The Kariasi Crusade

-Rattemburg Fortress, Secondary Strategy room B-2

Major Wodan surveyed the tactical map that occupied the center of the room, constantly updated by orbital and field reports. Yesterday, captain Isned's Third Company had finally overwhelmed the final defensive lines of the valleys surrounding Breintenfeld with acceptable losses, soon the other three companies in the area would move to encircle the planetary capital and wait for the rest of the regiment and the Hattians to start the assault. Of course, to do that he needed to talk with the Hattian colonel and the pompous buffoon was already two hours late...

Just as Wodan was about to ask for someone to look for the Hattians the colonel and his cronies arrived, somehow even more well dressed and arrogant than in the last general briefing. Surely with the intent of showing their superiority over the "savage rabble", every once in a while the 15th had to work with a particularly stuck up and arrogant regiment that took a special delight in showing off their perceived superiority. Nevertheless, Wodan had to tolerate the colonel and his spoiled brats for the good of the campaign and his own men

"Greetings colonel Arban, by the Throne, it's a honor to work with such respected regiment as the 15th Hattian." Wodan said in High Gothic, smiling and approaching the new arrivals to greet them.

"No need for pleasantries Major, let's plan this operation, I'm a busy man." Arban replied in Low Gothic waving dismissively in an disinterested tone.

"Ah! An objective man." Wodan replied laughing before gesturing to the tactical display."Follow me please."

The Hattian officers waited for colonel Arban to nod towards the table to move, settling on the right side while the Valdivians stayed on the left one. Wodan coughed to get the attention of the officers and started:

"As you can see from this map we have passed through the last defensive lines of the enemy before the city itself, our scouts have already determined that the traitor PDF forces have deployed considerable forces on a series of three fortified lines surrounding the city."

"Are you sure about that? It would be more logical for them to deploy their forces in the city itself where the urban terrain would favor the defender." A Hattian officer interrupted.

"I'm sure and that means that either our enemy is deploying the bulk of his forces out of the city or he has much more men than we thought...and I doubt that they would risk getting their forces encircled on the outskirts of the city..."Wodan replied.

"The only way they could afford such increase in numbers is by conscripting the women, the elderly, the invalids and arming them with subpar weapons, a weak rabble that will break as soon as my tanks are in sight!"Arban announced triumphantly.

"So far our scouts have yet to find this 'rabble' that you speak of, colonel." Wodan replied but before he could continued Arban interrupted him.

"They're hiding in the city itself, clearly a ploy to make us hesitant and delay the attack on the city, I will not be fooled by these yokels!The enemy is on its last legs and we just need one final push to break them. With any luck as soon as they see the first Leman Russ in the horizon they will surrender and beg for mercy"Another Hattian officer joined the conversation, soon followed by his friends.

Wodan sighed...this was going to be a long day...

Kadari valley Command Post for the 15th

Colonel Mikonas took his time to savor the military-grade rations in the dimly-lit command room of the hastily-repaired bunker taken from the rebels a few days before, there were dozens of scorch marks on the walls, a few pools of dried blood and the portrait of the rebel governor had been replaced by one of the God-Emperor gloriously smiting a xeno. Over the years he had learned to treasure the short moments of respite, without a shadow of doubt he would soon be flooded by more reports from his scouts and probing units, the colonel kept sending these small groups to check enemy positions and look for weak spots but so far the only thing they managed to do was to increase the casualty lists and occupy more beds in the field hospital. At the current rate he had no option but wait for the other three companies under the command of Major Wodan and the Hattian tanks to try to achieve a breakthrough. But even if they managed to break the outer trench lines the Imperial Guard would still have to take the city itself. And in the narrow streets that made up most of the city the Guard tanks would be almost useless. Then he realized that he had finished his ration pack and hadn't even stopped to enjoy the flavor. With a silent curse and sigh he threw the wrapping on the floor and tried to relax while he still could

Mikonas then heard the door opening. Soon his aide entered the room but the man was pale and more nervous than usual and accompanied by another soldier, the colonel was about to ask who the other soldier was, but the man in question, a short and stocky man with balding hair and a thin mustache, pulled an Inquisitorial Seal from a pocket

Frakk. Was all that Mikonas had time to think before the Inquistor started to speak, in a cheery tone with a surprisingly friendly voice:

"Colonel Mikonas Cylades, congratulations, your regiment has been deemed worthy of serving the Holy Inquisition and the Divine God-Emperor of Mankind."

"And what do you need?"Mikonas managed to say after a few blurted attempts. An Inquisitor on Arrant Secundus? That meant that the rumors were true and there was indeed something really bad on the planet. The 15th Valdivian had no previous experience fighting against heretics but even they heard the rumors about what kinds of heresy were worthy enough to gain the attention of the Inquisition and what happened with the poor soldiers involved.

"I'm Inquisitor Hector Ranulph, Ordo Hereticus and I'm here to investigate if the heresy of this planetary governor was caused by reasons other than simple ambition."The Inquisitor replied still cheery as ever, Ranulph then sat down on a metal box laying near his chair and turned to the colonel's aide. "You can go now boy." As soon as he heard that the assistant bolted out of the room.

The Inquisitor snorted and said: "I told him that if word got out that an Inquisitor was here I would shoot him."Then he dropped the friendly facade, his face now with a serious expression and his voice much more stern."And I will colonel, the same goes to you."

Before the threat could sink in the friendly facade had returned and the Ranulph continued:

"I need to get inside the city and I can't do that with it surrounded by rows of heretics and traitors. I need your regiment to open a hole in their lines and distract the enemy, then I can take a unit of your men along with my retinue through the sewers."

"But sir..."Mikonas replied, with all respect he could muster."The enemy defenses are strong, if I attacked now we would not be able to take the city! We don't have the numbers for a assault, even breaking through the outer defenses would be a slaughter, if Your Highness could wait a few more days then we would be able to provide the support that you need.

"Time is essential colonel. The Emperor's Justice cannot be delayed because you're afraid of losing men. You command a Penal Legion Mikonas, and we all know what is the purpose of a Penal Legion."The Inquisitor replied.

"You have to understand sir..."But the colonel was once again interrupted.

"No!You don't understand."The Inquisitor said rasing his voice and leaning towards Mikonas, now clearly angry."I have a duty to our Immortal Lord and if my suspicions are right I must act fast or the whole Crusade could be disrupted. I will carry my duty and it's the duty of every loyal servant of the Emperor to help me." The Inquisitor stopped awfully close to Mikonas' face, his voice now almost a whisper: "So tell me colonel,are you a loyal servant of the Emperor?"

Mikonas just nodded, usually he would not tolerate being talked to like that but when dealing with the Inquisition things like personal pride and notions of personal space have to be ignored.

"Good, I shall give you two days to prepare for the attack...draw your attack routes, man the captured guns do what you usually the meantime I will study which men I shall request as escorts to complement my retinue."Ranulph replied smiling and sliding back in his chair. "Do you have any recaf around here anywhere?" He continued,looking around the room for a mug while the colonel silently cursed himself for condemning many of his men to an uncessary death.

Outskirts of Rattemberg Fortress

The Armored column drove in a tight formation, Leman Russ tanks,half of the regiment's armored company, in the front and rearguard while Chimeras and other vehicles surrounded the Basilisks of the artillery company. The last convoy of the Jahangir Mechanized Janissaries had departed. The whole regiment, over 25 000 soldiers had been organized into 12 armored convoys that would then follow the "alternate routes" in groups of three convoys while other three (including the artillery and the elite 1st Company) would reinforce the Vostroyans directly. A sound plan colonel Jugurtha had to admit but it would be better if she had the chance to offer any tactical input. But no! The good General and his 'tactical advisor' had thought of everything! No need to worry about that, no need to stress yourself girls!We're just being gentlemen!. Well, at least they had found a subtle way to call her and her troops incompetent.

That wasn't new to her, machismo and the antiquated notion of women being inferior soldiers were a constant obstacle faced by the Jannissaries. But the general could at least not send a smooth-talking bastard to babysit her regiment, the 'honored advisor' had flirted with every trooper and officer he had came across, and only strict orders kept them from beating the Firstborn officer to a pulp and causing another "unfortunate incident". But since the Vostroyan couldn't be sent back Colonel Jugurtha assigned him to Captain Shanti's fifth Company, hopefully the aggressive, square-jawed,broad shouldered and muscled woman would be enough to make the Firstborn cease with all his flirting, otherwise she would have to ask the Commissar to do something about it.

But Jugurtha would be glad to take with her ten Vostroyans who thought of themselves as irresistible charmers if that meant more time to prepare, her regiment had barely a day to pack things up, study the maps and hit the road. "It's of vital importance that you march to support our units in Kathay City as soon as possible, the rebels are too focused on my boys and their backs are open to you." General Purgatchev had said in a briefing earlier. To the colonel he was just using her regiment to take the heat off from his precious Firstborn, after all they're the famous ones, the men with tradition and reputation! She doubted that the old walking mustache would do the same if the roles were reversed.

Banishing idle thoughts away the colonel grabbed the Vox to request reports from the other convoys.

A few minutes later the last commanders reported in. The first three convoys had reached the first checkpoint and were setting up camp, the regiment would enjoy five hours of rest and then continue in the early morning to the next checkpoint, where the continent's largest river met the sea, so far the scout platoons reported no enemy presence on the way but she hadn't survived five years commanding an Imperial Guard regiment (and many others as a captain) by being careless...

And that's it, second chapter. Please review, leave your opinions, suggestions and speculations

Warhammer 40k is property of Games Workshop

Original idea of the Kariasi Crusade was from Starseed of the Alternate History Forums

Imperial Guard regiments created using 1d4chan creation tables.