| The Calipsion Sub-System Crusade
Chapter 1: chaos aligns
Chapter 1: Chaos AlignsEdit
That had a meaning, man created that meaning. Since a Psychicly capable race invented that meaning, did it in turn have an existence within the warp which was feed by...
The second flash drew Israfel from his pondering. Now was most certainly not a time to ponder upon creation within the warp. Even if creation was a power within the warp that only a soul truly possessed and thus why the coming Dajakk lords would reign supreme. With so many psychers and other heretics aboard this vessel such thoughts could prove damaging to the future of the Dajakk to say the least.
Indeed though that may have been a key reason to halt his current thoughts, the Arch-Heretek and Chief Developer of The Brotherhood of the Dajakk had a key other reason to stall his current line of thinking. He would require all his processing power to complete his next awaiting objective. Indeed now would be the beginning of what he had been preparing for centuries for.
Quickly collecting himself the Arch-Heretek made full haste to the deck and audience chamber that had been prepared well in advance. Along the way he, as scheduled, meet with the Chief-Distributeor Arch-Heretek Amon. And in audio-synchronous step Israfel walked, while Amon's moto-servers rolled, into the vast audience chamber of the Seeker of Darkness. Within the chamber a great many Box seats each set at seemingly random elevations circled around a single large pit, in which currently two gladiators battled to the death. One, his body bloated and shouting of the plague god's love, the other wild and screaming of blood and skulls. In the many seats the lesser warlords jeered and shouted, amused by the spectacle. They apparently were unaware that until hours ago the two chaos champions battling within the arena below were nothing more than initiates of the space marine chapter that called the planet the ship currently was orbiting home.
Mind shackle experiments and biological testing had proven most effective on them, giving those above the illusion of two seasoned champions of their respective gods fighting to the death. Israfel cast a simple scan over the occupants of the chamber. Of the many present he took particular note of three individuals, each representing what could be the most significant contributions to the coming war.
First there was Nazrimath. He represented The Pestilentia Legionis, a chaos force dedicated to the service of the Plague Father of the warp. Their force would be the second largest contributed and as such their payment would match. Nazrimath himself seemed only slightly amused by the battle, giving a slight smile every time the "Champion" down below struck the false Berserker he faced. Though at his side Ragnark The Rotting raved and muttered, most likely plotting ways to infect all those aboard the ship with one of the plague god's gifts. Ever sense that waste of a Dark Magi had encountered the Brotherhood the two sides had been at odds, though that most likely had more to do with Chief-Designer Arch-Heretek Undon's own incompetence than anything else.
Secondly there was Mindfang the Wicked, a self-appointed name surely. The warlord watched with cold calculation and seemed utterly uninterested in the conflict beneath him. Though if what Israfel could find about him proved true, then the man felt little emotion after giving himself to the will of some Daemon god in the warp. While each gift from this, Scales of malice, war-band individually proved unnecessary together and coupled with the 'gifts' of their master they proved a efficient enough force to be noticed. Though With how willing they had proven to strike against other chaos forces in the past Israfel had well debated the worth of inviting them to this war with the promise Daemon-Missiles.
Then last and possibly most importantly were the Steel Reavers, lead by their war-smith Vorax. While they might have been rebels they were still sons of Perturabo, whose legion failed to protect the Brotherhood of the Dajakk from the wrath of the Black Legion all those millennia ago. However perhaps now they could undo their forefathers failure by bringing the Dajakk what they required. More that they must, with how many Daemon-missiles were being sold to them. Vorax sat smugly in his seat confident in the overwhelming might of numbers and weapons his war-band had brought, no doubt thinking his contribution was worth more than twice the amount mentioned before.
With a wave of his augmentic claw, Amon stopped the battle beneath. The two combatants froze, Terror Drone Daemitors dropped in from the ceiling and using lightning claws stabbed into the two "champions" lifting their dying bodies off the circular arena. Now was no longer the time for trivial distractions, the floor proceeded to open, revealing to those above one of Seeker of Darkness' many torpedo bays, in which slaves loaded one of many Daemon-Missiles into a tube. Many lords leaned forward in interest. The three Israfel noted earlier showed no change, to impress them the missile's result itself would only suffice.
Now it was Israfel's time. "Lords, followers of the dark gods, rebels against an oppressive ideological standpoint. Might I present to you the reason you have all been brought here." With a wave of his hand a grand holo-projector sparked to life displaying twin images, one of the world they now orbited, the other of the world's only major city. "First the target, Inankata home-world to foolish Astartes of the Thunder Lance. What you see on the world, is a city called Spirit-wharf the world's only non-migrant population and center for any imperial commerce that passes by. We have left the local defenses intact, and are firing only three missiles."
With that a loud roar almost drowned out the cheer that rose as three missiles streaked towards the planet. There were several tense and silent minutes as the missiles flew, eventually the relatively untouched Imperial defensive positions opened fire at the volley of three projectiles. Most certainly unaware of their target or payload. As the missiles passed through the defenses, one was destroyed. There was merely a simple flash and the defenses around it were gone, leaving the other two missiles free to fly to their target. Soon the two remaining missiles passed through the atmosphere, the display showing them nearing the city then...
For several seconds the displays showed only a variety of imitation warp colors, as the projectors could not replicate the color of the warp for the viewing pleasure of those who watched. However when the result was displayed, even the three Israfel was observing were impressed. Instead of a imperial city standing resolute and unchanging against the demands of the world around it, there was only a blood filled crater. Black tentacles wrapped themselves around whatever Imperial structures still stood despite now being a part of a lake of blood.
Amon now took this moment to begin the true proceedings. "With this display, We are sure that you feel your payment is adequate. All missiles will be delivered to your ships or other per-arranged destinations before we depart, however security devices will make them less than desirable to posses if you decide to leave with them. It is also my duty to inform you that your champions should they make any measurable successes will be rewarded with gifts from our weapon stores." At this Amon lowered his head in a bow much lower than a human, or in his case a mutacrat, head should go. Israphel watched the crowd closely, they were foolish barbarians one and all, but he needed them each and every single one. As Israfel turned to leave, the mundane business began.
"To the Tovie Brotherhood, one Daemon missile! To the Steel Reavers Twelve Daemon-Missiles..."
Yes he would need them if he were ever to reach the end of the path set before him, and to see their gods thrown down as animals.
Chapter 2: Locked against the hordesEdit
| The Calipsian Sub-sector Crusade
Chapter 2: Locked against the hordes
From a rocky outcrop, Great Brother White Wolf, leader of the Thunder Lance, looked on at the body strewn no mans land that extended out from the Imperial forces trench line. Most of the bodies were the remains of the Calipsian Hordes 1st wave.
"This may be easier than we though Wolf."
Blood, the Equalizers 7th Company Captain stood beside his old friend, together their forces had held the Hordes in check as best they could for centuries. But now, it seemed as if the Hordes had grown to large for the Space Marines to handle alone.
"You know the Calipsians as well as I do Blood, they never stop at one wave."
"If they had any sense, the heathens would at least try to flank our lines."
"And walk right into my Hunters ambushes? No, whomever is leading them knows he has no other option."
"Sure Wolf, it was brilliant for him to assume his barbarians could run faster than my men's bolts."
White Wolf allowed himself a smile, "I said he had no other option, I did not state it wise to seize it."
Blood looked out to the horizon where the Calipsian lines lay, White Wolf knew that look, even from beneath the Equalizers helmet.
"They're regrouping, they have feral legionaries with them...Dark Maws to be precise. And behind them will probably be those damned combat walkers with infantry in tow."
"I've known you for well over two hundred years and I still have no idea how you do that. Even my most keen eyed Warriors cannot make out a Katon from an Ork from that range."
"We Equalizers have our ways."
Blood gave a quick hand motion, the one hundred Equalizers in the trenches, alongside the Death Korps of Kreig's 67th Infantry Regiment, readied their rifles.
The Hordes advance was signaled by the sound of Assault Bikes, Dark Maws came riding ahead of the main wave, their silver and blue banners waving wildly in the hot wind. They were advancing quickly and would soon be upon the lines. Even at this distance, Blood could see the eyes of the Dark Maws that rushed forward, they were the eyes of cold blooded killers, 'No,' he corrected himself 'animals.' Beasts, trained to kill without mercy or remorse, with no idea of right and wrong.
When the first of the Dark Maws were in range, Blood gave the signal over the Vox.
"You know what to do Equalizers."
The response was almost instant, "HOLD THE LINE!"
With that utterance, the whole of the Dark Maws first line were pitched from their bikes, each with a fist sized hole in their skulls. The death of the advance legionaries was met with a roar of defiance from their comrades that carried over the sound of their bikes, nothing would deter them from their prey. The Dark Maws opened fire with the various machine guns strapped to their bikes and the trench lines were sprayed with a hail of death.
The Equalizers 7th Company's two Dreadnaughts, Magna and Dirge, were also laying down a mighty volley from their dual-linked assault cannons and huge shoulder mounted missile pods. They laid waste to whole swaths of the Dark Maws charge single handedly.
The Equalizers continued a steady barrage of fire, each shot a certain kill. The 67ths gunners began firing from various gun emplacements across the lines. But the Dark Maws were relentless, the steady hail from the Dark Maws bikes became more accurate as they rushed forward, undaunted by the deaths of their comrades. Guardsmen in the trenches ducked down, and an unlucky few were hit by stray slugs. Equalizers could feel glancing rounds strike their armored forms.
Blood shifted in his armor, White Wolf took notice.
"Whats the matter friend? Nervous?" White Wolf broke into a grin.
"You know as well as I do that Space Marines don't get anxious."
"Tell that to my Lancers!"
The Dark Maws were within a mile of the trenches and closing, White Wolf gave a high pitched cry over the Vox, like the cry of a Terran falcon. Within seconds, from the ridges and outcroppings that dotted the foothills at the rear of the trenches, Lance Squads burst from their cover, racing forward atop their mighty War-bikes.
The Lancers raced forward, and within moments their heavy bikes flew over the heads of their allies in the trenches. The 67th ceaced fire, no fear of hitting the astartes as they rode into battle. But the Equalizers never halted their deadly barrage, bolts flew by the heads of the Lancers and struck their targets without fail.
As the lines closed second by second, the Lancers began firing their bikes ranged weapons as the Dark Maws barrage soon quickly focused on them. Various side mounted grenade launchers and twin-linked bolters fired back at the Dark Maws, but for every one of the Feral warriors that fell two more seemed to take his place.
Some Lancers were raked with machine gun fire as the closed with their foe, their ornate armor ripped to shreds, they fell to the side and their bikes crashed spectacularly, driving deep into the blood soaked dirt. Dark Maws were engulfed with fiery explosions and limbs were ripped off by bolts larger than a mans fist.
The lines closed soon they would be upon each other. The Astartes readied their Power Lances, the weapons crackling with energy as if anxious to be plunged into a hapless Feral Legionary. The Dark Maws drew their chainswords and large energy knives, each not taking his eyes of his mark, the roar of chainwords soon accompanied the din of engines. The collision was not one thunderous sound as those who witnessed it expected, no it was a cacophony of crashes and garbled battle cries, Power Lances ripped through flesh and steel and chainswords found their way through armor and genetically enhanced bone. Red dust kicked up by the advance clouded the area and for a moment even the Equalizers could not see what had become of their comrades.
The dust settled and a roar of triumph rose throughout the Imperial lines as they saw the broken remains of the Dark Maws charge, they bodies mangled, their bikes flaming wrecks. The Lancers, though they deeply wished to continue their charge all the way into the very heart of the foe, followed the battle plan and turned back with all haste, a few scooping up the corpses of Dark Maws as trophies.
The wave that was to follow the Dark Maws pulled back, much to the chagrin of their now fearful commander.
"See Wolf? Easier than we thought."
"There will be more friend, there are always more."
At that moment a Thunder Lance Hunter rushed forward, nearly out of breath.
"Great Brother, news from the fleet, there is a massive Chaos fleet en route."
Blood was perplexed "Chaos? Here? In the Emporor's name, why?"
"Captain Lighting Tamer says its the largest he's ever seen."
White Wolf had one concern flash through his mind, "Has he heard anything form the home guard?"
"No Great Brother."
"Tell Lighting Tamer to dispatch a scout force to Inankata, and to dedicate whatever reserves we have left to engage the traitors."
"Yes sir." With that the Hunter went at a full sprint.
At that moment a giant pod dropped from sky smashing into the earth behind the Imperial lines. And a giant spark of green light erupted before, Great fumes of disease and rot rushed from the streaks of light. Plague Orks, bearing the sickly mark of the Pestilentia Legionis lumbered forth, their acid dripping maws and battle-scared forms an intimidating sight to behold.
"Okay, perhaps it will not be so easy."
Chapter 3: Breaking spaceEdit
| The Calipsian Sub-sector Crusade
Chapter 3: Breaking space
But then there was the Chaos fleet bearing down upon them, despite his participation amongst them, Mindfang knew these two were unjust and cruel people. This fleet was comprised of tyrants who wished to directly rule over worlds of slaves, worshipers of depraved gods whose only desire was to watch the very same slaves worship them, and madmen who cared nothing for the freedoms and lives of others only seeking to put them to use as slaves, sacrifices, or worse. This was a war Mindfang would not be proud of, but with the Daemon-Missiles he would have at the end, bringing all of them to justice would be simple.
However for now, His own fleet was trapped, while most of his ships had entered the warp ahead of the rest of the Chaos fleet Mindfang was forced to watch as the ships of those craven scientists pulled ahead of his own, each vessel in a race to reach the enemy first. While said enemy was currently locked in battle. This system, particularly the second planet had become a battleground, indeed while the entire sub-sector had become engaged in war it was here that both the imperials and the techno-barbarians had amassed their greatest forces and placed them against one another.
As such The Brotherhood had planned for this, while both sides struggled against one another here, deadlocked as they were, the chaos fleet would arrive and break the strength of the two factions before claiming the entire sub-sector for the dark gods. However Mindfang had different plans, as undoubtedly the other tyrants did, he would as soon as he could bring Malice's justice upon the corrupt and free their servants, then he would free the entire sub-sector from the tyranny it was held under.
Before then however, He needed to win this coming battle, and earn Malice's favor. Currently his fleet would arrive ahead of the Reavers and Legionis by at least a few hours, giving his forces the prestige of more naval kills. That was if the damned Tech-priests did not continue to pull ahead as quickly as they were. Indeed, if Mindfang was not careful his fleet would end as support to the damned Machine men.
It was two hours latter that Mindfang, once again returning his attentions to the fleet positions noticed it, a small course deviation in the Dajakk fleet's path. The Dajakk were moving above the imperial lines, not traveling directly to them in order to engage, meaning...meaning that he now had a chance to claim further prestige amongst the chaos forces and had a chance to maximize the damage caused by his fleet. "Divide the fleet into thirds, All ships around The Gallows are to travel to point, Zeus -324, Xeno 100, Yeven 1072. All vessels about Steady Execution will travel to point Zeus -380 Xeno 50, Yeven 100. All Vessels around The Judgement are to follow us to point Zeus -220, Xeno 100, Yeven -2000. At my command all vessels will change course and head directly for the center of combat, while all Vessels following The Judgement will turn into the Techno-barbarian lines"
With a chorus of acknowledgement the servants set to transmitting their leader's orders to the fleet. Soon the battle would be won, and Mindfang would be taking all the glory, all the glory would be his and his alone. Now Mindfang allowed himself to rest in his command throne. It would take nearly an hour before each vessel was in position and another thirty minutes after that before they were within firing range. Ahead the Dajakk fleet already were descending upon the main battle line, dozens of frigates throwing themselves at their enemy lances and torpedoes lashing across the distance of space to strike far off targets that to the untrained eye were little more than stars.
When the time came the Scales fleet turned into their enemies with relished glee their weapons firing into the battle allowing them to encircle the imperials. Already blood flew freely, ships came apart with plumes of starfire, entire crews where vented into the void as the fleets each continued their mindless exchange. However The Judgement and the ships following her attacked differently than their brethren, in two hours the main fleet would arrive washing over the strained imperial forces, however these techno-barbarian ships had a reputation to elusive raiders. Mindfang by putting himself and a great many of his ships behind the vessels intended to prevent their escape.
"Inform the gunners to maintain fire against the enemy's rear armor, it's thickest there. We don't need them turning away from the imperials to face us, we just need them to know staying and fighting their way through would be wiser than turning on us." If he could Mindfang would kill each and every one of the pitiful primitives, however neither time, nor numbers were on his side and letting the main fleet take the killing blow would be the wisest of all options now.
Looking back to the main fleet Mindfang thought to the future. Letting them take to the planet first would likely be the best choice, after all a weakened enemy would be easiest to pass judgement on.
"He preformed within tolerated deviations, by 18.9784% Lord Stalven. Your new Daemon cogitator has performed adequately." Israfel complimented. Indeed a machine that could predict the thoughts of another so efficiently was certainly a accomplishment to build.
"However it failed to meet our expectations, for the Research Division this device is ill suited." The mechanically feminine voice of Arsu'El'Bork'an complained from behind. The only Tau member of the brotherhood taking a spot next to her space marine like liege only giving a courteous nod to her superior, as small drones floated about them completing one menial task or another.
Finally the Warpsmith spoke himself. "My only concern is what they do when on world." The massive machine to emphasize his point by pointing to the fleet which was now forcing it's way through the imperial fleet, small plagueships forcing their way through despite damage that would normally fell a larger vessel. finally one of these vessels fired a pod like object to the world below. The war was now truly beginning.
Chapter 4: On the Pain of Death...Edit
|The Calipsian Sub-sector Crusade|
"I should have sent 400..." He mumbled to himself. Balthazar had inherited the Dark Maws Feral Legion from his father, who one night simply 'passed away' in his sleep. These days, however being a Gene-Lord was proving to be more trouble than it was worth, with the constant wars for planets now out numbering the simple raids Balthazar was much more used to orchestrating. He knew he had to break the Imperial lines and he knew he had the numbers to do it...however he was flummoxed that the time honored Calipsian tactic of using superior numbers was failing him in this particular battle.
'No matter.' he thought 'Those outdated Imperial Gene-Warriors will break eventually.'
One of his Gene-Techs marched forth from the command tent, "My lord," he bowed low, as was custom "we are receiving a priory communication...it has the Kings coding."
'Eventually may not come soon enough.' Balthazar thought fearfully as he waved his servant away. He looked out onto the battlefield once more before turning to enter the tent. Inside there was at least twelve Gene-Techs fiddling about with various tactical data sheets and going over various other data forms, these were Baltazars personal retinue, the best and brightest geneticists his family heritage could buy.
"Why are the communications not up?" Baltazar asked irritably.
"Coming on line now my Lord." a Gene-Tech quickly set up the ancient communication device, this particular piece was a drone, it hovered using long lost anti-grav technology and looked very much like a view screen with repulsers. Balthazar assumed his usual pose, hands behind the back, chest out, chin elevated trying to look important as ever, his blue and silver robes proudly displaying his Legions colors.
'It's probably the Kings lapdog,' Balthazar thought scornfully, 'Only Serano would have the gall to interrupt my campaign, probably over some trivial troop moments or something else fully below my valuable time.'
The display drone booted up and soon its blank screen displayed static... after a few moments an image final materialized as if rising from the static. Baltazar almost lost his composure at the initial shock of the image before him, the Gene-King himself, clad in his dark green power armor, his mask concealing his face. But Baltazar did not need to see his face to know that this was the Tyrant Lord of Calipsia, the undisputed ruler of all the Feral Legions.
Balthazar immediatly dropped to his knees, "M-my King, I-I did not expect-" The Gene-Kings deep voice cut through the Gene-Lords blathering "How goes your campaign Balthazar Kernis, Lord of the Dark Maws?"
"The Imperials are... Cornered and cut off from their reinforcements! Soon they will crumble my King." Balthazars false confidence was all to obvious to the Gene-King.
"They are not destroyed?"
"Your force outnumbers them by a three to one margin, you have been fighting them for three weeks...and yet they still have the numbers to resist?"
"The savages won't give up my King! They fight to the last man!"
" I do not accept excuses." The Gene-Kings voice grew lower and it seemed as if murder oozed from his words.
"Y-yes my King I-"
"Are you familiar with the term, 'On the pain of death.' Baltazar?"
The Gene-Lord swallowed nervously, he was sweating and stood stiff, as if struck with some sort of fever. It was fear, pure unadulterated fear.
"If the Imperial forces are not completely destroyed by the time my fleet arrives...you will be far more familiar with that term than you would ever want to be."
"Yes my King."
The Gene-Kings armored form slowly melted away into static and the drones display went black once more. Silence followed for what seemed like an eternity, all eyes were turned to the Gene-Lord who stood, as if dumbstruck. Suddenly he sprang back to life, "I want all forces rallied for the fourth wave."
His Gene-Techs looked at him as if he had gone mad, "All?"
"All!" Balthazar exploded.
"But my Lord, what if the enemy counter attacks?"
Balthazar immediately struck the offending Gene-Tech with a vicious backhand, "There will be nothing left to counter attack you insolent buffoon! Mobilize every Legionnaire and all battalions of Mercenaries, NOW!" Balthazar stood, hands behind his back as his Gene-Techs scrambled over the communications equipment, sending the word out to all forces under the Gene-Lords command.
Suddenly, an explosion caught the occupants of the tent completely off guard. Balthazar's Dark Maws lieutenants burst through the flaps of the tent, "My Lord, we are under attack! We need to move you to a safer location."
Balthazar shoved his way past his Gene-Warriors, 'Inconceivable!' he thought 'Those Imperial worms dare to atta-' A massive, grotesque insect flow over his head as he left the tent, in its claws it held a Dark Maws Gene-Warrior who promptly exploded as he activated his fusion grenade, transforming the beast into a ball of fire and putrid gore.
Balthazar whipped around to see the battlefield, it was chaos, Orks fought in the trenches with panicked Barbarian warriors, Dark Maws fought for their lives against putrid Plague Marines, and Calipsian Combat Drones poured gouts of flamer fire and hails of bullets against daemons that were so foul in appearance it made Balthazars skin crawl. The stench of rot, burned flesh, smoke, and death filled the air.
Balthazar looked on in stunned horror as one Plague Marine set his sights on the Gene-Lord, slowly the rotting mountain of flesh and rusted metal strode towards Balthazar, Plague Sword in hand, the other was a horrendously mutated claw, dripping unmentionable filth that sizzled as it touched the dry ground. The Marine was flanked by two Orks, their beady yellow eyes like venom soaked daggers.
But they were suddenly beset by five Dark Maws, the Gene-Warriors swooped in with unimaginable speed. One of the Orks fell almost immediately, a chainsword cleaving his head from his shoulders. The Orks blood seemed to melt the sword down to the hilt and as it spilled over the Legionaries face he screamed in abject agony and soon fell to the ground, dead. The Plague Marine struggled with the two Legionaries that were assailing him, his strokes finding only air while the Dark Maws knives found their marks in the places where vital organs once were. The last Ork tried to level his crude spike throwing weapon but he soon found his arm ripped from its socket by a chainsword, however he bared down on his attacker with all the savage fury a one armed Ork could muster.
Balthazar's lieutenants rushed to their masters side, "Well, what are you fools waiting for!? Get me out of here!"
Chapter 5: ResistanceEdit
|The Calipsian Sub-sector Crusade Chapter 5: Resistance|
Chaos paratroopers deploy.
An autocannon situated in a nearby building opened up, but not upon him, his company, or the PDF. Instead it targeted the civilian refugees that the Steel Wardens were evacuating, blasting those that could not find cover to bloody smithereens. PDF troopers ran and Steel Warden space marines shielded as many refugees as they could behind their armoured forms, rounds pinging off their power armour. The autocannon still found targets.
The autocannon needed to be silenced. Now.
Voljna opened the vox-link and was about to contact the 9th Devastator Squad Sergeant, Lycaos, before the emplacement exploded into a large fireball, spreading bits of masonry over a wide area, knocking those nearby on their backs with the force of the explosion. The building itself, weakened already by previous hits, fell over with a thunderous rumble, crushing Chaos troopers, PDF guardsmen, and civilians alike beneath tons of smoking rubble. Thankfully the few Steel Wardens that had been nearby managed to leap clear, sparing themselves death beneath the rubble. The ruins burned, adding more smoke that drifted lazily up into the sky to join the haze that blotted out the planet's sun. Only fires illuminated this planet now.
"You're welcome.", growled the voice of Lycaos over the vox.
"What? Only TWO Lascanons this time, Brother-Lycaos?", replied Voljna, smiling at his joke. Lycaos believed in the concept of overwhelming force, a concept which had more than once led to some pretty unneccessary, but spectacular, displays of destruction.
"Conserving ammo, Captain. We're running low, a few more hours of this and we'll have to use our cannons as clubs."
That worried Voljna. Lycaos had ordered his squad to carry as much ammunition as possible, which usually meant that his squad had more than enough ammo for the task at hand. They had just started evacuating the civilians off-planet, if they lost Devastator support this early on..... Voljna didn't want to think about it.
So he instead ordered a PDF trooper carrying a vox-set over to his postion. Time for a check-up on the Battlebarge Valourous, which orbited above the planet's atmosphere, fighting off the Chaos fleet in order to buy time for refugees to escape this planet.
Thankfully the Chaos fleet itself had spread itself very thin when they had begun to deploy their ground forces, otherwise the Valourous would have been blasted out of orbit when they had finally translated out of the warp. They had been too late to help the Imperial Navy, so they chose the next best option: evacuating refugees.
The response from the Battlebarge's Captain was dismal. She had been engaged several times by Chaos Cruisers over the last few hours. Though victorious each time, the Valourous had been wounded sorely, her weapon systems damaged severely, and large atmosphere breaches in the hull. The only thing that protected the Valourous now was the small fleet of Thunderhawk gunships she carried and a large force of Imperial Interceptors which had escaped the destruction of the Imperial Navy.
They had to work faster.
Voljna marshalled his forces just as another enemy assault thundered towards them.
Operation Orpheus was the first great Imperial success of the Calipsian crusade. The Steel Wardens managed to evacuate over half the population of the planet, getting them off-planet and out of the system. Thousands of civilian and military aircraft were marshalled in the desperate evauation. Thankfully the Chaos paratroops and teleporter shock troops could not bring significant anti-air fire upon the fleeing aircraft, allowing them to escape relatively unscathed. The spacecraft could then make their way to where the Battlebarge Valourous stood her ground, surrounded by the corpses of chaos ships. There they were given coordinates to a nearby world, given supplies, and allowed to make a warp jump out-system. However, not all the glory should go to the Steel Wardens. An Imperial cruiser managed to escape destruction, and for the duration of the evacuation protected the fleeing craft, diverting or delaying elements of the chaos fleet that came too close, leaving the system only when the evacuation was over. Further acclaim should go towards the Interceptors, who protected the Valorous with their lives. This action was also not the selfless act that Imperial propaganda posters would later claim it to be, for the Steel Warden's homeworld of Caphos Tertio lay just a few days warp travel away, a probable target in the crusade. Andreas Randolph, Chapter Master of the Steel Wardens was determined that this not be so, and so he deployed the forces at his disposal, hoping they would buy enough time for him to recall the rest of his Chapter and arrange for a counter-attack.
Chaos troops did not manage to eliminate all of the PDF. Some survived, and a few, like Fedchenko, would become part of a planet-wide resistance movement that would hinder the Chaos troops in any way imaginable. From leaking vital enemy tactics and troop deployments to sabotage the resistance did more damage man-per-man than any single trooper of the PDF or guardsmen that would fight in the battles to come.
Chapter 6: Lines in the sandEdit
| The Calipsian Sub-sector Crusade
Chapter 6: Lines in the sand
Imperial and other forces:
"You dare, Think that I would allow you to get away with this you faceless machine lovers!" Vorax of the Steel Reavers roared. "Give the third city to me, and the one down river to the Scales. I'm certain those backstabbing maniacs could do well preaching to those people of freedom as disease takes them!"
However the servitor representing Mindfang would have none of Vorax's posturing. "My fleet is quite content where it is, after killing the majority of the imperials and barbarians we would most appreciate a... less crowded location." The machine most likely did little justice to the venomously cool sarcasm of the fleet lord of the Scales of Malice.
"We need to quickly come to an agreement. My forces will not abide holding this world alone for long, Nurgle's love needs to be shared with all." The wheezing of the Servitor Nazrimath was using seemed sickly itself just by mimicing the words of the warlord who currently was sending his forces down to the world below. "Perhaps we should just..."
Instead of the slightly, and intentionally, offensive and controversial battle plan that had originally been given to the warlords a 'new' battle plan, the one the Brotherhood had originally devised. We will deploy the Pestilentia Legionis into the third city, with their numbers they will most likely be able to take the majority of open lands our enemies possess The Steal Reavers will fortify the second city still and force their way downstream Nazrimath was quickly cut off by Amon, exactly as calculated. "If we must, let us create a new tactic instead." Instantly the holo-display changed, most likely along with each of the ones aboard the warlords ships or so Israfel hoped..until the hit the coastline, from there they will cross the sea and link up with the forces from the Scales of Malice. The Scales of Malice will start at city primus and proceed towards the planetary capital with support from the Reaver's titan. With this we should be able to break the imperial and Techno-Barbarian armies of this world into isolated pockets of resistance, from there it will only become a matter of siegeing their final strongholds and finishing them." Amon proposed masterfully.
It was Ragnark The Rotting who first spoke his doubts, but Vorax was the first to openly challenge the plan. "And what of your forces? Are men of your worthless stature too cowardly to fight a war and thus paying us to do it for them?" Israfel smiled even more broadly, and with a nod of approval from Amon claimed the transmitter servitor's attentions.
"No our forces will be fighting on all fronts. We will be sending troops along with each force to ensure you complete your tasks on schedule." Israfel waited a moment and prepared to voice another threat but a movement that demand attention from the command throne stalled him, as the transmitter servitor instead turned it's attention to the Arch-Heretek Manderon, Chief-Researcher and founder of the Brotherhood.
"We hold each and every act in this conflict most valuable, allow us to display our own commitment and power by opening the way for your forces, by eliminating the imperials and barbarians infesting your designated cities, by fighting your battles for the sake of your prizes for you."
For Lord Commissar Zakran what had turned into a simplistic war against Techno-Barbarians had turned into a full campaign against the forces of the chaos god of decay. Currently he was supervising as his men pressed against main enemy line in the local city designated as Olvia. Already he had lost four squads of flamers to precision fire and a wave of Hell-hound's to enemy Krak missiles. If things continued as they were simply leveling the remaining buildings would be simpler than trying to burn out the heretics.
Why such sickly and lost fools would think that attacking imperial forces who were in the midst of a war already was a effective tactic Zakran would never hope to understand. But contemplating the thoughts of the mentally sick was foolish and simply burning them away so much easier.
"Send another wave, mix the forces perhaps then we will be able to burn the heretics out." Zakran ordered, and as any good man of Krieg did the closest men relayed the orders and obeyed without question. The men charged with vehicles at their sides a roar of defiance against the enemy forces who had fortified the city perimeter in their throats. Enemy fire was scattered and unfocused, certainly this push which had already gone far beyond the others would allow the KIR into the city to assist the imperial forces still fighting within.
As the enemy's forward line burnt and the prospect of advance began to bring the men of Krieg out from their trench-line, Zakran allowed himself to look up to the heavens if only Vandaleon was amongst the traitors burning now. The skies had been getting darker recently, most likely from the smoke of the fires the imperials had been using to flush out the nurglitte shock-troops who still plagued not only this city but many others as well.
It was then that a score of massive drop-ships broke through the cloud cover, they certainly not loyalist drop-ships but neither did they look like the decay and rot of a nurglitte military. As the ships drew closer they opened their bay doors and numberless black shapes began the fly out from within. The shapes descended upon the city, lost behind the concealment the structures provided though even without site the sound was enough to tell Zakran what was happening.
Screams, hundreds of voices guardsman and civie, man, woman, and child their dying voices even reached out beyond the city to the men of the KIR outside fighting to come into the city. Here and there a man of Krieg would tighten the grip on his rifle as they slowly advanced the pinning weapons fire from the enemies defensive buildings dying out as more and more flamers reached the Nurglitte fortifications. Soon the Emperor's Valkyr would punch into the city and avenge those who were dying within, or they would have...
The first Zakran saw of them was two strange shapes floating above the advancing guardsmen, small jet equipped devices with sharp claws looking down at their prey with glowing eyes. Next the 78th Krieg infantry found themselves beset by a hoard of the things. Clawed beasts would drop in amongst the squads of guardsmen slashing through the light flak armor and into the vulnerable flesh beneath. Others of the faul things grabbed men before ascending into the sky only to let their victom fall to their doom, while some still used wrist mounted las-pistols to gun down unwary troops.
Even as he decapitated one of the machines that had been so foolish as to charge the commissar, Zakran witnessed as two of the flying terrors placed a large cylindrical device upon the ground just ahead of the Krieg advance. With the thunder-crack of displaced air which marked the use of a teleportation device squads of indescribable machines appeared, each covered with arms, blades, and fanged maws. These things charged into the men of Krieg as they pressed against the hellish machines their will to advance unshaken even by these nightmares.
Though perhaps to add to the woes of the brave soldiers it was now that the city decided to empty itself, hordes of the recently dead now shambled towards the still living, while those bearing the mark of the unholy plagues singed of their dark god while pressing forward in numbers that would have frozen lesser men. However like true men of their namesake the soldiers of Krieg continued to advance unwilling to give the slightest to the tide of enemy power.
As he witnessed the horrors taking place a vox was brought to Zakran. "This is Zakran." He answered hoping that reinforcement would be on the other side.
"In the name of the Emperor you are to withdraw. This command is from White Wolf of The Thunder Lances." The order Zakran most feared had come, indeed it often took far more cur rage to withdraw than to advance and now was certainly that time.
Chapter 7: Hold the LineEdit
| The calipsian sub-sector Crusade
Chapter 7: Holding the line
"A parting gift, from the people who called this city home, heretic." The Equalizer reloaded his Stalker Bolter, that was the sixth messenger for the Nurglites he had seen within five minutes of setting up in this dilapidated hab-building, 'They are getting desperate.' the thought ran though the Equalizers head as he stood. After the Thunder Lances cut off this battle group from their leaders and jammed the vox. He moved to a new position, two stories up from his original one. No sooner had he set up, another cultist scampered into veiw.
'They never learn..' He raised his bolter and sighted down the scope, this one was a man, rather portly by the looks of it, 'Very desperate.' the Equalizer couldn't help the thought. His reticle, which he had custom made to look like a skull, soon sat upon the pudgy cultists head. He squeezed the trigger, immediately the fat ones body fell flat, as if he were simply a machine and the Equalizer had done nothing more than flip the off switch.
It had been weeks since the Chaos forces had descended upon the world, the Equalizers and their Thunder Lances allies had been pushed back into the city their trench lines had been defending from the Hordes. They were forced to take refuge in the very place they were defending, thankfully the Steel Wardens had totally evacuated this city by the time the Equalziers and Thunder Lances had made their way back.
The Equalizer set up one floor down, another cultist darted into veiw, male and in good enough shape by the looks of it. The Equalizer lined up the shot, but stopped, out of the corner of his eye
The Equalizer threw himself to the ground as a bullet flew by hardly an inch from his helmet, he lay flat, 'Damnable! Plague Snipers now? What next? Nurglite Berzerkers!?' he thought, thankfully there were at least twelve more veteran snipers placed throughout the area, they would deal with the messenger. The Sniper had bigger things to worry about.
"Hey!" The Nurglite yelled across the chasm that separated their positions, "Did I getcha!?"
The Equalizer could hardly believe his ears, was that fool actually giving away his position?
"Hellllooooooo! Any one hoooommme?"
The Equalizer crawled forward, trying to make it to the elevator that was on the other side of the room, if he could get there he could relocate and put this clearly disturbed soul out of his misery.
The Nurglite lit a cigarette, "Ya know," there was a quick coughing fit that echoed across the empty expanse between the two buildings "my mama always told me its rude to ignore people. But hey its alright, I'm sure they don't teach you Space Marines manners, what with all the For the Emperor this and Kill the Alien that." He blew a little smoke ring. "Sure must suck being like that, all mad and angry all the time, always worried some crazy nut-jobs gonna blow your brains out...ahahahaahah! Oh crap pardon me I tend to forget tha-" A bolt ripped through the floor beneath the Nurglite sniper. "Ohhh NICE one there! Ahahah ya almost sent me packing to Pappy Nurgle with that one!"
"Damn!" The Equalizer swore under his breath, the heretic was throwing his voice, he was sure of it now. He couldn't get a good idea of his location because the origin of the voice seemed to jump around the building. The Equalizer had shot and hit nothing more than a hat, one of many the Nurgaling had apparently taken the time to set up in nearly every room of the building.
"Ya know," The Nurglite took another drag from his cigarette "I always wondered how you guys deal with whatcha do. I mean killing ya know... I mean how do it, see, is I just remember that after they go they get to meet up with Pappy Nurgle, and be all happy for the rest of well.. ahah forever!"
The Equalizer scanned from his latest vantage point. 'Nurglites, by the Throne, why me? At least a Khornate would have the decency to be calling for my head on a pike, not this drivel.'
"Maybe THAT'S how you guys do it!" Another drag, "Y'all KNOW that when ya kill one of us we all get to go see Nurgle! AWWW I get it now man! You want us to all be happy 1st, man that's so damn nice of you I really-" Another shot, this time two stories above the Nurglite. "Jumpen Nurgalings man! You are quite the shot!"
Various colorful curses from the Equalizers former life as a hive ganger boiled to the surface of his mind. "You know how I cope with killing fiends like you?" He said aloud, what had he to lose?
"I sleep well at night knowing that every one of you I kill saves the life of some innocent soul within the Emperors domain. That's how I deal with the results of my actions, you sniveling plague monger!"
"Now now! Play nice man! I havent been calling you names have I?"
"We are trying to kill eachother you fool at least act like it!"
"Why should I? Just cuz im not doin a nice thing, hell that means I gotta try to make it nice for you as best I can. I know it ain't exactly pleasant to go out with Pappy Nurgles gifts and treasures, so I do it quick, I do it painless, just like you!."
"You are nothing like me."
"You so sure bout that ol buddy ol pal?"
"Call me that again and it won't be the head I shoot you in!"
"Whats your name then? Mr.Grumpy Britches?"
A long pause followed, the Nurgleing ate the butt of his cigarette, like he always did, not like it was going to kill him!
"Wind, my name is Wind."
"Wind? What kinda goofy name is that!? Ahahahah!"
"The one I had...before."
"Ah before they turned ya into a big bad Space Marine? What your mama one of them nature lovers?"
"No, it was my nickname, what they called me in the underhives."
"OHHHH! Your one of them hive gangers ain't ya!? Well clean my scabs with salt I thought all you boys came form hoity toity nobles and such!"
"I WAS a hive ganger. But my..skills.. are now put to far better use. Ridding the Galaxy of scum like-"
"My name, the one, the only, Joseph Rivian. Bet y'all have heard of me?"
"Aww why ya gotta be like that? I mean trying to shoot me twice I get but damn your such a sourpuss."
The Equalizer stared down at the broken glass that surrounded him...and upon seeing his reflection in the shards, he came up with an idea, he only needed to stall the Nurglite a bit longer.
"Hey look man, we can shoot the shit all day if ya like but I'd rather get this done before sundown, got some fine-ass poontang waiting for me back at camp if you get my drift."
Wind shuttered at the thought.
"You Space Marines don't mingle with the fairer sex do ya?"
"Not in any way you would define 'mingling'."
"Awww that's a bummer man, cuz my lady aww shes somtin else, tall, blonde, and the nicest set of ti-"
"You know what, Joseph?"
"What my cuddly blue buddy?"
"You've convinced me, I've seen the light of...Papa..Nurgle. I think I'll-"
"Take a bullet to the skull? Really!? Damn my mama was right, I shoulda been a shrink!"
"Your mother must be so proud..."
The Equalizers helm came into Josephs veiw, he lined up the shot, and squeezed the trigger.
"BOOM headsho-" A bolt came crashing through Joseph Rivian's skull, right between his eyes. He blinked in disbelief as he saw Wind stand to in a window not but a stones throw away from where his helmet lay, a hole in the eye.
"T-thats...c-cheating.." Joseph managed to mumble before he collapsed to the floor.
Wind made his way back to camp, his shift was over. Apparently the last messenger was captured by a Thunder Lanes Hunter squad and brought in for questioning. From what they gleaned from this cultist before he expired, the Plauge Marines were just a part of a much larger invasion, led by some strange Dark Mechanicus cult.
Wind opened the flap of his tent, it would take a while for the Tech-Marines to repair his helmet, not to mention disinfect it. Something caught his eye... a packet of cigarettes..with the symbol of the Pestilentia Legionis carved into it.
Chapter 8: Home Field AdvantageEdit
"My Lord we must pull back!"
"You pull back when I order it Captian."
"Lord Kernis with all do respect, if we don't fall back and regroup now their will be no fleet left to support whatever grand plans you have for the war on the ground!"
A pause, Kane Tugart hated working for the Dark Maws, being the whipping boy of some low level Gene-Lord. 'How'd it come to this?' he thought as he looked at the various veiw screens that surrounded his command throne, his fleet was outnumbered and outgunned, Imperials in the front, desprately trying to hold their ground, and Chaos in the back, who from what his pilots had told him were quite the crack shots.
"Alright Captain, you get your retreat, but may I remind you what fate will befall you if you dare leave the system!"
"Understood..my Lord." Kane tryed to put the utmost distain into the last word of that sentance, the Gene-Lords pay was good but no amount of denerii was worth being blown to peices over. Now that he had his orders he had to think of a way to push through those damned Chaos worshippers sitting pretty behind him. He coulden't devote his whole force to them, the Imperials were still coming on strong, in spite of the fact that nearly half of their fleet was in tatters.
Kane turned to his sub-commanders busy at their posts in front of various data screens, assessing the damage to the Horde fleet. "Alright you bastards, listen up. We got ourselves some hopping mad Imps right in front of us and some equally pissed off Chaos pricks sitting on our ass, and with us in the middle thats one hot shit sandwich." He paused, this was always how he broke his plans to his men, state the obvious so they feel comfortable your plan will be equally obvoious.
One sub-commander spoke up "Just what the hell are you getting at...sir?"
"I say, we let the Imps say howdy do to their long lost buddies, give the Imps a break through, they don't wanna be where they are any more than we wanna be where we are."
"But, how the fuck are we gonna give the Imps an opining?" Another sub-commander.
"Easy you misrable morons, we got the numbers, were gonna punch right through those Daemon posessed scum!"
The whole of the Calipsian fleet turned to face the Scales of Malice, here there were less enemy ships and alot less fire coming their way. The Imperials took this oppertunity to focus their fire on the Steel Reavers and Scales of Malice that were the most severe threat to the Imperial fleet. Kane looked upon the carnage, ships venting atmosphere, wreaked hulks drifiting lifessly, 'Home sweet home.' He thought.
"Now, lets hit 'em where it hurts, and get the hell outta here, gentlemen." A small chuckle rippled through the crew in the bridge, they were all filthy pirates and cut throats and they knew it well, the term gentlemen was as incorect here as it would be on an Ork Kroozer.
The Calipsian fleet turned its guns towards the Scales of Malice, over the vast plane of space that now sat behind them, enemy ships tore one another asunder, preocuipied with age old grudges between heritic and loyalist. The Hordes beared down with swift and relentless fire, massive lascannon batteries tore sheids away, and nuclear torpeidos found their marks. Some bold Calispian warships dived down through the fray, weaving between enemy craft and leaving nuclear charges which inevitably drifted into enemy ships. As the Calipsians took their leave, bearing east, they left confusion and destruction in their wake.The Scales of Malice felled many ships but the Hordes were relentless, they had not expected such dogged tenacity, or such powerful weapons.
As they left however, the Imperials followed the path the Hordes had beaten for them, allowing them to regroup. Soon rehenforcements arrived, a vast portion of the Dauntless Angels Chapter fleet, supported by the Imperial Hounds 3rd Company and the Steel Wardens, now stood with their loyalist brothers.
"Heretic scum." Nero thought aloud as his fleet came into firing range of the Chaos fleet that smothered the world below. Amongst the tangled ruin of various ship he saw those that bore the disgusting insigna of the Pestilentia Legionis, his blood began to boil with the thought that those cowardly Equalizers were the ones fighting those worms of Chaos, that they, not the Daunltess Angels were the ones fighting in the Emperors name. The very thought of those pathetic excuses for Astartes taking all the glory for this battle was more than he could bear.
"Brothers of the Dauntless Angels," he said over the vox "today we will burn these mongrels in the name of The God Emperor and His divine vengance!" A roar echoed through the hulls of all the Daunltess Angels ships as they closed for combat, nearly the full might of the Chapter was here, ready to burn the very souls of the traitors.
Nero Fertide did not take his seat at his command throne but instead paced like a caged animal, anticipating the hunt, his ships closed according to the prediscussed battle plan. 'Weakling Steel Wardens, falling back to defend mere mortals.' Nero thought, he held Andreas Randolph in contempt as nothing less than a weak willed coward, having his space marines flee the world instead of holding their ground, he would show them all what it ment to be one of the Emperors divine sons.
The Equalizers 6th Company fleet pulled to the planet trying to forego the renewed space battle to come, all to eager to bring much needed aid to their belaugered brothers on the ground. Meanwhile the Thunder Lances fleet had regrouped and would support the Dauntless Angels in their endevor to wipe the traitors out. The Imperial Hounds would go with the Equalizers 6th in an attempt to support the Imperial forces on the ground and to try and cut off the Chaos forces from the planet. But Nero had other ideas.
"All ships attachted to the Bloodborn, advance planetside, make shure those Equalizer dogs have a lesson in how real Space Marines fight." The Bloodborn followed its orders as planned and broke throught the heretic blockaide, it disgorged hundreds of Drop Pods.
The Dauntless Angels Heavy Crusier fleet plowed headfirst into the flanks of the Chaos fleet, namely the Steel Reavers who were in the way of the Legionis forces that the Dauntless Angels so loathed. One Heavy Crusier, known as The Fire Blade, plowed into a Steel Reaver warship. Nero watched with pride as he saw his brothers, even after they were vented into the void, still did battle with the traitors, as most were already clad in their armor. Dauntless Angles Assault Marines swooped into traitor marines and fired bolts at the foe even as they they fell to the worlds surface.
'Emperor be with you my brothers.'
Chapter 9: Glorious RetreatEdit
| The Calipsian Sub-Sector Crusade
Chapter 9: Glorious Retreat
A soldier slain by the legion.
"Clear!", Ruiz roared, and inserted the Heart-Resusctitators into key points of Voljna's armour. Electricity flash-flooded Voljna like fire, and he couldn't help but scream in pain, flailing in an attempt to rid himself of the machines. Ruiz thankfully noticed, and promptly shut off the power.
"My lord are you well?", Ruiz asked, removing the machines from Voljna's slightly steaming body.
"I'd be even better if you didn't fry me every time I pass out.", Voljna replied, his mood having been soured by being electrocuted.
"I'll stop the first time you pass out, and your hearts keep beating."
"That bad, huh?"
"Considering that you have a bullet lodged in your brain, I'd consider you lucky."
"What should I tell the men?"
"The usual, an improperly directed astropath message that says that the big man is coming with his big stick to kick some big ass."
"Roger that, here let me help you."
Ruiz helped Voljna get to his feet, a particularly troublesome task given the thick mud that coated the road. Ruiz then left, spreading the word amongst the troops that Andreas Randolph was coming with a mighty force to rip the foul forces of chaos from this world and send them back to the warp. Complete and utter BS. Voljna had lost contact with his Chapter Master the moment the Valorous had the ship had begun its Warp jump to this dismal planet. He had no idea what the Chapter Master was doing.
His musing were interrupted by his Command Squad, who descended upon him inquiring about his health. He assured them he was fine, in a voice loud enough to be heard by onlookers. He then parted his squad, so that he may survey his forces.
He was at the head of a long line of troops, mostly PDF soldiers, with the 50 remaining Space Marines under his command interspersed between them. Voljna saw Sergeant Lycaos and his Devastators, lugging around mortars and other improvised heavy weapons, the ones they had been issued with had long gone dry. He saw Praetus, the Dreadnought, his vast armored form knee-deep in the muck and mire of the road, a crowd of soldiers and Marines trying to lift him up and out of the filth. He also saw the conditions of each soldier and Marine under his command. The PDF soldiers stank, the smell of cordite and fear mixed with the simple reek of unwashed bodies, their fatigues and flak-jackets in tatters after the many engagements they had gone through. But however bad they looked, Voljna's company of Marines looked worse.
Each Marine wore power armor dented, scratched, scored, and in some cases pulverised by the enemy. Ammunition for the boltguns they carried was low, in fact some Marines simply didn't have ammunition. Each and every one of them was bone tired, for it had been they who had relieved tired PDF troops from their posts, and they who had fought 24/7 in order to deny the enemy back when they had a defense to hold. They had only retreated when a Reaver Titan had smashed their fortifications to rubble, falling back to the relative safety of the wilderness.
Now Voljna attempted to use the myriad paths that criss-crossed this region to return to allied lines and get back to the fight.
At least they hadn't been pursued.
As if in answer, a bullet dinged off of Voljna's helmet, sending him sprawling.
Soldiers and Marines alike flung themselves into the very morass that they had been slogging through, narrowly avoiding the sudden storm of bullets that erupted from a hill overlooking their position. A few unlucky soldiers and Marines were blown apart, showering those around them with chunks of raw red meat. Mortars opened up, their shells blowing the ground, and anything standing on it, sky-high with a sound like a thud, magnified a thousand times.
Voljna crawled over to Myrias, a power fist wielding Sergeant, who was attempting to issue orders, sadly his voice was mostly drowned out the sounds of the artillery bombardment and the cries of wounded soldiers.
"Captain! We're taking heavy fire from that hill!", yelled Myrias, pointing at the hill. Myrias was about to say something else when a barrage of bullets blew off the arm he had been pointing with. He looked at his stump, the blood already clotting on the wound, and said nothing else.
"Ruiz! I've got a man down here!", Voljna cried, ducking his head as incoming heavy fire attempted to blow it off.
"I've got wounded here too, Captain!", came the reply.
Voljna could imagine that the apothecary was already up to his head in the wounded and dying. Voljna glanced over to the Sergeant, who had sunk deeper into cover, his face ashen and his eyes staring blankly off into the distance, while he held his stump, mumbling something about never losing an arm before.
Voljna attempted to peer out of his cover again, he had to duck when bullets attempted to blast his face off again.
He opened up a vox-link.
"Lycaos, you there?"
"Roger, Captain.", came Lycaos' voice.
"I want you to get some suppression fire going, they're murdering us!"
"Already on it, sir"
Almost immediately the hillside that the enemy was on began to explode as mortar shells from the Devastators hit it.
Voljna opened up a vox-link to every PDF soldier in his command.
"All units, stop hiding in your holes and start shooting, Emperor damn you!", he roared.
The few measly las-bolts that went into the enemy positions were a start.
Voljna was about to say somethings else when a new sound caught his attention. It was the slow rhyhmic sound of servo-motors and the sound of great metallic feet slamming into the ground. For a moment Voljna hoped that Praetus had freed himself from the mud, and that the sound was the sound of his stride. However, a quick glance showed that Praetus was still rooted in the mud, returning fire with his assault cannon.
A huge shadow fell across him, accompanied by the distant cheers of the enemy.
"Reaver!", someone screamed.
It was indeed. The monstrosity towered over them all, a two-legged, hunchbacked horror that reeked with the corruption of thousands of years spent in the warp. Its arms terminated into huge cannons while a missile rack crouched on its back. the vaguely canine head swiveled as it sought targets.
It found them.
With a terrifying scream, the rockets tore lose from their mountings, smashing into the PDF and Marine positions,exploding with devastating force, scattering mud, rocks, and body parts over a wide area. Meanwhile its cannons opened fire, drowning the soldiers in a spray of bullets.
Garbled commands, screams, and prayers filtered through Voljna's vox. He filtered them out and contacted Lycaos again.
"Lycaos, KILL THAT THING!"
"Negative, sir! Our frags can't do anything against that!", came the reply.
Damn it. Voljna looked around, desperately trying to come up with a solution. His eyes fell upon Myrias, clutching his stump with the powerfist he wore over his other arm.
"Myrias, can you hear me?", Voljna asked, shaking the Marine gently.
"Yes Captain, did you know I never lost an arm before?", the Sergeant was mumbling, oblivious to the Reaver that rained death and destruction not far away.
"Interesting, but I need your assistance."
"How can I help, sir?"
"I need you to use your power fist."
"I need you to throw me."
"Onto that!", Voljna hauled Myrias up so that the Sergeant could see the Reaver.
"I'll do that, sir.", the Sergenat said, looking at the Reaver and yet not seeing it.
"Do it now!"
The sergeant obeyed, grabbing the Captain with his power fist, and then he began to rotate, holding the Captain like a shot-putter might hold his shot. After a few rotations, Myrias hurled the Voljna right at the Reaver. Dazed and disorineted as he was, Myrias promptly collapsed into the relative safety of cover, while Voljna sailed towards the Reaver.
The throw was good, Voljna landed right on the thing's head. Thanking the Emperor that his gambit had worked, Voljna clambered around its head until he reached on of the two eye-lenses on the creature's head.
He drew his power sword, and promptly slammed it through the lens, the disruptor field allowing the weapon to cut through with ease. The Reaver promptly began to shake its head, hoping to dislodge him, but to no avail, voljna kept cutting until he finally was able to rip the eye-lens out of them Reaver. Las-fire erupted out of the socket as the crew attempted to gun him down. He responded with a frag grenade, chucking it into the cockpit. Voljna could hear a mad scramble for the grenade, but to no avail. The grenade detonated with a satisfying thud, ejecting bits of machinery and meat out of the hole he had created. His troops cheered at the spectacle, thinking it was dead.
They were wrong, for the machine-spirit with in the vehicle, corrupted though it was, was incredibly strong. Blinded and deafened the Reaver lurched around, firing madly. Voljna leaped off the Reaver and sprinted to the relative safety of cover.
Finally, retreat protocols kicked in and the vehicle about-faced, lumbering back from where it had came. It still pt firing though, its body swiveling all the way around blasting at everything. Including the enemy, who desperately abandoned their positions in an attempt to get away.
"Kill them! Kill them all!", roared Voljna, unholstering his plasma pistol and taking pot-shots at the enemy. His men followed suit, leaving cover so that they can get a better shot at the retreating enemy, killing every cultist and traitor that resided upon the hill. Finally they stopped firing, and silence reigned.
They had won....for now.
Far away on Caphia Tertio.....
"My lord.....everything is ready."
"Then give the order....we leave for the Calipsian Sub-Sector within the hour."
"Yes my lord."
Chapter 10: Sweeping darknessEdit
| The Calipsian Sub-Sector Crusade
Chapter 10: Sweeping darkness
At this the servitor that represented Vorax flew into a fury. "Incompetent! You blasted Scales and your so called god! Do you not realize the value of even the smallest titan? I let you use the the most powerful weapon in this entire army and you squander it's power!"
Israfel watched the proceedings carefully. Thus far things had proceeded as expected. Despite their natural hatred for one another the warlords were kept in line by promises of weapons, glory, or simply mutual need. However that did not remove their burning passion to see each-other destroyed. Thus far Mindfang had ignored the planet-side operations in favor of commanding his ships to battle against the Imperials letting his second claim command. Vorax had joined his brothers on the surface at the same time his Titan was placed with the Scales of Malice battle-line. Elsewhere Nazrimath waited for his forces on the planet to reach critical mass before joining them himself.
However now that two Warbands were on the verge of firing upon one another it was again time for the Brotherhood to step in. Manderon this time held the servitor's attention. "Allies, please, we can rectify this. It was a simple mistake, one that if you allow us, the Brotherhood would be most glad to rectify."
Immediately Vorax's servitor looked suspicious. "How so?"
"The Brotherhood of the Dajakk hold a reputation for Daemonic possession. certainly your Titan could do without the need to waste it's time on something as petty as a crew. We will be more than willing to send one of our Arch-heretek's down to oversee the modifications, as well as a special combat unit we like to call Czech to oversee the Scales of Malice advance. Meanwhile we'd, to show our commitment would even be willing to send two of our own as... assistants to your own offensive."
Both the servitors for Mindfang and Vorax narrowed their eyes in a spiteful glare at Manderon. Despite his glare through Vorax gave in easily. "Yes, that would be most agreeable."
"Mindfang, instruct your forces to expect the arrival of Arch-Heretek Arsu'El'Bork'an and Unit WW00468.LU09878.L00058 Otherwise to be referred to as Czech soon. Lord Vorax I do humbly apologize, Cheif-Developer Israfel and Cheif-Researcher Stalven will be joining your forces shortly. Another crisis averted. __________________________________________________________________________________________________
Grave looked upon the the distant form of Steel Reavers titan, useless thing was put out of the action by a single marine. The pilots, despite possibly being the same who long ago had helped try to overthrow the accursed Emperor, deserved their fate if they were incapable of simply swatting a single weak marine from their nose. The huge thing had more than it's entire weight now in slaves and Hereteks swarming about it, all seeking to fulfill the designs of some member of the brotherhood that had recently come to the surface.
Thus far the Brotherhood had proven a disappointment for Grave they hid on their ships, or behind others never willing to venture out of the main encampments, always surrounded by those damn combat servitors of theirs. If Grave were to have his way they would not be a part of this battle, the Scales of Malice did not need them or their meddling machines, all Grave needed was a target to exact justice upon. However it was to the Brotherhood's tent that Grave was now destend to go, Mindfang had ordered that he at least be civil to the unjust Mechanicus.
Grave entered the main tent of the Brotherhood only to find a plasma gun leveled on his face. "I ordered no intrusions! I will not tolerate a distraction while designing the new optical system's daemonic integration interface in sector twelve." The voice sounded feminine, but certainly not human. Looking at the machine aiming the weapon at him Grave received a definite xeno-tech feel as the disk like drone observed him silently. A small figure with tan armor underneath a red cloak certainly was the source of the voice, but it had yet to even look up from it's frantic work.
"Then I will leave." Grave offered, he had a battle to return to. However the small form visibly stiffened, and soon the weapon wielding drone returned to it's masters side. "Grave, Human, Adeptus Astartes, Excommunicate Traitoris, Second in command to Mindfang the wicked and successor of the Scales of Malice. Self introduction is necessary, I am Deputy Chief-Researcher Arsu designated with the task of overseeing maintenance of the brotherhood Daemitor war machines and the Steel Reaver titan on this front."
"I already know." Grave had already been given a slight briefing from Mindfang about his new...allies.
"Then I will proceed to the data relevant to your current mission. Progress on this front is behind the set schedule by 22.4567877% as such myself and Unit Czech have been deployed to expedite the situation.
"And where is this 'Czech Unit'?"
"On the front, preforming the aforementioned task of returning you to proper schedual." Grave was without a doubt going to hate these criminals, these map priests above all other warbands here putting him on such a loop, looking down upon him, and keeping him from completing his sworn mission for Mindfang.
"We need reinforcement, repeat Traitors are at point Gulliman requesting...." The Vox-troop never completed his transmission, as Plasma reduced his skull to moisture. Outpost 1172678 had fallen to the advance of the Brotherhood forces, the Chaos northern advance would soon be cleared for another hundred mile advance.
Surveying the carnage the battle had wrought Czech calculated the next attack, Outpost 1147200 was the most suitable target particularly given the combat statistics generated by the Daemitors during this conflict. Instantly the command was sent, Daemitor units gathered and proceeded into the crawling Stalker transports which would allow them to strike the next objective. Czech itself proceeded towards it's own transport when a Mk IIb class Rhino Transport roared up to Czech. Immediately a marine that the friend-foe classification system identified as Sub-Commander Grave of the Scales of Malice warband lept out of the transport shouting at the War-Walker Daemitor. In the distance Scales of Malice transports and armored weapons raced to join the advance of the Daemitors and soon begain to intigrate into the the daemonicly powered machine army.
"Who permitted you to try and usurp my campaign! I still command this front machine!" Grave roared into Czech's receptors, even allowing some saliva to fly from his mouth into the machine commander's optical unit.
"You indeed do command, and as high command of the northern front your command duty lays in the camp where you are better protected from enemy weapons. This unit will proceed with field command duties until completion of the northern front objective or termination." That a commander receives such an explanation has in record never granted the most satisfactory results, however the programming still remained and the program must be satisfied if Czech desired any form of freedom.
Grave looked the device in it's single eye. "If you EVER..." The rest of the Marine's threat was cut short as a class four AT shell exploded within close proximity of the two. Czech reworked it's calculations, the enemy indeed had sent reinforcements and of a acceptable number for the task of retaking Outpost 1172678. The most probable scenario was that this force was a previously unidentified relief force destined for stronghold 7246 which had been rerouted to counter the advance of the joint Scales of Malice-Brotherhood of the Dajakk force.
The Adeptus Astartes, Grave, lifted himself front the ground and quickly surveyed the distant enemy before indicating for his forces to attack by waving his weapon, a powerfist through the air. Following the lead of the marine the organic chaos forces surged forward with a fury, each gun and cannon firing fiercely. While such tactics were inefficient the suppressive power and inflicted terror of such a act certainly brought about benefits to the advancing organics. Again Czech reworked it's calculations, rerouting the Daemitors to flank the enemy was the most efficient, so the daemitors did so while Czech joined the space marines in battle. While a Adeptus Astartes was clearly well suited for battle, the loss of the supreme commander of the northern front was not tolerable and Czech found itself rushing to catch the commander.
Grave closed fiercely with his enemies, the built in shotgun of his powerfist ending the lives of many terrified PDF and guardsmen before the actual powerfist had a chance to tear into them. At his side the machine, Czech, had finally arrived and joined the battle, while unneeded the machine's plasma weaponry certainly helpful in softening enemy targets that were outside of Grave's effective range. While Grave focused his efforts solely on destroying whichever enemies came within range of his powerfist and shotgun, the machine leader used it's plasma weapons to reduce the numbers of those enemies who tried to remain out of Grave's reach.
By the end of the hour the two had successfully thwarted the Imperial counter attack. Though the husks of destroyed armor and fallen cultists surrounded, both Grave and Czech had already earned an impressive tally of kills. Having personally lead Czech through imperial weapon emplacements one after another Grave could appreciate the machine's complementary nature to his own combat style. However a day would come where Grave would have to end Czech, just punishment for serving a corrupt mechanicus cult. Until such a time though Grave would enjoy making this machine struggle to take the glory of battle from Grave and the Scales of Malice.
Chapter 11: For the HordesEdit
| The Calipsian Sub-Sector Crusade
Chapter 11: For the Hordes
"Alright you dogs!" ,the Venom Warriors commander Kene'Tak was giving final orders to the various strike groups being deployed via dropship all across the planet via the battle-net, "Baron Group you job is easy as it gets, your dropzone is crawling with those chaos worshippers and their damn robots, and you got some Imperial Gene-Warriors caught in the middle... kill 'em all."
With that the blast doors of the gunship opened with their usual moan, grey clouds whipped by as the Storm Crow decended, and soon the drop site came into veiw. Raak'Ta took a firm grip on one of the handgrips near the rear of the ship and leveled his weapon with one hand, he took a moment to appreciate the fact that no normal man could ever weild his weapon one handed. Soon he saw the tracer rounds from Chaos and Imperial forces that were hellbent on holding this little outpoast, designated Gamma 227, it was nothing but the war torn ruins of a small rural town and vast swampland that extended out from it in all directions.
"Ok people," the pilot sounded over the battle net, "we are drop in three," Raak'Ta saw Space Marines on the ground, clad in gold and red armor "two," he hit the injector button on his wrist and that familiar rush of adrenaline and unfocused rage tore through his mind, "one!"
Raak'Ta and his twelve comrades lept from the still speeding dropship, each preforming a perfect tuck and role and landing in a combat ready stance, they were lucky, their drop zone was clear. "Now the fun begins." Raak'Ta whispered to himself..or did he shout it? He had no idea the combat drugs had reached their peak and his vison was clouded by the usual green aura of the stimms as it flowed in great surges through his veins. All he knew was the misson..."Kill them all."
The squad moved swiftly for beings of their size, weaving through desolate streets and half collapsed buildings towards the sound of war. Valkeires flew low overhead, and soon the din of bolter fire and plasma bursts was jamming into Raak'Ta's skull, 'Finally!" he thought, he had never seen an Imperial Gene-Warrior up close and as he only had about two more years to live before the drugs killed him, this was an experience he had been hoping for. 'A challenge.' he reminised as the squad took up its position behind the ruins of what was a Baneblade.
Raak'Ta peeked around the corner, a tinge of dissapointment, all he saw was a pair of those machines not the Imperial Gene-Warriors he had been so eager to fight. 'It'll have to do.' he thought with and air of sarcasem as he leveled his gun, making sure that these machines wouldent get the chance to fight back would mean ripping them to shreads quickly, something his machine gun was perfect for. However, he had trouble aiming down the sights, 'Too much juice, shaking.' the thought raced through his mind but then he realized, it was the ground. Suddenly a Dreadnaught, bearing the black aquilla of the Dauntless Angels came crashing through an adjacent building, directly in front of the machines.
The machines opened fire on the Dreadnaught but to no avail, the Dreadnaught delivered a punishing blow to one, sending it sailing through the air in three seperaite peices and crushed the other within its large trunk shaped hand.
"FOR THE HORDES!" Raak'Ta shouted as he opened fire on the Dreadnaught, his comrades followed suit. The Dreadnaughts mighty frame moved with astonishing speed as it charged towards the Venom Warriors who now had spread out, taking cover behind various half destoryed vechicles and debris, but Raak'Ta stood out in the open. He was almost in a half trance, in awe of the sheer might of the Dreadnaught as it trampled the burnt out hulls of tanks and swept chunks of masonery aside like dust in the wind, "This ones MINE!" he shouted to his fellows.
The Dreadnaughts heavy flamers began spouting off great gouts of fire, probably in an attempt to scatter its foes, but to no avail. Raak'Ta was rushing headlong to meet the mountain of adamantuim, his gun blazing. The Dreadnaughts armor was dented and in some areas the Venom Warriors hail of projectiles ripped into the mighty machine body but nothing near a killing blow.
The Gene-Warrior and the Dreadnaught were hardly ten feet from one another, the Dreadnaught let loose a blistering inferno of fire only to have the Gene-Warrior slide benith the wall of flame and in between the Dreadnaughts legs. The Dreadnaught was clearly puzzled, it was as if its quarry had vanished, it spun around and yet the feral gene-warrior was no where to be found. Then the Dreadnaught's rear optical sensor found the Venom Warrior. Raak'Ta was now scaling the war machines back, and ripped the optical sensor from its socket. The Dreadnaught went into a frenzy firing its flamers and spining its upper torso as fast as it could in order to shake the barbarian. Raak'Ta clung to the machine with all his superhuman strength and drew a sitcky grenade from his belt and managed to stick it to the dreadnaughts arm joint before he was flung from it.
The Dreadnaught took four more thunderous steps before its right arm was blown from its body in a firey exposion, it lurched to the left violently and came crashing to the ground. Raak'Ta lept back onto the machine, emptying his machine gun into the Dreadnaught, still it twitched with life. 'Damned Imperial machines, too tough for their own good!' In his drug induced rage he began carving into the Dreadnaught with his energy knife, his comrades surrounded the hulking carcass each one doing whatever damage they could.
Soon the Dreadnaught lay still, various fluids and lubercants pouring from its buchered frame. Raak'Ta rigged its remains with a primitive but time honored snare trap with his remaining grenades, just in case the Imperial Gene-Warriors wanted to try and salvage their 'toy'. As the squad took their leave, Raak'Ta took his trophy, a small wax seal bearing some kind of parchment. 'Not much but its a start.' Raak'Ta thought as he rejoined his comrades, 'I hope those Imperial Gene-Warriors are tougher than their pet robots.'
"What do you mean the savages are pushing you back?!" Calix Kainus shouted into the vox, "My Lord we cannot hold the Chaos forces at bay with the Calipsians attacking us from all sides! We cannot hol-" The vox cut off abruptly, the last sound it would ever transmit a hail of bolter rounds. "WORTHLESS CANNON FODDER!" Calix howled, bringing his fists down onto the tatical map.
His command squad at their Captains side understood his fustration. Ever since the Dauntless Angels had decended upon this planet the blunders of the PDF had held them back, thankfully the Blood Wing Auxiliary and Kreig 67th had been preforming well and holding their ground as ordered. 'Faith, thats what these spineless PDF lack, faith.' Calix thought as he regained his composure.
The Calipsian Hordes were making quite the counter attack, intelegence stated that at least two more Feral "Legions" had joined the fray, and the Calipsian Fleet was now becoming a serious nuicence to both Chaos and Imperial forces. And if the intelegence was perfectly correct, the Barbarian Warlord himself may arrive soon with his "Elite" army of Gene-Warriors. At this rate the Dauntless Angels would never be able to mount an effective counter attack at the Chaos forces advancing from the north, at least the Claipsians were also staling the Chaos advance as well.
A figure entered the tent, his power armor bloodied and dirty, but still proudly bearing the bronze and red of the Imeprial Hounds Chapter. "Captain, the Barbarian forces have overrun piont Delphi and the Outer perimiter of the village." Calix looked at the Imperial Hound, there was a Chapter he could rely on, sure their deovtion to the Mechanicus was misplaced, but they were the best support troops he had ever seen in his long life as a Space Marine. "Tell your Captain that the Impeiral Hounds are to hold the main bastion at the center of town alongside whatever remaines of the PDF in the area, the Dauntless Angels will make a counter charge into the heathen lines." "Yes sir, any news from the Equalizers and Thunder Lance?" "As my intelegence tells me the Equalizers are preoccupied holding the Capital and 1st city and the Thunder Lance are to assist this counter offensive when they have cleared the 2nd city of the Legionis." "And of the Steel Wardens?"
Calix grew impatiant with the Hounds continued questioning, they only numbered fifty marines, why would they be so preoccupied with the formations of other battle groups who, especially in the case of the Wardens and Equalizers, were totally worthless in this current campaign. In spite of his annoyance Calix awnsered "The Wardens appear preociupied with retreating with their tales between their legs. Any more questions Chaplen?"
The Imperial Hound bowed respectively "None at all sir, glory and honor to you in your assaut." He left with all haste. 'Good support, but far from an Astartes.' Calix thought as he dawned his helmet.
It was mayhem, pure glorious mayhem as Raak'Ta looked onto the bloodbath that was once a large courtyard. The Venom Warriors had begun their assault on the Imperial Bastion, an old monestary to the Imperials long dead Emperor. Raak'Ta couldent wait to burn it to the ground, and mabey loot an Imperal Gene-Warriors helmet.
A roar ripped through the trench the the Calipsians occupied, this was it the charge had begun! Raak'Ta watched his fellow Venom Warriors leapt from the trenches, machine guns and bolters in hand, some with nothing more than bare fists. But Raak'Ta bided his time, he had learned the trick from a Dark Maws Legionarie. 'Smart little bastards those Dark Maws.' the thought absentmindedly as he watched the first line of the charge fall under a hail of heavy weapons fire, he remebered where the emplacements were more to the left where the horde was strongest, but the right was lacking. "THERE!" He had to shout over the din of war, "WE CHARGE THE RIGHT!"
Without a second thought he rushed ahead, his five remaining comrades hot on his heels. Bolts flew inches from their heads, Raak'Ta was hit twice, but of course he didn't feel it, the drugs numbed him to all pain. As they neared the bastion one of Raak'Ta's squadmates hung back and drew his Rocket Rifle, he opened fire with a short burst, emptying the weapon into a weak spot on the bastion wall blasting a wide hole for them to enter. Other squads took notice and soon Raak'Ta was unwittingly the spearhead of a force of hundreds rushing forth.
The Imperal Gene-Warriors took notice, soon lascannons and heavy bolters were trained on them, Venom Warriors fell under hails that ripped them to bloody shreads, but still they came, undaunted, unafraid, the only thought in all their minds was the carnage they would wreak upon these Imperal scum. Raak'Ta glanced to his left and saw that Dark Maws had joined the charge, using the much larger Venom Warriors as mobile cover. As they neared the opening the Dark Maws suddnely raced forward, their innate speed allowing them to outpace the Venom Warriors almost instantly. Soon they were inside the building, Raak'Ta absentmindedly hit his injector, he'd be damned if the Dark Maws got all the glory!
Soon the Venom Warriors poured in, Raak'Ta tore through the passage ways and halls as part of an organic wave of agression and bloodlust. He was desprate to find something, anything to kill, he soon found it. He kicked down a door and found a large group of clergy huddled in a corner, he saw wounded PDF in the beds and stacked on streachers. There was a moment of what felt like total scilence as he leveled his LMG. "Please!" a preist shouted but his voice was so far away to the gene-warrior it was like a faint cry. The Priest looked into the wide eyes of this mountain of bulging muscle and green veins, he looked into its bloodshot, inhumanly wide eyes, the eyes of a starved animal..they were the last thing the preist ever saw as he was ripped apart along with all other occupants of that room.
Raak'Ta looked at the carnage, the blood and innards splattered all over the walls, for a moment..he felt calm..soothed. But that subsided the moment he heard screams in the distance. He took off at a dead sprint, up body strewn stairwells, through blood soaked halls. He passed his fellow gene-warriors as they reveled in buchery, tearing off limbs, crushing skulls. Eight of his fellows Venom Warriors and three Dark Maws followed him. As they neared a balcony Raak'Ta began to shake with excitment, he had finnaly found them!
The Devastator Squad was out of ammo save for the Iron Brother commanding them who had only a clip left in his bolt pistol. They had voulenteered to hold the main chamber of the bastion and cover the retreat of the rest of the Imperial forces who would regroup in the graveyard behind shrine. They stood in the shadow of a monument to the Emperor which stood as they stood, proud and defient. All around them moutains of Venom Warriors lay in various states of dismemberment.
A squad of nine Venom Warriors dropped from the balcony overlooking the main chamber, only two were armed with ranged weapons, and one held some crude maul, the rest had only their bear fists to do battle with but from what the Space Marines had seen that was more than enough to make them deadly adversaires. The Devastators drew their Power Swords, crafted with the utmost care by the mechanicus that neigbored their homeworld, the Iron Brother leveled his pistol, "For the Omnimessiah!" His first shot struck home in a Venom Warriors skull. The two barbarians armed with machine guns fired on the Space Marines, one Battle-Brother was pitched from his feet by the hail of projectiles.
Two Venom Warriors closed on a Space Marine at the far right of the group, the Space Marine decapitated the first to come within range but the other tackled him through the wall of the chamber. As another Space Marine was cut down by gunfire the Dark Maws struck, they lept from the balcony and hit the ground running, closing the distance rapidly. The Iron Brother felled one of the Venom Warrior machine gunners with another head shot and then fired three rounds into the one that now charged him, mual at the ready. The Iron Brother dove to the left and narrowly avoided the swing, and as the barbarian swung to crush the Iron Brothers skull he lashed out with his power sword, cleaving the beast in half. As the Dark Maws closed on the other Imperial Hound and the remaining Venom Warriors weapon jammed the Iron Brother finished his foe with his last bolt.
The Imperial Hound to the left of the Iron Brother was assailed by three Dark Maws, the first of which dove under the Space Marines blade, the second was not so lucky and was cleaved in half by the master crafted blade. The third Dark Maw flew by, driving his knife deep into the Space Marines side, just below the chest plate. The Astartes spun to face his oppoenents but as he turned he only found a blade firmly lodged in his eye, however he managed to skewer the offending Dark Maw with his power sword. He had no time to remove the knife from his eye as the final Dark Maw assailed him dodging his stroke and ripping his throat open with his knife, all without losing any momentum.
As the Imperial Hound fell Raak'Ta, the last Venom Warrior in the room, charged what appered to be the commander of the now buchered squad of Imperial Gene-Warriors, thowing his jammed weapon aside and going for the maul. The last Dark Maw lunged at the Iron Brother who flayed him in mid flight with his power sword, but was thrown from his feet when a maul came crashing into his right shoulder. The Iron Brother got to his feet just in time to avoid the maul. The two Gene-Warriors stared eachother down, Raak'Ta gave his injector a light tap and felt his fatiuge burn away and the Astartes took his stance.
"You cannot win savage, the holy Omnimessiah guides my blade!"
"Pitiful Imperials and your weakling gods! I will make a cape from your skin and we will see just how blessed you are!"
Raak'Ta charged the Iron Brother who sought to end this battle with one sword stroke, but to his surpise he found his stroke blocked by the barbarians maul and saw his HUD crack as the hilt came crashing into his faceplate. Raak'Ta made two more clumsy swings, each expertly dodged by the Iron Brother but the third stike came crashing into his shoulder, leaving a massive dent. The Space Marine barely got to his feet as the maul came flying at him striking him directly in the chest, he felt his bones crack and tasted blood, yet still he got to his feet. Raak'Ta charged the Space Marine, having been worked into a rage, he was almost upon hims when the Space Marine ran him through with the sword. Yet having a blade run through him hardly slowed down the Feral Gene-Warrior as he began his punishing volly of blows to the Iron Brothers head, the Space Marine felt his helmet begin to cave in from the savage punches. He threw the barbarain from him, and tore off his damaged helmet and held it in his hands, now it was his only weapon, for Raak'Ta had torn the sword from his body and now held it in his oversized hand.
"I will skin you alive Imperial!"
He thrust the blade forward, and the Space Marine sidesteped the blow and now held the Gene-Warriors arm in the crook of his own. The Iron Brother began smashing his damaged helmet against the barbarians thick skull, with each resounding ping the Gene-Warrior seemed to weaken, the sword slipped from his grasp. Suddenly, Raak'Tas free hand bore down on the Imperials throat and with a sudden burst of strength lifted him from his feet, the Space Marines helmet still crashing against his skull uselessly.
"You will.... never... win...savage." The Iron Brother managed before Raak'Ta crushed his throat and spine with a clench of his fist. The Space Marines fell to the ground with a thud like so much rubbish and Raak'Ta looked upon his twitching form in a drug educed stooper. What felt like a century passed before Raak'Ta before he finally snapped back to reality, and began feverishly looting the dead. 'Trophies! So much to choose from!' He tore the Iron Brothers sword sheath, right shoulder paldroune, and head from his body. He gathered up the Power Maul and sword, a few bolt pistols, ammo, two power knives, and finally, snatched up a new LMG.
He lept through the hole in the wall made by one of his comrades, his fellow Venom Warrior and the Space Marine lay dead in the hallway, the barbarian slumped against the wall with a power sword having cleaved its way from his head down to his midrift and the Imperial Hound laying face down on the floor with a knife driven deep into the side of his head. Raak'Ta tore the second sword from his comrades body and its respective sheath from the Space Marines body.
He heard the din of battle grow louder as he sprinted through the now empty hallways, soon he reached a doorway and saw the choked light of the outside world before him, and the body of a Comassar laying on his back, a thousand bullet wounds riddling his corpse. Raak'Ta saw however, that the Imperials hat was undamaged and quickly he took it from the dead mans scalp and fitted it upon his own. He looked out onto the graveyard which had become a battered battlefeild, the Imperials and Calipsians fighting amongst the monoliths and shrines, Imperial Gene-Warriors in tow. Rakk'Taa made sure all his newfound weapons and armor was well fitted and loaded, straightend his new hat, 'War...Glorious war..Hail to the Gene-King...Hail to the Hordes!' He sprinted forth to the feild of fire and ruin, not once looking back, not once thinking of the lives he had extinguished before, only seeking to spill more blood... For the Hordes.
Chapter 12: A Shadow of victoryEdit
| The Calipsian Sub-Sector Crusade
Chapter 12: A Shadow of Victory
"You were fortunate that Vorax decided to take you with him, watching this petty Commander Inras waste time on this city has truely been a pain." Israfel told the other through the servitor, though in truth the further he was from Vorax the better it suited his plans.
Stalven's Servitor cast a cold glance to the city, most likely Stalven was checking some commotion down at Vorax's camp, before returning it's cold gaze to Israfel. "We should have waited, the Hordes and Imperials would have weakened each other enough that our objectives would have been meet much more simply." Israfel had encountered this logic before, however passing his lie to Stalven would be much more difficult than to any of the other doubtfuls he had encountered before.
"As I have said before..." Abruptly the Servitor representing Stalven collapsed, and Israfel hoped that it was mimicking Stalven's death.
Brother Krixos found that the day was certainly a good day, but then any day where he could use his weapons on lesser beings was a day worthy of praise. The lesser barbarians had decided to attempt a raid of the Steel Reaver's forward encampment. Various tanks and geneticly altered soldiers threw themselves at the Reaver's line, however the mortal troops of the Reavers fought viciously knowing that if they didn't their master Vorax would make their deaths a certainty. With the sacrifice of each of the lesser slaves more time was bought for Krixos. Even as an occasional soldier's head exploded into a rain of blood soaked meat, or another was lit ablaze by enemy fire throwers. Krixos gained more time to walk forward eventually bringing his mass and powerful weapons to bear against the advanceing primitives.
Gleefully Krixos clambered atop what remained of the "Brotherhood of the Dajakk's" adviser's tent from here he had a clear view of the enemy layed out before him. Krixos then began to do as his heart had always called him to since he became a Obliterator. Krixos unleashed with every weapon his twisted form afforded him, heavy bolter fire to tear apart charging barbarians, their pathetic forms seeming to melt under Krixos' gaze. The light armor of the barbarian tanks proving worthless against las-cannon and plasma-cannon attacks. Everything under Krixos gaze now was subject to encountering their destruction through his gift. With jubulent abandon Krixos turned his guns against the armor of a aerial transport bringing more enemy troops for Krixos to smite, even while their transport burned and it's remains crumbled atop them the troops within continued to fire their weapons, as if begging Krixos the end their lives.
Krixos would gladly end the petty mortals and he would have, if the ground he stood atop did not suddenly give way sending the obliterator stumbling down the side of the ruined structure he had made his own. From below the ruined building the form of the Brotherhood's "adviser" pulled himself from under the remains. Krixos did not care much for the Hereteks however if one, particularly one of such high standing, were to die while he stood by Vorax would certainly have his head.
Ruefully Krixos stood watch as the Heretek pulled itself out from under the ruined remains of the structure. Immediately the machine man turned it's attentions to Krixos. "Take me to Vorax, this attack was launched prematurely and must be tactically accounted for." Indeed Krixos hated the Hereteks, forcing him to leave a perfectly good killing ground for something as petty as this.
It was cramped, it was wasteful, it was a flying brick. Israfel hated all the petty technologies these lesser humans employed. They were far from Aerodynamically stream-lined, contained the minimum acceptable technology for Israfel's standards. Why Israfel had agreed to travel with the inferior strike troops of the Steel Reavers, none save the Heretek himself would know. However the twelve traitor guardsmen of the transport certainly knew of the Heretek's displeasure.
The current objective given to these twelve was to protect the heretek as he lead a scouting advance into the imperial held bay. From there coordinated artillery and advance intelligence would assist as the Steel Reavers' force proceeded deeper into the loyalist held ports. However Imperial flack was making the teams approach to their destination tedious and far too slow for anyone's comfort, even the heretek.
The pilot leand out from the cockpit, "We'll be deploying over the port administorium in two." With that the pilot returned to his flying, while the Heretek cast it's gaze over the traitor guardsmen before it. Taking the chance the leader of the squad, Korax, spoke up.
"Don't worry gear head, we'll keep you protected. Our blood will be sacrificed long before your...whatever you have." Some false reassurance put the self important types at ease simply enough. Truthfully Korax would rather have this worthless tech-priest dead before any of his men.
"Such a lovely statement captain, now let's see if it's true." Korax scouled at the Heretek. Self-important indeed.
"Landing in ten, nine..." The rear doors of the transport opened showing the landscape of the administoruim building's roof, as well as the force of imperials who had also seen the value of using the roof-top as a outpost. A force of thirty guardsmen and four Thundar Lances space marines. Before even leaving the dropship Xion, Celex, Torsh and Ovoron were dead, now Korax with only two-thirds of his squad and the useless tech-priest were trapped alone on the roof as a Krak-missile struck the cockpit and sent the transport spiraling down into the city below.
"Keep those Auto-guns running, don't give the Imperials a chance to get around us!" Korax shouted, trying to keep his fellow traitors, each of whom he had been along side with since vowing to serve lord Vorax all that time ago, from breaking. Though the certainty was they were all about to die. Indeed though it was as if through blurred glass Korax watched as each of his men were eventually taken down. A dozen of the loyalists had died in exchange but now it was only Korax guarding the cowering heretek.
Then the Heretek stood. "Parlay, I believe this firefight has gone on well enough."
"You will not listen?" In response to the Tech-priest's question one of the loyalist guardsmen fired his rifle at the heretek's head, and then Korax stopped believing his eyes. The beam bent around the Heretek, eventually bending back around and striking the soldier who had fired it.
Already one of the loyalist space marines charged the heretek a weapon that resembled a power-axe in hand, only for the Heretek to thrust his hand forward striking the marine, one of the marines battle brothers and the majority of the guardsmen with lightning.
"I do believe that lightning always comes before thunder." The heretek, Istrafel, said calmly as he reached up with his other hand. A device of some type built into the mechanical wrist. "But that was merely excess energy from this weapon."
Immediately the remaining imperials opened fire with their weapons only for some type of field to disrupt their shots. In retaliation the Heretek fired his own weapon. a small spherical device struck one of the remaining marines in the chest before activating. The pull was tremendous, even Korax could feel himself straining against it, and at the center the marine, the guardsmen, the final battle brother, and even the cover the guardsmen had been using were all being sucked into a small "hole" in the space where the spherical device was. And suddenly it was done, the Imperials were all defeated, and Korax was left with a dead squad and Israfel.
"Why hadn't you used that earlier!" Korax demanded.
"I was calling for artillery."
"But if you had used that we wouldn't have needed..." An artillery shell stuck far too close to Korax, causing the traitor guardsmen to stumble, only for his throat to be caught in a cold metal grip.
"I also needed to be sure i could eliminate any witnesses." With a painful sensation in his throat Korax fell to the ground blood pooling where the meat of his neck used to be. Within a minute explosive shells would ensure nothing was left of the traitor.
"We found something!" Good Inras did not wanted to have something more to help cast aside the blame when he reported to Vorax as to how he lost one of their "Allies" key members.
"Bring it to me!" Inras demanded, stomping forward. Thanks to the artillery strike on the Administrium the imperial's had been crippled and now half the bay was under the control of the Steel Reavers, by weeks end there wouldn't be any of their kind left in the city.
Around a pile of rubble a large team continued digging a small form out. A form Inras was most relieved to see. It was the Heretek Israfel. And the Heretek seem quite content
"Oh, good. I was worried I would be left to die. Was the mission a success I hope?"
Israfel weathered Inras' glare for a few moment. "There were a good number of the Imperial guard's forces located inside the building, the engines of the transport alerted them to our presence and they began storming the rooftop. Before i could stop him Korax called for a artillery strike on our own location. It succeeded in eliminating the Imperials but the squad all died. and More Importantly one of your shells lacked the proper IFF rites and detonated next to me." Israfel then pointed down to his legs...or lack of.
"I apologize to Lord Vorax, however i will need transport to the 'Seeker of Darkness' to initiate repairs." The Arch-Heretek coldly stated, Inras could only seethe, Vorax would not be happy with this report.
Chapter 13: Flight from PainEdit
Balthazars mind raced as he watched his loyal Gene-Warriors and Gene-Techs load the shuttle that would take him to his personal cruiser that was currently in low orbit. He had to escape, with the other Feral Legions landing it was only a matter of time before the Black Hand found him and brought him begging for his life before the feet of the Gene-King. Regardless of any progress Balthazar had made against the Imperial and Chaos forces that now swarmed the planet, his fate was sealed the moment those damned Venom Warriors entered the system. The Imperials had gained reinforcements and the forces of Chaos had dug into various areas all over the planet, his Dark Maws had fought memorably against such odds but already dissension had spread within their ranks. The four hundred Gene-Warriors left here at this landing pad were most likely the last loyal soilders Balthazar had, the rest falling under the banner of his thrice damned nephew, Rutha Kernis. The seventeen year-old had managed to get the backing of the Black Hand and they ensured the Legions loyalty to him, save for the handful here that had the strongest (and illegal) pyscho-conditioning.
"The little coward set me up.." Balthazar grumbled, he now had now doubt that his 'dearest nephew' had tagged along on this campaign, not to study the art of war, but to sabotage him and seize his glorious Legion for himself. 'It is of no consequence.' Balthazar thought as the last few crates of valuable equipment was loaded onto the shuttle, Balthazar knew that his unique skill set made him valuable to any would be warlord out there in the depths of space, he would start again, without the shackle of the Gene-King and ungrateful relatives.
A Legionnaire approached the brooding Gene-Lord, "My lord the shuttle is fully loaded and ready for take off." Balthazar looked out to the far away city on the horizon, the planets dual suns outlined it on the horizon, smoke and fire billowed from its otherwise serene form. "And the Black Hand?" The Gene-Warrior shuffled a bit... he was new, recently given life in some laboratory, he still had to get used to the constant flow of adrenaline running through his body, "They broke through the mercenaries lines an hour ago, they will be here within the hour sir."
A distant explosion confirmed the Gene-Warriors report, the landing pad was overrun with cowering mercenaries, fleeing for their lives from the Gene-Kings chosen killers. Balthazar hastened to the shuttle, as he reached the ramp a bolt struck the hull of the shuttle, the Gene-Lord turned to see what he feared most. The Black Hand Legionare was a sight to behold, massive in his thick suit of power armor, his body adorned with with pale skull symbol of the Gene-King, the helmet molded into the shape of a gas mask, his green armor was blood smeared, and from his back a banner flew bearing the Gene-Kings holy helix, a symbol of his masters control over life itself. In one hand he held a brutish and large bolt pistol, in the other a dying mercenary. He lifted the mercenary high, his pistol leveled at the traitor Gene-Lord, with one motion he poped the errant mercenary's head from his shoulders, it landed at Balthazars feet, the mouth still trying to speak the mercenary's last pitiful words.
The Legionary pulled the trigger, were it not for a Dark Maw leaping in front of the hail of bolts, Balthazar would not have made it into the shuttle. As the vessel flew from the planet, Balthazar again reflected on his options, at the most he had 300 loyal Gene-Warriors, and perhaps a few hundred more mercenaries left.. not to mention his small task force of Gene-Techs, he could certainly prosper. 'If I make it out of this damned system.' He thought.
Suddenly the shuttle shook violently, "WERE BEING BOARDED!" a mercenary shouted in panic, Dark Maws surrounded their Gene-Lord to shield him with their very bodies. Gun-fire and death screams echoed through the halls of the vessel as Balthazar carefully listened for signs of the Gene-King's boarders. However as the violence in the lower levels where his remaining mercenaries were housed died down, so did any sound. Balthazar's loyal Gene-warriors guarded the entry-ways from the lower level to the level their lord was on but thus far no venom warriors came charging through, nor did any Black-Hand elite make any tactical advances upon passages.
Eventually, however, the long silence was broken. "Former Gene-lord Balthazar, for failure to uphold your duty, you have been charged and sentenced to Death by the Gene-King of Calipsia himself...How do you plead?"
"Who are you?"
"How do you plead?"
"Tell me your offer, I'm no fool."
"A smart man. Well then, how would you like to ascend to a position well beyond what you're at now? One with far more resources at you disposal and more innovative freedom than you have ever had?"
Chapter 14: The Angels Come Screaming DownEdit
Captain Voljna stood on an outcrop overlooking his last stand.
An abandoned spaceport lay sprawled before him, its corpse blasted and pockmarked by the endless enemy bombardment. Its smashed and broken buildings still smouldered from last night's assault, bleeding black smoke into the sky.
The loyalist trenches lay before him, lines of rubble, sand bags, and occasionally dead bodies forming an improvised barricade around the terminal and control tower. If Voljna had cared to look he would have picked out the scattered PDF and Steel Warden Marines that cruched amongst the ramshackle defenses, ducking their heads every time a shell flew past.
If Voljna had cared to look he would have seen the enemy forces on the opposite end of the spaceport, near the hangars. The enemy stood out in the open, mocking the loyalist forces with curses and occasionally flung rocks, enboldened by the fact that the remains of Voljna's forces no longer had any long-range weaponry to answer their insults.
A tactical analyzation of Voljna's tactical situation would turn up grim. A deteremined enemy assault would swamp his men in bodies. No amount of tactics could save them, for the enemy had bodies to spare for mines and barricades and disciplined gun fire. In fact it was a wonder that he had not been overrun yet, perhaps because of an overly cautious commander or by the blessings of the Emperor his forces had been spared, for now.
Voljna, however, was not interested in his lines or insults or tactical analyzations. No, he was far more interested in the sky, and a single terse communication he had recieved.
"Hold suitable landing zone. Set up locator beacon. We are coming."
The spaceport was an obvious choice for a landing zone and the locator beacon had been set up in the control tower, where even now it beamed up the position of his troops. Now all Voljna could do was look to the sky. And hope.
Space bled as the Screaming Fury tore her way free from the warp. All around her the rag-tag fleet of civilian vessels and beaten up warships did the same, eventually forming what looked like a flotilla of trash and scrap surrounding the proud Battle-Barge.
Chapter Master Andreas Randolph stood on the Screaming Fury's bridge, a pillar of calm amongst the busy crew members and hurrying couriers. He paid no heed to the post-warp flight checks and bodies surrounding him, instead he looked towards his objective.
The planet below was burning, huge swathes of its surface engulfed in raging conflagrations belching obscene amounts of smoke into the atmosphere, obcuring the rest of the planet. Above the beleaguered planet lay the enemy fleet like a swarm of hideous metal flies, far to numerous to count, dwarfing the already pathetic rescue fleet on a vast scale. Andreas had never before seen so many warships and was unnerved by the sheer size of the enemy fleet. He was committed, however, and Emperor damn him if he turned back now.
He turned the Captain of the ship who was sitting upon his command-throne, the man was clearly awestruck by the scale of the enemy fleet, staring in horror at the odds massed against him.
The Captain of the ship jumped a little at the sound of Andreas' voice. He recovered his composure and even managed to answer in a controlled voice.
"Begin the operation."
The Captain reached for his activated his vox-link, and began speaking orders to the crew of the Screaming Fury. Alarms began to sound as the order for battle-stations was given. Meanwhile the fleet surrounding the Battle-Barge formed up for combat, moving into formation and powering up engines and any shields that they may have. Meanwhile the enemy fleet began to form up, releasing swarms of fighters and firing a few desultory shots at them. The shots went wide but Andreas knew they were just ranging shots, the enemy fleet's accuracy would improve in time. The Screaming Fury answered with her own fighters, who bravely sped forward to fight the enemy. She didn't fire any shots as too much energy was being diverted to her engines to get her up to speed. The small fleet surrounding the Fury did fire back with about the same amount of accuracy the enemy had shown.