BERP was still rebooting several of his personal repair protocols, especially the ones that dealt with memory function. In his minds eye he just experienced some stuff that even a lifetime of worshiping the Ominsiah could not cure. BERP knew one thing - his report and data had been transmitted upwards through the Mechanicus chain of command, and it seemed to cause a ripple effect in the data streams that normally would come back to him.
BERP the Enginseer had just survived his first encounter with Demons.
Typical for fighting with the 555th Cadian Mechanized Regiment, BERP was attached to support the artillery company. When they deployed forward into the red ash wastes, BERP had sent a terse data stream back to his Prime that his request for servitors had not been timely met. BERP was going to the frenzy of battle with just his own tools and knowledge.
The battle of the bikers was still fresh on the minds of the 555th. The Regiment was still fighting in a reduced formation - down to two companies instead of four. The tank companies had been stripped away to act as the force's reserves.
BERP was always mystified by how these Cadians deployed. Every battle, these veterans remained in their Chimera Transports and fought from each one as a bunker. BERP, on the other hand, needed free access to his assigned equipment, and his role was not to fight but to repair.
The 555th was deployed as a flanking force, in a region of red ash wastes that wafted over anything that disturbed it. The 555th was advancing in force through the wastes, the Mechanized element was forward and the artillery was to the rear of the column. All of the vehicles halted when the column vox channels all seemed to burst forth on all frequencies with the same word. Ed.
All eyes and sensors scanned to the dusty plains and ruins. This area had been the site of a different battle days before, and it bore scars of the fighting that had been held between the Astra Militarum and renegade marines.
As the commanders of the two companies consulted, flashes of green and blue warp-light sparkled to the left flank of the force. All of the vehicles turned to face the threat.
Then it happened.
Bursting forth from the dust, flying monstrosities appeared, flying and flapping towards the column.
The commanders knew that their best means to fight this incursion was to fire back, into the mouth of the ambush. To flee in disarray was to die.
BERP had been riding on the loading deck of the Basilisk. He stepped down and awaited the need.
Las-fire and shells soon pumped out of the force into the demons. The demons cared naught, and with waves of staves and incantations, soon more demons appeared. Fighting grew fierce, as the head of the column became engulfed in fighting. Splashes of demon fire poured out as flames, and Cadians fought and died where they stood. No units broke, all remained steadfast. One Cadian sergeant challenged a demon, but the evil beast's weapon smote the sergeant as an explosion of warp fire that engulfed the demon and squad.
Even the Mechanized Commander, with his veteran retinue and advisers dead, fought and backed slowly down the line, providing an example of steadfast courage. The commander seemed to become stronger and more fierce as he advanced away from the demons, who pursued at a respectful pace. All the while, artillery ranged from pounding distant and danger close targets, trying to support the beleaguered veterans.
Soon, the battle neared BERP. A mighty demon actually leaped upon the Basilisk, damaging it beyond repair. All faster than BERP could react. Soon, other vehicles were wrecked, and men poured out to continue the fight as they always did. Some demons issued forth gouts of warp flame, some, seen as greater leaders, constantly issued incantations and fired bolts of light and power from their hands or staves or breath.
But then as quickly as it started, with a swirl in the winds, the battle ended.
All that was left was to catalog the data, file more reports, and await support. And look through the wreckage for salvage.
Through it all, BERP realized, he'd not done a damn thing. He had not even tried to repair anything. Or collect data. Or provide advice or aid. He'd just stood there the entire time...watching.
So yes, I fought last night, Cadians vs Demons at 1650 points! Due to time constraints we could only complete 3 full turns...and we ended as a 5:5 DRAW!!!!
This was Maelstrom mission #4, similar to last week. I was using the Cadian deck, he was using the Demon deck. Overall, it was a lot of fun! Looking forward to next week...