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T42 Pt. 17 | "Son of Adder"

Tales of the 42nd: Son of Adder


+++IMPERIAL TROOP TRANSPORT - SON OF ADDER, THE WARP+++

+++9.242.000.M42 / 1300, 28 MAR 41000+++

+++EXACT DATE UNKOWN DUE TO WARP TRAVEL+++

+++DEPARTURE - 211.000.M42 / 0700, 17 MAR 41000+++

+++ESTIMATED TIME TO EXIT - 4 DAYS+++


Cecilia sits down in the officer's mess for the midday meal aboard the transport they share with the rest of Brigade Combat Team 304 composed of the 42nd Caledonian Highlanders, 22nd Xailivian Highlanders, an Artillery battery from both the 212th Caledonian Artillery and the 89th Xailivian Artillery. Along with armour squadrons from 52nd Caledonian Yeomanry and the 45th Xailvian Armour, plus the BCT Engineer units are taken from the 57th Caledonian Engineers and the 91st Xailvian Engineers.


She sits there just looking at the portion of rations in front of for a moment before she notices over people sitting down around her. Cecilia about jumps out of her skin when she feels a hand being placed on her leg before she sees it is Leana and tries to hide the colour that comes to her cheeks by taking a drink. It is not until she has put down her drink that she nods to them all, along with Leana there was Kiera, Alexandra. Rayna sometimes comes to the officer's mess, but she gets looks from the officers, those not in the 42nd or 22nd that know of her, as commissars are allowed in the officers' mess, but they are not often welcome there though. Cecilia turns to look at Leana, trying to keep her voice under control.


"How is the 22nd doing with prep for the drop? Haven't really had a chance to talk the past week with the drills."


Leana nods to Alex as she speaks before she turns back to Cecilia.


"Doing well, the veterans are really showing the fresher recruits to the 22nd the ropes, plus noticed a lot of Caledonian tactics in them as well though. And neither we have been really busy so not had a chance to...talk...have we."


Cecilia coughs on her drink slightly at the additional pressure Leana exerts with her hand. Kiera and Alex are none the wiser for this and are having a quiet conversation themself as well.


"Ye...Yeah, but we have been stood down for a few days with us approaching the exit point, so after the briefing this afternoon got some time."


Leana smiles at Cecilia before she turns back to her own food.


"That is true, and we have a lot to catch up on don't we."


With a final squeeze of her hand, Leana brings it back above the table and starts eating. Cecilia takes a moment before she starts eating as well, they sit in companionable silence, with just the occasional chatter while they eat. Once they finish eating, they stand and move to stand near the entrance while the servitors clear the tables. Leana glances at her watch before looking up at Cecilia.


"We should make our way to the briefing room, don't want to be late."


"Aye, we should. Kiera, get those R&R slips handed out and remind those not getting off duty that we have 4 days until drop out, what is a couple of days after being at warp for 11 odd days already."


"Will do, Cecilia."


Kiera and Alex both nod to the pair of them before they head off towards the sections of the ship designated for them. Leana grins down at Cecilia, while they start walking towards the briefing room through the mostly empty corridors, taking the opportunity to place her arm around Cecilia's waist.


"And there was two."


Cecilia tries to stammer a response before Leana places a finger on Cecilia's lips.


"You look cute when you are flustered."


Cecilia shakes her head, her cheeks clearly flushed while she speaks.


"Not...not here, don't know who could see..."


Leana sighs softly before she retracts her arm.


"Fair enough, I suppose, but my statement still stands, and we are about here anyway."


The two of them round the corner and spot the Caledonian and the navy guard outside of the briefing room with a couple officers stepping in. Cecilia and Leana are some of the last officers to enter the room, taking a seat in the tiered seating around the hololith that Colonel Leana Grim stands at as she was in charge of the BCT.

With the last of the officers taking a seat, Colonel Grim nods to one of the techpriests before they perform the appropriate right on the hololith to bring up a map of the planet Albian II.


"Right people, we should all know the basics of the plan but to go over it. Once we have entered the orbit of Albian II, we will begin to make planetfall in a couple waves. From thirty corps, BCTs 301, 302 and 303 are the first wave and will secure the beachhead before the rest of us follow behind. Our AO is this Northern peninsula, we will be landing on the tip of it here and making our way south towards the fortress city of Klirsey."


While she speaks the map would zoom in on their AO and highlight the LZ and Klirsey.


"We expect the enemy to be dug in hard, so expect a siege when we reach the city. More in-depth plans will be made once we have exited the warp and have a better idea of the situation on the ground. Any questions?"


The officers look about with a slight shake of their head before Colonel Grim nods at them all.


"Good, then you are all dismissed. Make sure you take this chance of R&R before the deployment, don't know when we will next see any."


With that, the Colonel turns away from the hololith and back to the BCTs command team while the other officers start to file out. While walking Leana leans towards Cecilia.


"So want to come back to my quarters, I have some of that fine Apodis amasec..."


Leana trails off her words smiling at Cecilia while she tries to control the rush of warmth to her cheeks.


"I...I think that sounds like it would be enjoyable."


With that, Leana leads the way into the 22nd section of the ship and to her quarters.



+++SON OF ADDER, ALBIAN SYSTEM+++

+++617.000.M42 / 1600, 12 AUG 41000+++


Rayna walks onto the bridge of the Son of Adder while she fixes her commissars cap on her head, taking a moment to look around it before she steps over to the Captain of the transport.


"Commander."


The Captain looks over at Rayna for a moment before fixing his eyes back on the consoles and displays.


"Commissar, assuming you are here as the Guard person for the drop out?"


"You are correct, Captain."


"Ok, then I advise you to brace yourself, exiting the warp in a moment."


One of the bridge crew murmurs something under their breath while they use their fist to hit their console, causing a servitor to move over to it. The Captain glances over at the console and the crew member.


"Status?"


"Sorry, Cap. Was getting weird readings but seems to be fine now."


"Copy, keep me informed. Navigator on you for the exit."


With that the ship shudders slightly as it exits the warp with a few other ships, some of the fleet were already there, and some hadn't arrived yet. The crew member that had hit their console turns to the Captain.


"Captain looks like the Gellar field weakened there for a moment as we exited, but it came back a split second later."


Rayna tenses as her hand goes to her laspistol on her belt. The Captain has a similar reaction reaching for the weapon under his console.


"Lieutenant did it weaken and if so by how much or did it fall..."


"It was just for a moment, Captain, it will be fi...ack!"


The lieutenant is cut off as the servitor that was looking at his console shoots out a series of cables and wraps them around his neck, while a deep and rumbling laugh slowly starts to emanate from the servitor. Rayna draws her laspistol and chainsword, trying to get a shot on the servitor without shooting the consoles behind it.


"Well, that answers that question, Commander."


"Yes it does, XO alert the..."


The Captain is unable to finish his sentence due to getting the lieutenant the servitor was holding thrown at him after the servitor snapped his neck. Rayna starts firing at the servitor, but her las rounds seem to do nothing to it while it continues to laugh.


"Oh, it has been so long since I have been able to play with humans, I forgot how fragile and easy to break you were."


The bridge crew is quickly evacuating the bridge to make sure they are not in the line of fire while Rayna activates her combead.


"This is Commissar Rayna Kern to all receiving. Gellar field failed on exit, a daemon on the bridge, need response team!"


"Captain Alexandra Aloy, 22nd. Copies and acknowledges. Response team inbound to the bridge, eta 4 mikes."


"Copy that, will hold until then."


With a nod almost to herself, Rayna switches the power setting on her laspistol to high and starts blasting at the possessed servitor, the las rounds impact and melt or burn it. Still, despite the damage being inflicted on it, the power of the warp that flows through it keeps healing it. Any of the shots that miss and hit consoles behind the servitor impact with a flurry of sparks and smoke. Rayna dives to the side, slicing with her chainsword against one of the daemons cable tendrils that shot towards her, always making sure she was between it and the door so it couldn't spread to the rest of the ship even as it was spreading and taking over more of the bridge. The adrenaline and the beating of her heart mean she loses track of time in her desperate fight against the daemon possed servitor, where any blow to her would be fatal either straight away or through warp corruption, but any blow she lands is quickly healed. Panting for breath in between the servitor and the door, she is about to launch another attack at it before she hears a shout from behind her.


"Commissar! Back now!"


Operating on pure instinct, she back peddles through the door, about diving sideways past the four Xailivian troopers that fill the door and light up the servitor with their lasguns of full-auto and high power. Despite this, it's warped laughing never stops while it approaches the doorway, as it is getting close to the door and Rayna has regained her feet, the Xailivian sergeant shouts an order.


"Gunner! Now!"


With that shout, the four troopers holding the door break to the side as another one moves to stand in the doorway with a meltagun. Suddenly with a bright flash from the muzzle as it fires superheated gas in a small cone at the servitor. The gunner keeps firing, stepping forward into the room as the servitor is forced back, with the other troopers moving in with her and firing their lasguns at it until well after it has stopped laughing. Once they finally stop firing, the bridge has been reduced to molten slag from the firepower that was poured into it the consoles wholly destroyed and the servitor little more than a burnt mound of slag. Rayna turns to look at the sergeant in charge of the response team and the ships first officer.


"That is one problem dealt with, and good work sergeant your unit will be receiving a commendation for this. But even so, we now have another problem to deal with."


"Yeah we do have a problem, we will not be able to decelerate or even control the ship. Will have to run the calculations to find our trajectory, but we should be close to a planetary intercept with the target still, should only be a few days."


Rayna nods while the sergeant gives their update to Aloy on the comms.


"Aye...we enough transport for every unit on the ship at least, even if they can't return, it will be tight especially with the supplies, but it is doable."


"Yeah we do Commissar, are you considering abandoning the ship?"


"Not quite...Thinking we continue on course at the moment until we are closer then the BCT and crew disembarks, but on the route, we alter course and use the ship as a giant battering ram. I doubt without fine control we could save her, but adjust it enough to target one of the fortresses? The ship could go out with a bang and take traitors and heretics with it."


The XO nods slightly while thinking about it.


"It is possible...depending on the current intercept...we can probably do it, I will leave you to relay this to the Guard, I need to run some numbers and plan for a manual firing of the engines."


The XO hurries off to run the numbers with a tech-priest to figure out when they would have to fire the engines while Rayna makes her way back to the 42nd to update Cecilia and the Colonel on the plan.

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