Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

Have you ever heard bagpipes played properly?

No, not some five-dee render job. I mean by half a dozen three-hundred pound ballbreakers wearing armoured skirts and gravtac boots under their blades and slugthrowers. It’s terrifying. Makes your blood rise and your soul sing, then you realise that they’re not calling you, they’re skirling your end. Because behind those six madmen are a hundred more with less clothing and more weapons. And blue tattoos. Some of the bigger ones light up. You can see the knotworks writhe on the berserker’s arms as he brings a shockhammer down, blowing your mates arms off by driving his head down into his hips with one hit.

Why am I here to tell the story? Because that shockhammer blow covered me in my mates blood and guts. So I fell over and pretended to be dead.

Why am I back at the front? Because those berserkers have rolled the lines back so far, so fast that where I ran too is now the front line. Yeah, I know that stinks, but it’s the truth.

What am I going to do? As soon as the pipes start, I’m going to walk forward and stand there. As the pipers come over the hill, I’m going to throw my weapons away and sit down.

You? You do what you want. I’m just telling you so you don’t follow me forward and make them think I’m doing some heroic last charge crap.

After I sit down? I’m going to stay there until some blood- and tattoo- covered berserker offers me a smoke, a whisky and a chance to spend the rest of the war as a rock crusher on some planet where there isn’t enough atmosphere for bagpipes to make my soul cry.


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