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Commander Horus: Chapter 1 - Crimson Guard
The soldiers in crimson armor charged the walls of the large fortress, taking heavy losses from the incoming wall of fire from the fortress. Leading them, was Horus Thacker. He wore light armor, not caring if he was hit, for he had known that this plan could never have worked out in their favor. He had told their leader, but the fool would not listen. Horus had the honor to bear the flag of his army, and he quickly adjusted it on his back as he continued on.
He heard a cry to his right, but he did not need to look to tell that someone had been shot. He rose his large, bolt pistol up and shot the sniper. The person flew back as the bullet struck him full in the chest. Horus didn’t even blink, and he led the remaining warriors toward the gate.
As he finally made it to the great doors, he turned back to see only five other men had made it with him. They had a grim look in their eyes, and he saw that they had known that this was a suicide plan as well. Ironically, their leader had been one of the first to fall as they were charging the walls. He nodded to them, and they nodded back in grim determination.
“Get ready,” he said, pulling out an explosive charge. He set in onto the door, and they took cover away from the door.
Horus looked back out at the battleground, and he saw several, lone figure sprinting toward them. He recognized the first figure of Annabel Lowery, and he watched as the others fell around her. He turned back to the door as an enormous explosion ripped the massive door off its hinges. He heard the startled cries of the defenders from the fortress walls as they fell from the battlements. As they landed on the ground, and Horus wasted no time shooting them with his weapon. He saw Annabel rush up to them, panting heavily.
“Horus!” She cried and threw herself into his arms. “Why didn’t they listen to you?” He saw the terror in her eyes as she looked up at him.
Her black eyes were filled with confusion and fear, and her thin body was shaking. Her black hair was dirty and scraggly from the two months of planning and preparation for the siege. Too bad it was all for nothing, thought Horus. He brushed the hair out of her face, looked into her eyes, and pressed his lips against her forehead for a moment.
“It doesn’t matter now,” he said simply. “We will take them down or fall trying.” She nodded, and he handed her his spare bolt pistol. He turned to the others.
“Let’s move!” He roared and charged inside.
He charged inside, and he immediately dropped two young defenders as they ran out from a corner. The red-armored soldiers sprinted past the silent bodies, never thinking about them again. Horus heard shouting up ahead, and he silently ordered for the others to take cover.
He pulled out a small mirror that he carried and angled it so that he could look around the corner. There were a dozen or so enemies there, sitting behind cover, their bolters covering the long hallway in between them. However, Horus also saw several large stacks of rock and fallen debris all along the sides of the hallway, though each was only large enough for only a single person at a time. He tossed the mirror to his best friend, Jackson Dial, and he switched places to let him take a look.
“I count fifteen, brothers,” whispered Jackson so the others could hear. “Thirteen bolters, one heavy bolter, and a bolt pistol.” Horus nodded.
“There are piles of debris on the side of the hall, but I estimate that only one person can use it at a time.” Horus nodded again, smiling. “What are your orders?” Horus reloaded his bolt pistol and got into a position to run, the flag on his back moving awkwardly with him.
“One at a time,” he whispered and turned to the others. “Ready yourselves.” Without warning, Horus charged out into the hallway.
“Repent! For today you fall!” He roared at the enemies that guarded the staircase that led to the upper levels.
“For Nostramo!” Horus heard his friend Jackson cry from behind him, and the others followed suit, shouting battle cries of their own.
Horus felt adrenaline pump through him as he charged the ranks of the enemy. He fired as he charged them, never missing. He saw a younger girl, about seventeen, fall, but it did not faze him. He fired and shot the soldier firing the heavy bolter, and he fell without a noise.
The Captain firing the bolt pistol was the next to fall by Jackson, as he attempted to stay close to Horus. Together, they ran towards the enemy line, and they saw the fear on their faces as they approached. They brought their weapons around to fire on them, but Horus and Jackson dove to either side of the hall, landing behind piles of rubble.
Horus looked back to see two of his men had fallen, one had taken half a dozen hits before he finally fell. The other had been shot in his head, causing him to fall immediately. He saw Annabel taking cover behind a pile of rubble, but he couldn’t see what she was doing. He turned back to the enemy and readied himself. He risked a glance, and he saw only nine remaining. He had taken out the strongest of them, but there were still enough to be a danger. He turned back to Jackson, and they exchanged a nod.
Horus jumped to his feet and fired at the enemy, hitting three before they turned to face him, but he had already dropped back down by then. Jackson jumped up and began firing at them, taking down another two. Horus’ two remaining warriors must have caught on what was happening, for they each jumped up individually and fired their bolter rifles.
The final four enemy soldiers fell by their weapons. Horus stood and gestured for them to all move forward to cover the door. He jogged over to Annabel, but he saw that she had been shot almost a dozen times in the chest. He bowed his head, knelt down, and kissed her forehead once more before rejoining the others.
He adjusted the flag as they moved up the staircase as Jackson lead the way forward. The sounds of several dozen feet racing around above them could be heard. Horus knew that they were getting ready for them to arrive, so he readied his bolt pistol. Jackson stopped at the top of the stairs and rose a clenched fist. Horus silently went up to join him, keeping the flag low to avoid giving their position away.
The enemy were still moving cover around to guard the hallways that lead to the stairs to the roof. Horus dashed out to the corner and waited for the others to follow his example. He knew that they would have to get around them to be able to keep moving, so he ordered Jackson to take one of the warriors and distract the enemy. He would lead the last warrior around and flank the enemy.
Jackson nodded and led the warrior to the cover, fifty meters in front of the enemy. Horus nodded, satisfied then turned to the other warrior.
“Come on, Peter,” he whispered. “Let’s finish this.” He nodded and followed Horus.
The sounds of battle erupted from the hallway, but Horus and the other warrior moved down another hallway, keeping low and quiet as they moved around the enemy lines. Horus heard Jackson cry out over the sound of fire.
“Retreat, Sergeant!” He roared. “We’ll hold them off for as long as we can!”
It did the trick, for the enemy cheered at their upcoming victory, and they charged Jackson and Peter’s position. Horus and the fourth brother both continued forward. Finally, the sound of gunfire stopped. Horus reached the final staircase that led up to the roof, and they went up. They heard a shout from an enemy, and Horus knew that they had been spotted. The warrior turned around and began firing at the enemy.
“Go, sir,” Private David Gray said calmly. “Finish the mission.” Horus nodded.
“Thank you, David,” he said and saluted, then he charging up the stairs, taking them three at a time.
When he reached the top, he glanced back to see David fall as an enemy blasted his way through him. He shot the enemy soldier before running out onto the roof. He heard the sound of people on top of the roof begin firing, but he kept running. He fired his bolt pistol and managed to take down several of them, but there were too many. When he ran out of ammo, he dropped the gun and ran to the large, metal platform before him.
He felt bullets slam into his right leg, then his left hip. He fell, the flag falling from his back and onto the ground before him. Thinking he was down, the enemy began cheering and chanting their leader’s name.
“Zack! Zack! Zack! Zack!” They cried, reveling in their victory, but Horus was not done yet.
He grabbed the flag, stood up, and limped as fast as he could to the metal platform. He heard the cries of horror from the enemy, and he felt half a dozen more bullets slam into his back and shoulders. He fell. Everything was going numb, so he knew he had to act fast. Gathering his strength, he lifted the flag and placed it into place inside the small opening on the metal platform, winning the match for his team. The horns of victory blared and he soon felt the paralysis and weakness begin to flood from his body. He stood and turned to see the dumbfounded looks of the opposing team.
“How?” Some asked. “What is he?” Asked others, but Horus simply walked by them and descended the stairs to see David Gray regaining consciousness.
“Did we do it?” He asked, and Horus grinned at him.
“Aye, Brother,” he said. “We did it.” David sighed in relief and took Horus’ offered hand.
After the simulation, the Crimson Guard army gathered together to discuss a new plan of action. Everyone wanted to stand near Horus Lupercal, translating directly to “The Crimson Knight”. Alan Mitchell, the commander of the army, disapproved of the nickname because he was known as the “Crimson Lord”. It seemed to similar for his taste.
The warriors of the Crimson Guard were listening to the battle report, taking in what they did wrong in the siege. Alan had led them into massacre after massacre, and they only won because of Horus’ strategic genius. Horus knew that the men would rather follow him than Alan, but there was someone that wanted him as leader. Sara Taylor was the most beautiful girl in any of the armies, and she threatened to leave whenever a vote to remove Alan came up. This caused the mass majority of the army to revise their votes.
Horus knew that the others would eventually see that they didn’t need either of them, and that he was the one leading them into every battle from the front, while Alan cowered in the back.
They had another “capture the fortress” battle next week, but this time they would be defending the fortress. So far, they had won victories because of Horus’ suggestions on how to proceed in every battle, but he knew that Alan would stop listening to his suggestions, now that he had lost the support of the mass majority of the army. He would try to put Horus in his “proper place”.
Horus looked over the fortress’ defenses from the holomap, then at the enemy that they would be fighting. The Silver Order, led by Alan’s once-best-friend Samuel Collins. He would take it easy on them, Horus knew. The groans from the others told him that they knew this too. Alan, however, was smirking, for he was going to prove that he could win against his once-friend.
Since the Crimson Guard were the defenders, they were the ones to choose the era and weapons that were to be used during the battle. Alan chose medieval warfare, and Horus was genuinely pleased with this choice. Horus enjoyed beating an enemy in close combat, but that would also mean that the enemy would have shields to deflect the arrows of the wall archers, if Alan even allowed any to be put on the walls. Each side were given a specific number of battle points to buy different weapons, armor, and other resources that they would need to fight a battle. Alan chose three-hundred battle points, much to Horus’ surprise and slight approval. Not too many, not too few for a small-scale battle.
Horus and his squad began preparing to face their enemy. The Silver Order had a numerical advantage, but the Crimson Guard were tougher and more aggressive. They were willing to sacrifice themselves, if it meant victory. The Silver Order’s troops had almost always come out on top whenever they fought against the Crimson Guard, simply because of Alan’s unwillingness to invest in the fury of his warriors. He was the only thing holding the Crimson Guard from greatness.
He saw Alan yelling at several warriors of the Crimson Guard, his eyes filled with fear and anticipation. The warriors all around him stared at him with blank eyes, not knowing what to make of him. Horus decided to walk over, and he was greeted by Alan’s screaming.
“You morons! Cretins!” He snarled at them. “This battle has to be perfect, or else we have no chance of winning.” Horus came to the defense of his brethren.
“What’s going on, Alan?” He asked, trying to keep his tone respectful. Alan turned a withering glare upon him, and he pointed at the men.
“These fools did not listen to my briefing,” he said. “They are telling me they are retreat to the roof of the fortress if the enemy manage to get inside. I ordered that they were to hold their positions at all cost.” Horus looked at him in disbelief.
“You don’t want us to protect the flag platform?” He asked, and Alan frantically shook his head.
“Of course not!” He shouted, growing angry now. “You are to protect ME!” Horus felt his own anger grow inside him at the coward, but he swallowed his anger and nodded.
“Of course, sir,” he said, much to everyone’s surprise, then he turned to the others. “Do as he says, men.” He gave them a hidden wink, and he saw the concealed understanding in their eyes. They saluted Horus, then Alan before walking away. Alan turned to Horus, fuming.
“I am the leader of this army,” he snarled. “They do not ask for permission from a mere sergeant.” His eyes bore into Horus’, but he dropped his gaze as Horus stared right back at him.
“Get the Crimson Guard ready to deploy,” he ordered, then he turned on his heels and walked away.
Horus watched him go, his disdain for the boy growing every second as he watched the spoiled prick. He turned away and walked back to his squad.
“Frakker,” he muttered under his breath, then he turned away and walked to his position.
* * * *
The day was finally upon them, and the Crimson Guard were setting up their positions, given to them by Alan. Horus, having no place in the defense it seemed, gathered his squad to be the first response unit at the doors, but Alan came running up, bubbling like a mad man about his orders.
“We weren’t given orders,” Horus shrugged. “We are going to follow our orders from the last defence mission: be ready to fight off the enemy when they reach the doors.” Alan almost had a heart attack when he heard Hours say this.
“Absolutely not!” He shrieked, the panic clear in his voice. “You are supposed to guard me and Sara in the throne room.” Horus and his squad members looked at him like he had just told them that he was learning how to become a ballerina.
“What?” Asked John Kelly, the squad’s second in command. “You can’t be serious.” The disbelief was clear in his voice.
“You will listen to me!” Alan said, drawing himself up as though he would scare the man into submission. Instead, the entire squad all looked to Horus.
“We are staying here,” Horus said sternly. “This is the perfect position for my squad. We will be able hold them off and take down dozens of them before we have to fall back.” Alan, impatient now, shook his head furiously.
“No!” He shouted. “You have to guard me.” Horus glared at him. His childlike manner and self-preservation was getting out of hand.
“That is an order, Sergeant,” snarled Alan. Horus stiffened.
“Yes, sir,” he growled, contempt strong in his voice. He turned to the others. “Move out.”
They followed the smug-looking Alan past the spiral staircase that led up to the rooftop where the metal platform was. The squad members were muttering silent insults at Alan in their native tongue as they followed him deeper into the fortress. After they had reached the throne room, Alan sat down on the large throne, looking like a midget in the large throne. He picked up the helm of the Crimson Lord, place it on his head, and smirked at Horus, who looked out the window at the advancing enemy forces.
They heard the sounds of the Silver Order’s soldiers as they neared the main door, and Horus was about to stop them from entering when Alan ordered them to stay put. The screams of the warriors of the Crimson Guard as they struggled to fight off the attackers finally became too much for Horus to handle. He let loose an angry roar and turned to Alan, who was giggling with Sara at some private joke. He drew his sword.
“That’s it!” He snarled. “You spineless coward!” Horus turned to his warriors, raising his sword.
“Broken Helm!” Alan went pale as he heard the order and jumped to his feet, attempting to draw his sword. But it was too late.
Horus struck him with his sword, paralyzing him, then sending him to the floor. Sara shrieked and threw herself at Horus, but she was quickly struck down by John, who then spat on her unconscious form.
“Come, Brothers!” Cried Horus, turning away from the two cowards. “Victory may yet still be in our grasp!”
Horus kicked open the doors of the throne room and charged the Silver Order soldiers that were nearby. They fell almost instantly by the hands of the bloodthirsty warriors of Horus’ squad. Horus led his warriors toward where the sounds of fighting were loudest. He saw Samuel leading two dozen soldiers, along with his girlfriend, Alice Bowers. Horus Thacker pointed his sword toward the group of enemies and roared in fiery hatred. Jackson and two squads of Crimson Guard already arrived as Horus reached the enemy. Samuel and Alice raced up the stairs with the flag, and Jackson turned to Horus.
“Go after them, Horus,” he said. “We’ll take care of the others.” Horus nodded, and he quickly forced his way to the stairs.
Horus swarmed up the spiral staircase after the enemy leader. When he reached the top, he spotted them instantly, seeing several others that had gone up the stairs after them. Horus struck down an enemy soldier, who fell with a cry of fear and pain. At the sight of him, Alice screamed, grabbed the flag, and ran toward the metal platform. Horus knocked three of the soldiers down, stabbed a fourth, and slashed the final one from shoulder to hip. He charged after Alice, though keeping an eye out for Samuel.
He saw him appear in front of Horus with a wary look. Horus simply knocked him aside and raced after Alice, who realized what was happening and dove to one side, dropping the flag. Horus pivoted around, kicking the flag away from Alice, and blocked the blow that Samuel was already delivering, all within two seconds. Horus saw the horror in Samuel’s eyes as he blocked the blow, and Horus grinned at him.
“Come on then, pretty boy,” he sneered. “Let’s see what you’ve got.” They pulled away their blades and each took two steps back.
Samuel heard the sound of the three remaining soldiers joining him. They began to surround them as Samuel began to advance. Horus, however, met his challenge head on. Their blades caused sparks to fly as they met. Samuel and Horus glared at each other.
“You won’t win!” Samuel snarled, but Horus grinned.
“Maybe not,” he said. “But I will beat you in combat.”
“Maybe next time,” Samuel laughed as he jumped back, and the soldiers charged Horus.
Roaring with anger of this cowardice trick, Horus stabbed one of the soldiers right away then dove forward. He whirled around and blocked the blade of one of the enemies, and he kicked the third one in the groin. The boy groaned and staggered back. Horus, still in a blade lock, faced slightly toward the enemy. He headbutted the enemy he had locked blades with, knocked the sword out of his hand, then punched him across the jaw, knocking him unconscious. He slashed the chest of the enemy that he had knocked back only seconds before.
He turned in time to see Alice, setting the flag onto the metal platform. The trumpets blared, and Horus roared a curse to the sky. He fell to his knees, head bowed, as the rest of the Crimson Guards arrived.
“We have failed,” Horus said softly to them, and they all gathered before him. He stood. To his surprise, they all knelt before him and slammed their fists against their chests.
“Broken Helm,” said John, and Horus’ anger grew as he heard the order. He nodded.
They met in the planning room, each one of them was glaring at Alan and Sara, who seemed to be daring them to try and remove Alan.
“I open a vote,” Horus began. “We must demote Alan to the rank of Private.” The horror on Alan’s face was already showing, but Sara stepped forward.
“If he is demoted,” she sneered. “Then I am leaving.” She glared at them all, daring them to vote. Horus, on the other hand, was staring at Alan.
“All those in favor,” he said. “Raise your right hand and say ‘Aye’.” All of the warriors of the Crimson Guard rose their hands.
“Aye!” They said with grim determinations, and Horus nodded.
“All opposed, raise your hand and say ‘Nay’.” Sara’s hand shot up, her eyes burning with an angry light. She would not get her way today, Horus thought with grim satisfaction.
“Nay,” she cried, but when no one else took up the call, she glared at them all. “You are all traitors! Alan is the leader of our army!”
“Then we are removing him,” said Jackson with a grim look. “He is no longer our leader, the majority has spoken.” Horus stepped forward and spoke.
“We need a new leader!” He said looking around his battle-brothers. “Are there any nominations?”
There was a pause as the warriors looked around. Finally, a younger warrior, Felicia Sharp stepped forward and pointed at Horus.
“What about you?” She asked in a small voice, and the warriors looked at Horus.
“Is that a nomination?” Asked Jackson.
The rules of the Crimson Guard stated that Horus, nor any of Horus’ friends or relatives could nominate him. Only an unbiased, third group could nominate someone. The girl nodded, straightening slightly.
“I nominate Horus Thacker as Crimson Lord.” She had a new look of determination in her eyes.
“Is there a second nomination, or any other nomination?” Asked Horus looking around. A large, monster of a boy stepped forward, Ivan Payne.
“I second the nomination for Horus Lupercal as Crimson Lord,” he said in a gruff voice, and Horus gave him a nod of gratitude.
“Thank you, Brothers and Sisters,” he said, bowing to them. “Together, we will defeat our enemies and cleanse the stain on our honor, and I will lead the army back to the glory days!” The warriors roared with excitement at their new leader.
Last edited by wkeeley99 on Wed May 09, 2018 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.