumped up hive-rat wearing a hat far too large for his head.... It was a question he imagined he would find the answer to sooner than later.

“Single file, leading by the right, Quick march!” He shouted in his best(though still heavily accented) low Gothic drill voice. Watching as they filed away one by one towards their waiting tetrarch. They were the last platoon in their company to file on board, which also meant they were the first to get off and the first to discover just how much firepower the heretics had dug in and waiting for them.

There was nothing to do about it now, orders were orders and Artyom had little idea how, if at all possible his platoon's position might have been changed without coming off as cowardly to his commander. One by one each soldier was strapped into a crash seat, their kit stowed above their heads or below their feet save their weapons. When all four hundred odd souls of the company were secured the boarding ramp closed with a slow mechanic drawl and a final (somewhat sinister) pneumatic hiss. And with the closing of the ramp came a near complete halt to the assault of noise from outside the lander. The air tight seals and thick hull providing a surprisingly pleasant side effect aside from a potentially crippling sense of claustrophobia.
If the ride down to the surface could stay this silent it might just be a decent enough trip.

“Soldiers of the Imperium, Do not be afraid....” Suddenly that familiar ever repeating drone sounded from inside the tetrarchs own internal projectors. The enclosed area and metal walls making the propagandist missive all the louder and more annoying than before. And because it was projected from another source it now contained a few hints of static to give it just that little extra edge.

Moans filled the lander from bow to stern, even most of the sergeants joined in while their more disciplined fellows shouted for silence and a return of order.

“Son of a...” Artyom heard the beginnings of what would no doubt be tirade so colourful as could only be thought up by the mind of a soldier. The lieutenant allowed the unfortunate soul several seconds of relief before barking for him to shut up.
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