The signifier Imperator Somnium registered briefly in the servitor’s memory core: an interstellar craft of unique classification...
A goliath among starships, the Emperor’s command carrier matched in size the great orbital plates such as Riga and Skye, which floated over the surface of distant Terra like windborne island continents. When it had first entered orbit of Ullanor the planet’s sun had been partially eclipsed, and the Emperor’s helmsmen were forced to administer the ship’s course with an iron hand, to prevent the mass of the vessel exerting a tidal effect on the local weather system.
Big E's flagship. Suggested to be massively larger than most every other ship in existence. Given the 60-80 km Mass conveyors we know about, this thing is probably truly huge (especially if it has a tidal effect and compared to ortibal plates.) Not sure how much we could read into 'continent sized'. Probably reflects the closest the Imperium gets to 'Craftworlds' of any kind though.
..he fingers of his augmetic arm drumming absently on the stock of his holstered bolter..
Bolter stocks. something oyu rarely see in artwork.
Like many of the Blood Angels in the lithocast chamber, Captain Amit was not physically present. At this moment, he stood in a transmission vestibule on board the battle-barge Victus, on the far side of the fleet. Hololithic arrays embedded in all the plinths allowed representations of each company commander to be part of the gathering, without them needing to travel from their own ships. The power requirement and cogitator processing capacity to operate the multiple real-time holograph communications streams was high, and the system was rarely used on this scale. Beyond the range of a few light days, the delay in the message transfer became problematic and unwieldy, but with the massed fleet in close proximity the chamber was performing its function perfectly.
Capabilities of Imperial holographic systems, limited to lightspeed lag, but has a tremendous operational range (although it woudl suck beyond a certain distance for obvious reasons.)
'This… veil…' began Captain Nakir. The fanciful name for the shadow-effect had been coined by one of Admiral DuCade’s men, and a day later it had spread throughout the entire fleet.
Implied timeframe between the creation of the veil and this current meeting.
"This is from the fleet log. Picket ships among the sternguard wings report that an opaque mass resembling a black cloud has formed, six-point-three light days beyond the designated outer marker of the Signus Cluster. Long-range optical observations in all directions appear to support the conclusion that this mass has completely shrouded the system."
It's.. interesting that the veil is supposedly light days away from the edge of the system (which the Blood Angels are in) and yet its blocked off light so very rapidly 'in all directions' that they vcan pick it up at all - evne on optical. I mean if you think about it, it would just prevent more light from coming into the system.. the light still in the system once the veil forms would still be travelling in-system.
It could be drones (we know some drones can transmit even to vessels in the warp - CF Dark Creed) but the signal would alos have to be FTL (some sort of telepathy/astrotelepathy, which implies some sort of astropath element involved in the drone - servitor perhaps?) to apply here.
Or it may just be proof of some technological (quasi or otherwise) FTL detection (technological version of clairvoyance/telepathy/etc.)
"There are stories of worlds falling wholesale into the immaterium after catastrophic warp space events. Could that happen to an entire star system, and to us along with it?"
"The energy to achieve such a result would likely be greater than the sum total output of the galaxy itself. It is irrational to conceive it."
Which is interesting given whole systems (or indeed the EYe or Maelstrom itself) exist.. which gives you an idea of just how much energy is involved in creating warp incursions, perhaps.
Assuming an earth like solar system (figure 10 billion km radius) would be 25 megawatts for a 5 km long cruiser to 'enter' the warp (not assuming a sphereical entry point.) Of course its 'grater than' so...
On the other hand, if the 'system' goes by the actual distance of the veil (6.3 light days radius) the energy for a cruiser sized object to enter the warp (assuming it scaled) would be in the single/double digit kw range either. I kinda doubt that, otherwise warp incursions owuld be trivially easy to create methinks.
This does all assume it scales linearly though, so..
"‘We remain in normal space, Captain Galan. Our Navigators confirm this to us, although they report that they have lost all contact with warp beacons beyond the line of the veil."
Again Warp beacons.
"I have ordered a single ship to disengage from the fleet, the cruiser Helios. They are following a reverse course back along our path of approach to the Signus Cluster. Their orders are to conduct a close examination of this phenomenon."
Sangy orders a single ship to investigate the veil.
"While the Helios undertakes its mission, I have also ordered the Hermia to take on a force of legionaries and travel ahead to Signus VI, the planet known as Holst."
"The Hermia is stealth-capable."
And another ship dispatched towards the sixth planet of the Signus system. The ship is stealth-capable so we may infer its not running at maximum output (or its not making a constant-burn acceleration all the way to the system)
...if the helm-servitors flying Stormbird Delta-25 Blood’s Eagle..
servitor piloted stormbirds.
It could not have been anything other than the discharge from a narrow-bore laspistol.
The flight officer shot wildly, pulses of yellow coherent light fizzing into Harox’s pauldrons, his torso plate and helmet. The laspistol wasn’t a battlefield-rated weapon, more a personal defence sidearm, and only a lucky hit to the eye lenses of the warrior’s helmet would have proven dangerous to him. The discharges from the gun cut burning divots in the thick outer layers of his ceramite armour but did not penetrate.
..the blasted servitors....
He saw that the auto-flight cogitator was a wreck, as were the thrust regulators and the long-range vox-unit.
nonmilitary 'defence' laspistol. Also 'narrow bore' which suggests laspistol 'focus' can be highly variable (mcuh as we've seen hinted at in short stories or novels like Legion.) - it probably is tied to role and damage mechanisms - more 'explosive' bolt lasweapons and Armour piercing types are narrow focus, whilst ones focused on thermal effects or broad damage instead of penetration (like a shotgun-scatter effect or a laser flamethrower) would opt for 'wide beam' effects.
Its hard to calc the weapon tho since we have no idea of its exact effects, although damaging equipment suggests it has some measure of penetration against inorganic material.
Every one of the Legiones Astartes provided their warriors with a hypnogogic training programme that gave them a basic understanding of vehicle operations. Legionaries were imprinted with the knowledge of how to run groundcraft and common aerial units such as skimmers, gunship speeders and jetbikes – but piloting a Stormbird was at the limit of this teaching.
Meros allowed himself to forget for a moment that he was an Apothecary, surrendering his reflexes to the ingrained muscle-memory programmes deep in his mind. He remembered how to the fly the Stormbird in a distant way..
Legion training WRT vehicles. Apparently it covers a broad type of memories too.
"Distance to the inner edge?"
"Sir, I can’t give a sounding because the auspex grids refuse to settle."
"We must be close, Captain Reznor. These effects may be an artefact of the barrier’s creation."
"Best guess," Dequen offered. "Ten kilometres and closing."
"Helm." ordered the shipmaster, "hold station here."
The Helios - the ship dispatched to investigate the veil, has managed to get within an approximate 10 km of it. Meaning that, somehow, it crossed a purported 6+ light days of distance. Again like with the 'detection' issue, this would be FTL unless they literally took weeks to cross that distance (debatable, given the events with the HErmia and the Blood Angels lfeet in general.)
The cloud is noticibly advancing, but the fact they're not engulfed despite being approximately ten km away is indicative. Hell even if it was a hundred km away, the fact its not engulfing them within seconds means its travleling very slow, and the barrier could not possibly have shrunk the distance significantly in whatever time it took the ship to arrive.
"According to the maps on the signum, this road leads into the main atrium of the upper city, so all we need to do is follow it. Set all thermodynamic and infra-red sensing to maximum acuity. "
Mapping functions of signum, and Blood Angel helmets have 'thermodynamic and infra-red' sensing capability.
From the smell of it, the remains were heavily decayed; but that was impossible. Godolfan had spoken with the Navigator less than five hours ago, after they had disengaged from the expeditionary fleet.
Which is.. interesting. As previously established, the veil was over six light days out, and the fleet was inside the system. Meaning they crossed 6 LD in 5 hours, or a speed of 29c. It's not impossible they used the warp to hop that distance, but given the possible disturbance I'd wonder if it was risky... Still warp travel is the only possible explanation for how they could cross that distance in such a short time (unless either the distance or the time is wrong. Time is possible but unlikely, but given the distances in estimating the range that could be.. although to be off by orders of magnitude seems unliekyl also..)
Kano cycled the vision modes of his helmet optics, but found nothing. That didn’t make sense; even a foe beneath a camo cloak or phase-shunt would leave some kind of visual trace against the background environment.
commentary on stealth/cloaking measures and autosesense vision modes. I wonder if 'camo' includes cameleoline?
It had once been a service conduit for the hive, running vox-cables and geothermal taps out to the neighbouring settlements.
The Hive (or arcology, as they also use the term) uses geothermal power.
"I brought ships to assist in the Hermia’s mission. The Victus was in closer orbit, so I offered to take on the search for you myself. I wanted to look upon the enemy.’ He paused. ‘Is that what I saw, brother-sergeant?"
Which would imply that roughly ten hours or so have passed since they crashed.
The Hermia, along with the Victus and her escort cruisers, Sable and Paleknight, were connecting back to the planet’s surface with the glittering, impermanent red threads of mega-lasers, but at first it was not clear what enemy the other ships had come across.
The primarch’s flagship hove closer, the Red Tear flanked by the Ignis and the Covenant of Baal, the vessels temporarily detached from the main body of the fleet out in open space.
Then a missile made of dense rock, most likely the head of a great mountain from Holst’s equatorial zone, threw itself out of the hive-world’s gravity well. A singular, incredible release of volcanic power ejected the mass into the orbital path of the Paleknight, at such speed that the cruiser’s fusion thrusters were not sufficient to set it on a different heading.
The starship’s back was instantly broken, and it came apart in clouds of venting atmosphere and plasmatic discharges.
Even as the cruiser perished, the planet was spewing more molten hate into the sky. Scatter-shot clouds of stone briefly became flaming meteors as they crossed the ice world’s thin atmospheric membrane, against all reason screaming upwards at the Blood Angels ships. The Victus took hits across its flank and the Hermia lost great divots of hull metal as the hurled rocks gouged valleys in the thick armour of her prow.
The Warp-tainted palnet launches a kinetic bombardment on the Blood angels fleet. One 'escort cruiser' destroyed and two other ships (cruiser or bigger) taking damage but not destroyed. The exact mass or veloity is not known so its not easy to estimate. The fact it apparently survives transit to orbit - indeed the fact it makes orbit on such a linear course suggests something truly akin to a severe asteroid impact - a projectile tens if not hundreds of meters in diameter (or the equivalent) and moving at tens of km/s (at least 12+ km/s, but even then I question whether it would be 'straight line') Depending on orbit ti could be faster - say less than a minute to change trajectory from a standing start (assuming isngle/double digit gees) would point at least tens, perhaps hundreds of km/s. On the other hand, tossing the rocks into the 'orbital path' of the ship tends to suggets its not moving super-fast either, since it's still affected by gravity. somewhere in the order of tens of km/s seems most likely all told.
As an example: Assuming a 20 meter diameter rock asteroid at 20 km/s would be a 7-8 thousand ton asteroid would be momentum in the 1.4e11 kg*m/s and e15 Joules (not quite a megaton of KE.)
Even if the velocity was rather slow (tens or even hundreds of km/s) its quite possible the collisions would not have triggered void shields. And even if they did, there's still conservation of of momentum and such to consider (which force fields cannot totally protect against even if the projectile does not penetrate the shields.)
"How many were on that ship?"
"Eight full squads of legionaries."
Sanguinius’s reply seemed to come from a very great distance. "Nearly a hundred times that number of crew."
Crew of the escort cruiser 80 astartes and nearly 8000 crew.
What kind of weapon can fire objects of such dimension from a planetary surface?’ Azkaellon looked up, questioning anyone who would meet his gaze. ‘There’s no mass driver ever built that could do it. The power requirement alone would be immense!"
If we knew the parameters of the attack in question this might be relevant
Although it is interesting that mass (or size) of the projectile is the issue rather than mass and/or velocity. That suggests the projectiles are impacting at velocities consistent with Imperial mass drivers (although what kind and what velcoities are, as I said, open to debate.)
"The Victus, Sable and Hermia are entering formation with us. Hermia reports major damage, but it is still operational."
Aftermath of the kinetic bombardment
"Admiral DuCade, slave gun control on all vessels present to my word of command. Tell every shipmaster to prime their cyclonic torpedoes and megaweapon-gauge systems for full bombardment. Target Holst."
"All weapons? Against the hive-city?" DuCade asked.
"Against the planet," corrected the primarch. "Synchronize aim-points along the equator, track for geological flux. I want this world shattered."
Sangy is getting serious. 'megaweapon-gauge' suggests most of the bow weapons - the spinal mount lasers, nova cannon/mass driver types, torpedoes (or in this case, cyclonics) The 'all weapons' quote is interesting, as it implies all weapons that can bear, or all weapons in the arc. This means all the weapons facing forward (unless the torpedoes can fire off axis) are 'mega-gauge' or the heaviest weapons, or that the ships have significant off axis firing.
My interpretation is that its referring mostly to all the prow weapons, although its possible that the dorsal (or ventral) weapons could contribute also.
It is also interesting that they're using cyclonics alongside conventional weapons for what amounts to Exterminatus.
The hammer of the Emperor’s will was a powerful force, and in the wars of the Great Crusade it had often been regrettably necessary to punish whole worlds with ruthless intent. The Guard Commander had seen cities wiped off the map in the blink of an eye, vaporised by lance cannons and macronuclear bombs; continents seared by laser barrages; skies scorched.
And while the power to kill a world – to truly, utterly destroy it – had always rested within the reach of the Legiones Astartes, it was not an order that Azkaellon had ever witnessed in execution.
Again reference to Imperial starships being able to destroy cities and continents, but not much clarification beyond that. We dont know how many ships involved, but the duration for both (or at least for the cities for sure) is short. In the case of cities, there's up for debate whether 'vaporize' could be taken literally (and of course the size of the city) and if it means lance cannons and macronuclear bobms individually, or as a combined assault (although it implies a single salvo eithr way) and laser barrages for an entire continent.
On the other hand this isn't neccesarily a 'full power' assault either, more like 'tactical' or strategic bombardments - to wipe out enemies without neccesarily decimating the whole planet. It indicates the level of devastation they are willing to direct at a planet.
"The order is given: exterminatus extremis."
The void surrounding the planet Holst flashed crimson as energies were liberated and directed, as a surge of weapons of mass destruction hurtled from launch tubes and bore down upon the turbulent world.
Energy pulses struck first, moving at the speed of light and boiling away the vapours shrouding the sky, punching into the nitrogen ice surface. Rocky under-strata that had been sealed beneath permafrost for millions of years were burned clean and exposed. The torpedo barrage came seconds after, great fusion-powered rockets tipped with lethal warheads. Each had the power to lay waste to a continent, but in this instance they were combined with force enough to spear the molten heart of a world.
The a portion of the Blood Angels fleet demolishes the planet. The first notable detail is that the cyclonic torpedoes are stated to run on fusion motors, and they have continent-destroying firepower per warhead.
They also launch at the same time the beam weapons fire, but strike 'seconds' after (presumably less than a minute, but probably not even that much.) Again tens of km/s at a very low end, but more probably hundreds of km/s or more (for torpedoe velocity.) Which has actually been a consistent pattern for the HH novels (Age of Darkness and The Primarchs both have examples of such.) Assuming a 10-20 second duration and ~2000 km 'low orbit' transit you get an average speed of 100-200 km/s and an acceleration between 10-40 km/s^2 at least.
Of course we could argue (if its geostationary orbit and a few seconds) tens of thousands of km/s for torpedoes too.. but I won' tquite go that far here
And then there's the bombardment. The combined forward beams and torpedoes in that single salvo destroy/shatter the planet. We don't know how many ships exactly were involved - later it implies a 'handful' and there's fewer than a dozen mentioned by name (including escorts) so it doesn't seem large, but its possible it could be larger Assuming the usual 1e9 megaton threshold and we assume 1000 ships (upper limit of 'hundreds', and assuming 1 ship per 100 Astartes roughly), that would assume an average of 1e6 megatons per salvo per ship (within an order of magnitude) The energy weapons would be within an order of magnitude or two of the torpedoe salvo in this contesxt, suggesting roughly gigaton range weapons by the planet killing alone. Shattering the planet (partial/total mass scattering) would be orders of magnitude more devastating. If the number of ships is much smaller (say 10 or less) the firepower goes up considerably as well of course.
Again it is interesting that the cyclonics alone weren't used for mass destruction, given we know they can do that. That is further proof that the beam weapons were comparable in devastation (or perhaps better?) at least over the 'seconds' long duration of the bombardment. It is also possible this indicates they do again use cyclonics as a anti-ship warhead at least in some cases - we knew that was the case from Bleeding Chalice, for example, and we know cyclonics come in a variety of yields (from 'single one to mass scatter/destroy a world' to 'destroying a city with one') It is also possible to interpret the 'lay waste to a continent' passage as referring to both the beam weapons AND torpedoes separately too (we know las barrages could do that.)
It is also interesting that no mass drivers are firing (no nova cannon) - this implies that virtually all the Blood Angels prow (and dorsal) weapons are either guided projectiles of some kind (gun launched missiles?) or beam weapons and just torpedoes. If so then the rapid propogation might make sense if it was missiles or mass drivers too.
either way it suggests a shit-ton of firpeower and probably marks yet another instance of James Swallow being marked as an outlier because he clearly read something on the internet he didn't understand but just picked cuz it was a big number. After all, sci fi fans are SO MUCH inherently smarter than those stupid soft-sci fi writers who never ever think
"It is days now since we passed inside the orbit of Signus VI, and left that world killed and broken."
Days have passed since they killed the previous planet, which was 'broken' (presumably shattered, unless we invoke hyperbole.) They still haven't reached the fifth planet yet either.
The fleet was on the move, at battle speed now, crossing wide of the White River asteroid belt in a half-loop over the plane of the ecliptic, towards the inner planets and a direct speed course to Signus Prime.
Basically its a straight line courese, I gather.
There had been such dedication in the eight dead crewmen. They were among the longest-serving ratings aboard the Dark Page, and in their life of attachment to this starship there was a bond that went beyond the corporeal.
Simply serving aboard a starship for a long time can be a source of psychic power. Whether it is the imprint or infusion of their own psychic power/signature into the ship itself, or simply their thoughts and beliefs relative to the ship shaping the warp (and thus shaping the object) we don't know, but its a tangible effect. What's more this can go some way to explaining why superstition and such about ships or technology can sometimes have truth - sort of a self-fufilling prophecy.
..part of the Signus Cluster’s outer defence squadron.
The Signus cluster's defenses included at least one squadron of frigates, and probably multiple squadrons of escorts total (or at least, escort scale craft.)
Plumes of radiation from the cracked power cores of warp engines were visible as scintillating fountains of colour via rad-scan optics, showing like distant aurorae.
Warp engines as viewed by Astartes 'rad scan' ioptics.
..raising the melta weapon with one hand, dialling down the projector choke with the other.
"We don’t know who is on the other side of this. The shock effect could be lethal."
There is also a 'shock effect' of some kind from a Melta trying to breach some sort of sealed door/airlock (vaporization? steam explosion?) And they have some sort of variable parameter - not yield I think, but probably focus (narrow or wide focus, given the reference to a 'choke' would be my guess.)
Meros drew his chainaxe and threw a hard blow against the first of the clamps. Fractal-edged tungsten-alloy teeth met plasteel and yellow sparks flew. The handle spun away from its mounts, and in moments Meros had beheaded all of the clamps.
Chainaxe at work on welded-shut plasteel door. Note the 'fractal-edge' tungsten teeth.
"Sanguinius will never turn his face from the Emperor. Erebus is a fool to think it could ever be so. The Angel must fall and never rise. Without him, his sons will embrace your scarlet path, creature. They will be lost.’ His eyes became hooded. ‘They will belong to your bloody king."
"Your hubris is entertaining, Horus Lupercal. I see what you see. If the impossible were to happen, if the Angel Sanguinius could be turned… Then for the first time you would have a true rival among your traitor allies. Perhaps, one the Ruinous Powers might grow to favour over you, given time. You do not wish to take that risk."
"He will not turn!" Horus’s shout shredded the smoke-shape of the avatar, and it twisted angrily as it reformed. "None of you understand him as well as I do. But mark this, he will die even if I must do the deed myself. On my soul, I swear it."
A few paragraphs from a much larger scene, but its one I rather like and it plays a rather prominent part in this book, which shows why I am enjoying it. The book has bits of action here, but I'm not really forced to slog through long pages of Space MArines being BADASS (yet), which is a good thing. Most of the action is ship to ship, but ultimately the first half of the book is the Blood Angels moving into the trap, and getting their first glimpse of what Chaos truly is.. and that's actually a bit fascinating to me. It's setting the scene for the conflict to come once the trap is sprung, and all the elements are carefully shifting into place.
Another big aspect of this scene (and of the book as a whole) focuses on the relationship between Horus and Sanguinius. These two Primarchs since the HH first took shape have always been pivotal, as it is Sanguinius who gets killed by Horus at the Battle of Terra, and that which provides motivation for the final, ultimate battle. Seeing the pre-Heresy Horus and Sanguinus, the closest of brothers and mutually supportive and contrasting it with this Horus - the man twisted by Chaos, ambition, hatred and betrayal - using that brother's trust and love to kill him because he's a potential rival (or a reminder of what Horus has given up. Horus is rather conflicted still.) is a pretty strong sentiment for me. The fact I like seeing the 'good' Horus we had from Horus Rising again, and then being shown this utter bastard he has become, is something of a mindfuck.
And yet I can still pity him because he was decent and good once, and he is very much a victim of others (Chaos and the Word Bearers, who themselves are being used.) Indeed, that plans within plans is naother aspect I liek of this book. We see that the Word Bearers - who have long thought they were calling the shots, are now realizing (much as in Nemesis) that Horus is not as malleable as they thought, and he's playing them as much as they play him. And there is yet a third faction playing off both those sides: Chaos - they are the ultimate manipulators here, and utlimately the winner. Chaos has set the stage and gained some powerful allies, but as is always the case with Chaos, the alliance is tenuous and full of mistrust and potential for betrayal, and that creates the weaknesses that ultimately undoes it. The question is, how much damage will be done before things fall apart on them?
..whose ages ranged from a boy of approximately three to a woman of one hundred and six standard Terran years.
Presumably non-rejuv age.
"We’ve been in here for weeks. We have not seen light of day since the crash."
weeks since the crash, the length of time they were on the remains of the ship
"We were below decks for most of the flight from Signus Prime. The ship was trying to move beyond the mass shadow. "
The Defence force frigate was warp capable.
"She was overloaded, captain. We were making good speed, but pushing the reactor too hard. Much too hard. I know there was power loss and we... we started to drift. That’s when the beasts came upon us."
That would suggest one reason why they probably don't run at flat out maximum power all the time.
... Hengist had made an attempt to conceal a short sword and a narrow-gauge bolt pistol beneath a pile of rags
Variable calibers in bolt weaponry I gather from this.
"‘The ship started to break up," offered Niobe. She looked towards Zhomas. "We went through the atmosphere."
"We all… found each other after the crash. Came in here and locked the door. We had food and water."
the Frigate came down at least partly in tact, and some people aboard it survived the impact by whatever means.
" By the end of the first week we were building concentration camps for the ones who dared disagree."
"Within a month Bruja was ruler of the system in all but name. "
At least a month passed for the daemons to do what they wanted before the Blood Angels arrived. one and a half to two months more liekly, given the 'weeks' hiding in part of the frigate.
Slowly and carefully he turned, silently drawing his bolt pistol.
It was three hundred metres from where they crouched, pausing to sniff at the air, licking at nothing with a forked, serpentine tongue.
"Single target on foot. Could be a scout."
"Can you make a silent kill?"
"Negative, too far. No reaction as yet."
"Don’t risk the humans. Let it go if you can."
I'm guessing 'silent kill' is knife work, since bolters aren't exactly silent, so this implies a 300 metre or so range for bolt pistols, which is conisstent with novels like Space wolf and Angels of Darkness.
The mood in the lithocast chamber was in stark contrast to the temper of the conclave only a few days earlier. Captain Raldoron folded his arms across his chest and scanned the room, picking out the avatars of the commanders who were transmitting from their ships. Along with countless other minor malfunctions and small indignities, the hololithic network between the vessels of the Blood Angels fleet was suffering intermittent loss of data parity, and the synthetic avatars of many of the Three Hundred’s company captains were blurry and crazed with static.
In the holo-room again, and its a 'few days later' since the first time. Given the first time this happened was around Phorus (on the edge of the system) and they're now around the fifth planet, that means it took them a few days (less than a week) to reach insystem. Just how far that is we don't know, but its a safe bet its probably at least hundreds of millions, if not billions of km (the distance between VII and VI was at least several LM, and I'd guess its at least similar to the others)
Assuming 'a few days' means 2-4 days you'd still get only 1-2 gees at 1 AU and average velocity would be around 1500 km/s. At 10 AU you'd be looking at between 10-20 gees. Hell you still get a few gees even if its close to a week.
The warships deployed in combat formation, squadrons of cruisers, carriers and destroyers forming their own battle elements, laying out screens of interceptors and picket gunboats.
The BA fleet deploys around Signus... note they deploy fighters AND gunboats... so apparently they carry some sort of parasite warship (gun cutter analogue perhaps). Also carriers.
The two moons of the third planet were gone. They had not been destroyed by any conventional means, for that would have left debris to settle into an accretion ring and the spillage of radiation and particle traces marking their points of obliteration. The satellites had simply been stolen from their orbits, lost to the unknown; and with them had gone shipyards, barracks and manufactories for the Signus Cluster’s defence forces.
It is at least known (or possible) for planets/moons to be destroyed by 'conventional means' whatever that is. Whehter that includes the Imperium and such, I leave it up to others to argue over from this
Also the defence force had its own orbital shipyardsa nd industry.
A cowl of dense wreckage from countless obliterated vessels and orbital complexes hung close to the edge of the atmospheric interface – military and civilian ships alike, everything from suborbital wing-shuttles never designed to venture beyond the stratosphere to interstellar juggernaut haulers...
For where there were thousands of murdered ships there were ten thousand times that number of human dead drifting bloated and frozen in the vacuum.
More like millions of people, but I digress. At least 'thousands' of ships in orbit around the planet. Not all are interetellar ships (the wing shuttles probably arne't that large) but its definitely implied there are hundreds of such doubtless at least, which includes scores or hundreds of warships.
A vast hurricane of psychic shock, created from the bottled murder-essence of millions of surrendered souls, resonated out from the shrouded world. It swept across the crimson starships in a shuddering, immaterial wave. Void shields could not halt the ethereal power of it, and the mere matter of adamantium hulls and plasteel bulkheads were penetrated as easily as if they had been made of paper.
Blood Angels void shields could not stop against a psychic/telepathic shockwave attack.
The Red Tear was turning, and steeply enough that the massive flagship’s gravity plates were labouring to compensate.
AG seems to double as the acceleration compensation as well.
The Blood Angels ships fired torpedo barrages and pulsing blasts from their mega-lasers, stripping all protection from the attackers, but still the enemy came on.
that may suggest that torpedoes did not bypass the enemy ship's void shields, but its hard to be sure. Also would imply (again) megalasers (prow weapons) and torpedoes are roughly comparable firepower wise.
Ahead, the Red Tear opened her gun ports and let her cannons give their all, the brilliant spears of particle beams and the streamers of missile salvoes striking hard across the line of the hell-ship advance.
Perfect, pearl-like globes of nuclear fire bloomed in the night, destroying what should have already been long dead.
Nuclear warheads and particle beams and missiles oh my.
It was then the Apothecary saw that one of the Space Wolves was manhandling a conical object easily the height and mass of a human, dragging it off one of the munitions carts stalled by the impact.
With a grunt of effort, Valdin threw the warhead over his shoulder and it tumbled down into the enemy throng. Meros turned away, bringing up his hands to shield his face as it hit the tanker’s bow and detonated.
In such a confined space, the explosion blew out a great plate of the Red Tear’s outer hull – not enough to puncture the inner armour, but enough to unseat the invaders’ ship and expose the fleshy monstrosities to the harsh caress of space.
rather large anti-fighter missile, although what kind of payload it has we don't know at all. It doesnt to anything to the hsip armour though.
Secured in place on the adamantium decks by the magnetic plates in his boots..
Adamantium (or the alloy of it) is ferrous.
The last las-bolt bored into DuCade’s heart, flash-burning a hole through her chest
Laspistol. We dont know quite how big the hole is, but it penetrades deeply to the heart (15-20 cm) and if it was a finger-sized hole, we might figure at least single, maybe double digit kj. If we go by burns on the interior of the 'hole' and 3rd degree burns, we get at least 4.5-12 kj (50-125 j per sq cm)
Lit by atomic fires and the blaze of coherent energy, the war in the skies above Signus Prime was a tapestry of violence.
The smell of burned glass and cooked meat assailed them as Cassiel led the way in..
Many had died fleeing, laser burns scorching open their backs with wet pink wounds.
Laspistol again. We dont know how big the burns are though, but its implied to be fairly large. Again its perhaps single/double kj range perhaps.
"For days now we have walked with caution across the Signus Cluster, encountering the inexplicable and the monstrous"
Again days to cross the cluster's system
Suddenly Amit was sprawled on the hull with a new impact crater on his careworn armour and Sanguinius standing over him. The Angel moved so fast, the Apothecary had barely registered the movement, sweeping in and knocking Amit down with the pommel of his great sword.
Primarch's speed and reactions relative to a Space MArine. I'd guess he can move many meaters in a tenth/twentieth of a second, given what we know Astartes reactions to be.
" It seemed like a lifetime ago, but it had only been weeks since the battles on Nartaba Octus, since the eldar soulseeker-round in his gut that had almost cost the Apothecary his life."
'weeks' to travel to the Signus system (including the rendezvous) and to reach the capital. I'd guess Kayvas to Signus (by HH Betrayal) is 40 to 60 thousand LY approximately. Assuming 2, or 3 weeks. is between 693,000 to 1,560,000 c.
The crushing bulk of the monster had strangled him like a giant constrictor, breaking many of his bones despite the dense metallic content of his gene-altered skeleton.
Astartes have metallic components (as well as ceramic) to their skeletons. Which, given their insane abilities, makes alot more snese than some of the stuff attributed to them.
"If I had a single Throne gelt for each time that threat was aired, I could buy my own galaxy."
Mention of Throne Gelt again.
"The central spire is approximately three kilometres high" ’ Raldoron explained. "Laser ranging refused to give a consistent estimate. "
The stronghold resembled an ancient cathedral of tall, narrow cones and massive chapel arches. Around the central tower, there were four smaller spires, then a ring of eight more. The high angle of the pict from the monitor bird showed a clear geometric pattern to the architecture, but the base of the structure was shrouded in a peculiar pale haze that glowed, illuminated by a reddish glow from thousands of misted windows.
"A lance cannon shot from orbit would test the reality of this place without question."
"I voxed Galan on the Covenant of Baal, asked his gunners to make a sounding for possible bombardment. He returned contact asking me why I wanted a bald patch of desert turned to glass."
Single lance strike could take out (melt?) a multi-km fortress-like catehdral structure. Not exactly city destroying, but still damn impressive. Assuming melting a 1 meter deep 3 km diameter area, we're talking about tens of thousands of TJ. Not exactly an explosion, but eh, it would turn the thing to glass. A nd is roughly consistent with the Deathwatch/Rogue Trader definition of lance strikes.
"Interference with the optical systems of the monitor birds we sent to over-fly the target." He paused. "The drones came back… different. I had them put down and burned."
Some kind of recon servitor drone, I'd gather. Maybe like a psyber-eagle.
A horizontal rain of bolter fire and shrieking plasma met their advance and cut them down, ripping flesh into ribbons or ashing it with greasy chugs of meat-smoke.
Effects of bolt and plasma fire on possessed cultists. Bolters probably just explode, but the plasma guns probably could pulverize and cremate. Extent of cremation unknown, but figure broadly megajoule to gigajoule per shot (partial to total cremation, in other words)
Ka’Bandha gave a wordless shout of anger, shouldering aside a stalled Rhino, flipping the armoured transport onto its roof. He exploded towards the Angel, howling like a banshee.
Bloodthirster can flip a Rhino. We know Primarcsh can do the same, and Sangy is roughly well matched to this Bloodthirster, so it probably measures Sanguinius' strength fairly well also.
They twisted in mid-flight, raining blows upon one another, each punch landing with enough kinetic force to send out thunder-cracks of displaced air. Sanguinius felt armour that had weathered a thousand wars fracture and split beneath the deadly impacts of the daemon warlord’s strikes.
Implying, perhaps, that Sangy and the Bloodthirster are exchanging supersonic punches.
The gargantuan volcano had been tamed by the power and technology of Imperial might, the living rock and roiling magma cut back and dammed so that the Emperor and his sons could come into the heart of this place and walk the spaces within without threat of destruction
Once the legionaries and their servants were gone, the field generators and gravity-walls would be deactivated and Nikaea’s burning mountain would assert its strength once more. The rocky chambers cut by melta-beam into domicile, anteroom and amphitheatre would be engulfed by lava, reclaimed by the fires.
Imperial forcefield technology (portable or modular, apparently) protecting against volcanic lava.
But then the red fire, and the blinding sweep of the daemon-lord’s axe. The cataclysm as it descended into the mass of hundreds of Blood Angels, all of them storming forwards with the same intent as Meros.
A bolus of incredible energy, liberated from nothingness, exploded across the ranks of the warriors.
An inferno of hate crashed in the wake of the blow and suddenly hundreds of legionaries were gone. Flesh and bone, adamantium and ceramite, obliterated by a power beyond reckoning. Bodies burned to cinders, armour crushed to blackened fragments, legionaries Meros had known well erased from the face of the galaxy in a single heartbeat.
Ragefire burns 500 Blood Angels to ash. It wasn't innate power of the Thirster per se, but it was borrowed/augmented power imbued in the weapon, as I gather it.
The Apothecary fired a bolt round into the middle of the forehead, blasting it apart in a welter of bone and gooey matter.
Bolt pistol round headsploding a Bloodletter.
Over the lip of the crater came a smoking, war-scarred vehicle on four grinding caterpillar tracks; the Mastodon was designed for deployment of full squads into the middle of combat zones..
Mastodon troop transport.
..a shattered lascannon had been mounted; the device was a ruin of torn parts and heat-slagged crystal,
Lascannons using crystals.
Preysight and light-modified visual settings through the optics of Raldoron’s combat helmet were no improvement. The sensors in his warplate constantly gave off erroneous data and filled the vision blocks with heat bloom.
Astartes helmet sensors/vision modes.
Somewhere up there, set in position at high anchor away from the slow burn of battle that still raged on in orbit, the Scarlet Liberty was drifting with its bow aimed at the planet, lance cannons primed and missile batteries loaded and ready. Although the starship’s targeting sensors were blinded by the unusual atmospheric effects of Signus Prime’s corrupted skies, they would still – it was hoped – be able to see the beacon’s trace should Raldoron activate it. If triggered, in less than ninety seconds a hail of death from above would fall upon his location and obliterate everything..
High anchor we learn means roughly high orbit (given the battle is taking place at high orbit on page 465), which puts the ship above geostationary (36,000 km approx) and possibly as high as 96,000 km (depending on defintiion, I'm using the one here
Indeed it quite possibly may be beyond that. Either way This gives the missile barrage roughly 90 seconds at most (less than nienty seconds) to cross that distance, implying a missile velocity somewhere on the order of at least 400-500 km/s to over 1067 km/s. Or roughly, hundreds of km/s, which is roughly comparable to torpedoes. Macro cannon should obviously be at least as fast, if not faster, and its likely both macro cannon AND missiles are faster, given we know torpedoes can reach up to 800 km/s as well (The Primarchs.) On the other hand, its quite possible 'missile' actually means torpedo... Its prow weaponry after all and torpedoes are prow weapons (recall that the Blood Angels fleet - or some of the ships - had bombarded a planet with torpedoes from prow weapons earlier. torpedoes and missiles may be conflated here. It would even make sense, velocity wise, if we're talking about torpedoes rather than 'broadside' missiles.) If the bombarding ship is above the technical definition of 'high orbit' the velocity for the missiles would be greater. but if I am correct and the text is describing a lance/torpedo bobmardment instead, then more likely the velocity is not significantly greater (torps move slower and penetrate shields, remember.)
It also demonstrates that 'higher tha low orbit' bombardment accuracy can be achieved at least with a targeting beacon, although its implied the Blood angels ship in question apparently would have the capability as long as it could scan the surface (which it can't here, hence the beacon.)
"‘The Bloodthirster sees it, even if you do not. You underestimate the Warmaster at your cost, daemon. Your champion has plans of his own that you will never be able to control."
Again that 'three way' conflict between Word Bearers, Horus, and Chaos takes yet another turn. Horus isn't willing to be Chaos' pawn, and isn't totally under their control. AGain it will be interetsing to see how Bill King's view of things will play out in the series - will Horus 'recant' at the end and be genuinely contrite, or is this a reflection (like with Fulgrim) that its a conscious, willing choice?
And again I like how this all plays out in the interpersonal relationships, both in the sense of Horus betraying Sanguinius (and Sangy realizing it/coming to terms with it, which plays a role in the last fifth or so of the book, alongside being confronted with the Flaw at last as part of this trap) but also in the way Horus interacts with his so-called conspirators - its not a unified effort, and they are ins ome ways fighting against each other as much as they fight the Emperor.
Sanguinius gave a shout and hurled the spear with such force that a sonic boom shocked across the ruined gardens.
From dream/visions of the future, I think, but it still suggests Sanguinius can punch - and throw- at supersonic speed
Bolters screamed and filled the air with fycelene smoke and explosive fire..
bolters use s fycelene propellant for their rockets, I suppose. It might be for the explosive component since thats what fycelene is. Or maybe it can be both.
..chained like the sun-bright plasma of a fusion reactor’s core.
THey have fusion engines, they probably also have fusion reactors. I imagine some may use fusion over plasma because it trades performance for relaibility (much as antimatter vs fusion.) Fusion is also easier to produce and find fuel for (so you can refuel in the field, make fusion warheads, etc. Whereas plasma has to be specially produced and refined in dedicated ships and with the appropriate resources.)
The psyker raised his hand and let go. The air shrieked as a crackling bolt of ruby lightning erupted from Kano’s palm and strobed across the chamber. Hengist exploded even before he could scream in pain, blood and meat vaporising in a wet mist that darkened the floor and ceiling. After-light energy discharged randomly, crawling across the metal decking, short-circuiting sense monitors and biolume stacks.
Psyker lightning effect - explodes/vaporizes human (high kj/low MJ at the very least) and shorts out electrical stuff.
..for a heart-stopping second he feared the bolt had struck the pariah, but there would have been little left of her if that had been so.
Implies a bolt round would pulverize/explode a human body. Roughly frag grenade level damage or thereabouts (within an order of magnitude)
The scene was repeated all across the planet, in every stronghold of the enemy and upon the ships that even now still duelled in the dark of high orbit.
Again confirming that 'high robit' assessment for bombardment I mentioned.
Then, on spars of nuclear fire that burned rock and sand to vapour, the gigantic hulk of the Red Tear began to rise. Slowly at first, sloughing off broken shards of metal and sheaves of falling sand deposited by the mournful winds, the battle-barge pulled free of the earth that held it. Fighting gravity every metre of the way, the ship seemed to defy reason as it lifted into the dull air. The monolithic, city-sized craft resisted the planet’s attempts to hold it where it had fallen.
Sanguinus battle barge manages to lift off from the planet it crashed on. Probably means it generates at LEAST one gee of gravity, and can amass the acceleration to reach escape velocity
he work was almost complete, but for the spent casings of a few bolt shells lying lost and buried in the sands..
bolters have casings, yet agian
The machine-slave was one of a handful that had accompanied the battle captains to this place. The sevitors bore the mechanisms for a tactical cyclonic device, which now sat in the middle of the ruins. A stubby bollard of plasteel, it contained a warhead of incredible destructive power. The weapon had been programmed to detonate when the assembled officers reached a safe distance; the resultant blast it would create would be enough to rip a massive chasm in Signus Prime’s surface, and eradicate all trace of the Cathedral of the Mark forever.
Tactical cyclonic. Probably at least powerful enough to destroy a city (megaton range) or thereabouts, but not so powerful as to breach down to the mantle (double or triple digit GT) Again not surprising, since we have cyclonics that can destroy entire worlds in a single hit, to barrages that 'merely' wipe out cities. What's mainly ineteresting is how man protable it is . The thing probably masses less than a ton (several tens or several hundreds of kg) and even if it was no more efficient than modern nukes (HAH) it would probably be packing hundreds of kilotons yield at LEAST.
Raldoron knew that his master was in pain with every breath he was taking; although he gave no sign of it, the crippling injury he had suffered on the battlefield still had to heal. A lesser being would never have walked again without sacrificing their broken limbs for augmetic replacements. Sanguinius mastered that pain, holding it where none could see it.
Sanguinius could fight and move despite shattered legs (at least because he can fly) but he can also stand on them and ignore the pain (as well as recover from such injury.)
"This day, Azkaellon brought me news of a communication deciphered by one of our few surviving astropaths."
Raldoron listened intently. While the arcane veil had been in place, no astropathic signals had been able to reach the Blood Angels flotilla.
The primarch announced that the message bore the seal of Rogal Dorn, the Imperial Fist himself.
That implies that an astropathic signal got from TErra to the eastern fringe in about a day perhaps. Possibly weeks, depending on interpretation.
With a crash of engines, the Stormbirds lifted off from the desert and blasted upward at hypersonic speeds. They moved too fast for the cyclonic shockwave to reach them, but the First Captain caught a flash of brilliant white from the corner of his eye, reflected from a viewport.
Stormbirds move at hypersonic speeds on liftoff, probably moving fast enough to outrace the cyclonic shock. If it was as fast as a high explosive (or hell even black powder) we're talking many km/s velocity in a very short time.. tens of gees easily.
It had been days since the grand flotilla had left the Signus Cluster and lit for the core worlds. Entry into the warp had not been easy: ethereal hyperstorms awaited them in the extradimensional realm, fogging their course and battering at the Geller fields protecting their ships. There were suggestions that the warp itself had been agitated into frenzy by the incursions of the daemon creatures. Whatever the cause, it made hard going for the fleet elements. Then there was the matter of the Astronomican. The guiding beacon, the psychic lighthouse on Terra that stood as the single fixed point in the otherwise malleable landscape of warp space, had become indistinct. A spatial disturbance of magnitudes not recorded since the Age of Strife rippled in the void, robbing the Navigators of their certainty. Now the fleet struggled on through the screaming abyss, searching for the strongest psychic glimmer, in vain hopes of pushing through to the Throneworld.
sangy's fleet is basically moving about blind through the warp, and has been travelling for days.
”The Navigators, my lord. They fell into some kind of fugue state a few moments ago. We tried to awaken them, but they would only speak of “a safe harbour”. Then suddenly they executed a warp translation here.’”
"This is not the Sol system. The stars are all wrong."
"Initial estimates show we are still within the Ultima Segmentum."
“The cogitators are running exact constellation matches now, but it appears we have been displaced.”
“‘Hundreds of light-years off course,”
“We should be at the gates of Terra.”
Implies that they crossed all the way across Ultima segmentum (at least) if not to terra in a matter of ‘days’ even with disturbed warp storms. Which seems a bit fast, 50-60 K LY within, say, a week would be many millions of c easily., which would be atypical. But even if it was weeks, we’re still talking on the high ends of hundreds of thousands of c.
In any case, we know it takes far less than a year for various reasons (the HEresy is still going on, for one) and thats still at least over 100,000c to several hundred thousand c. ‘Hundreds’ of light years’ i na matter of days, if we take another track, means at least tens of thousands of c anyhow, and as we learn ‘hundreds’ is a lower limit as it is, and we can certainly argue that the fact they’re not shitting themselves in disbelief means its quite *possible* for 40K ships to travel through the warp at an effective velocity of millions of c.
”Well met, Sanguinius. I welcome you to Ultramar and the Five Hundred Worlds.”
So not terra, but Utlramar. Still on the eastern fringe. Note that by the HH Betrayal map, we’re still talking a good many thousands of c in a few days, which again translates into hundreds of lthousands of c, easily, possibly upwards of a million c depending on exact time and distance.
On the story side of things, we have yet another step in future events revealing itself. Sanguinius has arrived at Ultrmar, and is greeted by Guilliman. apparently Guilliman was even expecting him. Between the events of Know No Fear, and the sort story in the Primarchs about the Dark Angels, something is clearly brewing on that frontier, and we don't know quite yet what it is, except its probably going to be tense, and messy.