For the Imperium!

an otherwise unremarkable surplus Army Gauss rifle, with a bit of engraving...

Category:
weapon (ranged)
Description:

an otherwise unremarkable surplus Army Gauss rifle, with a bit of engraving…TL 12, RAM renade Launcher attached underbarrel…

Bio:

“We’re under attack!” yelled Sara.

Her words confirmed what Grim already knew, both from the flashing alarm strobe above the main power plant bay, and from the special signal his comm was emitting, a signal that alerted all officers and noncoms to unexpected intrusions into the air or groundspace of Imperial Army base “Beowulf”…

Turning to the panicked Engineer’s Mate, Grim barked out, “Grab some hands and secure the bay! I’ll try to find out what’s happening.”

Keying his comm to the adjutant’s channel, Grim waited while the battle control computer assigned him a priority. Several minutes passed, making Grim nervous at the thought of all the comm chatter the assault units must be passing back and forth before he could speak to command…

“…what is it Sargent?” came Colonel Frostwick’s calm voice.

“Awaiting orders, sir. The Major is off base and Chain of command over Engineer Platoon Alpha passes to you in these circumstances.” replied Grim, struggling to mirror the Colonel’s detachment.

“We’re under attack by unknown hostiles, Sargent. The power plant may be a target, though the enemy seems to be heading for the command bunkers right now. Maintain position and hold the plant, we’ll send help if needed. Frostwick out.”

Mentally counting the men on duty at the plant, Grim figured he had, at best, a dozen weapons trained troops and perhaps twice that in engineers and mechanics.

“Sara, call all the support personel to the bay and tell them to gather what weapons they can find. I’ll take the guards and post them covering the entrances.” said Grim.

Keying his comm to Corporal Ravi’s channel, Grim said, “Ravi? How many guards did K Company post at the plant today?”

“Fourteen Sargent, but Captain Thomlinson just commandeered everyone but me and two PFCs to run over to main communications to repel an attack.” came the static ridden reply.

“Hustle back here to the main bay then, we don’t have enough effectives to cover the entrances. Grim out.”

‘Damn’ thought Grim, ‘well, if they come for us, we’ll just have to make do…’

For the next 10 minutes, Sargent Grimstead and his small group of Engineers worked furiosly to prepare the bay, welding, hammering, and bolting. All the while the sounds of battle could be heard from far across the perimeter to the west…

“All positions, fall back. I repeat, fall back to the south perimeter. Regroup at point Gamma 95!” blared a strident voice over the base’s general comm channel.

“Sargent Grimstead?” came Frostwick’s voice over Grim’s private channel.

“Here, sir.” replied Grim.

“We’re pulling back. They’re moving in your direction, hold them off while we regroup. Out.”

“Everybody take your positions, we’re on our own for a while. Let’s show ’em how Engineers really fight!” shouted Grim to the men and women working around the bay, as he went about ordering them to their defensive positions…

…and then…

…{BOOM} went the charge the enemy used to blow down the huge western door to the loading ramp: and they came, the twin red suns burning dimly at their backs. Dozens of them, well armed and armored, their comm chatter sparse and efficient. They moved in with the controlled ferocity of veteran assault troops, confident in their prowess, but…

…it wasn’t the heavy steel plates dropping on the enemy when they came in through the oversized doors to the engineering bay, even though 3 troopers went down with crushed skulls or broken spines…

…it wasn’t the gas canisters hidden under the grated metal floor, their valves rigged by remote control to spew a flammable mixture into the air timed to coincide with several bursts of laser fire, even though 6 more of them went down, screaming while they burned…

…it wasn’t the crudely built EMP that went off as they closed on the central bay, cutting off their comms and IR just as the lights went out, leaving another 12 easy prey to well placed crossfires…

No. It was that one moment that broke the enemy soldiers; that moment when the remaining enemy soldiers were closing on the center of the bay, when Sargent Cornelius Grim, hefting a gauss rifle plucked from the dying Cpl Ravi’s hands, his face briefly illuminated by the shielded emergency light he’d taped to the barrel, yelled out, “For the Imperium!” and charged headlong into the enemy…

…Unfortunately, as these things so often go, most of his brave engineers, and all of those who personally witnessed Grim’s moment of glory, died in the defense of the power plant. They did win a victory though, as the enemy troops, taken aback by the ferocity and sacrifice of Grim’s Reapers (as they came to be known), retreated in disarray just long enough for the reformed assault troops of the Imperial Army’s 16th Combat Engineer Regiment to counterattack and carry the day.

The next week, after the debris had been cleared and damage restoration had begun, Major Thelonius T. Garber, commanding Engineer Platoon Alpha (remnant), presented to one Sargent Cornelius H. Grimstead a Gauss rifle, first issued to a Corporal Deiter Ravi, that had been purchased by the remaining men of the platoon from the quartermaster (who, being a sensitive sort, had let them have it for 1 CrImp when he found out what they wanted it for), and who then had engraved it with this message:

“…for the Imperium!”

“How did you know?” whispered Grim hoarsely to the Major, “They all died.”

“On his way to the medical tent Ravi kept repeating one thing as he was dying: ‘for the Imperium!. The others thought he was incoherent, but when I heard, and learned that you’d been found with his rifle, I knew. I just knew…”, the Major continued, “…though of course you did blow the fuses in the entire fucking power grid when you set off that piece of shit homemade EMP. And those repairs are taking far too long, Sargent. Now, enough of this touchy feely crap, let’s get on it, before more bad guys decide to come party with the Combat Engineers…”

For the Imperium!

Mustered Out on Mertactor youngerpliny