• Published 7th Nov 2015
  • 1,177 Views, 63 Comments

Iron Hearts: Stray Shots and What Ifs? - Hey its that Pony

A collection of tales that may or may not take place within the universe of the 38th Company and their colorful mutant equine acquisitions.

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Well, it could always be worse...

Within the daunting walls of Ferrous Dominus, a mixed group of human mercenaries and equine soldiers sat around a mess hall. The groups current distraction from duties and the battlefield in general was a grey coated and brown maned earth pony by the name of Spoons who had a wooden spoon as his cutie mark and was pretty decent at making soup. It was not an accident that he got stuck with kitchen duty more often than not as the gruel was always a step above its usual quality on the nights he was cook.

Anyway, the group was listening to Spoons rather somber realization at the complete picture of sudden change that had happened to his world and his races way of life. From the advanced Tau to the Savage Orks to the Chaos worshiping Iron Warriors that they had pledged themselves to. His civilization's pony ways were changing right before his eyes and all in the name of survival.

The other ponies and mercs around him either thought on these events with him or were completely indifferent. A man in dirty brown fatigues who went by the name of Pitts sat and scratched his goatee'd chin for a bit, considering Spoon's words before giving a shrug and saying, "Yeah, I guess that's all pretty bad. Hell, all things considered, we still may not survive this at all. But you know what? It could still be worse."

The various heads around Pitts snapped to his direction. The humans faces wincing at superstitious fear of a jinx and the equines faces full of confusion and curiosity. Spoons spoke up with the obvious response, "How?"

"We could be the Lamenters," Pitts said. The other humans visibly relaxed and nodded at this while the pony soldiers just looked between each other in more confusion. Once again, Spoons asked the obvious response, "What's a Lamenter?"

Pitts smiled and leaned forward. "Alright boys, girls, and mutants! Looks like it's story time about the most unfortunate bastards in the Imperium!"

And so, the grungy Pitts weaved the tale of the valiant but misfortune addled Space Marines, well, what he knew of them anyway. From their origins in the 'cursed' 21st founding to there bitter victories and failures. Most of all, their cruel fates during and after the Badab War which had led to them on a penance crusade across the stars.

"Supposedly, no one is even sure if they're still alive or not." Pitts paused in his narrative to take a sip of his water, "Though that's about all any common speak can tell you."

He reached over and gave Spoons a friendly scratch behind the ears. "So yeah Spoons. Compared to those guys, we've got it pretty good. Hell, our chances of survival really aren't too bad considering we've got the combined expertise of more than a dozen different factions in our forces on just about anything we really might need. So cheer up."

Spoons found himself savoring the surprisingly pleasant feel of Pitts dirty fingernails before he withdrew them. He quickly collected himself and looked at his human companion's amused face. He put a hoof under his chin and considered the story for a moment before answering. "I suppose you have a good point there. I mean, the Lamenters have been having the worse luck all their careers but their still going at it, possibly. If they can continue on through all that then surely we can survive through one little Ork Waaagh right?" He finished with an honest smile.

Pitts just laughed, "Well to be fair, they're Space Marines so they're kind of made to keep kicking after the worse of the worse. A group of humans in their positions would have been killed off long ago.

Spoons smile and ears dropped. "Oh."

The human just shrugged. "But don't sweat it. Whether we live or die hasn't been determined yet. What you should really be doing is getting in that kitchen with that special talent of yours. Goanna be a big operation in a few hours and I'd like to have a last meal that doesn't taste like mulched paper."

There were several agreements from the group on that point as Spoons just rolled his eyes and turned about. "Yeah, yeah I'm going. About all anyone wants from me anyway."

Pitts gulped down the last of his water, thinking to himself. 'At least they want something besides your life from you equine. Not every soldier can say that.'

He set the cup down and took out his stub pistol, inspecting the weapon as a good soldier should. For all appearance and purpose, that's all he was.

Author's Note:

This one sprung from a spontaneous discussion in an Art Thread in the warhammer 40k group forums. The original text has been edited and extended a bit to give it a more complete feeling that was lacking before.

This event takes place in Book 5 after Green Tide Rising.

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