An unofficial Warhammer 40,000 Short Story
Written by Scorpus Flex
Reading Time: 5 minutes
When the gunfire started, the sounds of the crashing waves below were immediately drowned out. Sergeant Helega of the Valhallan 801st took a quick look over the rampart before quickly ducking back down.
Holy Throne, how did they get up here so fast.
She had a split second to take in what she had seen, then the wall she was hiding behind exploded. Thousands of minuscule fragments of the plastcrete wall buried themselves into her exposed hand and face. She screamed. Others were screaming too. She tried to look around, but all was blackness. Her whole face was stinging.
The relentless roar of the gunfire was overwhelming her senses. She tried to push herself back up from the dusty floor, but her hands slid out from under her, covered in something wet. Blood. She crawled forward and clambered into a body. She groped at it, couldn’t figure out who it was, and quickly snatched a krak grenade from the dead troopers harness.
She winced, cradling her forehead. More blood. She would have cried out again but her mouth was full of tiny cuts. Every breath was agony. Twelve years in the Guard, and this is how I go down? She slipped the grenade into her own harness. I’m not done yet.
‘Helega? Is that you? You look awful. Here, take my arm.’
A shout through the fog the gunfire. She gripped corporal Anatolia like a vice. ‘Thank you.’ she whispered.
‘Thank the Emperor. I was down, reloading, when the wall gave out. Nearly everyone was hurt.’ The big woman dragged her along.
‘Where are we going?’
Anatolia grunted. ‘Back. Over the bridge. We are in retreat. Orders, you know.’
Helega felt the sea air hit her face. Outside. All the microscopic lacerations stung like hell. The corporal pulled her to the floor. ‘Throne. They are back…’
Helega’s eyes still wouldnt open. The muffled puffs of exploding sandbags in front of her let her know the enemy was trying to kill her. Surrounded. She pulled off her helmet and felt this planets blazing sun burning the pale skin of her shaved head.
She drew her laspistol. Her ammo counter was digital. She couldn’t see it. I remember about twenty shots. It might be enough.
Anatolia wasn’t moving next to her. Dead. Saving me. Only The Emperor can save me now. She pushed herself onto her knees, and turned her head until the sun was burning her face. The sun was behind us. The bridge is towards the sun.
When she eventually willed herself to stand, the ricocheting rounds were practically swarming around her. She heard another Krieg voice shout ‘Hey, get down!’ but it was all background noise now. She walked forwards slowly until her boots scuffed sandbags. She climbed over slowly and methodically, her concentration not helped by the throbbing pain in her head. Why am I not dead? She fell off the side and landed in a heap. That was the last wall. Now the bridge. A round passed so close to her head she flinched.
The Emperors guiding light. The enemy fire continued to miss. Helega moved herself so the sun was burning her face again. The narrow bridge off this mesa. If I can make it.
She walked one steady step at a time. If I am wrong, I go off the cliff into the sea. She turned her head back and forth, taking her steps towards the sun. The gunfire from behind her was only sporadic now. The gunfire coming towards her was a furious roar.
Her foot slipped on nothingness. She clawed out with her free hand, and grabbed a rope. Steadying herself. The hand rope for the bridge. Am I this lucky?
She pulled herself around and onto the swaying slat of the temporary crossing. Muttering a prayer under her breath, she raised her pistol, pointed to the far side of the bridge, and emptied the clip directly ahead of her. When it was done she holstered the weapon by rote.
Her head swam. Her vision blackness. The waves crashed below, weapons fired around her, towards her,and the salty air stung her cut up hands and face, but the sun kept on burning. The beacon guides the way. With her first steps she figured the spacing between the slats. Then she walked with more confidence. One step at a time.
Then she was hit. She doubled over, gasping for breath. Not a bullet. Not a bolt. A punch? Her stomach was a knot. Her face scraped the boards underneath her.
‘What are you?’ called a rasping metallic voice. ‘Why won’t you die?’
Helega coughed and liquid filled her throat.
‘What are you!’ it screamed with its inhuman tone.
With a force of will, using the hand-ropes, she managed to pull herself up. The weapons fire was gone now. The wind whistled against the rocks below. The waves crashed again. A bird even cawed.
‘Your corpse god can’t save you now little one. You will be as dead as your friends are soon. Then your soul will be ours.’
She could hear the smug attitude in the abhuman’s voice. Her tongue was too swollen to reply. She knew her ribs were broken. She reached under her flak vest, the tenderness in her chest made her wince. The Emperor’s light guides us. She pulled the pin on her scavenged krak grenade, and threw it almost casually towards the heat of the sun.
The grenade was named for the sound it made. Suddenly floating. panicked screams followed her as she fell. It was a satisfying sound. The last she heard.
About the Author
Scorpus Flex writes short fiction from his secret man cave in the north of England. He is a trained wrestler, a retired defensive lineman, and spends most of his other free time chasing around his children, who just don’t sit still. And yes, of course Scorpus Flex is a pen name.