The Last Hours of Kryptmann Gore

Author’s Note: This is some introductory and conclusionary fluff to a battle report I wrote for one of my many Warhammer 40K boards. I think it’s a fun little vigniette in its own right, so I’ve put it here. If you are interested in the battle report itself (or curious about how 40K works), I’ve placed a link. Again, no infringement of Games Workshop’s copyright is intended.

Kryptmann Gore, Archheretic and architect of the Glorious Revolution, shivered in the cold morning dew. He had spent the last four days sleeping in the back of a ramshackle Chimera with the remnants of the Lustborn command staff–some of his first converts to the cause. They were all couching amid the ruins of a small trading post nestled in the rugged highlands of Hasturia’s northern continent, their eyes bloodshot and their moods iritiable. The drugs–both combat related and recreational–had run out yesterday, and already the withdrawal symptoms were taking their toll. Kryptmann knew one squad had died already from the effects, and another two had deserted over the night. “The fools,” he muttered, hugging his sodden coat closer to his body–Lysander and his Astartes would run them down and kill them before they cleared the first ridge.

“What are we waiting for, Kryptmann?” General Hortense asked in a ragged voice, his cheek twitching.

“The shuttle won’t land until we secure the landing area.” Kryptmann snapped. “You’re the damned general–you should know that!”

Hortense rose, his face pale with what Kryptmann assumed was anger, but realized was nausea. While the former High Commander of the Lustborn Legions vomited in the grass, Kryptmann looked at the small, pale man in the flight jacket who had appeared in camp the night before. “You’re certain your master’s ship is undetected?”

The pirate smiled, showing a decidedly imperfect set of teeth. “Low orbit, limited energy signature–the blockade won’t pick us up for hours.”

“But we’ll still have orbital support?” General Hortense groaned over his wretching, “We need orbital support!”

The rest of the command group nodded, shivering and weak with need. All their red-rimmed eyes fixed on the pirate and Kryptmann. The pirate smiled again, “You’ll get enough. We have a Valkyrie with Imperial transpoder codes that’s inbound, and I’ve got a link to an artillery satellite–you’ll have support.”

The vox-man, Barent, jumped as his device came to life. Pressing the earphones to his head, he turned pale. “Sir,” he reported to Hortense, “It’s them…they’ve found us.”

The little group sprang into action, the terror they felt at the nearness of their foe enough to overcome their paralyzing drug-withdrawal. Kryptmann, the only man present not shaking with nausea and chills, licked his lips and stepped inside the chimera. “Not a chance, Lysander–you’ll never catch me alive.”

Read the Report of the battle here.

Kryptmann’s lungs burned almost as much as the tears streaking down his cheeks, but still he ran. The rest of the command group was with him, he thought–he could hear their panicked breaths and hurried footfalls around him and behind him, but they were laden with heavier equipment and armor than he, and they were falling behind.

In front of Kryptmann stretched a broad, beautiful valley of tall grass and scattered trees, all spread beneath a perfect sky of aquamarine. He felt, somehow, that the universe was mocking him.

There was a hiss and an ear-splitting pop as the first bolt hit home, killing the vox man–Kryptmann could tell from the timbre of his scream. Another shot didn’t follow for a few seconds, but when it did it killed the general with equal efficiency. “Bastards,” Kryptmann thought, “They’re taking their time with us. Emperor forbid they waste ammunition.”

Pop! Another man down. Kryptmann tried to count in his head–how many more before they got to him? His stomach churning with terror, he willed his legs somehow to pump faster. His ragged breaths were now tinged with gasps of pain.

Pop! Another garbled cry, another dead follower…

Kryptmann risked a quick, panicked look behind him. He only glimpsed five golden-armored giants, moving in perfect unison across a sea of green grass. A split second later, the arch-heretic’s hip exploded with a pop and a shower of bone-chips and blood. Kryptmann screamed and pitched forwards into the grass and rolled down the slope, limbs flopping like dead snakes.

He came to rest in a shallow gulley, facing up at the clear, perfect sky. The pain was so intense it was all he could do to breathe and moan in agony. His eyes were swallowed by the broad, blue expanse above him, and it was all he could see or think about for a long, long time. Gradually, he realized he wasn’t dead. There was the briefest moment of hope, but then he remembered something. Something very important.

The Astartes didn’t miss a kill shot unless they meant to.

Kryptmann waited, gasping in pain, until he felt his doom approach. Lysander’s heavy steps made the ground shake a full minute before he appeared over him, the Captain’s huge, scarred face looking down upon him like a god sitting in judgment. Kryptmann managed a smile and grunted, “Come to gloat?”

Lysander’s voice was as cold as winter itself. “I promised you when this began that I would kill you with my own hands, wretch.”

“You…you don’t intimidate me, you oaf. You…you mindless stooge…” Kryptman growled.

Lysander planted a huge, armored boot on Kryptman’s chest. “I always keep my promises.”

“You’re nothing but a servant. I…I was a god amongst men!” Kryptman managed, spitting blood through his teeth.

Lysander shook his head very slowly. “No, you were but a man. A man among rats.”

A moment later, the Captain’s golden gauntlet descended, and Kryptman lost sight of the sky.

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About aahabershaw

Writer, teacher, gaming enthusiast, and storyteller. I write stories, novels, and occasional rants.

Posted on November 18, 2011, in Fiction, Gaming and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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