EXPENDABILITY

“0300Hrs Division 4 forward perimeter on the Western flank is holding Sir, but we are taking very heavy casualties. Estimate the next onslaught will overrun our perimeter. I repeat, request immediate reinforcement or artillery strike at coordinates nine-fiver-three-point-four.” Lancer2K barked into the comm, by Guntha he felt old.

“Negative Black 23, end of transmission” came the hollow reply in his earpiece.

The last 12 hours had been a nightmare by any account and still the enemy came at them in wave after wave of murderous, multitudinous swarms of fire-spitting filth, hell bent on overrunning their position and slaughtering them all. There must be thousands of them up there past the tree line he thought with gritted teeth. Looking East along the muddy trench left by last springs snow-line, his heart sank as he saw the huge piles of dead Establishment Cyborg Marines peppered with numerous mutilated Division 4 soldiers eerily backlit from the many chemi-lite canisters strewn across the mountainside. Lancer2K somberly rammed home a fresh clip into his T-10 heavy repeater and hoped the ULA would find his body and give him a decent burial. We are all going to die here in this off-world frozen shithole in the middle of nowhere, he thought.

“But fuck are we gonna go down fighting,” he snarled under his breath as he snapped down his weapon into the blood soaked mud on the lip of the trench and scanned the far tree line for any flicker of movement from his scope.

Four hundred meters away Cisco locked home a fresh power cell in her BFG. Her throat dry with disbelief, she looked at the dead lying all around her. Her entire squad lay twisted around her feet at mutilated crazy angles, their sticky blood coating her armour. Choking back emotion she looked back East along their position, noticing the scant remaining Division 4 soldiers still on their feet, alive. Cisco was not surprised to see the talented new Plasma Ion Gunnery Sargeant Ambrosia was one of them as she had fought like a veteran right through the night.

Cisco hoped for an honorable death, killing as many ‘borg scum as possible before she was over run. They will hit us with everything they’ve got soon, she thought.

A further 400 meters to the East, Transmission shot an oversize morphine medipak into his thigh, smiling as the warmth spread through his tortured body and numbed the many burns and shrapnel wounds that had permeated his shattered Kevlar body armour. Grimly he turned to the bleeding Trailboss, concussed Tick and dazed Tiny and faintly smiled at what was left of both his buckled and battered Rocket Pack Squads. Their position had taken several direct hits from ‘borg artillery and it was only his battle-hardened squad’s experience, guts and mobility that had kept this half of them alive this long. The rookies were all dead.

Fuck our ammo is low, he thought.


“I don’t give a fuck what General Blathiar thinks, that’s half my fucking division getting slaughtered up there Colonel,” Commander Dude growled into the secure comm link with Colonel Vanna. Group Command had received bad intel on the establishment’s position and strength and the consequence of the ULA’s main force being flanked had far outweighed the lives of half a Division in a forward patrol, they were expendable.


The whole division heard Lancer2k’s T-10 heavy repeater barking out its large caliber armor piercing rounds in a sustained rapid-fire burst of hot orange flame. The entire front line opened up into the darkness, hurling everything they had into the thousands of swarming ‘borgs who were thundering through the eerie green glow towards their position. Hot yellow bolts of BFG fire criss-crossed the eerie glow mixed with streams of neon blue plasma ion tracer rounds. Solid rocket hi-ex explosions and grenade detonations punctuated the mêlée with almost staccato like regularity.

“By the moons of Xenfu”, Cisco swore. There is so fucking many of them this time the line will never hold, she thought, gritting her teeth and ramming home a fresh power cell….
“Die you fuckers,” she screamed at the charging hordes, her BFG screaming out thousands of rounds per minute, mowing down row after row of them, but still they swarmed in greater and greater numbers. The earth was alive all around her as Establishment plasma ion and depleted beryllium rounds slammed into the ground, ripping and chopping the dirt in huge sprays of debris. This is it, she thought.

Chrisg and Andy7 pulled back on the armoured transports throttles and panning their noses around to the right opened up on the ‘borg line with everything their ships had. The big beasts shuddered under the recoil as eight huge nose mounted rapid fire howitzer cannons hurled out a monstrous stream of 400mm hi explosive shells, ripping the shit out of the mountainside and the ‘borg front in huge ugly shards.

“Go, go, go,” Andy7 called over the comm and ½ of Division 4 hurled themselves out of the transports and into the darkness from 200 meters up.

“C’mon, come and fucking get some you sons of bitches” Milano screamed as he descended, his Mk3 plasma ion rifle spraying hot bolts of blue into the teaming hordes of ‘borg, the air hissed and spat with return fire all around him.

Chrisg wrestled with the controls of the lead transport trying to hold her steady as the last of the troops descended. He was being pounded with tremendous amounts of retaliatory fire from the ridgeline. Getting a bead on the ‘borg battery he coolly thumbed firing button and the entire port wing pod lit up as a hot red particle beam knifed through the darkness, slamming the Establishment artillery.


A wave of hardened warriors streaked across the tortured earth like demonic blackened wraiths through the mist, superheated streams of death thundering from their weapons as they dived into the trench of mud, blood and filth that was the front line.