Blind and Silent WH40k

His arms were shaking, his head was aching and all he wanted was to get as far as he could from the front line. Sweating like a pig, he held his lasgun in the general direction of the enemy, afraid to shoot and also afraid not to, because with a commissar in your back, one has no time to decide what to do. This wasn’t the first time the Letonnian Light Infantry detachment had moved far into enemy territory, but Azwyn had just been moved here after showing excellence in the Lycalys Prime campaign. (Actually, he had just been extremely lucky.)



After his squad members were all shot down in the hailstorm of heretical marine bolter fire, he picked up his teammate’s plasma gun, gunned down a traitor, and then heroically repositioned himself (ran away like a coward) into the closest bunker, where he just happened to stay until the battle was over. The bunker was filled with random mechanically black/pink junk with many buttons and insignia, but Azwyn Helstalker couldn’t care less. Later, it was found out that the bunker held many valuable Chaos Marine battle plans, and had been the central objective for this battle. Hearing commands in the Vox to leave, and then, seeing bodies all over the place made the guardsmen really praise the emperor, and he was transferred back to the Imperial barracks as a hero – he was even allowed to dine with the colonel of the Letonnian 42nd, and received a brand new, clean flak armour as a prize.

So, there he was, sitting in the forest lane, with his normally red-silver armour being completely orange, due to the strange flora of Wazkar Secundus, where the trees shined in mildly orange tones, which, thankfully made the green-skinned monsters clearly visible. The tension was insane, and when private Reyn suddenly sneezed, everyone got to ground almost instantly, barely holding back from opening fire en every direction available. Azwyn’s beard had frozen, as it was cold enough to make a Letonnian firebear cold. Their mission was simple – wait until the Orks move out and meet the main force, and then, launch a surprise attack from the back, shattering the beasts’s resistance swiftly and without mercy. These orks had arrived a little more than a week ago, as a part of Warboss’s Krunchaz Waagh, but had been separated from their main boss’s force, so they were a more easy target, than the main Waagh spearhead itself. Besides, the company’s scout sentinels had reported that they were led by a Big Mek, and killing him would prove to be a major strike to the Orks, for there was noone in the main force that could give maintenance to the simple yet deadly Ork wehicles, thus another srike team was sent in a sabotage mission to wreck some of them, while Azwyn’s company was sent here to kill the Mek.

As he ordered his helmet in place, he heard the Sarge Moviros quietly stating that the Hellhounds are moving out, and ordered to prepare of battle. With the red blaze of the hellhound company shooting their impressive inferno cannons, supported by artillery fire, Azwyin and the squad left their safe hiding position, shooting forward, past the Waagh banners, past the screaming gretchins, aiming straightly for the now-shouting and quite formidable Mek, his armour shining from the massed lasgun fire, it received. Now, running in the snowy plains toward the Orks, Azwyn reevaluated his life, and decided that it isn’t worth a dead ‘gaunt if he fails the mission. Being on the open, the orks cared little for them, mainly concentrating on the assaulting tanks and the platoons moving to continue the massacre. The squad suddenly stopped, the sniper needed a steady aim to shoot the Mek down. He told the rest of the men to give him cover fire while he held his breath. The silent las shot traveled trough the air, hitting the big Ork right in the middle of his eyes, making a perfect small hole that produced a lethal result. Azwyn was stunned, his eyes sparkling in awe. The next moment, he heard Moviros shouting another command, and ran forward with the rest of the men to take advantage of the now fleeing ork horde.

They ran forward, the orange snow making weird sounds beneath their feet. It seemed as the very death calls them to slaughter. Everything seemed fine, but then the battlefield froze. Neither the orks did something, but jumping in the closest cover, neither the soldiers of the imperrium seemed too motivated to finish the assault. Azwyn, still stunned from the sights around him, didn’t understand what was going on. On Letonnia, he had joined the military, because his father was a guardsman, and his grandfather, who had seen the rejoining to the imperrium as well. Azwyn had little choice on the matter, but he wasn’t very enthusiastic either – at least his creditors couldn’t find him here. (Although death could, but it is still a hard question of what is worse)

Seconds passed, and he saw a terrifying white light coming down from the sky, as the men were ordered to go to ground. And there he stood, experiencing the most painful experience of his life, both feeling innumerable amounts of pain and seeing the squad, dying in the worst way imaginable, as they all screamed in agony, choking on their own blood. Somehow, everyone who had lain down had died, and he had survived, thanking only to his inexperience and melancholism.

And there stood Azwyn, the sole survivor, who had no idea as of what to do next. He took the long las of the sniper, and decided to travel back to the main base. But then again – “No!” he told himself, “first checking if the Mek is dead, then saving my own ass.” And that was a quite logical decision, as he would be asked if he finished his mission anyways, and he didn’t want to make the Commissars unhappy, or, what was even worse, to have a nice chat with the inquisition. Who or what had killed everyone seemed unimportant now, as Azwyn, still confused, walked silently to do what he must. The orange snow was stained by the blood of his brothers, but all he could think of was the last good-bye party before being accepted in the guard. All the relatives singing, booze, his girlfriend crying, as he promised to write her – all of this now gained a special place in his head, as Azwyin’s tormented mind tried to put everything in place.

He didn’t notice how he happened to be right next to the now-dead ork Mek, but guardsman Helstalker didn’t hesitate to shoot a few more holes in the greenskin’s head. He sure was dead. The necron warriors, that pulled themselves together, weren’t, however, and the monolith that had crashed on the hill a few hundred meters further still emitted a strange green light. “Talk about surprises” Azwyn thought, as he looked at the humongous dead piece of ancient technology that seemed so interesting now, as it just laid there. Then, the grey matter in his head started to show why it even existed. “Necrons? I mean, NECRONS!” Helstalker shouted, to break the silence that had surrounded him. For his surprise, a strange, soft and feminine voice answered: “Yes, human, necrons. Why do you think we bombed this whole place? Ahh, mon-kai, you are still too young to understand.” Azwyn turned his head, and he saw a woman. Or so he thought. She wore weirdly colorful clothes, that reminded him of the time when mrs. Helstalker had taken him to a theater, where he had cried, because everyone had died in the end. That wasn’t a surprise, though, as he had found out later, because in the fine plays written by the classic Letonnian author Aspazy everyone always dies. Well, there he was, looking at this weird eldar female, who laid there with an open wound in her leg. “Why are you hesitating?” she asked, “Just finish me, so I could go to the halls of the laughing god, and be there with my troupe once again! Or, if you’re too weak, tell the rest of your squad to do it.” Azwyn looked around him, but he saw only scorched ground, just as someone had teleported here, ork bodies, necron…err…bodies. (Or were they skeletons – the guardsman couldn’t tell) his fellow guardsmen corpses and, yeah, remains of other eldar, who were, as far as he could tell, serving as a bombardment homer. So, she was either stupid or blind. And he couldn’t shoot a blind woman, could he? So, instead of that, he took out the first aid kid from his bag, and hoped that the eldar physiology was at least similar to man’s. She, of course refused being helped by a “lesser being” but he slapped her and told the female to shut the frag up. After some 20 minutes, when she had stopped bleeding and the guardsman had sheltered in one of the crude Ork buildings, this one, filled with metal scrap and such, he decided that more information couldn’t hurt, so he asked: “Who are you, errm, eldar?” She was silent, as all the time while Azwyin treated her leg, but then she replied: “That is not of importance, human. What matters is – what will you do now, when my eyes have failed me?” Helstalker thought about her words, and he had to admit that he didn’t know a sure answer. He could take her to the guard main base, but then, she’d be tormented by the inquisition, on the other hand, HE would be killed anywhere else. But then again, if he could get her to some eldar, they’d take her, and, probably, spare his life, so that he could return back. Or, they would just kill him, which was, in comparison, quite likely.

So, what could the poor guardsman do, but to go back, get his sergeant’s Vox, and try to get a signal with the main Imperial Guard force, while listening to the arrogant bloder of the eldar female, and shooting some self-repairing necrons. After an hour or so, he succeeded to contact them, and he got a direct order from a lieutenant to wait there until reinforcements arrive, keeping the hostage alive, if possible. That sounded like a good plan, especially taking into account that he might be declared heretic and just be shot on sight. As Azwyn had to wait, he decided to chat a bit with the (quite beautiful) harlequin that was rather suicidal upon deeper inspection – “I don’t want to be tortured by you, unsophisticated life forms!” she yelled at him. “Don’t worry”, Helstalker cautiously answered, “If you’re careful enough, you might actually live. Our Inquisitor is a quite radical person. Which reminds me – why don’t you try to reach your ship or something?”

“Because I cannot, you fool. We have no ships available for suicidal rescue missions, and I don’t expect you to understand the mysteries of the webway.” The answer surprised him, but he couldn’t actually say that he even knew what a webway is, so she was correct on that matter. So there they were - a blind eldar and a silent and thoughtful guardsman, sharing their doom. Azwyn caught himself thinking heretical thoughts that he actually kind of likes the mysterious harlequin, so thin, so silent, and so arrogant. (And, quite beautiful, yes) In such an unlikely situation, he had no idea what to do, so he pulled out his uplifting primer and re-read the section about eldars. He read the book to her as well, and they both laughed – because there was no point of being sad right now, as everything was bad enough.

Of course, a couple of hours later when an armoured fist squad had arrived to get them back to the base, he was quite happy to get a hot meal and a cup of tea, but still, the mysterious eldar female still bothered Azwyn’s mind – she was taken into Inquisitional interrogation room as soon as they had arrived there, but as far as Helstalker knew, she hadn’t told them a thing. Two days later, she had mysteriously disappeared, leaving a note that said: “All humans aren’t bad. They’re just too human.” And that was a good thing, he presumed, because in this war-torn universe, there had to be a place for nice things, for emotional things, for two different people, not shooting at each other for a second.