Having almost secured victory over the planet Konor, we decided it was time to reward our roving reporter, Officer Derych, with a trip to Nethamus – previously a scenic agri world, now a testament to the degeneracy of our enemies and the tenacity of the Astra Militarum:
“When I arrived on Nethamus, I must admit that my spirits were a little dimmed by recent events. Where once stood fields and fields of vital grain, only a vast desert of black ash remains.
Such was our courage in defending Konor that the Archenemy has been forced to resort to all manner of dirty and underhanded tactics. As such, Nethamus was infested with some kind of mysterious pathogen – luckily, the Imperial Navy had the initiative and courage to save the planet with a timely magmatic bombardment, utterly incinerating every trace of the infection following the harvest of the remaining uncontaminated foodstuffs.
Previously, defending Nethamus meant having to cover vast swathes of ground, but Imperial High Command has ordered the concentration of the entire harvest into mobile crawlers. This makes defending them much easier, and while the loss of even a single crawler would be dire indeed, this just motivates soldiers to fight all the harder! I’m assured that – provided we don’t lose any more convoys – there’s still plenty of grain to feed the whole system.*
I’m stationed on the largest of the crawler convoys, known as Convoy Druseus. As most of the planet is now an ash desert, the men have had plenty of chances to put their sniping skills to the test across the vast, flat expanse, either against the forces of the Archenemy or roving bands of unproductive types looking for an unfair share of the harvest – after all, if we fed every straggler, the Astra Militarum might go hungry! I attempted to turn some away with a recitation of the imperial hymn He Who Has Faith Shall Hunger Only For Retribution, but it didn’t seem to have a significant effect. I presume this is because the farming folk don’t speak High Gothic.
From what I’ve seen of our enemies, the bombardment has left them in a terrible state. I’ve never fought the so-called “Death Guard” before, but the armour of their warriors is damaged and cracked, and many of them seem to be seriously injured and sporting exposed wounds. The human elements of their forces are in a similarly dreadful state – while every man in the Astra Militarum is clad in an impenetrable aegis of flak armour**, our enemy counterparts go into battle nearly unclad! One wonders what they have to smile about.
Tomorrow, I’ll be accompanying the Mordian Iron Guard to the city of Khorsis. I’m informed the city has briefly fallen under the control of the Archenemy, and there may be some contaminating agents present. Thankfully, each unit has been issued with a rebreather to share, and officers have been given a stash of medicated hand wipes to pass out at their discretion. We’re lucky enough to be fighting in the first wave, and Imperial High Command seems so confident of our success that we’ll be making our assault unassisted by the Adeptus Astartes. We’ve also all been banned from counting to seven, although I can’t fathom why.***
I’m sure we’ll manage to take the city in a few hours, and I’ll have plenty of tales of heroism and glory to share with you!
Good luck Officer Derych! We here at the Regimental Standard look forward to your next dispatch (following your release from compulsory quarantine).
* Assuming a projected casualty rate of 66% and the compression of all daily meals into one healthy, high energy morning snack.
** Or, in the case of conscripts, an almost equally impenetrable aegis of sub-flak armour.
*** Please note that until further notice, the number previously known as “Seven” will be known as “Six-II”. Examples of uses:
- There’s only enough food to feed six-II of us!
- Give that man six-II lashes for uttering the Forbidden Number.
- Of the original regiment, there are only six-II survivors.
Possession of any material bearing unaltered versions of number six-II is now an Imperial offence, including this dispatch.