Rattemburg Fortress, Staging grounds for the Imperial Guard on the world of Arrant Secundus

Major Jamil Verst tried shifted idly on her bed in one of the cramped and smelly rooms that passed out as officers' quarters in the old fortress that her regiment (the 644th Jahangir Mechanized Janissaries) and other three were gathered in preparation for the main attack against the rebel salient between the Imperial forces and the planetary capital. The original plan called for these regiments to be deployed against the Ork forces in the nearby Bahanesh System but the sudden rebellion of the planetary governor forced the Crusade's High Command to divert several regiments to stamp out the rebellion.

Arrant Secundus on itself was an unremarkable agri-world with a few million inhabitants, what made it important enough to receive the attention of five regiments was its proximity to Arrant Prime, a Hive World and major supply nexus for the Crusading forces in the Kariasi Sector. It was left unsaid but everyone feared that the taint of Chaos was responsible for the rebellion and while official propaganda made no mention of it the fortress was buzzing with rumors about Inquisitors running amok in the countryside. Regardless of involvement from the Ruinous Powers or not, the planet was still in open rebellion against the Imperium and that was enough reason for the Hammer of the Emperor to fall upon the overly confident and ambitious governor of this backwater. Nevertheless, the possibility of facing the servants of the Chaos Gods lingered on the back of Vert's mind, and it was enough to make her afraid: it was an open secret that many regiments met untimely ends after facing heretic forces.

With too much on her mind too sleep and that damn smell burning her nostrils the small major jumped off the bed and crossed the small room to the table covered with documents and data slates. With no chance of sleeping she could at least do something useful with her time like review the reconnaissance reports. But before she could concentrate someone shouted from the other side of the door:

"Ma'am, General Purgatchev is calling for a general briefing." Came the voice of Captain Samia of the fourth company, a tall and menacing woman with short black hair, good for intimidating local officers and with numbers.

With an overly-dramatic sigh Jamil stood up once again and shouted back:

"Just a moment! You can go on without me!" There was no reply so she assumed that Samia had left.

After hitting the chair with her right leg and cursing the small room for a few more minutes Jamil finally reached out for her grey uniform shirt decorated with golden buttons (that weren't really made of gold) and a silver number one on the left breast pocket, that marked Jamil as commander of the 1st Company along with the silver officer's cap and a laspistol because you can never be too sure...

-Twenty minutes later, Main Briefing room of Rattemberg

Colonel Arban of the 29th Hattian fought back the urge to roll his eyes and laugh at the assorted collection of officers gathered in the briefing room, women from the so-called "Jahangir Mechanized Janissaries", hairy barbarians and shaved criminals from the 15th Valdivian, none of them real soldiers in the mind of the Colonel Arban, cannon fodder at the best and at worst a liability to his men, the proud soldiers of Hatti, they were true soldiers and devout servants of the God-Emperor and the best armored regiment in the whole Crusade, a proud boast but true, sadly he could only show his superiority against the pathetic rebel PDF that this backwater had managed to muster, a mere speed bump before his disciplined tank crews.

Arban's attention was caught by the arrival of an officer from the "Janissaries", another girl playing soldier, for an all-female regiment one could at least expect some beautiful uniforms but the exaggerated silver colors and simple clothes made them look like a simple planetary militia. Seeing the general air of inelegance would have made Arban and his fine officers feel insulted, these regiments and this battlefield was beneath the 29th. Right now the 98th Vostroyan was advancing alone to the second largest city in this miserable planet without any decent opposition, as far as he was concerned his men could take the planet alone easily. There was simply no reason for him and his tanks to be deployed in this bucolic backwater when there were far greater threats to crush and far more important planets to conquer for the God Emperor and Mankind.

His daydreams were interrupted when General Radom Purgatchev of the 98th Vostroyan finally arrived, flanked by a scarred Commissar with half of his face replaced by bionics and another Vostroyan officer in an equally pompous Vostroyan regiment was a different matter altogether, Arban respected the Firstborn, their long and honored tradition always preceded them and during the occasions that the Hattian armor served with the red-coated warriors Arban could see by himself that there was no exaggeration in the reputation of the sons of Vostroya. Their obsession with mustaches and facial hair was silly, specially for someone like Arban who was raised with the image of a bald and shaved warrior with a perfect skin and dashing good looks slaughtering the inhuman foes of Men.

General Purgatchev saluted the other officers as he walked to the podium in the center of the large room. Without a word he pressed a few runes in the podium and the central map shifted to show the advance of the 98th on a 3-D map of the continent

"My friends…"The general started to speak in a worried tone. "There has been a change of plans." He paused again, pressing more runes and changing the map to a hilly area. "My troops have found stiff resistance in the main road" He pressed more runes and icons flashed in the map. "My men have met the first organized resistance since we reached the planet and have been forced to stop in a fortified line manned by the traitors. And while the line can be broken with a determined push I do not wish to waste men on this backwater theater." The general paused yet again and Arban was getting annoyed with the man's inability to get to the point. "I have decided to transfer the 644th to the assault against Kathay City. Colonel Jugurtha, you and your girls are going to take an alternate route." He paused and pressed yet more buttons, by the Throne, how hard is to speak and press a few buttons at the same time? "Mapped by my personal advisor, captain Serbatchev, he will also be accompanying you to ensure success." But before the Janissary colonel could reply the Vostroyan commander turned to Arban. "That means that I'm sending your boys to support the attack on the capital, the rebel positions in the Southern plains can wait."

Spearheading the assault on the capital? That sounded good! The 29th Hattian armored regiment smashing through the enemy positions and bringing the rebel governor back in chains, another glorious victory for the Hattian guardsmen, it would almost make up for being deployed in this sideshow. But Arban's good mood disappeared as soon as he remembered that five companies from the barbarians and criminals from the 15th were already deployed cleaning the valleys that surrounded the capital city. The thought of working with these savages was displeasing to say the least...but then again, he could always use the scum to soften the enemy defenses and open the way for his men to deliver a swift and decisive blow to the rebels. Yes, that would be excellent!

Arban was so lost in his own thoughts that he didn't noticed the major of the 15th Valdivian approaching him nor his own officers calling his attention to that. It was only when the major slapped him in the back saying something about looking forward to working together that dragged the colonel away from his daydreams with an undignified yelp. To his credit Arban regained his composure fairly quickly and shook the extended hand of the major, with some hesitance and disgust of course, his fine silken gloves would surely be ruined by contact with this brute and Emperor knows what skin conditions the brute might have. The major was big, brown skinned with an unkempt pitch black hair and beard with a large scar across his forehead, he was saying something but between the accent and his ongoing analysis of the man Arban didn't heard anything, he just nodded with contempt and walked away followed by the other Hattian officers, he had a long night ahead planning the new operation and readying his troops.

Near Kadari Valley. Behind the rebel front

Inquisitor Hector Ranulph wiped the blood from his power blade and sighed, another false lead and more time wasted. Hopefully his subordinates in the north, near Kathay City were having more luck. His own merry group of good servants of the God-Emperor had arrived a few weeks before the main guard contingent and since then had been infiltrating the planet and looking for signs of Chaotic corruption and so far nothing was found that could safely link the rebellion to the taint of Heresy, technically of course, the simple act of rebellion was heresy. But there was heresy and there was Heresy, with H. The former involved ambitious and overconfident politicians while the latter was just the same but with more Daemons and Warp sorcery.

"Your Lordship?" His interrogator, Kalenko, started. "What should we do now?"

"Well my boy, it's clear that there was no temple dedicated to the foul powers of the Warp here." Hector replied with frustration." Just another communications post commanded by an annoying rebel who never knew when to shut up!" He finished, kicking the maimed body of the rebel in question, that at the moment was laying at his feet with some heinous wounds.

"But, we shouldn't lose faith. The Emperor is merely testing us and when we find the source of heresy in this miserable ball of dirt we shall do our duty as His servants."Hector continued with more calm and a smile on his face."What we're going to do is head straight to the capital. It's our best shot of finding the source of heresy and the ones behind this rebellion."

"And since the Guard is near we could use the distraction of the battle to enter the city with ease!" Kalenko continued, clearly satisfied by his own deduction.

"Exactly my boy."Hector replied happily."Now let's go back outside, the smell of this place offends my senses and I'm sure that our 'glory boys' are getting restless with nothing to do and just Illiav as company." The inquisitor finished, placing an arm over his subordinate's shoulder and leading him out of the room filled with ruined communication equipment and dead rebels.

And that's it, the first chapter, please review, tell me if I got any part of the fluff wrong, send suggestions and etc.

The original idea of the Kariasi Crusade is from Starseed of the Alternate History forums, original regiments were created using 1d4chan Regiment creation tables

Warhammer 40 000 belongs to Games Workshop