Blood and Mud
Now, this could hurt a lot. Oh, what am I saying, 'could'?
“His scholastic aptitude is in the top percentile. He could have had a cozy assignment somewhere safe. He volunteered for the front lines. Either he has a deathwish, or he really hates Tyranids. Maybe both. Regardless, Vershinen’s a damned good medic. We can use him.”
There isn’t much left of Saskady. There never is, after a swarm lands. That was my first combat; a Devourer swarm. Sergeant told us to shoot the big one first. The trouble was, small-arms fire didn’t have much effect on a Carnifex. Suffice to say we learned. The little ones are dangerous too. More dangerous, sometimes.
The 13th Saskady Tactical Reconnaissance lost a third of its men on the first day. On the second, we lured the big one away while the 315th mopped up the little ones. On the third day, we learned the swarm had landed in other parts of Saskady, and we redeployed.
We won. But there isn’t much left of Saskady.
Anyway, you’ve probably never even heard of Saskady. My apologies. Do you need an anaesthetic, or should I start cutting?
“Vershinen? Motherfucker’s crazy. Can’t shoot to save his life, but it don’t matter. We was pinned down by Devourers on Saskady, had been for days, he was extracting one of those fucking bugs out of my arm. Saw him snap. Termagant pokes its head into our foxhole and he grabs his injector and stabs the fucking thing to death with it. Three times through the eye. Then he turns around, takes his goddamn scalpel to my arm again and says, ‘Now this could hurt a little.’ The fuck, man!”
Custom Regiment: 13th Saskady Tactical Reconnaissance
“It’s bad, Commander. 13th was caught in a vice. Thirty-one confirmed casualties before they even realized they were under attack. They’re not trained for this. Nobody’s trained for this. We won’t be able to hold.”
Oh, no, the 13th Tactical Recon wasn’t always a Tyranid-hunting squad. We didn’t always know there were Tyranids to hunt. The Regiment has a long history, it’s been in operation for centuries. All it takes is one bad day to… shall we say… change one’s perception of the universe. The first time you see a Hormagaunt tear a man in two is the last time you try to shoot the big one first.
It’s the little ones, the swarms of little ones, that you have to watch out for. You have to exterminate them. And you have to find the eggs, and the spores, and exterminate those. If you let the population go native, the world’s lost. If you let yourself think for even a moment that they aren’t savagely intelligent, it’s even more lost. And if you wait for the Imperium to respond, well… we almost lost Saskady like that. But when the sky went dark with hive ships, we turned to unthinkable options.
They worked. And let me assure you, the triage work was extremely unpleasant.
“This is Sergeant Vasily Kovalchuk, 315th Saskady Heavy Infantry. Day 53… we’re cut off from the Imperium. No response on any channel. No response from the other regiments, either. Enemy population growth appears to be curtailed. Enemy zone of control limited to an estimated nine hundred square kilometers. I’m not sure what the 13th did, but it seems to be working. I can’t see the sun through the enemy ships, but we’re still alive, still holding. The attacks are getting less frequent.”
- Highborn (Saskady): 3 points
- Characteristics: +3 Intelligence, +3 Fellowship
- Skills: Common Lore (Administratum), Inquiry, Linguistics (High Gothic)
- Talents: Abundant Resources, Peer (Nobility)
- +10 to Charm, Inquiry, and Deceive when dealing with nobility and authority. -10 to Charm, Inquiry, and Deceive when dealing with anyone else.
- Circumspect: 2 points
- Talents: Foresight
- Reconnaissance: 3 points
- Characteristics: +3 Perception, -3 Willpower
- Skills: Awareness
- Talents: Combat Sense
- Favoured Foe – Tyranids: 3 points
- Skills: Forbidden Lore (Tyranids)
- Talents: Hatred (Tyranids)