“I’m supposed to give you a speech about courage and honor and glory, but we’re not lookin’ at that kinda duty here. Technically this is a combat drop, but this is as easy as combat duty gets. We’re lookin’ at a human-held world in plain old rebellion against the Imperium. No heretical cults, no xenos plots, no daemon infestations. Just your average, ordinary planetary government what thinks it’s too good for the Imperium anymore. Half the noble houses have already thrown in with us, and half the rebels will doubtlessly throw down their guns the second they see us comin’ out of the sky. We land, we mop up the rebels and then we sit back on garrison duty until we get called up for something that’s actually serious.

“Double-check your kit before we drop. We’re bound to have some time on our hands and that always means extra parade duty and uniform inspections. We drop in two minutes.”

—last recorded words of Sergeant Barak Wollsey, Elysian 17th Drop Troops

Blood and Mud

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