Death or Glory | Chapter 22 of 25 - Part: 1 of 11

Author: Sandy Mitchell | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1532 Views | Add a Review

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EIGHTEEN

WELL, THEY MIGHT not have had any tanna, but they had pretty much everything else I could have wished for, including showers and air conditioning. I was still basking in the unfamiliar sensation of comfort an hour or so later, feeling clean, cool, and savouring the mug of recaff Jurgen had found for me, as I sat at a table in one of the huts filling Piers in on our journey so far. The faint rattle of the sandstorm against the walls was also quietly soothing in its own way, despite being a tangible reminder that we'd only just reached safety.

'You really think you can make it all the way through?' he asked.

I nodded. 'I wouldn't be doing it otherwise,' I said, skating over the self-evident fact that a large proportion of my impromptu escort wasn't likely to prove so fortunate. I nodded at the mapslate, propped up between us. 'There are two more supply dumps between here and the lowlands. After that, we can live off the land if we have to, although we'll still need to stock up on fuel and ammunition.'

'We will.' Piers nodded, already taking it for granted that he'd be tagging along on our little expedition, a fact which I was more than grateful for. I'd been expecting to have to persuade him, possibly even by exerting my commissarial authority, but for whatever reason, the notion of taking on the bulk of the greenskin army almost single-handed seemed to appeal to him. I didn't question it at the time, just thanked the Emperor for gung-ho idiots, and got on with the practicalities. For some reason, I found myself liking the lad, probably because he reminded me of Divas.

'What have you been doing all this time?' Tayber asked. He was sitting in on the discussion mainly so I didn't have to waste time briefing him later, but he was the ranking trooper in the convoy, so I'd also felt it might be politic to include him. Besides, he hadn't let me down so far (unless you counted landing me with a gaggle of civvies to wet-nurse), and Piers was still something of an unknown quantity; it wouldn't hurt to have the veteran sergeant there to back me up if push came to shove.

'The same as you, by the sound of it,' Piers said. 'After our regiment was overrun, we went to ground, and started hit-and-run strikes against whatever targets we could find.'

Tayber nodded. That had been the last coherent order to get through before the chain of command had collapsed completely, or so he'd told me shortly after we'd met. 'We came by here to rearm and re-supply yesterday, and got caught flat-footed when the greenies found the place.' He manipulated the controls of the mapslate, and the icon marking the supply dump turned red. 'We'll have to blow what's left when we pull out, unfortunately. Now they know where it is, they'll be back.'

I nodded. The reason for his eagerness to join us now abundantly clear: he was evidently as fervent a believer in the notion of safety in numbers as I was. I couldn't fault his reasoning either; I didn't think any greenskin survivors had got away from the skirmish outside, but when they didn't check in, whoever sent them would be bound to send more, and in greater numbers.

'They seemed to know where they were going when they passed us,' Tayber said.

I looked quizzically at Piers. 'Any idea why that would be?'

The young lieutenant shrugged. 'They found a map?' he suggested. 'Perhaps one of the other units that used the place wasn't as lucky as we were.'

'Other units?' I asked.

'This is the third time we've been here,' Piers replied. 'When I booked out what we'd taken, I noticed there'd been some other requisitions in the last month or so.' Wonderful - their entire society was falling down around their ears, and what was left of the PDF was still filling out forms.

'Show me,' I said.

It took a while, but after a bit of searching and some shouting down the corridor, Piers's sergeant, a large, taciturn man called Vyner, appeared with a slate which he laid on the table between us. Piers fiddled around with it, and called up a screen full of what looked like standard requisition forms.

'There. That was us.' He pointed to a couple of items. 'Looks to me like three more units active in this area.' He glanced up at Tayber appraisingly. 'Four, counting yours.'

'We found all we needed in town,' Tayber replied.

'So I see.' The young lieutenant grinned. 'Very obliging of the greenies to let you borrow it.'

'Any indication of what these units are?' I asked.

Piers shook his head. 'None, it's all encrypted. Security, you see. In case the enemy takes the installation. That way they still won't know what's out there,' I nodded slowly. Maybe Felicia could do - something with it, or not. In any case, once the sandstorm subsided there would be a far more direct way of finding out.

'I need to talk to your vox man,' I said.

BY DAWN, THE sandstorm had almost dissipated (just as Kolfax had predicted, much to his ill-concealed satisfaction), and I braved the flurry of stinging grit to inspect the site properly. The largest of the huts contained food and water, which I left Norbert to organise the distribution of, and I moved on to find Felicia and the remaining vehicles with a considerably lighter heart. Even if we were able to supplement our numbers with fresh recruits, we'd still have enough of the essentials to keep us going more or less indefinitely. Assuming there was a supply of fuel around the place too, of course.

'Barrels of the stuff,' the comely tech-priest reassured me. 'Omnissiah alone knows how we'll get it all stowed, but we'll manage.'

She led me to a shed with a large door in the side, a strange air of anticipation hovering around her. 'This ought to help.' She flicked the portal aside with a casual wave of her mechadendrite, leaving the weathered timber quivering against its stop. A couple of Piers's troopers popped up like startled sump rats at the noise, lasguns levelled, then relaxed when they saw it was only us. I nodded courteously at them, pleased at their level of alertness, and turned to look at whatever it was in the shed that Felicia was so excited about.

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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