It is the 41st Millennium, and there is only war. War and countless suffering of unimaginable proportion. For one man, he was born into it, molded by it, embraced it. He was a son of Krieg, destined to die on the battlefield. Another faceless statistic to be used in the slaughter by uncaring Generals. That slaughter was Vraks Prime, a miserable butcher's shop that reaped millions to billions of souls.

A task only the Death Korps of Krieg was fit to do.

Like the rest of his regiment, Grenadier 859623-880465-Ludwig was deployed onto the planet with only one goal in mind. Take the planet back, or die trying. And die they did, trying their damn best to complete their objective. Stalemate after painstaking stalemate, the Death Korps inched towards victory, paying in blood for every minuscule kilometre gained. A miserable 7 years past when the situation went from bad to worse. Chaos has arrived. Fighting continued on regardless but the situation truly took a downward spiral for the worst when their position was suddenly full of Khorne Berserkers. The traitor astartes had dropped in from orbit and the fighting was fierce. Thousands died and ground was awash with rivers of blood, uncaring of whether it was imperial or traitor blood.

The imperials fought a fighting retreat, the regiment called to fall back in the face of the onslaught but to no avail. With their escape caught off from reports of Traitor Titans dropping, the Death Korps of Krieg dug their heels in and died where they stood down to a man. With the Korpmen surrounded by all sides, they fought knowing that their sins would finally be forgiven. As the heretics charged forward, the grenadier recited the litany of sacrifice with the remainder of his regiment and their collective might charged at the traitors with their bayonets held high. As the deaths piled up, so too did the opposition as the Vraksian militia melted beneath the furious Death Korps counter attack and even the traitor Astartes were given pause, however brief that was.

The Korpman dodged clumsy strikes from the heretics, blasting the Vraksians to bits with his hellgun or stabbing them with his bayonet. He threw a grenade and watch in satisfaction as a horde of heretics disappeared into tiny bits and together with his tattered squad he blasted a traitor marine to a pulp even as the madman butchered their commissar and annihilated a whole platoon. Pandemonium everywhere. With the imperials fighting with a fervent fury that only a corned beast can manage and the traitors imbued with an bloodthirsty hunger for that final victory. Bodies littered the mud and blood stricken field and it almost seemed like the imperials could break the encirclement around them.

Then a Titan had shown up, having been sent to clean up resistance in the area. The once venerable machine was a twisted, heretical parody of the noble war machines of man. With an almost dismissal flick of it's arm, it spat a weapon soaked in the Warp's power. It exploded and the people in the area. They just disappeared. It was almost anticlimactic. A shriek of warp sorcery and a bright explosion and that part of the battlefield just disappeared, vaporized clean without a trace. And as the titan turned to aim at it's next target, the grenadier stared blankly. His squad raised their weapons and fired, never stopping even as the projectile flew towards their position. So this was the end then. The Korpman almost smiled. It was a fitting end. There was a bright flash, he registered something like brief electrifying pain to the point of being paralyzed and suddenly he felt weightless.

Perhaps they were annihilated. Perhaps they simply disappeared, as if never existing.

All that the Korpman knows however, is that the land he was still alive. He felt himself lying down on solid surface. Knowing that anything to do with the foul warp was likely to end in misery, the Korpman cautiously opened up an eye, expecting to see a daemon ready to skewer him. Instead he saw a clear sky that Vraks Prime certainly did not have.

It was too blue. Too...beautiful. He looked around some more and found to his horror a severe lack of trenches, barbwire, and corpses. There was no choking smog, no muddy earth chock full of chemical waste or toxic refuge. Just green grass as far as the eye can see. The air was clean and the skies were a bright blue. It was horrible. The Korpman struggled to get up, finding himself partially submerged in the dirt, almost half buried in fact. He sat up shakily, as if he just woke up from a long slumber. He tried to recall what had happened but all he remembered was falling down after taking a lasbolt to the leg and staring at the horrible traitor titan standing above him. When it opened fire, his vision mercifully blacked out.

He was surprised to see that his body was virtually unharmed, just aching horribly, though his gear still appeared to be battleworn. But like his training had taught him, he pushed those thoughts and feelings aside and stood up fully. His bones creaked and he was pretty sure he felt like his body was about to keel over, training or no training, when he leaned on a boulder. He was surprised to see some of his equipment just sitting down. He frowned however as he noted they were not his trusted hellgun but a model he was unfamiliar with. Not to mention another curious contraption nearby.

He picked it up carefully, unsure if this was a trap. He was after all, just in a battlefield earlier. Not to mention hit with a warp based weaponry. Was this warp trickery? An illusion by the daemons? It was a curious contraption though, angular and compact. He noted the lenses on the contraption and briefly wondered it was. Certainly not a scope, it was simply too large and too awkward to attach to any weapon he knew of. Not to mention his new lasgun already had a scope. He flipped it around and fiddled with it some more when it lit up, whirring with power. The Korpman stared at it quizzical, turning it up and down and frowning as he shook it experimentally. Nothing. Well there were buttons, but he was not going to finger what could possibly be dangerous archeotech!

His opinion on that was further cemented as he clearly saw the icon of the Inquisition on it. The Korpman glanced around before blinking as he saw a half buried skeleton in the dirt, clad in rotting gear and covered in foliage. Shoveling the dirt away with his hands, the Korpman callously dug up the old corpse and roughly dragged it out, uncaring when only half of the corpse chose to do so, the legs having opted to detach from the body. He narrowed his eyes, scanning his surroundings quickly again for any signs of danger or what killed this man. Nothing again. Crouching down carefully, he shamelessly looted the body, picking through the pockets to find depowered laspacks and a spare bayonet.

Most certainly expired but still viable ration packs were found and pocketed and the Korpman almost tore a parchment in two as he rummaged through the corpse's webbing. Unraveling it carefully, he narrowed his eyes as he looked at the contents. An order...from the Inquisition itself? Perhaps this corpse was a stormtrooper, he certainly had the equipment, though ruined by the ravages of time. He very nearly frowned when he saw the date however. Certainly a few centuries late, however one can never be too sure when it involves the warp. This stormtrooper was named Havlek, and his job was to scout the planet for the glory of the Imperium. A job that ended with his demise it seems.

"But what killed him? Perhaps these "Mamono" are the enemy? Trooper Havlek seems to think they are trustworthy...abhumans however." wondered the Korpman before standing up. "What is this camera he speaks of though?"

Perhaps it was this contraption he was holding in his hand? Regardless of his apprehension, it didn't appear to be dangerous, currently anyhow. Usually the Standard Death Korps doctrine after a total decimation was to find the highest ranking officer for new orders and preferably introduction into a new regiment. With the lack of any officers around, the Korpman felt...uneasy. He was in an unfamiliar environment possibly filled with hostiles. Without any clear orders, he was at a lost of what to do. Rummaging through Havlek's webbing some more, he tried to get clues. From the mixture of reports he found, it appeared that the expedition was a small one, with this world being a relatively civilized world discovered out in the edges of the Emperor's divine astronomican. It was classified as a feudal world and despite the heavy presence of abhuman populations and filthy mutants on it, quite a verdant paradise, whatever that meant. With only the Inquisitor and his retinue, they had scouted a significant portion of the planet for Emperor and Imperium.

There was no mention of where this Inquisitor has gone however, nor where the rest of his retinue was. Just a name. Lescatie. Was that a city? A person? Regardless, it was a start and the Korpman folded up the reports and stored them in his webbings. He looted the rest of the corpse, finding a worn journal that seen better days and a few matches. Picking up the lasgun, he stood up and marched forward, intent on reestablishing contact with the local Administratum or failing that, anyone loyal to the Imperium. Havlek's mission may have ended with his death, but the Korpman would carry it out for him in the meantime. Orders were orders, no matter where they came from. With iron resolve he marched forward...and blundered right into heresy.

"What is this filth?" thought the Korpman as he stared impassively at the filthy mutants in front of him. They appeared to be locked in a cannibalistic ritual of some sorts, the filthy mutants sucking on each other's face like it was a delicacy. The Korpman was certainly going to blast them to bits but when he fingered the trigger he frowned as the lasgun gave a low whirring noise, signifying him that the lasgun was in fact out of ammo! Preposterous! He should have checked the ammo count before charging into the unknown! Raising the contraption in his other hand, he clicked one of the buttons hoping it was the correct one to activate this ancient relic.

It made a clicking sound and flashed!

And that was it apparently. To his misfortunate the flash also revealed his position and the two filthy mutants jumped in surprise, their frightful eyes quickly finding the Korpman in the foliage nearby. And what a fearsome man he looked, for the Korpman was clad in bloodied, mud covered fatigues. His armor was potmarked all over and he had a missing pauldron that was practically melted from a close hit from a plasma gunner. He had tears all over his uniform and his skulled faced mask put the fear of the unknown into their hearts. They all stood there for a brief moment just staring eachother down, with the monsters looking at the Korpman expectantly and the Korpman mentally figuring out where all his melee weapons had went in preparation for when the filthy mutants attack him.

Nothing. They sort of just stood there confused and the Korpman figured this would be a good time to relocate his position and gather his bearings. Of course any good Korpman would have simply charged in and killed them with his barehands if needed, but for some reason the Korpman felt that wasn't the best move. He didn't understand why, but his instincts never failed him before. Suddenly however they made a noise and he turned around quickly, fully expecting to see an enraged abomination trying to kill him. Instead, the two disgusting mutants started making obscene gestures.

One of them pointed at him, or perhaps his helmet. It made some strange signs with it's hands and reddened, perhaps in fury? But if so, why were they not attacking? The Korpman stared impassively, wondering whether or not he should just ignore his instincts and beat these mutants to a pulp. However reason won out, and the Korpman turned around abruptly and left again, not once looking back even as one of the mutants began yapping again. They were of no danger to him. If he was lucky, something else would kill those mutants. He wondered why they looked familiar though. Didn't some species of xenos have long pointed ears? No matter, if it was important the Regiment would have informed him.

He continued on, checking Hevlak's old orders again and trying to find a reference. There was a mountain range called...something. He's not even sure if that was a word really but he could understand the illustration easily enough. A mountain range, that would be his next destination to go. And lo and behold, once he got to the edge of a cliff he saw a mountain range in front of him. Using a looted binocular, he checked the mountain and the drawing for reference. Aside from a few missing trees, it appeared nearly identical. It was at this moment that he realized the contraption was still whirring. With a curious glance, the Korpman looked at it again, surprised to see the faces of the disgusting mutants locked in their cannibalistic ritual.

Sorcery? No, technology. He marveled at the clear...picture. It was a picture. It was like the ones on the mission board except much clearer and not grainy like the ones the Death Korps had to rely on. The wonders of the Inquisition it seems to have an archeotech from the era of the Great Crusade. So that's why trooper Havlek had this, likely to record the natives, local wildlife, and surroundings. He checked the small journal, scanning the pages for any intel he might need. So this contraption was a camera it seems, and trooper Havlek's job was to record the myriad of native species and wildlife. Disturbingly enough the Korpman found there was many mutant scum on this planet, a race of monsters called Mamono, or just monsters. Fitting.

Some were friendly, others were hostile. Orders are to avoid confrontation whenever possible, as the natives in the land appear to be friendly at first. Then again, these observations are at least decades old and trooper Hevlak didn't just keel over of old age. Regardless, until the Korpman had a way to charge his lasgun or find a suitable melee weapon, he was going to be severely hampered in killing anything with just his fists. As he pocketed the journal to read later when he got to the mountain, he narrowed his eyes as he saw something flying towards.

It was another mutant! He raised his lasgun automatically before remembering he was out of ammo. It was a disgusting mix of some sort of lizard with wings and a human form, the mutant blinking at him in confusion before greeting him.

"Heya!" it said, raising it's goggles up and giving him a cheeky grin. A greeting that was neither returned nor even registered. Instead the Korpman eyed the mutant warily, you never know what these filthy mutants can do.

"Haven't seen you around these parts, nice t'meet ya!" it continued prattling on. It walked over and he tensed up, but he didn't feel like it was hostile. Merely curious. It began poking at him in wonder, still inanely trying to chat with him. It stared at his faceplate fearlessly, or maybe stupidly. It huffed, "Not much of a talker are ye?"

He stared at it impassively. Maybe the mutant will take the hint.

"Heh, I like that! So what'dya up to friend?"

It seems like it didn't. No matter, perhaps this mutant had some use. He grunted and pointed at the mountain range. Trooper Hevlak seems to think these mutants were friendly enough, perhaps he could find some use for them before purging them all later.

"Hm? You wanna head to the granite tops?" it said in confusion, it's brain perhaps working at half capacity of a true human. It blinked and said disdainfully, "Ehh, but there Dragons up there y'know."

He just stared at her blankly, mentally wondering if her use was at it's end here. It began saying some more things, perhaps in embarrassment, but the Korpman ignored it and continued walking down the path. Annoyingly enough the mutant followed him, evidently still trying to chat with him. He ignored it and continued marching towards his objective. Along the way the mutant had tried to fly them both towards the mountain but it was evident that the pathetic mutant was too weak, as it struggled to lift him up even with most of his heavy gear missing.

They reached a rather wide lake along the way, one that the Korpman knew he could not swim.

"Oh yeah, the lake is here." the mutant said, causing the Korpman to look at her blankly, "Maybe there's a boat nearby? I think I saw one here."

For some reason the Korpman felt, was a strange feeling. But he felt annoyed almost, but that wasn't right. They are stoic, perfect soldiers. He shook his head and mentally tried to figure out some solutions as the mutant beside him continued to complain about the lack of flying.

"What're you guys talking about?" said a booming voice, one that had the Korpman turning around quickly and raising his rifle protectively. Besides him the mutant yelped before relaxing. The...thing before them almost resembled a human, almost. But like all the natives he found so far, it was another mutant, one with horns and also a giant it seems. Fantastic. More mutants. Without clear orders, he wasn't sure if he should be purging them right now but they've been passive. So far. The two monsters began conversing while the Korpman merely lowered his rifle, finding it to be passive at the moment. Remembering the stormtrooper's previous mission however, the Korpman decided to take out the camera and snap a quick picture.

While reviewing the photo to determine whether or not it was a good enough picture, the giant mutant suddenly cupped her mouth and shouted!

"Haa...oh TROAAA! SOMEONE'S HERE TO SEE YOU!" it shouted, it's booming voice causing the ground to briefly shake comically. Suddenly across the lake there were two twin splashes of water! It made a beeline right towards them and the Korpman snapped to attention instantly, already alert and ready for battle. When the two silhouettes revealed themselves, the Korpman almost groaned.

"More mutants. Why could't I just be dead." thought the Korpman before banishing the defeatist talk in his mind. An idle mind leads to treachery, he needs to focus. Anything to keep him going. Snapping another picture of the most recent mutant he's seen, the Korpman stashed his camera away again before staring impassively at the mutant.

"What's that creepy thing? Is it bothering you?" it said curiously, giving him a quizzical stare. The mutant following him around replied, "That's your passenger you idiot."

Both Korpman and mutant stared eachother down, a staredown that the Korpman easily won as the mutant scoffed, "Whatever, I don't really trust 'em but let's just get this over with. Get the boat ready Troa."

The two mutants dived down into the water and the Korpman stood at attention still as they brought back a boat, confirmed by the mutant beside him as it uttered, "So that's where the boat went."

He stepped aboard the ship cautiously, testing it's weight and feel and settling down as they moved across the lake. The trip was blessedly silent as his regrettable mutant companion had opted to fly using it's wings instead. When they finally reached the shore, the Korpman just got up and left without even a goodbye. He was pretty sure the mutants were glaring at him but he didn't care. He looked around his new surroundings cautiously, spying mostly trees all around him. Giant trees in fact.

"Ummm..." The Korpman snapped his head towards the voice instantly, already checking to see if they were hostile. It was the other mutant that had guided the boat.

"Are you human?" it asked in bemusement, trying to figure out what was beneath the mask and the dirtied fatigues. The Korpman just stared at it before bringing his finger to his mask, shushing the creature. He heard the beating of wings and he looked up to see his "companion" landing besides him.

"It seems like a straight shot through th' forest here up until the trees start thinnin' out." it said. He acknowledged it's existence by nodding if just briefly before turning and walking towards it. He heard his companion talk to the other mutants before following him but he didn't hear any important information so here merely ignored it. Once again the mutant tried to strike a conversation with him but the stoic Korpman merely ignored it, more intent on scanning their surroundings. Never know when trouble can erupt. And lo and behold, he found it.

He stood still to analyze what he found when the mutant crashed into him. He briefly considered purging it here and there but shoved that stray thought away as he bent down to examine the thin, almost invisible strand of what appears to be some sort of wire strung between two trees and in his path. Following that strand he found it led up to the tree itself. How curious.

"Now that you mention it, you might wanna see this." the mutant said, gesturing down further their path. The Korpman analyzed the forest and found to his displeasure numerous possible traps practically littering the forest. The mutant continued to babble on about things he already knew, though it did raise a good point. Perhaps a different route would be more efficient, but if the Korpman was honest he was getting quite restless. He was about to just soldier on like any good korpman would do when his companion yelped,


Before he could respond to that outburst he was roughly tackled painfully by the filthy mutant into a nearby tree. He was slightly dazed and quite furious at the mutant's close proximity, especially as it was practically engulfing him with it's arms and wings. He vaguely felt uncomfortable and another feeling but he squashed those emotions as they came, opting to analyse this next mess he got into. The little abomination in front of them appeared to be a normal young girl if it weren't for the multiple arachnid limbs and extra eyes. He really should've just purged it here and now, after all this was surely a dangerous creature but his companion apparently seemed only vaguely annoyed. If he was a more expressive person he would have sighed as the two mutants began to prattle on at eachother when the abomination began to make it's excuse.

"I...I was just really lonely is all..." the abomination said shyly, which completely flew over the Korpman's head as he tried to wrap his mind around laying traps because one was feeling lonely. Not to mention attempting to sink it's disgusting fangs into him. Even his companion seemed to share his bemusement and the two of them stared at her impassively. The abomination perked up and offered to show them a good place to camp for the night and the Korpman was going to reject it's offer when he felt himself nearly keel over. He angrily shoved the mutant off him and it had the decency to blush. Seeing how he was operating at less then peak efficiency and the abomination, blasphemous as it's appearance was, appeared to be passive at the moment.

"The Emperor Protects." the Korpman said silently in his head as his companion and him followed the now chatty abomination. To be fair though, the spot was quite good. It was clear, they had their backs to the edge of the cliff, and the view was quite advantageous. After helping to create a fire with the matches he looted, the Korpman scanned their surroundings for hostiles with his binoculars while his two tag alongs chatted with eachother.

The Korpman felt quite uneasy if he was honest. The surroundings he was in was, unusual to him. Rarely did the Death Korps ever been to a world so...alive. Bright blue skies, healthy and green surroundings, and pleasant weather. Truly this was a horrid place to be. He much preferred the muddy hellscape he's seen his entire life. The muddy fields broken by chains of barb wire, craters from explosions, and untold numbers of corpses. He felt naked in this world. Without a familiar sight he felt, lost. Then the Korpman steeled himself as he recited some prayers and litanies in his mind. The God-Emperor's will is unknown to him. If he, a lowly servant, must brave a strange world like this, then the Korpman would do so. Strange how these mutants were free to frolic though. Then again...were they mutants? All his life mutants were the scum of the galaxy, next to xenos of course. Mutants were twisted creatures, parodies of the holy human form and often times corrupted by the tendrils of chaos.

They are unrepentant monsters, yet these mutants...perhaps they were really abhumans? For all their extra parts, they appeared human enough. They certainly don't look like the horrid creatures touched by Chao's "gifts" nor as a result of heretek tampering. Based on what he's seen so far, they appear...passive. Not trustworthy but nothing to mindlessly purge either. Perhaps they were this world's abhumans, though for a planet to have this many different abhumans already is quite a feat. Besides his companion has been quite helpful so far, despite her eccentricities and reptilian wings.

"What should I do...?" wondered the Korpman as he walked away from the now dozing pair of...abhumans...well maybe not the arachnid abomination. He's not sure how he feels about that creature yet... "Emperor guide me."

Finding a nice secluded tree to sit by, the Korpman set his gear down before settling himself in. He much preferred a nice trench to sleep in, but with a lack of a good entrenching tool he'll have to make due. Closing his eyes, the Korpman drifted off to sleep.

This was strange. Where was he?

The Korpman was surrounded by corpses...corpses as far as the eye can reach. All of them the same greatcoat and gasmask clad guardsmen he recognized as his own. Death Korps casualties everywhere, creating a macabre carpet of bodies. All around him laid the bodies of his comrade in arms, their bodies broken and bloodied.

"Dead to the last man. A good death for the Emperor." thought the Korpman as walked in the void, surrounded by countless dead comrades. He blinked as he noticed a bright light illuminating the ground, it was even coming towards him. Suddenly from that light a daemon arose. A Bloodthirster daemon...

It opened it's mouth, as if to roar. The Korpman fearlessly charged at the blasphemous creature. "This is it then?" he thought. "A Daemon of Khorne? AVE. IMPERATOR!"

Man and Daemon charged at each other, fists raised high and their blood boiling for a fight. The daemon opened its horrid mouth and the Korpman opened his own mouth, fully intent on screaming praise to the Emperor for his final battle when everything suddenly seemed to black out. The corpse ridden void disappeared. The Bloodthirster disappeared. The light disappeared.

The Korpman woke suddenly. He jolted as if suddenly shocked awake and blinked from behind his mask. He groggily scanned the area around him for what could have interrupted his redemption and found nothing but the green scenery from last night. Although...

He blinked in confusion as he moved his arms, finding that they were held in the grip of his two recent companions, the abomination and the abhuman. "I could've sworn they were sleeping by the campfire..."

He shook his arms a little and very nearly frowned as they refused to let go, the both of them quite comfortably cuddling up next to his arms. With a grunt, the Korpman got loose, having managed to loosen his arm from the abhuman's grip. The abomination's grip was something else though and he pried it off, using a surprising amount of finesse and being uncharacteristically gentle. He escaped their grasps, cut the silky wire connected to him, and got his gear before moving on again. It would only be later when he was a good distance away that he suddenly froze.

"Why didn't I just kill that abomination?" thought the Korpman, as unlike the abhuman, there was no way that mutant would be considered a sanctioned abhuman, not to mention it did mention wanting to sink its fangs into his neck. The Korpman shook his head however and continued on regardless, steeling his soul and thinking, "The Emperor works in mysterious ways I cannot hope to comprehend."

As he continued along the way he noticed a commotion by the campsite again. Ducking into a cave, he took out his binoculars and surveyed the area again. It was the abhuman, likely just risen awake, flying around looking for him. If he strained his ears he could almost hear her calling out for him...

The Korpman stood up and dusted himself off. He was better off alone without them helping him anyhow. He fingered around his webbing again and began looking for any ammunition. All he found were some rounds he was unknown with, seemingly compatible with his lasgun. They were called "TRANQ" rounds, whatever those were. Regardless, ammo was ammo and the Korpman tinkered with his lasgun in order to load them. Once he was done he continued down the cave, the subterranean tunnel actually quite worn.

Someone must've been down here recently. Fresh tracks, though the Korpman was by no means an excellent scout. Still, maybe he can find some clues in this area. Walking down the cave, he noticed a set pillars, and then another set and another set. At the end of it was a dilapidated entrance, the walls and doors having seen better days but still quite serviceable. Without an ounce of fear the Korpman opened the giant doors and walked through. At the end of it laid a hoard of what appeared to be treasures. Useless frivolities in the Korpman's opinion but never the less he walked down to investigate. Perhaps they'll be something of use for him. However a voice called out, an insidious voice that had him lifting his lasgun up and scanning for hostiles in a moment's notice.

"So...the Emperor's dog finally arrives..." it continued on, the Korpman scanning the area calmly and trying to pinpoint the voice's whereabouts. "So truly have no idea why you are here. But it is no concern of mine..."

The Korpman felt a presence behind him. Turning around he was brought face to face with what looked to be another mutant, but this one was more menacing and openly hostile. It smiled at him cruelly,

"For now the only purpose left for you is to DIE!" with that the mutant pounced and the Korpman fearlessly faced her.

"AVE IMPERATOR!" he shouted in defiance before the two clashed.

AN: So this story's practically a story adaption over RicedawgV2's heretical and sickenly cute comic called Death Korp Quest on deviantart. You can find it here, ricedawgv2/gallery/57599127/death-korp-quest, I have no idea if links work but if that fails just search up "RicedawgV2. He's got some cool art. He's also been inactive since 2017 which is a real damn shame since I really enjoyed his comic. So yeah, this is not really an original idea, all credit goes to him.

Anyhow I wrote this to satisfy my muse in the meantime. Really was interested in what was going on within this gasmask mook's brain. Glory to the Emprah! Hope it's enjoyable. Hope this is also not stealing either.