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I'm going to be posting here some of the narrative write-up from the first Only War game I played in, which was my first experience of the Warhammer 40, 000 system - in fact, our whole group's.

Now, I am going to apologise in advance because I work full time, and general have a very busy life, so this will probably update very slowly when I have the time and energy to actually write, but for the time being I hope you enjoy what I have to share with you.

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In the darkness of the hold, the squad rocked back and forth in their seats, remaining seated only through the assistance of the harnesses that held them there, as turbulence caused the aircraft to buck wildly as it soared over the battlefield.

For the majority of the squad, this was to be their first mission together. Their trial by fire to see if they would make it work, or break under the heat of enemy fire. They were a test in and of themselves - an irregular formation of combined arms, contrary to the standard organisation of an Imperial Guard regiment, courtesy of their somewhat wild and experimental Colonel.

Toward the front of the Valkyrie sat the Medicae team - Cutter & Jase - with the more veteran medic, Cutter, attempting to reinforce Jase's training one final time before they hit the ground. They all knew, however, that Jase would eternally be the "New Guy", even if he survived and other squaddies were cycled in. Some people always were.

Cutter was a small, somewhat mouse-like man, with relatively unremarkable and somewhat angular features, and blue eyes that belied an unusual intelligence in a grunt, with Jase seeming somewhat youthful and weedy, the Medic-in-training looking on at the world with green eyes alit with a certain optimistic wonder that had yet to be shattered by the horrors of warfare.

Meanwhile, a rather unusual looking pair came next. Ratlings, the both of them, Vin & Sylvia were sniper auxiliaries assigned to the squad to support them on the ground, which raised some eyebrows among the other squaddies, who had no idea how that was supposed to help them. The Elysian 13th Helldivers were famed for their tactic of jumping out over enemy formations armed with shotguns and other close quarters equipment, right in the thick of the fighting.

Nonetheless, the Ratling abhumans were there, and an oddity they were indeed, being only three feet in height and swaddled in their chameleoline cloaks, shaggy and oil-slicked hair hanging down over their faces as they silently polished their gear.

Following on came the Heavy Weapons Team, the infamous Repta & Faye, noted for their choice of Heavy Stubber, a weapon typically favoured by lower tech worlds than Elysia, and Faye's incessant habit of taking notes and writing in her Primer-come-journal, earning her nickname of Quill, though none knew the words she put on that page - such was her quiet, private nature, though she was still quick to cut at others with her razor-edged tongue.

Repta was a towering specimen of humanity, well over six feet in height and with corded muscles from a hard life pirate-hunting in the Elysia sector with his heavy weapons. His blocky features lent well to the profession, and it was rumoured by many that his flak armour had to be adjusted to accommodate his muscled bulk, his short blonde hair spiked back with some grease and a bloodlust grin plastered on his face. Meanwhile, Faye was a more athletic figure, with oak brown hair tied back in a practical ponytail to keep it out of her face and under her helmet for the most part, her angular features somewhat hawkish in nature with a pair of glasses sitting on the bridge of her nose which appeared to have been repeatedly put back together with tape, her vivid green eyes highlighted by the glass.

Bringing up the rear so that they'd be the ones to land deepest in enemy territory when they jumped, came the auxiliaries from the Ordo Tempestus - the Scions, Corporal Jonah Antioch, whom had received an impromptu promotion to Squad Sergeant, and Corporal Matthias Kaltrass, both of whom had served together as auxuilaries to the Adeptus Arbites on Tenebris prior to their transfer to the Helldivers.

The Scions' appearance was a mystery to the others in the squad, the two of them having arrived wearing their iconic carapace armour that marked them as members of the Imperium's Stormtrooper Corps.

Still, their arrival had raised some hackles within the regiment and the squad itself, as word stood out that problems with the Tau on Tenebris has led to the pair receiving a black mark as mavericks, and being assigned somewhere out of the way of their peers. At least they had experience with Valkyrie Jumps, given the nature of combat employed by the Ordo Tempestus was so similar to the Elysians' own.

The microbeads installed in all of their helmets crackled to life, prompting them all to look up from their activities to listen, as the Pilot's voice sounded in their ears.

"Boys, hate to tell you but we aren't going to make it to the drop site. Anti-Air clipped our wing. This bird is cooked. Hope you packed your grav-chutes because I'm popping the doors..."

He paused for but a moment's hesitation, resolving in his own mind what was about to come before finishing

"...Green light to jump. Kill a few in my memory, boys."

"You bet your arse, Jonah quietly murmured into the helmet comm, his lips concealed by the enclosed helmet-respirator combination, as the squad unclasped themselves from their harnesses, pulling themselves up using the ceiling mounted handles and turning to face the Valkyrie's doors, as the group ran down the ramp, launching themselves from the blazing aircraft into a hail of gunfire, smoke and the foul taste of missile propellant.

They began to spread out about the impromptu drop site, their gear canister whistling past them and taking out a tree in the wooded area they had leapt out over, each member of the squad silently counting down until they deployed their grav-chutes, the backpack-mounted devices flaring to life, slowing their plummet toward the ground.

At least, most of them did.

Repta and Jonah were not so lucky, plummeting to earth with terrifying speed and praying to the God-Emperor fervently as their lives flashed before their eyes, trying franticly to remember their training as they tried to brace themselves.

Jonah managed to pivot himself about to land into a combat roll, dissipating the worst of the crash landing as he rolled out of it, silently thanking himself that the Valkyrie had been flying so low as he pulled himself to his feet and glanced around to where Repta had landed, his leg at an awkward angle - threatening to jeapordise the mission before they had even started.

"Brace it, Rookie." Cutter snapped to his assistant, pulling the medkit from his backpack and drawing a splint and bandage for it, looking to the pained grimace on Repta's face.

"No time for anaesthetic. We'll get this splinted and I'm afraid you'll have to grit your teeth and bear it, mate."

"Shut up and do it, Cutter." the Heavy growled, handing the stubber off to Faye so that the Medics could work with him unobstructed.

"Aye, make it quick." chimed in Jonah. "If we don't move in and halt those AA guns, then more of our boys run the risk of being shot down like we were. There's no time to lose."

"Jonah." Matthias uttered softly, tapping the powerpac that fed energy to the Hellguns that the Stormtroopers were armed with.

"Yeah?" the appointed Sergeant rounded about at his name, canting his head and gesturing for Matthias to explain.

"Our drop canister fell elsewhere in the forest along with all of our gear. We need to retrieve that or we're going to be shot, even if we do win."

"That's a good point. Did anyone see which way it went?"

With the Medics straightening up, and Faye helping pull the now-braced Repta to his feet, the group stopped to take a look at their surroundings - a fairly nondescript area of forest that had been, as yet, largely unmarked by the treads of tanks and machines of war.

Eventually, it was Cutter that spotted it, shouting out to his companions and jogging over to the ruined tree in which the canister had embedded itself. "Hopefully they're not too bothered about the canister, but the rest of it we'll need."

"Good spot", several members of the group said, nigh in unison, moving over to pat Cutter on the back before taking their respective shares of gear out of the canister and loading them into their backpacks.

"So where to now?" asked Cutter, handing Jase his share of rations, looking over the group at large.

"First off, I want to go see where the Valkyrie went down. If the pilot survived the crash, we should get him out of there, along with any of the gear that didn't drop with us. From there we go to the AA guns." said Jonah, gathering himself and his breath as he looked about the group for any objections, and with none forthcoming, he nodded and set off jogging westward, after the trail of smoke and sounds of gunfire.

Edited by SgtLazarus

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Wow, nice bit of writing there. Also, casual use of a cliffhanger to leave us wanting more. Effective use however. I'm definitely curious to know what happens next. (Even though I already know in a round about way). Keep us posted.

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Clipped Wings

After a short joh through the forest, the group founda  clearing where there hadn't been one earlier this morning - trees having been shattered and reduced to kindling by the Valkyrie as it came screaming down from the heavens, ploughing a deep scar into the land beneath it as it buried it's nose into the earth, compacting it & spraying debris everywhere.

Wasting no time, they walked over to the debris, hopping into the trench that the Valkyrie had dug in it's crash. Cutter and Jonah clambered into the aircraft, checking it over for any remaining equipment, and moving into the pilot's cabin where they discovered the Navyman who had flown them out here slumped dead at the controls, his head lolling freely and his heart impaled upon a tree branch that had punched through the glass of the cockpit and no doubt ended his life. The Medic's pronunciation of death upon impact was hardly necessary for any who laid eyes upon the sight, but formalities had to be observed before Jonah liberated the corpse of it's laspistol sidearm and gathered the man's dog-tags. They'd honour his memory properly later if any of them made it back to base.

As Jonah disembarked, and Jase clambered into the Valkyrie with Cutter, he noticed Matthias had frozen, his head turned toward the gunfire, as he raised a hand and gestured for everyone to quiet down and listen, and sure enough, they soon heard it.

The sound of engines - and they weren't human engines. Too loud, and they were deep behind enemy lines. Probably Ork looters coming to strip the remains of the Valkyrie, and if they were mounted then their hopes of outrunning them were slim. Their best odds were to dig in and use the spontaneous trench to their advantage.

"Orks incoming! Down! All of you, into the trench and ready your weapons! I want overwatch on either side of the trench. They'll be on us soon. Remember the doctrine!" barked Jonah, co-ordinating the startled team, gesturing Matthias to one side of the trench, whilst Repta & Faye fell against the other, readying the Heavy Stubber against the trench dirt, whilst Jonah hopped out of the Valkyrie and took position next to Matthias, while the Ratlings heding for a smaller bit of the trench to compensate for their lack of height, bracing the sniper rifle as they kept watch, the Medics falling in and pressing down in cover against the Valkyrie's bulkheads, the entire squad waiting with bated breath and tension mounting as the engines got ever closer.

Sure enough, the threat soon presented itself as a squadron of Ork Warbikes came roaring into view around the flanks of the Valkyrie, and in a moment of reactionary fire, the Orks were taken by surprise as the hail of gunfire erupted, the barrage opening up on the leg flank as Repta's heavy stubber spat slug after slug into the bike's front, striking the handle and causing it to veer off course as it sped past into the treeline, followed shortly after by the screaming of fire from the Stormtroopers' hellguns, and the Sniper Rifle laying fire into another bike coming around the right flank, though the shots seemed to do nothing, much to the amusement of the Ork rider, who revved his engine in response, crying out that war cry the Guardsmen knew so well; "WAAAAAAAGHHH!!!"

The squad stood unflinching, however, in the face of these monsters and continued firing, attempting to hit the riders as they rode about them, ducking for cover in the trench as necessary as bullets sprayed about them, but the Orks swiftly grew frustrated and began to pull up facing the trench. One from the west, one from the east and two lined up straight down the trench from the south - flanking the human soldiers with no easy way out.

It was at this point that things started to seem somewhat desperate for the guardsmen, as the Orks began to spray them with intensified storms of bullets, several striking Repta in the arm and Jonah crumpling in a heap as several rounds struck his helmet. Meanwhile the riders from the south came roaring down the trench with their "choppas" in hand, attempting to strike the guardsmen before veering off at the last second and lining up for another run, which prompted Vin & Sylvia to heft the sniper rifle they carried, running free of the cornered trench, using their chameleoline cloaks to fade into the the trees as they returned fire, a round catching an Ork in the shoulder and jarring it's attempts to manoeuvre it's bike, while in the chaos of the fight, Matthias hefted his Hellgun to open up...

...and heart a resounding crack, as the surge protection in his hellgun's charge pack failed, destroying the clip and rendering his gun incapable of firing. Alarmed, he dropped into the trench, releasing the now useless weapon and producing his backup shotgun and leaping back out of the trench, firing & pumping, firing & pumping, as he advanced on the Ork.

Back in the trench itself, Repta managed to bring down the first kill of the battle, as his stubber erupted for yet another salvo, riddling the Ork bike ahead of him with rounds and hitting the fuel tank, the Ork's eyes widening in surprise as it burst into flame, howling in pain as it was thrown from the vehicle. Managing a savage grin, Repta turned about, barking out "Quill, steady it. Time to mark me off another!" prompting her to release the ammo belt and help steady the weapon so that additional barrages would fly true.

Jonah managed to heave himself out of the dirt with a groan, evidently still breathing despite the salvo of the rounds which hit his helmet - the armour likely having saved his life - and hauling himself out of the trench after Matthias. He took on a moment's desperation, and launched himself into a run, tackling the Ork rider, leaving the beast somewhat at a loss as the human wrapped himself about it, dumbfounded as Matthias moved in, taking a shot with the Shotgun-


- which jammed suddenly, the cartridge of shot cracking and becoming lodged in the firing mechanism. The Scion looked down at his weapon in pure disbelief, and tossed it aside in favour of a laspistol, as an Ork rode down into the gap in the trench where the scions had just been, attempting to spray fire at Cutter & Jase, who retaliated with lasfire of their own, striking the creature in the head, causing it's flesh to melt over it's eyes and blinding it, leaving it forced to spray bullets blindly in a vain effort to survive

Meanwhile, the Ratlings moved from tree to tree, supporting their comrades with calculated sniper fire, hurting the Orks bit by bit as the group strove to survive.

Their break came when two Orks dismounted their bikes, having ran out of ammunition with the bikes' mounted guns, to charge into melee, to which the two Stormtroopers did the unthinkable - they leapt onto the abandoned vehicles to gain the mobility edge they needed, beginning to circle the Orks and blast them, while Repta worked tirelessly to destroy the remaining hostile Bike, the Orks eventually dying screaming and aflame before the clearing slowly grew quiet. The wounded guardsmen pulled the bikes up near the Valkyrie and gathered themselves with a quiet sigh after having executed the last of the Orks.

Wordlessly, the group eyed the bikes, and then nodded to each other, as the Stormtroopers gunned the engines up, turning them about and heading south.

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This game has resumed and now that I'm not working anymore I suppose I should really get back on with writing it.

I do ask your forgiveness for the longass time since the last post. My ADHD makes writing anything consistently a nightmare, you know?

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