Previously on Brothers in (Four) Arms: AKA Fifteen Raking Claw-Gouges on a Dead Man's Chest....
Space-Pirate Captain 'Bloody' Sam Reade has gone to the surface of Pelegosto Prime to search for his missing brother-in-law, Black Bill, at the behest of his beautiful Space-Pirate wife (and his harridan of a mother-in-law). Reade discovers the planet has been overrun by a Genestealer Cult that is holding Bill prisoner and resolves to enact a heroic rescue. He sets up a fire base in the shanty town jail while a team of his cutthroats infiltrate the castle and his first mate provides a bloody distraction. All seems in vain though as Cult reinforcements pour out of the castle gates...
The pirate infiltration team sneaks into the truck, the leader takes the driver's seat and the rest get in the back. Despite the click of the doors and the creaking suspension, the Brethren reinforcements spare the truck no more than a glance as they hurry towards the gunfire at the jail!
Leaving the fire-base unit with orders to hold out and shoot to kill, Reade and Mento follow the route the infiltration team took through the strange, alien flora while the reserve pirate squad provides a screen.
Things are hotting up for the rooftop fire-base team, one of their number is caught by a lucky shot from the Brethren and they scramble for cover. They recover in time to strafe the militia surrounding them.
Reade's screening team enable him to move through the foliage unnoticed.
Suddenly, the pirate screen is ambushed! They hurriedly dive into cover and return fire as best they can. At least this takes some of the pressure off the fire-base squad.
The Brethren reinforcements are drawn towards the fresh firefight and the screening team looks to be in serious trouble. The noise of the shoot-out echoes loudly down the tunnel entrance...
All this time the infiltrators have laid low, not daring to make a sound. They eventually vox Reade to report in and request permission to use the truck to ram the castle gates!
Reade likes the plan, but orders them to wait for him and Mento. Goodness knows what is holed up in the castle, it could be useful to have a psyker around!
The screening team get pinned down and start to take casualties.
As soon as the first Brethren squad stopped supporting the attack on the jail, the rooftop fire-base team pulled themselves together and managed to frighten off the militia with their superior firepower. They now have no targets and settle down onto overwatch as they listen to the firefight on the south side.
Just as things seem clear for the infiltrator unit who are waiting for Reade to catch up, disaster strikes once more! The firefight between the two Brethren units and the pirate screen has echoed down into the tunnels and awoken a sleeping menace; no less than three Purestrains! The terrified pirate squad leader in the driver's seat sinks into the footwell and prays to any God who'll listen!
The overwhelming firepower of the two Brethren units forces the pirate screen to abandon their position.
The screening squad flee back towards the jail and their ship-mates.
Unexpected help arrives in the form of the Purestrains, the second, larger Brethren squad is overcome with emotion at seeing their 'Gods' walking amongst them and prostrate themselves, forgetting the pursuit for a few precious moments.
The original Brethren unit is not so ecstatic that they forget their duty (they are regularly on feeding detail and see Purestrains all the time) but are caught in the open by a volley from the rooftop pirates.
The reinforcement squad begins to recover, and wonder where everybody went. Where is that engine sound coming from?
In the meantime, Reade and Mento have reached the truck and proceed at full speed towards the castle gate!
The truck is too big to fit into the courtyard but the pirates use the vehicle as a ram and the gates are thrown wide open. The scoundrels debus and approach the yawning portal.
In the shadow of the Farmhouse Cheese factory, the Brethren creep forward to assault the jail while the Purestrains lope off after the pirate screening team.
Both Brethren units join the assault and the reinforcement unit looks to be lining up a shot with their plasma cannon.
Heedless of their own safety and aware they are under the gaze of their deities, the Brethren hurl themselves into an assault on the jail.
The fleeing pirates reach their comrades so the Purestrains turn towards the jail, using cover to hide their advance from their prey.
Inside the courtyard, lasfire rakes back and forth as the pirates desperately try to force their way in.
Reade catches a glimpse of Bill at last! He is being held prisoner by some Cult fanatics.
Governor Nohm Berthoo is still 'ocupado', seemingly oblivious to the attack on his castle.
The pirates enter bloody hand to hand combat with the Cult fanatics. In these close quarters grenades and rifles are no use, it comes down to pistols and blades.
Casualties are taken on both sides but the pirates gain a foothold inside the courtyard. Mento uses his formidable powers to scan the castle for psionic enemies, there is one, but he seems... occupied? Relaxed? How curious.
The first Brethren unit sacrifice themselves in a mindless attempt to distract attention from the Purestrains. Only one remains.
Reinforced, the pirates prepare for a last stand as the deadly Purestrains move ever nearer.
The first Brethren squad's lone survivor creeps forward, muttering prayers under his breath.
The Purestrains are in position! The pirates will have only one volley to kill them before it's too late.
The Brethren reinforcements pour fire into their enemy.
Just as it looks as though Reade and his lusty rogues will be pushed back...
...the will of the cultists snaps and they flee into the dark corridors of the castle. Bill and his surviving team-mate are swiftly freed and armed.
The Brethren dash forward and provide enough of a distraction for the Purestrains to reach the Jail unharmed.
From ground level, the jail roof becomes a nightmare of slashing claws and screaming death.
There is no hope left for the pirates in the jail. All that can be heard is the screaming of tortured souls and the crunching of bone. Several wet, gobs of flesh land near the Brethren who give praise to their dark Gods.
Reade leads his small team back to the truck, leaving a few grenade-bouquet booby traps for any cultist foolish enough to follow.
The ravening Purestrains subdue one of the pirates rather than killing him outright and and a disgusting 'impregnation' process takes place.
Reade and his squad load up and get the truck started. It doesn't appear to be too badly damaged by ramming the gate.
Reade voxs his fire-base to order them to fall back, but silence has fallen over the scene at the jail and static is his only reply...
...but victorious Captain Reade races back to his shuttle with Black Bill! Sure, there will be some explaining to do, but the ladies will understand about all those casualties, right?
So there you have it, Captain Reade bravely snatches a vague semblance of victory from the jaws of total defeat after flirting outrageously with disaster for the entire engagement. Reade was always outnumbered, outgunned and certainly outperformed in the close combat department but thanks to roleplaying he was able to sneak in and grab Bill in a fitting climax (while his men paid the price elsewhere of course). I have a feeling 'Bloody' Sam Reade will be worthy of a sequel at some point, and don't forget to watch out for Thantsants' take on things over at his blog!
Thanks for stopping by!