An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-21 03:43am

"So"? Bloch asked. He knew that there would be a huge expendature if the band and their support staff decided to go ahead with the project. With an accountants eyes he could see the bottom line flying far into the distance and the inevitable invoices that would keep his accounts team busy for an age.

They looked at each other, looking each other clearly in the face, there was no doubt, the 6 Germans and the Imperial citizen.

"Yes".

----

Close to the new year

For Immediate Release

From: Pilgrim Management DE

This Morning, Rammstein and Imperial playwrite Detlef Sierk confirmed that they will embard on a multimedia project worthy of the ages.
More than just a Staged Play, More than a Rock concert, this will combine Sierks incredible theatrical story telling with Rammstein's epic stage show.
Till Lindermann is quoted as follows "We are greatly looking forward to this project, it will be a blending of the Old world, the new world, the Empire and the Bundesrepublik, it will be the forces of six combined the the mind of one"
Detlef Sierk is quoted as follows "From the moment I saw their show I knew that they could be the only possible ones to match the vision I have, and they have done so beyond words. This show will be utterly like nothing seen on either world before".

The projected due date for the show is September by the old Calendar, and will be held at an especially constructed venue on the border of Germany and the Empire.
We are expecting to release both an album and DVD with the option of cinematic screenings at selected venues.

The show has moved into the pre production phase and casting will begin immediately.

Please forward all press & publicity enquiries to Press.rammstein@pilgrim.de
For all non publicity show related queries, we have 2 addresses for you - production.staff@Rammstein.de and commercial.show@pilgrim.de

Ende
----

Brandenburg, later that morning.

"Good Morning, my name is Sebastian, how can I help you"?
"Sebastian, Alex, I've had the most insane call from Chris, I mean REALLY insane, what time do you finish"?
"2 today, I have to take Emmi to the dentist"
"OK, ring me afterwards, you are NOT going to believe this"
"Chris"?
"Lorenz"
"oh shit. Oh shit, this line is recorded. fuck it, personal call, swearing, I think I may be fired anyway. Scheisse, OK will call you later".

Tunnel deep below Altdorf, between Christmas and New Year

The explosion sent shockwaves through the soil, being absorbed differently by loam, sand water and stone. It shook the stones that made up the tunnel the being was standing in. At the end of its shockwaves arrived smaller waves that were probably from another explosion farther off-and then more of them, even less noticeable ones. The being was very sensitive to such vibrations as they made up an important part of the sensorium this far below and knowing them could make the difference between life and death.
The Warlock technician was sure that this could not be a good thing and decided that it was worth the risk contacting his clan superiors. Not reporting it might be punished – so would he if his superiors thought he was alarmist. Decisions, decisions.

Reiksbund Headquarters, Altdorf, shortly after New year

The Engineer was used to speak in front of audiences, but usually not so high-ranking ones. He still managed to give a workmanlike performance by working along his Power Point Slides.
“As you can see we have established a comprehensive picture of the geological situation under Altdorf by a series of drills where we removed a series of drill cores which were analyzed. This gave our echolocation attempts far greater accuracy as we can adjust for known materials.
We have taken an extensive series of explosions and measured the resulting shockwaves at several stations. As different materials absorb the shock waves differently we can establish a rough pictures of the structures under Altdorf. Comparing this picture with known structures like the viaducts allowed us to improve on that model with the last set of detonations.
This is the best picture we can give you by this method.

The new slide showed a roughly pie-shaped 3-dimensional body that was crisscrossed by various tunnels and other features. The deep channel of the Reik was immediately recognizable, as were several known tunnels and viaducts. There were several other smaller tunnels below the city in places. The most remarkable feature were a series on tunnels which led downwards from several places and led into a warren of smaller and bigger caves, connecting tunnels and less identifiable features.
“What the hell is that-looks like a rat warren written large.”
“We cannot tell you what it is Marshall Hellborg, but we can tell you what it is not. It is not filled with water, that is easily discernible on this kind of picture. So deep under the ground and in this soil means somebody must maintain these structures and actively pump them dry-and this is a major effort. We do not know who undertakes this effort, but it is worth investigating.”
“Thank you Herr Salovska, this was very interesting. Major Grube, please call a meeting of the Reiksguard City Detachment and the 1St Landwehr-I think we have some housecleaning to do.”

1St Landwehr Barracks, same time

Joakim Vos looked at the rifle in the hands of the Mauser representative with interest. It had a “spacey” futuristic look to it with very smooth lines and a bullpup layout. The magazine seemed very short and stocky and there was a lot of plastic and mounting rails throughout.
“Gentlemen, this is our proposal for the new Bundeswehr service rifle. As you know there are two other proposals about, the now-produced G-62 and another proposal using caseless ammo from Heckler&Koch. As you have seen a lot of combat recently and are probably about to see more we value your input highly and therefore will give you a couple of prototypes for testing and evaluation.
We use a Bullpup layout to shorten overall length. While we have a longer barrel the rifle is 15 cm shorter and weight the same fully loaded in spite of holding more ammo than the G62.
We use a new 7 mm telescoped round in an aluminum case. The 7 mm bullet is slightly lighter than the 7,63 mm ones you are used to, but they are faster so energy is mostly a wash.

As you can see the rounds are not perfectly circular in cross-section but have a slightly triangular one. That way we can put more rounds into the magazine. We have taken the old French 4-file magazines and improved a little-you now have 40 rounds. We went for telescopic rounds with case as they are easier to seal, leave less heat inside the weapon, are less likely to cook off in a hot weapon and stand water and general damage better. The telescopic case means we get away with a design where the new round pushes the old one out of the chamber-this cycle can work very fast.
You get single shot and full-auto at 600 rounds-per minute. But if you think a target is worth it, give it a 3-round burst. In that mode the rifle will shot at 1900 rounds/minute and the barrel/lock assembly will slide down inside the casing. You will feel the recoil only after the last bullet has left the barrel. The 3 bullets will hit within a Minute of Angle and drop a metric shitload of energy into your enemy. For most targets being hit like this is the equivalent to been hit by a 0,50” HMG round and in terms of internal ballistics even worse. As The Hague and Geneva are places in another universe you get a choice of ammo from ball via armor-piercing to frangible-the telescopic rounds allow them all.

We have two accessory rails on this one, so you can mount your choice of sighting devices. Below there is space for either a 40 mm grenade launcher or a shotgun.
Now let me show you….
The Landwehr Feldwebel was already looking to give this thing a spin. It looked like it had the same firepower as his current G8 but with far less weight.

Naggaroth, a few days later

Wolfgang Böhler had taken to riding like a fish to riding, which meant that he hung on his horse like a sack of flour, had anxiety attacks whenever a gallop was asked for and was always grateful when he got off. His posterior whished it would end all soon and he had not found a cure for the sore legs yet. And still he had to ride, it simply was a requirement to his duties as an officer of the Auxilia. So in his own fashion he clung to it and tried to improve which was hard and slow but had to be done.
He rode at the van of the marching column which was the Druchii Auxilia, a German heavy weapons platoon, some supply wagons and a small band. They went down the main “road” of Neustadt to the cheers and tears to the countrymen, slaves and spouses they left behind. Ludenka and her son waved a lot, other cheered or catcalled. When Wolfgang saw the children waving to Heiner Bruchmeier who handled their one-gun arty train he gripped the reins till the knuckles were going all-white. Most of the time he could ignore this, but when he was reminded of it his mental crosshairs were superimposed about his sight of the gunner.

Areta found that she was actually grateful for the band. They provided everybody with a marching rhythm that allowed them to eat up the kilometers. When the Germans had scheduled the first marches she had been pretty sure they would be cakewalks, everybody knew that true elves had more stamina than humans. True-until you load both up with roughly 30 kilogram of gear, then the greater strength of the humans came into play. She had puked on her first training march-twice-and the blisters on her feet she had gotten herself were of legendary size. At first she had not understood the reason for the heavy gear and the forced marches, but when things went along she realized that without a long supply train and slaves they could march a lot faster and in terrain that Druchii troops normally would never have used. She had not understood why the sniper and their sadistic drill sergeant called them “Marius` Mules” and was pretty sure that like a lot of the things they were called by the sergeant it was derogatory.
But after many marched miles she no longer got blisters, was able to pitch tent and erect field fortifications after a 30 kilometer march and do it again the next day. She was sure that she was so strong and fit as never before in her life and justly proud of it. Three days ago the Germans had ended a series of field problems and then had told the exhausted survivors that they had passed the training. They were no longer recruits-they were soldiers again. They might be mercenary-supporting soldiers, but soldiers. And after seeing what the German mercenaries could do she was not sure if supporting them was such a hindmost-tit task. In short-the Auxilia was proud of itself like hell.

They were able to march along one of the roads the Druchii used to connect their cities for now which allowed for a fast, easy march-for now. Their commander stopped at comparatively early hour as to get them into the march, so even after erecting camp there was at least some energy left. She was getting asleep inside her tent when she heard a quiet “Could you please grab my tit like pulling a trigger please-that is much better..” from the back. She tried to chuckle quietly while dozing off.

Charite`,Berlin, next morning

“You want me to disinfect what?” Berend Bruns, the male nurse responsible for the surgery No. 2 looked at the garment in the medics hands skeptically.
“This is a water-powered cooling vest. Look, we have two replantations today and two spinals-that is taxing as hell. And as I have reason to know-one gets mighty hot during that. I want to try if this helps, especially if we have to go full throttle. I checked the materials with the manufacturer, it should stand up to Incidin just fine-and if we trust that stuff to disinfect the stuff in direct contact with the Patient it should be enough for the vest I am going to wear under the garb anyway. Yes I´ll look like Quasimodo, who cares.”
“Ok, I`ll wipe it down then. If nothing melts you can wear it.”
“Thanks. I`ll get distilled water for the cooler then.”
“Oh Jesus.”
“Do you know where Dr. Manfred is?”
“What do you want from the Anesthetist? Cannot sleep?”
“Not my problem no. But we want to try a glucose infusion on me.”
“What`s next, Epo or Steroids?”
“Now there is a thought…no, just kidding. See you later and thanks.”

Reiksbund Headquarters, Altdorf alittle later

This time the presentation was held by Major Grube who had no problems at all presenting finding to the high muckety-mucks.
“We checked on the hints that we got from the Echolocation and we made a couple of rather astonishing discoveries. For example we found a number of very active ventilation shafts along the Reik`s banks where nobody was looking too closely. There are some shafts with considerable downdraft and several others are used as an exhaust for spend air.
That indicates a large, technologically active community down there. We also found two gutter outlets into the Reik which release considerably more water than the gutters themselves should produce.”
“Do we know who is down there?”
“Currently we only have leads Marshal, nothing definitive. I spoke to all Dawi ambassadors and they are adamant that they have nothing to do with it. As there are no substantial ore deposits down there it would make no sense either. On the other hand both the exhaust from two vents and the waters from one gutter contain minute amounts of Warpstone. That would indicate the Skaven”

“Oh Sigmar, the Rat-men. We cannot allow them under Altdorf, they are a terrible risk.”
“Indeed. Yet at presented we do not know enough, so I suggest a recognizance mission by the cave raiders so we have more information. We should be a little discreet at first.”
“Why?”
“Well, we are not sure that we have all ventilation shafts, but from the amount of methane and carbon dioxide in the exhaust we can give a rough estimate of the population in that Warren below. The number are not definitive, because we do not know the exact consumption per individual, but..”
“How many?”
“Well, within the indicated inaccuracies: We are pretty sure that there are more beings in that warren than in aboveground Altdorf.”

Forrest close to Altdorf, same time

Hauptmann Heinrich Hemmler pushed his spurs against the flanks of his horse and hunkered slightly lower to get some more speed from his horse. He could feel the resentment of his Wallach but it took up the pace to a very fast trot. They had to keep pace with “Sigfried”, one of the tanks that the Reiksguard could buy.
After seeing the escort tanks that the Germans had sold for the train Hammer and the video of the battle at Middenheim Marshal Helborg had wanted something like this for his Reiksguard. The tanks were build on a M113 hull and sported a Puma turret with a 30 mm cannon and "Spike" missiles.The more he saw of the modern German army the more clear it became that his Reiksguard had to reform, or they would soon only be useful for ceremonials guard posts.

When the offer for these tanks came in it became quite clear that the Reiksguard could only afford a few of them. Tracked infantry transports were simply out. They ordered very few M113 transports to pull their brand-new M101 guns but that was it. But normal infantry could not keep up with the tanks. The solution came from many discussions with the Germans, especially with the KSK troops that had more knowledge about what the Reiksguard could do or not do. They had suggested forming a unit of dragoons: Soldiers that could fight both mounted and as infantry. They could keep pace with the tanks easily and were much more flexible.

Because of his connection with the KSK he had been offered the job of commanding the Dragoons within the new Regiment. While his rank would stay for the moment it meant much more responsibilities and better visibility to the important people so he readily agreed. He was as unhappy as the next Reiksguard knight to turn in his lance and ditch some of his armor and he did not like the infantry training one bit. But he had seen what well-equipped infantry could do and he knew exactly that insisting to remain on the high horse always would only lead to defeat. He had seen what happened to heavy cavalry on a modern battlefield often enough now. He used this knowledge (and the fame won at Wolfenfels and the Dragon Scale he could wear) to convince his knights into agreeing to all those things they regarded as degrading and now things were getting together.
Oberst (Colonel) Wolf who led the Regiment knew what he had in him and backed him up to the hilt-that was very welcome for a change. He just hoped that this field exercise would show improvement, but so far things were looking good. A couple of weeks more and “Wolf`s Dragoons” would be ready for combat.

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Mechman
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Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-22 10:52am

Tunnel below Altdorf, same Date

The old Warehouse in the Harbor District of Altdorf was nothing special-at least not outwardly. The last days it had been rented by a German forwarder who had stashed some containers inside and had insisted that they remained sealed for the moment.
In front of them Jokim Vos was jumping up and down in place, which resulted in a faint tinkling somewhere on his harness . Identifying a carbine hook that had not yet been properly taped he applied another round of “Panzertape” as the German called duck tape. The next jumps were as soundless as he could make them-done. Next he checked his camouflage-a mass of very dark greens and grays-also done. Going back to the cellar below the building he found the part of his squad which had not just taken the silencer drill with him.
Jens Neugebauer, his chief nerd hung on two monitors in front of him.
“Hugin and Munin have shown nothing the last 20 Minutes Boss-it is still quiet.”
“Ok, that`s it-first troop go in”
The 4 dwarves of the first group were an incongruous sight-Clad in black armor with a carapace armor vest and a load bearing harness which held many high-tech items they kept their beards and eschewed the night-vision devices that their human companions preferred. Cradling a mixture of assault rifles and automatic shotguns they moved much more quietly than you would expect from such coarse-looking figures. They went into a hole that had been dug into the ground and used handholds placed into the walls of the freshly dug tunnel for exactly this purpose.

10 meters below their self-dug tunnel terminated in another one. This one was bigger, we and moldy and full or warm fetid air that moved quickly past them. The tunnel had a barely negotiable angle, so they did not need any ropes, but 2 of them still fastened them together with a fiber optic cable. The two not so employed at first made their way upwards till they met a rusted iron grille which terminated the tunnel barely above the level of their Reik. After making sure nothing lurked there they went downward past their comrades till they found the first of two drones that had been sent into the tunnel.
Getting backwards a little bit the Dwarf with the longest beard subvocalised into his throat microphone. “All is well but for the smell boss. There must be a million of the Thagoraki down there.”
“Stay put, we will come”

Minutes later the rest of the Cave Raider`s recon squad assembled in what they suspected to be a Skaven ventilation shaft. Sending the drone in front of them to the limits of its wireless range they checked if all was ok before proceeding.
When they doused the last lights they moved through the tunnel like ghosts-barely heard and none seen.
Joakim was by now an experienced tunnel rat, but still he did not feel totally comfortable. The sight through his NVG googles was monocolor and lacked depth perception and a wide angle of view which together with the fetid air that streamed by him increased the latent claustrophobia.
At the next stop he went over to the drone operator who watched the screens. “Interesting Boss. Look here-whoever build this ended this tunnel on a grid, behind this seems to be a sort of turbine. But there is a way to the side of the tunnel.”
“Check for any alarms or traps as far as you can.” A little while later:
“Done-there seems to be nothing.”

The raiders made their way by groups, one group advancing while the other were in readiness to shoot at whatever threat might emerge. When they reached the end of the tunnel the Landwehr Sergeant lifted his NVG. Behind the iron grille a flickering green light illuminated a large cave. It was cut into stroboscopic flashes by what appeared to be a windmill driven by a transmission belt powered by an unseen source. It produced the wind that blew continuously in their faces.
A spider drone went through the grille and the screen showed a room full of crude machines that somehow turned the ventilator. What was not in the room was any operator.
One of the Dwarves pushed a thin endoscope under the door that was set to the left side of the shaft. “Nobody behind the door Feldwebel-looks like there is a small side tunnel ending in another door which will lead into the larger cave. I switch to visible light then-oh oh”
Going over to the dwarven Landwehr soldier Joakim looked at the monitor that displayed the picture of the other side of the door. “Look here Boss-there is something like a switch here-I am pretty sure it shows something if we open the door. Might just be that it makes it impossible to open the other door at the same time-might also be an alarm.”
“Can we disable it?”
“Yes, but not without damaging the door.”
“Can`t be helped-do it”

A little while later a battery-powered saw cut a 60 mm hole into the sturdy wood of the door in front of them. Through this cut out a small Spider drone was deployed and only when it again reported no eavesdroppers did they use waldo arms to glue the cord attached to the switch in place.
Still they arranged themselves around the door as if going into a occupied room, still they opened the door carefully by waldo arm, still they hold their breath-and when nothing happened at all they entered. At the end of the short side tunnel the process repeated itself-endoscope, checking for traps and sensors-and then they entered the machine room.
It was still empty. The machines seemed crude and badly maintained to the point where it was hard to see how they could work at all. Another heavy door barred the entrance to the deeper caves, but the room also showed several smaller tunnels, barely wide enough for a man to crawl through which terminated in this room.
Jens Neugebauer and the Dwarves did a huddle while Joakim distributed some of his cave raiders around the room covering all possible entrances.

“Boss, this looks like a ventilator room-this is where they pump out the stale air from the deeper caves. These tunnels there are probably ventilation shafts. It is unlikely that people will come here as they need to keep this room under pressure-whoever build this will come from time to time for maintenance, and it looks like they do not do this too often.”
“So can we stay here.”
“I would not suggest that-we can go back into the side tunnel. But we can install a relay here and send drones down the ventilation shafts for starters.”
“Sounds good, make it so. Any idea who is the landlord here.”
“Well, look at this Boss”
The specialist showed Joakim to the machine on the bottom of the reverse windmill. There a crude sign was chiseled into the cast iron of the machine, three lines that intersected to a triangle with the point down.
“Shit, it’s really the Skaven.”

Valley of Bones, Naggaroth, Evening of the next day

Lokhir Blackheart was in a world of hurt. His feet had probably blistered again which he would not have thought possible after marching so much. His inner tights were sore, his lower back burned and the mail-and carapace armor had worn other blisters into his shoulders and upper back.
His unit had marched from one of the watch towers to the Valley for the army muster ordered by Lord Silverhawk. They had marched as hard as they could as a matter of pride and as they wanted to have the best spot of making camp. They had one of the shortest ways to march and given their speed they should be first. When the column he was in went around the bend that led into the valley a collective groan went through the ranks starting from the first ones. When he was able to look inside the valley he could see why-another Druchii unit had already arrived. Who could have beaten them-and so badly that they had already erected camp and fortified it?

The close he came to the camp the stranger the camp became. He had never seen the flag that flew above the camp-a simple piece of black cloth. He had never seen the tents that were arranged in very orderly lines and the silver wire that was strung around the camp was also off. The ditch-and earthen wall arrangement behind it was no surprise as were the stakes that were in it-but the circular pits at the corners seemed to be made out of sacks-and the weapons inside looked like nothing he had seen before.
Yet, he could see numerous true elves strutting around the camp, but so were some humans-and they did not look like slaves.
When they were in front of the strange camp he was close enough to the front to hear the exchange between their commander and the figure that appeared at the front gate of the camp.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?”
“I am Wolfgang Böhler and I command the 1 Platoon of the Black Company and the Druchii Auxilia and were are here on the orders of Malekith to support the troops commanded by Lord Silverhawk. And who might you be?”
“Mercenary, are you not. I am not required to answer you, but know that you are talking Silvier Bloodstone, Dread Lord of the Druchii and I command the 23rd Watch Regiment. I will brook no mercenary to occupy the sport I have chosen for my troops-move at once.”
“Well, Dread Lord-I suggest you take that up with Lord Silverstone when he arrives tomorrow. Tonight I see no need to yield this place and there seems enough suitable space around here.”
“Are you defying me Mercenary.”
“Just following my orders Dread Lord, as do we all.”
It was then that Bloodstones adjutant bend over to his Lord to point at the weapons pits and gave quiet advice. When they finished Bloodstone`s words were even colder than before.
“You have not heard the last of this Mercenary. Enjoy your place while it lasts.”
The strange mercs-and their even stranger Druchii were the only theme on the rumor mill on that evening. One piece of that rumor that hit Lokhir was that there were magical weapons that could shoot hundreds of times a minute and that the adjutant had spotted just that weapon at the mercs-small wonder that their commander did not press the point.
But the Druchii auxillia was even more debated-True Elves working for human mercenaries-how could anybody sink so low?

The next day saw the arrival of more troops-and that of the army`s commander. To nearly everybody`s surprise they did not get the place that the Bloodstone wanted-but they got a series of contests and demonstrations.
His company was called to the free space in the middle of their camp and were addressed by their commander. “All of you wonder what these mercenaries over there are doing here but for supporting their betters. It seems that Lord Silverstone is taking their bragging of their prowess at something like face value and has given us the chance to prove them wrong.
We will have two contests about this-one will be a shooting competition, the other one a mock fencing. You are a mixed platoon and I trust you as much as I so any of my retainers-so show these upstarts what their bragging is worth.”
The cheers were loud enough to make Bloodstone happy. This solution was very Druchii in a way-competition who was best. It just lacked the usual deceptiveness about it, but against Mercenaries, who would need it?
The two units marched out to the main exercise ground shortly before noon, having taken the time to arrange for targets and having broken out the leather protectors for their bladed weapons. The platoon send by the Germans was all-Druchii, led by a woman who had a strange frame with lenses before her eyes and was armed with rifles only. Yet the rifles had long spear point-like bayonets fixed on top-which would do the shooting contests then? And if his long life had shown Lukhir anything than that things that were designed to do several things at one did none of them well. So if the Mercs wanted to fence with blades on top of delicate looking rifles who was he to protest?

But the shooting competition was first-and even that should be no contest. The crossbows sported by the “shooting” squad of his platoon could fire 6 rounds a minute and the marksmen were good. The best he had ever heard of rifles were 3 a minute and they tended to be terribly inaccurate after 80 meters or so except for some very special models.
The crossbow platoon stepped forward, made a line 100 meters from their targets, a series of discarded boards, broken barrels and whatnot and waited for the command. When ordered they fired their weapons at quite an angle-repeating crossbows could not be too powerful and with their poisoned arrows there was no need for them to be. They got a good rate of hits-roughly half impacted in their targets and struck. Pulling back on the bolt magazines recocked the crossbows and fed a new bold in front of the bowstring-again the shots went out. The 6th salvo was still within the minute described by the rules, showing the excellent training of the crossbow marksmen.
After the counting was done the rifle platoon stepped forward. They still did not take off their Bayonets and now that Lokhir was close enough to see that the bayonets were fastened below the rifles barrel, not inside them. He wondered how well these blades were fixed-but that was for later.

The riflemen went into a double line-they had twice the shooters anyhow-with the first line shooting from a kneeling stance. The voice of the female commander was loud, clear high and you could hear the nervousness only by the extra-fine-tuned senses of a true Elf.
“Target is at 100 meters, rapid fire after first salvo. Aim-fire”
The crashing salvo that went out was far more impressive than the crossbow`s doing, but what amazed Lokhir much more were the reloading-the shooters did something at the far end of the rifle, not in front and the next shots went out at least as fast as the crossbow bolts had. The hits in the targets were likewise different. Instead of sticking in the boards the bullets made holes that clearly showed great penetration. The first salvos came together and then fire became more ragged when the shooters loaded at their own speed but it was still at least as fast as that of the Crossbow shooters-and the last shots more accurate.
After the last shots the human leader of the Mercenaries waved the Druchii off who had tried to count the hits. Instead the rifle platoon marched off till it was nearly at the near hill that denoted the valley. Again the line formed, again the commands were heard-and to nearly everybody`s surprise the hits still occurred. Granted, there were less of them-but at more than 300 meters….
The Auxillia cheered their team lustily and Lokhir could just hope that he could do better in the fencing part.

Both platoons had deployed in two lines for that-for Lokhir that was necessary as his crossbow shooters only had short swords and needed his defense in close combat. For the Auxilia it was a choice made possible by their longer reach.
Best way to deal with this was a strong assault-that way the second line could still push and the first line did not just have swords but shields also for the ramming.
“Let`s show these losers who is boss-charge….” Got the needed results, his platoon charged as nice as you please. Their screams masked their unease at the muzzles held at them, everybody knew what a salvo could do to them were the other side allowed to shoot.
Lokhir crashed into his opponent frontally and with great momentum and pressed the bayonet that was aimed at him upwards while his opponent had dug in his feet. He could push him backwards-but not far enough to break the line and neither could any other member of his platoon. Instead the second line of the rifle platoon thrust their bayonets at his Elves again and again. Leaving their defense to their comrades they attacked Elves that did not even attack them but “took out” Druchii which never even looked at them. Their longer reach made this nearly easy. Like most of his platoon Lokhir ignored the red stripes left by the colored bayonet protectors on his arms and armor and fought on, regardless of nay wussy rules. He could not ignore the rifle butt that crashed into his jaw and send him into an all-encompassing darkness to the ground.

Reiksbund Headquarters, next day

Joakim Vos was still quite tried after spending nearly 48 hours underground, but he had taken a shower, a shave and a new uniform and felt much more human than he did during the last days.
Making sure that his laptop was well connected to the conference rooms network he addressed the assembled multitude. “Gentlemen, you asked me to present the first findings of our recon mission below Altdorf. We were able to infiltrate the installation without being detected and currently deploy drones and remote cameras throughout. We were also able to secure the first videos of the installation-this is the most important.
The wall at the back of the meeting room enlarged the video so much that it seemed blurry but the contents came over just fine. A huge cavern was arranged around a deeper cavity with steep walls. Inside these walls fur-clad shapes dwelled, looking misshapen with muscle and claws but comically small heads. From the sides baskets with something were dumped into the well, and all of a sudden the quiet figures clawed and fought their way to the droppings. Whatever had been dumped was obviously edible-and the beings inside the well fought for that with tooth and claw.
The fighting was as short as it was ferocious and two of their number went down, just to be ripped apart and consumed like the rest of the food.

“This gentlemen is the last video feed we were able to secure before I left for this meeting. I have no idea what precisely it shows, but it is obvious that it this is a Skaven installation.”
The Imperial and German officers looked at him with stony faces. The first to speak was Thorgrim Stormhard, one of the dwarves serving the Empire.
“That young man is a Rat Oger Pit where the Ratmen raise their fighting creatures. You saw the feeding, the Skaven always feed less than the Creatures need so that the Ogres fight. Only the strongest are allowed to survive and are so crazed by that that they need guidance by the tamers for the rest of their short lives. If the Skaven under Altdorf have such pits than their number must be great indeed, otherwise they could not support such an operation. Well done young man, I do believe that you are the first human or Dawi to actually see this and survive to tell the tale. We only hear about such things or find the remains.”
General Grube was next. “This is a clear threat to Altdorf and the Emperor-we have to do something and quick.”
“Let us first gain more intelligence-we neither know the extent of the threat nor the enemy`s intent. I suggest we leave the Sergeant here to his good work and discuss what to do when more data becomes available. But raising the alter level on the units stationed in and around Altdorf for starters seems like an obvious choice. Also we should…

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-22 10:53am

Valley of Bones, Naggaroth, next evening

Wherever a Druchii army went in Naggaroth, a train of helpers followed, at least as far as possible. Sutlers offered general merchandize, eateries a break from the tedium of the cafeteria, slave dealers offered to take off the inconvenient prisoners or offered a replacement for the slave just used up. Said train often also contained the slaves of many Druchii that went with the army as leaving them home might have unfortunate repercussions or they wanted to have them nearby but only a few were allowed in the armed forces camp directly. For these there were Kennels which looked after these slaves for a small fare.
All of these were congregated in a small tent city that clustered around something like a market. Areta Bane ambled over this place, looking here and there. She was already pretty sure that she wanted some food-the Germans did not know what to do with spices and neither did their cooking slaves. Another bedroll would come nice in the upcoming campaign-it promised to be cold. She had entered the market together with most of her squad, but the different interests the squad had and the fact they were off the military regime for the first time in a while had dispersed them.
Her last companion, Breda, had discovered “the nicest boy-toy she had seen in a long time” at one of the stalls and was currently enjoying his paid-for charms. It was funny-she had been around her squaddies for so long now that being on her own, even for a short time felt unnatural and wrong. Still, she enjoyed it immensely. What she also liked was the looks she got from various sides. The contest her platoon had taken part in had shown everybody that they might be scum-but very dangerous and capable scum. So Areta was feared and grudgingly respected-and how much she liked that part. Setting her shoulders straight she went for the next stall.

Lokhir Blackheart watched the witch walk through the market, reveling in her strangeness and showing off her German-made glasses by putting them off whenever she examined some merchandize. Lifting his tankard to his mouth he winced when the rim touched the lips and reminded him of the bruise and the half-broken teeth behind it. This “Auxilia” was the scum of the earth and should know it`s place and instead they had bested him and his unit by trickery and were now strutting around as if they had the right to do so.
“This is fucked up” His sorry companion in drinking was not any happier with the Auxilia as Lokhir was.
“Beyond that. This is unnatural. The Germans are Mercenaries for the Gods sake and they have the pride of place. And these bleeding losers are supporting mercenaries. They are not even good enough to lick the dirt of my shoes-and then they bewitch Lord Silverhawk into accepting them as warriors of their own right-Blast it.”
“Somebody should do something about it.”
“Somebody should-might as well be us.”
“Anything in mind?”
“Look over there-no not there you dolt- there. The hag with the glasses-what do you think?”

Areta woke up a couple of hours later and tried to find what was happening. The pain in her head and the wet feeling on the side of her temple spoke of some head injury and from past experience she knew that she was unlikely to remember the exact events which led to this state of affairs.
The position of stars and the two moons that were up told her that she must have been out for a while. When she moved she realized that she could not and the cold evening wind showed her clearly that she was naked. She had not even panicked for lack of time when she saw the silhouette of several male Druchii, of which at least one was holding a wicked-looking whip. “Time you learn your place bitch” was the last she heard before she entered the territory of nightmares.
It was very early the next morning that her squad found her when they tried to retrieve her before morning call. True Elves should be unfazed by such sights, but the welts left all over the squad leader, the state of undress and the marks on her lower body spoke of a sorry tale. Even worse was the look in Areta`s eyes above the crude gag which did not show hate at whomever had done this but of depression and despair.

Tunnels under Altdorf, same time

Joakim Vos watched the small monitor that was held by his Nerd. It showed the last member of s small Skaven group which left the ventilator room. When the door was closed for 5 minutes he addressed his team.
“Ok, Ulfrid, Thorgrim-I want an endoscope under that door right now. The rest waits for the all-clear” Only when it was likely that the overgrown rats were gone for good did the Raiders enter the Cavern. “Ulfrid, Thorgrim-you cover Jens while he plants the alarm in that corridor. You two-overwatch. The rest gives me a hand while we emplace the bleeding relay.”
Bit by bit the Cave Raiders were getting a network of wireless repeaters and fire-optic communication cables up, which was meant to control a number of drones that were using the ventilation shafts of the Skaven Warren to obtain data. They had more than an hour to put everything in place and then retreat to the side tunnel of the main ventilation shaft.

“Boss, I have checked on the magic detector-the machines that drive the turbine must all be warpstone-powered. The level of radiation is so high that I get some bleedover into radio frequencies. We should avoid it to be in there for too long.”
“Will do. How can the rats stand it?”
“Dunno, maybe they are used to it?” Thorgim Storkorm, who had overheard the conversation, chimed in.
“They do not, simple as it is. Most of the critters don`t get to be any older than 20 or so-and that is more than long enough when you ask me.”
“That is simply fucked-up. Well, we are here for intel, not philosophy. For now we keep it tight and let the drones do the job.”

Valley of Bones, Naggaroth, next afternoon

Areta Bane was so devastated that she was no longer debating with herself whether she should end her miserable life, just how. She had been through a rather vicious cycle-at first the total loss of status when she could no longer function as a soldier. Then the degrading training at the hand of the Germans and the eventual build-up of herself and the team-building of the Auxilia. The climax of it all had been the competition against the oh-so-superior Druchii from Bloodstone`s regiment and the respect earned by that.
And all of that crashed down when she was caught like a stupid rookie who should have known better. How could she not make sure that her comrades were closer to her, how could she be taken with no attempt at defense. That her captors had broken her and forced to cooperate in things too disgusting to think about added on, but the thing which ended everything was that they destroyed her glasses right in front of her eyes. This was the thing that had brought her out of uselessness-and now they were gone. Time to end thing if her squad which hovered around her like mother hens would leave her alone for just a minute. Instead of filtering out another member came into the tent and started looking for her.

“Hi Areta, I think I have something you like.”
“Thanks Breda, but I won`t eat.”
“Not that, look here.”
Areta found that she still had tears to give-in front of her lay carton containing simple, not too well made overwhelmingly beautiful glasses. Her life was back if she wanted it.
“How did you get these?”
“The Germans are nothing if not efficient. They have noted the “strength” of the glasses given to you and they have packed a couple of different ones as so many of us need them. They are not perfect, but should be good enough for the next weeks. Now the question is-you want to feel sorry for yourself, or do something about it?”
“They will regret having ever seen me”
“That`s my girl”

Jade Bight, next morning

The Wind that came from the sea was bitterly cold, full of humidity and traces of the snow it had brought lately. It would cut through most protective clothing and would seemingly cut to the bones themselves.
The formerly polish patrol boats that were going down the dragged channel was making sure there was nothing in the path of Germany`s newest submarine, a submarine that currently had only few means of defending herself as it was on its test runs.
Two men braved the wind in the command tower, looking for anything not registered by the radar that turned on an erected periscopic mast behind them and taking a last chance at open space and fresh air before going to the dive.
Friedel Bauer was a Bavarian in the most unlikely of places: the German Navy. He was good at what he was doing and so he had been offered the prestigious post of XO on the new 220 class submarine, the first of its kind. Being used to the cold of his alpine home he thought the warmer winters of North Germany a joke-until they got to their humid and windy worst. Bad even before the Weltensprung the absence of the Gulf Stream in this world did not improve things.
He addressed Daniel Rakewitz who was looking over the length of his submarine, obviously lost in thought.

“It is cold this morning Captain”
“Very cold”
Rakewitz, whom his wife had told yesterday that she had missed her menstruation and would conduct a test today would have preferred to be home. As much as getting this magnificent sub into readiness was a welcome challenge his wife needed him these days. He was thinking what to do about it and his responses were mostly automatic.
“Cold……and hard”
Both men were taking in the slab-grey sea and the patrol boats for a while in silence when the lead boat lit it`s horn to announce the end of its patrol, from here the sea was deep enough for diving.
The XO was hit by another gust of cold wind and turned around. “It is time Captain.”
“It`s time…time indeed”
Both men turned to the hatches that lead into the submarine, time to get out of the wind.

Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWPBr4L1eyE

Valley of Bones, next Night

Lokhir Fellheart was using the slave girl for all she was worth. He had to be a little careful, otherwise he would have to pay damages to her owner. Still, it was the thing to do, he just felt great. After the feeling of inadequacy from losing to scum getting his revenge had been divine. The story had been around in his camp quickly and it had done his reputation no harm indeed. Somebody had to show these losers their place and the sooner it happened the better. That there had been no reaction showed that the “Auxilia” was talking it lying down-very good. He had become aroused simply from thinking about the sight of that bitch and thought it a good idea to do something about it. Going to the slave stalls together with his mates he already had a fine old time and it was certainly not over. He thought about enquiring with the owner about the costs of the few welts to his girl when a very young, very beautiful boy entered the tent. Lokhir was about to frown when the boy presented a goblet of cheap wine.

“Compliments of Madame Sir.”
“Ah, thanks-be a good Lad and drink a bit.”
“Sir, this is not allowed for my likes.”
“Drink-or the next time you drink it spills from your throat.”
“Yes Sir.” The boy indeed drank a measure of wine before putting the Goblet and two tankards down at a low table. He walked backwards from the tent, bowing down all the while. Lokhir toasted his companions, drinking deeply of the sweetened wine before taking advantage of the slave in front of him again.
He did not get to finish.

He never lost consciousness completely, just was not able to move his limbs. So he got to see how the tarpaulin in the back of the tent was lifted, how he and his mates were pulled out and how he was carried over the back of a strong Druchii into the woods surrounding the camp. He even heard a voice he thought he remembered but could not place ask: “How did you get the little shit to do that?”
“Oh, simple, I promised him that when I was through with him I would sell him to a German factory. They all dream of that.”
It took him quite a while to regain his senses and control of his limbs again, by that time he was naked and bound. A face with bruises bend down to him, showing off a story oaken truncheon like the ones used by slave owners. “Use your tongue well boy it is the only lubrication you are going to get.”

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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-26 12:34am

Restaurant “Paulaner”, Altdorf, same Time

A German pork knuckle is a tasty challenge to anybody but the most accomplished Gourmand. Up to a kilogram of crispy skin, comparatively soft meat and bone with side dishes of mashed potatoes and German “Kraut” will fill most stomachs to capacity, but they do so nicely. Washing the meal down with excellent beer the two men attacking a pork knuckle each were easily the match for this food.
When the last scraps of the pork disappeared and a lot of small talk was already done, the “Jägermeister” shots appeared and disappeared with speed it became time for the real business of the evening.

“Thanks again for inviting me here Heinz. This food is a real treat.”
“How could I do less for the priest who opened my way to Sigmar and saved my sorry ass Father Hus?”
“Heinz Albers, do not play coy, Sigmar does not like this. You saved yourself-and most of us with you. I just helped a little. I am nearly ashamed that after this and after being treated to such an excellent meal I have to ask for one more favor.”
“If it is within my power all you have to do is but ask.”
“Well if that is so you can do me and the world a favor. I fear for Valten.”
“Why Father, does anybody threaten him? He seems to handle himself well if needs be and he should be pretty safe where he is right now. Actually I am pretty sure that the German government has a discrete eye on him.”
“Physically nobody threatens him as far as I am aware. No, it is the place where he is now, this “School of the Reik”. It fills his head with nonsense about how the universe is supposed to be fit together, about universal human rights and about how it is preferable to solve conflicts by diplomacy. What does Valten need higher mathematics of an insight into Genetics? Sigmar for sure did not need it, so why does he.?
But what is far worse this den of bawdiness they call a school has mixed classes of male and female students. I won`t even go into some subjects they teach.
Heinz, they are corrupting Valten, I would never have thought that possible. Something needs to be done and you seemed to relate well to him. He did not listen to me when I told him this is no good place to be for him, I hope that you can make him see sense.”
“I have some holiday upcoming and might as well spend it in Berlin, no problem. I think I can have a look at what he is doing and will talk to him, no problem. But...”
“But what?”
“Father, do not think that I take your advice lightly and I will always grateful for what you did to me. Still you thought us that speaking your mind is something Sigmar would want from us. So: I do not think you can insult a belief worse than stating that it is best served by ignorance. If learning more about the world damages a faith then it is not strong enough. And we both know how strong Valten is, don`t we?”

The Sigmarite in front of him went red first and inhaled deeply for a stinging reply and then looked like he had been gut-punched. It took him a while before he was able to speak again. “You..you..thank you. Somebody had to do that, better it be you. This is something I have to think about and deeply.”
“Don`t thank me Father, reacting like you just did gives you great honor-I think. The path of Sigmar is hard, isn`t it? But still there is something about what you say. If I remember my University days right there are some things that can confuse a young man`s mind deeply and distract him. I will see if he is all right. But may I offer one more suggestion?”
“Please”
“If I remember things correctly about this “School of the Reik” they take guest lecturers from the Empire quite often. You could apply for such a post and be at the School every so often-that would also give you access to Valten.”
“And more to think about-thanks Heinz-I think.”

Dormitory, School of the Reik, same time

Parts of the Humbold University had been restructured as the “School of the Reik” to educate the upcoming movers and shakers from the Empire and other allies as well as helping those Germans who wanted to work with and in the Empire.
With its long tradition of working with different cultures the Humbold University was well suited for that, but the students from so different cultures needed a different handling than the German students. Also as funding from the Empire as well as from the German government was needed it made sense to create a separate institution.
Sending students from the Empire into the Berlin property market to rent something for themselves was unrealistic, so a series of old “Plattenbauten”, the pre-fabricated concrete apartment blocks left by the defunct GDR, were bought and now rented to the Students at low cost.
Ermine of Wolfenfels was at first unsure about this. She wanted to go abroad and learn-but this was the first time she was on her own so much and away from her home.

Berlin was a totally strange, fascinating, terrifying, thrilling and overcrowded place that she was quite happy to retreat to her apartment to rest from that. A city that never seemed to sleep, a city where you could see nearly no stars, a city full of wonders and occasional horrors. And it was the first time in her life that nobody was around-she could do what she wanted. It had taken her two weeks before she dared to go from her bathroom to her bedroom naked-nobody could see her. No servant, no guard no nothing-it was marvelous-and frightening. By the way “showers”-what a word, what a concept-she could be under them for hours. She wanted one for the castle for sure.
Also, while the absence of servants meant that she would have to do chores that she never had to worry about in her ancestral home German houses contained many marvels that made life so much easier. A fridge, an electric oven, hot water and a water toilet-it was incredible. Actually there was a group of older German students who had taken the newcomers from the Empire under their wings and who showed them the use of all these gadgets. Some of them were quite strange themselves and had really stupid ideas but they were a help. On the other hand she had her own native guide-when he was around.

Currently she was not using the shower, but it was running while she was snuggling in bed and thinking how much her world had changed. These thoughts ended when the shower was turned off and after a few more moments the door of the bedroom opened and Nathan Alpers came in. He obviously wanted to go under the bed cover quickly-and as obviously he was admiring the sight before him, so he hesitated.
“Come in Nathan, I am getting cold and you are too far away, we don`t want that, won`t we?”
“Certainly not.”
It was quite a while later that the two lovers were in a mood for talking again. “I do not remember that you did so much “jogging” when you were still in our Barony Nathan, anything up?”
“Ah, a dream of mine”
“A dream you can share.”
“Only in parts love. I have heard that there will be a competition for a post I crave in a few weeks and I want to be in best shape then.”
“Oh, are they offering you an armed plane this time?”
“Actually no. In a few weeks they will look for candidates who want to become astronauts”
“Uh, what do astronauts do?”
“They fly to the stars”

Valley of Bones, Naggaroth, next morning

Areta was taking her breakfast when the news hit the Auxilia`s camp-Bloodstones 23rd Watch Regiment was coming and it wanted blood-specifically her blood. She went from tired from injury and two nights with less-than advisable sleep to incredulity and fury within seconds.
She was out of her tent and went to the camps gate, but not before taking her rifle with her. She still would not get this-both sides had handled their doings discretely-what kind of idiot would make this so much bigger than it had to be. As bad as what had been done to her was and as rough a vengeance she had wrought-if any incident like this would rise to the level concerning whole regiments no Druchii army could exist. There were no written rules about such things, but there was an understanding to what level one could escalate such conflicts.
Bloodstones regiment was ignoring this understanding, for whatever reason.

When she arrived at the gate she saw a huge mob outside of the Gate and one of Lokhir`s companions screaming at the warrant who was manning the Gate post.
“We want that bitch-we want her now. Give us Areta or we will level your puny compound and make you all sorry and not just her.”
“I told you before-have your commander contact Wolfgang Böhler, they can then decide. Do not attempt to enter the camp, you will be met by force.”
“You will not get away with this. You cannot take one of ours like a common slave and think we will take it lying down. Not from your kind.”
“Areta did nothing you assholes did not do to her and worse. What are you bitching about arsehole-cannot take what you dish out?” Breda`s voice was nothing if not loud and straightforward.
“From mercenary-supporting scum we will take no shit at all. And you will get it too bitch, you will sing differently when we are done with you.”
Maybe Breda wanted to answer, but the angry growl from the Auxilia`s side was far too loud to allow it to go through the din. Areta had faced the opposition till now so the loudness of this sound surprised her. A quick look to the left and right showed her that the Auxilia was here-completely. There might be some Druchii on some post, but the overwhelming bulk of that Auxilia was there and stood with her. She did not know how to take it, but it was an empowerment she had never felt before-and a terrible responsibility as well. The merciless drill of the Germans had made the Auxilia form ranks without anybody ordering them to do so and it was quite obvious to anybody watching that the bayonet-equipped lines would have a huge advantage if push came to shove.

The 23rd Watch was already pulling back a little when there was a booming voice “What the fuck is going on here”
The Germans had arrived and all bets were off now. The Germans were known to live by the rules and it was totally possible that they would surrender Areta and her squad for their stunt last night. Wolfgang Böhler had brought out a heavy weapons squad and Bob Swaggart, their drill sergeant. The huge, muscular human was carrying a machine gun like Areta carried her rifle.
The Germans took position at the side of their Auxilia. No weapons were pointed directly at the 23rd, but it was very clear that they could enfilade them if they so choose. Even more threatening was that the machine gun emplacements on both sides of the gates charged their weapons when runners reached them.
To cap it off ammo runners went behind the Auxilia`s lines and distributed a handful of rounds to each rifleelf. Areta was good enough to be able to load her rifle without ever looking at it. The rounds were a huge boost in two ways-now the Auxilia was really dangerous-and it could not be more clear on who`s side the Germans were. She was close enough to the Gate to hear the ensuing confrontation.
By now Silvar Bloodstone had reached the front of his Elves as well. As long as it was advantageous he had chosen not to take note, but now there was the danger of losing his command.

“Wolfgang Böhler, you are protecting a wrench who has done my men harm. Do not stand in my way when I seek justice.”
“Our concepts of justice are probably a little bit different. So just suppose I do not move? Then what?”
“You do not know what you are doing mercenary-you will be brought before Lord Silverhawk and..”
“Stand down, all of you.” The squabbling leaders had been too much into their dispute and had not realized that Lord Silverhawk and his entourage had arrived. “So Bloodstone, what would I do if Herr Böhler would be brought before me.”
“Highness, this mercenary is shielding a group of perverts who have tortured some of my warriors. They have drugged them as they were unable to best them in combat.”
“So, Wolfgang Böhler, what do you have to say?”
“They tortured and raped a squad leader of mine. When I protested I was told by Lord Bloodstone that my Druchii were not strong and careful enough and deserved such for their weakness. He also hinted that it was my influence that weakened my Axulilia to such a sorry state. I can only say if this is so then his warriors seem to be too weak and not careful enough to allow such revenge and just have to take it.”

There was an angry murmur running through the ranks of the 23rd Watch regiment and some laughter from the Auxilia. Areta was oblivious to both-her commander had been aware of what had happened and had already tried to do something about it? She had been sure that her shame had been known to her squad only. She was not sure if this was a good thing or not. By now Lord Silverhawk raised his voice again.
“So it comes down to a question of your two units and their individual members capabilities it seems. Well, we just had a competition between your units-that seems settled. I suggest we clear this up in a duel between the involved-that should settle this nicely. Silver Bloodstone, is this acceptable to you?”
“My Lord you cannot allow this rabble the honor of a duel.”
“The list of true elves who can tell me what I can do and not do is a short one Bloodstone, and you are not on it. And if I remember correctly this “rabble” beat your warriors in the competition. So either your unit can be beaten by “rabble” or you allow the duel. Which is it?”
“My Lord, forgive me if I misspoke. Yet, these wrenches have hurt my men so that they cannot take part in a duel for a week at least.”
“That will not do, by that time we will be marching, and then we need to be an army and not a “rabble” of units who want to kill each other. So, the solution is easy-each unit will send a champion to fight for its side, which will solve the dispute. Herr Böhler, is that acceptable to you and which Champion do you name?”
“This is acceptable for me and I will be the Champion for my Auxilia then.” Now the murmur went through both groups-this had not been foreseen.
“Interesting choice but highly acceptable. Silver Bloodcrest, will you afford your regiment similar honor?”
“I, I..yes, I will Mylord.”
“Well that is settled then and there is no time like the present. Make a Circle of equals and we will do this here and now.”

Areta was frozen in shock-it had already been overwhelming when the Auxilia did not just ejected her to avoid the confrontation, but that her commanding officer-and not even a true Elf would fight for her was simply unthinkable.
She could only watch as a circle of roughly 10 meters diameters was made and both combatants were led into it. She was nearly too far away to hear, but with a little lip-reading she could make out the conversation between the Army Commander and the sniper.
“I am a somewhat new to this dueling business my Lord-what rules do I have to follow?”
“Two go in-one goes out. Who needs more rules than that?”
“Thought so my Lord”

Silver Bloodstone was a Dread Lord of the dark Elves and looked the part. In all he gave the slender menace of a rapier, with a artisan armor of great reknown and a sword that showed the finest workmanship and hinted at the workings of magic. He was the picture of a great warrior.
On the other side was an older human the wrong side of 50 of sinewy strength who wore no armor but for a cloth-covered vest. His clothing was clean, functional, baggy and had no particular style. He seemed unarmed save for a pistol he wore of his hip. Areta did not have any experience with pistols as the Germans thought them underpowered for military service. Yet her experience and training for the pistols used in the old world told her they were next to useless against armor of this quality. After having seen German weapons at work she suspected that they would be more powerful-but would it be enough?
The sniper had the pistol in hand already and when Silverhawk gave the “Fight” command she heard 4 shots within the time needed for two heartbeats. Nobody needed to check for the results of the fight as 3 shots had penetrated the torso armor while the 4th had taken removed the Druchii`s helmet-together with most of the head.
Standing over the corpse with a smoking gun in hand Wolfgang said something that Areta could hardly hear. “You made my day, punk”. She had no idea what that meant-a spell to keep Bloodstones soul from seeking revenge perhaps?

“I think that settles it nicely. Herr Böhler, do you accept this outcome?”
“Yes Highness.”
Wolfgang Böhler made it back to his tent, eventually. His feet never touched the ground during this time as a mass of Dark Elves carried him despite all protests.
It was quite a while later that he summoned Areta to his tent.
“Areta, you have kept information from me, information that had a bearing to the safety of this unit.”
“Yes Sir. I did not think that..”
“Yes, that is what you did-you did not think. Given what you have been through I am going to let that slide-once. But never, ever do that again.”
“Sir, yes Sir. Sir, am I allowed to speak.”
“Yes, you are.”
“Sir, no commander I know would support troops in this way-not one. Any other commander would have ejected me from the troops as being useless-or find another use for me. You are different-none of us suspected that.”
“Squad Leader Areta-this is fucked up.”
“Sir, this is Naggaroth. But Sir-I owe you my life. Whatever you ask and I can give is yours.”
“Thank you. Just get better and think differently next time, ok”
“Yes, Sir, we will all do that.”

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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-26 12:36am

Elsewhere in Naggaroth, same time

Urglies Jeres was looking at the heap of golden coins in front of him. He still had to fathom it and how it came about. Some time ago he had supplied some money, slaves and materials to the Germans, whom in turn had given him “shares” and had used the materials to build a nail factory. He expected to be paid a “dividend” based on the profits but instead another Lord who had realized the opportunity too late had paid him easily 50% more than his original investment-and paid in cash.
Now he had heard that this Breitkopf guy wanted to build another factory, this time for something they called sewing machines. And another one for improved plows-and an expansion to their stove factory. But he lacked resources. So was this the time to make another profit? The problem was that Breitkopf needed more than Jeres could give-maybe he could raise some money from other Lords and get a commission? Or introduce them to this “share” thing as well?

Tunnels below Altdorf, 4 days later


Joakim Vos was chewing on some super-hard cracker which had come with his last EPA (German MRE) while he looked at the Laptop his Chief Nerd used to display the catch of the various drones that were distributed through the Skaven underground warren. Just that by now it was more accurate to speak of a bleeding city-while the underground facility might be much smaller than the unsuspecting town above it was much more densely packed and populated.
He had watched large rooms where Stormrats practiced with wicked looking weapons, had seen Skaven technicians work on machines powered by glowing warpstone. Others were tending to a mixture of animals and monstrosities that should belong to a Hieronymus Bosch painting and no same reality.
Currently he watched a great lot of them scrapping something from a cave filled with great racks of something.
“What are these guys doing there?”
“Harvesting the shit eating fungus” Thorgrim Steinier was emerging as full of lore on the Skaven, as befitting a member of a species that tried to occupy the same ecological niche.
“The Skaven shit a lot-that has to go somewhere. At the same time they need something to eat, but normal plants won`t grow below with no light. Fungi do and the rats have several fungi who grow like crazy on their shit-supposedly tastes like it too. And do not get me started on the beer they brew from these mushrooms-probably tastes like undiluted slurry and gives you hallucinations to boot. And what they do not eat or drink themselves they feed to their slaves or some animals they slaughter.”
“Ah, that clears that up.”

One of the next pictures showed a room full of humans in a wretched state-they were obviously malnourished and many seemed sick. What they did not have were any chains and there did not seem to be a well-closed door to their room.
“Ah-that. The damn rats perform operations on any human or dawi they capture-go in through their eyes and cut connections in the brain or put some warpstone in there. They are no longer who they were before, they might as well be undead.”
“How nice.”
It was about that time that Jens Neugebauer started a long string of quiet swearing.
“What`s up Jens?”
“I am losing my second relay in the pump room-probably all that warpstone. If that one goes I lose control of most drones-that would be bad.”
“Scheiße-so we need to replace it?”
“Yes, and soon”

Another tunnel, close to Joakim, same time

Tork Spittelube looked at the offending ventilation grille. The overseer of the workshop was right, there was something that restricted the airflow into his cavern. The air currents were diffuse and to the wrong places and the sounds were off. Such things were serious in a busy workshop.
“Stupid helpers, remove grating, quick, quick.” He watched while his helpers turned badly rusted screw heads and then removed the heavy grating which was accompanied by dissonant squealing and the dropping of lots of rust.
“Look inside lazy helpers, now now.”
One of his helpers went on the shoulders of the other to look inside the ventilation duct, being very careful about it. His head came out much faster than it went in “Big Spider Boss, big big”
“Then kill it stupid helper.”

The helper punched at something unseen with his dagger until he was satisfied and then pulled something out of the duct which indeed looked like a very big arachnid-but there seemed to be some resistance to the removal and a long string seemed attached to the spider`s torsoremarkably it did not seem to have much “give” in it as a spidersilk string would have. When the helper tugged more strongly finally something gave and he dropped from the shoulders of his colleague in misery. When he dropped he threw the spider away, dropping it at Tork`s feet. He was about to kick it at the heap of his helpers or worse when he saw the rip in the fine fur that covered the spider-and the metal parts underneath.
He was lifted to the ventilation grille by no less than 3 clanrats where we saw the strange string going into the darkness of the ventilation duct-towards the pump room if he was not mistaken. Whatever was connected to this string was not Skaven-and therefore needed to die.

Pump Room under Altdorf, a little later
“Asking me a 10th time will not make it faster boss, but handling me that box with precision screwdrivers will accelerate things” Jens Neugebauer was standing tiptoe on a pump housing and had his upper body inside a ventilation duct, trying to splice a new relay box to replace the one who`s electronics had succumbed to the amounts of warpstone all around it. Joakim Vos did try to hurry him as his team now was exposed to this radiation too. Even the Skaven came to this room only when necessary and the Landwehr Sergeant could only hope that the wards and charms they had received offered sufficient protection.
“Here you have, but hurry up.”
“Yes, yes”
“Yes yes means kiss my ass.”
“Yes”
Before more smart remarks could be exchanged the second dawi of the team who was manning the endoscope called out.” We get visitors folks-and they are loaded for bear.”
“Everybody out, we pull back to the rally point.”
“Just one minute Boss.”
“Forget it Jens, we need to go….oh shit.”

The Chief Nerd had pulled on his tool box and when that suddenly released had promptly lost his balance. Soot and oil made his footing on the machine questionable and so he dropped to the ground in a tangle of limbs and equipment. He was out cold when Joakim reached him and bled from several lacerations but was still breathing.
“Shit. Gottfried, Dieter-you carry him out. Rest of us-cover them and…”
The Sergeant was rudely interrupted by the double portal that exploded inwards despite the wedges that the Cave Raiders had put under it. The source of the explosion was the definition of brute force-two Rat Ogers were trying to squeeze through a door that was made to let outsize machinery through. Screaming something which would have been a squeal if it were not so loud and deep they were driven forwards by the whips of their packmasters. Between their legs scores of Clanrats tried to push forward. The assault seemed to be a landslide of ugly black and brown fur, teeth, claws and eyes full of madness.

It was met by a fusillade of assault rifle fire. Joakim found that his new rifle lived up to the promises made by the manufacturer. The 7 mm bullets were ripping through the Packmasters and the other Rats with ease and dropped the ugly Ratmen quickly. The Shotguns preferred by the Dawi boomed in the enclosed space and their munitions savaged the Skaven even worse but fired more slowly. Joakim had his rifle on single fire and pulled the trigger whenever the red dot of his reflex visor settled on something with grey fur.
The cave was filled with strobing lighting from the muzzle flashes, the reports of the shots fired and the insane screaming of the Skaven. A quick look over his shoulder told the Sergeant that the casualty was nearly out of the pump room and into the connecting tunnel to the next cave.
“Drop back, drop back by numbers” brought the 5 team members back from one cover to the next. The Cave raider changed magazines while moving to the new firing post and kept up a fire that blocked the Skaven advance. The first Rat Oger had received a 3-round burst from Voss to its ugly head where the small brain must have been in the way of a lucky fragment. The second one had found itself without any packmasters which increased its confusion and anger to the point where it attacked everybody and anything.

Joakim and Torgrim where the last cave raiders in the pump room and sprinted for the exit. Joakim made a clear exit, only to see a greenish lighting pierce the calf of the Dwarf who promptly dropped. Swearing “Alles pet here” he went back and triggered the grenade launcher under his rifle. The explosion tore even more Skaven apart and gave him room to pull the dwarf being him who was swearing at least as loudly as him. As he had to put his rifle into the sling he would have been unable to fire at any attacker but the Dwarf sighted his shotgun though his feet while he was towed over the rough surface.
Luckily for them nobody seemed to follow them and the sounds from the pump room indicated that the Rat Oger was really digging into the other Skaven. Reaching the Ventilator room they were received by the rest of their team who helped carrying the dwarf into the tunnel to the surface.
Joakim saw green fog emerging from some ventilator shafts with dismay as this made him retreat farther and faster than he liked. Going up the shaft leading to the warehouse they passed a place where something had been put into the walls and ceiling of the tunnel and connected by wires. The cave raiders went up the tunnel past it while Joakim stopped when they were 100 meters. Making sure that his men were past he slid the cover of a switch. Shouting a warning was second nature, so pushing the button was accompanied by “fire in the hole” and immediately followed by 4 humungous explosions which nearly toppled the soldier.

Torgrim Storkorm had rigged up the explosives for sealing the tunnel. Still used to the black powder common to the Dawi and being an adherent to the "p for plenty" formula he had overdosed the modern explosives considerably and had packed several kilogram of C4 into each of the holes he had dug into the tunnels walls.
The explosion had left two bands of dust hanging in the tunnel-one each from floor and ceiling and the ringing ears of the Cave Raiders kept them from hearing the cracking and grumbling. The shock waves from the explosion had cracked an age-old rock that was a part of the bottom of the Reik.
The immense pressure suddenly rested on a lot of loam and a great heap of pebbles that had been solid just seconds before. With a roar a column of water exploded into the tunnel, making the soldiers flee upwards above the waterline.
Behind them the waters of the Reik were finding a way into the empty space below that had been kept from them for a long time. The locks and watertight doors the Skaven had erected for this case were the place of a battle between a half-dead Rat Ogre and other Skavens, so in the short time they would have had to react nothing got done.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-27 01:40pm

South of the Ironfrost Glacier, next day

Nature abhors a vacuum – and so does Chaos. The Chaos realm were always filled with Chaos bands ranging from small tribes of scavengers to mighty armed hordes that were able to tear down most Old World realms without breaking much of a sweat.
Most of the time they were going about the Desert in something like Brown`s molecular movement, bouncing of terrain features and each other in random ways.
During the last years the collisions between Chaos armies had become less. At first there had been the campaigns of Archaron who had killed those unwilling or unable to follow him into his Crusade-then the unified horde had left the wastes never to return.
The remaining hordes were given more territory to work with-but less combat which most of them craved so much either for its own sake or for the spoils to be gained. Some hordes that would never have come close to the borders of the Chaos Waste now did so-and some leaders who would never have risen to prominence now saw a path for themselves.

Dechella the Outcast was looking at such a warband. Countless chariots drove hither and fro. Cavalry was ranging over the field in meandering paths, all the while barely avoiding the blocks of infantry that marched in review. Everybody avoided the masses of Chaos Spawns that were barely held in control by their minders. No matter whether Chariot-borne, astride a horse or marching the members of the army were clad in fine armor, elegant clothing and supple leathers. Light applications of rouge hid whatever skin defects were considered unacceptable and all movements were graceful. It was obvious that Slaanesh was gracing this army with his attention. All of this was displayed against the background of a burning Druchii watch tower that send a column of sooty black smoke into a sky of uncaring blue clarity.
“Well done my Children, well done, you have please me mightily.” Raising her 6 arms towards the marred sky she issued a warcry heard by an army fired up with victory-and the hope of more glorious battles to come. Battles that would suit their brand of mobile warfare and elegant maneuvering more than the drudge work of a siege.
“Onwards my Children, onwards to Glory and Victory, onwards to rape and plunder.”

Cave below Altdorf, same time

“Bring more earth, bring more stones lazy vermin, quick, quick.” Under the warlocks supervision an unending mass of Skaven of all stripes erected two thin walls of sand-filled sacks and filled the gap between them with earth as fast as they could shovel it. They hardly needed the urging of the warlock as the rising water level provided its own drive to finish in time.
Filith Deepdigger still tried to make them work harder. This cavern was already deeply inside the Skavens warren and losing it would mean flooding in many other compartments that would be really painful to do without.
Some of the Skaven that had climbed on top of the wall to complete the outer layer were even walled in the frantic haste to seal in time. The water seeping through the bottom of the cofferdam was easily swallowed by the drainage troughs that crisscrossed the cavern like all others-for the moment..
If it was Filith`s urgings or the blessings of the Horned Rat or the threat that was felt by all-they finished in time and the cofferdam blocked the cavern from the flood.

Putting his paw on the dam he could feel the mounting pressure as the water rose on the other side. Each cubic meter of water weighted one ton-and the ceiling of the cavern beyond the cofferdam was many meters high, not to mention the fact that the Reik again was many meters above them-and it pushed.
All Skaven that had remained in that room waited with baited breath if the wall would hold and if the seepage which now also came from the top of the dam would be too much. But they had built well and Filith had planned the wall thick and curved enough to withstand the pressure. When seconds passed without disaster and added up towards minutes the mood in the chamber rose.
The Warlock technician took his hands away from the dam “This dam withstands the waters-we are saved” was greeted by a cacophony of happy squeals-that was nearly immediately followed by on ominous rumbling sound from the other side of the dam. The panic killed quite some Skaven-the Flood did not. No water breached the cofferdam.

Later, deeper in the Caverns

Filith Deepdigger could not see the Skaven that he was talking with. He was kneeling on the floor with his head deeply between his forearms. “Lords, I have built the dam where I was told to do so-the plans for this case are ancient and explicit. How could I know that the floor under the secondary cave was too thin and I…”
“Silence you miserable bungler-it was your job to know such things.”
“But I ….”
“I said silence. Guards, bring this miserable piece of excrement to Clan Moulder, they may have interest in him.”
None of the warren`s council were listening to the pitiful screams of the Warlock when he was pulled out of the council`s room.
Thirquit, who`s white fur indicated his position as the Grey seer representing the Council of 13 was the first to raise his voice.
“This is most unfortunate, most unfortunate. When this idiot allowed the lower levels of the river district to flood nearly 8/10th of our fungus farms went under, as well as most slave kennels and the breeding pens. Without them we so not have provisions past the next two weeks or so, and even if we could drain the farms right now they would take months to bring any suitable harvest. Do we know who is responsible for this atrocity?”
“Not directly your highness, but there is an indication. The Engineer who sounded the alarm gave the runner who informed us this.”

The Clan leader who answered to Thirquit presented a box to the Grey Seer.
The box seemed to contain an especially big, black furred spider-looking at first like nothing more than a tasty snack. Until the Council saw the metal skeleton, the green boards with the many small baubles and strange runes, the colorful strange strings and small motors. There was only one faction on this world which build such things.
“The Germanssss” came from several snouts as one.
“Shortly after this arrived together with the report that Spitellube would take his retinue and look into this matter, there are reports of very rapid shooting, a huge explosion-and then the flooding. As the Gates in the Pump Rooms were never engaged we have to assume the Germans killed the crew who had pump room duty and damaged the sluice gates.”
“This is sacrilege-an affront against the laws-the Horned Rat will curse them..” Many voices were competing against each other in their effort to convey their horror and dismay.

The Skaven society was extremely competitive at every level-any Skaven had to defend its position, no matter how wretched at any times against all comers, and the same went for the Clans. Still, they lived in a fragile environment-ventilation, drainage and waste removal were not provided by benign nature, but by carefully maintained systems.
No Skaven, no matter how enraged or endangered would ever contemplate destroying these systems or killing those charged with their maintenance and the tasks tied to these communal works were carefully divided between the Clans so none could gain supremacy by this path.
If this were not so, so Skaven underground city could exist for any length of time as flooding and lack of ventilation were an ever present danger to deep shafts and caverns without never ending vigilance and work. The Pillar of Commandments that was given by the Horned Rat itself resting in Skavenblight had many conditional rules and other which left a lot of wiggle room. The rules about the inviolability of the infrastructure were as ironclad as anything the Skaven knew. Violating these rules caused such punishments that even the Skaven shivered when just thinking about these things. Any offender, no matter if Skaven or not had to be punished.

Thirquits shrill voice rose above the din “Silence brethren. These are grave news and they must be brought before the council of 13 without delay. We will use the underground ways to get the news to Skavenbight.”
“That is a trip of many weeks and there will be few stations to replenish provisions-whom can we bring with us?”
“Take a retinue of 20 each by Clan-more will eat too much and will endanger the delivery of the message.”
“And the rest”
“And the rest will be told it is the glorious day when we go and conquer the surface of course.”

Close to the Ironfrost Glacier, next morning

The mobile command of Lord Silverhawk was an elaborate affair that connected several tents into one and that boasted a couple of coal pans to keep the chill at bay. Slender but sturdy collapsible furniture allowed for a civilized life for somebody of such high station and wealth.
Currently it was filled by a host of Druchii Dread Lords and their retinues who jostled for pride of place. There was one exception-a human and his group was given some breathing space and sideway glances. The human was oblivious to it as he was fiddling with the keyboard of something he called a “Notebook” despite it having no pages.
Finally a screen lit up and started to display a jumbling picture. While it was colorful it jumped here and there from time to time, sometimes went out of focus, and when that happened it seemed to show a blurry mass of scales. Still not bad considering that it was made by a hand-held camera from the back of a Dragon. That way everybody could see the enemy for himself and not rely on the report of an overwrought Dragon Rider.
Still, the subject of the short movie did not enthuse anybody greatly as it showed the approaching Chaos Horde in all too much detail.
When the movie ended it was Lord Silverhawk who went first:

“So now we know how they took out that Watch Tower so bleeding quickly-there are rather more of them than we were first led to believe. Well, more glory to us for the taking. Still, our old strategy of relieving the Fortress Tower is gone, so we need a new one. Suggestions?”
Not even knowing the size of the gaffe he committed Wolfgang Böhler spoke up. “Your highness, if I am allowed? It looks like the enemy`s army is built around their chariot and cavalry force, their infantry is likely cannon fodder and backup. Our force has a lot more infantry, and we have a serious manpower disadvantage. It would be advantageous if we were to fight defensively from terrain which restricts the movement of such units.
From this map there is a series of hills here which together forms a crescent. It is in the way of the current path of the invaders and would cause considerable detour to the enemy if he were to avoid it. Such a terrain would make using chariots and cavalry difficult and would use the strength of our units best.”
The angry murmur among the Dark Elves indicated that nobody was happy with a wisecrack merc, but it took a while until one of them voiced something substantial.

“You may be even right when you point out the obvious. But it is equally obvious that we will reach the hills only when the enemy is already there-so what was the use of your diatribe except for showing you to be clever, mercenary?”
“Actually the more mobile elements of my unit could reach these hills in time-be there a little early in fact. We can slow the enemy down so the rest of you can fortify the hills in time.”
The incredulous looks that the sniper received and the snide comments hinted at a discussion going out of control, so the army commander found it necessary to step in.
“Are you sure you can indeed do this Herr Böhler?”
“Yes your highness”
“Then make it so. You should leave presently; we will follow as fast as we can.”

Hamburg, later that evening

Heiner Brand was rail-thin, 40-ish, wore an unruly shock of dishwater-blonde hair and a T-Shirt that proclaimed “Nazies no Paseran”. His apartment was as close to a pigsty as you could get without being bodily dangerous. The view from the Window showed part of the Reeperbahn, the famous Hamburg red-light district.
He took a glass bottle of “Astra” beer from the fridge and threw it to a huge blonde man with a crew cut that had placed a long leather coat on a chair to insulate himself from the filth. Taking a bottle for himself and lifting it up in the typical German salute “Prost Ibrahim old boy. Nice to see you again, how long has it been-5 years.”
“Yes, about that long. But you played hard to catch.”
“Yes, that went with the job, like all of this…” and made an expensive gesture encompassing all of the apartment.
“I cannot understand how you can stand this hole Heiner, it was never your style.”
“See it as mimicry, anything else would have stood out and the indigenes would have noticed-that would not do. If you would not work so far away I would have to find another meeting place, as it is nobody knows you and I can make up a tall story if needed.”
“Jeezus, I understand camouflage, but still.”
“Somebody got to do the Job Ibrahim, and if I do not do it, who will? You know it as well as me. So, if you can stand the trash a little bit longer I have something for you.”
“Ah, and what might that be?”
“Well you send that crayon pic of that accomplice from the Jasla jailbreak, didn`t you?”
“Come on, it was a pic by a good police artist.”
“Yes, and it had about as much to do with the real thing as I am really throwing stones at policemen.”
“So, what have you got?”
“Let watch a movie, shall we?”

Heiner produced a tablet computer and inserted a micro SD-card into it. Soon thereafter a two people filled the screen and talked in earnest. The sound was not too good because of a lot of background noise, but mostly understandable. One of the two speakers was obviously the late Manfred Horst, but the other one looked like the drawing Ibrahim Dürr had send to all and sundry-when one squinted the eyes in the right way. The voice of the unknown man was audible now.
“Jasla is clearly a prisoner of war. She has been part of an organized military which raided Germany as is their custom. At least now after our illegal assault on their homeland we should set the prisoners of this war free.
The pigs which call themselves our government could never show that she was directly involved in any of their so called atrocities and still they have sentenced her for life in prison-and what does that mean for a being who can live longer than a thousand years... You can also see the hidden face of our fascist state by…..”

“Where did you get that Video…wait one, do you have video surveillance in the bleeding Rote Flora?”
“Of course not as we would need the a Judge`s ruling for each and any case and anything gathered this way would be inadmissible in court. Which is why this video does not exist and you are imagining things.”
“I would never imagine the Office for the Protection of the Constitution has so much balls.”
“I do not believe my bosses have so much balls-officially. Really Ibrahim-you have never seen this Video.”
“You have any Idea who is the guy I imagined from the Video I did never see?”
“A guy names Claus Tolles-totally blank file on this one, never did anything larger than giving his income statement a week late. But ever since the jailbreak, nobody saw him.”
“Fuck…”

Tavern “Donkey and Dwarf", Altdorf, early next morning

Anna was climbing down the ladder into the cellar below the Kitchen of the Tavern as she did every morning. Most guests who stayed at the Tavern overnight wanted some mush made with milk or some butter with their bread and that kept best in the cool cellar which had been here before the Tavern was erected on top of it. If the tales told among the maidservants were true it was older than the house erected before THAT one also and a lot of horror stories were exchanged about it. The only horror Anna could imagine after all the years was to be pushed into even worse sex by the taverns owners in this room than he usually had. When she was down she started to smell something unfamiliar-something like wet fur. Had a cat found its way into the cellar, or some rats? Turning around she saw many red spots reflecting the light of her lantern. She started to scream briefly when it reflected from teeth and claws also.

I am aware that neither fluff nor rules give this kind of protection for infrastructure for the Skaven, but it simply makes sense. Any bigger undergrund community needs a lot of infrastructure, and damaging it or even using flooding as a weapon in intercine warfare would render these warrens inhabitable in short order. My best guess is that Games Workshop either did not think too much about it or kept mum to keep the game balance

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Mechman
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Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-27 01:42pm

Army Airbase Leipheim, Germany

Newly minted Brigadier General Kurt Crüwell still had bright eyes after leavning his new Hind. The Mil-MBB MW74, as the new type designation, was simply a dream for every "combat chopper". Ottobrunn had made a total rework of the Mi 24, using upgrades already made on Earth by Mil and new things tuned for this new world.
Since the original Russian turbines and plans for them were unavailable, the German constructors worked around that problem by using their newly upgraded turbines for the Sea Stallion, which Germany had produced in licence on Earth. The Hind had always been one of the fastest helicopters, but with the even stronger turbines for a transport heli build in, the new Hind regained the title of fastest helicopter. With a rune of flying incorporated, the hind was lighter, even with new reinforced armour plating build in. A positive side effect of the weight-reduction was a better and more safe performance at slow speeds in low heights. The "Block" and avionics upgrades Mil designed themselves on Earth before the Weltensprung went into the new design as well. Fixed armaments were a 30mm cannon from the "Tiger" combat helicopter, a MG 3 and a "chin" turret. The wings had several hardpoints for bombs, missiles, gunpods and countermeasures, with ammo types ranging from solid, explosive, claymore to incendiary and flares. While the radar was upgraded, a lot of more work went into the IR, the passive array and the tele-guiding for missiles. Added in was a magic detector and a larger reservoir of flares.

Kurt Crüwell was happy that he got the first of the new helis for testing. New Hubschrauber were needed. For most airial threats on this world, the army´s helicopter force was the "go to" unit. The Luftwaffe was "only" needed for special threats, searching, transport and attack missions, especially the long range and high altitude ones, which on Warhammer was still a filling duty.
Most "normal" flying enemies could better be fought with helicopters, so Kurt Crüwell´s unit (and his counterpart´s in Fritzlar for Northern Germany) grew steadily in numbers and duties to be done.
Tigers and Hinds comprised his main attack choppers, with some milspec MBBs and a handful of Apaches added in. For transport they used Sea Stallions, the Mil 42, which was a German-Russian co-project back on Earth, some NH90 and thr rest of the functioning Blackhawks. While recon flights over Southern Germany and the border regions were the bread and butter missions, a sizeable number of these missions were done with Drones far a better coverage in Frühwarnung and counter-attack.
Another mission the helicopter units of Germany had to do was keeping watch over Griffon and Pegasi nests in Germany´s range.
With all that to do, Kurt Crüwell was a busy, but happy commander. And as an army man, the situation where so much of Germany´s crucial air forces were in the hand of the Heer, reminded him of the Luftstreitkräfte of World War 1, before the Luftwaffe became their own branch.
As an remembrance of that time, many helicopters carried not only the Iron Cross, but the Tatzenkreuz, the Luftstreikräfte variant of the Iron Cross, as well. This was one aspect, nearly every German soldier liked the Weltensprung for. The renown and standing of the Armed Forces in the population was rising again. Funny, what an obvious threat to ones wellbeing could do for the image of the Army even by in the "peaceniks" minds.

Train Hammer, Railway Station Altdorf, one hour later

The command center of Hammer was not very big but allowed all department heads to attend and had enough space for a decent map table as well. Very old school by German standards it was easy to maintain by the Empire and the imperial soldiers could relate to this kind of information better anyway.
“Ok folks, now we know why we have been placed on alert since yesterday night, I just got a sitrep and orders from Oberst Grube. It seems like there are several instances of Skaven attacking citizens and buildings all through Altdorf and there are the first reports of an army assembling outside. The Rats are crawling out in several places all over the city, but the biggest outbreak seems to be around the Prison and the Wilhelm Edel Plaza.

We got ourselves the following missions:
- Hold the railway station so that reinforcements from Germany can arrive
- Secure the railroad back to Germany
- Stop the Skaven incursion at the Prison.
To these ends we will go as follows:
The 1.1 parts of the train with two artillery wagons and the repair cars will go down the railroad to Germany at all speed and meet up with the trains from Germany and escort them here. 1st Lieutenant Harkstom-your job.
The 1.2 and 1.3 parts of the train will remain here, secure the station and provide artillery support as needed, the 2nd Platoon of the Landwehr will remain here to hold the station. 1St. Lieutenant von Pfeilstadt-that is up to you.
The tanks and the rest of the 1St kaiserlich-deutsche Landwehr will push towards the prison at all speed. We will enter the town through the Triumph Gate and push to the Prison via the Imperial Gardens.
I will take command of this task force. Let`s get to it-any second we waste means good people die.”

Kellerweingasse, Altdorf, same time

The giant rat had finally managed to overturn the cradle from which the irritating screaming noises had come and had its snout red from the tasty snack found inside when instinct and fine senses made it head swivel towards one of the windows. The bright flash from there was the last thing it saw. It never saw the door that was kicked open, the flashbang that filled the room with thunder and noise or the soldiers which stormed the room without much regard for personal safety. Some rapid shooting and some bayonet thrusts ended the lives of all Skaven found in the house, followed by an “All clear” and a repeat in the next house down the road.

This squad of soldiers was doubly eager and fought as if they had to make up for something. They were the Cave Raiders and had the distinct feeling that this Skaven assault was partly their fault. Their superiors had been quite clear that they were less than enthused by their discovery and the subsequent blasting mishap. Stopping just to replenish ammo they fought their way down the roads from the cemetery to the Sigmar`s Temple as if they would have to stop the Skaven on their own-this did not improve their chances for survival.

500 meters AGL, Storch 006, close to Altdorf

Lieutenant Jörg Meine could steer his plane straight and level without conscious thought which was a good thing as his mind was on observing the mass of dark fur that emerged from a cave entrance north of Altdorf. What seemed like a lemming rush written large converted itself into something more sinister when the masses organized themselves in blocks of armed units in quite a rush.
Meine had learned the art of bush flying and observation from Nathan “the Wise” Alpers himself and knew how important fast accurate info was. Pulling up a little bit to avoid the first bouts of green lightning that shot in his direction he contacted base.

“Altdorf base from Storch 006-mass of Skaven emerging from Caves at Coordinates….Ememy is mostly infantry and some Rat Ogres, but they also pull some war machines into the open. Light enemy units seem to go for the Drakenwald Road towards Middenheim.”
He put a racetrack-like course over the enemy, making sure that his cameras got everything before he moved off-the natives were getting restless after all. And, as Nathan had told them: “You can fly wherever you want. But you cannot fly above the enemy in a straight line for more than 30 seconds. And anything more than 5 minutes at all really overstays the welcome.”

Von-Ueben-Gasse, Altdorf, a little later

Skritznik the White felt great. He was surrounded by a humungous unit of stormvermin who pushed him and the Screaming Bell be was standing on through the roads, and beyond his bodyguards there were gutter runners and clan rats galore who fought their way through the streets. He had known that the humans were not prepared; he knew this was his opportunity to carve his place in Skavendom. It was unfortunate that the bulk of the Skaven army had to deploy outside of Altdorf as most of the tunnels inside were unpassable due to the flooding. But the army outside would lure the foolish humans outside and he could tear the place down.
So far his troops had not met real resistance-this part of Altdorf was on the side of the Reik that was given to wharves, fisheries and industry. The palaces and embassies, the houses of rich-all the places that called for armed guards and soldiers were on the other side of a river too far to bridge. The press of skavens and the sound of fighting showed him that this was about to change. When the Bell and its guards rounded the next corner he could see what the problem was.

A makeshift barricade of carts and furniture had been erected across the street and behind it a mass of burly men lifted melee weapons of all descriptions. Besides old swords and daggers boot hooks were in attendance-the local longshoremen were putting up a fight. Yes-Yes.
Manning a fixed line they seemed so far successful to stop his Clanrats who had problems climbing the barricade and warding of the human`s attacks at the same time. Their problems were increased when other men-and women(!) started throwing roofing tiles at his troops from the roofs. Time to end this.

“Strike the Bell-strong strong. Strike it twice-now, now”
The muscular Skaven that wielded the hammer obeyed without delay and brought his instrument down with great force. The Screaming Bell gave off a powerful sound full of dissonances and the promise of bad tidings. The waves that emanated from it did not just propagate in air but also in the medium that men`s souls resided. Circumventing all conscious thought it tripped the panic in all the humans unlucky to hear it. Some of the more strong willed did not succumb and some of the more closely tied groups did not splinter-but the vast majority dropped immediately what they were doing and ran with the Skaven close on their heels screaming for blood.

Skritznik drank deeply from the winds of magic which very most plentiful because of the Bell. Green colored lightning sprang from his claws and ripped into the humans on the rooftops. Severe burns and spasms befell the ones hit, the rest could not flee fast enough. A Rot Ogre was pushed by his packmaster into demolishing the barrier so their triumph march could continue.
Skritznik snorted another dose of warpstone and felt the power running through his veins. He was the epitome of Skavendom-nothing would stop his rise.

Ulthuan Embassy, Altdorf, same time

Aurelius Ethelorne looked out of the window and he was not pleased by what he saw. The road that led through the estates of most embassies was blocked on both sides by imperial soldiers. They were an appalling mixture of the old and the new. Their uniforms had the cut he expected of imperial footman-but they were field-grey. They bore firearms-but no longer the crude muskets that the Elves so rightly despised as the crutch of those who could not invest a couple of years into decent longbow training, but the utterly lethal K98 rifles. There was even a machine gun visible and at the same time the soldiers erected barriers from what he now recognized as barbed wire. At least the weapons were pointed outwards, not at the embassies.

“Knock Knock” “Enter”
“Master”
“Aeolus, could you find the meaning of…this?”
“Yes Master. The imperial government states that there is an attack by the Skaven.”
“What-until two years ago most of them did not even accept their existence.”
“Hard to do after Middenheim. Anyway, the City Guard detachment of the Reiksguard is to secure the embassies until the crisis is over.”
“Thanks-I just hope this is not tested. In hate to rely on imperial footmen for protection. All commoners-a few years ago most of them were apprentices for some menial jobs or something and now they think they are soldiers. Are our troops on alert?”
“Yes Sire. The Silver Helmets are unhappy that most of their horses are not here, but everybody is under arms.”
“Very well, then the only ones not so are you and me-get our armor and weapons-by the look of things we will need them.”

Fields close to Altdorf, 30 minutes later

Hauptmann Heinrich Hemmler watched the Skaven Horde through his Binox-and did not like what he saw. There was a virtual carpet of fur which covered the valley below and streamed towards Altdorf. There was an imperial blocking force between them and the capital, but they looked like a very thin cloak against the chill of the grave. It was imperative to slow them down to give the defenders more time to improve their situation. Why did he always have the task to slow the enemy down? Having sufficient troops just to smite them right then and there would be a nice change of pace.
Still, slowing the Skaven down was his job-and with it came a chance to test a tactic he had thought up recently. They had tested it a couple of times-the results so far were mixed but this seemed to be the best course of action still. Judging distances again he saw things would have to happen soon.
The avant-garde of the Skaven was made up by lots of light infantry-Clanrats mostly with a leavening of gutter runners were fanning out in front of the main body.

“Ensign, give the signal “General advance”
In the old times the signal would have been horns-now it was a couple of precious, protected and valuable 2-meter wireless lets which tied the platoons together-as long they did not part more than 2 kilometers from each other that is.
This way Hemmler`s Dragoons managed to get out of the trees and into a line before too many of the Skaven realized-and had not formed any response apart from some panicky squeaks before the charge was sounded. Even in the old days this would have been devastating-light infantry should not oppose cavalry. But Heinrich Hemmler had started to read big time when the Germans had provided all the books one could wish for. One had detailed the US Cavalry before and after WW1-and Wolf`s Dragoons was based a lot on their doctrines. One of the signature tactics of this cavalry seemed adaptable-and if it worked against Pancho Villia, whoever that was, it should also work against the Skaven.

Distance to the enemy was so short that going through canter to gallop was not necessary. Now that they were in the open using the horn signal was allowed-and like every time since the first time the Hauptmann had a charge for real it was the greatest rush one could have. Vision slimmed down to a tunnel, the world reduced itself to a target and the ride became a rush. Heinrich had learned to ride at an age when other toddlers learned to walk and steering his horse with his knees only was second nature to him. He was used to this-a very few years ago he would have needed his hands for lance and shield during the charge. Now he held a different weapon-hopefully to greater effect.
The US Cavalry had made such charges firing their 1911 Colt Pistols-Wolf`s Dragoons had something more powerful. As so many Bundeswehr units were converting to something with 7,62 mm ammo a lot of G36 assault rifles were up for grabs. Heinrich Hemmler had used any contacts that he had made during the work with the KSK to grab some of them. So the Clanrats at the front of the Skaven army were confronted with charging cavalry on huge striders who were firing more than a hundred automatic rifles at them. The movement of the horses at gallop during the charge would have made hitting very unlikely-against anything but the excitable rats who clung to each other for safety.

The Skaven were mowed down without any chance to fight back as their spears nor did their swords give them any chances to do so.
If he would have charged the lead units of the Skaven the old way with lances he could be pretty sure they would have run-now there was nobody alive to run and the units not directly attacked assumed the running part.
The Hauptmann managed to rein in his Troop in time and redress them before he charged the Skaven again. By that time the avant-garde had become hopelessly tangled with the main body and any advance by the Skaven for the time being seemed unlikely. Hemmler was debating the wisdom of going in again when two of his men went down and green tracers filled the air. The rats had finally brought up a couple of ratling guns-time to go.
He knew exactly what happened to Cavalry when confronted with machine guns, even such primitive ones. He had been there when the Germans inflicted exactly that on Chaos Cavalry.

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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-27 01:43pm

A Meadow in Reikland, The Empire

General Kurt Crüwell was passing around cups of tea, cocoa and coffee himself, while the techs were fastly refilling the helicopter tanks. Hearing about the Skaven attack on the Imperial capital, they sent a flight of attack choppers to help. Crüwell´s force were Tiger and Hind helicopters and for the first time the general was flying the fully armed new Hind they had gotten for tests. Two machine cannons and two machine guns in the bow alone and a deadly mix of gun and bomblet pods under the wings, topped off by 2 missile pairs on the outer pylons, the warning sign for phosphorous gleaming brightly. The flight was carrying some armour-piercing munitions, but the the main components were anti-personal. While the helicopters could have reached Altdorf in one go as a transfer flight, in combat-ready mode they needed a tank stop. A flight of NH90 and Sea Stallions, who would return home, had carried fuel for the attack force.
Since the refueling would take a further 20 minutes, General Crüwell walked over to the crowd from a nearby farmstead, who watched them with rapt fascination. He knew a flurry of questions awaited him, but public relations were important as well...

Altdorf, same time

The imperial gardens were an impressive display of horticulture and sculpturing. It had been refined over more than a millennia and were the gleam in the eye of many an Emperor. They were also graced by a lot of statues, mostly depicting heroic generals and Emperors or beautiful women. While some of it were a tacky in general as a whole the Gardens were beautiful and serene, much used for leisurely walks on Sigmar`s day by the populace.
Currently the beauty was slightly marred by a flood of furred abominations from a drug fueled nightmare made flesh. Rats the size of wolves, Rats that walked like hunched over men clutching rusty but serviceable weapons, bigger black furred rats that wore armor and spears protecting Warlocks that had crudely combined iron and warpstone in their very bodies.
The serenity and quiet was disturbed by the crack of autocannon salvos, the sound of tearing cloth left by machine guns, the single shots of battle rifles and the “Krump” of grenades. Caught in the open of the Gardens the Skaven had a very bad time of it. Trying to close at least with the Infantrymen of the Landwehr they had to traverse the fields of fire of so many rapid-fire guns that none of them got anywhere but dead.
The imperial Garden would not amount to much for years-Henrik Gerber doubted that the Altdorf citizens would be too unhappy about that. All rats he could kill in the open would not get the opportunity to kill said citizens in their homes.

Beyond the gardens and the plaza was the Gate to the Prison from which and unending stream of Skaven poured into the city. Smaller members of that race also used side entrances and some windows which now missed their bars to avoid the rush at the gate-sensibly so as this exit was the target of several machine guns and the autocannon of two escort tanks. By now the Skaven were slowed down by having to climb over their own dead. Major Gerber picked up
“Hammer 2, this is Hammer Actual, you and 2nd Company guard the entrance. Hammer 3 and Hammer 4, Company 1 and 3 follow me, we need to secure the buildings on the other sides of the streets.”
When Gerber`s escort tank rounded the corner of the Prison the view was as close to a nightmare as possible. From windows and roofs, from small service doors and any other unlikely opening furry figure emerged as quickly as they could just to cross the streets and either enter the buildings there or enter the small lanes between them to disappear into the city.

“Gunner-we secure the Entry Teams. Hammer 2 and 3 I do not want any rats to cross that road nay more. Driver-stop.”
The Major watched as the two other tanks drove a little forward into the road and opened fire with their coax machine guns and the guns handled by the tank commanders. Mounted on a steady platform and having a good ammo supply the tanks converted the road in an abattoir. At the same time a squad of soldiers climbed on to Gerber`s tank while he turned to turret towards the upper floor of the first house of the road. Taking control of the coax he fired a burst in each window that the tank passed while the soldiers that had hung to the tank threw flashbangs and CS grenades into the now empty openings.
“Driver-stop” brought the tank to a halt and the soldiers in the back used a board to enter the upper floor of the house through a window. Several more explosions and the report of rifle fire followed when the squad threw grenades down the stairs into the lower floors and then assaulted the stunned Skaven there in a room by room sweep. Half the Squad emerged a minute later, the rest remained to make sure the rats would not come back.
One house down-roughly 20 more to go.

Close to Altdorf, same time

“Blam” the report of the M82 rifle was loud enough to be heard even above the din of the running battle. Hauptmann Hemmler used his binox to watch the crewmember of another ratling gun go down and the rest of its crew flee in panic just to be cut down by a warlock engineer.
It had taken the Hauptmann some doing, including paying for a long visit to some public baths, mail-order full plates a barber and some clothing, but he had gotten Wolf`s Dragoons into accepting Warden Merkel-and him the Dragoons. The Dragoons which had enough nobles to fill a Baedeker had warmed up to the Warden when he demonstrated his shooting-the Warden was surprised that they accepted him at all.
Watching the compact mass of Skaven that pushed down the road to Altdorf the Hauptmann saw that bleeding rats had indeed adapted to their earlier charges-now they were pushing Jezzail teams and ratling guns up front. They had at least the same range than he had shooting from horseback so now things had to be handled differently. Their horses were kept by his reserve in the back and his men were now on their stomachs and waiting patiently until the enemy would deign to come into range. The Hauptmann winced when he remembered what he had to do to get these haughty knights actually to fight prone-the rejection rate at that part of the training was astronomical.

He himself was crouching behind a small tree and tried to keep an overview of the situation. Far away to his right were the outskirts of the Great Forest, to the left a lot of open terrain and some scattered copses of trees. The middle was just chock-full of Skaven as far as he could see. The Rats were by now a big mass of units as the skirmishers were now either dead or somewhere in the ranks of the van. At the same time the Skaven had to push their war machines to the front if they wanted to have any chance at pushing the Dragoons further towards Altdorf.
Hemmler had positioned two of his companies across the path of the Skaven with the third behind them being in reserve and handling the horses for all of them. That his men were nearly unseen was another thing to get used to-not standing up proudly to the enemy but hiding and ambushing went against the Cavalryman`s grain. Yet he had been exposed to Ernst Hermann for quite q while and which way worked had been rather obvious thereafter. There was also his not-so big arty train of 4 M101 guns commanded by a very grumpy dwarf. Checking his range finder function again he found the Skaven were now at 1 Kilometer-time to get things rolling.

“Wireless-my compliments to Lieutenant Grimmnir and he may open fire now at his own convenience.”
It did only take some heartbeats for the deeper booms of the 105mm cannon to reach him-at about the same time when the first shells arrived at the Skaven. The instant-poplar shapes of ground impacts mixed with the sharper cracks of the airbursts. The latter were less morale-sapping to the enemy but rather more lethal. The effects of the Skaven were obvious pretty soon. The front parts of the army accelerated from marching speed to a double-time jog. He could just make out one of the “Storchs” that had reappeared over the Battlefield before he tapped his “Funkenpüster” on the shoulder again. “Wireless-contact 1St and 2nd Platoon-Open Fire at the 700 meter mark-Now”
It took the Chain of Command a few seconds to react and then fire reached out from the thin line of Dragoons. There was a crackle from the many assault rifles fired single shot and he ripping sound of the machine guns. The machine guns used tracer which seemed to fly at the Skaven at a lazy speed-till it impacted their line. There the rats stumbled and went down, just to be trampled by the ranks behind that pressed forwards-but more slowly now.
But as many Skaven the riflemen and the arty fire killed-there were always more to take their place and so the distance to the Dragoons shrunk at a nasty pace. Hemmler had to judge the moment to skedaddle right-too early and he would not slow the Skaven down enough-too late and his troops would be swamped before they could remount their rides.

Yet, he had one more card to play. “Wireless, contact Major Kerensky. Now is his time.” His Binox was on one of the copses of trees that all of a sudden seemed to have gotten a case of “Timber” calls as the first row of trees dropped nearly simultaneously.
From this former treeline the tanks of the Dragoons emerged with sudden burst of acceleration and they opened fire as soon as they had a clear line of sight. While the had less shooters than Hemmler`s Dragoons they made up for it by firing from the flank. Their machine guns were ripping the right elements of the Skavens apart and their 30 mm cannon did not just drop the Skaven dead-it ripped them apart.
The Enemy`s advance into the fire that had just been so relentless in spite of all the losses was mostly halted in moments and the rats milled around searching for way out-until the tanks success became its own danger.
Having driven most Skaven close to them into headless flight or bleeding death the tanks had uncovered units that had been well hidden inside the Skaven army. The bizarre-looking weapons looked part cannon, part Dr. Frankenstein prop and all madness. Already being turned in the right direction the warp-lightning cannon opened fire as soon as they could see the tanks. Two of the shots went wide; some just grazed the armor or blew off the added panels without damaging the tank itself-and one blew off the tracks of tank no. 2.

The tanker reacted immediately-the fire of their autocannons went for the huge warp cannons and they fired a number of small canisters at the same time. White smoke rose from the cannisters. Blocking any sight from the warpcannon to the tanks which switched positions as fast as possible. The cannon fired anyway, but had no hits. On the other hand one of the cannon suddenly turned violently and fired a lightning bolt that seemed far stronger than all the others directly into its own army.
That and the added confusion and losses due to the fire of his men and the surviving tanks plus the smoke had slowed the Skaven to a standstill. Trying to make out anything about the tanks was impossible till the cleared the smoke, this time driving backwards and more or less towards him. On one of them a 3 humans seemed to hang on for dear life-the crew of the immobilized tank.

He ambled over to the tanks to get some coordination when they reached his line. The Rats had retreated a little bit and were probably psyching themselves up for the next push. Getting to the lead tank from which the rescued crew had dropped he made sure not to approach the tank too closely. The command target was easy to find, it had the picture of a black spider below the official markings. From their combined field problems he remembered that the tanks drivers did have a very limited field of view-and no ability to hear warning shouts whatsoever. He only went near when the officer looking out of the tanks replied to his waive.

Pulling off the tankers helmet the red-headed German who had accepted an imperial commission and had taken command of the Dragoon`s tanks. The name tag showed “Major Kerenski”, it had taken Hemmler quite a time to understand why all the adopted Germans were calling him “Colonel”. “Hello Nathan, quite a show you put up there.”
“Thanks Henrik, but I think Oberst Wolf will be less than happy to hear that one of our tanks is out”
“Happens when you fight, especially this vermin.”
“There is that. You think we can hold them here? Altdorf is not that far off?”
“Let see-if they push again like they did the last time-this round I do no longer have a card in my sleeve.”
“Yes, but it still would be a shame if…”
“Sir, I have Bund Actual for you”
“Dragoon 6 for Bund actual-I am listening.”
“Hauptmann, I hear that enemy has retreated some?”
“Yes Sir, but for how long we cannot say.”
“Good enough Dragoon-you will have visitors soon, the Luftwaffe has something on the way with ETA under 5 minutes”
“Now they tell us”
“Yes, I am also happy-not. Stay safe Hemmler. Bund actual out”
It was two minutes later that the air was filled by a sound like thunder and rolling cloth combined. There was nothing to see until a couple of specs cleared the horizon at blinding speed and crossed the Skaven army at a height of barely more than 100 meters. Before anybody could react fire and smoke issued from the belly of the planes and scores of small bodies were ejected to both sides. A carpet of small explosions followed the planes.
“I think we can hold Nathan.”

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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-27 01:46pm

Harbor Quarters, Altdorf, same time

The mass of Skaven that moved down Reiklandstreet was a splinter of the main group, the shavings which did not find a place in the main thrust, the scum. They were also a furry carpet that nearly showed no individuals but an amorphous something with too many ugly heads, too many blackened teeth and serrated claws that covered the lane from wall to wall.
Nothing was in their way, but attempts to enter the houses met more resistance then the moving mob wanted to overcome at present. The Squeals filled the air and struck terror in the hearts of the citizens that did not get away in time.

The Skaven were loud enough to drown out the first shots-but not for long. From two rooftops and two entrances streams of bullets punched into the closely packed ranks of Skaven. In many cases the comparatively small bodies were not enough to stop a bullet on their own and Rats behind them fell victim to deformed tumbling bullets that ripped wounds that frightened even them.
Yet flight was not a possibility as the rear ranks did not even realize what was happening in front. They probably realized that something bad was going on up front when a number 40 mm grenades sailed clear over the heads and exploded in the middle of the Skaven. That finally brought the space the frightened survivors needed to flee. Stumbling over loose limbs and tripped by entrails they ran from the lane as fast as they could, loosing even more of the number that way till they were out of sight.

Reloading his rifle Joakim Vos stepped into the middle of the road. He was in something of a daze from the brutality of the assault and the sheer abattoir that their ambush had wrought. Like many lanes in Altdorf this one had a runnel in the middle to channel the rain water, now a small but continuous trickle of blood ran by his dusty boot inside.
He was still regaining breath and senses when the silence was broken by clapping-the applause by a single pair of hands who gave a measured applause to the slaughter. Its source was a lone man clad in a velvet burgundy suit of fine tailoring, one of the Cylinder hats that were currently all the rage on top and a bright Addidas T-Shirt under the vest.

“Well done Gentlemen, well done I say. Could not have done that better. Pulling his hat off and presenting a deep exaggerated bow “Jerremy Conelius at your service Gentlemen. May I inquire who so ably rescued us? And sorry-boys you can come out now-it is safe I would say.”
The Landwehrmen were more than slightly astonished when all along the lane doors and windows opened and scores of men appeared. Mostly clad in the garb of Longshoremen they all carried some sort of melee weapons, mostly long daggers, boat hooks and billy clubs with nasty looking metal inserts.

“I am Sergeant Joakim Vos of the 1st kaiserlich–deutsche Landwehr and these are my men. Glad to be of service, but if I may ask: What the fuck are you doing here.”
“I am running the “Rancid Shark” a locality providing for the hardworking longshoremen working in the harbor of this fair city. We were doing our civic duty by defending this part of..”
“Ah, I heard of you-you are the mobster who runs all the protection rackets and organizes what goes for unions around here. And your men wanted to pick up some valuables for safekeeping before the rats destroy it all.”
“Herr Vos I am wounded by your accusation and deeply regret…”
“Can it-I can use you-provided you want some city and harbor to remain so you can practice your trade in future.”
“We are all willing to do our civic duty-provided we are backed up by heroes such as you, aren`t we boys.” Silence. “Sigh…such good men, but slow..IT IS TIME FOR THREE CHEERS FOR THE SHARK BOYS”
The howls that could be heard would have frightened the Skaven who could have heard it-were they not already so dead.”

Imperial Palace, Altdorf, 15 minutes later

The Imperial Palace had always been a clash of building styles and had been expanding as much as its cramped surrounding allowed. It had always retained sturdy walls and crenellations-not in the least as sometimes the Altdorf citizens and their Emperor did not always see face to face.
Some of the greatest clashes were the most recent additions-one does not expect 0.5” heavy machine guns in twin mounts of the top of stone towers or a series of antennas close to the flag poles. It became worse inside in some rooms. One of them contained a beautiful ancient tapestry depicting the heroic deeds of Sigmar on one wall-and a series of 50” LED Sceens on the other side.

The screens showed the situation of Altdorf-both in cold symbols superimposed on maps and in gory details by pictures transmitted from low-flying planes and a helicopter. It was a grim sight with fighting in several quarters with seemingly no rhyme not reason. No clear fronts, so way to predict where the battle would be going and no way to get the civilians out of it.
The man who watched all the monitors in the middle of his advisors gripped a hammer in both hands with white knuckles and tried to rein in the need to go out and defend his subjects personally. Somebody had to make the decisions-good decisions and fast and that was him. The horror of it was that no matter how good and fast his decisions were-there would be death and injury, destruction, epidemic and famine-if he was very good and lucky.

The voice belonging to one of the faces on one of the screens tried to get his attention again. “Highness are-you sure? We can do it, no problem, the planes are already in position. But we cannot spare the men inside.”
“What men inside? The thrice-damned rats have the prison since at least two hours-anybody alive inside there is dead or would be happy to be so. And at present our best troops are just trying to keep them in and cannot go out and save more of my people and more of my city. Do it General with my blessings.”
“Yes Highness, we will. And you are correct, it is just not an easy decision to make.”
“I am aware of it General-very much so”
Another screen showed the prison-showed the unending stream of Skaven that poured out of it and the hard fighting troops that tried to keep them contained. It did take a little time-and then the screen only showed a huge dust cloud and the camera`s picture jumped as if the camera itself was severly jolted. When the dust cleared sufficiently the walls that had enclosed the prison had fallen-very often inwards- and the burning ruins of the prison was the pyre of a the men and women who had been inside before, mixed with the bodies of their enemies.

Ulthuan Embassy, Altdorf, same time

Aurelius Ethelorne looked out of the window to the street crossing before his embassy and he did not like what he saw. The thin line of imperial riflemen had taken up positions minutes before and the howls and squealing that became ever louder told him why this was so. He was close enough to hear the commands and encouragements of the human officers and warrants.
“Look to the ground men-there you see one meter of pavement before you. This meter of pavement is what I ask you to defend. Can you defend one meter of Altdorf, now that you have been given such weapons men?”
Another voice: “Hey men-you know what the polished knights borne by their all-so nobles call us: Dirt. And that is what we are-dirt. We work with our own hands for our food-dirt. We have no families who were already friendly with Sigamar-we have to fight for our reputation ourselves-Dirt. We are just dirt and nobody can defeat us.”
“The third one, raspy and brutal “First one to turn gets my bayonet”
Humans, so primitive, so brutal, so limited in their ability to see the common good..

And then the men lifted their rifles and started shooting at the unseen enemy. At first the salvoes were like aloud ragged “Bang” but then dissolved into a rattle when the riflemen fired at their individual best speed. Behind some barbed wire and some sand-filled sacks a machine gun opened fire in short salvos that sounded like ripping cloth-and still no enemy could be seen. The bright brass shells accumulated at the feet of the riflemen who were shooting at frantic pace and the din of their firing drowned out most of the enemy`s sounds and still nothing could be seen. Surely the humans were panicing and wasting their ammunition at ghosts and shadows-and then the flood came into the square before the riflemen.

A flood of dirty fur, of rusty armor, of tooth, claw and ugly weaponry. A flood of rats far too numerous to be counted, too many to stop with ordinary weapons. A flood sure to rout the thin line of oh-so-common human soldiers and leave his Asur to their own devices.
A line that did not break-but kept firing shot after shot. A machine gun that had stopped firing measured salvos and that ripped great gaps into the oncoing mass. A line where every second soldier stepped forward to the wire and found the foremost Skaven with their long rifles and dreadful bayonets-and none broke. Still the riflemen shot through the gaps and the Skaven simply did not live long enough to break the front rank sufficiently. Remarkable, perhaps they knew they were watched by their betters and this stiffened their spines?
It was the flood that broke-not the thin grey line. Leaving their dead and retreating as fast as they could, hurried onwards by relentless shooting.
The humans cheered, they looked after their injured-and then they started shooting again. The flood of teeth and claws was back fighting its way over their own dead loosing members nearly as fast as they could replenish them through the narrow streets just for the chance to grapple with these humans that refused to yield.

The flood came forward-and then retreated before it even had reached the wire. The spheres that were hurled at the imperial line seemed to come out of nowhere. When they burst on the ground between the riflemen and the machine gun they emitted sickly green clouds of vapor, quickly engulfing the humans. When they vapor dissipated many humans lay on the ground, either writhing in cramps or laying in the final stillness of death. Nobody manned the machine gun that had made up such a large part of the human fire power-and then the Skaven were back.
Shrill squealing of fresh courage and bloody promises filled the air and the Skaven attack resumed in earnest on a much weakened line.
And the line did not break. There were fewer men-but they still fired. There were fewer bayonets to hold back the tide-the barbed wire did for an uncountable second. There was no healthy body to man the machine gun.

But one of the sick ones crawled over to it, leaving a trail of blood in its wake. Another human with a hand clearly not capable of anything lifted a belt by his arm-and then at a distance of less than 20 meters the machine gun spoke again.
The little factory of death fired far too quickly that individual shots could be heard. The rats too close to it were literally ripped in half and the bullets that maimed them did not stop with their first victims. Working from the flank of the last assault the unexpected defense did what the most courageous riflemen could not and took the starch right out of the Skaven.
Still too many enemy were pouring into the streets from behind-this was not going to end well.

Aurelius Ethelore looked at the human line that was between him and death with a face as even and as unmoving as fine marble. Anything else would have been unseemly. And yet behind the calm façade emotions, conventions older than some civilizations and rational thought clashed over what the ambassador had seen.
His voice did neither waiver or rise to particular loudness when he spoke the first sentences to be heard since 30 bloody minutes “Why do the lessons of these new times always come at such pain and cost? Anyway, that settles the matter. Aeolus, take your bowelfs into the street, at the level of our gate, parallel to the riflemen. Tyriael, your Silver Helmets go in front of the Imperials-they shoot better than they use cold steel.”
“Highness, are you sure? We are supposed to be your guard and as close to you as feasible”
“Fine then, then you will be right around me.”

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-08-27 01:55pm

Prison, Altdorf, a little later

The airstrike had collapsed the old Altdorf Prison on its foundations and Henrik Gerber was pretty sure that any entrance from the Skaven Undercity into the city above was well and truly sealed. That did not mean he could ignore the pile of rubble left nor the houses surrounding the Plaza-there were simply too many Skaven in there.
From what his wireless set and the steady trickle of casualties accumulating at his command post told him the house-to house clearing was successful but bloody business. Even with their modern firearms and body armor all too often an oversized rat would successfully hide behind some furniture or corner and ambush the soldiers. It would have been a problem anyway but the Landwehrmen were forced to wear protective masks due to the CS they used and the Poison Wind employed by some Skaven. While a lifesaver against the wind and a dire necessity against the irritants the masks restricted the field of view and did not enhance hearing any.
So there were more and more soldiers who stumbled out of a house clutching broken arms or were carried by their comrades. Henrik and his subordinates had their work cut out reorganizing the assault groups to keep them effective. Still, the top-down assault tactics, the teamwork and the modern weapons were a winning combination-house by house the rats were killed or tried to flee-the latter case usually put them in front of some machine gun covering the lanes and streets.
Clearing the rubble left of the prison would be worse and footing would be less sure and there were no clear paths but a myriad more places to hide. The Landwehr Major did not look forward to this part of the operation.

It was then when his second wireless set crackled to life again. “Hammer actual from Bund Actual-do you read me?”
“Loud and clear Oberst Grube, go ahead”
“There are more flyboys who want to join the game Major. Most of them should be used outside Altdorf-they are just a little bit too much of a good thing to work inside Altdorf. But the Helicopter Brigade North wants to play get a set to channel 129 and you can talk to them directly”
“Thanks, I`ll see what I can work out with them then.”
It took him a while to set up the correct channel and get recognized. When he was finally connected right he was talking to “Old Man” Crüwell himself. Henrik knew the General from several official functions and field exercises and worked very well together.
“So General, what is on the menu today”
“Oh, we have 6 Tiger with Cannons, 70 mm Rockets and the odd HOT pod. I can also recommend 5 Hinds with cannon, some Laser Guided missiles and we have a special on Willie Pete. When we arrive we should have 30 minutes on station before we need to refuel.”
“Now that would come nicely. Do you have you Map handy?”
“Certainly”
“Good. First we need your some copters to patrol the following roads: Reiklandstreet, Geheimnissstreet and Tilean Way and have them shoot anything that is furry. The Skaven are using these roads for large scale movement and we need to isolate the damn Rats and then pick them apart in detail.
Use Cannon only. This bleeding city would burn like hell if we use anything else. I have one target for you Willie Pete`s-I guess they are the new laser-guided ones?”
“Yes, they are.”
“Ok, I`ll hand you off to the FO, you can discuss the details.”
The Landwehr Major switched channels again. “First and third company-prepare for the assault on this heap of stones-make sure you are at least 20 meters away till then and find good cover. This is the 15 minutes warning.”
A few minutes later his FO informed him that he was indeed painting the prison with his laser and that the strike was inbound. “Head up people-the Airedales come in. Danger close-repeat danger close”

He was just about hearing the characteristic “Whup Whup” of the helicopter blades when several contrails showed the incoming missiles. Build on the engines and airframes of old “Sparrow” air-to air missiles the rebuild had reduced range, changed the seeker to laser guidance and drastically changed the warhead. When the missiles own small radar told them they were at the prescribed attitude and distance from target small burster charges released a payload from hell. Countless small pellets made of white phosphorus ignited once they had contact with air and distributed themselves all over the ruin that had been a prison. This might be the only place in all of Altdorf where they could use this weapon as it was big enough not to ignite houses that were not meant to.
The Skaven that still remained in the rubble were the careful ones, the injured and the frightened who had not relished storming machine gins with no chance for survival or victory. As they had by now all realized that they could neither advance nor retreat they were getting more and more agitated during the stand-off. The explosions of the missiles were subdued compared to what they had already witnessed-the effects were not. Anybody hit by the burning pellets was in for grisly injury or slow death as there was no possibility to quench the phosphorous until it had burned out. But even the ones not hit were affected. A lot of wood and other residue that had not burned before ignited, adding to the heat and smoke.
The Phosphorus released a white, very dense smoke that irritated the sensitive Skaven noses, brought them to bad coughing from seared airways and made their eyes tear uncontrollably. Together with the heat the fire gave off the Skaven had just been put in hell-and that was the start of their problems.

From the hatch of his tank Henrik Gerber watched the hell of his devising and tried to calculate when the warhead burned themselves out sufficiently. Taking his best estimate he took up the wireless again.
“All assault elements-make sure your masks are tight-then go on my mark. Kill them all and let the Horned Rat sort them out. Go Go Go”
He watched the teams of Landwehrmen go in, saw the muzzle flashes light up the smoke from inside and heard the “krump” of the grenades. He had given his men any advantage he could think of-he could just hope it as enough.

Railway, between Berlin and Altdorf

The train that roared down the tracks towards Altdorf was on no timetable. The dark smoke issuing from the engines exhaust, the blur of their driving gears and the roar they issued spoke of an effort at the edge of mechanical reliability. It had the highest priority and made all others take side tracks long before it reached the area. To it`s not-so-considerable length two new 2-D-2 steam engines had been hitched, these brand-new locomotives were meant to pull very heavy passenger trains or fast cargo-and here they did it in spades. The cars behind the two engines contained ammunition, spare parts and medical equipment, all direly needed in the Empires capital.
Inside the lead engine the “Stoker”-actually the auxiliary engineer- watched the gauges with a mixture of awe and dread as several of the needles were deep into the red and the train was doing a steady 165 kilometers per hour, about 35 more than it should.

Kurt Müller was not looking as if he was in any way concerned about this-he just cared about getting to Altdorf in time, or earlier. He had seen the elephant, knew that it was a big and dreadful animal and that what he did counted. He was, after all, a veteran and had seen and done worse.

Bad Oldesloe, St. Johns ambulance center, North of Hamburg, roughly same time

The room in which the old men sat around a table was cozy in the German way: Lots of Wood on the ceiling, a wooden bar and floor, wooden massive table and slightly ornate chairs. Soft lighting was diffused by cigarette smoke that wafted through the air close to the lamps. The walls were covered by decals and certificates declaring the “1st. Katastrophenzug Stormarn” a ready unit of disaster management. Other were letters of thanks of various cities and individuals. Centerpiece was a cartoon of a very old man bearing the headline “Club der alten Säcke” (Club of the old Coots)
Otto Letsch, of wiry strength, hazelnut skin and still full hair showed the stooped bearing of somebody who had bend over his wireless set for far too many hours before being pensioned. Around him were old men like himself. Uwe Teut the former Chief of Police, big bellied and with shoulders and arms that still showed that he had been a trainer for unarmed combat in the SEK, Heiner Maser who`s skin showed decades of drinking but who`s mastery of a field kitchen was still without fail and Ernst Rudolf who build wireless sets for leisure from scratch looked at each other and came to a decision before the talk began for real. Otto Letsch made the start, as usual.

“Think they will need us?”
“Does a beastman shit in the wood?” Uwe Teut had contacts to the disaster management center had not diminished with his pension was definitively in a place to know.
“Actually a little bird sang to me that the day after tomorrow a train will leave for Altdorf with anything we can contribute. The District Administrator is waiting for the go from Berlin, but it is sure as sure they will call for volunteers.”
“So should we start?”
“Makes sense, gives us more time to get the people here and things into gear.”
“Do we want this? This is a bleeding war zone?”
“When we arrive it will be no longer-or we will not be send there.”
“But is remains a risk to the medics who go.”
“Yes, it is a volunteer’s only thing that is for sure.”
“Wasn’t it always. Well, let`s start to make the calls then”
“You call the members, I call the Staff at Center and see what vehicles and men can pry loose from what they poached for the Landwehr.”
“Done and done”

Otto Letsch may have been old but he was easily able to adjust to newer modes of communication. Taking up his I-Phone he went through his list of contacts and made the first call of many for that night.
“Hallo Roland, sorry to disturb your evening. We plan a small outing to Altdorf-do you think you can get your employer to give you a week or so leave? I cannot promise that the district will pay-could be you will have to take it out of your leave.”
“Yes, they are still shooting over there, they should be done by time we are there-I hope.”
“Splendid, see you in two hours then.”

None of the members of the Disaster Management Platoon got paid normally, none were below 40 these days, all had decent jobs and many had doting wives they did not like to leave alone. Others were mothers of children who needed them as much as their husbands-and had jobs on top of that too. They were asked to go into a warzone where nobody could tell them what was going on, only that civilians needed their help.
None of those called that day refused.
Like an ancient but well-maintained machine the Platoon which actually was much closer to a company in manpower assembled a task force of 50 medics and everything to house and treat more than 500 people –within 8 hours of the call from government which came sometime after the old men had their meeting.

North of Altdorf, a little later

Heinrich Hemmler watched the flight of the two helicopters. Guided by one of the Storch planes that the Germans used so much these days the ungainly looking aircraft put their noses down and rushed over a piece of terrain the Hauptmann could not see. What he could see was the muzzle flashes from the helicopters cannon and the dropping pf some cylinders from the stubby wings. The “braaarp” “braap” of the cannon and the surf-like explosion wave from the cluster bombs were unmistakable for the Reiksguard officer by now. His Wireless operator chimed in “Sir, the Germans tell us that there are several groups of Skaven coming our way. They state they can only give us one more run, then they have to refuel.”
“Acknowledge the report Wireless and give them my thanks. We will take care of their leftovers.”
Very soon the groups of Rats came into view, but lack of formation and often weapons showed them not to be the next assault but the sorry remains of the helicopter attack. Hemmler let them come closer than he would have allowed a real attack and signaled only when the enemy was less than 200 meters away. Already frightened out of their mind the Skaven were not able to mount anything like a coherent answer to the ambush and mostly died while running in circles.

Contacting Oberst Grube: “Sir, situation as follows: We have repulsed the last assault of Skaven, the latter ones were no longer organized or dangerous. We have received ammo resupply from Altdorf. So far our losses are negligible. From the reports of the Air Observers it seems that this was the last organized body of the enemy. I suggest leaving 1st Company in a blocking position together with the artillery and take 1st and 2nd company and the tank company out to hunt the stranglers down.”
“Report acknowledged, make it so Hauptmann.”
When the Reiksguard Hauptmann went up the rise of the next hill together with his men the sight of so many dead Skaven filled him with satisfaction of a job well done. The feeling remained till he crested the top of the hill and got his first look of Altdorf. Smoke columns rose in many places and it the sounds of combat could be heard even here.
“Oh Sigmar, I hope there will be a city to return to.”

Inside Altdorf, same time

Skritznik was still feeling great, in fact greater than ever. He had taken the city quarter he was in by storm. His Skaven had carried him and the Screaming Bell from triumph to triumph and whenever organized resistance sprang up he either smashed it with his mighty warp lightning bolts or the bell struck fear into the belly of the humans. He could hardly imagine why the Skaven had never come up from their Undercity earlier. The riches of Altdorf were there for the taking and he would cut a decent part of that wealth out from him. For somebody who trashed the humans so thoroughly only the sky was the limit and his next snort of warpstone powder gave him an exquisite vision of an older version of him sitting together with 12 other Skaven in council-splendid.
He was rudely torn from this inner sight by a squealing Clanrat. “Master, Master-there is another barrier by the humans in the block, yes yes. Humans defend it, very dangerous yes.”
The Clanrat never saw the warp lightning that killed it nor did it hear the squealing roar of Skritznik. “I will show the puny humans who is dangerous here. Bring the Ogres to the front-forward to victory.”

When the Stormrats brought Skritznik and the Bell around the next bend he saw that there was indeed the next barricade, this time even higher than the other ones he had seen so far. Also the doors and windows of the lane leading to the barricade showed signs of being barred-just in some places even more weapons were visible. The humans behind the barrier wielded long, nasty looking poles with hooks at their end and stood their ground in spite of the certain doom bearing down on them.
“Lazy Packmasters-make the Ogres attack, now now. The rest of you run run, kill kill. You are hungry my children, are you not. So attack, attack now.
The whips of the packmasters were studded with warpstone barbs, making even the tough skin of the Rat Ogres rips and bleed. So huge that their stooped backs reached the roof rails of the houses that bordered the lane and ugly even by Skaven standards they roared their pain and hate to the world and started a lumbering run at the suddenly insignificant looking barrier. They were not slowed by the missiles that rained down on them from the roofs nor the few arrows and bolts coming from the barricade. They seemed a magnet to catch the defenders attention and so the Skaven infantry that followed could do so without great danger. The blood of these Rats was up, after a couple of easy victories they wanted more of them-and they wanted meat-fresh meat. Their bodies were burning up calories like nothing and the supervision of the Grey Seer had kept them from taking their fair share-they needed to feast soon and here was meat that had just not laid down and died yet. Time to change that.
And to aid that time to put more spine into his Skaven-and the fear of the Horned Rat into the humans. Feeling lucky and invincible he turned around. “Strike the bell-Strike the bell thrice, thrice.”
The Skaven on top of the bell lifted the mallet over his head to strike-and then he dropped from the bell, his chest an open wound.

On the roof next to the barrier Joakim Vos tried to change targets in time but the Grey Seer had jumped of the bell like greased lightning. There were more pressing concerns anyway. “Jens, make sure that nobody takes the job with the hammer on that bell will ya.”
“Got it Boss”
Turning around he saw that the Rat Ogres had almost reached the barricades-almost as the front one clutched a bloody chest which had been ripped open by a 40 mm grenade. Switching to “burst” he sighted the head of the second one. Breathing half-out and then stopping to breathe at all he steadied his rifle and pulled the trigger. The “boom” that followed was louder than usual and seemed a little longer. The barrel and bolt carrier recoiled inside the rifles housing while two more rounds were stripped from the magazine and fed through the lock before the assembly hit the hydraulic damper at the end of the recoil. The third bullet was out of the barrel by then so that the recoil did not disperse the shots. Hitting an area the size of a hand the three bullets were made to tumble by their passage through dense bone and broke into several razor sharp fragments which made their way through the Ogres head. Enough of them found the tiny brain to slow the Ogre down-the second burst made sure it was slowed down for ever.
By that time a second Grenade made sure that the third Ogre would never reach the barricade.

Looking down the lane the Landwehr Sergeant saw it chock-full of Skaven all trying to press forward except for the ones close to the Ogre. Seeing that things would not get better Joakim pulled a small pipe out of vest and blew. Small as the pipe was it, the shrill sound cut through the battle like nothing else. The results took a few moments to become clear as the opening moments of Joakim`s plan were unobtrusive-several small objects rained among the Skaven from the houses they had so far not managed to enter. Only when the frag grenades exploded did things become clearer. The grenades had cleared some places close to the houses and into these the harbor toughs emerged. Laying about with cutlasses, loading hooks and clubs they had few coordination, no tactics and no style-but they had heart. Punching into Skaven which had gone from aggressive assault to frightened confusion and hurt in seconds the sudden appearance of fighters in their midst was all they needed for a fully-fledged panic. The panic glands in many involuntarily gave of the scent for flight-but there was no way to go and no will to fight. Clawing their way out-any way out, no matter whether that meant attacking another Skaven or human the rats were far more dangerous to themselves than to the defenders.

Joakim had a second look at the massacre under him and then made his way along the roof to the mouth of the lane-there was still the matter of a Grey Seer and his bell. Dropping to his belly at the last roof he pulled up the ladder sight of the under-barrel grenade launcher. About a hundred meters distant was the bell. Adjusting the elevation for this range he pulled the trigger for the grenade launcher. Inside the shell a propellant charge exploded-and the hot gasses produced by this explosions were confined by a stout chamber around them and could only escape into the rest of the casing through a series of holes that reduced the pressure outside greatly. It pushed the fat 40 mm grenade before it gently down the aluminum barrel which spun the grenade like a top. Leaving the weapon at a little more than 400 kilometers an hour the grenade “counted “ revolutions before arming.
It was just slightly off-it hit the Bell at such an angle that the tip of the grenade was pushed away from the magical weapon when the shaped charge ignited. A copper plasma jet faster than 8000 meters/second that could have cut through centimeters of steel was wasted into the air. Swearing a blue streak the Sergeant slid the barrel of the Grenade launcher forward and inserted a new shell. This time the grenade flew true and impacted dead center. The shaped charge vented its fury into the Bell-and it went somewhere else. None of the participants of the battle could know that, but a much bigger bell shaped like the one before them gave a mournful ring that sounded over Skavenblight.

Joakim was looking at the results with disgust when a screaming figure ran from the first house towards the Screaming Bell. “Thorgim, no. Come back you stupid stumpy” did not bring any results and the Sergeant had feared that it would not. The dwarf had been hard hit by the results of his demolition and had mumbled something about “need to get a new hairdo” several times during the last days. He did not hold his rifle in his arms, but a satchel that contained a shitload of explosives. Screaming like mad he simply ran past the Skaven between him and the Screaming Bell.
Stopping the cursing, stopping the feeling of the regret Joakim pulled his rifle up. Calmly as if he were at the shooting range he shot the Stormrat that stepped into the dwarfs way, the one that wanted to throw his spear, the one that got up his shield-and the one that looked the wrong way. No shots he took was more than a second from the next-and none missed. The dwarf ran as if he was neither aware of the threats to his life nor of his support. He ran as if for his life even when every step brought him closer to death. The thing he noticed-not that he had any chance not to-was the green lighting that barely missed him but singed off any hairs of his head and sent him tumbling.
Shaking his head as if getting rid of water he suddenly started to spin quickly-once, twice-and then the satchel flew in an arc that terminated just under the Screaming bells car. The explosion was directed to the sides-and ripped the last of the Stormrat guards apart. It was directed upwards and bodily lifted the Screaming Bell up some meters before it smashed back down, its fall only slightly cushioned by the Grey Seers. Breaking into many parts it vanished into a second explosion of green.
Seeing the dumbstruck dwarf standing in the middle of the road with no hairs and no enemies made the Landwehr sergeant laugh with pent emotions, until the warm breath touched his neck.

Turning around he found himself face to face with one of the giant rats that accompanied the Skaven, its approach masjed by the total concentration he had needed to shoot a way for the dwarf. Rat and man looked at each other for an eternal moment-then the rat bit down. It took Joakim on his left arms which he had put forward to ward off the threat. The strong jaws and sharp teeth of the rat could not pierce the spidersilk armor but their force was great enough to push the Ulna against the Radius bone, causing immense pain. Screaming the Landwehr Sergeant punched the head of the rat repeatedly without result. Then the extended two fingers and pushed them into the eye of the rat it finally released him and jerked back, but this was too much for the shoddy roof the two were on. Men and beast fell to the street in a pile of loose shingles, to lay motionless on the ground.

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Mechman
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Posts: 138
Joined: 2015-06-22 02:25pm
Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-09-13 02:36pm

Close to Ulthuan Embassy, about the same time

Tyriael, noble of the House of Ethelorne was aghast at what his master made him do. Instead of defending his hearth and home he took them out in what looked like an attempt to support human troops. And not just any human troops, but imperial footmen, the lowest of the low. These troops were often recruited from the gutter, given the choice between gaol or the serving the regiments. A brutal training regimen made them perform nearly like soldiers-until the chips were down. What were to happen then was everybody`s best guess. These might be a little better-the new model units were said to contain real volunteers-but still they were quite close to naked apes.
And Aurelius Ethelorne, of a lineage that was founded at the very beginnings of Elvendom, Prince of Ulthuan and designated representative of Asur to the Reiksbund wanted to support…these?

When his Silver Helmets passed the gate that led to the Ulthuan embassy he got his first good look at the battlefield beyond the Plaza he had been able to see from the Embassy. That the Plaza was more or less covered with ugly pelts left by their former Skaven owners he already knew, with weapons like these even the imperial footmen were able to do well. But the line of the fallen did not just stop there, it went down the street far past the plaza and reached as far into the road leading to it as he could see. It looked like the humans did not panic when they started to fire their weapons, they had simply killed an ungodly amount of Skaven.
His mind was still on that and the placement of his unhorsed Silver Helmets so that he had only lesser attention on the conversation between his liege and the imperial in charge of the humans. Aurelius made a gesture like he had seen some German soldiers using-lifting the right hand to the brow-and could be heard

“I am Aurelius Ethelorne, Prince of Ulthuan. I gather that you are in charge here?” The human gave the same greeting-did he consider himself at the same level?
The officer with which the ambassador spoke seemed terribly young, even for a human and his eyes did not seem to focus totally at the Elf. But even when he had a hoarse voice and red-rimmed eyes he had a straight spine and talked like he knew what he was doing.
“Lieutenant Hans Emser at your service Ser. As long as the Captain is out I am in charge of the Reiksguard City Detachment 3rd company.”
“Well met Lieutenant Emser, you and your men have defended us ably, I think it is time that we lend a hand. I would like to add my forces to yours. As you can see I have a troop of armored Knights and a lot of Bowelfs.”
“Ah Ser-the bowmen are all right where they are, they can shoot above our head I recon. The Knights would go best there where the wire is covered by the damn Rats-pardon my Breton Ser-I will deploy my men to the flanks. And whatever you do Ser-do not get between the machine gun and the Skaven. That is not a healthy place to be.”
“Thanks for the advice and I do believe your dispositions are wise-I will see to my part then, Lieutenant Emser.”
“Please hurry Ser-I think I can hear them getting it up again.”
“I will. I will send my mages to your injured, they should be able to help”
“Thanks greatly Ser.”

When the price rejoined the Silver Helmets Tyriael went to him. “What are your orders Master”
“We go behind that breach over there. Make sure nobody is in front of the machine gun. Hold until relieved. That should about do it.”
“Yes my Lord.”
It was obvious that Tyriael was not happy with the situation-and equally obvious that there was no time to do something about it-the flood of fur, claws and teeth was back in.
The Elven longbow is a terrible weapon. Able to reach out past 200 meters or so the arrows could pierce light to moderate armor with ease and a good bowelf could shoot it at least 12 times a minute. As the bow needed a lot of strength to use and the flight of the arrow was highly ballistic a lot of training was needed for this weapon, the Asur would not think anybody more than trained in the basics till the 10th year of intense practice.
Aeolus led the High Elves that made up the Embassy`s staff in a bow unit. Back by 20 meters from the wire he sighted the incoming Skaven. Using years of experience he judged their rate of advance and distance to give the necessary commands.
“Lift bows.”
“Draw”
“Let them fly”
The arrows were first rate, as could be expected from the Asur. Tipped with razor-sharp steel, wood precisely cut along the woods grain for extra strength and fletching that was just so the arrows rose and dropped in a small cloud of missiles that homed in on the front rank of the enemy.
In their flight path they were overtaken by small pieces of cooper-clad lead that raced at many times the arrows speed. The results were remarkably similar-the lightly armored Skaven dropped whenever hit. Their frenzied run at the defenders was already slowed down by trampling over the fallen of the last attacks, coming under intense fire while tripping on the entails of other Skaven did not do the morale any good. Still, the threats of the leaders were still fresh in the mind of the Clanrats and the huge numbers of Skaven that carried the attack was a salve to their nerves. The attack come forward till it got into the Plaza itself. The biggest group that had coalesced around a warlock technician was promptly under the fire of the machine gun that literally ripped the rats in two in many cases. Others managed to avoid attention long enough to close with the defenders. Those that reached the barbed wire found the same thing as their predecessors: It is not easy to cross when you have tools. It is nearly impossible to cross when you do not have appropriate tools. When you are under fire all the time you might as well lay down, die and save yourself the hassle.

Which left the ones that made it in front of the Silver Helmets. Rarely were two groups of enemies so much polar opposites as these two groups. On the one hand the skitterish Skaven, dirty and smelly, wielding rusty arms against beings that were as clean as freshly unpacked, moving with the grace of cats and using arms that were so well made they made human artisans cry with envy.
Tyriael checked a last time if his line was aligned right and then stepped into the fray. Torn between his personal small war and having to look after his master he still managed to sidestep the halberd thrust at him and then insert his sword into the opening presented so carelessly. Turning the sword just so much that it would come out easily and the wound bleed freely he put his shield into the way of another strike. Pushing it aside he managed to strike his sword along the halberds shaft, taking of claws and fingers. The sword thrust through the throat was just a formality.
As usual for him time had slowed to crawl and he had all the time necessary to see that Aurelius had already dispatched his fair share of Skaven, to see that the Skaven to right and left of the Asur were retreating from the terrible slaughter wrought by the human rifles and the next weapon moving his way. Loping of the halberds head he punched the shield into the Skaven´s body just to see him drop to the pavement. The lower edge of his shield crushed the Adam`s apple analog on the rat and left him to a death by suffocation.
Pulling back into line something pulled at the hem of his robe but not enough to slow him down too much-and then there were no more Skaven to be had. He was still silently enraged at the loss of “gravitas” inflicted by the loop of barbed wire that had ripped a hole in his robe when Aurelius stepped closer to him.

“That was a nice exercise, we should do that more often.”
Still bend down, ripping off more of his robe so he could move again Tyriael was angry enough to influence his better judgment. “Sire, you cannot be serious. Neither do we have a worthy foe not do we fight alongside honorable allies. This is just a butchery to save those too bad to save help themselves.”
“It is good thing you speak Sperenthiel Thyriael, otherwise I would have to get really upset. We have a foe that wants to kill us and is nice enough to come into the open and confront us-what more do you want? And what is your problem with the humans?”
“They..they are unwashed hairless Apes highness of no breeding and no culture.”
“They are the unwashed humans who suffered loss of about 4 in 10 Soldiers they brought here defending us-defending us from this-an expensive gesture encompassed the slain rats-and did not break. They were attacked by poison against which they had no dense-and did not break. They had to go into close combat against an enemy many times their number-and did not break. Even for us this would be quite an accomplishment And what exactly Tyriael makes you think they might not be honorable? I tell you what-the weight of 5000 years of prejudice makes you think that way. And if we keep thinking like that we will not have 5000 more years, but in 50 be but the source of amusement to these “hairless apes” as you call them.
And now get yourself together and organize your fighting line-or do you want to be found wanting in the face of “hairless apes” that so far have put us to shame today?”

Tyriael was about to say something-anything, and anything he could have said would bring him to shame. The crashing of several mighty lightning out of the blue sky in just a short distance kept him from doing something terminally foolish.
“Looks like the rats tried the celestial College Ser, they are over there. I don`t think they`ll do it again. But Sers, I think they are coming again here, so…”
“Yes Lieutenant, thanks for the warning”

Harbor Quarter, Altdorf, same time

Jerremy Conelius watched the German soldiers apply “first aid” to the wounded. For “first aid” what they did seemed very comprehensive, he doubted that any healer he or the men could have afforded would have done so much. They had organized some transport for their leader, he was already off somewhere where he would have some chance.
Looking around he saw much of the destruction caused by the battle and the many causalities taken. Now that the adrenaline high of the battle itself faded his legs felt weak and his stomach queasy. A shot of something good would steady that but he had to pay attention to that.
Before his mind`s eye a long list of things to do appeared-look who was still alive, both of his men and his clients. Look after which warehouses were still in one piece and what items would now bring a good price and…
“Aehem Herr Conelius” brought him about at his heels and his hand to the cutlass at his belt just to find that he was confronting Jens Neugebauer, the somewhat soft-spoken member of the soldiers team who sported a bandage around his head that had been there even before the battle started.

“Yes good man, what can I do for the conquering heroes?”
“Two things-first off we will be off now, we have used up all our medical supplies. There should be aid teams by this time tomorrow from what I gather by wireless. They will help your wounded further. Secondly-there were only 18.”
“What, I do not get you?”
“Don’t play dumb Connelius-we gave you 21 Grenades, there were only 18 explosions. We take them back, then good things can happen to you. Otherwise we have to look for them-you do not want that.”
“Oh that. Maybe some of my men did not prime them properly?”
“Maybe-and they are still dangerous. That is why you will find them-now.”
“We all have much to do, certainly during the next days we can..” He started to be aware of the dwarves and humans that suddenly were around him. A Dwarf with nearly no hair should have been a sorry sight but managed to look as fierce as anything that the “businessman” had ever seen. His shotgun was not exactly pointed at anybody…yet.

“Hey manling, Jens over there is such a nice guy and just wants to help. You want to give him shit?”
“Now that you point it out like that I think we can search for the missing grenades right away.”
“Thought you see reason”

Reiklandweg, Altdorf, later that day

Henning Gerber was bone tired, yet there was no way in hell that he could take any rest. Every minute that Skaven were running around Altdorf meant that more people died, more homes were destroyed and more stores looted.
The big fight seemed to be over-there had not been any reports of larger groups of Skaven anymore. Smaller groups tried to flee, some outside of the city, others tried to make for some of the tunnel entrances to get back to their lair. These were taken care by the helicopters, the mounted Reiksguard and more and more by the ready battalion of Paratroopers that had been flown into the imperial Capital.
His task were now the Skaven that had holed up in houses and were trying to wait out the fighting. He got the job as he had let his mouth run free again-a sorry mistake-and had suggested a tactic. Of course he and his men had gotten the job.
He barely had the time to reorganize some teams and restock ammo before the got into the business of rat catching again. His tank was providing firepower and lighting for a team of soldiers who were led by a dog team. The dog teams were from the channel watch-a specialized guard detachment who patrolled the sewers of Altdorf. Their dogs were trained to sniff Skaven and these were now led through the street sniffing here and there and making a bloody noise.

For umpteenth time today they stopped before the door leading to another house, again they scratched the door and tried to claw their way in. Instead they were pulled backwards and Henrik put the by now well-oiled machine in motion. Driving his tank before the house the Soldiers on his tanks back fist put a burst through the windows at their level. Through the holes went a number of canisters and white smoke began to pour from the empty windows. In front of his tank a soldier with a shotgun made holes in the door and the nozzle of a S tank was put through and engaged.
The Skaven had big sensitive eyes to see better in the dark caves and efficient sinuses to detect anything in the air that had a bearing on their life. These advantages were now their worst enemies as the CS gas which would have been extremely unpleasant to a human was as near to killing them as possible. Unable to see, unable to breathe properly and in great pain they could have been killed by a 6-year old with a pen knife, let alone by properly equipped soldiers with a serious dose of the hate.
Henrik was so exhausted that he nearly missed the Skaven that tried to make a break from a house a little down the street, his gunner was not and used his Coax to mow them down.

Imperial Palace, Altdorf, next morning

Karl-Franz, Emperor and Ruler of Altdorf felt as if somebody had put a handful of sand under his eyelids and sleep was just a fond memory of a forgotten life. An aide passed his a mug of scaldingly hot coffee that was thick with sugar and could probably raise his ancestors back till Sigmar, probably the 10th or so he had during the last 24 hours. It hit his stomach like a load of acid and reminded him that food would have been a good idea-later when there was more time available.
Turning back to the long table at the monitors he faced his staff again who tried to manage the disaster that had befallen his beloved capital.

“Highness, we need to demolish this row of houses along the Scholar`s Walk for a firebreak, otherwise the fire there will get out of control if the wind will come up even a little.”
“Do it, the owners will be reimbursed…somehow. But do it.”
“Right away sire.”
“What about the Jade Mages?”
“They still have problems inside the city, but now that we have flown in a couple they are sure that they can conjure rain during the next hour or so, then our problems at that front will be lessened.”
“Hurry them up”
“Marshall Hellborg is on it, I do not think that anybody can move them faster than him”
“Indeed. What about the help from Germany? Any news on that front?”
“We have a new status from the Ministry of the Interior as of 15 minutes ago Sire. Currently there are 8 major and several minor trains under way here. The first will arrive in 2 hours or so.”
“And what do they bring?”
“Shelter, food, field kitchens,water treatment, equipment for hospitals and the mobile treatment centers that would be called MASH if it were the military. All together about 9000 personel”
“9000-that would nearly be a division of troops if they were the Army. Mobilized and on the way in 24 hours. And you told me by far the most of them are volunteers. That were remarkable if it were true.”
“These are remarkable people highness”

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Mechman
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Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-09-13 02:38pm

Field`s in Naggaroth, same time

Areta Bane had been pretty sure she was in the shape of her life. The Germans had made her march and drill more than any other institution in her life. She had the best boots she had ever worn and her backpack was cleverly designed which spread the weight around most of her back instead of just her shoulders.
None of that seemed to matter any – the Auxilia had marched through all of the day when they had gotten their orders and a great part of the following night. She had marched till her shanks burned and till her feet hurt so badly that she feared something was injured for real-and then she had marched some more. She had two pairs of socks-one the woolen ones that kept her feet warm and another one of the finest silk inside that kept them from chafing too much and usually prevented blisters. When they had resumed the march after a break of very few hours it had taken not very long before the wet feeling inside her boots signaled her that the blisters she was supposedly avoiding had broken on their own. Her feet were pure misery by now.
She had hardened a lot during the training marches with the humans and had managed to get on with less and less water the longer her training went, and still her flask was empty long before the overworked supply people managed to refill them. By now she was in a half-conscious state where she just shambled onward together with the rest of the unit.

There had been something that promised to be a break in some wooded hills a while back, but that time had been used to gather sturdy branches and like all the others her marching load had been increased by a dozen sharpened stakes.
She was so far out of her skull that she nearly stumbled into the Elf before her when the “Halt” was signaled by the horn. The company leaders were called in for a short briefing and then they were back the good news were that the marching was over-the bad news was that the digging was about to begin.
The wooded hills behind her gave way to a broad valley who`s dry and hard ground had given root only to sparse grass and very few low bushes. The ground was gradually declining towards the far off horizon.

She managed to get her Squad into it despite their near-total exhaustion. They dug a not to deep trench and dropped the spoil in front of them so all in they were covered to chest height. Others took the stakes they had been carrying and dug them into the ground at a 45 degree angle, pointing outwards. The distance between them was roughly half a meter. They would not stop any infantry, but anything else would have a problem.
Areta was still bending her back to dig with her collapsible spade when the tired calls of “All hail the King of Spades”. Looking up in time she saw Wolfgang Böhler riding by, seemingly undisturbed by the catcalls. When he stood up in his stirrups it got quite enough that his answer could be heard by all. “Sweat saves Blood-your Blood and mine. So sweat or bleed what is your choice?”

Areta brought her squad into a trench next to one of the “machine gun nests” that were manned by the Germans. Simply laying down and not having to move any muscles was so sweet that she nearly forgot she got to do so as a humungous horde of enemy approached. The runners and the moving cloud on the horizin arrived nearly at the same time-the runners brought food, the cloud brought news of the enemy`s approach. Wolfing down the contents of her mess kit she took a command decision-one that did not come easy. Digging into a pocket on her backpack she extracted a packet wrapped in oily paper. She took a gnarled root from it and broke it into several smaller pieces. “Breda, here take this and distribute the rest.”
“Bertwort-are you sure? That stuff is not liked by our bosses.”
“They like misses due to tired eyes and dead Druchii even less”
“Yup. Thanks by the way.”
Chewing a part of the root herself she had to make herself swallow the bitter juice which made her mouth feel numb and her stomach queasy for a moment-but only for a moment. Then the air seemed fresher, the hurts in so many parts of her body receded and the approaching enemy reduced itself to so many colorful moving targets.
And enough targets there were. The front of the Chaos troops approaching were a gaggle of Chariots interspersed with heavy cavalry who were raising huge clouds of dust which cloaked the rest of the army which still seemed far off.

The German`s orders were explicit-the first to fire were the snipers and two of the machine guns, no more. The regular cracks of the snipers and the short rat-rats of the machine guns nearly made Areta fire too, but she got the reflex checked in time. By now she could see that the Chaos Army was indeed huge-for every German and Auxilia member that was here they might easily brought 50 or more Warriors to play with. But currently they only had to content with a small part of the Army-more than enough.
The long-range fire had so far brought down a number of knights, had emptied or crashed a few chariots and had gotten the enemy`s full attention. Horns blew, voices shouted incomprehensible orders, flags were waived, and then the Charge began.
From this distance the sight was not as bad as Areta knew it would become, the horses and warriors looked like toys at the horizon. “Open fire at 600 meters” came from Heiner Richter, the German commanding the 1st. Company.
Areta watched the enemy pass the stakes driven into the hard ground in front of her. Colorful cloth strips at each of the stakes gave a distance. The red ones gave the desired mark and the enemy was approaching at considerable speed.
“Target moving Chariots at the left-distance 600 meters-open fire.” From here Areta`s job was mostly feeding her own rifle. She brought the diopter of her rifle across a Chariot that was drawn by 3 animals which might be described as horses by the blind and ignorant. When the middle horse disappeared behind the front sight she pulled the trigger. The rifle banged against her shoulder and she went through the reloading without conscious thought, losing sight of her target in the process.
She could not see if she had hit, yet when she looked for her next victim the Chariot was no longer to been seen and another one had taken its place in the line. By now more details could be seen-the open mouths flecked with foam of the horses, the colorful flags affixed to the Chariots, the drivers trying to outdo each other and the warriors with spear and bow in each of them. The sickles mounted to the axles of most of them made them keep distance and lessened the troops they could pack into a line but would have frightened most infantry-not this one. Machine gun bursts took down whole troops of knights in one go, the rattling shots of the Auxilia mostly went after the less numerous Chariots. A well placed salvo crashed several of them in one go, making others change course to avoid them. The Knights who had tried to keep pace with the Chariots slowed down as well-and just received more fire for reward.
That took the starch out of this charge-riders turned their mounts, Chariots made more careful maneuvers as not to entangle each other and the detachment of Chaos went where they came from, all the way harried by the parting shots of the Mercenaries.

For the first time Areta could check on her squad longer than for a side glance-all were well, which was unsurprising given that the enemy never came closer than 250 meters or so. “Check your ammo and drink some water, these guys will be back”
Areta found that she had fired off more than 20 rounds in the short engagement-nearly 20 % of the rounds that she had been given. The screaming, the strange lights and the rumble of troop movements on the other side did not do anything to relieve her, but the runner who brought everybody a cloth packed 30-round pack did. She was still about to distribute the rounds in her ammo pouches when the next attack came in. This time there was more of everything-more Chariots, much more Cavalry and some of the Chariots seemed to have other passengers than just a few bowmen.
They approached the same-and were treated the same. This time the machine guns fired longer in a go, this time the enemy came so close that she could make out individuals, this time mages tried their hand. The latter found that the Mercs had brought at least one capable mage of their own and that flamboyant clothes and a light show attracted deadly fire to at least the distance they could work at. For a minute or so there was a localized storm that made shooting from the leftmost trenches difficult, but the long range of the German weapons made this an advantage that the Chaos troops could not exploit.

It was during the third assault that the enemy was driving so hard that the stakes were tested. Most of the Cavalry was put in bad disorder when their horses decided to be more clever than the men on them and refused to charge the stakes that were breast high for them. Some of the Chariots were different as the teams could not react in time and crashed into the barrier. Some of the combat cars managed to overturn the long way –quite a spectacle. The was the one time that the Auxilia went through their emergency ammo-5 rounds fastened by loops to the forestock to make loading more rapid. Areta was aware only of the smallest part of the battle, the one she could see through the small hole in her rear visor. It was usually filled with some enemy-or his carcass. Only during the short breaks when she went for another ammo pouch could she check on her squad. A strange way of wielding war when the enemy getting within 50 meters of the line counts as close.

An hour later she was ravenously thirsty, unhappy with drinking more water as it would mean she would have to find a place to get rid of the water she already drunk and getting new orders.
“They have send Infantry to our flanks-let`s not overstay our welcome here.”
Areta got more nervous than before as the machine gun teams were the first to eavc-if the enemy decided to attack then and there things would have been dicey. Then of course it were the even platoons to retreat first-meaning that her squad was in a trench that seemed quite empty by comparison-to the multitudes on the other side of the stakes.
Finally it was their turn and the few Druchii that were with her walked mostly backwards to the second set of trenches others had dug. This time the Chaos idiots actually tried something upon seeing how thin the Auxilia`s line was-just to find that the machine gun teams had already emplaced their weapons again.
There was not so much to do for the next two hours or so, but then it became obvious that the bulk of the Chaos Army had arrived and that darkness was not so far away. The Mercs waited till darkness before they slipped back into the hills behind them leaving some explosive gifts behind them.

Imperial Gardens, Altdorf, next day

The Imperial Gardens had been the site of a rather bloody engagement which had left its score of Skaven casualties. A lot of citizens and some guards plus an increasing amount of Germans had disposed of the rats in one corner of the park, and by now every truck which went to the Gardens carried a “return load” of corpses which were dumped in a cleared area close to the railway station.
By now there was enough open space for the medics to ply their trade and many bemused imperials watched as a truck went slowly forward over one of the former lawns. Dropping some long and heavy packs every 20 meters or so the truck dispensed 20-man tents. Based on a sturdy metal tube construction they were more than 2 meter height in the middle and could house up to 20 stretchers or beds, a field kitchen or a MASH. The target time to erect such a tent in training was 8 minutes, the medics which went after it made it usually in less than 3.

By the time most tents were erected another truck had dropped a lot of collapsible benches and tables like the ones that can be seen in Beer Gardens and at one tent several trailers showed to be field kitchens. Heiner Maser had fortified himself with two can of beer and his arms was nearly free of shakes when he put his arm deeply inside the trailers to ignite the kitchens flames. Never a totally safe operation his none-too clean coat had caught fire during this evolution in two separate instances.
When all kitchens were lit the contents of 5 kilogram tin cans, water, spices and much else was emptied into them. During the next 30 minutes there would be a shitload of “Wiener” sausages ready, by the same time about a hundred liter of rose hip tea would be available-the latter replaced the coffee served before the Weltensprung.
The next hour would see the first round of Maser`s goulash-which was really good and the kitchens would not be off for more than a week and would feed this part of the town as the markets were still off.

Temple of Shallya, same time

Margot Heinitz was putting the needle of the IV-Drip into the next patient. He looked like he had stopped a spear with his breast, leaving a sucking chest wound. That he was still alive more than 24 hours later was testimony to good first aid and an Order of Shallya that had come a long way during the last year. But now it was time to sew things up-literally. There was a lung to re-inflate, a wound channel to clean and some blood vessels to close for good. None of this was her concern, she was putting her training as an anesthetist to good practice and was putting patients under in a production-line like process, when they were down others would take care of them.
She was just happy she did not have the job that was before her in the “production line”-Triage. A team of doctors were doing their level best to decide who should receive treatment and who was beyond help. Right or wrong-their decisions were literally life or death.

In another room of the order 5 members of the order were showing hunchback figures and had IV drips in the back of their hands. They were sitting around a bed with a soldier who had dropped very badly and currently had no feeling in his legs or feet. Reconnecting a lot of nerves was what the 5 did best at present and they did this kind of thing ever since they had arrived a couple of hours ago.
They could only sustain that rate because of the cooling vests and glucose drips they used and their vital signs were carefully monitored by Christine Winkler. So far the 5 were holding up fine, but by all experience there was a steep price to pay when this was over.

Bank of the River Reik, same time

Bernhard Woekle had practiced this a great many times, but this was the first time he had to do it for real. His crew of THW-helpers had removed the cobblestones of a small plaza close to the Reik and he had placed his trailer above that spot. Ever since two hours he had put in drill rod after drill rod while he dug for the deeper levels of water where the sand banks had filtered the waters from the river. The Skaven had dropped corpses or worse in many wells throughout the city and if nothing was done decent water would be a precious commodity. Then people would drink directly from the Reik-which naturally had most of the shit of Altdorf in it. Cholera was sure to break out of he and many others would not do this job. Soon he would be deep enough, then the pipes and filters had to go in, the pump had to be connected and then…

Pro Production Office, Bauzen

"But you must have -" The flunky was cut off mid flow. Detlef Sierk rounded on the hapless suit.
"I must have? Really, I must have someone to oversee my designs because of what? You're afraid of ambition and you're afraid to achieve" Detlef looked at the cringing assistant, he flagged, it was clear that the stress, even at this early stage was beginning to tell. In the old days Genevive would have soothed away many of his concerns. "In case there is a confusion in language, by oversee, do you mean to over see what I do or to oversee the designs to completion"?
"To completion, Herr Bloch and Herr Linderman agreed they are concerned that you are taking on too much. This project is larger than almost anything seen before. They would actually like to provide you with a number of people to help with design and casting" The assistant carefully avoided any mention at all of editing, having had one explosion today, he could still do without another.
"Humph, casting, yes. Would this casting assistant prevent me from having to speak to the 'lovely' Emma Von Wulfenhels-Addenau and her insessant demands she be cast in every female lead role going despite being tone deaf, have the build of the bastard offspring of an Ogre and an Orc, with a temper to match, and whose 'singing' has been outlawed as torture in 3 states"? The smile on the playwrite's face showed the assistant he was safe.
"Yes Herr Direktor"
"Then it is on condition I approve them, but yes. Oh, and a consultant editor may not go amiss". The smile had become a mischievious grin. "Give them helmet and armour though, I may not like what they say"

--------------------------

Pilgrim management offices Berlin

"So Till, like I said, We have the lead villian, the guys from Knorkator will take that part and his retinue. despite the prosthetics and the suits, we think this will get past the religious police or whackjobs or whoever, due to their comedy stance, Detlef has the cast more or less in hand and the critical stage crew is pretty sorted"
"They were a good call Christian, at least we know we can trust those guys. Do they have the notes for their songs"?
"Of course, they should have some rough demos for us week after next, Alex has thrown himself into this hard"
"is Bloch going to have kittens from the lyrics again"?
"I doubt it, Alex reckons they've gone as far Macbeth as they can go with it."
"This is going to be insane, I dread to think what the budget for this will be, still, that is Bloch's problem, not ours, or Detlef's. We'll have to find out when he's back next"
"Definately, let us see what terror we have inflicted on our poor downtrodden manager then"

Temple of Sigmar, Talabheim

The meeting itself took place in a back room of the temple. Contrary to the image most citizens of the Empire held about the organisation and their followers, the meeting did not take place at midnight, nor were any of the figures present cowelled to prevent identification, infact they had come to know each other quite well over the last 10 years of service.

From behind his desk, Otto Klaus Die Steinfaust looked at his protoge.
"So then Johan, that is, it seems the measure of it. These Germans have no whitch hunters of their own, they allow perversity to run unchecked, have no concept of the dangers of this world, of the insidious nature of the true enemy, in fact they seem to court it without even knowing. And that is why I am sending you. In all the years I have known you, never once have you failed Sigmar, and always have you brought the impure to justice".
"Thank you sir, I am honoured you think of me this way. I assume that my warrant will have little weight among them at the moment"? Johan Smisch knew that, if anything, Steinfaust had understated the task ahead of him. The only witch hunter in a nation of over 100 million people, even the number baffled his mind, that must be more than in the entire world. His presence would be insignificant among such numbers.
"Regretably so. The new Temple in Berlin will be advised of your presence in country and asked to provide assistance if requested. The number of believers is tiny, you could count them on one hand, but we are taking root in their military, they are not utterly cultureless".
"That is good to know. Allies, no matter how few arenever a bad thing. I understand that there has been some friction between the Organs of Salvation and some of these Germans visiting the Empire already".
"Yes, an incident between a rather rash novice Witch Hunter and one of their Army medics. They so remarkable loyalty to each other which may have blinded them to the correctness of the challenge".
"So I am to follow Sigmars footsteps as it were, to unknown lands and bring the light to burn out the darkness"? Johan's near blasphemic language had brought him into conflict with some of the more conservative members of the Cult of Sigmar, Steinfaust often had to search the veteren hunters face to look for signs of humour. "In which case I will take my leave, the journey will take a good month or so. I will send word of where I will set down".
"Good luck, Johan, take Sigmars blessings with you".
Smisch bowed making the sign of the hammer. As he rose and left, Steinfaust was left wondering, outnumbered 1 to 100 million, it wasn't fair at all, those poor Germans wouldn't stand a chance.

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Mechman
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Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-09-29 01:43pm

Hill Khaines Den, Naggaroth, same time

The Hills that stood in the way of the approaching horde were still cloaked in the darkness of the false dawn, bit the sounds of saw, pickaxe and spade had not stopped throughout the night. Lord Silverhawk`s command tent was still the efficient and elegant construction that had been 3 days earlier, and the inhabitants were also the same. Yet the Druchii and few humans all looked exhausted and there was the tension of being at the morning of a major battle. The Army commander stepped in front of an easel that held a map of the battlefield-to-be.
“Commanders pay attention or pay the price. Ever since last night we occupy a series of hills that we will defend against the Horde in front of us. These are the Hills: Wolfen Hill will be defended by the 2nd Spear of Kharmond, Lord Bregla`s Household Guards and the 2nd Company of the Auxilia. Then we have Boneyard Ridge and Culprits Hill, held by the 21st Guards and my own Retinue. My headquarters will be there too. Khaine`s Den will be defended by the 23rd Watch. On the right Flank we have two Hills only known as Little Round Top and Big Round Top. They go to my Hearth Guards and the 1st Company of the Auxilia.
We will place the Cavalry and the rest of the Auxilia in reserve behind Boneyard ridge, they will also hold the way open for a retreat if it comes to that. Make no mistake about this: We have been given an excellent defense position by the Auxilia-if we lose it and have to fight in the plains we will fare far worse so fight for the terrain you have-none shall pass.
Any questions? Good-get to your troops and fight them.”

When Wolfgang Böhler stepped outside of the tent and found that the dawn was finally breaking. Lifting his binoculars he got himself an overview. He did not notice the approach of the Army`s commander till he spoke to him “You brought us a very good position with you march, I can see that now. How fast have you been?”
“You are welcome-it was not that easy. We marched 91 Kilometers in 51 hours and then fought an extended action-not too bad if I say so myself.”
“Hand me your Binox if you like-I have the feeling they are somewhat better than what I got from your Boss.”
“Mostly at low light Mylord. Please use them.” Lord Silverhawk focused at the Army on the other side, then on the field in between. The place where the Auxilia had fought their delaying action was easily seen-the trenches stood out, as did the fallen before it.
“Khaine`s Blood-you committed a massacre down there. Why did you pull back?”
“We were flanked and would not have been able to fight a night battle in that location. On top of that ammunition was running low-we could only resupply when the rest of the Auxilia arrived.”
“Understood. Fight as well as that today and I will see it that you get first dibs into the loot.
“That would be appreciated my Lord.”

Temple of Sigmar, Altdorf, same time

Like any imperial city Altdorf did not have an abundance of empty spaces. The necessity of having city walls as well as avoiding overly long commuting distances spoke against it. Now that a lot of Altdorf citizens were at least temporarily homeless it became had to give them a place to be till their homes were free of Skaven, Giant Rats, the bodies of same or some poisons-not to speak of the houses simply burned down.
As the population density in the houses that were not affected by the fighting was already approaching critical mass putting even more persons there was unadvisable as was putting a tent city before the Gates. So Uwe Teut, the CO of the “1st Katastrophenschutzzug” was looking for real estate where he could plonk the 300 or so beds he still could employ. He was in front of Sigmar`s Temple and was looking for somebody to approach whether he could erect some tents in front of the temple when a huge man in the robes of a Sigmarite addressed him.

“I am Luthor Hus, Priest of Sigmar. You seem to be looking for something.”
“Good morning Father. I am Uwe Teut of the Disaster Management team and actually looking for somebody who can tell me whether I can put some tents for the homeless in front here.”
“I have heard of the work you and your kind do-and I think we can do you one better. The temple had large spaces used only for rituals that are not scheduled at present. I believe you could put several hundred needy persons there. It would be wise to have the cooking outside though.”
“That would be great, we have a lot of older and infirm who are not suited to sleep under canvas. Could you show me what we can use?”
“Give me 5 minutes.”
A short while later Luthor brought a very young, very nervous and very clearly overwhelmed priest to the former policeman. “Father Stein here will show you around for the time being Herr Teut.”
“Excellent, I won`t keep you then Father Hus.”

Little Round Top, Naggaroth, same time

Areta had acquired more blisters. While the ones on her feet had been opened during the night with a needle by Breda and should heal sooner or later these were on the hands. Together with the rest of Auxilia she had been taking trees down for firing lanes, had arranged the branches into traps that would slow the attackers, dug trenches and bunkers…. She was running on Bertwort and Jerky like the rest of the Druchii-and Germans who had worked at least as hard as her. They did not use the root-but she had seen some of them pop some pills when they thought nobody was looking.

Now that the sun came up she was in her assigned trench and watched the approach to her position. So far the enemy had not made a move. Time to do what every clever soldier does whenever possible. "Breda, you and Drusida have first watch-rest of us catches 40 winks. Change over in two hours.”

Command Tent, other Side of the Valley, same time

Whether it was her forked tongue or the fangs that protruded over her lower lip, Dechella`s hoarse voice was having a lisp and still managed to sound ready to kill anybody in the tent with her. “General Ewelle, give me one reason why you still live. One reason I beg of you. I send you to do the simplest of tasks-attack the hill on the flanks of the Elves. What kept you, did you not get enough beauty sleep or were you a little hungry?”
The General in question was the epitome of a distinguished elder military man-grey hair that was just so, an aquiline nose and a slender ramrod straight bearing-normally. He would have been beautiful in a conventional sense were it for the pupils that resembled a snakes, the eyes where blood red replaced white or the tastefully restricted horns.
Currently he was abasing himself before the Outcast and was pleading in a most undignified manner.

“Mylady-we have taken heavy losses trying to kill the troops in the way of your glorious march. We had to reorganize our troops-and when the order came it stated “if practicable”. Before I had not seen that every warrior was attached to a troop and before a scouting of the hills it was clearly not practicable. And my Scouts have vanished-none returned at all.”
“You will vanish if you do not do much better-all off you.”


Spitting a glob of poison to the back of the abased General that smoked and hissed while it dissolved armor and flesh with equal ease Dechella slid forward to a model a slave had made out of clay in the middle of the tent.
“This is where these cowards have made their lair-they hide like rats waiting for the hounds. They think by occupying the hills they can deny us our victory. Poor fools they are. They occupy a long line of defense and we will attack them at the flanks-that way we face the fewest of them at the same time. General Longchemin, you will attack the left flank. Attack as soon as your last infantry has arrived, you will need them to storm the hills.
General Ewelle, you have a chance to show me why you should live-you attack the right flank as soon as you are ready. Do not fail me. And now go and slay my enemies.”

Temple of Sigmar, Altdorf, one hour later

Great Theogonist Volkmar strode through the Temple of Sigmar. It was a beautiful edifice, a wonder in itself that got grudging acknowledgement even from Elves and Dwarves. Inside was the biggest enclosed room in one piece in the Old World, a dome of epic proportions. It`s vaulted roof was supported by countless slender pillars and the top of the roof contained a circular array of windows that gave the most impressive light. At the right time the light outshone the arcs that supported the center roof and made it seem like it floated on top of a band of light.
Flags and statues adorned the walls and plinths and niches the size of smaller temples allowed for more private ceremonies. In Volkmar`s head there were plans for the most impressive of services which would encompass the Emperor and the heads of the victorious armies hosted by him of course to show the world that everything was possible with Sigmar…

It took a while for the strange sounds to get his attention but when they did they held it just fine. Lots of voices, many with the clipped accent of the Germans, the sound of the movement of furniture and hammer blows emanated from one of the larger niches and a stream of badly clad citizens went there. He had certainly not allowed for anything like this and the furor of an angry man of God went burning through his veins. Leaving his retinue behind in his haste to end this abomination he arrived at the scene with flying robes. Before him a lot of uniformed Germans were busy desecrating his temple. Having shoved the benches aside they were erecting folding beds, distributing bed rolls on them and arranging strange metal flasks on the top of which glowing boxes radiated warmth.
In the back side the beds were already occupied with older people often sleeping with open mouths showing the ruins of their surviving teeth. In another corner a pudgy woman had bared her ample breast and was feeding a baby. It was just getting better and better.
He was nearly running to the nearest German who used a brace from one bed to lever the next one open and make sure it was fastened.

“You-you there, what is the meaning of this violation of the sacred temple? What are you doing here?”
“Jan-Eric Prelle, and a good morning to you too. A Father Stein told me we could arrange for the older homeless here.”
“Father Stein is about the lowliest priest at this holy place, he would never dare to..to..” The rage in the Great Theogonist was canceling the capacity to make sentences.
“You got a problem, take it up with the Boss. Herr Teut is over there, discussing with some other priest about where to put the port-a-potties I think.”
“You want to put potties in…” The view in front of Volkmar`s eyes got a red tinge to them and his ears were filled with the surf of his hate. Lifting the hammer of his office in both hands above his head he mentally recited the application to Sigmar that would send His power into the hammer and his wielder. Filled with this power he would cleanse the temple of unwashed so the glory of Sigmar could shine. The supplication was one of the most basic and the lowliest Sigmarite was proficient in it. For him it was as ingrained as pulling a sword from its sheath.

And it failed. Not with the pain of a failed spell, not with the chocked off words of failed concentration-it simply failed. Nothing was forthcoming; it was as if he had no connection to Sigmar at all.
The meaning of this was all too clear. Appalled with the insight of his failure he lowered the hammer. “I will look up this Teut then. I think we should discuss how to use the temple somewhat more. When I come back, could you please show me how to help you?”
“Uh-yes of course.”

Little Round Top, Naggaroth, early afternoon

Areta was feeling close to a true elf again. The enemy had not done much so far and that had allowed her and the others to take in a warm meal-the first in 3 days-to change at least some clothes and to get a few hours of sleep. When she was not sleeping she had a grand view of a column of Chaos troops that marched to the side of her position. It had marched none too fast by her new standard, had to contermarch one while she was looking because they encountered a piece of swampy terrain and were generally not too clever about it as the cavalry had to wait for some infantry. At first these had double-timed it, but the number of stragglers had shown that the enemy commander had overdone that part. The Germans had made their lot even worse when snipers managed to kill several of the Chaos leaders, leading to even slower marching. But now the column had sorted itself out and was assaulting the next hill. It was held by a part of Lord Silverhawk`s hearth guards who had not spend as much effort of fortifying their line as they had arrived comparatively late.

Areta could not see much, but things did not seem to go too well. The enemy had approached the hill without receiving too much fire and now the sounds of battle were definitively moving her way. By now all of her squad were occupying their places and like her had arranged some ammo packs open before them so they could reload clean ammo not from their pouches.
The need to pee and the feeling that she was getting a little too few air made Areta aware of the pre-combat tension-it would no longer be felt as soon as combat was joined. And then it started-the first remnants of the Hearth Guard ran past her. Some clutched obviously injured limbs or supported comrades that served as an explanation for their flight-others avoided all eye contact and just ran.
The barely human howls that issued from the woods covering Big round Top told her what had made them flee.

“Open fire as soon as they emerge from the trees. Look for the small groups-the machine gun takes care of the rest. Kill them all.” Richter had taken position behind a sturdy tree a little uphill where he could see his platoon. He handled one of the coveted assault rifles and was clearly willing to lend a hand.
And then they came, with few order or much plan, close on the heels of the last Hearthguards. Swarthy men with yellow skin and slanted eyes, their hair done in topknots and with armor of boiled leather were the first to emerge from the forest edge. Wielding axes and swords and in the depth of combat range they charged the Auxilia`s line. Others, clad in loose dirty silken robes stopped and loosened arrows from composite bows. These received the immediate attention of the Auxilias two machine guns. Leaves dropped to the ground, twigs scythed through the air, tree trunks suddenly showed light-colored craters and the bowmen dropped where they stood.
This left the approaching warriors to the tender mercies of Areta and the other marksdruchii that held the line. “Infantry 250 meters-open fire”
The “cracks” of the elven rifles mixed with the more rapid shooting of the assault rifles used by the Lt. and his second in command. The short distance meant that nobody needed to adjust his sights, it was just the routine of loading-acquiring-target-firing that took the mind. Areta barely saw that the machine guns started to take down the melee fighters as well and had no time to marvel at the stumbling run-and-stumble forced on the enemy by the foot traps and caltrops they had strewn in their way.

Still-it was hard to get them all. A combat rush that did not just bordered on insanity but full embraced it drove the surviving enemy up the slope to the trenches. Firing a last round that took off the face of a screaming brute Areta rose from her knees to a low crouch and stabbed her bayonetted rifle forward and upward. It pierced the stomach of an axe-wielding barbarian who was so drive by momentum that he flew clear over the trench guided by the weapon in his intestines.
Areta drew the weapon back and pushed it through the throat of the injured. She managed to turn in time to stab a barbarian who had jumped into the trench with her and wanted to club Breda who wrestled with another. Stabbing the warrior twice in the back she then drove the butstock of her rifle on the neck of Breda`s would-be killer resulting in the sound of a breaking twig and a man in the throws of a seizure.
Turning back to the edge of the trench she looked for new targets-and found none.

Looking at her squad she found that Arma had a stab wound in her shoulder and saw that Breda was already administering help. “Take the bandage from her kit stupid-you may need yours later. Drusida-when you two are done, escort her to the casualty station, then come back. Try to hustle some more ammo while you are at it. The rest of you-make sure none of these rats get under foot-throw them out of the trench.”
The horn that could be heard from the woods made her stop and everybody except Arma went back to the trench`s side. The horn was dissonant, deep and loud. It went into the ear, bypassed the brain and went to the heart-and sized it. It told of bloody tidings-and the screams that followed the horn`s call spoke of those who wanted to dispense them.

In one second the tree line on the opposite side was empty-in the next it was full of running bodies jostling for first position at the slaughter. This time the machine guns were not occupied by trying to hold down some bowmen-this time they could dispense death where it counted.
From two points the salvos went out. The “Schwarze Schaar” had several original MG81 from the Lasbek cache and they showed this world why they had been feared and respected in the one they had left. Originally developed as defensive guns for bombers they had been issued to the army by WW2`s end. Firing even faster than the famed MG 42 they usually wasted ammo, but here they tore into an enemy who had yet to learn not to bunch up. Many warriors were hit by more than one bullet and literally blown apart, other bullets were not stopped by their original victims and flew on to claim more lives. Good as they were the machine guns could not stop all of the enemy-that was Areta`s job and that of the rest of the Auxilia. While they had more than a hundred rifles they fired less bullets than the Germans-but they were individually aimed. With the glee for claiming lives given to the Druchii they zoomed on those who were not part of the main push, on those who had stumbled or who were slowed down by some injury and dispatched them. The enemy never came closer than a dozen meters before the trenches.

Areta checked on her squad-all was well and saw the back side of Arma and Drusida who finally went to the casualty station when the Lieutenant waived her over.
“Sounds like the assholes will try another push-and we have to get some additional ammo for the machine guns. We are down to a few belts each-that won`t last long, so we need to slow the next assault down a little. That is your job. What we need to do is….”
A few minutes later Areta was moving through the Forest on the Big Round Top as quickly as she managed to do quietly. She was hunched over and could just see the back side and ass of Heiner Richter who moved less elegantly then his Druchii but got the job done as well. All of them heard the Chaos warriors who moved up the slope about 50 meters to their right. All what kept them from seeing the Druichii were the trees and their expectations that the enemy was not here. The Lt. raised his arm with and open hand-nearly everybody stopped without bumping into the next elf. Further hand signals formed a line and then send everybody forward. Stopping a few meters from the running enemy Areta stopped with the others, lifted the Grenade she held in her right hand and ripped the cord inside the handle. It emerged from the handle still burning and the Grenade had to go. Making sure there was no tree in the way Areta threw the Grenade as far as the could while grabbing for the next one. She had primed that Grenade already when the explosions and screams started. Dropped directly into the closely packed enemy the explosions ha a 10-meter lethal radius and tore terrible wounds into unprepared warriors. Two more “salvos” went out, then the “Fall back, fall back” made sure that the Auxilia did not try to mix it up.
Areta giggled like a small child who had perpetrated a prank when running back to the lines-pure nerves. And she wanted an assault rifle like the Lt.-the sight of him walking backwards to the trench while firing at pursuing enemies from the hip was just great.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-09-29 01:45pm

Close to Railroad station, Altdorf, later that day

The amount of Skaven bodies that had accumulated at the Railway station was staggering by now. By far it were not all of the Skaven killed in Altdorf-new ones were arriving with every truck-but by now the heap of them became too big to ignore.
So a large number of people whom everybody else looked at with pity were piling the bodies in just the right way so that air could circulate among them. Usually this would have been a job for the prisoners, a resource that Altdorf was just out of. Now it fell to a lot of daytalers who were out of a job leavened with a sprinkling of THW (disaster management engineers) and fire brigade volunteers.
When the pile reached a height where it became unstable the volunteers retreated and doused it with diesel. A flare provided sufficient ignition to get things going.
Some distance from the fire an excavator had dug a slit and lined it with quicklime-whatever bacteria or Viri the Skaven had, they would stay buried. The area still would have a bad reputation for a long time.

Wolfen Hill, Naggaroth, after Nightfall

Wolfgang Böhler did not like his Dragunov sniper rifle too much. It was competent to 600 meters or so but fell off sharply after that. He used it for special occasions which either asked for the rapid reloading afforded by the self-loading mechanism or after dark.
The equipment acquired in Lasbek had, among other things, a couple of NSP-3 Night Vision devices and these were adapted to the Dragunov but not his preferred Mauser. Given that the NVG did not have all that much range it did not matter.
The flash hider in front of the barrel had been replaced by a combined flash-hider and suppressor made by the resourceful Thorsten Breitkop. While the sound was still well noticeable close to the sniper and the supersonic bullet had its own signature at 500 meters the source of the sound was no longer discernible.
Thorsten watched several heat-radiating green blobs trying to traverse the plain in front of him-time to reduce the enemy`s scouts numbers once again. One of the blobs reached a piece of terrain that he had noted for range. Shooting was as automatic as breathing for him, but the kick to the shoulder and the stopped blob that started cooling was a boost as always.

Command Tent, other Side of the Valley, same time

General Ewelle was not dead yet and doubted that he would die tonight. His troops had not won the heights assigned to him, but neither had anybody else. He had, in fact, managed to maul a troop of Druchii who had tried to defend a piece of terrain too much forward of the hills.
That would not have stopped Dechelle from her usual mayhem, but she had found another target. Hetman Jebstuardi had been the leader of the light cavalry and was supposed to screen Dechelle`s horde and obtain information about her enemies. He was famous for his far-reaching raids and had at times ridden his troops right around the enemy`s army, often coming back with impressive loot and important intelligence.
Unfortunately these grand raids took him out of the range of Dechella`s army, making his services unavailable at inopportune times-and this time had been once too often. Fixing the former general under her snake body and fixing him with two arms she used the claws on his other to scoop entrails from his abdomen and feasting on them.
Careful to leave the diaphragm and the major blood vessels alone she had so far managed to keep Jebstuardi alive while consuming him piece by piece.
The Hetman became quiet enough and Dechella`s bites small enough that she got understandable again. Her blood-smeared face and the bloody bits that flew through the tent impressed the attendants most as this could have been them.

“So sneaking into the enemy`s flanks was too difficult for you then. So let us give you an easier task. The basted Druchii have their special weapons that gave you poor ladies so much trouble on the flanks and none on the center as far as we know. Tomorrow all mages will throw their spells at the center of the enemy`s line. The guns will fire at best speed-and then we will charge them directly with a fury the world will talk about in a 100 years.”

Wolfen Hill, Naggaroth, next morning

Wolfgang Böhler was watching the doings in the enemy camp through his Zeiss Victory Binoculars. Now that he was somewhat older he would have opted for something better than a zoom of 10x but the laser rangefinder was nice. The diffuse light given by a deep overcast was not helping.
Despite getting their heads handed to them yesterday the Chaos army still outnumbered the Druchii several times and were far from beaten. His view showed a bunch of rituals taking place and while he had no idea what was intended he doubted he would like the results. He was also surprised that the Chaos Mages were trying to cast their spells at such distance-mostly they needed to be closer, but that was probably why they had put so many mages in a place or were butchering such a lot of sentinents. No matter what or how-he would do his best to end this.

“Horst, send a Runner to Lord Silverhawk. Message as follows: “Unless otherwise directed I will fire at a group of mages in the Chaos camp who perform some ritual.”
Without taking his view of the scene he switched on the microphone he had clipped to the collar of his armored vest. “Bruchmeier-this is me, Böhler. I have some mages in the open you need to take care of. They are at 030 Degree, distance 1860 meters. I`ll spot.”
“Acknowledged”

Heiner Bruchmüller released the “talk” button on his wireless and turned to his mixed crew of Germans and Druchii. “Get up you lazy fraggers, we have a fire mission. Ready 20 rounds for impact.” The German then turned to his Laptop. He had made up an “Exel” sheet for this thing. The distance and bearing to the sniper was known, the bearing and distance to the target given by him was put into the sheet together with wind velocity. He did not have good data on how the ammo would behave for temperature and some other variables, he would have to adjust.
“Boss, ready to fire.”
“Good. Bearing is 32 degree, elevation is 25, fire when ready.”
“Böhler-this is Bruchmüller-out”
The Panzerabwehrwerfer 600 (Antitank Mortar 600) was a curious gun-firing the same fin-stabilized ammo as the 80 mm mortar it used the same high/low pressure system as the 40 mm Grenade launchers, in fact the system was pioneered for this gun. Therefore it did not give an almighty bang when the gunner pulled the lanyard, but something like the loudest fart in the world and spit out a 4.5 kilogram projectile at a muzzle velocity not fit to write home about.
“Bruchmüller-Böhler here. Left 20, down 50”
“Bearing 31,7, elevation 24,6, do it again.”
“Böhler-out”
The artilleryman could not see the effects-he had made his primary firing position on the reverse slope of Boneyard ridge-and was wondering what all the fuss was about when he heard an almighty crash and what could only be described as a hoover on steroids from the left. He only saw something like a black vortex and saw treetops disappearing.
“Bearing ok, up 30”
“Elevation 24,7-step to it guys” The fart went out again and Bruchmüller watched the Vortex moving about nervously while waiting for the results.
“Finally-this is good Bruchmüller-fire for effect”
“Let them have guys-fire 10 rounds and prime some more for air burst.”

While the velocity to which the projectiles were accelerated to were a rather anemic 500 meters/second the comparatively soft acceleration had allowed the ammo makers to use a very brittle cast iron for the grenades body. When they arrived at the end of their flight path the casing exploded into countless razor-sharp fragments that wasted themselves against some shining dome.
Seconds later some Cavalry that waited in reserve close to the artillery dropped in something which looked like the throws of an intense orgasm. Bruchmüller`s team never realized that and went through the motions of reloading like the pit-stop team of a Formula one team.
The second and third grenade likewise made for a nice firework in colors that nobody could describe, but the 4th made a bubble that was not there before vanish. The rest of the grenades mashed the mages just fine.
“Bruchmüller-Böhler here. That was just fine, end fire mission.”
“Will do”
“Restock ready ammo you folks-do not stand waggling”
Heiner Bruchmüller was happy at his first artillery engagement-and just hoped he would be back in Neustadt soon. His house held a lot of orphans, many of them very young. He loved all of his children, he loved them soo much…

Areta Bane had not seen the mages, but the Vortex that had formed briefly over the troops in the center of the line she had seen-and its effects-much too clearly. The artillery fire had broken the spell-probably by killing the mages and now things were back to normal-if normal included the formation of a huge line of enemies on the other side.
So far she had never seen more than a part of the Chaos army-hopefully this time it was the whole enchilada. Knights in black and red armor assembled under banners she should not look at for any length of time as they made her feel ill-and lustful. Chariot teams brought their beasts under control while driving up to a starting line. Deep blocks of infantry got into formation, horns brayed and commands were shouted.
There were nearly 2 Kilometers between the two lines-did they think they could cross this distance over open fields and arrive in a fashion fit for fight? A runner reached her squad while she still took in the sight.
“Areta, the Platoon is to go to the center together with machine gun team 1-saddle up.”
Swearing she got her team out of the trench and formed up with the rest of her platoon with Lt. Richter. “Platoon, we change positions to the Boneyard hill. There we will reinforce the firing line. We should arrive before the party begins-double time””
Areta had just started marching when the fog set in. It cloaked the Druchii position from one end to the other with a dense opaque shroud that might as well be their burial cloth.

Wolfgang Böhler watched the fog envelop the Druchii line with horror-if this were persistent then the enemy could close with the Elves-and his troops-nearly unopposed. If it got to fight at the few meters distance which this fog allowed it would be a slaughter.
He ran towards the point where Jasla and some of the helpers she had recruited plied her trade. “Can you do something about this bleeding haze?”
“We did not ban it in time sorry, it was centered above Culprit Hill and the mages there did not catch it in time.”
“No matter-what can you do about it?”
“Now that it is here it has to dissipate-that will take time.”
“We do not have any time-we will have visitors soon.”
“Then we should retreat”
“We have no orders for that.”
“Fuck the orders.”
“You picked the wrong commander for that.”
Witch and sniper stared at each other, the movement of Jasla`s eyes showed that something lethal was formulating there, the sniper had his hand on the butt of his pistol.
An eternal moment passed and the sniper did neither take his eyes a second from Jasla`s face nor move his right hand anywhere else.”
“One of your spells is like a winter storm-can you enlarge it and make it short and less bad?”
Jasla did not even blink, but it was clear that her thoughts were now on a different track. “Yes, that should be possible.”
“Then make it so-now”
“No need to get so testy dear Wolfgang.”
Dear Wolfgang was about to blow a gasket when the Witch`s eyes rolled backward and claw-like fingers drew glowing lines through the air. Her throat gave void tom sounds that even made Wolfgang step back a couple of paces and the air around them felt charged with energy.
For an eternal moment nothing happened and then a cold gale blew of the hills, taking the fog with it as if it had never existed.
“Good job.”
“Then do yours”

Areta was pretty much out of breath when she arrived at her new position, having double-times it for nearly all of the way from Little Round Top. She was greeted by a cold wind howling around the hills, clearing the view all the way to the enemy camp.
And what a view it was-the enemy was in full advance. The Cavalry was still trotting forward, not being close enough yet for the full Gallop. The Chariots were keeping pace with them and took inordinate space for their numbers. The infantry was going through the middle, mostly as they could march through the stakes and trenches that the Auxilia had left.
Much more worrying were a couple of Ogres that accompanied the Chariots-these could absorb a lot of damage and keep going.
Areta did not like her position too much. It had been made with Crossbowelfs in mind, which meant she was standing up and the cover in front of her was not worth mentioning. Lt. Richter had positioned himself between his Platoon and the 23rd Watch, showing a clear understanding of Druchii politics for which Areta was thankful for. Some places in her nether regions still twitched unpleasantly when she saw that regiment.

She had barely settled in when the enemy began the assault for real-the Cavalry began the charge, the Chariots and the Ogres joined, the poor bloody infantry double-timed it. So much hate, so much willingness to close with the foe and kill, so beautiful horses, armor and warriors-all in motion. And then the machine guns opened fire. Especially in the center it were not many of them, but each and any of them was making its presence felt. Even if the enemy wanted to advance in open order-not that that was likely-the narrow front prevented that. And so the front ranks went down in places again and again.
“Target infantry in the open-700 meters-open fire” brought Areta`s unit into play. She went through her ammo at a frightening clip. Every shot she could place raised her chances to survive the day. As they were directly opposed the Druchii on Boneyard Hill targeted the infantry-and that had its first real problem. Walk between rows of stakes 50 cm apart and then jump a couple of trenches-for adult warriors prime shape that should not be a problem, right? Your grandma can do it, can`t she. Oh, she can and so could the Chaos warriors. But to do so slows you down-and that means a pile –up in the ranks behind them. And all of that under murderous rifle fire-that is not so easy any more.
The worst of the pile ups, often caused by losses due to rifle fire got the special attention of the machine gun teams.

Areta never saw it, but Heiner Bruchmüller pushed his gun team and their weapon up the slope to its secondary firing position. The manual stated that it was effective against moving targets till 750 meters or so, and that was when they scored their first hit on an Ogre. The proud Ironguts, wearing cobbled-together armor often up to an inch thick were proof against most attacks. Against a weapon designed to take out T-34 tanks it might as well have been tissue paper and the explosions inside the Ogres were taking them down in a satisfactory manner-satisfactory if you were on the Druchii side of the field of course.

Areta was still firing, but by now her sights were dialed down to 300 meters-and then the distance was so short she did not have to correct any more. She shot as if on the range at Neustadt-aiming every shot to count, never having a feed jam and just occasionally hissing when her thumb touched the blazing hot rifle. She saw some huge bolts being thrown forward by bolt throwers-the hits were just swallowed by the advancing foe. In two places puddles of fire showed where Dragon Fire bolts had been used-these the enemy respected.
Finally the rest of the Druchii could join in-the crossbow shooters all along the line let loose and their bolts could hardly miss at this distance. They could fire about as quickly as the Auxilia, but their much greater numbers told. Before the Chaos Line had advanced despite all losses, despite walking bend forward like walking into a stiff wind, despite being splattered with blood and brains.
Now it seemed like every warrior who stepped forward fell down-some immediately, some after having taken some more stumbling paces when the poison took hold. The line stopped at the stakes in front of the hills and some warriors tried to get through-none survived.
Leaders tried to push their men forward, to psych them up for the final assault-and died. Some were killed by the Auxilia, some by Wolfgang Böhler who enjoyed himself-most by their own men.

Wolfgang Böhler was killing the enemy, about 5 of them per minute, mostly leaders of some sort. That meant that he was not doing his job. As much damage as he did-his main job was sniper no longer-the Auxilia needed a leader.
It fell to his assistant to remind him.
“Boss-some riders are reaching the line below-we should do something.” The eyes which suddenly watched him were so cold and dead that he went pale. He was no longer an assistant or in the same team-he was a target and was checked for validity. It took a second and then it was gone.
“Ups, sorry. Is the 3rd Platoon in place?”
“Yes Sir.”
“Good”
Wolfgang looked downslope himself and indeed saw a large group of dismounted knights who had closed with the Druchii against all what they did to them. Currently they were fighting themselves through a group of spear-wielding Druchii and next would reach the line of rifleelfs that belonged to Wolfgang. Pushing his to-talk button “Erich, Wolfgang here. Do it now.”
“There are still some Darkies between them and us”
“Fuck them-they are dead anyway.”

He then watched as the Chaos warriors surged by the last defenders, drawn by the lure of the thin line manned by the hated rifle shooters. And then the line was no longer thin. Rising behind the low breastworks both crossbow-shooters and a couple of assault-rifle-armed Germans rose and for 10 terrible seconds unloaded everything they had into the Chaos warriors at less than 10 meters.
This was what they later called the “high-water-mark” of the battle-nobody ever got closer to the Druchii lines.

Areta watched the retreating Chaos Army-no longer were there orderly blocks and lines, but blobs and groups who ran as individuals as they no longer could face the murderous fire which was no longer so murderous. The machine guns had gone through their spare barrels, even in water they needed time to cool. The Auxilia faced more and more stoppages due to their hot weapons-and it did not matter.
She heard the horns from her side and it did not take long till the heavy cavalry came into view. Compared to the enemy`s numbers they were few-but now they were murderous. The armies of Warhammer did not “bunch up” because they felt like it or their leaders liked the view. Since countless generations units that kept tight, well-disciplined ranks won against units in irregular “formation” every time, nearly regardless of numbers. Therefore all successful armies drilled hour upon sweat-filled hour the keeping of ranks and the maneuvering without losing cohesion-this was where victory lay.
And now the defeated Chaos army had lost it. No longer well-led units they were individuals on the run-and against the cavalry that meant they were the walking dead. A major army had started the assault on the Druchii`s lines-broken rabble came back.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-09-30 02:35pm

Fields before Naggaroth, a day after the Battle

41,42,43…Areta Bane was a part of a team composed from various Druchii units that counted the enemy dead. As could be expected from the Druchii there were elaborate rules about distributing the loot. There were rules of seniority, of heroic deeds done, about the size of the units in question and many more.
Lord Silverhawk had chosen to apply one of the most basic ones, the loot would be divided by proportion of enemy killed or captured from the total. This time there was something new to the rule-all killed with bullet holes would automatically be counted for the Auxilia. And boy, where there a lot of killed by rifle fire. The loot would go to the Auxilia by a fraction of 80% if the count would continue to run as till now and there was no reason why it should not be so.
Of course they could not transport such a huge amount of loot, which meant that the Auxilia would sell a lot of what they could not carry to the other units at bargain-basement prices which would serve to keep them of being too resentful-and the fact that the Auxilia had an absolutely fearsome reputation by now, only enhanced by the body count.

The battle had also served to weld the Auxilia and the German heavy weapons platoon together to a much larger degree than before. The Auxilia had a healthy respect for the carnage the Germans had wrought and the heavy weapons operators were impressed that the Druchii had stood and defended them so ably. For those who were on the march to the 1st day battle there was also the shared experience of wanting to march the others into the ground. She already dreaded the way back-better boots were definitively high on the list of things she would buy from her share. One of the Germans had recommended something he called “Springerstiefel” (Paratroop Boots), she would look at it when she was back in Neustadt.

Temple of Shallya, Altdorf, at Night

Joakim Vos had a hard time sleeping-his arm and his ankle hurt despite the medicine he received. The screw-and- lever arrangement that kept the bones in his arm where they belonged looked horrifying and kept him from sleeping on his side as he would have preferred.
All of that was not so much of a hindrance to sleep as the thoughts that were running around in his head from in an endless loop. “If we would have been more circumspect we would not have been discovered. If I would have checked on that Klootzak Stumpy more we would not have flooded the Skaven and they would not have made the assault on Altdorf. A lot of people would be alive if I..

“Can`t sleep Joakim?”
“Hi Henrik, no, not really.” Major Gerber, his friend and superior was in uniform instead of his preferred Heavy Metal outfit yet it showed the rumpling of clothes worn a long time in one go. Both men could have cared less.
“That thing hurts too much?”
“Yes, that too, but mostly…other things.”
“Let me guess-you think all this is your fault, right?”
“If I had been more careful with the relay or supervised the placing of the charges better nobody needed to die”
“I think the Skaven had something to do with it, quite a lot in fact.”
“Still, I should have been better.”
“Where? We do not know much about the reaction of electronics to warpstone radiation and using drones for the recon was the approved plan of the mission-forget it. We all knew it was risky and deemed the info gained worth the price. The charges are a different matter and really – the dwarf overdosed there and you should have spotted that. But it was extremely unlikely that you would actually let the Reik into that warren. I have talked to some people that should know better and they were amazed that the explosion did that. I think you missed something and went unlucky-so not do it again.”
“And that is supposed to make me feel better? A great lot of people a dead because I missed something and was unlucky. Is that making them alive again?”

“No of course not and I am not saying that getting your head around that will be easy. But it can be done. And if you want to cheer yourself up: Imagine if the Skaven would have come up when it suited them, not when they were surprised. If all the bleeding rats that we killed outside Altdorf would have been inside the city for example we would have been in really dire straits and not claim victory with a city more or less intact. I of all people should know. And that is the opinion of everybody from Oberst Grube up to Reiksmarshall Hellborg himself. There is a simple truth in warfare-shit happens. Somebody still has to do the job, and I would prefer it to be you. Now my question is: Can you live with that and continue to serve?”
“Uff-yes, I think I can-provided that I get back together right.”

“Speaking of that-how are you at present-physically?”
“Broke Ulna and Radius-in several places, that`s why I have this, Ankle is also bust up and some of the ribs need mending. One broke off pretty badly, they had to reinflate a lung. The good news is that the Order went after by broken vertebra big-time. Nerve is back together and they mended the bone so well that there is no need to stabilize it. Everything works as it should in the legs and my non-existent girlfriend will also not complain. A bleeding miracle-or better put, pure magic. By the way, do you know that one of the guys who did that is the same who helped to get your fiancé out of the brown matter?”
“No, I knew he worked here, but that he is in so deeply-he is a German after all and a man. What the fuck is he doing here?”
We`ll find out, he promised me another beer sooner or later.”
“Do that-but we still need to talk.”

Joakim drew in the breath-he had expected the bad news sooner or later. Nor only that he had fucked up-he would be in for a long haul of recuperation and his full recovery was not certain. The 1st Kaiserlich-deutsche Landwehr was an elite outfit-they had no place for the slow or crippled in their combat companies.
“We both know you will not be in any shape for quite some time and I have to plug the hole you left-somehow. In your team there is nobody who can take over in a flash-so I need to put in an outsider. Taking him out after a year or so would be a bad deal for everybody-so what am I to do?”
“Don`t play Henrik-you know already. Give me the straight news already.”
“And bad news they are, you will stop earning your living in a honest way. The Landwehr will expand again and for that we need Officers. I would prefer somebody who has seen the elephant-and whom I trust. So of to berlin you go-in 6 weeks they start a new OCS course for warrants and you will be on it-if you want.”
“Uh-me. Well, if you think so….”
“Yes, I do. And now I get some much needed beauty-sleep and so should you.”
Joakim Vos still could not sleep-he felt a little bit better about himself, but really asked himself how life would be in a year or so. When he finally found sleep it was the first time since the battle he did not see the crib.

Tavern “Falcon and Hammer”, same time

Jan-Eric Prelle felt great-and full. He had already a bowl of a good mushroom soup and some excellent Chicken. Others might think it a little long on salt and some spices and low on pepper but for him it was ok. He had used his own knife to cut on the bread that was put under each course and there was no fork-but the tavern had provided a wooden spoon for everyone.
“Another wine Medic?”
“Thanks Ellen, that would be fine”
The bar maid that bend forward to fill up the earthen mug was at the age when they were all beautiful if they were not seriously overweight or had a hunchback-and she had neither but a very nice cleavage that she used to advantage.
The next round brought was a pork roast done with some bacon and a rich gravy sauce. The young medic thought he was in culinary heaven. The food cooked in the field kitchens was not really bad but after several days it paled considerably. That and the chance to dine at a restaurant so far away from home-something that they usually could not do had lured him and some other volunteers of St. Johns away into a tavern that Father Stein had recommended to them.

A flute player and a musician using something like a cut-down guitar were accompanying a bard who was from time to time singing one of the more popular ballads-“Valten`s Stand” seemed to be the current favorite and everybody dropped a few coins to the artists.
It was a great evening-after the first few mugs of wine and “Bärenfang” they had accepted that the locals looked a lot at the strangers and had some conversation with them, the food was great and they could tell another story at home about how they were in Altdorf. Some almond milk rounded off the dinner then it was time to go, tomorrow was another day of non-stop work. Holding his hand up, Jan-Eric signaled the Innkeeper, a 40-ish big man with a scar that went right under his eye patch.
“Master Weyland, how much are we due together?”
The dark look that he got made the medic fear for an exaggerated bill or a verbal blasting for having violated some tradition.
“You are the medics, right? The volunteers who came here to pick up the pieces?”
“Yes Master”
“And you think your money is any good here? After all you and your kind did? As long as you are here it will be an honor to invite you.”

The sheepish look by the medics provided for a booming laugh and a lot of back-slapping and rounds of thanks. The volunteers were wise enough to leave a substantial tip when leaving and while they dreaded getting up in a few hours they all would revere the evening for a long, long time. They did not do their service for thanks-but when it was appreciated it was a high time. And like this, that was incredible.
The Tavern showed the photo of the helpers with their handwritten thanks for years and offer something they swore it was Maser`s original goulash for years. The volunteers would tell the tale for at least as long.

“Rancid Shark”, Tavern in the Altdorf tavern quarters, same time

Wenn du durch die Straßen gehst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du tust wovon du träumst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du siehst woran du glaubst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du sagst was du denkst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du fühlst das du lebst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du küsst was du liebst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du weißt wer du bist
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du spürst das du anders bist
Dann musst du lauter schreien
Freiheit
Ich will nicht leise sein
Freiheit
Ich will noch lauter schreien
Freiheit
Ich will nicht leise sein
Freiheit
Ich will noch lauter schreien
Wenn du weißt was du willst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du siehst was du hasst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du fühlst dass du hoffst
Sollst du leise sein
Wenn du spürst das du anders bist
Dann musst du lauter schreien
Freiheit
Wenn ich spüre, dass ich sterbe
Dann will ich leise sein
Wenn ich fühle das ich lebe
Dann will ich lauter schreien

Freedom

shhhhhhhht
When you're going through the streets
You should be quiet
When you're doing something you dream about
You should be quiet
If you see something you believe in
You should be quiet
When you say what you're thinking
You should be quiet
When you feel that you're alive
You should be quiet
When you're kissing somebody you love
You should be quiet
When you know who you are
You should be quiet
When you realize that you're different
Then you've got to shout louder
Freedom, Freedom
I don't want to be quiet
Freedom, Freedom
I don't want to be quiet
Freedom, Freedom
I want to shout even louder
Freedom, Freedom
I don't want to be quiet
Freedom, Freedom
I want to shout even louder
When I feel that I'm dying
Then I'll be quiet
When I feel that I'm alive
Then I want to shout louder
Freedom, Freedom
I don't want to be quiet
Freedom, Freedom
I want to shout even louder
Freedom, Freedom
I don't want to be quiet
Freedom, Freedom
I want to shout even louder

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcrurFR8abI

The boom box blasted the song through a tavern lit by oil lanterns and candles. It blasted by Longshoremen, hustlers, toughs, whores and a small group of Cave Raiders. It had been the 3rd repetition called for by acclamation and by now a lot of guests were singling with the box. It enhanced the already good mood in the tavern but did nothing to enhance the musical qualities. By that time most of the patrons were too far gone or never cared at all.

The Altdorf harbor was one of the first parts of the town to receive electricity as it was far too valuable in the loading and unloading business not to have-and that would have reduced the profits of Germans and Imperials both. That did not mean it was piped into every home and hostel, yet a little shunt was now taking a tiny little bit away and brought it into the tavern. It was sure to be noticed-and Jerremy Conelius would make sure that nothing would come from that. The Boom box and the electricity were the gift of a lanky German who sat at one of the better tables, enjoying himself grandly with his comrades, a floozy on his lap and a glass of mead in his hand.
Ambling over the mobster made sure he went into the Germans field of view far enough that he would not be too surprised. He had pegged this German as not so dangerous as the others with him and had revised this assessment quickly after the battle. He might be soft-spoken and more interested in his eldritch toys that in a straight-up fight but he had been death against the Skaven and the confrontation at the end of the Battle had left him knowing he came off second best-and lucky.

“Ah Cornelius, my favorite innkeeper, what can I do for you?”
“I wanted to that you again for your gift-it will enhance this humble sty beyond its station. You and yours will always be welcome here.” The effect of the solemn speech was slightly taken off by the giggling woman attending to Neugebauer. Given where she had her hands she probably had a different idea about welcome.
“Don`t fash yourself Cornelius-I told you if the Grenades show up good things would happen to you-and this is the best way I could say thanks.”
“No need, we went into combat together to save this quarter and to bury the rats. Tell you what-you bring new music the next time you come here and the visit is on me.”
“Deal”

Kampfkunstcenter (Martitial Arts Center) Passau, South Germany, next afternoon

Jean of Dubois turned barely under the approaching quarterstaff and used both his upper body and his arms to move his wooden weapon into the gap that had been presented to him. It barely connected with the midriff of his opponent as he managed to turn his staff vertically so it slowed and diverted Jean`s.
Jumping backward and sliding the staff to 3/4th forwards the former Bretonian stabbed his weapon forward. This time it evaded any parry and connected squarely with his opponent`s chest.
Lifting the sparring weapon in one hand he claimed his hit and signaled the end to the mock combat. Both men shed the heavily padded training suits as fast as they could. While the staffs they used were padded their momentum could still break bones so they had to use heavily armored suits under which combat was doubly hard.
His opponent was past 40, towered over his 1,7 meters by at least 15 cm and showed all signs of having lost some weight during recently. The latter was not uncommon-while Germany was able to feed its population calorie-wise many foods were no longer available or rather expensive. On top of that fuel rationing had forced people to use bikes much more or simply hoof it.

“That was much better Andy. Before we finished you nearly had me, and that time before also.”
“Nearly does not cut it-but we can train some more next Baekertag, right?”
“For sure. I`ll be here until the harvest season is back, then I will cut asparagus again for a while.”
“A good thing. I thought I was already pretty good with the staff and then you show me different.”
“Ah, come on. It is one of the few weapons the bleeding “nobles” allow us and when it is the only thing between you and a goblin or a wolf you are properly motivated to do it right.”
“I thought so. I`ll take a quick lunch here, how about you?”
“Delighted to join.”
30 Minutes later the two men were sitting in a small cafeteria close to the Martitial Arts center and were enjoying a Meat Loaf with mashed potatoes.
“So Jean, have you thought more about what we talked about?”
“Andy Thorpe, you are right, sorry, but I still think it is too dangerous. I am no hero for starters and it would put the serfs in great danger if we are caught.”
“Did you think so when you ran away?”
“I did not think at all when I ran away, and I was dead luck, I recognize that now.”
“Ah, can`t hurt by asking right. Is your DVD-player still working?”
“Yes, why?”
“Because I have something new for you”
“Oh thanks.”
Some hours later Jean put the DVD in the small DVD player the Englishman had given him. A documentary-nice, he liked those. He was still trying to learn so much and feared that it would never stop. He was barely able to read and write now so learning by video had added charm.
It was a bio pic, about a woman called Harriet Tubman. He had to stop it several times as watching it was increasingly hard. Harriet Tubman had been black, female, small and ill for most of her life. And she had smuggled more than 70 slaves out of the US South than anybody else. If she could do it, he no excuse in this world or another one not to try.
Time to see if Andy Thorpe was really up to his words-and Jean suspected that he was.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-09-30 02:37pm

Elysee, Paris, evening of the next day

Francois Hollande was looking at the reporter sitting on the opposite side of the diminutive antique table. He had seen the date for the interview which had been placed by his normally quite efficient Chief-of-Staff and was not sure what he was doing here. Writing for the Huffington Post? Anybody could do that. But at least he did not seem to be a risk, he wanted to talk about the economy and not about his mistress-or the change thereof again. Hollande`s approval rating were currently about 19%-if the data was from favorable sources- and so any chance to gain better publicity was highly welcome.
The reporter was a rail thin, bald as an egg and sported a goatee and mustache. The most remarkable feature about him was the piercing blue eyes and something about the iris was off. But enough of that, he had to present his side of things.

“Yes Mr. Crowlair, France has been harder hit that other EU members by the disapreance of Germany. Germany accounted for 16% of our imports and exports. The Event devastated the Netherlands and Belgium economically-also important trade partners. And on top of that the deep cooperation between Germany and France meant that a lot of French companies found themselves out of smaller or bigger parts that were manufactured in Germany before. Airbus for example had to reorganize most of their production while Boeing was not similarly affected.
France is reknown for the quality and huge range of agricultural products. With the reorganization of the EU`s finances the agricultural subsidies were slashed brutally-and 10% of all Frenchmen still earn their living in this field.
We faced other costs as well we would never have dreamt about-we have to place extensive armed forces at our border to the New Territories as beings we once thought to be right out of a fantasy book assault our citizens. And our armed forces have taken a lead in pacifying the Wilderness that now stretches clear to Eastern Europe. All of this costs money we can ill afford to spend.

On the other hand there is lots of good news as well. Our car makers put themselves into many slots that the Germans have vacated and I am sure that we will see genius car maker such as Citroen shortly launch worthy successors to the DS and the traction avant. We had to invest to take up the slack at Airbus left by the Germans, but soon this plane maker will be a French-only giant of the Skies. And when the road and rail connections to Eastern Europe are finished we will see a growth of trade again. I assure you that the talk about inflexible socialist France that cannot adapt to the world we find ourselves in is just that-talk.”

The French President saw something in these deep eyes he had not seen in quite a while. Normally when he gave this speech-the “It will become better soon speech”-he was looked at with skepticism at best and amusement at worst. He knew himself that he was between a rock and a hard place-the French state had always taken a huge part of the National GNP and had to deliver both to its industry and the people. The reduction in income meant he could satisfy neither and whatever compromise he found satisfied nobody. The tendency for long, violent and often infrastructure-paralyzing demonstrations at the slightest sign of social services degradation did not help anything at all. But here he was believed-somebody took him for real.

“Monsieur Hollande, I have the greatest understanding for the challenges that France has to undergo and I am sure that you will be able to steer your great country into smoother waters. Let me ask you a final question: What do you want?”
The change in his interview partner was interesting to watch, such a question at this junction should cause incredulity or confusion-and it did, for about 2 seconds. Then you could see the back of his none-too-big conversation partner straightening and the fire going off in the eyes.
“What do it want-I want France restored to its former Glory as Le Grande Nation, as a power respected throughout the world. I want a strong economy that provides jobs to all people, well-paying jobs that that my countrymen can fill with pride and make a decent living for their families with them instead of flipping burgers or living on the dole. I want the means of making all of that happen.”
“That is a worthy wish Monsieur la Presidente. I know people who share these wishes and I think some of them will contact you soon”

He walked out of the office of the slightly dazed looking French President after some meaningless pleasantries, efficiently guided by the Elysee`s aides. Just in time-it was very hard to dose THC just right and give Ml`kan enough of his mind to work the small miracles he was capable of. Like influencing the minds of the not-so-strong-willed or desperate. And his THC dose was just wearing off. Any more would not be good, the lesser servant of Tzeench had a serious like for laying beautiful women. While Alan Crowlair shared that he thought that simply taking that gorgeous secretary right then and there would have been socially awkward-and he had gotten another phone number anyway.

Imperial Palace, Altdorf, next Morning

The virtual sand under Emperor Karl-Franz`s eyes was gone by now, he merely felt totally exhausted-situation nearly normal. He had wedged in a meeting with his closest advisors before he had to face the joint disaster management staff again for preparation.
“So Gentlemen, give me the bad news, Marshall?”
“Actually-there are not so many bad news. As of yesterday evening we called the military operations off-we have detected no groups of Skaven either inside or outside of Altdorf. There will be some, that is for sure, but nothing the Watch cannot handle. The Bundeswehr wants to pull back their Paratroopers and I say let them. We should be able to handle any group of stranglers that will crop up.
Who really needs to stay are the volunteers-they house, feed and treat both the soldiers and civilians and without them we get problems. They will be needed for at least another week, after that we can slowly send them home.
As for our own troops, they present a very mixed picture. Wolf Dragoons got off extremely well with low losses and have made good their ammo expenditure already from the newly arrived stocks. The 1st Kaiserlich-deutsche Landwehr has incurred nearly 25% losses as they had to take up a lot of house-to-house clearing. Of these losses nearly 10% are either killed in action or crippling injuries, so the unit should be back at full strength in 2 months.
The Reiksguard Altdorf Detachment has suffered even worse, with some units suffering up to 50% losses while others were getting off nearly free. We will have to fold some units into each other, recruit and train new ones.

As an aside, I have received a glowing praise and recommendation for the 2/4th company from the Ulthuan ambassador. If this is not a first I do not know what is. It seems that his troops fought the Skaven together with the Reiksguard.
I will look up the ambassador after the crisis has quieted down a little bit, this is too good to let it slide.
Then I hear that the great Theogonist of Sigmar wants to hold some ceremony for the volunteers-I have no idea what has gotten into him, this is not his style. But he asks for your Highness attendance if possible.
The Germans are already calling for a “lessons-learned” meeting and we should prepare our unit reports accordingly.”

“Not so bad as I thought, yes. I`ll talk to Volkmar and see what I can do. Johnsen, what can the City Administration tell me.”
“Highness, as the fighting is over we can now inspect more and more homes for any remaining Skaven or their corpses. We have to remove these and disinfect the homes before anybody can return as the rats corpses are known to causes diseases. This is of course only necessary in the parts of the city where fighting was known to happen.
This will still take time, and we still have upwards of 10,000 homeless and this situation will only become better during the next weeks. Fortunately we can currently house them in a combination of tents, opened temples and warehouses and “Containers” which the Germans have lent us.
For food the situation is actually good-very few warehouses were burned or looted and the Germans have donated lots of food and are providing mobile kitchens to provide for those who cannot help themselves. Good drinking water is provided by the “THW” who operate freshly dug wells and drive water trailers to those parts of the town that so there are few problems.
The Germans are taking a lot of our more heavily injured; no matter whether civilian or military, into Germany for better treatment; this has lessened the pressure on the Order of Shallya and the other healers considerably.
We do face the problem that the fighting itself and uncontrolled fires have destroyed a lot of houses which will have to be rebuilt. This is going to cost serious money.”

“There might be a solution to that-but before we get to Minher von Kluck-what about epidemics?”
“I have talked to the Head of Disaster Management and to our own healers-if nothing extremely sinister happens then we have avoided that bullet. As decent food and water was available very early, as nobody needs to freeze and the bodies are buried or disposed of-were this not such a serious matter I would be on no epidemics.”
“That would be a miracle-even if a mostly man-made one. Von Kluck?”
“We got the latest tally from the German Red Cross who coordinate the donations given to the Empire from Germany. Ever since the Storm of Chaos there are donations from Germans towards the Empire so we can help the needy. Since the rats emerged there has been a surge in such donations and the current available amount is 531 Million Euro, roughly 443 Million Crowns. On top of that the German government has made additional funds available and is willing to extend another credit at favorable rates. A lot of this money will be used by the German charity organizations and we will be expected to use German companies in reconstruction too, but on a purely monetary basis we are better off than we were 6 months before.”
“Sigmar wept. What poses the Germans to grant us that much money-that should exceed our annual taxes by quite ab bit.”
“The Red Cross told me that this is not so uncommon in Germany-they have granted more 10 years ago when a “Tsunami” a great flood killed my people in a faraway country.”
“Von Kluck-make sure that this money is used as intended-if the German media ever gets a whiff that some idiot “reconstructed” his palace with this money we are so fucked.”
“That will be difficult.”
“You spot it-I`ll handle it.”

Kanzleramt, Berlin, roughly the same time

In the Germany of 3 years ago there had been no such things as a regular “Science Briefing” for the government. Now that Germany had switched Universes new developments turned up every other day and many had repercussions on the nations survival.
Having a doctorate as a physical chemist Angela Merkel enjoyed them far more than most cabinet members and was known for the more intelligent questions.
Dr. Ingo Pforr was usually given the briefings as his presentation skills exceeded the bone-dry lecture-style performances by his predecessors considerably and so far had not send any cabinet member into an early sleep.
The screen in front of the audience showed a huge knife of strange proportions and material but obviously excellent craftsmanship.

“This knife was obtained on Christmas Eve by Paratroopers tasked with evacing the Sami which went with us in the Weltensprung. It was given to one of the soldiers as a gift by somebody taken to be a Primarch of the Space Wolves-here we talk about another universe if it is true. The steel part of this knife is a single iron crystal, giving the blade an incredible strength, flexibility and heat resistance. Actually we did not know that such a thing can be done-there are some interesting components in the alloy-and we currently investigating how to copy that.
We originally thought the blades edge were a synthetic diamond-but we found that to be wrong. The whole edge is a single carbon atom, the biggest Buckminster Fullerene we have ever seen. Actually some of my colleagues still argue whether this thing can exist. This thing cuts through literally anything and the simple fact that we know it can be made allows us to steer research into that direction.
In the long run even more interesting the equipment that is below the Norsca cave should hold a lot of interesting lessons for us. I hear that the local tribes would be amendable to an alliance with Germany-we really should take that opportunity.”

“Thanks Dr. Pforr, we see what we can do about this.”
“Dr. Reis, your turn.”
We also had our share of samples from the Paratroopers, in our case a blood sample of this "Leman Rus". It will certainly need years to study but it is highly interesting. The biggest surprise were the erythocythes. The cells normally transport oxygen and carbon dioxyde. They should not have cell nucleii or their own DNA. These ones have. The DNA is also very different what we would expect from a human and heavily engineered. Some of these changes should, simpply put, not work but so. This is an opportunity for a lot of research.

Also there is one issue popping up which we still need more time to study and research for. But numerous reports from doctors and hospitals from all over Germany point to the same thing: For whatever reason there will be a huge increase of births. It is as if anybody who had intercourse around Christmas is now expecting, even when the likelihood was very low for conceiving. Also there seem to be an unusual number of twins-and we see far less failures than could be expected.
This is very early to say so, but from the data we already have something made sure there will be a lot of children come September-this is not a crisis of any sort, but we have to be aware.

Fields close to Little round Top, Naggaroth, same time

Areta Bane should have known it; she had lived a Druchii life long enough. Good news always had some bad ones in tow. The good news were that both the usual coterie of Camp Followers and some supply wagons from Neustadt had reached the Druchii army. It meant that there was now a variety of food instead of gruel, it meant that things were on sale for the money she had received or was about to receive.
She was not yet sure what had been better-the extremely nice massage and the follow-up she had received from a Hung slavegirl or the brand-new silken socks she had been able to buy. The bathhouse that had been set up in a number of tents was burning all the meticulously planted stakes to heat enough water for their collapsible tubs. She was still debating with Breda if they wanted to use one together to save some money-on the first days the baths really were at a premium.

All of these good things meant that there had to be bad ones upcoming and the bad tidings did not disappoint. Lt. Richter had given them the news as far as he knew them already: All of the battle, all of the marching and fighting and dying had been a feint. A ruse to steal the attention from the real show.
Another Chaos band-this one smaller, but said to have a core of high-powered mages and Champions had used the Chaos of Dechella`s incursion into the Druchii`s lands and were currently occupying an old and disused mountain fortress. Said fortress preceded the Elves occupation of Naggaroth by quite ab bit and it was unknown who had built it or why it was given up. Best of all-nobody knew why the fortress was in that gods-forsaken area of Naggaroth.
What was quite clear was who got the job of clearing them out of it. Buying decent boots at Neustadt would have to wait for a while, but a new march was on.

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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-05 03:34pm

Close to Neustadt, Naggaroth, next morning

Urglies Jeres was looking approvingly at the calendar. In two days Iskar Brightblood would have to sell him 1500 shares of the “Neustadt Small Arms Factory” at 24 denari each, the going price of 2 months ago.
Urglies had followed the news about the Auxilia closely, so he had a very good idea that more orders would be placed at the NSAF very shortly when he had agreed to give Brightblood the loan and insisted on being paid back in shares at the price the shares had then. Just that the factory had received orders for many more rifles and was now selling “revolvers” to anybody who would like to buy them. And all of that meant that the price of a NSAF share had now risen to 51 denary and Jeres was about to make a killing. Served Brightblood right, he could have socialized with the Germans as well or simply paid more attention to the news about the war.

He heard the muted sounds of Malik, his majordomos as the servant wanted him to hear them-surprising a Druchii Lord was never a good idea. “Master, please come”
“What is it?”
“Lady Heles is very sick, she has cramps and is barely breathing”
“I`ll be with you shortly.”
Urglies felt hot and cold at the same time. Cold as the Lady Heles was his minor concubine and was eating anything he ate a couple of hours before him. Likely she had fallen victim to an assassination attempt by poisoning which he had now barely avoided. He felt hot as he had a very good idea who had made the attempt and that collecting the shares might very well involve the two new revolvers he had bought last week.

Ulthuan Embassy, Altdorf, evening of the same day

The servant pouring some more wine into Aurelius Ethelorne`s glass moved with the grace normally given to cats and putting a single drop of the drink outside of that glass was as unthinkable as spitting on her liege. The glass the wine flowed into was shaped into simple-looking curves that still could capture the eyes for hours if one let them.
The tableware that had hosted a variety of healthy and superbly-tasting foods was removed without sound at astonishing speed while never indicating undue haste. The Ulthuan ambassador waited until the last servant had removed himself before relaxing back into his chair slightly, thereby showing his willingness to talk to the other guests of this dinner.

“A very nice vintage ambassador, a Caledor `54 I presume.”
“I would have thought so as well Thyriael if the cellarer would not have informed me, a Caledor `58 in fact. Nearly impossible to tell apart.”
“Thank you, a worthy experience anyway.”
“Well praised and appreciated then. But I take it that you wanted to discuss something different then?”
“Ah, my Lord does not miss anything. Yes, there is something that troubles me. Even with some time to distance us from the fight against the Skaven I still cannot understand why…”
“Why I honored the imperial defenders the way I did?”
“Yes, Sire.”
“Ah, well, you have certainly earned the right to ask and I will abuse you as a mirror to my reasoning. First off-what I said during the fight stands-the humans simply fought very well and stood their ground when by all experience they should have run. Even an Asur unit would have a hard time fighting on when having incurred such losses and facing such numbers. For humans to stand in such a way it is even more remarkable and accepting that is as natural as seeing that the sun rises in the morning.We do not gain anything if we ignore the obvious.

But there is, of course, more. I had us join the fight for a simple reason. One more attack like the one the footmen stopped by themselves would have broken them without our assistance-and then we would have to face the Skaven alone. I preferred to fight with allies in their ground instead of alone in our embassy.”
“A worthy tactical appraisal My Lord, I can see that. But I do not understand why you say we have to adapt or be left behind. Surely we can acquire such weapons as the Germans use sooner or later. And then we will certainly learn to use them much better than they ever could.”
“Yes, I believed that too, for a while. But the more I studied the Germans the more I become convinced that this will be different if we do not change much more fundamentally.”
“And why is that Sire?”
“How long have you practiced with your current sword Thyriael?”
“221 years now.”
“And you Aeolus, how long are you now practicing with your bow?”
“38 years Ambassador, I am slowly getting competent with it”
“I think you are already competent Aeolus, but that is beside the point. Imagine I would obtain one of the K98 rifles that the imperials used to such effect for you, and you get to practice the next 38 years on it. Then you would surely be able to shoot more than 25 times a minute with it and could outshoot any of these footmen, right?”
“I surely hope so my liege”
“I would think so-but it would not matter. Because in 38 years the imperial footman will likely shoot with a self-loading assault rifle with an optical sight and his German counterpart will probably have a weapon of totally different design. They never stay still and every few years they have to learn totally new things. That they do not live as long as we do is no matter as long as they have their “progress”. The long training we can put into such things is not useless, no. But its value has decreased immensely. We have to learn and to adapt much more quickly than in the past or in a human generation or two we will no longer be a Great Power.”

“What, Sire surely you cannot mean-sorry I misspoke.”
“Nothing happened; I had the same feeling when I started my research into the new realities we all face. But consider this Thyriael-if this Angela Merkel wants it any city in the Old World she names within the old world could be destroyed within 12 hours or so. There is, if I have seen and read things right, simply no army on this world which could defeat the Germans in a stand-up fight-none. Even if all the hordes of Chaos would decide to leave the wastes and deserts now-all of them and not just a fraction-they would die long before they reach Germany.
This is the world we now live in and we have to learn how to do that. And if that means that I read in this “I-Pad” till my eyes bleed I do that. And if this means that I give kudos, deservedly or not, to Imperials, I do that too-and it has paid off already, I have an invitation by Marshall Hellborg which sounds quite different from before. If we learn the future can be very bright, in fact unbelievingly better that we imagine now. If we do not learn we will be part of a theme park in merely a hundred years.”
“Sire, I do not understand.”
“Accepting that is a valuable first step-not easy for one of our race. And that is why from this evening, for every evening from 8 PM, you get this blasted “I-Pad” and can follow link after link after link just as I do.”
“Yes, Sire-err what is a link, Sire?”

Neustadt, Naggaroth, some hours later

Yerna Halics lay on a rather hard wooden floor, with only a blanket between her and its cool surface. She had another blanket with which to cover herself, that was a welcome novelty as she had earned its use only recently through unquestioning obedience over quite some time and in tasks which she did not like to remember.
She had not been called her name since several months, usually it was “Slave” or “you there” and slowly but surely she thought of herself as Yerna less and less. Less than a year ago she had a different station in life-she was the daughter of an arrogant, over bearing and know-it-all true elven father and an equally Druchii serf mother.
She obviously had miscalculated on the forgiveness of her father who had found that he needed a favor of Jasla, the witch working for the German mercenaries. Her feeling of self-esteem had even more declined when she was bartered like a used blanket for an arcane technological device, called a field-telephone to a German chemist.

She had not given in to the designs of the chemist, not at first. She had fought every centimeter and every second when he wanted to bind her, punish her or use her. As long as her mouth was free to do so, she had cursed the sadistic German, threatened him and screamed her hate. Nothing of this had done her any good and to her dismay she had learned that the German may be clumsy but had his own lore of pain and humiliation that he perfected on her.
His methods were maybe simplistic and not very creative by true elven standards but he had managed to make her yield time and time again as he managed to inflict sufficient pain without injuring her to a crippling extend. He had rebelled with additional energy when she realized that and it had gained her only more of the same.

When she cooperated, even a little, she gained such nice things-a spoon, less chains and now even a blanket. Bit by bit and day by day she had learner her new reality and came to see that her Master was just and only punisher her as she had been bad-anybody could see that and anybody who she could see these days said so. She had after all come to love her Master.
Even later, when she was sure everybody was asleep she pulled the long nail that held one of the floorboards. Spitting on the tip and mixing that with some sand she ground that tip against the metal plate that held the chain to her neck to the wall. It was already needle sharp but that had to become better.
She loved her Master.
She was Druchii.
Druchii kill what they love.

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Mechman
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Re: An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-05 03:35pm

A House in Hassloch, Germany

Heinz Brausewetter, except maybe his family name, could be considered as average as a citizen could be. In a way, this was not unusual. His home Hassloch, Germany´s largest village, had already been a place for market research before the Weltensturz due to the population structure.

Now the scientists were less interested in market research, but how the events since coming to the Warhammer world had affected the normal populace and Heinz was a good example.
Germany had a feelable drop or at least change in living standard. Nobody had to be hungry, Germany could feed her citizens easily, but the normal, little luxuries were often not so normal any longer. Same for the range of available products.
While now, more than 2 years after arrival, in some cases solutions were there, for instance Germany had found enough sources of cocoa that the prices for chocolate products were steadily falling back towards Earth levels, in others the situation was grim. One example was coffee. At the moment, there were not enough sources to truly satisfy demand, so the prices for real coffee had skyrocketed in Germany. Most of the nation drank various ersatz-coffees, some good, some concoctions like from the darkest days of the World Wars.
Herbal teas were unproblematic in cost and taste range, especially with the addition of some tasty WH herbals, but Black Tea had become a rare treat. East Frisian Tea was now a local specialty. Concerning Green Tea the situation was less tense, Nanseitochi could help out.

When it came to fruits and berries, the official and private expansion of the capacities had achived a priceworthy satisfaction of demand for local fruits like apples, strawberries, cherries, plums and others, but now the seasons played a stronger role than before what fruits were when available. Warhammer fruits like e.g. Skadi fruits from Norsca and parts of the Empire became an ever more important factor of the food situation.
But even the best and efficient (re-)expansion of grain and fruit agriculture could do nothing when it came to tropical fruits. Germany had landed in a comparable weather zone like on Earth, so not much could be done when tropical fruits were needed. They had become expensive and in some circles, the last Mango cans were weighted in gold, since to this day no Mangos had ever been found.
Meat, fowl and fish were nearly unchanged, indeed, fish and game had become cheaper, due to the very rich and untapped populations. Even with species protection laws the markets could be satisfied and the range of availabe meat and fish had expanded to include Warhammer specific wildlife.

Close to Bay of Drusila, North of Ulthuan, at Sea, same time

Admiral Aslan`s legs reacted to the movement of the ship under him as automatically as he was breathing. The Dragon ship had rather unpredictable rolls as its multihull took the swell differently according to course and the length of individual waves but offered the ability to go higher against the wind as any other ship he knew with the exception of the smaller Eagle Ships.
His small fleet was watching one approach to the Bay of Drusilla that was used a lot of the Druchii to gain their base in the Bay of Drusilla. They tried to make this approach at night to avoid the attention of Aslan and his colleagues and the transports were regular enough to earn nicknames. This particular approach between several islands was "The Slot" and the Druchii ships were the "Rat Transports".

The Admiral was no stranger to the Winds of magic and used the lore he had amassed in the centuries to enhance his already impressive night sight. This was a much asked-for commodity these days. The Druchii had sensibly denied the Asur the great battle between fleets that only the true elves could have won. Instead they had occupied a barren bay they could not defend easily. The price for their choice of battlefield and the unopposed landing was that they could not live of the land-there were simply too few Asur to enslave, too few farms and manors to plunder and loot. Instead the Druchii were welcome to the denizens of Naggaryte who viewed them with a blazing hate that even the rest of the Asur found disturbing. So if the Darkies wanted to eat, shoot bolts from their crossbows or to receive reinforcements they had to bring them from cursed Naggaroth-and this was where the elven fleets came in.
Instead of huge fleets that vied for position and engaged in honorable combat small squadrons tried to pass the blockade or keep it up. The fighting between Sea Monsters and hallowed ships might bring glory, help quench the hate and reduce the enemy's capabilities but the real prices were the comparatively fat-bellied ships that brought grain and weapons. This was not a too uncommon way to wage war, honed by the hate of centuries, but it still struck in the Admirals craw. But it was the only war to be had and none would find him shrinking from duty.

He heard the call from the tops as well as any other Elf on Deck but his dignity demanded that he wait until the message had been noted by an officer, who talked to the captain of the “Bright Dragon” who in turn approached him.
“My Lord, the lookout reports sails to the south-south-west. We have no count so far, but they seem to be sail ships and Doom Reavers arranged in 3 lines.”
“Thank you Master Limael, I will have a look by my own.”
Admiral Aslan was a High Elf and as such not so much exposed to the ravages of old ages as the lesser races. Still he was by no means as sprite or light as he had been in his Cadet days when he clambered up the masts like some Lustrian monkey. Still he managed without a wound to his pride and was given space in the crow`s nest by the young sailors. The spy glass that he could have used was useless at night as they tended to reduce available light too much. No matter-a number of gestures and a moment of concentration brought the sight he needed. Which did not mean he liked what he saw:
In the foreground a group of snakelike bodies undulated through the water crowned by heads which could bite the bow of a Hawkship. The middle of their reptilian bodies were crowned with the round turrets of fortress towers which had been set on the backs of the sea monsters.
Behind that group were a double line of Hydra ships and Skiffs which made their best speed to their . Balancing urgency against gravitas Aslan decided that is was urgent enough and bend his arms and legs around some standing rigging and slid down like some crew member that lived in front of the masts.
The Captain of the “Bright Dragon” and his staff tried to look as if nothing had happened when he approached them. “9 Doom Reavers and Doom Fortress, behind them 15 or so sailing ships. We keep course for 15 more minutes, then we head in. Begin signaling the squadron.”

Getting back to his place on the afterdeck Aslan went down on a carpet placed there by his Flag Lieutenant, folded himself into his favorite cross-legged position and started to imitate meditating. He was certainly not in the mood for such antics, but it calmed the crew to no end.
Instead of thinking about the nature of the 9 spheres or something like that he listened closely to the terse conversations about him. His Flag Lieutenant knew about this play and made sure that all necessary information was spoken about in his vicinity. So he allowed himself an internal smile about the combination of his planning and luck that had brought his squadron squarely windward of the enemy. While the Druchii sea Monsters could maneuver independently of the wind his ships were much better with the wind. Still timing was crucial and the more he heard the more he wanted to look himself.

Finally his play would not serve it purpose anymore, so he got up and stretched, all the while looking at the enemy who had come much closer while changing the bearing from forward to abeam. Looking at the wake gave him a pretty good estimate of his speed, the exertions of the enemy monsters gave theirs. Playing the mental chess in his mind he saw the two groups getting towards the point he intended to use.
“Captain Liramos, change course to south-south-east on my mark. Lieut-signal the squadron that we attack on my mark.” Aslan watched as the colored lanterns were lifted on the afterdeck, saw the answering lights on the other ships, saw the bearing change of the enemy “Now-Mark Mark”
From his single command terse orders emerged from the officers, warrants and ratings moved in a well-rehearsed choreography and sail-bearing beams swung about. The Ships of the squadron turned as one, changing their line formation into one abreast and charged directly towards the enemy.
“Captain Liramos, you may open fire upon your convenience”. The Admiral watched the onrushing enemy, but a short glance showed how the great ballistae were charged by heaving muscles and the big bolts lifted into their grooves. Glyphs on both the ballista and the bolts began to glow in unison and he heard the warrants on the weapons instruct their crews “Aim high-they have no waterline-aim high.”

The distance to the towering monsters seemed to vanish and then the “Fire” commands rose from the ships. The bolts were ejected from their weapons and accelerated even after they left their ships-such was their magic. Bolts made from the living woods of starwood trees topped by razor-sharp tips made from meteoric iron sped to their targets. At this range many missed-that was not a surprise at this range-but others met their mark and thudded home. Aslan watched as several bolts impacted on the Doom Reaver closest to the “Bright Dragon”, several vanished inside the fortress on the monster`s back, doing damage he could not estimate, one scratched the gigantic neck-and one went directly into the eye.
The Reaver froze for a second and then went into a series of cramps and convulsions that first threw the elf-made structures on its back off and then took it below the black waves, leaving a field of flotsam.

At the same time the crew of the “Bright Dragon” went through the exertions of changing course again and Aslan felt the deck tilt under his feet when the Dragonship changed course in a way that would bring tears of envy into the eyes of the lesser navies were they to see it. Dark bolts came their way and numerous small waterspouts went up, mostly in from of his ships, a very few among them. His ballistae could not shoot as often as the repeater bolt throwers used by the Druchii but outranged them considerably. Due to his windward position his much faster squadron could keep their distance and pummel the enemy at will in a battle of attrition.
He went to the rail of the starboard side to estimate courses and distances again and when the time was right the commands and the moves were put in again. This time none of the monsters went down, but one of the Doom Fortress stopped shooting from its Tower. During the jibe one of the enemy`s bolts went into the side of the “Bright Dragons” hull, but barely penetrated and did nothing else as the hit was above the water line. Again his line went in, again the bolts reached out-this time one of the Doom Reavers slowed down as its tail was hit and it could no longer move fully-and then everything changed.

“Captain Liramos, signal course change south west to the Eagles, change on my mark.” When the answering lanterns were all up. “Mark, Mark” divided his squadron in two. The nimble Hawkships turned 180 degree again and would continue to attack the Druchii from a distance, but his three eagle Ships and the “Bright Dragon” would come much closer.
His ballistae crews were as good as befitting to a Dragonship and managed to reload their weapons in time to shoot at the point when the enemy was closest. The Bolts were much more accurate now and the jubilant cries of his crew accompanied another Doom Reaver who went below the waves in agony. But this time the Sea Monsters were much closer and there was a price to pay for the attack. Scores of bolts were shot from the closes Doom Fortress and all around the Admiral crashing sounds told of their hits. He was jerked backwards by his Flag Lieutenant and wanted to admonish his aide when a tackle with some stays crashed into the deck right where he had stood before. Screaming crewmembers close by demonstrated the dangers of flying splinters and more quiet bodies were pierced by the rune-encrusted bolts. The next salvo was better-the range had opened again and the closest enemy was no more. Thankfully all ships in his half-squadron had survived the encounter and now it was time for the real target. In front of him the lines of Hydra ships and Skiffs were making their best speed towards safety-but measured against the best sail ships afloat their best was not very good, and their escorts were now behind him. They had the choice to chase him with Monsters who could move at half his speed and be harassed by the Hawkships all the way or fight with the other half of his squadron. He did not care much either way, as the real prize was in front of him.

The Druchii sail ships should have been slower than his ships but not that much slower as they turned out to be. Their low freeboard spoke of heavy loads that reduced their speed. “Captain, signal “Valedor” and “Asur`s” pride to attack the starboard column, we will take the larboard one with “Caledor”. Coming up from astern Aslan brought his ships into a parallel course to the Druchii ships and used his ballistae for some opening salvoes. “Aim high-we need to slow them”
Watching the masts of two Skiffs go and the ships flounder in the waves without movement the Admiral had to make decisions again. Fight from the distance would keep the risks low, but so would be the rewards. Thinking about the sailors who had bought him this chance the decision was easy.
“Captain, signal the Caledor to keep shooting at the stranglers. And take us in, this ship has Dragon Shears for a reason.”
“Yes, My Lord, with pleasure”

Taking the Dragon Ship so close to the enemy had its own share of risks. When the “Bright Dragon” came about, the Druchii ships in range started to concentrate her fire into her. So far most bolts had been rejected by the stout hull or had passed through the sails without doing much harm, but that was about to change. Scream from the rigging and a red rain dropping from above mixed with a storm of flying splinters, some as long as Aslan`s forearm. His Flag Lieutenant had one sticking out of his right arm and the warrant who directed the ballistae so ably curled around one that struck from his belly. But it was worth the price-the Dragon ship bore in on the Hydra ship Aslan had elected to be its first victim and managed to crash into the sides at the tremendous speed of 12 knots.

The bow of the “Bright Dragon” was reinforced by a ram called the “Dragon`s Shears”. Made from an alloy hardened in the fire of a Dragon`s breath they were possibly the toughest piece of armor around on this world-till the Germans arrived. Sharpened to a knives edge it did not crush the hulls planking so much but rather cut through it. Even the keels of the Hydra ship were no real brake on the ram`s onslaught and so under groaning noises, falling debris from the wildly swinging masts the Dragonship drove right through its victim. Leaving two sinking ship-halves behind them Admiral Aslan watched unperturbed as the crew made the few repairs they could while coming to a new heading. One ship down, many more to go.
At the end of the night only very few supplies would make it to the Bay of Drusilla.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-05 03:36pm

Passau, Germany, same time

Andy Thrope`s wife had set a very nice table and the Dinner had left everybody in the room with a full stomach and slightly tired. While she was putting the plates away into the kitchen the 3 men left at the table looked at each other, sizing themselves up.
Andy himself was dwarfing the two others not only by height, but also by his broad shoulders and strong arms. Some lines in his face showed where he had lost weight after the Weltensprung, the absence of many foods he loved and the enforced cycling had taken care of his “love handles” where nothing else would.
On the other side of the table were two smaller men, one a black-haired stocky 20-something, the other a slim-and trim man in his 40`s who`s plaited shirt, long blonde hair bound into a pony tail and brocade vest set him apart from the others who wore German modern clothing.
This man opened the conversation.

“Dear Andy, kindly convey my compliments to your wife, she has made a most acceptable meal. And thanks for the invitation, the opportunity to improve the lot of my erstwhile countrymen is very welcome.”
“What makes you want to free serfs all of a sudden Noble? It wasn`t as if you did not have some of their own after all?”
“Jean, I can understand your hate of the nobles, I have learned a great lot since leaving Bretonia. In the past I thought it would be enough to treat serfs well, now I see the very fact that there are serfs as a disgrace. What can I say-both of us are children of Bretonia. But of you ask the citizens of Nouvelle Trois Fountaines and they will tell you who I have been and what we do now.”
“Actually I did, this is why I am here now.”
“I will never, ever understand why this bl.. country is set up like that and why the serfs take it. It is a disgrace, starting from the fact that the serfs starve at times, that they belong to somebody, somebody who treats them like dirt and if they move off it is a crime. And do not get me started on “first nights…”
Both Bretons looked at each other for who was going to answer that one. Both gave a most Gallic shrug at the same time, smirked at that and wordlessly agreed that the Marquis de Lac got the job.

“Ah, my friend Andy, when it all began it was not a bad thing. Have you seen a Breton Knight? He is all covered in steel armor, as are parts of his horse. He uses a Lance and a shield, so that means he has to learn to steer his horse with his knees and the horse has to be a special one that can carry all that weight. His armor is worth the same as a small village and he has to learn to ride and fight at the same time he learns to walk. Because of this he can beat nearly any infantry around, even if they are more of them-by far. So the villages agreed to make the best guy a fighter and to keep him up while he just practices. So far, so good. Now add to the mix that the Lady of the Lake actually endorses the system and that her Grail Knights are quite literally superhuman-glowing eyes, highly charismatic, extremely strong and courageous-you get the drift. All of that enhances the idea that some guys are better than the others.
Originally the chivalric code made sure that the Knights treated the serfs decently-as far as that goes. But during the last centuries more and more nobles went the way of the scoundrel and treat their serfs as slaves and feel no obligation towards them. I have been arguing against this before, and you can see where this has led me.”
“The path to hell is paved by good intentions.”
“Something like that. The question is: do we do something about that and what?”

“Well, between me and Jean we have discussed to run an underground railroad – helping serfs to escape to Germany. The German government will currently accept all of them as asylum seekers and will not extradite them. Actually most of them will be swallowed by the labor market in a matter of days. It will be a good thing in itself, but it should also help move things in Bretonia as well.”
“A worthy goal for sure, but I cannot see how this will help in Bretonia?”
“Well, only the Serfs of assholes will run, so said assholes-excuse me, the worthy nobles of great birth of course-will find themselves out of serfs to till their fields. That should teach them manners.”
“That could work, indeed. But there are dangers both to the helpers as well as for the serfs.”
Jean, who had been quiet so far went for that: “I think should know of these dangers-but I also know very well what the serfs currently go through. It is worth the risks and I am pretty sure we can be careful.”
“Very well then, if you want my help, I am in. I can no longer travel to Bretonia, I am too recognizable. But some members of my household can and are willing to. They can establish connections to those nobles who think like me-and help on the way. How does that fit into your plans?”
“Once the harvest is over I can spare a couple of months and by now I know a lot of ex-serfs in Germany who also want to help.”
“So my Andy Thrope-how about you?”
“Oh, I can help with some financing, there are quite a few Germans pissed off at the Bretons as it is. Also I will help with the first and last part of the trips and maybe more. Let me show you what I have in mind.”
The three men looked at each other for confirmation, the nodded, one after the other.

Andy Thrope was the first to speak up. “We are three bleeding musketeers, aren’t we?”
“Who are the 3 musketeers?”
“Oh fu-I will lend you the book or the DVD, you might enjoy. A group of heroic do-gooders and cynics. But to more important matters
The Englishman put a map on the table that showed both large sections of Bretonia and the North-West of Bretonia.
“Here is the German Border in Lower Saxony-they are on the lookout for armed forces, but we should be able to pass with a little bit of preparation-some of the Germans who do not like Serf-keepers are in the Federal Police who guard the borders. Then we have the Couronne Wilderness-that part is mostly risk-free but for some beastmen and similar. There we mostly need some armed men and have to establish depots for food and the like. And then Bretonia proper-there the problems begin. I have already discussed this with Jean and we think we already know how to move there too.”
“How”
“We hide in plain sight”

100 Kilometers north of the Valley of Bones, Naggaroth, middle of a battle, next day

The closest groups of enemies were an impressive sight. Huge, steely eyed warriors demonstrated their strength by carrying armor and weapons that Areta could probably hardly lift, let alone use. They were led by Champions which were even bigger and some of them had eldritch light shining from any gaps in their armor.
The Auxilia were a different sight altogether: Equipped with the lightest of armor if at all, the slender true Elves and their slim rifles looked frightfully vulnerable against such a foe. The long march without a real resupply had caused many uniforms to become worn, scruffy and sported off-color patches. The Auxilia troopers, having the lean figure of Druchii or the very-well trained humans were now positively gaunt.

The illusion burst as a soap bubble when the heavy weapons platoon opened fire. The machine guns tore into an enemy that had yet to learn to take cover. The courageous charge of the Chaos warriors, their aggressive stance and their close formation which had brought them through countless battles and skirmishes now made them targets. Dangerous targets, frightening targets, targets that screamed with hate and that should not get too close, but targets. The armor covering the mighty chests and thick limbs did not protect the enemy but just deformed the bullets into shapes that ripped hideous wounds into mutated flesh but slowed the Chaos Warriors down when they should have closed fast.
But for every warrior the machine guns and the Auxilia shot there seemed to be at least another taking his place and despite their armor and the bodies in front of them then came closer and closer.

The cry “Black tips, Black tips” went through the Mercenaries. Areta`s hand reacted to the long drill she had been exposed to and her hand dropped to another pouch. The black tipped bullets had a core of hardened steel and punched through the armor of those Warriors who carried even more than most of them. But that was still not enough and Areta tensed for what was to come.
By now she could see the red-rimmed eyes of the approaching enemy clearly, see the tattoos and ritual scars, the pointy teeth that wanted to rend her flesh. She was far too busy firing to worry much, but when the three long whistles could be heard she reacted with the speed of a worried snake. Dropping her rifle into its sling she took a Grenade from her belt, ripped the cord that ran through its grip and threw with all her might. The explosions that followed were too close for comfort even for her-the Chaos warriors felt it in a very different way. The explosions had effect beyond the mere killing and maiming-it stopped the charge in its tracks and destroyed the formation that the Chaos unit so far had maintained.
The Lt. did not just look at the pretty picture-more whistles sounded from his place in the line and by now Areta`s brain translated them automatically “Fire the tit and get ready to charge Ladies”.
Like her squad the Druchii ripped the 5 rounds from the cloth slings fixed to her rifle`s stock and send out a rapid-fire salvo that destroyed whatever unit cohesion their enemy still had she waited for the long whistle that would send her forward. She was as tense as she could be-and then it had nowhere to go.

Instead the increasing drum of hoof beats filled the air and showed that somebody else would do the mock-up. For a second her face warped itself into that of an angry predator who`s prey is just taken by another, then the good sense of a veteran set in. The Druchii cavalry smashed into the small groups who remained and did not even slow down. Lances driven by the momentum of several hundred kilogram of horse and Druchii pierced armor and flesh alike, swords added the speed of the charge to that of their wielder`s arms and cut through limbs and necks.
Five minutes ago such a charge would have been as likely to break through the enemy as smashing itself to pieces on their weapons, now that the Chaos warriors had the Auxilia treatment it was easy.
Areta organized the distribution of new ammo and had a look at her squad who were fine. Finally she could try to get a look at the “big picture”. From what she could see the enemy was pretty much beaten. There was a long string of Khornates that stretched clear from their lines to the front of the gun the Germans had brought-they had probably started charging the gun as soon as the first round hit their position. The gaggle of dead close to the gun was interesting, she had heard some rumors about new ammo that had reached them with the resupply, but what did “Canister” mean?
The rest of the Enemy was either ridden down by the Cavalry or retreated as fast as they could into the fortress behind them. How they were going to take that down was a totally different matter.

Friedrichshafen, next morning

This was a rather beautiful day-nearly no clouds, next to no wind and balmy temperatures. In older times this would have been called “Kaiserwetter” (Emperors weather). But today the sun shone on an event that the many spectators considered far more important than the mere visit of some royalty.
Klaxons tore through the murmurs of the crowd that lined the bank of Lake Constance to announce the opening of the huge doors that closed the swimming hangar. At first not much seemed to happen and then a black gap seemed to open slowly-which was an illusion lend by distance and size.
Doors of a size of 85x80 meters do not open in seconds. When the doors were finally open a crane pulled the contents of the hangar into the sunlight, bit by bit.
The silver lift envelope glittered in the sun, and the crows murmur rose to new heights when the huge airship had cleared the doors completely. The airship clung to the moorings until all 8 props were spinning, then the crane arms released their hold. The airship took speed slowly and bit by bit and accelerated down the lake till it changed course and climbed to a higher attitude.
Urs Zurmalmen had asked himself before how it would be to watch the overflight of such a giant and now he got his wish together with at least 100.000 others. There were numbers to describe it-270 meters long, half a million cubic meters volume, 6 turbines at 10000 horsepower each, but nothing could describe the sheer majesty of this giant cruising over the crowds head, the huge shadow that swallowed and released them-it was grand but indescribable.

Even this grandiose feeling could not take the chuckles away when he made out the name. This first airship was for the DFG-the community of Universities and research agencies in Germany who wanted to use it to experiment and research this brave new world. In their effort to raise third-party funds they had, among other things, auctioned off the name of the Airship. The group that donated the most towards this undertaking could name the ship-within reason of course.
Who would have thought there were so many Trekkies left in Germany-but there was the proof of it, written large in black on silver: “Enterprise”

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-14 04:47am

Another Universe, a very different time

There are in all known universes many more Planets than there are Suns. The vast majority of these planets orbit around a star, and yet some do not. These bodies are exceedingly hard to find as they emit no light, next to no infrared and the search area could not be narrowed by observing the ecliptic plane of the parenting sun.
Many many years before the C`tan had risen the instabilities inherent in a double star system had ejected the Mars-Sized planet from its orbit into the interstellar vastness where it orbited the Galaxy`s core for millions of years without any notice. Relatively recently it had acquired a satellite of its own who after the briefest spark of activity went as dark and quiet as the planet it went around eternally.
While small compared to the celestial body the satellite was immense for an artificial structure. Shaped like a long wedge it sported a gothic-seeming assortment of towers and crenellations which long ago had served as sensors, heat sinks and weapons. The many stars that shone on the ship from so very far away would never have lit the surface enough for unaided human eyes to see but for those with the abilities there was a name written on both sides of the vessels bow-“Ragnarök”.

There had been no change in these affairs for so long-until now. The very fabric of space was ripped asunder and a realm where sanity did not need to apply released three more vessels. Smaller than the giant in front of them they were even more ornate-and immeasurably more active.
Giving off copious heat and eldritch lights for a while the ships assumed a tighter formation and then accelerated towards the cold giant.
Even smaller vessels detached themselves from the largest vessel and clamped themselves to the hull of the ancient hulk while their mother ships stayed at what was hoped to be a safe distance.
The bridge of the “Holmgang” the largest of them was a study in contrasts-high-definition holographic displays were projected by devices clad in brass and wood. Some of the crew wore prosthesis which contained micron-sized wired into their nerves but the wires were protected by thick external cable protectors sheathed in gleaming Chrome leading inside the skulls.
One of the Holograms was studies by several figures which were all literally larger than life. Wearing pieces of grey armor, the fur of legendary animals and an assortment of weapons they dwarfed the nearly normal sizes human who was hardwired into the Captains seat.

“We measure a temperature of 2.3 Degree Primarch, the galactic background`s radiation. This is a ship long dead. The good news is that the hull seems to be intact. There are some impact marks, but nothing major or penetrating.”
“After 9500 and some years she might very well be. We left the ship behind when…ah well that is for another time. The ship will have shut itself down as completely as possible when we did not come back-after 100 years or so. By that time the servitors will have degraded to the point where they were no longer capable of keeping up the ship anyway.”
“So there will be no support systems of any kind. What about security if the ship is in this stage?”
“Nothing beyond the maze itself. Mind you-when you want to power her on or remove certain items you need me, otherwise not much will happen-or too much depending on the system in question.”
“Nobody could restore the ship but you, Primarch?”
“Others could, but they are dead, Logan, long dead”
“Primarch, Tech Marine Hangulf reports that he has arrived at the designated airlock and reports that the standard controls do not work.”
“Have the Marine attach a hydraulic pump to the port below the controls and pump in fluid until he has back pressure-than the wheels should turn. Remind them to place the relays-the armor will otherwise swallow all signals once they are inside.”
“Yes Primarch”
Everybody at the Bridge could just stand and wait until the Techmarine and his servitors had managed to open the airlock and vanished inside. They were followed by a squad of Marines who checked out the environs of the ship. While a Patriarch of the Space Wolves and the Captain of the “Night Runner`s” Great Company were reduced to listen to the terse wireless commo between the troops. But so far it seemed that the only dangerous things on that ship were the lack of atmosphere, light, warmth or whatever else humans needed for life, but nothing actively stalking them.
Leman Russ had never been endowed with more than the minimum required patience and finally moved.

“That is good enough. Ready the Thunderhawks-we take the ship back.”
It took them several hours, not the least as the kilometer-long ship did no longer provide internal transport for its crew, but when they were done Lehmann Russ stood at the bridge of his former Flag Ship, the Ragnarök.
The ship was as inactive as possible, so any light was provided by the Wolves, they had to use the magnetic clamp function on their boots and opening any hatch was a major operation.
As nobody trusted the relic`s power systems auxiliary generators were brought on board, adapters were made to work and power was piped into select systems.
While Lehman Rus was bending himself over a console and tried to convince a resurrected computer that it was really him and that he was really allowed to ask the questions he wanted while his retinue was guarding the living legend among them.
In another part of the ship the commotion had been registered. Long-dormant systems powered up, electrons ran paths nearly forgotten and pressure was fed to actuators which had last moved when the Emperor was still talking to his people.
Many of these mechanisms had succumbed to age. Brittle insulation could not contain voltage and arced, joints were frozen stiff in time and ancient power banks shortened in brief flares of heat. But enough had remained functional, and so machines rose from their resting placed, testing aiming mechanisms and carefully moving blades.

Martensen`s family house Papenburg, same morning

“Now look here dad, that old capacitor is all bulged outwards. I think that is it-we`ll solder in a new one.”
“Ah well, we have that blasted thing since me and mum are married, so it had any reason to die of old age.”
“5 minutes with a soldering iron and it will work again.” And so the old Hoover indeed did, which earned Jens some Euros.
“Thanks Dad, that mighty fair of you. I`ve done my homework, I`ll be off for soccer then.”
“Be back at 6 sharp-the roast won`t wait for you.”
“Will do, bye Dad.”
Wilhelm Martensen, part-time Captain of the 3st Landwehr and full-time father of 3 Children settled to his Sunday and was quite happy about the repaired appliance. A new hoover would have been nearly a thousand euros these days, money he preferred to save that for that holiday in the “Club Estelia” that the family planned for next year. A holiday in them was an once-in-a-lifetime experience-they had a long waiting list and were expensive as hell. The Club was a piece of Germany transplanted into Estelia and offered beaches, Scuba diving and other activities together with organized visits to the surrounding countryside.
There were much cheaper offers by now to take the holiday locally, but that was roughing it and not advisable when you did that with Children. In 10 years or so things might be different, but now it was the safer bet you`d enjoy the holiday if you used a “Club”. So going there depended on not having to replace any bigger electrical applicances-they were fa too expensive these days. cheap Hoover went for 800 Euros and Washing Machines routinely were bought with a financing plan.

The washing machine was making very funny noises at times and if it could not be repaired the holiday would have to happen in another year. Miele was charging an arm and a leg for them. And God forbid the hoover would quit again. Maybe his neighbor could help there, he was a master electrician. Neighborhood help had become much more important these days, it reminded him a bit about what he had heard about old East Germany.
He had a quick look at his watch-20 more minutes for himself. He had promised his wife to lend her a hand with the canning of their Strawberry marmalade. The Martensen`s garden which used to be mostly a lawn before the Weltensprung was now given to several Vegetables and Fruits. And while they froze some of it they found that actually doing their own jam had its own rewards, the liberal dose of rum that the Captain mixed in might have something to do with that. The jam glasses would finally go into the cellar and for a part of the food stash that most German households by now kept. For many years the German government had told people to stash at least two weeks of food and other supplies “in case”-it had taken the Weltensprung to make people do it.

Turning over the page he saw the picture of the “Enterprise's” launch. The article below was full of technical details and went on about the use of the airship to discover new countries and cultures. The small specs around the airship resolved themselves into two Griffons who flew alongside the ship.
It took him a minute before the full impact of what he read and saw was making himself felt- “Discover new Countries, study new ecosystems, make contact with unknown cultures”
As any German he had lost so much-safety, a part of his income, many luxuries like cheap leisure travel and like most others he would have preferred to be back on Earth-but here could see what they have won. Did that balance the scale? He was not sure, but what he was sure about was that he lived in interesting times.

100 Kilometers north of the Valley of Bones, Naggaroth, also early in the morning, next day

Petra Heim had learned many ways to please her Mistress. Some were exiting, some degrading, painful, humiliating, arousing, exhausting or any combination thereof. What she was currently doing was probably the strangest and most exhausting way to gather her favor she had tried so far. Contorting herself into another brezel shape she hooked her finger into another crevice and when she was sure to have a decent grip placed her foot higher up and pushed.
Thankfully her grip was as good as she hoped and nothing slid. The Crevice in front of her actually looked promising and was about the right distance from the last hold, so she hugged the rock face in front of her even more closely and released one hand. She took another Carbine and anchor from her belt and wedged it into the gap in the spire.
Taking a moment of rest she looked downwards-she was up roughly 200 meters by now and had about 80 more to go. Putting a thin nylon cord through the carbine she let the line drop through it on both sides. Shortly thereafter a more substantial line was pulled up to her and she fixed it to the anchor. Well, no rest for the wicked, she needed to be on top soon. As a former member of the “Alpenverein” she was very used to free rock climbing, something dearly needed now.
It took her one more hour, half of a fingernail, some square centimeters of skin and about the rest of her stamina, but she made it in time. Taking care not to stand up and silhouette herself she crawled on all fours to the far edge of the rocky spire and looked over the edge. In several hundred meters distance was the ancient mountain fortress that gave such problems to the “Schwarze Schaar”-and she was looking in from the top.

Wolfgang Böhler would have sworn a blue streak, if he had the breath to do so. Immensely fit for somebody on the wrong side of 50 climbing up a rock spire of nearly 300 meters was not his favorite way to start the day. Still he could do it the comparatively easy way. He had a rappelling device for his hands which he could push upwards on the rope whenever he had sufficient grip with his feet and which would not slide downwards again.
It was still taxing as hell, but meter by exhausting meter he made the height. The sight on top rewarded him for every centimeter climbed. Unobstructed sight lines for kilometers, including directly into the fastness of the enemy.
The view demonstrated again why he had to take the climb.

The Fortress was an interesting one, so old that nobody remembered who had originally build or used it. Some work seemed to be dwarven, but the ramps that he could make out indicated that some users did not like stairs very much. A long stone bridge with a lifting part in the middle connected the entrance to the fastness to the rest. The Bridge was accessible along a short front only and in range of arrows and magic. Even when one gained access to the short part that was on this side of the Chasm there would be the problem to get across under fire.
Instead of walls made of individual stones the builders had used reshaped the original rock. Because of the high sides and the impossible-to-storm bridge this emplacement had given the Druchii a very hard time-until Jasla`s pet had come up with a wild idea. And now it seemed to pay off.
He stayed in cover until Jasla, her assistant mage and a few helpers had also made it to the mountaintop, they had carried his rifle case with them. Taking out his favorite tool he placed a small sand-filled bag in front of him as a rest for the rifle stock and fished for his Binox when Jasla slid into position besides him.
“May I have your Binoculars for a Minute Herr Böhler?”
“Certainly.”
The fact that Jasla was asking politely was a major shift by its own. The way the sniper handled himself in Druchii society and on the battlefield-two fields with only minor distinctions anyway-had made her sit up and take notice. Unfortunately that probably meant she had also uprated him as a threat, but that could hardly be helped.

“Anything interesting down there?”
“Yes, very much so. I think I know now what has made these idiots seek this Khaineforsaken place.”
“Now that interesting, do tell.”
“See that stone ring down there?”
“The one they are dancing around?”
“Yes, that one. To you it will be unassuming. To me it is quite bright-in a strange and intriguing way. This is an altar to the gods of whoever made this fortress. And it is highly possible they are still accessible through this portal.”
“Sounds bad”
“Is bad-we need to take care”
“I think we can do that-show is about to start in 15 Minutes or so, so please finish whatever preparations you need to make.”
The sniper watched Jasla as she made her way towards her helpers. Before she was there she patted her slave absentmindedly on her head like one would a dog that had performed well. Wolfgang was about to wince at the beaming look the Druchii mage got in back till he saw the face change when Jasla`s face was back to her. It was the briefest of moments but something there was off-pretty much so. Well, no skin of his nose.

It was more than a little unsettling assuming a sniper position when a lithe Druchii mage chalked sigils into the ground around you, some of which seemed to float a couple of centimeters of the ground, but Wolfgang had by now seen stranger things.
He went into a world of his own. The change was inside his head mostly as he turned his attention off anything not essential to the task at hand. He no longer felt the hard ground that pressed into his chest uncomfortably against the irregularities on the ground, his legs that were contorted into a stable shape or the many small pains that being older brought with them. His sensory input was likewise reduced to what he could see through his scope and even his empathy shut itself down. Instead of humans or other feeling, breathing beings with hopes, fears and aspiration he now just saw targets. Immobile targets, mobile targets, valid targets and those he was not allowed to shoot-the world reduced to its essentials.
Despite the reductions-these were the moments he lived for, this was what was making him tick and when he really felt alive and able to make a difference.
Even in this state he heard Jasla as she had something relevant to say. “Take the mages first-they can hurt us even here. The ones with the rainbow robes and the feather in his face first-he will be the most dangerous one.”
“Yes”

Wolfgang checked the small column of smoke rising from the Altar to the heavens again-straight up, nearly no wind. Thanks for providing the clue suckers. Next he measured the apparent height of the targets upper body against the scale etched into his scope, gaining the range from that. Adjusting his aim for the height difference he exhaled half-way and took up the pressure on his trigger.
As it was a set trigger which was pulled with the lightest of touches the shot went out as a surprise. The bullet impacted slightly low and to the left of the snipers point of aim, not that this made any difference. The projectile had been made to take out large game having several times the mages mass. It arrived at better than 800 meters/second and had enough energy to kill a human 7 times over. In an effort not to waste too much of that energy on overpenetration a ball at the tip of the bullets was pushed back into the projectile when it started its way into the body. The ball went into a canal which was slightly too small for it and forced the bullet open like a razor sharp banana that was peeled. Dropping fragments into other parts of that anatomy the bullet caused a cavity in the upper chest that would have been big enough to put the mages head in it.

Needless to say the mage was dead before his knees bend. By the time he rested on the ground the sniper had reloaded and fired his second shot before anybody had spotted him for real. At the time when the 3rd target showered its surroundings with blood and entails hands pointed in his direction and the 5th shot was met by a flash 10 meters out from the ground.
After reloading he fired 2 more rounds and the outcome did not really change. He shifted his attention to the troops manning the Parapet and achieved satisfactory results. Ignoring the mages was not a good idea though which the black flames that licked at the protection afforded by his wards clearly showed.
“Can you take that shield down Jasla?”
“Yes, but then I cannot banish their attempts. Better get them quickly then.”
Wolfgang went back into his “sniper mode” but even then he heard and felt the invocation practiced somewhere behind him. The next shot took out the mage easily enough and the one after that left an empty robe, but then the shield was back on.
“What gives witch, can`t hack it?”
“I had to catch something nasty in time. You want to look at the warp in the raw from the inside?”
“Err no. Can we repeat this soon then?”
“I can get it up faster than you old man, just ask Petra.”
“Just do it ok.”
“Touchy there? Forget it.”

A minute later Wolfgang was again partaking in his favorite sport. Three men (?) were still around, making gestures which sometimes left glowing traces in the air and that would have made him queasy if he would have looked at it for any length of time.
“Boom” and the first one died.
“Boom” the second was minus his head, he had started to duck when the sniper was already pulling the trigger.
“Boom” and the shield was obviously back up.
“Jasla, what the fu…” A single glance at a face that was even more pale than usual and that sported circular hematomas around both eyes answered the question sufficiently.
“You….you get one more chance sniper. Do not…do not blow it.”
“Will do”
The scope revealed only one more mage, this one in a really ostentious robe, but otherwise quite normal looking. He was screaming something, he was gesturing-so he had to go, that should be it.
Wolfgang celebrated the ritual of taking aim as he had hundreds of times and then hesitated. Taking this shot right was more important than usual. A second look would not hurt, even if it stressed Jasla even more.
When the shot came it ripped the bony chest of a helper who stood close to the mage apart. Clad just with a loincloth the tan lines on his arms and chest had given him away.
“Changing clothes with your helper will you? I place bait for my targets, I do not fall for it.”
Wolfgang did get to shoot another couple of clips before a wave of Druchii carried the wall and gate.
Mission acomplished

Friedrichshafen, Germany

Not all visitors found the new name of the Airship funny. Among the honour guests was General Kurt Crüwell with his entourage. The General could retrace the service history of his family back to the Grand Elector´s time and even beyond.
So seeing the first German Airship in decades with THIS english name was difficult for him. Especially since Star Trek was dead for the General latest with the "Red Matter" rubbish, but really before when the writers started to screw their own canon and the assinine behaviour exhibited at times by the crews. Captain Janeway was a disgrace for any officer, male or female and many other "Star Fleet officers" exhibited stupidity as their first character sign as well.

Kurt tried to link the name with the old Aircraft Carrier in his mind, so not to jump in his Hind and blasting the Zeppelin out of the sky for "polluting" the Air space.
He turned to his adjutant.
"Hans, when Friedrichshafen delivers our Zeppelin, we will give it a proper name."

"Herr General?"

"A German Zeppelin should have a German name, I doubt the Americans would name one of theirs "Tirpitz" or "Friedrich der Große". Hell, even if you take a foreign name out of respect, then one not from a fictional sci-fi series where the Starships are crewed by imbeciles."

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Mechman
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Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-14 04:48am

Battle Barge Ragnarök, a little later than the original boarding

The plug of metal had a diameter of 3 meters and was even deeper than that. It was pushed out of the cavity it had been resting for 10 Millennia slowly and it swung aside even more slowly. Inside the hole it left was only stygian darkness.
A Techmarine made sparse gestures which sent a tracked servitor down the hole. Everybody was waiting with baited breath to find that nothing happened.
“Nothing here Primarch”
“Let me see”
The Primarch entered the hole that led into the strong room of his former flagship with several Wolf Guard in tow. While he wanted to hurry both dignity and the magnetic soles slowed him down considerably. Finally he went into the vault. It contained many boxes and other items, but everything was arranged about a plinth.
An empty plinth.
It was made of steel-still Leman Rus` gauntlets left deep marks on it when they hit it in utter frustration.

Brother Erik did not see or hear about this. The Wulf Guard Terminator was guarding one of the huge corridors that lead to the ships bridge together with a squad of likewise armored giants. Even the bulky Terminator suits were dwarfed by the way which had been designed to conduct the comings and goings of thousands of crewmembers and the passage of huge constructs and parts. He was alert, in great shape and his ancient armor and weapons were in prime condition.
And yet his mind was in a place it had not been for a long time-probably not until his induction into the Chapter. He was in deep awe-in awe of the Primarch that had so suddenly appeared in their midst, in awe of standing inside a ship that had served the Great Wolf when the Emperor was still walking among men and in awe that this was the Wolftime, the battle at the end of the World that Leman Rus had prophesized them when he went on his great hunt.

None of this kept him from reacting to the sight in front of him in no time-and yet none of it would count for anything at the end. From the dark far end of the corridor his auspex showed barely heated shapes that moved towards his position.
The shapes were not moving gracefully or at great speed, instead pulling limbs that did no longer have the full range of movement, adjusting courses that faulty sensors had plotted towards the walls and avoiding others that had the same problems.
The shapes had uneven temperatures that were displayed as different colors in Erik`s display, showing where arcane processes powered the ancient machines-and that they had to be. The angular shapes, the immense size and their movement left no other explanation.
“Brother Captain Wolfgar, this is Sergeant Erik. We have movement of at least 20 constructs down the corridor 1/3 towards our position. We cannot ascertain their intent, asking for orders”
“Brother Sergeant, hold you position until relive, so not open fire. We will contact the Primarch.”
Sergeant Erik would not hear the commo traffic of his superiors who tried to contact a living legend in the grips of despondency, so he was reduced to watch the approaching figures.
“Stand fast Brothers, do not let yourself be provoked.”

The figures lurched inexorably forward and came to a stop only a few meters in front of Erik`s position. By now the visual spectrum light from the Terminator suits had revealed the constructs in greater detail. About the size of a Cyborg their limbs were slimmer and their figures more bend forward. While they had a humanoid layout their bearing and the way they moved reminded him more of a praying mantis. The long blades attached to the lanky limbs just reinforced the impression.
They resembled the robots that had been used by the Legio Cybernetica during the Heresy, but what these age-old fighting machines were doing on a former Flagship of the Space Wolves was beyond the Space Marine Sergeant.
“Brother Captain, the contacts will reach our position in 30 seconds-any change in orders?”
“None Brother Sergeant”
“Contacts have now stopped Brother Captain”
“So noted Brother Sergeant. Hold your position until further orders.”
Brother Erik was no coward-no Space Marine, let alone a Space Wolf was, but he felt uneasy under the gaze of the machines, who knew what inhuman logic paths were followed by their ancient cybernetic “brains”. The dark openings of visual sensors swiveled back and forth, the red lines of a laser scanner played over the Terminators, having second passes over their weapons.
And then it stopped. Erik was about to breathe easier when the blade of the foremost robot connected with the chest of his armor and sent him flying.

All around him explosions and beams lit up the corridor in a hellish stroboscope.
Lifting his Storm Bolter he fired a long rapid-fire salvo of explosive shells at his attackers. Some armor plates were dented, a visual sensor sparked and dropped from his housing but the attacks by the Robot continued. The Sergeant managed to regain his footing and avoided a second stroke by the same blade. Sparks at the blades connection to the assailants arms indicated what had saved the Marine`s life so far, the energy field that should have surrounded the blade had failed to form. That was a good thing as then the sword would have opened his armor like an egg. But even so the blade could be deadly if it hit the wrong way and the muzzle of an unknown energy weapon that extended over the mechanical giants shoulders threatened another chance for an early death.
Bending forward and stepping closer at the same time he managed to smash his power fist into the knee that was chest-high to him. The working energy field that surrounded him allowed to penetrate the armor protecting the limb and he pulled cables and actuators out when he pulled his arm back. He stepped back in time so he was not buried under the falling robot.

Assessing the situation via the autosenses of his helmet he saw that Brother Hrak was dead, that Brother Harald was shooting at another Robot with his Assault Cannon and had opened the workings of the fighting machines power source to the void and that Brother Bengdt was transfixed through his leg by a sword but was ripping the arms off his enemy with his Lightning Claws. And to make things more fun even more Robots had reached the scene.
Firing his Storm Bolter into the back of the machine that held Bengdt he moved between his Brothers and the oncoming machines. He was about to decide which monstrosity to attack next when his wireless set finally gave some indication that command had noted their plight.
“Step back Brother and be quick about it.” A fast glance showed him why this was advisable. Bigger than any Space Marine but smaller than the Robots Leman Rus barreled down the corridor, followed by other Space Wolves who tried in vain to put themselves between their Primarch and whatever danger there was.
Leman Rus got to cut the leg of one Robot and blasted the head of another till everybody noted that the mechanical attackers had stood down.
The wireless transmission was scratchy, toneless and mechanical, but still easy enough to understand. ”What are your commands Primarch?”

Charite`Berlin, a couple of days later

The Doktor who sat down besides Joakim Vos bed looked through the docs fixed to his clipboard. There were simply too many patients these days to keep things straight without reading things up again when you came to the patient.
Other doctors had been here before, looking after the diverse fractures Joakim sported. This doctor was not looking after the Landwehr Sergeant`s body-he was after the mind.
“You look much better these days now that they took out the external lever.”
“Feels much better that way too Dr. Reich. From what I hear I still have enough metal inside me to make scanners go beep for quite a while. And when that ankle is back together for real nobody can tell me.”

“That is not my expertise either. We both know why I am here, I think.”
“Yes”
“Well, what about your nightmares then?”
“Slowly getting better, even now that I no longer get Adumbran.”
“Good, that fits. How about the association test?”
“You mean the crying baby sounds I had to listen to? That was nasty, but no, I did not freeze, it just set up my teeth on edge.”
“Yes, that jibes with the functional MRT. Whoever gave you Diphenhydramin after the OP in Altdorf knew what he was doing. Good news is-I think we can rule out PTSD, you display no symptoms. But what you certainly have is a good dose of survivor`s guilt and you are, in rather unmedical terms, simply clapped out.
It will simply take some time for you to realize that you are not bad or did not do your part as you are alive when others are not. From what I hear your superiors speak in glowing terms of you and like the rest of us you cannot control the fates that decide who lives and who dies up from a certain point. You cannot see that yet, but sooner or later you will wrap your head around it.

So, I could prescribe you several somethings to make you smile, but I think the best way to get you out of the funk is physical rehab-you were used to a lot of workouts and are missing on the endorphins from them. Now that the braces are away I can promise you that rehab will be stressful enough to bring that back. Now that you can move better, get out and enjoy yourself with some friends. Get plastered-and forget I said that. Just do not do it too often.”
The Doctors visit left Joakim relived and depressed at the same time. Relived as PTBS had been a nagging worry-depressed as most of his friends were in Altdorf. He simply did not have very many friends in Germany-or even knew so very many people. But workout at the rehab gym seemed like a very good idea, so he heaved himself out of the bed, suppressed a groan from many small aches and got dressed. And if time allowed he wanted to do some shopping.

Peenemünde Nord, same time

The group of older men and women sat around a huge conference table which was littered with folders. The many empty small bottles of juice and the rumpled state of dress made it obvious that they had been in there for quite some time and that they wanted to come to a finish soon-and yet two groups were arguing and could not find common ground enough.
One of them went to a window leaned half out and started an illicit smoke. His position made sure that nobody would take him up for it.
“Ok folks, let`s get one thing settled-if one candidate can function under 9.5 G and the other under 9.6 makes no difference in their qualification and neither does an allergy against some grasses that only grow in some greenhouses any more. It simply does not matter and it comes down to this: Who has the right character for the job? We have three candidates, all are experienced pilots and have flown Combat Missions, so we know they keep cool under stress. Two have an impressive list of kills, showing anything from Greater Demons to Dragons. One has nothing of the kind as he flies an unarmed plane. But guess what-the problem he will face cannot be solved with pulling a trigger. He still flew the missions and that makes him my favorite. So?”
“So…let us say you accept Haessig for Systems Integration Engineer.”
“Suppose I do?”
“Then we would agree.”
“Done. Mrs. Mertens, please write a mail to Lieutenant Alpers and invite him to Astronaut training if he is still interested. And somebody get hold of Herrn Haessig and tells him he just got a whole different workload.

Frankonia Shop, Friedrichstr., Berlin, Evening of the same day

Manfred Schwarz saw the customer walk into his showroom. Younger than most of his customers, brown haired and of normal height he used a cane to support himself and pulled a leg who`s ankle was in some kind of cast. He was wearing uniform, one he did not recognize right away.
“Good evening Sir, how can I help you.”
“Good evening. I am looking for a pistol as a backup gun.”
“Personal protection or for hunting?”
“Personal-I am a member of the 1St Landwehr and recently learned that I could use such a thing. Any recommendations?”
“Oh, 1st Landwehr-I heard about your unit. Did you get winged in Altdorf?”
“Yes, and that showed me a backup gun might be a good idea.”
“I could make it easy on myself and recommend the HK USP in 9mm-but I would guess that you have something different in mind, right?”
“When you have seen a rat the size of a boar and a spider the size of a rhino-yes, a little more omp wouldn`t go amiss.”

“Understandable. If we leave the Spider aside-I have nothing that could tackle that you could describe as back-up-then I recommend something in 10mm Auto. That round is getting quite popular, especially with Soldiers these days.”
“Sure that this is enough?”
“Let me show you this” The gunsmith pulled a picture file on his Siemens pad, then pushed it across to Joakim. The picture displayed a boar with an impressive part of its head missing. “A customer of mine used such a gun as his backup for hunting. Looks like it worked just fine to me. Don`t forget we have some nice deforming rounds these days. The deforming jacketed ones will feed reliably and dump most their energy into the target. I do not think that a bigger round will kill much more reliably, from here it is shot placement. And that brings me to my recommended gun.”
“Aha, which is?”
“Heckler and Koch are making the P7 again. It is dead safe as long as you do not hold it in your hand-it is simply not cocked. But once you grip it and pull the strap in front of the handle back it is cocked and the trigger pull is the same as single action. And that IS going to help with shot placement. Also like all H&K guns they paid attention to recoil reduction-and for this series they insulated the trigger guard just fine, the old ones heated up there.”
“How many rounds does it have?”
“7 or 13 if your hand is big enough-and I would say it is.”
“Sounds interesting-any way I can shoot a few rounds?”
“Certainly, please follow me to the cellar. Did I already tell you about our discount for members of the armed forces?”
An hour later Joakim Vos hobbled from the store again, having set his account back by quite an amount but still happy. He was about to get his bearing when a red-haired women shouted at him from the side “Puppykiller”

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-14 04:49am

Before Frankonia Shop, Friedrichstr., Berlin, Evening of the same day

The Landwehrman was totally surprised by the sudden announcement that made so little sense and that came quite literally from the left field. Turning to face the redhead he was assailed by further accusations. “You massacre the Beastmen in their Forest and drown the Skaven when they have done nothing-you are a murderer..”
Normally Joakim Vos would have shrugged this bullshit off or even gotten a laugh out of it. Yet the mention of the Skaven shoved the normally well-buried guilt to the surface and pictures of a tunnel with two bands of dust launched by an enormous explosion, an overturned crib and a carpet of bodies in a street occupied his mind more than the present.
Standing stock-still and pale his passivity goaded his accusers into more action.
Behind the worked-up a small group offered moral support “Go back to Boot Camp and learn to kill better murderer” and “Do you just kill Babies or do you eat them too?”

The latter was so ridiculous on the one side and rubbed Joakim so wrong on the other that he finally found his voice again. He did not shout-he did not need to. Being used to issue commands above din of the Battlefield he was able to raise his voice to a level that overcame the babble by the idiots in front of him easily without restoring to something as base as shouting.
“You morons have no idea what you are talking about. You have neither met Beastmen nor Skaven, nor have you seen the wasteland they produce but you talk as if you know it all. You are brave when you face no danger but you do not go where you would have to act on your beliefs. You accuse people whom you do not know of crimes they do not commit. Excuse me, but this has no use for me.”

Stiffly he turned and used crutch, his good leg and a lot of determination to walk away from the idiots at a decent pace. The adrenaline and determination left him as quickly as they had come and he needed a place to sit down urgently. A convenient pub offered such an opportunity and some refreshment besides so he went into the small pub and sat down by his lonesome.
Having ordered a local beer and schnapps he had a bout of what happened to him occasionally-he felt very very much alone. It was not a good feeling and when combined with his doubts about his last mission it was potent enough to make breathing hard. He was in the middle of feeling sorry for himself when the tinkling of the doorbell announced the entry of another guest into the pub. Joakim did not even look up so when the slender figure stepped to his table he was surprised enough to say nothing immediately.
The redhead in front of him did not look at his face directly but below that and found it hard to start.

“I have come…come to apologize”
“What….sorry that went wrong. I do not understand.”
“What I said to you was wrong and I am sorry. I just found that I insulted an injured man-that cannot be right. Whatever happened in Altdorf or the Great Forest-you were certainly not responsible for that and going at an injured man like I did is inexcusable, I am sorry.”
“Ah, you might be wrong on the responsible part, but thanks for the apology anyway. And I can understand that the pictures and news coming from the Empire are disturbing, probably better than most. Will this not put you in the hot water with your friends?”
“No friends of mine, just people who gave me a place to sleep for a while. But they managed to scramble my head it seems.”
“Looks like it. Fair enough, apology accepted.”
“You said you were understanding things there better than most, why?”
“Pull a chair Lady and I will tell you if you are willing to listen to my ramblings. Joakim Vos, by the way, and you might be?”
“Sophie Wagenstein, may I?”

Frankfurt, next morning

The Villa had been a fine house when it was built during the 1870`s, when newly founded Germany was flush with money from the war against France. It may have suffered during WW2, but none of that could be seen. These seemed to be harder times-while nothing was dirty or untidy-quite the opposite was true-but the furniture was older and while the interior had a feminine touch there was only a 50-something man about.
He was lanky, showed lots of small movements and his refusal to meet Ibrahim Dürr`s eyes indicated he had was highly nervous about something. Together with his assistant, Silvia Meins, he had gotten the job of following up complaints about the doings in the house of the Schmalfelds.

“Herr Schmalfeld, we are not here because your neighbors have complained-this would be a matter for the local police force then as you should be aware from their previous visits. We are here because the magic detector we use gives a strong and consistent reading from your premises.”
“I do not practice any magic here and I protest your intrusion into my privacy and my freedom of religion…”
“Herr Schmalfeld, you have invited us in here and of course you can also ask us to leave at any time. In that case I will be back with a warrant within the hour and then turn the house upside down. I think we should both spare us the indignities. No, I will not force you into any nonexistent camp for humans with magical abilities. But what would like is some information on your mother. Your neighbors have indeed complained about her-which confused us somewhat as she is dead.”
“You cannot believe the things they say about Mother-she has never done such ….such atrocities. My brother was depressed and killed himself and…
“Chef, the magic indicator just gave a spike-big one. Something is going on that…”
“Can you pinpoint that Sandra?”
The impact shook the room they were in-and all minds as it was so unexpected. Something kicked the wooden boards that made up the living room floor hard and had already succeeded kicking some of them from their nails.
“Don`t bother, I think I know already.”

Repeated blows that sounded like coming from a sledge hammer lifted more and more boards from the floor were pushed aside. The first thing to emerge was a pale translucent hand holding a roofing hammer attached to a withered arm. While it was slender and one could see tendons and bones as well as the boards behind the arms faintly through the limb it had more than enough power. Ibrahim Dürr pushed his assistant behind him and changed magazines on his P229.
When the head of an old crone with a face warped into a hateful visage emerged from the hole the screams “Get back Mother, get back” mingled with Dürr`s “run you fool run” while the rest of the Banshee made her way through the floor of the living room.
The Banshee looked around until she focused on her son who alternated between pleading her to return and shouted assurances that none of this was his doing. Turning her head at an angle that would have been impossible in life the pale apparition inhaled-and then she screamed.

Whatever she had been before and no matter how she got into this state but she was a creature mostly of magic now. When she screamed events she caused were not restricted to the physical realm. Glass broke, eardrums bleed and nothing could be heard but for the sound of the scream. But most of the scream was magical in nature and as such it circumvented eardrums and nerves to transmit sound and discern meaning from the sound wave-it went directly for the soul.
Like any noise loud enough it cancelled any thought, any feeling, anything but the scream itself-making the body forget what to do and the mind which body it belonged to. Peer Steinfeld was directly in the path of his Mothers hateful sound and whatever made him up left that very moment. His autopsy would give a simple “he died” as his body would be virtually flawless-and dead.

Silvia Meins was behind the big Commissar and on the opposite side of the scream, still she fainted right away. Inside Ibrahim Dürr`s head the sound waves and whatever other forces made up the scream and the waves crashed together and emptied all they found but for the nail-hard core of his personality. No matter how much hate and confusion was forced into him he refused to give up Ibrahim Dürr.
The trigger of his pistol needed to be pulled with less than 4 kilogram and the Commissar was a strong man. Still it felt as he were pulling on his service car and that no movement were forthcoming. When the shot finally broke it came as a relief as the impossibly loud shot in the closed room cancelled a part of the Banshee`s call, yet this was the only consequence of the shot besides a few flakes of plaster that were ejected from the impact crater. While the bullet had made a clear path right through the remains of Mrs. Schmalfeld chest no appreciable harm could be seen. The purely mundane projectile was simply not able to reach into the parts of reality where the Banshee resided.
Ibrahim saw the turning of his opponent´s ugly head like in slow motion, saw the hate in the monsters eyes and the intent for more murder. Pulling on the trigger again the pistol fired the first round that came with the changed magazine. Speeding at its target at 320 meters/second the bullet went into the Banshee`s open mouth and removed the vocal apparatus together with parts of the spine. The 3 shots the Commissar fired in rapid succession relived him greatly but the Banshee was already pushed into the realm where it had refused to move on its own.

The imperial Gold Order was comprised of those mages that would be called Alchemists in another world left behind by Germany. As the Alchemists of Old Earth`s past one of their main goals was transmuting lead into gold. Unlike Earth`s Alchemists the Gold Order sometimes succeeded, but very often did not. Usually the fails were imbued with the magical energies which left them useless for mundane purposes. When German engineers had contacted the Gold Order about the turbines that went into the new tanks they discovered the stash of this material and hashed out a use for them during a couple of beers. The resudial magic in the lead was enough to give projectiles made from it a presence in the warp besides its existance in the physical-and that meant it could reach out and touch someone who was on partitially "here"
By now munition from these “leftovers” were limited issue for anybody who might encounter targets that could only be reliably fought by magical weapons.
Lowering his gun Ibrahim checked his surroundings for more threats and while moving his assistant into the recovery position silently swore at the huge stack of paperwork he had just inherited.

Malekiths Tower, Naggarond, a few days later

Elric Starker was a Dark Elf with no important family connections, no huge household, no personal troops, no magic and no impressive magical weapons. He had never fought important battles or slain important enemies, his talent at subterfuge and intrigue was seen as low.
He did arrange the meetings in Malekith`s throne room as majordomo since 444 years and that made him a very powerful Druchi. Currently he was adjusting the straps of his brand-new sleeve holster that held his equally new Derringer.

“And that is a good weapon Herr Breitkop?”
“You should ask Wolfgang he is the undisputed expert on firearms here. But what I can tell you is that this is a weapon I made from stainless steel and that you have real drawn-brass ammo. You could sink this baby in the harbor for a day and it will still fire reliably. About what it will do to its target, Wolfgang, what do you say?”
“That ammo has about twice the energy-err power-that is needed to kill a Druchii or human for that matter. It will kill out to 5 meters easily. But you really have to practice with that thing a bit.”
“I will do that, you promised some training, yes.”
“Tomorrow afternoon if that is all right with you”

The third human in the room piped in “That he can only do if we are still alive tomorrow-how can you help with that?”
“Oh, you worry too much Claus, Son of Tolles. The great victories your General Böhler have pleased the King mightily and the technical innovations you present have caught his eye. You just have to expect questions about this “share company thing”.
“What-how can this be a problem. They seem quite popular.”
“Yes-they are. But several Nobles and Lords have lost a couple of fortunes with these shares while trading with each other and therefore strife has increased at a time when we could least afford it.”
“Oh fuck.”
“Yes. It will be most important that you show the High King that you did not intend to foster such dissent to increase the sales of these weapons.”
“How do I do that for Go..Khaine`s sake?”
“I suggest that you…”

Throne Room, Malekiths Tower, Naggarond, a few hours later

“Your suggestion is wise Claus, Son of Tolles. If we put this “Stock Exchange” under the control of the Iron Fortress we can make sure that the rules are followed to the latter and my Nobles find less reason to kill each other. Some of this is a good thing but currently the level of feuds is exceeding its useful bounds. There are enough enemies to fight presently.”
“I take it that I contact Elric Straker for details of the transaction Sire?”
“Yes, you may”
“Then this is settled. Which brings me to the next subject: Your services. I am well pleased by the Victories that you helped Lord Silverhawk to achieve. He signs your praises like I have not heard him for a long time. He also states that the Auxilia that you trained and equipped has performed beyond expectations.

Therefore I have decided the following:
You are expected to increase the size of your Auxilia to 2000 true Elves. The crown will reimburse the costs you have in this.
The Plain of Swords will be added to your domain to be governed in my name.
The ore from the Spike Mountain mine is yours-provided that you can indeed pump it out.
Wolfgang Böhler-I grant you a prize rarely given to humans-you will be granted a Ritual of Blood. This will ensure that we can rely on your services for a long time to come.”
“Thank you your highness. I am not sure if I am worthy of this honor May I think on this?”
“No, you might not”

“Now I did not invite you here to make Elric Straker even richer or dish out rewards. There is another opportunity for you to shine. We keep sending reinforcements and supplies to the campaign in Ulthuan but too few arrive. It seems that Admiral Aisilin is a bit too good at intercepting our convoys and much too good at sinking our ships. As the German navy was able to enter my domain with ease-can you help here?”
“I am sure that we could improve your weapons and communications Sire if we were allowed to work with your shipwrights and Seamen Sir.”
“Are you sure Thorsten Breitkopf”
“Yes Sire, I am”
“Then take this.”
A hand that resembled a claw more than a limb of Druchii or humans thrust a parchment roll at Elrik Straker who brought it to the prostate engineer. It contained only a short sentence in the Druchii script. The majordomo`s voice was just loud enough that Thorsten Breitkopf could hear it.
“This says “Deny this human nothing” and bears the sigil of our King. Use it wisely Herr Breitkopf.”
“I do not know what to say your majesty”
“Then don`t-be about your tasks then.”

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-14 04:52am

Rostok, Sea of Claws, roughly the same time

The strange tandem hulled craft emitted a grumbling noise while twin Propellers at its end accelerated it from the beach. It has an airplanes fuselage attached to twin deep but impossibly short wings that were connected by end plates. These end plated rose at the end to house both a vertical tail each as well as a pod with engines and a huge propeller each. There were no elevators and the wings did not sport any controls.
While the craft was gathering speed wakes between the wings could be seen to mount and the fuselage was lifted of the waters by hydroplanes attached to the end plates. When the fuselage and wings had cleared the water by roughly a meter and the speed had reached a little more than 100 kilometers per hour the craft rapidly rose to roughly 6 meters height were it stabilized. The craft accelerated smoothly to 350 kilometers and headed for open waters.

Inside the nicely appointed cabin an incongruous group was addressed by the elderly Dr. Jörg who had pioneered tandem wing WIG craft. Several Germans in business clothing were mixed with some leather-clad Norscans, gaudily clad Tileans and some imperial traders in their bulky robes.
“As you can hear we have now throttled the engines down to 50% as we have reached cruise speed and attitude. This is possible as we choose the new 500 hp Diesel engines from Audi for propulsion as they are still operating at good efficiency. Any turbine would now be producing mostly heat and eat fuel like there is no tomorrow. Actually this craft can transport 40 passengers and cargo at 350 kilometers per hour at 80 liters of Diesel per hour-unmatched fuel consumption per passenger.
The requirements for the crew are low compared to the requirements of normal flight crew as they only need to mind course and throttle setting. Most accidents that can befall ordinary planes are simply not applicable to a WIG and it can fly with two engines out. In the unlikely event of a total engine failure it is perfectly able to make a controlled water landing.
This craft has, compared to planes of similar power, superior range and payload as well as markedly reduced costs of ownership. Do you have any questions so far?”

Hetkunning Olaf Urnulfson lifted himself higher. “This is as high as this craft will go?”
“Yes Hetkunning”
“So what do you do when there is wind and the waves rise?”
“This craft hoovers on a cushion of air between the wings and the water. If the waves rise so does this craft. Still we recommend not flying when sea state exceeds 6 or 7.”
“Fair enough. So this thing can fly me and my crew from Jotunheim to Lübeck and back in a day?”
“Yes Hetkunning”
“How about repairs-I do not think my smiths could work on this?”
“The leasing contract that we propose includes a comprehensive maintenance packagage that will allow for this.”
“And you think you can teach me and my people how to fly this thing?”
“One moment please-Hans, please give your seat to the Hetkunning. Now Hetkunning it is your turn. Captain Hermann will just watch. Now-this is the throttle, please just move them between this setting and maximum. This is the rudder, you may change course with it-gently please.”
When Olaf had settled himself in the Co-Pilots seat he was greeted by one of the most frightening and exhilarating views of his life. The sea that he knew so we rushed under him without touching his craft in any way at breakneck speed. He had flown in planes before, but the great attitude at which they travelled never gave the true feeling of their tremendous speed. Frozen for a second he overcame the rush of emotions with a cry that stopped any activity in the WIG for a few seconds.
A short while later the WIG made a couple of circles above the Sea of Claws and Dr. Jörg a couple of sales.

Transall Transport Plane, above the Sea of Claws, roughly same time

Paul Müller could have seen the antics of the WIG below his plane but he would not be interested in it at all. He was far too occupied with accepting that his life had irrevocably changed into a course where he had not the slightest inkling how it would turn out.
Ever since last Baekertag he knew that he was about to become a father.
He had been so flattened by this news that the dressing-down he received from his superiors mostly passed by him. He was aware of his surroundings again when von der Marwitz started talking about “Chances” and “Special Role”. At first what was proposed seemed highly outlandish and not much had changed about his appraisal of the idea, but he had agreed to give it a try.
He had fought Spitzohren, Orcs and Chaos Warriors so far including two combat drops, but he was not sure if the next meeting with Sliv would not be more dangerous than all of the engagements before. Thinking of engagements made him hold his head in his hands…

Battle Barge Holmgang, a different Universe and for sure a different time

The table in the middle of the conference room had a plate of adamatium. This was not because of aesthetic reasons, it was just that the beings that used the Table sometimes had bouts of temperament and their strength made using a highly resistant tabletop with sturdy foundations a wise design decision.
Said beings came in two flavors presently: there were the members of the spacecraft’s crew which were mostly normal humans with a various amount of aftermarket enhancements and prosthetics tacked on. Towering above them were the Space Wolves. Much bigger than any normal human, clad in bulky furs and partial armor, sporting fangs that seemed to rival a saber tooth and generally projecting a barbarous air that hid high intelligence.
The biggest of them had a sheaf of papers and a dataslate in front of him and shook his head repeatedly when he read through the summary.

“It looks like Father did not trust me totally, hardly surprising after the Heresy. He had a cache of Colossus combat robots hidden on the Ragnarök if something “untoward” were to happen. The Storm Bolters and Assault Cannon the Terminators used were not issued yet when this ship launched on is last mission and our genetics have moved during the last Millenia. Therefore the Robots did classify Squad Eric as "Enemy" till I could intercede. From their records it seems that roughly 105 years after our disembarkation they decided that we were not going to bring the prize to Terra and tried to do it on their own. As they cannot move this ship through the warp they took one of the Stormbird and accepted a century-if not millennia-long trip. Captain Ulfgar, you seem to have an idea where they went.”

Above the conference table a holographic representation sprung up showing the surrounding star systems. “Based on the technical data we have on the Stormbird we can assume a range of roughly 5 light years before important technical system degrade to the point of making the craft incapable of controlled operations. Fortunately there are only three star systems in range. Unfortunately the most likely is the Hurikan system which has habitable planets and that had a Space Fleet base until M32.
All participants around the table drew in their breath, at least one proved why choosing an adamantium tabletop was a good idea when his fist collided with it with crushing force. Only one remained calm, as could be expected. Leman Rus looked questioningly at the Captain. “I take it that this is a bad thing-why”
“Because in M35.551 the Iron Warriors took this system and have made it into one of their main strongholds ever since. The planet is literally covered in fortifications and strong points and the orbits are full of Orbital Fortress. I have no doubt that if you find your way to the surface you would prevail-but getting there is not assured by any means.”
“Well, I promised you the Wolftime, and here it is.”

The silence following this announcement was so thick you could probably cut it. The assembled Space Wolves were psyching themselves up to a roaring approval when the communicator interrupted.
“Command here”
“This is Techmarine Hangulf-I found something that you have to see Primarch”
The picture that appeared in the holoprojector showed a machine of smooth curves, its white and gleaming chrome partially masked by a layer of dust. The angle at which the picture was taken seemed odd until one realized that the Techmarine was probably keeling before it.
“It is a marvel Patriarch it is….I have no words for it”
“What of it, it was surely useful when we needed spare parts and such but…” The Patriarch was stopped by the looks that everybody around the table gave him.

Astropathic message from Leman Rus, Battle Barge Holmgang to Manufactor Principalis, Mars
STC ALPHA-K-137-A RHO
Astropathic message from Manufactor Principalis to Leman Rus Battle, Barge Holmgang
EVEN YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SPEAK HERESIES
Astropathic message from Leman Rus, Battle Barge Holmgang to Manufactor Principalis, Mars
WE DO NOT KNOW ABOUT HERESIES AGAINST THE OMNISIAH, WE ARE READING TYPE PLATE

Wiesbaden, next morning

Ibrahim Dürr maneuvered his unmarked police car through Wiesbaden while the “Deutschlandfunk” brought the news into his car. Ibrahim listened more closely as usual as the Parliaments Committee on Magical Affairs was presenting its latest findings. The head of the committee, one Sebastian Edathy, was said to be one of the up-and-coming members of the Social Democrats.
Getting into his booth at the parking lot he connected the car to the plug. Like a lot of the newer cars it was a plug-in hybrid with LNG engine as electricity and natural gas were two things Germany had nearly enough of.
Getting to his office he was headed of by Gregor Koch. Clad in jeans that which owned their faded colors not to a stone-wash, a T-shirt proclaiming “I am root, obey me, the somewhat unflattering combination of thinning hair and a pony tail and reeked of a missed shower. The red-rimmed eyes explained the latter part; the resident computer guru had probably worked for most of the night and slept a few hours in his chair.

“Morning Boss, I need some of your time as I think I have something interesting.”
“I still have a ton of paperwork, how long can it wait”
“It is about that Jasla case, as she is officially presumed dead it can wait for a while I suppose.”
“My office, 5 minutes”
Switching on his computer and grabbing two mugs of tea bridged the 5 minutes nicely-the Jasla case had taken an inordinate place in his head whether it belonged there or not. He was aware of it but did not even try to combat this tendency.
“So what exiting news do you have for me?”
“Well, do you remember you asked me to look for this Claus Tolles guy?”
“Yes, of course”
“Well, he was a member of a Telekom News group about Jasla. Looks like a group for perverts-besides discussing whether she should really be in Jail it is mostly pictures-99% of them false-and kinky stories about her.”
“So”
“Well, remember the lawyer that started the damages lawsuit against her which made us haul Jasla to Papenburg?”
“Yes”
“Was also a member of that group-and also disappeared, roughly at the same time.”
“Interesting”
“Yes. And even more interesting is that a lot of the members of these groups are no longer active in that group. I found some on the missing persons list, some not, but I have not matched every username against real identities.”
“How did you do that-did the website company cooperate”
The funny look that he got was answer enough.

“Well, certainly good work, atta boy. Now you go home and take a shower and sleep. While you do it I talk to our tame judge and get us some warrants and then we look deeper into this. Your job will be communication-if you are right, and my gut feeling says so, then these guys communicated. That should be interesting.”
“Ok Boss.”
“Again, good job.”

River close to Naggarond, Naggaroth, 3 days later

The boat that made its way upriver was unremarkable-as unremarkable as a launch as might serve Hamburg Harbor by the dozens could be unremarkable in Naggaroth. The launch had been built from mostly wood in Naggaroth, the Germans had supplied a small diesel engine and the prop.
Sitting cross-legged on the roof of the small deckhouse was Wolfgang Böhler, clutching his Mauser rifle in both hands with white knuckles. He was staring straight ahead but it was obvious that his attention was at nothing in his field of view.
Nothing had changed about this picture since yesterday and it started to worry both crew and passengers. Deciding that enough was enough Claus Tolles approached his most able commander and resident sniper. Neither his approach nor his “Hello Wolfgang, we need to talk” got any perceptible reaction from the sitting figure.

“Wolfgang, I do not know if you hear me or not, but I really need to know what happened and if you are capable of carrying on with your duties. If you are not able now that is fine, but I need to know if you can snap out of it in the foreseeable future. If not I really have to look for a replacement.”
None of this got any reaction. “Wolfgang? Earth to Wolfgang, please come in….oh Fuck, well maybe it will be better tonight.” The Mercenary turned and was on the way to the Cabin when a very quiet voice that barely carried above the engines din stopped him.

“6 humans were slaughtered because of me Claus. Systematically tortured till they did not want to live any more, and then the essence of their life which wanted out of these bodies so badly was forced into me Claus. As uch as I wanted-I could not stop that-I was tied down all the time. All of that so I can live to 200 in good health. And I did not just get their lives-I got their memories and their hopes and fears-quite a lot of fears. It was hard to see which memories are mine and which are theirs-whatever theirs mean as they became part of me now. That is why I am holding this rifle so much-that is me Claus. Now their memories fade and I do not know whether I should try to hold on to them as this is the only thing left of them or let them go so I can be me again.
I will “snap out of this” as you so aptly put it, give it a few weeks. But I will never undergo this “Ritual of Blood” again, I will kill myself and whoever tries to make me so first”

“Nobody will try that Wolfgang, rest assured. Get yourself something to drink of you can`t eat, dehydrating will not help. I`ll bring you a bottle.”
He got only silence in reply and when he made his way to the cabin already tried to work out how to get such a ritual for himself.

Berlin apartment, at night, 2 days later

Joakim Vos had learned a lot of things about Sophie. Like that she was a very good listener that she kept a surprisingly neat apartment, that she was a natural redhead and that she could be at least as temperamental as common cliché indicated.
He also found that certain strenuous activities still hurt in a lot of very different places which had made him take a serious dose of Tramal. The latter made him sleep like he had been assaulted with a club when combined with his exhaustion. This was a very nice end to one of the best days he had since the Weltensprung. He and Sophie had talked a lot during the last days and sharing his memories about the battle of Altdorf and seeing into an understanding face had helped him more than any session with a shrink that he could remember. The lovemaking that followed had capped this off gloriously and now he was sleeping as happy as a small child.
Sophie Wagenstein slipped out of the bed and went into her kitchen. Getting herself an Energy Drink she switched on her old Laptop and opened a new file.
The headline she finally hashed out was: “Battle of Altdorf caused by sheer stupidity.”


http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/STC#.UywPpYWBlOw
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Edathy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_effect_vehicle

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Mr Bean
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Re: An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mr Bean » 2015-10-14 09:59am

I have been reading your story Mechman because I enjoy most island in the sea of time style stories but I have to ask about this...

Mechman wrote:Astropathic message from Leman Rus, Battle Barge Holmgang to Manufactor Principalis, Mars
STC ALPHA-K-137-A RHO

Now I know what Standard Template Constructors are but what's the ALPHA-K-137-A RHO? Just a random invented name or some bit of 40k lore I'm unfamiliar with. I know the importance of finding a STC of any kind or size, massive finds but what about this one in particular?

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Mechman
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Re: An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-10-19 07:44am

Now I know what Standard Template Constructors are but what's the ALPHA-K-137-A RHO? Just a random invented name or some bit of 40k lore I'm unfamiliar with. I know the importance of finding a STC of any kind or size, massive finds but what about this one in particular?


Ha, first comment, thank you. I invented the string ALPHA-K-137-A RHO with the intention that it was the type plate of a STC which by now had been elevated to "holy" status by the Mechanicum-sort of a joke. GW has not been forthcoming with detailed info abot the STC and several discriptions in the fluff were contradictory. So I made up a high-level STC which is able to manufacture what spare parts and munitions the Space Wolves might need as well as provide plans for making much more complicated machinery from local resources. That is within the info given by Games Workshop to the best of my knowledge.

The Mechanicum would give their left nut for such a thing, yet they will pay with a different coin. Today`s update will show what.

I hope you like the fic, it is the first time I tried my hand at writing fiction.


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