The Imperial Fleet which was made up of many cruisers, frigates and escort vessels was preparing the voyage through warp space to the target system. The journey would last only one week through the warp and would place them one days travel outside of St. Viktor. Traveling with the imperial fleet was that of Gorgon’s crusade, his battle barge along side of two other strike cruisers and another smaller escort frigate.
As Gorgon’s battle barge exited warp space with the rest of the imperial fleet, they had ended up even closer to St. Viktor than predicted; nearly shot into the planet would have caused great tragedy.
Marshal Gorgon sat in his seat atop the command pulpit in the bridge of the Sword of Retribution, a large space marine battle barge armed to the teeth with massive lance weapons and barrage cannons, protected by energy shields and a thick armored hull. This space faring vessel stood out the most, among three other smaller variants of other ships in the fleet. Two of them were strike cruisers and one other was a smaller frigate that made up Gorgon’s Burning Crusade fleet.
Gorgon thumbed through the data on the many screens before him that illuminated his face with a blue light, taking in each of the information provided before him. Looking past the screens he peered out through the thick window that separated himself and his crew from the void of space. Standing up Gorgon stepped down from his pulpit and ventured to the window, gazing out down the port side of his ship, he could see the other vessels still in their formation around him.
“Station one, give me a sensor report.” Gorgon said, still gazing out the port side window, his steel grey eyes searching the blackness of space knowing out there his enemies awaited him.
“Aye sir, range on sensors?” A man clad in an all black fatigue uniform said, his skin was pale and his expression was near emotionless as their minds were scrubbed of any feelings and knew nothing other than their job. These men were inducted aboard space marine vessels to work the countless jobs that could not be obtained through that of a servitor which was for the most part, a failed trainee that did not make it through the stages of becoming a space marine.
“Push out to five sectors fore and aft and three to port and starboard.” Gorgon replied back, not once breaking his concentration, his focus was elsewhere, this was the Damocles region but so far no contacts of anything. Gorgon waited for a moment as he could feel the vibration of his ship’s engines through the glass window as he put his hand up against it. He could feel it through the armored gauntlet.
“My lord, I have a contact bearing three sectors fore, the readings show an imperial cruiser.” A voice broke into Gorgon’s mind, awaking him from his subtle day dream.
Turning back towards his pulpit Gorgon faced one of his data screens which depicted his ship across many grid squares, his fleet was also shown, but dead ahead like the sensor operator had said, there lies a small faint blip on the map. “Helmsman, new bearing on that contact, prepare for new heading at any notice.” Gorgon said as he turned to his blue glass screens surrounding his pulpit.
“My Lord, we have a new reading coming just ten kilometers from our first.” The sensor operator said as he was busy trying to get a good signal on the first reading.
Gorgon studied the data screens before him, the blue light filling his face as he sat in his command throne. His eyes searching for something within the information, still unknown to him, and yet there it was as the signals finally decoded the small blip on the map. It was another imperial vessel of some sorts. “Open a com net with that ship, I want to speak with that ship’s captain.”
“Roger my lord, com net is open but no feedback from the channel at all. I’m just getting static.”
Gorgon cursed to himself as he stood up again, his eyes scanning the never ending black void in front of him. In the distance he could see a small flash of light, and then several repeating after words. “Increase shields to max! Ordnance stand by for firing solution!” Gorgon quickly ordered out as he moved over to the grid map, his eyes focusing on the two contacts ahead of his ship.
“Shields at maximum!”
“Ordnance is standing by, awaiting orders my lord.”
“Sir I’m receiving multiple contacts! The imperial fleet is currently engaged at this time!” A voice shot out, red warning lights blinking across many screens throughout the bridge.
“Sensors are picking up multiple anomalies further ahead, most likely the traitor fleet my lord.” The sensor officer said to Gorgon, his eyes still focused on the data screens, gathering more information for Gorgon.
“Let Inquisitor Alleena know these ships must be dealt with prior to our planet fall if we are to make a successful landing.” Gorgon stated, his eyes shot back up to the window as a orange and red fire ball caught his attention, in the distance he watched as a ship exploded with the energy from the reactor engines engulfing the area with the same heat as a sun. “Move to engage now!”
The ground shook from under Cordell’s feet as he fell against the bulkhead wall, regaining his balance he could feel the massive imperial warship bend and creek against some force against it. Looking around sharply he noticed many imperial naval men running around frantically, quickly moving towards their battle stations.
“Cordell! We must move now!” Alleena yelled to him from down the hall, the lights flickered on and off as the hymn of the engines slowly started to fade. “Our ship has been targeted! If we do not get off now all will be lost!”
Without hesitating Cordell reached down and regained his kit bag and rifle. Again the ground shook and the walls vibrated from weapons being fired, from their side, which gave him a slight comforting feeling that at least they were firing back. “Aye my Lady, with haste!” He said to her, catching up to her.
The Imperial war fleet now engaged the traitor legion’s fleet; their sharp jagged dagger like vessels seemed to taint the space they occupied, to make matters worse Inquisitor Alleena’s ship had nearly exited warp right inside the enemy fleet.
Gathering his men, Cordell led his path finders to the hanger floor, all the ships were ready, already stored with gear and supplies. The massive titan hunter tanks hidden away inside the drop ships.
Jumping inside a Valkyrie transport craft Cordell strapped himself in; looking at his men who had did the same he nodded to them in silence as the loud deifying roar of the main guns of the battle cruiser opened fire.
The Sword of Retribution throttled forward with great speed, flanking around the traitor fleet, her black hull nearly concealed the ship with the blackness of space. Along with the imperial fleet, the traitor fleet had been caught off guard by the warp exit.
“Ordnance!” Gorgon bellowed across the command bridge as he quickly scanned across the radar screen. “Next salvo at target bearing three, three four. I want a full broadside!”
“Yes my lord, firing solution gathered! Commencing firing in Three…Two…One!” The ordnance officer smiled greedily as the powerful cannons of the battle barge ripped through space at the targeted traitor cruiser.
Gorgon watched closely through the window as he saw the shields fall quickly to the mass amount of firepower at once. “Repeat and fire again! I want their command bridge to be targeted!”
“Incoming!” Someone yelled out, red blaring lights and sirens sounded throughout the vessel.
The Sword of Retribution’s shields absorbed the hits but were failing quickly and she was steadily making her way deeper into the traitor fleet of no more than a dozen assorted war ships where Inquisitor Alleena’s ship had exited the warp at, they were encircling around the stranded ship, and Gorgon knew they would not last much longer with that much firepower pinpointed on them.
“Marshal Gorgon! This is Inquisitor Alleena!” Her voice crackled over the short range radio net, a faded image of her face tuned in and out on the screen.
“Go ahead Inquisitor.” He said to her, looking back across the data screens at the damage reports, nothing as of yet but his shields were failing power.
“We are going to prepare our drop force as soon as we get within the atmosphere of the planet, this will be tricky with the traitor fleet at our heels.” Saying to him, her picture faded in and out as another hit struck her ship.
“We are trying to make a break out for you, follow our lead Inquisitor.” He said turning away form the video screen he called out to his helmsman. “Take up a new heading; make a break for the planet! We are forcing our way out of here with them.”
The Inquisitor nodded and closed out the video screen, static chimed from the speakers as Gorgon looked back up through the windows down along his command bridge. The space around them was at war.
Those that were once proud space marines of the times even before the founding of his chapter, are now twisted black souls of their former selves, slaves to the powers of chaos, now they travel through imperial space, trying to snuff out the flame of the Imperium.
Gorgon watched as the tracers and lance beams danced through the darkness of space. Explosions where countless would die, and hundreds of smaller space craft swarmed the larger cruisers and other ships, though he knew this was his life until death, that was his vow and honor to his chapter and Emperor.
Within the hanger bay of the battle barge a mustering of space marines gathered around, preparing their thunder hawk strike craft for their mission. The battle was raging outside, and they prepared for the assault onto the surface of the planet.
Santos stood by the front of the thunder hawk, his eyes looking over his fellow battle brothers; each one carried an assortment of weapons, from bolters to the more favored chain sword and bolt pistol. Their armor adorned with seals of purity and badges of honor, their weapons chained to their hands, never shall they lay their arms down while the enemy still draws breath.
Each of the warriors seemed to have their own touch to their amour, though all were the polished black and white shoulder pouldrons displaying their chapter symbol. They had inscribed litanies of hatred against their enemies.
A few would stand out, the younger neophytes clad in their light weight carapace armor and black or grey fatigues. Each one of them belongs to one of the initiate space marines that acted as their master, teaching them the art of war through trial by fire.
Eager to prove to their fellow brethren and to the emperor that they to are worthy to bear the honored armor of a true space marine, to fight as one of them on the field of battle, though that time was never truly spoken of to them, they had to wait, and find patience in themselves, as to be selfish was looked down upon, to be that of a space marine, they would have to give up everything, so they too could be an angel of death.
Gorgon soon entered the hanger bay floor, his eyes cold and his mind focused. What went as planned had to be sorted out quickly. But then again, he knew this to be true all too often then not that plans ever went as they should.
“Marshal Gorgon, our assault force is prepared and is awaiting orders to make planet fall.” Santos informed Gorgon as he greeted him with a slight bow of his head.
Gorgon returned it and turned to face his brothers gathered around the three thunder hawks. “Good, as from what you can tell our fleet exited warp far closer to the planet than planned. We have to make an assault now if we are to catch the enemy off guard. We are to strike the underground entry points as planned.” Gorgon said taking another breath he spoke again.
“The three known points of entry are well defended and must be taken at all costs before we can even hope to get to the main threat of what we are after. Brother Hector has prepared each thunder hawk with a set of charges, that when placed correctly will cripple, if not destroy the titan, if need be.”
The Black Templars around Gorgon all nodded and understood their mission to the teeth; it was their duty and life to bring the fight to the enemy of the Emperor, to slay them in combat with bolter and chain sword.
Though standing by the last thunder hawk in the row stood Gorgon’s favored assault squad, having proven themselves in combat many times over, these were his sword brethren of his crusade.
Their amour was pristine black, though they carried no previous crusade honors or trophies of war on their armor, their pouldrons black with a red trim, a chapter honored tradition of those within the sword brethren households, these warriors are the masters of close quarters combat. What stood out the most was their jump packs affixed to their backs, twin turbines would blast them through the air into the thick of the fight to where their art of melee would not be out done.
Gorgon raised his hand in silence and bowed his head, he looked up to see his fellow brothers in arms deep in thought and a few silent prayers could be heard from a few of them.
“For those who remember this planet, remember the fallen brethren that had given up their lives to bring the burning light of the Emperor into the darkest of places. Here we shall tread again, what had been undone shall not be broken again. We will cleanse that city!” Gorgon’s voice echoed across the hanger bay, his words inspiring and gave his warriors the fire in their eyes much greater than it had already been burning.
Looking across his men, Gorgon had chosen his force from those left over from the last engagement. Many of them now resided within his sword brethren, and those that were the neophytes he proudly sees them teaching the younger generation that would be the ones to replace him and his command in the far future.
“Mount up brothers! This day shall forever remembered by those on that planet, as the day the angels of death came forth from the heavens, brining their fire to the heretics and traitors that enslaved them! No pity!” Gorgon bellowed out as he raised his fist into the air.
“No remorse! No fear!” They all chanted back as one and quickly mustered their way into the thunder hawks awaiting their deadly cargo of space marines.
Gorgon climbed into his thunder hawk, his command squad awaited him, he glanced over each one, they were all there, ready to fight and die by his word. Twenty space marines sat ready inside the dark troop hold, ten of them were his assault marines, their faces unseen behind their black helmets, only their red lenses shined eerily. The others were of his sword brethren command, a deadly mix of some of his finest warriors to do battle with. He had no doubt that their objective would be captured.
Air hissed as the hydraulic assault ramps closed tightly, what little light from the hanger bay there was had been shut away in the darkness of the troop hold. Red lights flickered on as the engines slowly churned to life, vibrating the thunder hawk slightly as they revved up.
The three thunder hawks sat side by side, their thrusters slowly lifting them off the floor of the hanger bay vertically. Within moments the massive bay doors slowly opened, air rushed out into the dark cold vacuum of space as the thunder hawk assault crafts made their way toward the surface of the planet.
The raging battle over St. Viktor ensued with no remorse, large ships blasted at one another, the Imperial Navy caught off guard just as much as the chaos fleet had been. Like small flares in the darkness, the drop ships raged from the ships, speeding toward the planet’s surface with great haste, their objective was clear to them all, and many of them knew that this is where their life would come to an end.
Peering outside of the small port hole inside of the troop hold Santos gripped the hilt of his mace and focused his mind. He had been here before, and the horrors he remembers from the streets to the underground network of tunnels flashed back to him. Looking up he noticed Gorgon in deep meditation, his eyes closed.
“You will not falter brother, they are weak and we shall purge them of their dark souls.” Gorgon said to Santos, his eyes opened and he looked to his right, Chaplain Theolous sat like a statue, his face hidden behind his death mask.
“Sons of Dorn, warriors of the Emperor.” The chaplain began. “Your task is clear, your mind is strong and your skills are unmatched. We shall bring the flame to cleanse, and they shall repent their sins as we crush their ranks! As we are space marines of the Black Templar!” Theolous preached definitely, his voice rang over the vox network.
There, above the skies of St. Viktor the dull grey streaked by flames through the clouds, bright contrails cut down like claws, their enemy unknowing of the force that would soon be confronting them.
From the ground the light show from the battle in space looked like nothing more than brilliant flashes of light, but quickly the sky was burning with fire as the atmosphere from the massive naval weapons ripped tidal winds, causing the weather to change around the city of Talos Prime.
The orbital bombardments slammed into the city, like a rain of fire the lance batteries proved true, buildings crumbled and the ground was pounded into vaporized dust, the heat from the beams even turned the impact sites into glass.
The once proud city of Talos Prime was now an empty shadow of its former self. Countless souls perished without remorse from those above, like the Emperor’s judgment it was acted out, there shall be no repentance.
Contrails streaked across the burning sky, now ripe with ash and smoke. The thunder hawks flew in low, in a spread wedge formation, their hulls still burning from the entry into the planet’s atmosphere. Pockets of sporadic anti-aircraft weapons opened up on them as the assault craft made their way to the inner city.
Inside the troop hold warning lights blared with flashing of red and yellow. The pilots jerked the craft to evade incoming fire; tracer rounds from high caliber weapons blazed passed the cockpit. Explosions from rockets and missiles came close but were highly inaccurate to hit an aircraft at such high speeds.
The space marines inside stood up as the red lights quickly flashed green, signaling that they were above their drop zone. Within seconds air whistled about as the hatches hissed open, and there below them, Talos Prime waited.
Sword brother Manfred rolled his neck, cracking it with comfort. His face scarred and tough like leather, his left eye replaced with a bionic implant that glowed red. He was a brutal fighter, and often times over zealous, in his hands he carried a large axe that crackled with energies that could split open the toughest of armor.
Grinning as the front assault ramp opened to the hellish sky around them Manfred took in a deep breath and then quickly slid his helmet on. “With me my brothers, let us descend from the heavens to smite our enemies!” He shouted as the jump pack on his back burst to life and he leapt into the air.
One by one the assault marines fell from the thunder hawk, their jump packs burning hot, creating the illusion of white wings from their black armor, true angels of death.
Hitting the ground hard, Manfred’s feet smashed into the concrete, his eyes scanned; ahead he could see bolstered defensives that were firing wildly into the air at the incoming aircraft overhead.
The area around them was a flattened public square of some sort turned into a hellish ritual ground. Bodies lay sprawled across the ground; most of their flesh was black or rotted off the skeleton. Flies choked the air, and the stench of the dead was overtaking.
“Target that emplacement directly ahead!” The voice of Manfred bellowed over the vox net as his jump pack came to life in a fiery blaze that shot him back into the air and toward the enemy.
Their faces hidden behind masks of sewn leather and flesh, marks of chaos etched into their bodies. Crude weapons such as axes and chains were used, along side of captured imperial las guns. Their uniforms soaked in blood and grime, some even crafted makeshift armor using plates of steel.
Within seconds the Templars smashed into the cultist defenders, entrenched behind bodies of the dead and sand bags, they fought back with no prevail, their bodies cut down by the unremorseful teeth of the chain sword, or blown apart from a high explosive bolt round from their bolters.
Manfred dove at his enemy with hate and fire in his eyes, the cultist raised his crude axe against his, and in a flash the axe wielded by Manfred sliced its way across the twisted body of the cultist, dark tainted blood sprayed into the air as the body was nearly cut in half from the shoulder to the belly. Ripping his axe free he charged forward into the fray.
Again and again Manfred earned his keep, his righteous flame burning inside his soul kept him going forward, his brethren around him the same. Though this was just the beginning on what lay before them.
The Black Templars surged onward, fueled by hate for their enemy. Manfred ducked and weaved against attacks as he cleaved with his axe in wide arcs. The last of the cultists tried to run away, many of them tripping over each other and their dead.
Looking forward the battled hardened space marine inspected a large gothic style building, the windows blown out and replaced with sand bags and other hastily created defenses.
Above in the circling thunder hawks Gorgon readied himself as he drew his plasma pistol from its holster and charged the cells. “Status on landing zone?” He asked.
“Marshal, they have cleared the square, but it appears as if more are preparing a counter assault on our forces, preparing for landing at this time.” The pilot replied back as the craft jolted downward as they slowly prepared for landing.
Marshal Gorgon leapt from the assault ramp of his thunder hawk, the stone court square around his was littered with craters and bodies of the fallen. Moving quickly he motioned for his squad to follow. Sparks of las fire ripped across the ruins in front of their position just behind the last defense line of the old PDF regiments that now lay in ruins.
The crackle of las fire erupted against Gorgon’s armor, but it held true. His assessed the battlefield and charged at the oncoming horde of cultist warriors.
Their bodies were twisted forms of once human bodies, their limbs malformed by the ruinous powers of chaos, forming talons and claws for weapons that could easily shred through flesh and bone. Their faces, if such a word could be to describe such a feature was a husk of flesh and a gaping maw filled with filled razor teeth and scars adorning the symbols of chaos.
With a flick of his wrist the rune was activated on Gorgon’s power sword, a masterly crafted weapon highly suited for a warrior of his immense skill in the art of close quarter fighting. The long blade jumped to life with a crackle of energy as he leapt into the trench line, his blade cutting wide arcs into the cultist mass, his blade easily slicing through the tough hide, flesh and bone of the cultists.
The battlefield itself around him began to twist and churn with death. Through Gorgon’s helmet, the display tinted it to a red color, but yet he could still see the gore and bright red spouts of blood from the cultists he had slain. His battle brothers around him joined in on the fight, well trained and disciplined, their actions were quick and decisive, they made no toy with their pray.
“With me my brothers! Have no pity on these twisted souls that defied his grace!” Chaplain Theolous let out a roar as he ignited a group of cultists with his flamer, their mutated voices let out a shrill of an un-human tongue. Theolous then proceeded down the trench line in the other direction of Gorgon, leading half the squad to cleanse the other areas of the trench.
Beside Gorgon, Apothecary Testor applied his art of death with swiping wide arcs of his chain sword, hacking away at torsos and limbs of the cultists, he had yet to aid a fallen brother in which he would stop at nothing to retrieve the gene-seed of his chapter.
Cultist after cultist threw themselves at the oncoming wall of power armor and blades. Each time they would be cut down with a hail of accurate bolter fire, and those that were unlucky enough were beaten down with chain swords and powered weapons.
But there, atop the bluff of sand bags and rubble stood a traitor marine barking orders and throwing those who were running away back into the fray to most likely be cut down like cannon fodder. His armor, a dark and gore red, horns and other battlefield tokens adorned his armor, his helm bearing a crest of thorns that shot outward. His head slowly turn as he let go a fleeing heretic into a nearby group of cultists causing them all to stumble back in fear of their leader.
Gorgon looked up at the traitor marine, his grip on his blade grew tighter and a deep hate burned inside his soul the more his eyes gazed over at this traitor that defied everything he stood for.
The traitor’s armor hissed and creaked as his massive bulk jumped down onto the trench floor, his boots crushing the dead beneath him. His hands reached to either side of his waist and unsheathed two ruinous blades that crackled with chaotic energy.
Watching closely Gorgon took note of his enemy, his weapon at ready with both his hands as the traitor charged at him, both of his blades swirling like a whirlwind at Gorgon.
Quickly parrying one of the traitor’s attacks Gorgon side stepped the second blade with near inches from his chest. Charging past him the traitor spun on his heel just as Gorgon did to meet him with his blade.
Raising one of his twisted blades in defense against Gorgon’s massive sword, for a split second it seemed the blade had held true against the might of the templar’s weapon, but it failed, the blade broke and crashed down slicing deep into the traitor marine’s shoulder.
“You have marked me with death Marine.” The traitor hissed as his external vox forced out the words, side stepping away from a second strike by Gorgon, dropping his destroyed blade the traitor fought with one.
“Repent! For your death shall be quick!” Gorgon retorted as he clashed out at the traitor, his countless combat experience held true as his blade ripped into the chest of the traitor, cutting away from the shoulder down to the gut.
Blood oozed and spurted from the open wound as the traitor marine fell to his knees, Gorgon’s blade still wedged deep into the trunk of his body.
“You have defied the will of the Emperor; your sins will not go unnoticed!” Bellowed Gorgon as he forced the traitor to his knees with his blade, a gurgled voice emitted from the traitor, but no audible words could be heard.
His wrist flicked and the blade drew itself clean of the traitor’s chest cavity and began to fall backwards, but nearly in an instant gorgon lashed his blade through the Traitor’s neck and beheaded the champion as the body fell backwards, defeated and the life drained, but yet convulse as the nerves had yet to die.
Wind swept across an open field of tall wheat, the sun was high and the sky was blue and a mix of white clouds. The air was sweet and crisp, the temperature just right. In his arms, there laid his wife, and the bearer of his children, the one person he hoped he could see once again. Her skin was soft and her hair just as equal, nearly the same color of the golden wheat fields they stood in. Her dress, elegant and pearl white, he looked down at his chest, his medals and awards pinned onto his dress blues, the symbol of the imperial guard and air assault jump wings.
But as he drifted his eyes up to her face, her hair was down across; brushing it aside we leaned down to embrace her, but… There was no face. It was gone, long years have passed and even the image of his love had passed away with time. Then it donned on him as the feeling of his stomach churned and his head flew back into the restraints of the Valkyrie drop ship.
“Five minutes Captain!” A voice from one of the flight engineers yelled over the loud noise from the crew compartment, the flight engineer walked between the two rows of guardsmen in their restraints. He repeated with a hand signal to his other counterpart, whom both had on olive drab flight suits with armored helmets and tinted visors with vox mic beads.
Captain Cordell nodded and looked around at his guardsmen, clad in heavier carapace armor with a digital multi camouflage pattern of light greens, browns and tans. Most of his men had specialized las rifle carbine types with a bull pup drop back receiver and magazine, also attached were the red dot reflex laser sighting as well some even implemented a scope onto theirs for more increased accuracy.
“I heard it’s a hot LZ sir.” One of his guardsmen said across from him, corporal Stallings, one of his more high speed guardsmen, always waiting for the action and a chance to prove himself, and it showed on his tough sun dried leather skin with scars crossing over its contours.
“Well, we will see once we make it there.” Cordell said to him, checking his helmet strap and padded his helmet to assure it was secured enough; his fingers ran across his captain bars. Most officers if they were on such a mission would remove all rank as not to be targets of snipers, but Cordell would welcome death into open arms.
The fleet had ordered a drop team to secure a landing zone prior to any land forces to make planet fall, they had slipped in on a smaller transport ship and dropped off close enough so the smaller Valkyrie drop ships could travel planet side.
A total of seven drop ships made their entry through the planet’s atmosphere, their hulls burning red hot with the entry. The Valkyrie drop ships leveled out at a high altitude as they formed up into a formation, clouds swept across the sky, though these clouds were dark and grey, the sky itself was an eerie reddish orange color, the earth below them war torn and in disarray, fires plumed high into the air, mixing with the dark clouds bringing in acid rain every so often.
Their mission was simple, to secure a drop zone for the deploying forces of the imperial guard and to set up a small air base defense perimeter around their location. The valkyrie swooped in low across the rolling dead plains of dried grass and farm fields, the pilots skilled in flying nap of the earth they were able to evade ground based radar stations to allow them to enter their selected LZ unharmed.
The momentum of forward motion slowly came to a halt as Cordell’s Valkyrie began to hover over their LZ. The flight engineers aboard unlatched their side doors and moved their heavy bolters into position.
“Field of fire clear my side!” One of them yelled out as he aimed down the sighting display of his weapon.
“Clear on my side! You’re good for drop!” The other flight engineer replied back, yelling over the roar of the Valkyrie’s engines.
The guardsmen unlatched their harnesses and stood up, the back hatch dropped open and a rush of turbulent jet wash entered inside the crew compartment. Unhindered by the gale force winds two guardsmen picked up large bundles of rope and heaved them off the back and then attached themselves to the rope and repelled down to the ground below.
Cordell attached his cable hook and slid down the rope, dust and debris was being blown everywhere due to the jet wash. He quickly unhooked himself upon hitting the ground and moved outward creating a 360 degree security zone as the rest of his men touched down. As soon as the last ones exited the Valkyrie sped back off into the air and began to orbit around their LZ for firing support.
“I want first and second fire teams to secure those hills! Third and fourth on me! Wait for squads two through seven to make it to their points.” Cordell yelled out to his men as they lay prone in the thick brush of the farm fields, which the flat areas made it perfect to land down the large transport ships of the imperial navy.
The fire teams of his squad began to set up on their positions, the out crop of the farm had set up irrigation cannels around the farm land, creating a trench and hill all around. The other squads of the squadron began setting up their perimeter, no weapon fire as of yet, which was either a good thing or a bad thing.
“Tech Sergeant, status?” Cordell asked as he tuned his vox onto their channel settings assigned prior.
“Roger…All fire teams have set up on their points, we are just waiting from the others to begin a purge of the area.” He replied back, Tech Sergeant Darker was one of the Captain’s go to men in combat situations, a tough and resilient man just as his build.
The sky grew darker and the orange sun began to sink into the reddish sky, the clouds already dark began to grow darker, the air cooling and the wind began to howl. The farm fields churned with the wind and the stocks of the wheat moved with each gust of wind, hiding the ever vigilant guardsmen.
“Praise the Emperor.” Sergeant Stern, one of the squadron’s snipers said greedily as he peered down the scope of his long las rifle. His thumb flicked off the safety switch and his finger moved from the trigger guard to just hovering over the trigger.
“What you got Stern?” The guardsmen beside him, Private Gray asked as he lifted his binoculars’ to his eyes and then saw what his sergeant was seeing. A group of cultists clad in torn PDF regimental fatigues and corrupted carapace armor.
“Let the captain know we have company.” Stern said quietly to his spotter, they were in a prime position, atop of slight hill overlooking more farm land that had been burned down; dead stocks of wheat littered the area that the scout patrol was moving through. “They aren’t very quiet, that’s for sure.” He said with a grin.
“Aye, I hear you on that; I’m contacting the captain now.” Gray replied back, tuning his vox mic bead and pressed the talk button on the side of his ear piece.
“Captain, I have four contacts, cultists, PDF regimental uniforms, moving in our direction just north east of our position, permission to engage?”
There was silence for a moment but then static filled Gray’s vox and a voice broke through. “Roger that, you are clear, may the Emperor guide your shots.”
Stern heard it through his on vox, he watched through his scope as the cultists blindly walking in the open, a prime target for anyone really. He steadied his breath and controlled his heart beat; he watched them, closely as they were looking around aimlessly. There it was, the one in the back turned around and with that a silent las bolt streaked through the air and slammed into the back of his neck sending him falling to the ground, his body shaking as he died.
The others quickly realized what had happened to their counterpart and began to spread out. Stern followed the one that was retreating back the way they had came and squeezed his trigger gently sending a las round through the back of his skull, putting him down quickly.
The other two cultists hit the ground hard as they tried to find cover, but it was too late, Stern had honed in on them and dispatched them just as quickly and cleanly as the others. He could almost hear their gurgled voices that no longer spoke of gothic, but now a more of a chaotic tongue that burned into his ears. He hated them with a passion and was glad to see their souls being destroyed by the Emperor’s light.
“This is fire team one, I have the north eastern end secured.” Stern spoke into his mic bead and then rolled back over onto his stomach, watching the world through his scope, taking note of the path the cultists had came and awaiting others, but none came.
Captain Cordell watched his beacon team set up the LZ markers around the flat areas of the farm, now that they had secured this landing site just fifty clicks south west of the capital city they were sure that the traitor forces would have no time to react and over take their position. At least not anymore, thunder bolt imperial fights circled the area along with vulture gun ships awaited enemy armor to show themselves.
“This is Captain Cordell to fleet command, first landing zone is now secure we are now setting up defensive fighting positions.
“Roger that Captain, nice work down there.” A voice ran back over the vox net and sent a slight smile across the Captain’s face, their job was well done and with little effort as well.
But with that patrol being killed off, Cordell was sure that more would come, and he knew his men would be ready, as they set up the landing zones he now awaited the first transport ships to arrive. Now the steel fist of the imperial guard could be brought to the battle front, taking the fight to the enemies of the Imperium and mankind.
Cordell pondered the where about of Inquisitor Alleena, he was sure that she had managed to escape their ship in time. Looking up to the sky he wondered, soon the larger drop ships would be landing soon, and then the true fight would begin.
The air was filled with flak bursts and anti aircraft fire from below. Inquisitor Alleena shook in her restraints as their landing craft was rocked in the air. Her valkyrie along with three others from Captain Cordell’s company flew onward, unaware that their drop coordinates were off.
“By the Emperor.” Alleena said to herself as she was rocked hard up and down. “I feel we have wandered off course.”
One of her body guards, clad in black carapace armor checked his data display on his map. “Inquisitor, it seems something is jamming out signal from the fleet to our tracker system.”
“Tell the pilots to circle back, and to out of this mess.” She said, angered and frustrated at the situation. Taking a deep breath she leaned forward and peered out the small port hole across the troop hold. “His light, we are over the city…”
Cordell walked back to the communications tent that was hastily being built up with sandbags and other fortified materials.
“Aye captain, it seems three of our drop ships over shot our landing zone and are near the city now.” One of the troops working with the force tracker computer said to him. “We have tried to make contact with them, but something is jamming their vox.”
Nodding Cordell looked back out of the tent and at the sky. “Damn it, by the time the rest of the fleet makes it here, it could be too late for them.” Clenching his fist Cordell looked back at the data screen, three blue circles indicated the drop ships, and they were now stirring clear of the city, but on a course of who knows what.
“Sir, want me to call down our valkyries?” The troop asked, his hand hovering over the vox mic, ready to pick it up.
Cordell thought for a moment, but knew every second would count if their ships were to be shot down, The Inquisitor had with them the tech priests that carried the bombs capable of disabling the titan if the enemy were to get it back online.