The thick foliage crushed under the weight of his boot as his pace quickened, the sun was beginning to fade and only a fool would attempt passage through the forest by night. it had been nearly two full days since he’d drawn down on Commissar Jurek tearing him apart with a shredder shell a close range.
Being of noble birth in the hives of Necromunda afforded one a position of envy, and mild political influence. He bore the right surname, had the right friends and attended the right parties, but there was always something missing. A sense of excitement. Real danger. At times he would visit the underhive, incognito, finding a perverse charm in it’s filth and decadence. Its violence.
He was 19 when the Guard came calling, offering adventure. A sense of purpose, and the chance to see the galaxy.
After basic training he was dispatched to Lv4-27, a small moon orbiting the ocean planet of Indon.
Upon arriving a hunting party of whip tailed indigenous xenos tore the belly out of the landing party. He had never watched a man he knew to be a friend ripped limb from limb, but that day he lost count of the men he scrambled to save, most of them too far gone for his efforts to matter.
Days of bloody fighting resulted in huge loses until the xenos were scattered to the swamp forests and a second wave of guardsmen began landing and securing a base of operations.
Whilst undeniably deadly the beaten xenos, in their significantly reduced numbers could often be easily avoided and posed little threat to the Imperium from that point forward. Life began to quieten.
All he found was the monotony of daily drills. 9 years in med core treating scurvy and the occasional result of a run in with the locals.
Chems became his friend. Chems became his crutch to lean and developed into his crux to bear.
It started innocently enough with sleeping aids. Too much time to think on LV 4 – 27, too much time for something to go wrong upstairs. Pain suppressants, muscle enhancers, brain function inhibitors, all at the tip of his fingers. A battlefield medic who’s seen the horrors of combat can always ‘lose some inventory.’ There are ways to make stocks disappear and seem legitimate. He had become an expert.
Jurek was a stern man, a seasoned battle strategist sent only last winter to LV4-27. His left leg rebuilt with bionics, and his left hand was missing two fingers. A deep scare ran across his face, and his skin was peppered with shrapnel acne. Had he been sent to LV4-27 as punishment the men often surmised? It seemed a strange and dismissive place to send a soldier of honour. Whatever the case, Jurek carried that chip deeply on his shoulder. He ran the bastion with a iron fist, accepting nothing less than absolute excellence.
The day it all fell apart began inconspicuously enough, with the man going about his general duties within the camps infirmary. A patrol had left early that morning on a scouting party. Reports had identified a possible sighting of an Orc war party. These rumours whilst wildly outlandish and highly unlikely to carry any weight needed to be investigated non the less.
He shot up the last of the morphine chems in his personal supply, and opened the medical fridge to refill his syringe belt.
The door burst open and Sander and Newbury almost fell into the room. Sander was dragging something behind him.
The medic squinted, trying to adjust his focus. The morphine chems had slowed his reactions down and his eyes were glassy. He blinked again. Sanders dropped what he was pulling and hysterically yelled for help.
He blinked again. The sounds were slowly ebbing away to a distant echo. He tried again to steady his high.
“Fucking help him!!” Screamed Sanders. “What are you doing? Don’t just fucking stand there.”
He looked once more, understanding for the first time that the lump on the floor was Lieutenant Harrex. His chest caved in, claret spilled out all over the white infirmary floor. A trail of blood disappearing down the corridor.
“Hey,” said Sanders, “Are you in there? You gotta help the LT”
They lifted him into the operating table and began to try and remove some of his armour. The Chest plate was now mashed into his flesh, it wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry. He wiped his brow, and reached for his scalpel blade fumbling it and dropping it to the floor.
“Orks, loads of em” said Newbury. “They come outta nowhere.”
He looked up at Newbury, registering the fear on the young mans face before looking back down to the fallen scalpel blade. He reached down for it, his head spinning, his body feeling light. Crash, his balance gave way and all he could see was darkness.
A full day had passed til he next opened his eyes. Chained to a light recon buggy he scanned the terrain trying to get a fix on his location. Jurek rode shotgun just infront of him, and two veteran guardsmen sat either side of him.
“Chem abuse, theft and negligence by right dictates a dishonourable discharge. Procedure, commission reports, council applications, but given the new Ork threat and the fact that your failure cost the life of one of my In my best men, im going to go ahead and skip all of that bullshit and just drop you in the deepest darkest part of this horrible cess pit of a planet and leave nature to take it course,” snarled Jurek.
The buggy pulled to a stop. Jurek exited, and the two vets dragged him from the back.
“On your knees scum” said one. “I’d just as soon as do you here and now,” he continued.
The Veteran raised his shotgun and pressed the barrel hard into the medics forehead.
“I like to keep this handy. Makes a real mess of things.”
Jurek reached into his pocket and pulled out a stogey. He lit it and pull back hard inhaling the fumes.“I’ll end it here for you boy, if you want me to?”
The medic closed his eyes. Silent. Accepting. Far away from the nobility of the hive Spires, this is where it would end.
A crack and a spray of liquid across his face. Before he opened his eyes he knew it was blood. He could taste the Iron.
The veteran’s face was split down the middle as single Ork had happened itself upon their party. The second veteran reached for his lasgun, but it was too late, the Ork swung around, firing wildly with his shoota. The round splintered the vets shin bone and he dropped to one knee, pulling a cobalt blade from his belt. He presented the knife infront of him attempting to parry the oncoming axe swing from the Ork. The blade shattered as the axe passed through it and lodged itself into the guardsman’s collar. Blood spurted out and he let out a manic scream. The Ork re positioned and dealt a final blow slicing the veteran from his shoulder to his gullet. He slumped to the forest floor.
The Ork’s blood thirsty eyes found the Medic still motionless on the spot and made a step toward him, axe poised to strike, before his next burst outwards and green flesh splattered onto the floor ahead of him. Jurek retracted his combat blade, and side stepped out from behind the Ork. He drew his auto pistol and fired three shots into the face and head of the stumbling Ork. It crashed backwards onto the floor.
Jurek holstered his weapon and took a moment to survey the carnage. He turned and called out to the buggy driver who was still sat in the driving seat, frozen with fear. “Radio to base. Give them our location. Send a full unit.”
He turned back again to face the medic.
The veterans shotgun poised and aimed at Jurek’s chest, a moment passed between them.
“Would you just let me disappear” the medic asked.
Jurek reached for his holster, the shotgun fired, ripping through Jurek and sending into a large shrub.
“Didnt think so.”
The man got up, he ransacked the three bodies that lay before him, taking a medi kit , some stims, the shotgun, Jurek’s auto pistol and combat blade, and an assortment of other useful bits.
He turned his gaze to the buggy that was tearing away in the distance. The driver flooring it in the moment Jurek fell. He knew it was only a matter of time until they found him. He had to find a way off planet. If he could get back to the Necromunda he’d be safe. A man with his skills could go a long way in the underhive.
He began to run.
The thick foliage crushed under the weight of his boot as his pace quickened….
Suddenly he spotted movement up ahead. A lone grot. He slowed his pace and tried to measure the distance. He pulled out his combat blade and moved silently in for the kill. A stumble. It had been over 72 hours now since his last high, and his muscles were beggining to ache. He felt the sweat pooling up onto his forehead. The sickness was definitely in the post.
He steadied himself, and with that he noticed a second, then a third, a fourth, fifth. It was a scouting party. He froze still, then began backing away. The Grots, totally unaware of his presence. 5 Grots were no match for him on a given day, but in this state, and with what may lay ahead of them, retreat was the sensible move.
As he backed away he heard the snap of branch underfoot, something was behind him. He spun around to see the butt of a blunderbuss smash into his face.
Hands pulled at him, a sharp pinch in his arm. He knew that feeling. The familiar sensation of medi chems rushing into his blood stream, a warmth, a shining warmth.
He opened his eyes. 2 guardsmen busied themselves over him. His hand reached out for a weapon, but they held him down as they dressed a wound on his arm.
Why were they helping him. To what end?
With that he noticed a pirate behind them. Golden haired, carrying a Fearsome looking gun blade.
Behind him was the cop. A cop. A hired gun no doubt here to take him in for the murder of Commissar Jurek. That’s why they were patching him up. So he could stand trial and suffer for what he’d done. This was a fate worse than death.
The Cop leaned over him. “What’s your name son?”
Maybe he didnt know. Maybe none of the knew he thought. If they didnt know, then they mustn’t be an IG unit attached to this planet. That means they have a ship. That means they have some use. For now.
“You can call me Doc” he said.