Puller sat at his desk in the former PDF headquarters and looked over his files and dispositions of his new regiment... His regiment, that was still a new taste in his mouth. John Puller was just a Captain when he'd been told her was the only surviving officer on the entire world. He'd been elevated to the rank of Colonel and just handed a regiment made up of the scraps of his old one the 121st Iron Guard Mordian born and raised every one, along with every other one that had been part of the Division that had taken the planet. All were badly mauled when put together they created and understrength regiment that's morale was is in the dirt and supplies were even lower than that. Since he'd been handed this damn planet to defend and this patch work regiment to do it with he'd been fighting to get his men ammo, and in some cases weapons to fire that ammo. It was a cluster ******** of the highest caliber. But the plus or as he'd been told, was he was being sent a supply ship from the local depot, but that would take two weeks to get here. Until that happened he was gonna do with what he could on planet and try to get his troops to act like a unit. Get them to sleep, eat and above all fight together. Otherwise the first thing that came along with enough guns and they were all dead.
"A fine situation they've put me in... Damn the munitorium to hell."
Sitting propped up against a defunct generator in the main access tunnel connected the PDF headquarters to the rest of the compound, Skive looked around apprehensively, an ungloved finger wavering uncertainly in front of his face. Glancing up and down the dimly lit, lifeless corridor, the guardsman's gaze rested briefly upon his sniper rifle; an artful amalgamation of tungsten, brushed steel, and polished mahogany furniture, Greta was undoubtedly the most valuable and cherished item in his possession.
A distant clanking from beyond the steel double doors at the end of the hall snapped him to attention, causing him to scrutinize the portals for several intensive intervals. Finally, satisfied that there were no prying eyes in his immediate vicinity, Skive shoved his finger up his nose and began to dig around, issuing a long, relieved sigh as he did so.
The young commissar sighed as he walked along the line, inspecting the troops "Well this isn't good. We have less men than a standard space marines chapter." He said with a sigh as he walked over to his quarters and prepared some tanna tea. He sighed. "the hoops I had to go through to get simple leaves for tea. I bet Ciaphas didn't have this much trouble getting Tanna." He said with a slight laugh. " I don't even have a proper bodyguard on this silly planet." He said as he took a sip of his tanna from his bowl. "Well, at least this planet isn't obnoxiously hot. It is warmer than I would like however."
Deep down in the dark bowels of the PDF Headquarters where life seemed nearly non-existent, one lone organism flourished. The sounds of clicking, clanking, wheels on metal floors and the occasional string of curses were the only signs of such life--because not even the lights were on. Well, one light was on but it wasn't illuminating anything outside of the workspace is was located over.
Sergeant Burnadette Ulyssa Geofferies, or BUG to the rest of the jokers in the Guard, owned the basement. It was a well known fact that any seeking her out would be sporting a wrench wound in some facet--unless she was needed to patch up another wound. In fact, most thought she was a myth...until they were looking down at her goggle covered face and trying to prevent losing an eye. While she didn't look intimidating or hell even violent, her brain and her quick draw were enough to cause a flinch in even the most seasoned of Guardsmen and women.
Back home with the Warhawks she'd been somewhat famous. Her customized gears and her field medic training made her a hot commodity. Now, while not the sole survivor of her squad, she was the only one that had been sent here. Relocation did NOT sit well with her. In fact, she made it known to the Colonial that she hated it here and wanted to head out on the next available transport. Her talents were being wasted. Why? She had to fight with the techpriest to play with her weapons because it wasn't "appropriate" and she had to curse out the sissy tea-drinking Commissar when he threatened to have her removed from the guard for being completely unorthodox.
So what, her hair was blue, she wore goggles and she beat people up with her tools when they pissed her off. At least she was valuable.
"Fuc-shi-DAMNIT!" She wheeled away from the work station holding her pinky finger between her lips and sucking the blood. "Emperor damn this place..." she mumbled around the injured appendage.
If he ended up under a building or bleeding out in the field...it wasn't her fault.
Puller put on his uniform jacket, it hung down to his boot tops. He sighed and dusted it off. It was clear to him this place hadn't been taken care of before he inherited it, but he damn sure intended to fix that. Pulling his well worn plasma pistol from it's ceremonial keeper in his desk drawer he let it slot nicely into the glove like holster and snapped it shut. He hoped he wouldn't have to use it, but had no idea the true morale disposition of his men and women. He was about to go find that out first hand.
Taking the elevator down the hall from his office he figured he'd start in the armory. As he left it and walked through some heavy double doors he looked down at a young man who he could swear was picking his nose. "By the Emperor lad, have you found the regiment some spare ammo up there?"
Skive wasn't too certain where the Colonel had come from, or even how he'd snuck up on him like he did (especially wearing those thunderous horshoes he called boots), but here he was staring down at him with a look Skive could only approximate as something between laughter and incredulity. Normally, a man would be quite flustered to be caught with a finger rammed up his nose by his commanding officer, but as Skive was anything but your typical man, he offered a simple shrug to the Colonel as he carried on with his previous engagement.
"Eh, nothin' yet boss. Not even a ********' landmine. You think someone's been cleanin' me out while I'm sleepin'?"
He looked back up at the Colonel, his digit wedged deep inside his nostril, an expression of earnest concern spread across his face.
John 'Iron Side' Puller had always been a dour man with a good sense of humor, but at this very moment he couldn't help, but to break out in rancorous laughter at the young soldiers response. Most men would have instantly ceased their nose picking or at least started. But the young man though surprised just responded as if nothing had happened. After he calmed down suitably to answer properly John looked at the young man with a shake of his head.
"Don't know son, but suspend your salvage operation for the moment and come with me. Seems you've nothing better to do and I believe you'll provide me with if nothing else a steady source of entertainment in this Emperor forsaken hell hole."
Jager sighed as he walked over to the corner of his room. He took out his chainsword and start.ed practicing his fencing techniques. 'Upward thrust, downward slash, horizontal cut, repeat, stab, parry, parry, block, stab, slash, parry, block, stab.' Jager thought as he continued his dance of death. 'I wonder what the hell Imperial high command is thinking. Giving us less than an Astartes Chapter, but with guardsmen. Not even Storm troopers or Kasrkin. Just guardsmen.' He sighed heavily as he continued to practice.
It was the third time he'd disassembled and reassembled his lasgun. Still, Khasiq was restless. The remains of his squad were arranged around him in a loose order all preoccupied with their own methods of, to put it bluntly, wasting time. Annir was had his and Tahl's knives laid before him along with strips of grox leather attempting to reinforce their worn hilts. Tahl himself was with Shiva. The only woman of the squad remainder had rudimentary field medical training and was wrapping cloth strips around a series of gashes in Tahl's side. Shair, the final squad member, had the squad's powerpacks arranged around a small fire to put some charge back into them. All was quiet. Peaceful, relatively so. And that did not sit well with Khasiq.
They were far from home with their regiment scattered, supplies thin, and manpower down to nil. All things considered it was a bad situation that usually only faced Guardsmen with combat near. The lack of lasfire, oddly enough, disturbed Khasiq more than any foe he'd since faced. With a depressed sigh he strapped the carbine to his back and reclined against some scrap metal, retreating into his thoughts.
Skive briefly considering telling the Colonel that if he wanted him to stop picking his nose, he'd have to make him, but quietly surmised that this would only result in needless electrocution and another month of latrine duty on top of his current three. Not an enticing prospect, to say the least. A small shrug saw his shoulders rise and fall, a brief look of disinterest passing over his features. His collar, as if sensing his apprehension at following a superior's command, encouraged him to better acquiesce the Colonel's request with a sharp jolt of electricity to his spine.
"YAAAAAAAAAAAESSSS SIR!" He yelped as he bolted upright, striking himself hard in the nose as he instinctively attempted a salute.
The back of his neck burned with a thousand tiny, white hot pinpricks, his muscles spasming violently for a few brief moments before the relaxants hit his bloodstream. Slowly, his muscles began to relax, and he allowed his arm to drop down to his side. Hissing under his breath, Skive bent over and retrieved Greta and slung her over his shoulder, his free hand traveling down to his waist to pat down and secure his machete inquisitively. A brief glance down at the matte black blade brought some small satisfaction; there was still a large clump of gory Ork hair stuck to the middle of the implement.
A wicked grin crept silently over his face as Skive returned his attention to the Colonel.
Puller chuckled, fairly certain it was the shock collar that got him to acquiesce so willingly, but none the less it had worked. "Well son, it seems that we are rather low on everything here, but lack of unity and ammo." He began walking heading down the tunnel towards the armory once more. "Indeed, it's a sad state of affairs this invasion left us in and the Munitorium did nothing to help it to start. Though they've promised a resupply ship, that is gonna take time, time we don't have. If we don't get the regiment into a fighting unit and together as one, they might as well have left us to die." He sighed and regained his train of thought properly. "What we need almost as importantly as ammo is uniforms. We need uniforms of the 1st Jacob's, not of the Mordian Iron Guard. Orwellian Penal Legion, or the other myriad of regiments that were thrown together to make this one... That's the first step to unity. When we all look alike we can take out the factor of disunity in our dress..."
Being an ganger-turned-inmate-turned-soldier, Skive was a man who prized his freedom; be that the freedom to dress how he chose, or pick his nose when he pleased, the ability to do whatever the ******** he wanted, whenever the ******** he wanted was considered a right that was utterly, undeniably inalienable.
That being said, the Colonel's suggestion that the regiment's attire would be standardized was a decidedly unwelcome one. Needless to say, Skive was quick to voice his disapproval.
"Ahhh, y'jokin' me, right boss? You're just pullin' my d**k, right? I mean, I can work with these other ******** jus' fine in these old rags, why we gotta wear all the same s**t?"
Puller stopped and turned with a sigh looking the young man over. "I see you don't understand. Well allow me to explain it a little clearer lad. We don't all come from the same world, same background, same understanding, hell even same region of space. No we are all different all individual, but for the fact we are all now part of the 1st Jacob's. But that difference will mean the death of us. Because being all separate and without a standard bond to keep us will bring distrust, disloyalty, and worst yet disunity. I'm sure you want to know that the trooper on your left and right are just as willing to have your back, as you are theirs. Right now we don't have that, all we have is we are the Imperial Guard and now make up the 1st Jacob's I hope that makes better sense to you. A little individuality in the uniforms is acceptable, but all of them should start off with the basics of being the same."
John sighed and turned back around and finished their little jaunt up to the armory, after punching in the proper code the door skid open and they entered.