Authors note: Hey everyone long time, no update. Anyway combined with life, writers block and idea after idea popping in to my head I haven't updated any stories at all. However reading Warhammer Lexicanum I came across this story about a Ratling sniper and I had to write a one shot on it. Please be aware that due to the nature of Ratling's (Look it up) there will be swear words, lewd thoughts, etc, but nothing much beyond that.
This will also be a small practice for my upcoming highly realistic Warhammer self insert. Getting used to particular words and sayings etc. So enjoy and remember to leave a review!
The Ratling sniper squad slipped through the sharp brambles of the green and red alien plant in to the little clearing, making sure to avoid its sharp poisonous thorns. They had been tasked by command to scout ahead of the main force. Several close call victories, unprecedented resistance and brilliant tactics had injected high command with a healthy respect for their Tau foes. Of course this didn't douse their fervour to exterminate the Xeno who had been stealing Imperial planets with underhanded tactics for the past few decades. As such they had proceeded cautiously, sending recon teams to scout ahead of the main advance for any waiting Xenos while the Imperial Navy maintained watch over the skies and space above the planet.
The planet that was the focus of the Damocles Crusade was the major Tau Sept of Dal'yth. Tau cities dotted the surface architecture made to symbolise the strength of the Tau caste system and more specifically the Earth caste, the builders and architects. Well made and sophisticated road systems lined the surface and country communities maintained the agriculture and food supply. The Sept was also known for its high amount of Water caste Tau, the traders and Ambassadors of the Tau. They maintained rich mansions and estates on the planet where they entertained the high ranked of each caste and the leader caste, the Ethereal's. Above the planet were orbital stations housing the Air caste, tall long limbed Tau who had evolved to the low gravity of space flight, these were the pilots and starship crews of the Tau navy, both Merchants and Military. Meanwhile defending the planet from scattered military bases and security teams on board the orbital stations and Tau fleet were the Fire Caste, the warriors of the Tau. Naturally more strong, aggressive and martial minded than their kin, they formed the backbone of the Tau army.
Now however the fleet was decimated, the orbital stations destroyed husks, the rich mansions and estates abandoned and rural citizens in hiding. Only the cities were relatively safe though not for long as the Imperial army advanced along the much appreciated road systems.
We know come to the little (Pun intended) hero of the story Sergeant Magogg who was the leader of the six man sniper squad. Said Sergeant sighed as he finally sat down and rested his sore feet. His compatriots banter up lifted his spirits though.
"God Emperor I LOVE human women, I mean they're the best. And this one was insatiable! She was so tight as well, curvy in all the right places-"
"Grurner" interrupted Patrick to the now identified Ratling. "As I seem to remember you were slapped by six women, nearly executed by a commissar, chased by a mob and nearly cascarated by that busty Sororitas before you found said woman"
The rest of the squad laughed at the now blushing Ratling who mumbled a few objections.
In the squad was Sergeant 'Mad dog' Magogg, Corporal Patrick and Privates Grurner, Private Wilkinson, the Vox operator and the twins Private Beckett and Arnold. Magogg was the most senior and serious and the restraining hand on Ratling's overly friendly nature in the Sombre Imperial guard, Grurner the embodiment of Ratling promiscuity and friendliness Corporal Patrick a combination of his superior and Grurner. Wilkinson was the brains on tech knowing his way around nearly every system when it came to communications. And then the twins Beckett and Arnold who were the quiet ones. Always willing to have a laugh and first in to the breach but usually keeping to themselves.
Relaxing at the banter of his squad, he was proud to notice even talking they crept just as quietly as if they concentrating, maintained formation, observed their surroundings like hawks and joked in the barest whispers and chuckles. They were all as close as Flint world pie and say what you want about Ratling's laidback attitude, in Magogg's opinion, the best sniper unit in the crusade.
The rest of the squad came to a halt in the clearing as they were due for their check in with command. Their Vox carrier Wlikinson passed the receiver to him so he prepared for his check in.
"Command this is Ratling squad Alpha-020193 Sergeant Magogg transmitting progress report."
"Receiving you Sergeant transferring you to a Ratling Vox operator now."
Magogg rolled his eyes at the need to have a dedicated Vox operator. However particularly...religious...minded guardsmen had created problems when transmitting reports and requests from Abhuman squads, falsifying reports to make them look bad, throwing abuse down the Vox line and sometimes not even passing on said reports and requests. While uncommon it still happened enough that command has Abhuman Vox operators brought in to handle the Abhuman reports and as such not hinder the flow of the battle.
"Mad dog, Magogg is that you!?"Shouted a familiar voice over the Vox
"Larkas" asked Magogg is surprise "I thought you went through early retirement with your wife?"
"Oh no, this is my last tour, then I get back to my lovely wife and live out our days eating, drinking, partying, farting and screwing!"
Magogg smiled at his friend's usual attitude but was nervous. It wasn't unheard of for commissars to listen in on communications to make sure of Vox discipline.
"It's good to hear from you again Larkas but I have a report." He said firmly.
"Ahh" said Larkas said instantly getting the message. "Proceed with your report Sergeant" the change in attitude was startling.
"As ordered we have ranged ahead of the main force to an extent of 20 miles. No activity can be reported though tracks following the designations of 'Stealthsuits' have been found. The tracks lead away from the main advance and following them would mean considerable deviation from the original mission so we continued on. Various rural villages and estates have been found but long abandoned and no booby traps located. We are now located at extreme range from the front and awaiting orders. Emperor ble-."
Just as he was about to finish his report the mid pitch wum-wum of Tau troopships sounded to the right, virtually above them.
Forgetting about the report and dropping the receiver, Magogg and his squad immediately dropped to the ground and covered themselves with their camo-cloaks, pulling their Long-las's with them. Once the transports had passed and they were clear, Magogg motioned for Wilkinson to come back over where he grabbed the receiver.
"Command, this is Sergeant Magogg"
"Magogg! What happened?"
"Tau presence confirmed, we were just flown over by Tau transports that appear to be landing nearby, were moving to observe, confirm."
"Confirmed Sergeant, good luck".
Handing the receiver back to Wilkinson Magogg motioned the squad to move forward and they slowly moved to the outskirts of the thorny shrub, their small bodies allowing them to fit in-between thorny branches and small spaces demonstrating why they were favoured recon units in the Imperial guard. They observed in amazement as a convoy of five devilfish Grav tanks drop ships dropped to the grassy plain below only three hundred metres away from their concealed position. Magogg proceeded to watch the events through his Long-Las scope, the rest of his squad following his example.
They were further amazed when a platoon strength force of Stealthsuits de-stealthed in front of the convoy and a line of camouflaged fire warriors emerged from the trees. Alongside them also came six of the now infamous 'battle suits' that could go toe to toe with the Astartes. The Grav tanks doors opened and their occupants climbed out. They were unlike the rest of the Tau planetary forces. Their armour, instead of green with blue highlights and a white under suit, was Tan with white highlights and a black under suit; it was also heavier and thicker with armour parts covering places that were uncovered on the other soldiers. And lastly they are also obviously better. While the Tau troops who had come out of the tree line were no doubt professional, these new elites put them to shame, staying in strict formation, sweeping their sights in sectors and their movements wasted no energy, they reminded Magogg of Stormtroopers. They carried an ornamental knife at their waist as well. He also noticed they made a bee line for the middle Grav tank that the others transport had landed around. They formed in a sharp half circle around the rear bay doors, half facing towards them and the other half facing outwards keeping an eye on the surrounding area. Magogg began to suspect...
The rear bays dropped open and three figures stepped out flanking the one in the middle, one was one of the 'elite' fire warriors while the other was a helmetless Tau. It...She was female with flowing red hair that was mostly confined in a high pony tail at the back. It surprised Magogg that it was a woman in charge of the unit.
Including women in the Imperial guard was purely a matter of the culture that the regiment came from, and from which it drew its recruits. Such regiments that included women in its ranks typically came from fully civilised worlds such as hive worlds while feudal or death world would generally not have women in its regiments thought that wasn't always the case. The Brimlock Dragoons for example that they were currently serving with came from a feudal world and didn't allow women to serve much to Grurner's disappointment.
The woman in charge was obviously experienced judging from the three scars across her face and marks on her armour which was marked with more white highlights than the others. She directed her troops with clear authority as well as she commanded them to positions around the convoy. When she was satisfied she respectfully bowed her head to the figure still in the troopship.
The figure slowly descended and Magogg didn't miss how all the Tau assembled including the Camouflaged Tau, Stealthsuits and Battlesuits seemed to turn to her. She was obviously a leader or officer of some sort. She wore long flowing robes and carried an elaborate and ornate staff. He also noticed how apart from the robes, a long loin cloth, and a large top covering her upper chest, how scantily clad she was. Her naked long blue legs deftly walked down the ramp as she talked to the female Fire Warrior leader. Taking his eyes off the scope he looked at the ground and thought.
This was a problem. Per his orders he and his squad was to sabotage or eliminate any high value target he came across, AA guns, defences, factory's, officers, leaders. However the woman's now identified body guards were vigilant and at least four were always looking in their direction. If they fired they would no doubt see the telltale beam of the Las weapon, identifying their position and condemning them to death. But if they did nothing and command found out they let such a lucrative target get away they would be in big trouble. Magogg shuck his head. They weren't some religious fanatics who would throw their lives away just to form a ladder for their fellows. If they had a shot they would take it but they couldn't virtually commit suicide. Grurner's voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Those two fine ladies look mighty close to me. You think they get in too some hot, sweaty, alien lesbian action? What I would give too-" he was interrupted by Magogg's fist grabbing his collar and dragging him to the Sergeants face.
"Listen here. If we get a shot we are going to take it. This means we are going to kill those officers. So have some damn respect and get your head out of the gutter!" Magogg snarled. Grurner swallowed.
"Yes sir, sorry sir."
Shoving him back to his position the Sergeant activated his Vox bead to his scattered squad.
"All right, spread out in the bush and take sniping positions, wait for me to give targets and the order to shoot. If we get the opportunity as soon as you take your shot, you high tail it out of here and we rendezvous back at the last farm we cleared, Wilkinson, before you move, radio command and update them with the situation, clear?
He got five clicks back from his squad and he heard only the slightest rustle as they moved to better positions. Already knowing where he would go he moved in to the small cove of trees at the end of the clearing and started climbing the tallest tree. Reaching a thick branch in which he could lay down his small body he looked out of the large gap in the leaves. It was an ideal sniping position, offering a commanding view of the grassy plain his targets were on. He waited until he got the five clicks showing his troops were in position. He then observed for targets.
The two obvious targets were the two women, the fire warrior and her superior. The next four targets became immediately obvious as four men had joined the women and were in conference. One was in a Stealthsuit but the large bulbous front section had slid up and over the top and was now nestled on his upper back and head. The other way in a battlesuit with the front chest folded outward to show the pilot inside. This left both of their heads and upper torsos exposed making it easier to talk but also easier to kill. Exposing yourself so was stupid in a warzone but understandable when you're twenty miles behind the lines surrounded by four tanks, over a hundred warriors and six killing machines. The thrid was an unassuming fire warrior but his white helmet showed his rank. And last was a man virtually identical to the fire warrior with white helmet but his armour was lighter, his gun shorter and his helmet was more angular.
He radioed the squad there targets while he himself took out the leader in robes. Now all they needed was an opportunity to shoot without being spotted.
The six officers had finished talking and the female fire warrior was making motions to escort her charge back in to the devilfish, the other body guards were also slowly making their way back to their own transports. Magogg was suddenly afraid, would they miss their targets?
The woman in robes suddenly made motions towards the gathered troops who were waiting for their officers to return and said something. While the Stealthsuit, Battlesuit and Fire warrior officers seemed to be enthusiastic and nodded the female bodyguard seemed to disagree and talked heatedly with the robed woman. Eventually sighing with defeat the female bodyguard nodded her head and the body guards moved back in to position around the woman who had clambered aboard her Devilfish transport. The officers then motioned for their men to gather round. The robes woman motioned to her bodyguards who also joined the crowd. Magogg couldn't believe it, she was giving a speech! This was perfect, not only did she just withdraw the problem of being seen as they were all facing to the transports but being assassinated during a speech would only heighten the drop in morale. Though the War-weary part of his mind sighed, the devious side wished he could hear what she was saying so he could time it perfectly.
"Prepare to fire" he whispered in to his Vox bead. Five clicks answered him.
Everyone was looking at her with their full attention, even her dedicated female bodyguard who had given up trying to look alert and was looking at her superior with the same devotion that everyone else in the crowd was displaying. Then the moment came.
She virtually pointed at the grove in which the snipers were hiding, towards the advancing Imperials shouting passionately. Then she followed her arm and looked at where the snipers were hiding. A puzzled look appeared on her face almost like she saw them. Looking back he decided she had seen the light reflecting on the scopes
"Fire" he ordered over his Vox bead. He pulled the trigger.
Long-Las's were more powerful than their Lasgun cousins; they were overpowered so as to penetrate the heaviest personal armour. As such a Long-Las's barrel needed to be changed every twenty to fifty shots depending on power setting.
Because of this and the lack of armour a Long-las beam impacting on organics guaranteed a grisly death.
The robed woman's face caved in under super charged beam, bone and skin boiled away and then brain melted before the shot exited her head. She fell off her make do pedestal sliding off the tank to fall on to the mud below. Similar fates befell the other officers who fell to the ground like puppets with their strings cut. However the female officer was spared her friends fate. She had decided to step off the tank where she had followed her superior up, maybe feeling it was not her fate. The shot had missed her head by millimetres however would leave a nasty burn.
There was a second of shocked silence and then chaos erupted. Some turned to where the shot came from and then turned back the slain Tau, unsure what to do, some fell to the ground in shock, and some ran to the fallen woman and officers, the woman holding her horribly burned head was trying to get to her dead superior. One thing was common though, chaos.
Magogg was shocked at this fall in discipline, the disarray, panic and confusion, the almost ludicrous grief the Tau had for one woman. But the rest of his squad was already running for it (Stealthily) and he had to do the same.
He couldn't help but think of the beautiful, noble Tau leader who had spoken to her troops with obvious kindness and passion even though you couldn't hear her words, now sprawled in the mud, with no to little face to speak off. In real war there was no clean wounds and noble falls, only what had befallen on the Tau he was running from.
Once free of the shrub, he bolted, the angry and grief stricken cries of a hundred Tau calling behind him.
A/U: Ok, done. The story really interested me when I found it. The first known kill of a Tau Ethereal by the Ratling sniper Magogg. Though there wasn't a lot of information you can consider this event lore friendly and not made in my imagination. Anyway even though this is a one-shot if enough people want it I will do two more chapters, one of the Tau POV and one of the aftermath.