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Commissar Rascal

"Let's see if I can fire all eight bolts before you turn around."

0 · 201 views · located in Planet Arawath

a character in “Only War: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment”, originally authored by MayContainPlagiarism, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Commissar Cassandra Rascal

Code Name: Bangtail

Height/Weight: 7 foot, 220ibs.

Distinguishing Marks: A deformed, indistinguishable brand is burned into her left bicep. Vertical cuts along the underside of her right hand, running up the first two fingers. Three small scars along her collar bone, two on the left and close together.

Origin/Homeworld: Buickvale, a desert deathworld with a rattler problem and no water.

Soldier Class: Commissar

Kit:
A black-bladed chainsword, painted with yellow lines a la caution stripes.
A bolt-pistol fashioned after a primitive revolver with an eight-round cylinder.
Commissariat uniform.
Spare uniform, coat, poor weather and survival clothes.
Lasercarbine.
Chameleoline armor coating.
Rucksack.

Commissar Cassandra Rascal is a serious, no-nonsense autocrat who was either born without a sense of humor or had it baked out of her on Buickvale. Some say she's responsible for more of the deaths on Hendrisi than the Tyranids. Most of the 501st knows she shot Lieutenant Scottsman at the siege of Blackrock before getting attached to their regiment a month later.

The Commissar very much likes to be in control of her own life. It's difficult to satisfy that want as a soldier of the Imperium of Man, which can whisk her across known space because some backwater planet needs an attitude adjustment or someone just happens not to like her, but there's different avenues and spheres of freedom she enjoys. Military regulation dictates acceptable hair lengths, but she cuts it herself rather than letting a barber do it. Her semi-autonomous position within the squad lets her make her own tactical decisions, and while she doesn't invoke the power very often, is always free to assume command. She also likes to start eating immediately, letting the rest of the faff waste time thanking the God-Emperor for their meal or whatever nonsense ritualism they surround their meals in.
Cassandra is not a control freak by any means. It's easy to misinterpret her impatience and constant micro-management of her squad without disposing its leader as the actions of a greedy, ambitious glory-seeker constantly vying for a leadership position, but it's a lot more selfish than that; she doesn't want to die.

So begins...

Commissar Rascal's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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"And I'll give you another ten." The least liked woman on the ship walked into the room, the coat tails of her Commissariat garb flowing behind her despite its weight, testament to the determined and impatient way she walked. She drew her coat back to rest her hands on her hips. "With your blessing, of course." She nodded her head in a disingenuous ascension of authority. "Sergeant." She then nodded, pulled her hat off, ran a hand through rough, self-cut hair, and returned it.
Cassandra Rascal walked past the Sergeant to her bunk and pulled her footlocker open. She retrieved a lariat (well, she called it one; in actuality it was a long, nine-headed whip) and closed it again. She returned with it prominently fastened to her belt, opposite her peculiar sidearm. "What's the slapjaw this time?"

Simon Yates didn't elect such a dramatic entrance. He entered dressed in his robes, and if it weren't for the flamer he had been cleaning and praying over a few minutes earlier looked more like he was on his homeworld than mentally and spiritually preparing himself for fighting on a Deathworld. "Good morning, Sergeant Solar." He didn't actually know what time it was, and had never decided if the concept of "morning" was actually meaningful offworld, but it was a nice greeting. "And good morning, comrades." He nodded to the untested soldiers. He felt their nervousness without meeting their eyes. "Today you find your places in the Empire. It'll be fun." He hadn't been made of aware of how insane calling war "fun" or "not a big deal" or "a great way to spend an afternoon" made him appear, to greens or veterans. "And an especially good morning to you, Commissar."
Cassandra bit her tongue; he was almost painful not rolling her eyes every time she encountered the Deacon within the regiment. "Likewise."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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Bottles hurtled himself out the door, followed by a wrench, the rest of the toolbox, and half a servitor. A couple nuts popped off his Flak armor. Keeping his speed up, he sprinted past Sergeant Solar, a couple greenies, and a Commissar by the looks of it. His short black hair and angular face were covered in sweat. There was a grease mark on his face in the form of a hand.

Curses waterfalled out of Grim as he stomped through the door and stooped to grab the wrench. “You touch it again and I swear by the Emperor they won’t find your body.”

Bottles slowed to a jog, and moved for cover behind the Sergeant. “You have got to be clearer on what I should, and shouldn’t touch.”

Grim sighed, and brushed off his red cloak. The metal all over his body whirred and clicked before settling. “Here’s a hint, if the Gun is pointed at you, stop touching.” The Mechadendrite on his back settled onto his shoulder and he patted it.

Bottles huffed and picked up the servitor. It beeped angrily at him. He scowled back at it and rubbed his cheek.

Grim walked over to the Sergeant and looked at the green recruits. The metal covering his arms and legs were covered in grease, oil, and several other substances. The pack on his back didn’t seem to weigh him down at all, and the Lasgun on his left shoulder almost seemed to have a mind of its own, as it seemed to be looking at everyone present. A respirator hung off his neck at chest level, and several tendrils from his pack were cleaning (or attempting to clean) the grease off his various surfaces. “So where we are dropping?”

The setting changes from Warhammer 40k to Planet Arawath

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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Sergeant Solar turned to look at the Commissar as she drew their attention. He smirked; or rather, masked his grimace with one. He was at once pleased that they had a Commissar attached to the squad- due only to the number of new blood they were going to have- and horrified at who it was. Cassandra Rascal. While not the most infamous person known to the Regiment, the Sergeant was well enough in the know to understand certain quirks of her personality.

Nevertheless he did not let any fear or revulsion show. "Commissar," he said in greeting, flashing a brief Aquila salute. The two greens next to him paled and saluted as well, more out of fear of punishment than actual respect.

"At the moment we're holding for the rest of the Squad. So far it's just you and Trooper Jorn, and Trooper Darrien." He gestured to the two greens, who did not react; drills had taken over and, despite the casual setting of the Barracks, they would not move until given the order.

Quin was interrupted by the Priest entering, pleasant as could be. "Father Yates," he offered, bowing his head slightly in reverence. They had met previously, briefly, due in part to the Sergeant wishing to pray in the ship's chapel before the mission briefing. Jorn and Darrien did not respond to the greeting.

"I see we'll be quite well equipped to handle anything these damned Orks can throw at us," Quin mused, deciding to ignore the looks between the Commissar and Priest.

The relative peace of the introductions was broken by a commotion from the nearby storage chamber. The disarray of tools and a Trooper did not sit well with Quin, not by a long shot; and as Derek Pen ran past him, the Sergeant whipped out his arm and caught the runner by the scruff of his jacket.

"Trooper Pen," he growled, gesturing to the Commissar. "Such conduct in the face of an Officer is grounds for punishment under most circumstances." It was not an idle threat on his voice. He released him shortly thereafter, to allow him to pick up the Servitor torso.

He then pointed his free hand at the Techpriest. "And you, Techpriest. If I see you throwing parts all around our damn ship again, I will report you to your Magos."

With a disgruntled huff, Sergeant Solar crossed his arms and shrugged at the inquiry by Grim. "Somewhere. Augory scans haven't come back yet, so we'll get the telemetry of drop zones about half an hour before planet-fall."

The two Greens had yet to drop their salute, and likely would not for some time unless the Commissar was feeling merciful.

Setting

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Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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The Commissar, a hand resting on her hip and the other palm on her unusual bolt pistol, nodded to the two men. "As you were, troopers." As much as she would have preferred to introduce herself with a slew of unnecessary inspections and verbal reprimands about their stature, uniform cleanliness, and so forth, it wasn't good to make friends she might have to shoot. It didn't bother her at all that said strategy had failed to produce friends anyway. She had stopped to return the salute properly before getting her whip.
When the idiot and the enginseer came into the room, Rascal offered a look that was a combination of annoyance, displeasure, and impatience. "Trooper Pen!" She roared, speaking at the same time as the Sergeant, disregarding whatever he said. "Those tools are the property of the Empire and if you give cause for any to be thrown at you again I will personally see that you are tied, drawn, and their owner empty his toolbox without reserve. Trooper Godwinne, despite the immense pleasure seeing this idiot punished for disturbing you would bring me, there's a touchdown today and if I find he is anything less than combat-ready because he so much as stubbed a toe in his retreat you'll have something worse than Orks to deal with. And dammit, troopers, you drop your salutes already."
Simon stood by impassively. "A half-our before touchdown, Sergeant? Is command organizing the operation? That's not a terribly long time to plan a swift and total victory." Which would happen regardless, of course, he didn't have to add to his assessment. "And troopers, I'd appreciate if you tried to keep the grease out of my robes. While I'm glad to see you enjoying each other's company, tarnishing the good fabric of the Emperor himself should not be taken lightly."

The setting changes from Planet Arawath to Warhammer 40k

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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Artisan of War, Imperial Warship
Icarus Toroun

The subtle sound of boots hitting a metal floor became increasingly louder to the group of soldiers, officers and the like in the gathering room for pre-briefing of the drop missing. Coming down the hallway was a 6 foot tall man with tanned skin and short frost colored hair, matching color Imperial armor and enough combat scars to cover a painting in pain. The man was a legend in his Regiment, but a stranger in the company of these ruffians and adrenaline junkies. Compared to them he was a warrior poet, and a good one at that.

This man opened a steel bolted door and found himself in the strangest assortment of soldiers he had ever seen. Two greenhorns, or Squires as his regiment called them, a Commissar from the bad side of the galaxy, two mech-heads and a War-priest all stood around the commanding Sergeant of the squad he was assigned to. Stepping inside and closing the door, Icarus 'Pilgim' Toroun saluted Quin Solar and awaited to be at ease."Sergeant Icarus Toroun reporting for mission brief, Sir." After being put at ease by the Sergeant he then stepped over to the priest and bowed before him on one knee, kissing his hand and saying a prayer to the Emperor as he stood back straight up. He took a place behind the greenhorns and crossed his arms over each other and waited for the briefing to commence, or the rest of the squad to arrive before if there were any still trying to find their way into the brief room.

As Icarus waited for Solar to speak, the white armored soldier inspected each person closer to take in their detail. The two greenhorns were either going to die within the next few hours or become great soldiers to serve the Emperor. The two techpriests seemed to be scarred of the commissar and were probably caught goofing off just before Icarus had arrived. The two officers beside himself in the room were just as he had imagined, and they would more than likely prefer that he not be assigned to the squad. Too many officers in one place provided both a chink in the chain of command and a high priority target on the battlefield, but luckily Icarus knew his place in a squad and could usually find a way out of almost any jam they got into.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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#, as written by Taunbon

The setting changes from Warhammer 40k to Planet Arawath

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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#, as written by Taunbon
Artisan of War, Imperial Warship

Her small hand tightly gripped the metal pole as she made her way down the dark hallways of the Artisan of War, walking slower then she would ever admit out loud, a metal tap echoing after each step as her staff clanked against the metal floor. During the briefing, she had done her best to make herself even smaller then she was, no mean feat, and unnoticeable to the gathered guardsmen, but now she was heading towards the squad that she was to be attached to. Her pack containing all her gear weighed heavily on her small frame even as she fought down the urge to rearrange her flak vest that kept trying to slip down her thin shoulders.

As a psyker, she had her own personal quarters, which was a rather fancy way of saying she had an empty metal room with a single, very uncomfortable bed, all to herself. It was for her safety as much as it was for everyone else's safety aboard the Warship since, from time to time, many psykers could suffer night terrors or attempts on their minds by denizens of the warp that had managed to slip through the ship's gellar field, so whenever it was time to deploy, she had to pack up her gear and take it to whatever squad would be 'graced' with her presence.

Bel stopped in the dark hall, turning her head to examine the engraved wall to her right. While she couldn't 'see' the planet, she could feel it. The raw psychic power of the greenskins like a beacon within the ocean, a sun shining its malevolent rays upon the ship. The second they had left warp transit, she had known what was waiting for them on the planet below, long before the briefing. No psyker could miss the potent psychic presence of a greenskin WAAAGH. She had not seen, nor heard, any of their crude spacecraft circling the planet, and she idly wondered if they had come aboard their 'Roks' or if it was the local feral ork population that had exploded out due to the lack of attention from the local PDF forces. Tugging her hood lower, she turned away from the wall and back towards the hall stretching out before her.





Making her way into the barracks, her staff still making its loud taps as the obnoxious eagle crouched on the top swayed back and forth, well over a foot above her cloaked head. Pausing in the door way, her sharp hazel eyes scanned the people in the room, and she had to admit, this was an... odd squad. Multiple NCOs, a techpriest, a few guardsmen, a commissar, that she had to look twice at to realize the large, imposing figure was a woman, and a.... Priest. Her grip on her staff tightened involuntarily as her eyes fell on the flamer he had in his arms, her ire doubling at her current situation.

Bel turned her eyes to the ground, lowered her shoulders and walked deeper into the room, moving to a corner to isolate herself from the others in the squad. She had little doubt they would bother speaking with her, her kind were, generally, not wanted until the fighting began and sometimes not even then. She reached into her sack and pulled out her dataslate and pretended to be looking something up to further discourage interaction with her, but she was listening to what they were saying even as she did her best to pretend she wasn't.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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A man quickly made his way through the halls of the Artison Of Dawn. He was wearing a red bandana, flak vest, and combat pants which closely resembled the uniforms the Catachan Devils used, although recolored to fit the 501st Hendrisi Deadland colors. He was late for the assigned meeting time since being part of a more organized regiment, and the fact that he was still getting used to not getting killed by plants that can tear down structures alongside creatures that could tear a man apart.

Thankully he had gathered all his equipment before rushing down the halls or else he would be in deeper trouble, and to top it all they had a commissar with them. He was not sure if he was going to be executed right on the spot which would be a sad way to go, he had survived murderious plants that shot spikes that could turn you into a plant, plants that spewed poison, plants that created acidic sticky goo, survived creatures and he would go tell the emperor he died for being late for a small gathering.

He then made it to the room they where all supposed to gather to and got in formation, "Caccia Scinia reporting for duty commissar!" He then gave a salute but made sure to mask all signs of nervousness and to keep a straight face lest he upset the person that has the power to kill anyone that lacks resolve in battle.

The setting changes from Planet Arawath to Warhammer 40k

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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[b]A short being walks through the doors holding a map of the ship in his hand, dripping wet from his last high priority mission and a sniper strapped to his back tightly that was almost as big as him. He looks at everyone, his hood from his tan cloak was up and the lighting made it difficult to identify his face. He walks through the crowd of people to find a nice spot in front, then sets his sniper against the briefing table. He was so quiet that you wouldn't have noticed his presence if he didn't use the door.

Alex waited to be briefed on his mission until he realized he had his hood on and lowered it to reveal he was a ratling with his war paint design on his face. He then looked up at everyone as they paid attention to the officers and wondered what their stories were and how they got into this mess that he himself got into.

The setting changes from Warhammer 40k to Planet Arawath

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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The Commissar dropped her arms to her sides before Caccia arrived. She quickly returned his salute, if only to get everyone in the room to stop wasting time with the flumadiddle of regulation so their briefing could get underway.

The Battle-Priest was rather uncomfortable with the display Touron made. He was used to the mixed bag of reactions his robes caused, from awe to fear, but he felt wrong having someone honor him when he was only the voice of the Emperor. But rather than show his discomfort, Simon simply nodded and finished the prayer with him. "Good morning." He had failed to meet with the man personally, despite an acute interest.
Shortly thereafter, a renegade, a sniper, and their resident psyker entered the room. Simon, glad to leave the center of the room and any focus of attention, decided to introduce himself formally to Belva Clarette. The unfortunatecy of having been assigned to the 501st so recently was that he had hardly any time to actually meet his squad between transferring his equipment, giving sermons, and getting accustomed to the new ship.
Simon sat beside her. Under normal conditions he'd introduce himself and ask for permission, but they weren't civilians. "Good morning, Psyker." He nodded politely, flamer across his lap as casually as a sleeping poodle.

The Commissar preferred standing to sitting, and chose to do so while she waiting for their briefing. She crossed her arms, shifted her weight to one foot, and watched the occupants of the room without moving her eyes. While she didn't pay mind to it, it was easy to see she was the tallest in the squad by a whole foot. Her ankles at that particular moment hurt from hanging over the edge of her bed all night. "Is everyone here?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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Sergeant Solar looked around at the room; members from other squads were linking up with their own, and his group was quickly growing as well. Briefings must have all ended at about the same time, and everyone was rushing in. He elected to ignore the Priest's questions until he could give a proper briefing of his own; unlike the Commander, Quin did not like to repeat himself.

But what a bloody circus his squad was. He decided it best to let the Commissar do her job while he tried to bring the squad under a proper form of control. The first matter at hand was dealing with Icarus.

"Sergeant Toroun," he stated pleasantly, his voice rough with many years of shouting himself hoarse. "I reckon we should get it out of the way now; unless they plan on splitting us into two squads, I'll have you operating as my second in command." He didn't know much about Eccelasians, but he knew they were devout, zealous, and proud. Hopefully there wouldn't be any problems.

Following that he peered around at the rest. A Catachan trooper had joined them, as had a Ratling- trying not to be noticed he thought, and so maybe not an official attachment- and a bloody Psyker.

"Feth," he rumbled under his breath, using an adopted curse from another regiment. "Building us up like a damn Command squad or something." He focused his attention on the Psyker.

"Psyker," he began. "We're pleased to have you aboard. I don't suppose you've got an attache?" 'Pleased' may have been a strong word for it, but it would be good regardless. He nodded to the Priest sitting next to her, indicating he had finally acknowledged his inquiry and leaving it at that.

Then he looked to the Commissar. "I bloody well hope so. Still, units are still filtering in, so I'll wait a moment longer before I get us in formation for squad briefing."

So far he had a tally of eleven troops and specialists, counting himself. The liklihood of more was slim, but if there were he would absolutely be splitting the squad in two. Especially given how many specialists they'd been assigned.


For their part the two rookies had finally lowered their arms, and were now watching in awe at the veritable circus of strangers from other worlds filtering in. They had slowly made their way closer to the Commissar; not because they liked her or her position particularly, but she was the largest figure in the room and it comforted them to be near someone who would draw more attention.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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As the room grew unsettling for Alex, from the loud chatter and laughter. He closed his eyes to find his inner peace and once he closed off the noise, he felt the strange woman brush past her and felt her distress. He then looked around the room and saw them in their own groups of attachments, but he was still alone. He shook of the growing sorrow that was crawling to the surface and pushed it back down into its corner to wait patiently for his next mission.

He wasn't interested in introducing himself and be political, even in the presence of the other specialists around him and Sargent Solar and the commissar already knew him as shadow for his way of becoming undetected in a moments notice. His soaked cloak and cloths made him shiver slightly, but he tried his best to hide it from the bodies around him.

The setting changes from Planet Arawath to Reike Expanse

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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The setting changes from Reike Expanse to Planet Arawath

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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Grim watched as more soldiers filed in from different places and briefings. ‘Quite a ragtag squad. Glad I don’t have to lead it.’ He mused to himself. He stood behind Bottles, arms crossed, knowing his position made Derek nervous. He kept turning around to look at Grim from his position sitting on a box.

“Keep giving me that look Bottles, and I will give you over to the Commissar.” Bottles reluctantly resumed observing squad. He kept glancing between the female Psyker, and the Ratling. Grim could see the question forming on his lips and said, “Don’t bother.”

Derek spun around this time, “You don’t-“

“Yes, I do. Drop it.” Grim interrupted. Doing a quick once over, he saw that he was almost completely clean. Derek had wiped himself down and looked presentable as well, though he had missed a couple grease marks on his chest.

“Believe me, it’s not worth the trouble and it shows your inexperience.” Grim muttered to Derek.

“But she’s-” Derek started. The las-gun on Grim’s shoulder perked up, and Bottles swallowed the rest of his sentence.

“Yes, she is, but that isn’t our problem at the moment. Besides, they wouldn’t allow her unless Command thought she was fit for duty.”

Derek nodded, and turned back to the briefing. “If we get split into two squads-“

“I’d still be stuck with you.” Extending the Mechadendrite, Grim be tinkered with it quickly before returning it to its position on his shoulder and re-crossed his arms.

“Do you think she really shot that soldier?” Derek said, indicating the Commissar as he and Grim saluted the sergeant.

Grim grinned, “Why don’t you go ask her?”

“I’m not stupid.” Derek huffed. He crossed his arms, unconsciously mirroring Grim.

Grim snorted, and put on a neutral face. “At least, not that much.” Derek said.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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Icarus Toroun

As more of the squad members filed in and conversations continued in their wait, Icarus was more than surprised that Solar had chosen to make him the second in command for the squad. While the malcontent of his new regiment was more than noticeable, he supposed that even a Hendrisian would overlook differences for the good of the mission. It was no pride on his part to bow his head to Solar and accept the position, not that he had a choice in the matter, but as he expected another of the squad members chipped in their say of disapproval. It was of course the other NCO, the commissar woman, who showed displeasure at his appointment.

He turned his attention and ears to the other people in the room, listening in on their conversations. To distract his body from shifting around too much, he unclips his knife from its sheeth on his hip and inspects it. He begins grinding it against a metal plate sown into the armor on the back of his forearm to sharpen it and adds the unease of the scrapping sound to the room. He only stops sharpening the knife when Solar speaks up and begins the briefing. Just to make sure he gets the most out of the material he takes his communicator out of his left ear and lets it hang over his shoulder to make sure he is not interrupted by a surprise broadcast.

As he stood there, Icarus mentally compared each and every soldier and support unit in the room. He tried to figure out what the best strategy would be to best utilize all of their skills and experience into a combat situation. It was something he often did even in the midst of low stress combat so he would be better prepared to command or fight along side these soldiers when it would be needed most. It was also one of the reasons he had survived so long. For this particular lot, distraction and fire support would be one of the best plans against large packs of enemy orks, and he knew all too well the little green buggers loved to stick in large groups.

The setting changes from Planet Arawath to Warhammer 40k

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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'Well damn,' Quin thought to himself, watching the Psyker walk away without answering him. 'I should probably learn her name before addressing her.' He frowned at himself for his lack of tact, especially when dealing with someone who could obliterate them all at the drop of a hat.

He decided it wise to address the Commissar's concerns quickly as well, facing a similar powder-keg to the Psyker. "Of course, Commissar. We'll be certain to address your opinion of tactical situations, conditions permitting." Quin was hard-pressed to make sure he didn't sound condescending, or patronizing. He legitimately wanted her to know he appreciated her previous experience, even if he was terrified what that might entail for him if he ever disagreed. He was also careful to ensure that by saying we, Sergeant Toroun was accountable as well.

But for the moment he had been saved from further scrutiny by the mission orders. He could hear the other Sergeants and squad leaders beginning their briefings, and figured he was ready as well.

Ignoring the burble of his squad around him, Quin took a data-slate from his belt. Sure enough the orders were listed, as well as brief details of everyone in his squad.

"Alright Squad," Quin started, breaking his relative silence with a power on his tone. "I want everyone to form a line. Let me look at the rabble Command has seen fit to set at my disposal!" He threw his gaze around, waiting for everyone to get in line; with a quickness. Two Sergeants and a Commissar should instill a great deal of fear in a man, rookie or no.

Troopers Augustus Jorn and Kyrus Darrien had formed up in the line, same as the others; this seemed to be their element, doing as they were told, being in formation, and preparing to give their lives for the Emperor.

One could only hope they served that purpose well.


---------

"Let me begin by introducing myself to those unfamiliar with me. I am Sergeant Quin Solar, of Osprey Squad. The sole surviving member of said squad, as it happens." He grimaced, looking around at the group. "But today we're not fighting Tyranids, for which I am thankful, at least. Today we're fighting the most common and hated of enemies to the Imperium of Man; Orks."

He took a moment to browse his data-slate. "Standing with me is Commissar Cassandra Rascal. She'll be attached to our squad to ensure that we function cohesively as a team." He didn't feel the need to say what would happen if they failed to meet that requirement; even the most green recruit knew what a Commissar was meant to do in the face of failure.

Quin then gestured to Icarus, who would presumably be standing at the front 'end' of the line. "Sergeant Icarus Toroun," he continued, "Will be acting as official second in command in the event of my death, a necessity to split the squad into fireteams, or if Commissar Rascal sees fit."

"Belva Clarette," he said, looking around for the Psyker woman; hopefully finding her hovering somewhere behind the line, as befitting her function. "Is a Psyker. For those among you who don't know, she is to be protected as high-priority. Be mindful and treat her with care." He paused for a moment, ensuring he did not sound unsettled at the prospect. "Trooper Augustus Jorn, it will be your specific duty to ensure she remains alive and well," he said, pointing out the youthful-looking soldier. He flashed the Aquila in response, albeit without the full gusto he may have given a more appealing order.

"Father Simon Yates is our resident Priest." Quin was more or less deadpan with this delivery, having shifted to it directly from an order. "Trust and honour him and he will guide us with the Emperor's Light."

"Lastly we have the Techpriest, Lucretia Godwinne, who will be ensuring that our special equipment and any vehicles we find remain intact and properly functioning." He did not point out said Techpriest; he would be obvious enough, with his mechadendrite and significant augmentation.

Quin paused again, taking a moment to read from his data-slate. "That is all we have in the terms of specialists and commanders. The rest of the squad is filled out by Troopers Augustus Jorn, Kyrus Darrien, Derrek Pen, Alex Elashne, and Caccia Scinia." Quin's face twisted slightly in disappointment; the squad was over half specialists and commanders, after a fashion. He continued reading into the briefing, and eventually sighed.

"Now, on to the briefing," he carried on, scarcely allowing the troops time to think about breaking line.

"The 501st will be descending planet-side shortly. We will be dropping through the atmosphere with Valkyrie armoured transports, where we will be subject to acrid smoke from nearby volcanic activity, and possibly enemy anti-aircraft fire."

"From that point we will jump from our aircraft and begin descend via Grav-chute into a former mining colony. The area is expected to be under Orkish control, judging by the amount of modification to structures and geography that the area has undergone. Most of the 501st will be making ground-fall in or nearby to known Anti-Aircraft positions, in the hopes that they can be taken out. Anyone that fails to make their drop points, or finds them relocated or otherwise does not land in one, will be expected to hunt down and eliminate any fortified positions."

"After this point, the area will be considered under Imperial control and can be made into a temporary base of operations, from which further drop missions may take place."

Quin placed the data-slate back on his belt, and turned to open the footlocker at his personal bunk- similar to all the others, but in this case filled with his kit.

"The Grav-chute mentioned is this," he explains, taking a large device from the locker. Folded up, it was about the size of a Vox-pack, but after unfolding it and strapping himself to it, it was shown to be less bulky; a power unit with two 'wings', each with a low impulse grav thruster attached.

"These allow an un-assisted descent to be considerably less fatal. Aside from that, they'll allow a soldier to make slightly higher jumps. This planet is possessed of a higher than normal gravity, and so our landing is still probably going to hurt. Each of you will of course be issued one, and given a brief crash-course on proper use."

Next, he pulled a long cloak, and a skin-tight black suit out of his locker. The cloak at the moment was black; but a close eye would indicate that it shifted slightly to match the background of Sergeant Solar's grey-red uniform.

"This suit is a survival suit, and again each of you was issued one upon entering the 501st's care. This is what will allow us to survive the descent, and the volcanic landscape itself, with anything approaching comfort. It is in essence a temperature regulating measure, as well as a sweat reconstitution device. As with all of your kit, you are expected to treat it well, as it will save your life."

He placed the suit on his bunk, then flashed the cloak. "And this is a Chameleoline Cloak. The Techpriest could tell you more about how it works probably, but all I can tell you is exactly what it's good for; blending you into your surroundings."

Quin threw that on the bed as well, and then crossed his arms. "We have about an hour before we need to be on dropships. Get your kit and get properly suited up, and I'll be meeting you there."

He looked to the Commissar briefly, to ensure she did not have anything to add; and then to the Priest, in case he wanted to say anything inspiring- and lastly to the other Sergeant, seeing as he would be official second in command.

"Dismissed," Sergeant Solar declared, once he was certain there were no more words to say. If the grunts had anything they wanted from him, they could catch him as he made his way to the door.

The setting changes from Warhammer 40k to Planet Arawath

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Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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The Commissar hardly moved when the order to fall in was given. She managed to position herself to the side, angled so she could hear the Sergeant as well as stare down the line. It wasn't lost on her how it separated herself from the rest of the squad, and she was used to the tact Solar used to not only shift blame to the zealot with his specific use of "we" as well as mentally separate herself from the rest of the squad. So it's another us versus them issue. Splendid. It was better that way; it was her job to be feared, not accepted like one of the damn choir boys and their flowing robes and tapestries.
Rascal had her arms crossed tightly. She towered over the rest of the congregation, easily able to see everyone as Sergeant Solar pointed them out. She was already aware of the squad's composition, simple information about each member, and had compiled her own hierarchy of threats, starting with the Psyker. She looks like she's already been burnt half to death. Maybe I'll do her the kindness of drilling her head with something other than incendiary ammunition, she mused.

Simon fell into line easily along the rest of the soldiers without preference to who he stood by. He slung his flamer casually around his shoulder on a lanyard and let it turn around his leg as he stood at attention. He wasn't so well disciplined as the rest of the line that he didn't twist his head to look at each person in turn-or tried to.
"Is there a kink in your neck, trooper?" The Commissar asked tersely.
"No ma'am."
"You didn't sleep funny?"
"No ma'am."
"You aren't working the heebee-jeebees out?"
"No ma'am."
"Then stand at at-fucking-tention!"
The Cleric suppressed a smile as he straightened himself. He knew (or at least thought) the Commissar wasn't trying to single him out, an impression most soldiers got the first time they were chewed out by one; he was simply made an example to keep everyone else in line, a purpose he was happy to serve.
The Commissar looked at the Sergeant, unapologetically, waiting for him to continue.

Cassandra waited politely for the Sergeant to finish his speech. When he looked at her, she did opt to chime in: "Your Chameleoline will hide you from the enemy, but not from me. As soldiers of the Imperium of Man, we do not cower, and we do not hide. I expect you act that way."
When it was Simon's turn to speak, he smiled and turned to address as much of the room at one time as he could. "If all else fails: duck. As a defensive stratagem it's unreliable, but incredibly reassuring for a moment or two."
Neither the Commissar nor the Cleric had cause to question the strategy. They were dropping to secure a beachhead (of sorts) for further invasion. Neither had used grav shoots before, but Rascal was determined to master it and Simon was excited to try it. He nodded to the Sergeant, and when he was dismissed he left the line to change into his battle gear.
The Commissar's greatcoat was already prepared for the operation (she opted not for the clothing option; she preferred the comfort, status, and protection her great coat offered), but she needed to don the all-terrain clothing. Rather casually she slipped out of her uniform, changed her underclothes for the all-terrain survival variety, then pulled her boots, great coat, hat, and sash back on. "...so what the hell does the five-oh-first do for fun before deployment?"

The setting changes from Planet Arawath to Warhammer 40k

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Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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#, as written by Taunbon
Bel watched the troops gather into a line, but she didn't move, staying in her corner leaning on her staff. The summons wasn't really for her, she wasn't 'one of the troops' and her standing in the line would imply more than she desired and would only serve to put off some of the other guard. Unlike many of the others, her position in the regiment could change at any time, her 'attachment' changing at a whim depending on where people thought her skills would best be of use, but she wasn't a guardswoman. Her position was much like that of the Commissars, just without the perks.

She watched Sergeant Solar start his briefing, bowing her head slightly to show she was listening when he called her name and pointed out to everyone, as if they didn't know, of her status. 'Treat her with care', or perhaps, 'do not shoot her' would have been preferable. It wouldn't have been the first time someone had almost shot her for displaying her abilities... usually around the local PDF forces when their presence had been needed. Her grip tightened once more on her staff as he gave her a handler. He gave her a handler. Not just anyone to watch her and 'keep her safe' but a green recruit. The boy was more likely to get her killed while she was keeping him alive than the other way around.

Bel opened her mouth to let Sergeant Solar know just how little she cared for the idea of a 'handler' especially one that was inexperienced when staying by the Commissar, well within boltpistol range, would be more then suitable when said Commissar started to tear into the priest for not standing at attention. Seeing the flamer carrying priest being reprimanded brought a small tug to the corner of her lips and her previous frustration and annoyance at being given a handler was momentarily shoved to the back of her mind to enjoy the rare spectacle.

The sergeant briefed them on their equipment, and it seemed the time to make her opinion known had left her while she was enjoying the spectacle. The news about having to done the 'suit' on almost all deployments was an unwelcome one, she had assumed she would only need it on worlds that required it, but luck, or fate, was not on her side. While she had never used a grav-chute before, she was not as worried as others would be in her situation. If the worst came, she would have to use her power to levitate and lower herself, safely, to the ground.

With that short explanation done, he made his leave. She wasn't sure where he had to go that was of so much importance. Most of her time was spent wandering the ship, staying in her room, or, when she was lucky, meeting with the Astropath for a halfway pleasant conversation. Movement caught her eye, and she turned her head, her eyes widening as the commissar started to disrobe and change in the middle of the room. Bel clutched the front of her robes hiding her burned flesh, instantly becoming uncomfortable with the situation. Whatever it was this unit 'did for fun' was none of her business.

But before she could step, yet another figure decided to try and talk to her. For a moment, her heart skipped fearing that she would have yet another encountering with the flamer toting priest, until she looked down and saw the ratling, the sub-human, from before asking her what her name was. Her eyes narrowed at the question. The sergeant had said her name, not moments ago, had he not been paying attention? Was he trying to trick her? Was this some sort of game or bet that the other troopers put him up to? No matter what it was, she was having none of it as she needed to change, and change in private, "Psyker," she said, giving her title as a name.

With that, she took her leave, her staff accompanying her footsteps as she headed back towards her room to change her clothes for the deployment.

The setting changes from Warhammer 40k to Planet Arawath

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Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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Icarus Toroun

Icarus listened to the briefing on their next mission, taking in as much information as he could before they were dismissed. He expected the area they were dropping into would be hot with orks, but flying right on top of the anti-aircraft guns would be near suicide. Either way, it was not up to him. All he had to do was survive until he got to the surface and hopefully not get scattered around in the wind and separated from the rest of the squad.

As soon as they were dismissed Icarus left the room along with everyone else and went to his quarters in order to get ready for the drop. He knew what he needed, the under armor suit and the grav-chute and the rest of his equipment. Strapping his Las-gun onto his back and checking all his straps one last time, he was finally ready and headed for the hanger. It was not hard to ask around for which Valkyrie would be taking them down to the planet and stood outside the back end as he corrected a few errors the repair personnel had made. He would hate for something on the airship to go wrong before they even left orbit.

He waited for the rest of the squad to show up and in the meantime spoke to some of the other squads waiting next to nearby Valkyries and made idle chatter. He learned more about the Hendrisi regiment and their ideals, their history and of course how they felt about other regiments being added into their own. At the last subject they seemed uneasy since Icarus himself was from another squad, but eventually he convinced them to say their piece, which was of course a negative response to the other regiments. Laughing Icarus put them at ease with a joke about how he did not like the situation either. He thought that now the Hendrisians wouldn't be so silent around him.

As other members of his assigned squad started to arrive he moved back over to their Valkyrie and hung out around the back. "Form a line next to me, and wait for Sergeant Solar to arrive. You are at ease until then." He had to repeat this to each person who came in as they arrived until either the Commissar or Solar showed up. He did not wish to give out orders with Solar there, nor did he want the Commissar getting snappy with him.

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Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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The good Father Yates was afforded was his own quarters, though he would have been just as comfortable (if not more) sleeping and sharing a living space with the rest of the 501st, or at the very least the squad he would be guiding in the light of the Emperor.
Simon changed quickly, exchanging his robes for the all-terrain clothing and battle armor he would need. He ran brushes of various sizes down the barrel, through the heat-bleeding holes, and all the connecting nozzles and ports of his flamer. His laspistol received less nurturing attention but was similarly quickly cleaned and inspected before being stowed on his hip. He threw a good book, corners well folded and dogeared from multiple reads, as well as clothes and an extra tank for his flamer in his bag, which was thrown over his shoulder opposite the flamer. He left his room holding the strap of his bag in one hand and his staff in the other. Soon the words and symbols of the Imperium of Man would be affixed to her, inspiring courage in his men and fear in the enemy.

The Commissar watched the psyker, cleric, and the cleric wannabe leave while she changed in full view of the rest of the barracks. She didn't care what the grunts thought, half expecting them to gawk at the briefly nude woman (it wasn't the first time she'd been assigned to an all-male regiment, and testosterone-jacked deathworlders like herself tended to have negative reactions to the unexpected) but hoping to make it out of the barracks unaccosted.
Rascal stalked her way down the halls of the ship towards the hangar, running into Simon as he exited his room. "Father," she acknowledged flatly as she passed, not trying to strike any kind of conversation. She scowled when the holy man fell into step beside her. "Commissar Rascal." He offered her a smile. "You look good in your new duds."
She raised a brow. "That's a highly inappropriate observation of a commanding officer."
Simon chuckled. "I'm not making a pass at you. The black fire-retardant material poking past the collar of your uniform and the material of your laces reminds me of a librarian on Theatris. One day her printer caught fire, and ever since she replaced her boot laces with the same Darapat primary blend so she'd have something safe to stomp on it if it ever went up in smoke again. She wore the same shade of motled black a lot. She said she liked the color ever since she read a trilogy by an author named-"
"You really like to talk, don't you?"
"No. It's a ghastly slow and ineffective method of communication. Full of nuances no one really masters, and only ever understood by individuals who spend a life unable to find others with the same proclivity for pontification and poetry."
The Commissar didn't have a response to that (she wasn't entirely sure what the condescending erudite had said), but fortunately she didn't need one; they came to the psyker's door, where she stopped and waited for the nervous woman to shuffle out of. "You should get to the hangar, Deacon. I'm sure your squire boy is bored without you."
Simon opened his mouth to inform her he had no squire, but he understood what she meant. "Right. See you in formation, Commissar." He continued walking; the Commissar crossed her arms and waited for Belva.

Simon walked into the hangar. He stood on a catwalk, hands wrapped around the safety rail, leaning over, inspecting the dissaray of busy troops scrambling to prepare for the drop. Equipment was ferried past him; someone shouted at him to get out of the way until he stood and faced them; a young flight deck attendant nearly tripped over his clipboard and mumbled a quick "Sorry, father" before scurrying away. Membership in the Ecclesiarchy came with the benefit of deferred treatment, something Simon could appreciate (and occasionally take advantage of) but regretted when it caused the discomfort or interruption of someone's work. He turned away from the impressive view of all the aircraft and descended a stair case to the flight deck. He walked quickly, having no difficulty in identifying the Pilgrim's peculiar armor.
Simon quickly adjusted the litanies of his station. He made sure the cloth of his faith hanging over either of his shoulders and down his chest was straight and clean before approaching. As instructed, he fell into line. "...so how do these Emperor-granted grav-chutes work?"

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Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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#, as written by Taunbon
Bel let her eyes roam around the empty metal room, her personal sanctuary, or her personal prison, sanctuary and prisons were often one and the same their meaning only dependent on the mood of its occupant. Moving to her small, uncomfortable bed, she dropped her bag and started digging through it, tossing out what she didn't feel she needed and leaving what she did until she removed the two items she would need, the terribly uncomfortable looking bodysuit and the cloak.

It took more time than she would ever admit to anyone to get the bodysuit on, fighting down the chills as the thin, constrictive membrane pulled and tugged her dead, burnt flesh. Bel had an extremely strong urge to itch, to pull, to yank, or otherwise, move the suit as it clung to her body far tighter than she liked. It seemed while they gave her over sized suits of everything else, they gave her a slightly smaller bodysuit... or she had put on weight, but she preferred to think it was the former. She tugged at the cloth gripping her stomach in a doomed effort to get the material to stop clinging so tightly to her, but it did not yield. She gave a small huff of defeat, she would just simply have to get used to the constrictive clothing.

The rest was far easier, slipping back on the fatigues and the over-sized flak vest, and stopping to fiddle with it to keep it from sliding down her shoulders, fastening the laspistol to her hip, and the large cloak that pooled on the ground around her feet; she was as ready as she would ever be. She cringed as the suit pulled on her flesh when she bent down to scoop up her lightened pack and slung it over her shoulder, yes, she dearly hoped getting shot at would help her forget the immense discomfort the damnable suit was giving her.

Taking up her staff, she pulled the hood over her head and left her room, the cloak dragging on the ground behind her which she pretended to ignore. Not everyone could be a massive commi...

Bel blinked in surprise as said massive commissar was waiting in the hallway... outside her door, "Commissar," Bel greeted neutrally, hiding her surprise with practiced ease, "I apologize for keeping you waiting," she said, reaching up with her free hand to move a lock of her dark hair to cover her burnt cheek.

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Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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After the Sergeant had left the room, the rest of the squad milled about taking whatever last rites they felt necessary before the drop. Both Troopers Jorn and Darrien had remained, being both familiar with the procedures of planetary drop, and already having most of their equipment on-hand.

Both troopers were pleased enough that the Commissar had not selected them for the chewing out; it was never something that was pleasant. Regardless, once the briefing was over, an air of camaraderie with those present became noticeable; it was a funny thing, getting to know people moments before either you or them were probably about to die.

Augustus Jorn had been preparing to greet his 'charge', the Psyker Belva; unfortunately for him, she was removed from the situation by the discomforting presence of the Ratling.

If he was honest with himself he hadn't noticed the loathsome little creature until that moment, but that didn't change the fact he was more than a little annoyed. "Oi," he called, directed towards Alex.
"What's the idea, bothering her? Didn't you pay attention to the briefing? She's a bloody Psyker, and her name is Belva Clarette." He frowned at the Ratling and shook his head. "You try to pickpocket her or anything like that and you'll have my gun down your throat before you can say 'Snatched', got it?" The man's inexperience was matched only by Alex's seemingly similar disposition, and so he felt justified in talking down to the abhuman.

With his threat in the open, Augustus strode off to prepare for the drop.

Kyrus was gathering items from his bunk; unlike the fresh-faced Augustus, Kyrus seemed to have some years under his belt at least, even if it wasn't spent as a soldier. In response to the Commissar's muted musings, he shrugged. He then realized this was perhaps an official inquiry coming from an officer, and stood erect. "I do not know, Commissar. This will be my first official drop, Commissar. I would assume weapon maintenance, as dictated per the Primer, Commissar." After this he paused for a moment, then cleared his throat.

"As designated Vox-trooper, I should go and ensure that my kit is at one-hundred-percent efficiency, Commissar. Thank you, Commissar." He then flashed the full Aquila, both hands crossed over his chest and his fingers splayed out, like wings. And then he departed quickly.

The rest of the squads in the barracks began departing to their own preparations, and a ship-wide alert would be heard;
"All Guardsmen, planetary drop will be proceeding in half an hour."


Artisan of War, Imperial Warship; 2nd Company Launch Bay
3530 Arawathan Time: 30 Minutes to Midnight



It was a strange mood in the launch bays. Lines of 2nd Company Valkyries were prepared to dock with the considerably larger Devourer dropships that would bring them into the atmosphere; and from there, disembark again and beging the flight run.

The soldiers were busy speaking with one another; getting to know their new companions. For the most part it was an uncomfortable air, many of the recent recruits were either completely green, or had never been on a drop before. Either way, Death Worlders do not make the most comforting companions, and so it was a tense and dire feeling that permeated the room.

Solar Squad, as it was called due to its Sergeant, was setting up near their designated Valkyrie. The Imperial Navy Pilot of the craft was performing initial cold checks, and Icarus was standing by with the two Troopers. Both were fully kitted out, aside from their Chameloline cloaks, which they had opted to don after landing, to spare them the ash clouds.

Kyrus was wearing a large vox-pack on his chest, due to the grav-chute on his back. The Vox-pack meant he would likely be near the Sergeant at all times, in order to ensure the chain of command was not broken, and communications would remain intact.

Augustus, meanwhile, was wearing a considerably larger grav-chute than the others, with four impulse nozzles instead of the normal two. The conspicuous barding on the front would imply that it was meant to be occupied by two.

When Sergeant Solar arrived, both of the Troopers saluted him with precision. "Stand-by, gentlemen," he rumbled. He'd keep them at attention until the rest of the Squad arrived. If the rest of the party was late, he'd keep them at attention until it was time to jump.


When the rest of the unit had arrived- the Support Specialists, Caccia, Alex, and Bottles, there was another member with the group as well; a veteran soldier of the 501st. He introduced himself as Praetus Nicodemus, and saluted the Sergeant before moving into position with the others.

"Ma'am," Augustus said to Belva, flashing her an Aquila. "As your assigned protector, I took the liberty of requisitioning a higher impulse Grav-chute, in case you were not comfortable attempting landing on your own." He more or less left it at that; he had the device, and was going to go down with it regardless of her option.


Everyone would have been given the basic training necessary to utilize the grav-chutes. The gist of the training was essentially; Don't turn it on until you've got your legs facing down, or you'll just accelerate ground-side. Aside from that there was not much to say about the assault until it was time. Sergeant Solar was kind enough to offer stimulants or nerve stabilizers for those who had never been on a drop before; which was most outside of the 501st at this point, and even then most of the new Guardsmen accepted some.

Ten minutes before launch, the Valkyries were loaded into the Devourer dropships, and the comparative darkness of the two decks filled with Valkyries settled in.

Darkness and the sounds of powerful engines roaring to life.

Twelve minutes of this, and then planetary entry turbulance, a familiar feeling for every soldier. As it abated, Sergeant Solar, who was sitting near the back of the Valkyrie, stood up and looked towards the eleven soldiers, specialists, and officers in the Valkyrie.

"Pre-mission check," he bellowed.
"Comm-beads," he stated as an inquiry, tapping his and ensuring that each soldier spoke to verbally verify its activity.
"Respirators on," he commanded, pulling his up and setting it on his face; each was in essence a full face mask.
"Test fire Grav-chutes." The soft thrumming of their packs would reverberate through the hull; around them, the soldiers would hear the other Valkyrie squads going through similar procedures.
"Weapons checks!" Each Guardsman was expected to keep their firearms at the ready the moment combat became a possibility. As soon as the Valkyries broke free of the dark hulks that were the Devourer dropships, they could potentially come under Ork fire.

For better or worse that moment came very quickly. A loud grinding sound erupted from an overhead array, and the exterior bay doors began to recede into the walls. Immediately ash and heat bombarded the Valkyries, and their occupants; these Valkyries had no closing doors, no mounted weapons, and only the bare minimum of armor. Speed was their strong suit; speed and the ability to operate in the hostile conditions to which they were about to be subjected.

The roar of the dropship's engines were then rivaled by those of the Valkyries, lifting off from two decks and speeding out either side of the behemoth vessel. They were above the largest of the ash clouds, and so there was no visibility and no Ork fire.

Within moments they were airborne and moving through the sky. Hundreds of other Valkyries would be seen flanking their own; from behind, the five Devourers that had delivered each Company were dispensing the ships, and beginning to make their way back space-ward.

Despite the darkness, their eyes would acclimatize quickly; not that there was anything to see. The Valkyries were slowly descending towards the immense sea of ash below; others within visibility had already fallen into the clouds.

Soon it was their turn. Falling through the ashes was no small feat, and more akin to submerging into a liquid environment with how thick it was. Darkness was absolute in the cloud, and the sounds of screaming winds and the dull thrums of the Valkyrie engines leaving them isolated from the rest of the world.

The loud 'thra-koom' of a detonation could be heard from below. Scattered, bright tracers zipped through the clouds, briefly illuminating other Valkyries making their descent. They were at a slight angle, using the clouds to get as close to above the target locations without passing overhead as possible.

And then their Valkyrie passed through the cloud; spotlights and fires were visible below, as well as the outlines of the immense structures of their targets. When more and more Valkyrie craft became visible, the volume of fire coming to meet them increased as well; and the source of the immense explosion from before could be seen, as a large plume of smoke and flame rose from the north-most part of the complex.

In a few moments a huge ball of flame and metal flew past the fleet of Valkyries, revealing them just as the spotlights.

Rockets and large shells flew up to meet the invasion. The Orks were well prepared, but not well enough, as few of the craft were actually hit at this altitude.

"Be prepared to jump on my command," Solar shouted.

The setting changes from Planet Arawath to Warhammer 40k

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Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal
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The Commissar raised an arm and moved her finger to indicate the psyker was to follow her. In case it wasn't clear, as she passed the woman she said "Come with me." She walked with considerable purpose, boots clacking against the deck. She expected the psyker to keep pace. "I wasn't waiting for you," she lied. "It was a matter of convenience." They turned a corner (or at least the Commissar did; she would have waited with almost palpable impatience without Belva), bringing them to an empty corridor and onto a circuitous route to the hangar.
"You've been assigned a handler." The statement was blunt and factual, but the Commissar knew how to make it sound more like a question than an observation. "He is new. He isn't experienced with psykers. And he's a few pay grades below knowing what a fuck-up you can turn our operation into." She also knew how to turn observations into thinly-veiled threats. "I'm not. So watching your ass is as much my priority as it is his. I value what your capabilities mean to the survival of the squad and the success of our mission. I will be over your shoulder at all times ground-side. That is as much for your protection as it is everyone else's. I trust you understand what I mean." The hand resting on the hilt of her bolt pistol wasn't meant to be subtle in any way. "What I say supersedes your handler and if I say shit I expect you to ask me how much and what color."

When the Commissar approached their drop-ship, she let her displeasure be known. The Pilgrim had put them in line but let them slack at-ease? "And when the fuck did the Emperor command that his soldiers stand around like the lazy fucks their drill sergeants had trained them not to be?" She expected the whole squad (Pilgrim included) to snap to attention. The other squads that knew what was good for them didn't look in the yelling Commissar's direction. Somehow her voice managed to get carried over the boots-on-metal, grunting, and yelling that came from the rest of the hangar preparing for their drop. "You'll have time to stand at-ease when you're dead, and if this is how you wannabe troopers prepare for a drop I expect that to be damn well soon. Deacon! If you can't show me which one of your hymns commands the Holy Rollers to slack-off I'll have you standing at attention in your sleep. Pilgrim! Is this how you control the men?" She finally reached the squad; that it took her that was testament to the size of the hangar as well as her dedication to yelling. "Do you see any of these other squads milling around wasting their damn time standing at-ease with their thumbs up their asses? Why aren't all of your men's gear stowed yet?" She didn't pause while she figured out how to don her grav-chute. "We're the Imperial Guard not the Limperially Disabled! You may as well have ordered them to put on their night gowns and give their nearest soldier a handjob with how much work they're getting down right now." She took the psyker's bag and her own up the ramp and set them next to each other inside the drop ship. She stomped back down, adjusting her hat. "If I ever catch any of you standing around while there's a mission to prepare for I will shoot you for criminal neglect. There is always a weapon to inspect, armor to clean, a deck to swab, or... I don't care if you're checking your boyfriend's asshair for lice, but I better fucking see you doing something. Am I understood?!"
Simon tried to suppress a smile. It was difficult. "Yes Commissar. Always vigilant, always moving. In the field of battle and when preparing to enter it!"

When Praetus arrived, the Commissar looked him over. Whatever she thought was not revealed by her emotionless face. "Well? Fall in already." She listened to Augusts offer the special 'chute to the psyker but had no reaction. She stood nearby watching the squad, now either at attention or busying itself with something, until the Sergeant finally arrived.

The Commissar's arrangement of her equipment and Belva's had been particular, to ensure she was right behind the psyker in the drop order. The Cleric was right before her, eager to be the first to jump. Their proximity gave Rascal the opportunity to lean close to Belva and (in the eerie darkness and not-silence of the dropship's belly) say, "I'm right behind you. Every step." Whether they were comforting words or a threat was for Belva to decide.
The Cleric genuinely offered what he intended to be far more comforting words. After the pre-drop check (which was answered by both him and Rascal with a series of "Check, check, check"'s), he spoke clearly and calmly:
"Every human being has a place within the God-Emperor's divine order, and embracing that place wholly and totally with one's mind, body, and spirit allows us to walk in the Emperor's light. It is the duty of the faithful to unquestionably obey His authority, to purge the stars of the unfaithful, of heresy, of the inhuman. Today, we have the considerable honor of fulfilling our roles, our functions as the righteous weapons of the Emperor. To strike down the wickedness of Ork kind, a blasphemous, dark plight that poses no threat to the true servants of His will. In His name, with His glory and guiding light, we-the faithful soldiers forged in His fire in His name for His empire-will be victorious. Wholly, swiftly, completely, honorably victorious. That is our reward for our service." He paused, letting those words settle over his fellow soldiers. "Ten thousand years ago a considerable undertaking began, one that has yet to be completed. One day the Emperor will rise from his Golden Throne on Holy Terra and complete the grand quest in which we are now lucky participants. It will be a time of salvation and deliverance; we will become one with the Emperor, and all the evil will be expelled from our galaxy, locked in the Warp, then utterly and completely destroyed, purged from existence. It is then that the God-Emperor will sit in judgement of all Mankind, and those who lack faith in Him will be damned for all eternity, suffering a fate worse than what any Ork or damned servant of Chaos could possibly even conceive to threaten.
"That is the Imperial Truth. And only our adherence to it and our unshakable faith in the God-Emperor will allow those who today or in the coming times of hardship die in the glory of battle to join the great path to Salvation directly. You will join the Emperor and alongside him you will become fellow guardians of mankind, bulwarks against the evils of the Warp. Do not fear death. It is not permanent; it is, for the holy and righteous, transcendence to an even higher calling. But for now your duty is to stay at the shoulders of your compatriots and give these Orks one Hell of a beating."

The setting changes from Warhammer 40k to Planet Arawath

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Icarus "Pilgrim" Toroun Character Portrait: 501st Hendrisi Deadland Regiment Character Portrait: Grim Character Portrait: Caccia Scinia Character Portrait: Bottles Character Portrait: Father Yates Character Portrait: Belva Clarette Character Portrait: Commissar Rascal Character Portrait: Alex
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Icarus Toroun

Icarus was pulled out of his own thoughts by the yelling complaints of the Commissar. Her loud voice pierced his mental images like flames in the darkness. He opened his eyes and found her yelling her way across the hanger. She did not just reprimand him however, it was the whole squad as well. Her words however blamed him for their issues. He only had one reaction, which he saved for after she had finished her rantings. He laughed, not too loudly but enough to be heard by the squad. It was a friendly one and seemed almost like an acceptance of the Commissar's words instead of anything insulting.

As soon as Solar and the last members of the squad arrived Icarus took his place in the Valkyrie, directly across from the Commissar no less. He almost smiled but contained himself for the moment. As the darkness closed in, Toroun became at piece once again. The fly down from orbit made his mind focus on the task at hand. He was almost an entirely different person on the battlefield and it was starting to turn over in his skull. He followed the pre-drop check and spoke when required, moved where and when required for it, almost like he was hypnotized into the act.

After the cleric finished his mid-flight sermon Icarus called out the regular response of his regiment with: "For His Shining Light." It wasn't very loud, but the lack of anyone else responding likewise gave Icarus a small amount of homesickness for his old regiment. That was soon swept away however as the orbital ship's bay doors slid open and the Valkyrie's began to disembark. Looking out at the landscape it seemed much like the interior of his home planet. Ash filled, desolate and filled with dangers. He waited for the first shots to be fired, and as they started to sound off from below he fully entered his combat mentality.

He got ready to jump out by unharnessing himself from the Valkyrie so he was no longer attached to the inside of the airship and hung onto a support bar above his head as he leaned towards the opening, ready to dive out at a moments notice but still in his place and not obstructing those around him.