Regrouping at dawn the squad moved out toward the base.
Fanning out on approach to the base, Gunner Sasha deployed the lascannon in the treeline while Commissar Dragonov scouted forward and Stormtrooper Mac scouted for flankers.
The base looked quiet, and the gate was wide open.
Operator Kain throttles up the Pride of Prypiat and begins his tactical approach, zigging left, and zagging right. Kain quickly encounters trouble as his brings the Chimera over the open ground between the base and the forest edge. The soil is wet and loose, and the area is covered in tree stumps and craters where tress have been more thoroughly removed. The beloved APC catches a track on a tree stump and screams to a stop. While Kain switches gears and revs backwards off the stump, Josiah drives the communication chimera calmly past and directly through the open gates.
A squad of 88th Guardsmen and Stormtrooper Mac spill out and immediately begin a search of the evidently abandoned base.
Josiah remarks that he has a bad feeling about the situation, sensing a trap as his senses wander to the ominous promethium silo which occupies a large part of the rear of the base.
The Commissar goes to investigate the fuel silo while Mac searches the command bunker finding the journal of the 88th’s colonel.
The rest of the team arrives and set up defensive positions.
The commissar approaches the the silo and spies an officer slumped over the re-fueling valves of the promethium tanks. Dimitri immediately searches the body disturbing a live Krak greanade which falls to the ground beneath the pipes. Instinctively, the Commissar hurls himself onto the grenade…CRUMPF!
Josiah alerts the team and Kain is first on the scene and administers first aid. Miraculously, Dimitri has survived but is heavily wounded and moved to medical bay of the base for Josiah to watch over.
After reading the journal, Mac decides the base will soon be attacked by a large Kroot force and organises a more complete defense throughout the rest of the day: sentries are posted on each wall; the storm bolter and heavy bolter are unmounted from the chimeras and put on the wall corner towers, while the lascannon commands the gate; and Kain builds a last bastion fall back position between the chimeras in the centre of the base.
The day passes and defenses are completed.
Evening arrives and the sentries miss the initial Kroot scouting elements. As night falls the guardsmen light large search-lamps to illuminate the kill-zone around the base.
A horrible Hooting comes from the forest. The sound of hundreds of Kroot in unison, entirely surrounding the base. Only the emergence of the Commissar from sickbay, and his resolute inspiration, saves the base defenders from panic.
It goes quiet.
Then from the forest edge pour hundreds of Kroot, from all sides, a flood of vile, loping, savage warriors hungry for fresh meat.
Lasguns ripple into action along the base parapets, cutting down dozens of Kroot and pinning several sections. On the east wall where Kain and several guardsman rain fire down into the advancing horde, the Kroot reach the wall. Kain orders a grenade barrage and a cascade of explosions clears the field of enemy causing a general rout on his wall.
Kroot leaders emerge from the forest and recall their remaining warriors.
Time passes into the night. The guardsmen reorganise their defense and Operator Kain jury-rigs a pipe from the promethium tanks to the east wall, ready to pour down onto the enemy should they reach the wall again. Others search the compound for supplies and scrounge some war materials which they put to use on the walls.
As preparations continue a single Kroot is spotted from the forest edge, he has been painted deep red, and he starts forward in a slow loping gate. The sentries open up, and the Kroot falls, just as another Kroot emerges, in similar dress. Then from another facing, more Kroot.
A staccato of staggered skirmishers seeth forward under lasgun fire, several are brought down, but one reaches the wall and climbs.
The Kroot mounts the top of the wall and attacks a guardsman but is brought low from persistent fire from Josiah. The Commissar has emerged again from the sickbay and makes his way to the parapet where the Kroot made the wall, only to feel the static ionisation of the plasma charge the Kroot was carrying reach critical mass.
The Commissar and two guardsmen are instantly engulfed in a bright flash of plasma, which leaves a large gap in the top of the wall.
…to be continued…