Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Dolgath Legacy ~ Part six: Not be easily manipulated

The recent battle report by the young commissar, Baddenbach, was terse and colorless, yet he felt much more lurked below the surface, restrained by ropes of self control taught and ready to snap. She was the commissar for D company of the 5th Kelten Rifles. The Keltens were a relatively new addition to his personal retinue. After the attrition of his trusted 99th Death Korps of Krieg Panzer Regiment over a decade ago, he had a need to replenish his fighting strength. The 5th Kelten Rifles first came to his attention after the siege of Zucklon Three. They were the only regiment that had detected the enemy’s counter offensive in time to form a viable defense. Despite the fact of taking the brunt of a full armored spearhead, the regiment deported itself admirably. Yet the Keltens had sustained heavy losses and were due to be rotated out of active service from the 7th Obscurus Expeditionary Brigade.

Dolgath was attending the siege of Zucklon Three in an advisory capacity by the request of one, Inquisitor Treyquill, of the Ordo Hereticus. Treyquill was a strange bird, an old acquaintance from his youth in university, recalling Treyquill’s excessive ways Dolgath could not imagine how he ended up in the Ordo Hereticus or in the Inquisition at all for that matter… Why he recommended Dolgath’s attendance at the siege of Zucklon Three was unclear; there were no traces of warp influence in the defection of the planetary government. Yet Dolgath’s presence was a boon to his reputation in the face of the puritans who might wish his removal, and his presence at the deactivation of the Keltens was extremely fortuitous – or perhaps ordained as Rykien suggested – in any case Dolgath agreed to steward the survivors of the regiment aboard his battle cruiser until they could receive reinforcements to return them to active battle strength. Through his influence, Dolgath insured that the 5th Kelten Rifles never returned to full combat status, thereby insuring that they would be available to aid ongoing Ordos operations while under Dolgath’s custody…

How this sat with the Kelten command or the troops in general was an open question. Regimental Commander, Colonel Strauss, was a cagy old campaigner. Dolgath had several formal diners and numerous less formal meetings with him and could still not gage the man. Distinguished, eloquent, unflappable, were a few adjectives he might throw at the old Colonel, yet they somehow were insufficient. Dolgath had the sense that the Colonel was one of the greats gone unrecognized; someone who could easily stand beside the likes of Macharious or Creed. Such a thing was both a boon and a curse; on the one hand, Dolgath had a brilliant commander at his disposal, on the other he had a man who could not be easily manipulated. In any case, the capture and defense of the Chapel of Fallen Heroes by the 5th Kelten Rifles was swift and certain. In fact the expertise and ease in which they deported themselves might even be considered superior to the performance of his old favored Krieg regiment. Watching commissar Baddenbach depart, he was as impressed by her backside as much as her front. He made a note at the next battle to deploy in person to asses the deportment of this new impressive Kelten regiment.

No comments: