“Scout squad, listen up!” Sergeant Andaren’s voice boomed through the Rhino’s cramped interiors. While usually reserved as a transport vehicle for fully-fledged battle brothers, today’s situation called for scouts of the 10th company to be transported with utmost speed. Upon hearing his leader’s voice, recruit Tamiel looked up. The sergeant was the only one standing among two rows of seated scouts. He was older than the recruits, and had a grey scruff about his square chin. He continued on. “There’s an ork workshop base up ahead. The second and fourth companies will be hitting it soon. Our job is to get in before our battle brothers and rig the place up with explosives. With the orks softened up, our brothers will have an easier time assaulting the base.”
It was a daring mission to be Tamiel’s first. The young recruit, although already desensitized to fear through rigorous indoctrination and genetic enhancement, couldn’t help but feel excitement dancing through his body. He wanted to get out there right now and kill, but discipline told him to hold his thirst for glory in check. His knee began bouncing up and down in anticipation. He gripped his bolter more tightly.
“We will have our time, brother.” Scout Kaedan said from next to him. It appeared that Kaedan, who was known to be keenly observant of his surroundings, had noticed the excitement within Tamiel. Kaedan was the best shot in the squad, and unlike the other recruits, he had earned a scope attachment to his bolter. If Sergeant Andaren and recruit Kaedan were to compete in a marksmanship challenge, Tamiel wouldn’t know who to bet on.
“Yes,” Tamiel replied. “We will have our time.”
The Rhino came to a halt and the hatches began to lower. As soon as all scouts disembarked the transport vehicle, the Rhino turned around and began driving back the way it came. Tamiel guessed that it was probably off to another errand. The scouts formed a half circle around their sergeant, with Tamiel and Kaedan kneeling next to each other.
“We will walk the rest of the way.” Sargeant Andaren said. “10th company scout squad! On me!”
After what must have been an hour of walking, the scout squad spotted their target. Positioned against a hill in the middle of the desert, a crude set of metal structures bent up and about the ground. Various orks hurried back and forth, carrying scraps of metal. Near the back of the base, a pipe-drain leaked out muddy water that formed a slow river. The scout squad crept up to the bottom of the river, far out of sight. Following the sergeant’s lead, they crawled through the muddy waters, making their way up the river inch by inch. Not a single ork noticed them.
As they drew closer to the base, Tamiel could hear commotion coming from the ork workshop. Sounds of metal grinding about, orks shouting at each other, and heavy footsteps hurrying about were all he could hear. The scouts crawled even slower now, to attract as little attention as possible. Sergeant Andaren reached the drainage pipe first, and his cloak slipped up into the darkness behind him as he disappeared into the pipe. The scouts followed.
Inside the pipe, there was barely enough room for a scout to crouch through. Tamiel felt his bolter pushing against his stomach as he tucked his head forward and snaked through the pipes. After a few agonizing moments, Sergeant Andaren spoke through the vox system.
“Brother Needhon, plant the explosive here.” Andaren’s voice came through. His voice was quiet, but they could all hear it through the radio.
“Aye, sir.” Needhon replied back.
“Scout squad,” Andaren spoke once again. “The charge is set. We are to retreat to a safe position and wait for our battle brothers to commence their assault.”
After planting the charges, the squad had moved back out of the pipes and crawled down the muddy stream. They hid behind a set of rocks on a distant hill, and every recruit was watching the ork base through their binoculars.
“There they come.” Recruit Kaedan said.
And he was right. Dust kicked up in the distance as a formation of Rhinos and Razorbacks rolled in around the ork base. The greenskins immediately opened fire on them.
“Brother Needhon, detonate the explosives now!” Sergeant Andaren shouted.
When Needhon did as he was instructed, the rear of the ork base went up on a blossom of fire. Following their cue, the Rhinos and Razorbacks rolled down their hatches, and Ultramarine battle brothers in full power armor stepped out into the sunlight from the shades within. The sky was filled with the crescendo of bolter fire, announcing to the heavens that Strikeforce Ultra had arrived. Shaken up by the explosion in the rear of their base and a Space Marine assault coming in from the front, the orks were disoriented. The tactical squads advanced, shooting down any orks they came across along the way. The devastator squads provided support with their heavy weapons, their fire chewing through the ork line, ripping their members into bits. The assault squads soared into the sky and came crashing down with righteous fury, their blades dancing in ork blood. It was all a beautiful sight.
“Scout squad!” Sergeant Andaren shouted to the recruits. “Open fire on the greenskins! Aid your brothers!”
The ground was covered in a sea of green corpses. What was once a base was reduced to a smoldering heap of ash, and piles of dead orks. Tamiel breathed in the air, taking delight in the smell of spent bolter shells and smoke from the battlefield.
“Twelve.” Kaedan said from behind him. “I killed twelve today. What about you, Tamiel?”
“I didn’t know we were keeping count.” Tamiel replied. An ork began moving slowly on the ground next to him. Kaedan fired a shot, and the greenskin stopped moving.
“Thirteen.” He said. The two of them laughed heartily at that.
This had been their first battle as Ultramarines. Overall, the assault was a success. Only two battle brothers had been lost in the whole battle, and they had proven themselves to the Emperor by giving their lives to take out a strategically crucial Ork workshop. This was the beginning of Tamiel’s story, but it was nothing more than another page in the history of Strikeforce Ultra.