Benvard's story of how he lost just about everything and how he came to join the Imperial Guard.
Benvard walked up the main road into the township of Proxad. the village was heaving in the late afternoon. people were returning from a long day spent out in the feilds harvesting, and traders were busy selling as much as they could before shutting up shop.
Benvard was rather handsome. he was thirty four, with light brown close cropped hair, emerald green eyes and a set jawline. he wore simple jeans and shirt and carried a double barreled shotgun over his shoulder.
he made his way through one of the many housing estates of the township, stopping in front of one house in particular.
the house had two storeys, a flat roof, and was terraced.
it was made of simple brickwork. it wasn't much, but it was Benvard's, earned with his own sweat and blood, and no one could take that away from him.
inside he could imagine his wife, Marie, preparing a delicious friday evening dinner, a headway for the weekend ahead spent with her and his son, Rory.
Benvard took a deep breath, smiling, then proceeded up the pathway towards the house.
he opened the door and stepped through into a carpeted hallway. he dropped his shotgun by the door as a small boy of about five years rushed towards him.
"daddy daddy!" he cried.
Benvard picked the child up. "y'alright, Rory, how're you doing?"
"i'm good." the child said, grinning broadly.
"where's yer mam?" asked Benvard.
Rory pointed to the door leading into the kitchen. Benvard set the child down.
"go play for a bit, Rory."
"can you play with me, daddy?" asked Rory hopefully.
"later, i promise." chuckled Benvard.
Rory ran into one of the adjacent rooms and Benvard made his way into the kitchen.
Marie stood there, arms folded, as though she had been waiting for him. she wore a light blue dress, perfect for the hot weather, she had clear blue eyes and dark brown hair.
Benvard made his way over to her and kissed her. after a minute she pulled away.
"good day in the feilds?" she asked.
"nah." replied Benvard heavily, "Lex had problems with the harvester, almost blew the damn thing up three times."
"you always going to blame Lex for things?" she asked.
"pretty much, yeah." Benvard smiled.
Marie's face darkened slightly. "there was a public warning on the vox channel today."
Benvard sat at the kitchen table.
"what was it?"
"something about alien raiders."
Marie shook her head.
"well, lets not let it worry us." Benvard began.
suddenly a loud scream echoed from outside.
Benvard and Marie rushed outside, Benvard pausing to get his double barreled shotgun.
Benvard stopped short. before him he saw about twenty alien warriors with segmented armour, most of which was covered in blades and spikes. red eyes glowed furiously behind their helmets. they carried smooth barreled weapons with bayonets on the ends. the strange weapons fired a hail of spines that ripped into helpless civilians and tore the skin from their backs.
Benvard loaded his shotgun.
"get inside the house!" he ordered Marie. she hurried inside.
a trio of alien warriors ran up the path to the house.
"c'mon, alien bastards!" Benvard roared, making his stand. this was his home, and he would defend it until his last breath.
Benvard fired two fragmentation shells at the aliens, their armour exploded in a bloody mess as the razor sharp pieces of fragmentation shells entered their bodies.
two went down instantly, and Benvard ran forward, smashing the butt of his rifle into the alien's head and smashing it's skull.
Benvard reloaded the shotgun, then paused, his jaw dropped in horror.
before him he saw a smooth prowed alien tank hovering over the street. it's tapered prow ended in two razor sharp blades, and a turret set near the back of the tank constantly rotated, a crystal barrel mounted on the turret blasting whole sections of houses away.
even as Benvard watched, the cannon rotated and fixed on his house. Benvard let out a scream of defiance, but it was too late.
the house exploded, sending pieces of shrapnel and brockwork flying everywhere.
Benvard was thrown flat as a piece of wall landed on top of him, he blacked out.
Benvard stirred as strong hands pulled him from the wreckage. he looked up to see Lex, a lasgun slung over his shoulder.
Benvard got painfully to his feet, looking around him. there was nothing left of the township. Guardsmen were shifting through the wreckage, looking for survivors.
Benvard turned, hearing a moan coming from the wreckage of his house. he scrambled desparately over the fallen brickwork to where the moan had emanated from.
he pulled pieces of brickwork away and dragged someone from the wreckage. it was Marie.
Benvard sobbed as he saw a four foot metal pole stuck in her side.
"Marie, Marie, hold on, alright?" he whispered, his voice trembling.
Benvard looked away, he had no answer.
"we'll get you to Elux, you'll be safe." he whispered hoarsely.
Marie closed her eyes. "keep....rory....safe."
Benvard felt desparately for his wifes pulse, but couldn't find it.
he started to sob, still clutching his wife's limp body in his hands.
the tears tracing thick lines down his dirt caked face, Benvard slowly let go of Marie's body and stood up.
he turned, ignoring Lex, and made his way over to the Guardsmen shifting through the wreckage.
Lex grabbed his arm.
"what the hell're you doing, Ben?" he yelled.
Benvard shrugged Lex's arm off.
"what d'ya think, Lex?" he whispered hopelessly.
"what? you're just going to join the Guard?" Lex asked disbelievingly.
"I've got nothing left, Lex!" Benvard shouted, turning, "what? you think i'm gonna stay here?" he waved his arm at the wreckage, "i'm nothing!"
with that Benvard turned, his grief almost to much for him to bear, and walked towards the Guardsmen without a backward glance at Lex.