This is a little story inspried by a battle between myself and a friend of mine.
Brother Sergeant Gaius woke from his hibernation system with a start. No matter how many times he entered battle that first gasp from dream filled tactica to the rumble of the Landraider and the deep inflections of the Chaplains prayers always came as a shock. His terminator suit’s sensors coming alive with his return to active status brought his battle brothers into vision, each stretching or turning the heads of their adamantine exoskeletons, so powerfully imitative of their owners, thoughts and movements. Gaius focused in on the sonorous voice leading the prayers, Chaplain Xavier was the highest ranking Chaplain in the entire Shadow Dragon’s chapter and his presence leading this campaign filled Gaius with pride. None would stand in their way as they cut a bloody swathe through the Emperor’s enemies. “Ad Mortem Properamus!”” Towards Death We March!” Gaius shouted out the last words with his brothers, and Xavier’s prayers were done.
The enemy position was closing fast. Gaius began to remember the plan so artfully crafter by his commanders and ingrained deeply within his mind during his stasis flight. He and his Brothers would close with the enemy and crush them into oblivion. Members of the second company as well as ancients from the Drednought legion would advance in their wake to secure an extraction point. The operation must be concluded swiftly lest the Dark Angels realize that the Shadow Dragon’s had landed on this planet they had declared exterminatus. Dark rumors whispered that fallen angels had landed on the planet and that the Dark Angels were enroute to destroy the planet immediately. But the high command had discovered that a scientist on the planet had unlocked a genetic secret about the Great Devourer, the enemy the Shadow Dragons pursued above all others. And so Gaius and his brethren had been sent to extract either the scientist himself or failing that obtain his research. The foolish scientist had been less than cooperative. But Chaplain Xavier was well versed in many forms of interrogation. Gaius smiled remembering the fool’s screams of repentance as he gave up his arcane data. Little did he realize that heresy can not be forgiven short of death.
Warning beacons began to flare within the cabin and Gaius stopped his reverie to prepare himself. The enemy had fallen right into their trap and had drawn up their whole lines to stop the advance of the lone Landraider heading towards their position. Xavier began a song of battle and Gaius and his brothers joined in whole heartedly . Their sonorous voices booming through speakers and in the close confines of the cabin drowned out the screech of shells and the impact of Drop Pods that rained around their blessed tank’s hull. With a shuddering lurch their Landraider was finally stopped under the weight of the enemies’ bombardment. But with a hearty roar and bight smile Gaius rushed after his brothers eager to follow Xavier into the fray.
Sensors whizzing Gaius saw that the enemy had truly erred in haste. Speedy bike units and tactical strike teams had obviously hoped to quickly eradicate the lone tank before retreating beyond reprisal. But the nigh impenetrable armor of the Landraider had allowed his team to penetrate deep into the enemy’s battle lines. Flexing his shimmering lightning claws Gaius charged after the bikes, who seeing their doom were futilely attempting to turn about. His first strike ripped through the power armor of his foe, and with a spin he impaled another rider while the fools attempted parry rang harmlessly against his terminator suit. He could see the heavy suits of his division deftly maneuvering their great thunderhammers as they battled an indomitable Drenought. Their strikes ringing with victory as they brought the great metallic giant to its knees. Word rang through Gaius’s transmitors then that the second company was soon to be ready for extraction and that the terminators need only stay the enemy’s hand a bit longer. “Brothers regroup… the enemy is bound to have a bit more fight in them.” Xavier nodded at Gaius wise commands and his brothers heeding their leader’s voice quickly prepared to hold their ground.
Waves of bikes poured towards their position and with a thunderous impact another Drenought plummeted behind their lines. Surrounded Gaius smiled and said his prayers to the emperor for victory or swift death. Afraid at last of the power of their foes the enemy riddled Gaius and his brothers with countless shells, Artex fell pierced to the core. Gaius was proud of his brothers standing strong against the foes powerful last push. Suddenly the world flashed a dizzingly bright orange as the enemy rained gouts of burning promethium upon them. But the terminator armor held true, and the enemy was filled with a terror they had never known as they watched the lumbering behemoths they faced emerge unscathed yet bathed in fire. They fled.
Gaius knelt with his brethren around their fallen brother as Xavier intoned the final rites of battle. The solemn preceding was interrupted by urgent reports from the command vessel. “Sergeant Gaius prepare your team for immediate teleportation . A Dark Angel Battle Cruiser has emerged from warp travel in the system. Congratulations on a successful mission the second company reports that all teams were removed via thunderhawk extraction.”
With swift coordination the squad formed up in a circular position. And with a flash of bright light they were gone. Moments later the planet’s crust began to shake as torpedoes crashed into its surface and began to detonate. Within minutes the core had been breached and the planet shuddered apart. The Dark Angels Cruiser circling in the wake soon burst once more into warp travel….hunting …. always hunting.