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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

The Black Aces (40K AU)

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Eternal_Freedom
 Post subject: The Black Aces (40K AU)
PostPosted: 2013-06-24 06:43pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
8th Battalion, 501st Regiment Landing Zone
Red Sky Lost, Dysprosium Confederacy
155:8765 ACF


Bloody typical mused Major Simon Argus. My battalion draws the landing zone with heavy AA fire. This is going to be a long day. Outside his descending Thunderhawk he could hear the whistle of heavy shells narrowly avoiding the bucking craft. He could also hear the constant rattle of shrapnel from flak shells that got a little close for comfort.

On the tactical map laid out before him the symbols representing the rest of his command were diving and weaving dramatically to avoid the torrent of fire coming from the cursed Traitor Legion’s positions. First one and then a second green drop pod symbol began blinking rapidly and then vanished; the cold computer image heralding the deaths of twenty of his Space Marines. Damnit. The battle would not stay one sided for long however.

In orbit the great battle-barges of the 25th Assault Fleet let fly with a thunderous barrage of bombardment shells; the great weapons leaving trails of fire in their wake as they plunged deep into the atmosphere. The fire from the traitor Marines slackened considerably as great mushroom clouds rose over the anti-aircraft positions, immolating those who dared oppose the Hellrazers. The orbital fire bought precious time for Simon and his battalion to reach the lower atmosphere and relative safety. Relative in that they could now return fire.

“All units, brace for landing! Heavy opposition expected. Secure the perimeter for follow-up waves.” With that Simon committed his battalion to battle against the traitorous Red Skull Company that had turned against everything the Confederacy believed in. Every oath they had sworn, every value they had declared they possessed, every battle honour they had earned had been broken and abandoned for the love of their repulsive Gods. No, not Gods Simon thought.Monsters, eldritch horrors perhaps but not gods.

His musings lasted long enough for his command Thunderhawk to arrive at the landing zone. Formerly a prosperous and prestigious market district of the capital city it was now a blasted plain, levelled by the Fleet’s orbital fire in preparation for the landings. Simon moved to the door as the gunship thudded onto the planet’s surface and stepped out into the glorious red dawn that had given this world its name. The officer looked around at the disciplined fire teams fanning out from their drop pods and gunships, the fallen officers in their dreadnoughts lumbering after them to provide support if needed. Things were going well indeed. Barely three minutes on-planet and the Eighth was living up to the 501st‘s reputation.

“Major, Alpha Company is fully deployed on the northern front; elements of Bravo and Charlie are covering our flanks. Captain Atreus reports his Basilisk battery is ready for fire missions but the remainder of the support company is still on route.” Master Sergeant Vega spoke up from his position just behind Simon.

“Very well. Inform Command that the Eighth has secured the initial drop zone; the Colonel can bring in reinforcements. Alpha will advance and clear out that factory complex to the north. Bravo will hold the drop zone. Charlie will advance to the east and secure the warehouse district. Delta will form on me and advance on the enemy command post. Let us see how these traitors fight without their leaders.”

Last edited by Eternal_Freedom on 2013-07-01 12:49pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-06-28 02:04pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Charlie Company, 8th Battalion, 501st Regiment
Warehouse District 9-Alpha, Sunrise City
Red Sky Lost, Dysprosium Confederacy
155:8765 ACF


Warehouse district 9-Alpha was a typical light-industrial wasteland; hundreds of huge buildings holding supplies, stores, machinery and other goods stood just to the east of the former market where the Eighth had landed. Or rather, most of the buildings stood. Some were burning, some nothing more than gutted shells or heaps of rubble. Some were mini-fortresses that the traitor’s tenaciously defended.

Master Sergeant David Marshall kept his head behind the shattered wall his squad was using for cover as bolter rounds whistled over their heads. His opponents may be damned traitors but they had formerly been Space Marines as well trained as he was. Marine Jenkins had just discovered this the hard way when a bolter round pierced his neck armour and messily removed his head. Marshall grimaced at the loss and reached his bolter over the makeshift barricade, firing carefully aimed shots using the bolter’s gun camera. His grimace changed to a cold smile as Jenkins’s killer collapsed to the ground with a dozen holes blown in his chest.

Despite that success the traitors showed no sign of budging. Marshall sighed, marked the target position on his tracker and activated his comm.

“Sierra One-Five, Charlie Two-One, fire mission. Coordinates seven-six-three.”

“Charlie Two-One, shot.”

Far behind David’s position one of the ten Basilisks belonging to the support company fired a single round. David heard the roar of the shell passing and popped his gun up just enough to see the fountain of rubble shoot skywards from impact in front of the enemy position.

“One-Five, up twenty, three salvos, fire for effect.”

“Shot. Out.”

If the single shell’s passage had been a roar, the noise made by a full salvo was like the furious bellow of an angry god. The great Earthshaker rounds lived up to their names, smashing through the building’s roof as if it were not there before bursting on contact with the floor. Brilliant flashes lit the whole area and geysers of soil, debris and the occasional unfortunate traitor Marine covered the small square between buildings with burning rubble.

Fragments of shells and splinters of metal pinged off the building behind David’s squad and occasionally struck their armoured helmets, making them all glad of the ancient order to wear helmets at all times in combat. Marshall had heard old legends of the Great Crusade and still marvelled at the stupidity of some of his forebears. Why on Terra would you go into battle without a bloody helmet?

The angry god bellowed again and then a third time before a brief and blissful silence fell. David counted to five then vaulted over the wall and charged across the open ground, his men following him in an open formation, bolters at the ready. The fifty metre sprint between their building and the target felt like a marathon, every man expecting a hail of gunfire to reach out at any second. The artillery fire had done its work however and David’s squad reached the enemy position unscathed.

There was precious little left of the building the traitors had held. The roof was gone, two walls blown out and a third, the one facing David’s position was scattered across the square behind them. A few barricades were recognisable but only just. Most easily discerned amongst the rubble were the bodies of the traitors, their armour still for the most part intact. David looked at the fallen traitor sergeant with disgust, the once proud fiery orange armour and midnight-black shoulders defaced with bloody stripes and a grinning red skull befouling the faceplate. Then he realised the bastard beneath his feet was still alive.

The traitor groaned; a pitiable noise from such a powerful man. His hand instinctively grasped at a weapon no longer there and his legs twitched, clearly he was trying to stand despite his injuries. David paused, tempted to just kill the man, but something inside him supressed that urge. Instead he reached down and pulled off the man’s helmet, revealing a scarred and tattooed face. Close set eyes glared at Marshall, their brown depths burning with such hatred it made David lean back slightly. So these are the eyes of a traitor.

“Betrayer.” David whispered, making what might otherwise be a simple statement into a vicious epithet. The scarred monster sucked in air and tried to speak, no doubt some final curse or a cowardly appeal to his monstrous gods. David did not let him finish the first word, instead raising his bolter and firing a single round through the traitor’s skull.

“Marines, make sure they are dead and burn the bodies, protocol seven.” With that order, his men began removing the special grenades they’d been issued before the drop and attaching them to the fallen Red Skulls. Moments later the small melta bombs incinerated the cursed bodies leaving nothing behind.

“Sic semper malleus” David intoned. His comm crackled, the voice of a fellow sergeant calling for support. He listened briefly then turned to his squad. “Marines! Advance to grid five-fourteen, Charlie Two-Five has found a nest of the bastards one click northeast. Time to crack some Skulls boys.”

Last edited by Eternal_Freedom on 2013-06-30 07:29pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tandrax218
PostPosted: 2013-06-28 04:16pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2009-12-19 10:47am
Posts: 108
one question

what universe is this in ?? wh40k or something criss-crossed

keep it up :)
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-06-28 08:31pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Tandrax218 wrote:
one question

what universe is this in ?? wh40k or something criss-crossed

keep it up :)


I called it a 40K AU because these guys, the Hellrazers, are my own creation, descended from the 11th Legion (one of the two "Lost Legions" of which there are no records). They were trapped ina star cluster in the galactic north and set about creating an Imperium in miniature. They still follow the Imperial Truth, so no God-Emperor. They never experienced the destruction of the Heresy (being sealed away by warp storms just before Istvaan) so their technology did not suffer. They have ways of creating Space Marines much more simply than canon,so they can have a great deal more of them at a slightly lower quality. Hence the Legion is much bigger and divided up (and run/organised) more along the lines of a modern military.

Hence that little rant by MSgt. Marshall about always wearing a helmet :D
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masterarminas
PostPosted: 2013-06-28 11:03pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2012-04-09 11:06pm
Posts: 1039
I like it.

MA
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Grimnosh
PostPosted: 2013-06-29 10:24am 

Youngling


Joined: 2010-07-20 08:35am
Posts: 85
Location: San Antonio, TX
Eternal_Freedom wrote:
Tandrax218 wrote:
one question

what universe is this in ?? wh40k or something criss-crossed

keep it up :)


I called it a 40K AU because these guys, the Hellrazers, are my own creation, descended from the 11th Legion (one of the two "Lost Legions" of which there are no records). They were trapped ina star cluster in the galactic north and set about creating an Imperium in miniature. They still follow the Imperial Truth, so no God-Emperor. They never experienced the destruction of the Heresy (being sealed away by warp storms just before Istvaan) so their technology did not suffer. They have ways of creating Space Marines much more simply than canon,so they can have a great deal more of them at a slightly lower quality. Hence the Legion is much bigger and divided up (and run/organised) more along the lines of a modern military.

Hence that little rant by MSgt. Marshall about always wearing a helmet :D

Well that explains the Basilisks then. 40K marines do not have that bit of tank kit in their codex lists after the split up at the end of the Heresy, and these marines should have a fair bit of other fun toys to play with.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-06-30 07:39pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Grimnosh wrote:
Well that explains the Basilisks then. 40K marines do not have that bit of tank kit in their codex lists after the split up at the end of the Heresy, and these marines should have a fair bit of other fun toys to play with.


Indeed they do, since I know these stories work better if I have everything organised and I know some people like to read it, I present the TO&E for 8th Battalion, 501st Regiment:

• Battle Company – Alpha
• Battle Company – Bravo
• Battle Company – Charlie
• Command Section – Delta
• Gunship Squadron – Echo
• Support Company – Sierra

Battle Company (Alpha)

Alpha-One

• One, Captain with Command Squad (10)
• Two, Dreadnought (assault cannon/close combat weapon/heavy flamer)
• Three, Dreadnought (twin linked lascannon, missile launcher)
• Four, Dreadnought (twin linked autocannon, twin linked autocannon)

Alpha-Two

• One, Tactical Squad (10, 2 flamers, 2 plasma guns)
• Two, Tactical Squad (10, 2 flamers, 2 plasma guns)
• Three, Tactical Squad (10, 2 flamers, 2 plasma guns)
• Four, Tactical Squad (10, 2 flamers, 2 plasma guns)
• Five, Tactical Squad (10, 2 flamers, 2 plasma guns)
• Six, Tactical Squad (10, 2 flamers, 2 plasma guns)
• Seven, Scout/Sniper Squad (10, all sniper rifles)

Alpha-Three

• One, Assault Squad (10)
• Two, Assault Squad (10)
• Three, Bike Squad (5)
• Four, Bike Squad (5)
• Five, Attack Bike Squad (3, 2 heavy bolters, 1 multi melta)
• Six, Land Speeder Squadron (5, 3 multi-melta/assault cannon Tornadoes, 2 rocket po/multi melta Typhoons)
• Seven, Land Speeder Squadron (5, 3 multi-melta/assault cannon Tornadoes, 2 rocket pods/multi melta Typhoons)

Alpha-Four

• One, Devastator Squad (10, 4 lascannons, 5 missile launchers)
• Two, Predator Annihilator (lascannon sponsons, HK missiles)
• Three, Predator Destructor (heavy bolter sponsons, HK missiles)
• Four, Predator Destructor (heavy bolter sponsons, HK missiles)

Command Section (Delta)

• One, Major (Pedro Kantor rules/stats) with Honour Guard (10, chapter banner)
• Two, Sternguard Squad (10)
• Three, Sternguard Squad (10)
• Four, Sternguard Squad (10)
• Five, Sternguard Squad (10)
• Six, Ferrus Manus Command Tank (Baneblade variant)

Gunship Squadron (Echo)

• One-One – One-Four, Thunderhawk Gunships
• Two-One – Two-Eight, Stormraven Gunships (multi-melta, assault cannon, hurricane bolters)

This gives you an idea of the call signs being used. I haven't posted the Support Company simply because I have yet to finish organizing it by call-sign, and frankly only the already mentioned Basilisk battery is likely to appear.

masterarminas wrote:
I like it.

MA


Thanks! Coming from you that's a great compliment :)

For those hoping for an update, I should have another part ready by later today (the 7th)
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-07-01 09:53am 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Here's the TO&E of the Support Company, Sierra:

Support Company (Sierra)

Sierra-One

• One, Captain with Command Squad (10)
• Two, Dreadnought (assault cannon/close combat weapon/heavy flamer)
• Three, Dreadnought (twin linked lascannon, missile launcher)
• Four, Dreadnought (twin linked autocannon, twin linked autocannon)
• Five, Artillery Battery (10 Basilisks)

Sierra-Two

• One, Scout/Sniper Squad (10, all sniper rifles)
• Two, Scout/Sniper Squad (10, all sniper rifles)
• Three, Scout/Sniper Squad (10, all sniper rifles)
• Four, Scout/Sniper Squad (10, all sniper rifles)
• Five, Scout/Sniper Squad (10, all sniper rifles)

Sierra-Three

• One, Bike Squad (5)
• Two, Bike Squad (5)
• Three, Bike Squad (5)
• Four, Bike Squad (5)
• Five, Attack Bike Squad (3, 2 heavy bolters, 1 multi melta)
• Six, Attack Bike Squad (3, 2 heavy bolters, 1 multi melta)
• Seven, Land Speeder Squadron (5, 3 multi-melta/assault cannon Tornadoes, 2 rocket pods/multi melta Typhoons)
• Eight, Land Speeder Squadron (5, 3 multi-melta/assault cannon Tornadoes, 2 rocket pods/multi melta Typhoons)
• Nine, Land Speeder Squadron (5, 3 multi-melta/assault cannon Tornadoes, 2 rocket pods/multi melta Typhoons)
• Ten, Land Speeder Squadron (5, 3 multi-melta/assault cannon Tornadoes, 2 rocket pods/multi melta Typhoons)

Sierra-Four

• One, Devastator Squad (10, 4 lascannons, 5 missile launchers)
• Two, Devastator Squad (10, 4 lascannons, 5 missile launchers)
• Three, Devastator Squad (10, 4 lascannons, 5 missile launchers)
• Four, Devastator Squad (10, 4 lascannons, 5 missile launchers)
• Five, Devastator Squad (10, 4 lascannons, 5 missile launchers)
• Six, Linebreaker Squadron (3 Vindicators)
• Seven, Land Raider Crusader (smoke launchers, searchlight, storm bolter, hunter killer missile)
• Eight, Land Raider Crusader (smoke launchers, searchlight, storm bolter, hunter killer missile)
• Nine, Land Raider Crusader (smoke launchers, searchlight, storm bolter, hunter killer missile)
• Ten, Land Raider Crusader (smoke launchers, searchlight, storm bolter, hunter killer missile)
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-07-01 06:14pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Here's that promised update, longer than the previous ones as well, heh.

Charlie Company, 8th Battalion, 501st Regiment
Warehouse District 9-Bravo, Sunrise City
Red Sky Lost, Dysprosium Confederacy
155:8765 ACF


Gunfire. Explosions. Screams of rage and pain. The cacophony of battle went on as David and his men approached the small plaza where Two-Five was clearly heavily engaged. Most disturbing of all however was a deep bass rumble accompanied by ominous chanting in a language Marshall didn’t understand. Oh please don’t let it be a summoning circle he thought. I really really hate those.

On the edge of the blazing firefight his men took shelter behind the top half of a wrecked Red Skull Rhino while David glanced briefly at the carnage, his trained eyes instantly assessing and categorizing the enemy, the situation and just how serious this was. Hostile Devastator squad in that building, good field of fire. Too risky to bring in armour until they’re gone. Tactical squads there and there, keeping Two-Five pinned down. Cultist swarms massing on the flank. Analysis: serious problem.

“Charlie Two-Five, Two-One in position at your 3. Sitrep?”

“Two-One, three men down. Summoning circle believed to be in progress in the main building past this square. Charlie One-Four is moving up to support us.”

“Negative, keep that big angry sod back, there’s a Devastator team up high that’ll gut him before he gets close enough. Hold your position, we’ll handle the enemy overwatch.”

“Understood, out.”

“All right boys, move around to the east and stay out of sight.” With that, David’s squad quickly but carefully moved back from the wrecked Rhino and into one of the ruined buildings. Now out of sight of the battle, David led his squad in a quick dash across the former warehouse floor, heading for a rear entrance to the admin building the Devastators had fortified. Out onto a back street, the sounds of battle still loud and clear in their ears. Another ten metres of open ground passed by with that same horrendous feeling of exposure but once again they reached the target in silence.

Highly trained as they were the Marines needed no instruction on what to do next. All of them knew the best way to enter a contested building. And all of them knew that the usual hard and fast method would be useless in this case as none of them particularly fancied charging down a hallway against enemies armed with heavy bolters and plasma cannons. No, this situation called for sneaking, and sneak they did.

It took six interminable minutes to creep through the building towards the enemy position, every step and cross-corridor carefully checked for traps and hostiles. There was nothing to be found, but this just meant each check was made with greater and greater paranoia since David and his men were sure there would be something to surprise and kill them. It’s what they would have done after all.

Finally, David’s men were stacked up outside the enemy room. Heavy gunfire echoed from within, the staccato roar of a heavy bolter, the eerily loud hiss of a plasma gun, the deep resonating thrum of a lascannon. Worst of all however was the noises coming from the traitors within. They were laughing. David’s face hardened within his helmet and he quickly signalled to the rest of his men the plan.

The Red Skull Devastators were having a wonderful time. Damned loyalist bastards were just sitting there getting shot at. The only slightly annoying thing was the remains of their Rhino that was still burning, a loyalist Thunderhawk and cut it in two with its turbolaser before anyone noticed it was there. Still, the squad was laughing manically, competing for kills (as always), shouting curses at the loyalist scum and generally taking no notice whatever of David’s squad who had quietly snuck into the room and fanned out behind the Red Skulls.

The heavy bolter gunner was the first to notice the loyalist. His ammo belt had just run out so he turned around to reach for a spare only to come face to face with the nozzle of Marine Scott’s flamer. He just about had time to raise his eyebrows before they, and his face, were burned away by the torrent of promethium. More Devastators would have turned around at the noise were they not dropping from bolter rounds to the back of the head, the sun-like fury of a plasma gun or, in the case of the sergeant, the surprisingly painful experience of a chainsword being thrust through his skull.

David looked down at the bodies, a feeling of satisfaction welling within him. Then it was back to business.

“Charlie One-Four, Charlie Two-One. Devastator squad neutralized, advance at will.”

“Moving…” the computerized voice of Fallen Captain James Wilcox sounded in David’s ear, followed moments later by the sight of the very angry Dreadnought crashing through a wall into the square, his torso swiveling to bring his autocannons to bear.

“Target in sight!” With that the four long barreled gun spoke. A six foot tongue of flame erupted from the muzzles and a fusillade of massive caliber rounds ripped into the Red Skull tactical squad that had been keeping Charlie Two-Five pinned down. Five traitors died immediately, their armour no defence against explosive rounds as big as their heads. Four more had just long enough to realise they had failed their Gods before they too succumbed.

Seeing the annihilation of their fellows the second traitor squad began taking shots at the Dreadnought itself. This was a futile gesture and everyone involved knew it. But the traitors were determined, steadfast and quite probably insane, believing their twisted deities would give them the luck to hit a vulnerable joint on the armoured behemoth. James sighted in on the traitors, sensing bolter rounds glance off his armour and fired once again. Mere moments (but several hundred rounds) later, the traitors were definitively deceased.

David and his men returned to the square by the simplest method, jumping out the window, the four metre drop doing nothing more than rattling their teeth. The squad hurried over to join Two-Five and the lumbering Dreadnought.

“Excellent shooting Captain. The blasted ritual is in that building and we can’t risk calling down artillery until we know what they’re doing. Two-Five, move up to the left flank, we’ll take the right. One-Four, do what you do best.”

“Aye Sergeant, these mutinous dogs will see why I earned this posthumous honour. Marines! Forward!” And so the battle went on.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-07-05 03:08pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Well you guys asked for more so I gave it to you...
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-07-12 01:10pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Red Skull Company Summoning Circle,
Warehouse District 9-Bravo, Sunrise City
Red Sky Lost, Dysprosium Confederacy
155:8765 ACF


The ritual was going well. The Sorcerer continued his circular walk around the impromptu altar, his path seemingly random but actually a carefully calculated route followed with exacting precision. The results of deviating from the rituals proceedings were…unpleasant to say the least. So, the Sorcerer had studied all the ancient texts he could acquire (legitimately or otherwise). The first step in his mission had succeeded beyond doubt, corrupting the Red Skull Company (actually a Battalion of the 273rd Regiment, but the commanding officer thought Company sounded better) had been a real challenge, making its success all the sweeter. The next part, luring them to this pathetic world was easier than making a follower of Khorne angry. Now, with the full force of the 501st descending all around the planet, he could proceed with stage three.

The thought of the ultimate goals of him and his fellows brought a strange warmth to his heart. So many thought Chaos Sorcerers cold, ruthless beings but they were fuelled by their passions just as any man was. It was merely well-controlled and exceedingly well-directed passion. In his case, it was the sheer joy of playing these games against the cursed Confederacy. The last bastion of true Imperial power in the galaxy and it was his mission to begin its annihilation.

Upon the altar, the blood-red armoured bulk of one of the Red Skulls lay writhing in ecstatic delight. The damned fool thought he’d been chosen by the Dark Gods to be one of their Champions and had willingly leapt into place. He listened to the chanting of the cultists and waited with baited breath for his Gods to come to him as the Sorcerer had promised. The voices changed pitch and cadence and the Marine strained to listen. The Sorcerer looked at the prostrate Marine with contempt as the idiot realised what the words meant.

Victory requires power…power requires strength…strength requires sacrifice...

The “chosen” Marine began to struggle and the Sorcerer knew it was time. At the edges of his mind he could feel the Red Skulls on guard outside dying and the approaching Hellrazers. Good. Let them come. He stepped forward and touched his staff to the altar, completing the ritual.

The Marine began to scream in pain as thousands of tiny wounds opened on his body, his blood pouring out of countless lacerations to slowly fill his armour. The Marine’s genetic enhancements ensured he would survive these wounds long enough. The Sorcerer knew the moment had come when the Marine’s screams became a gurgle; his helmet had filled with his blood. The Sorcerer swung his staff and decapitated the hapless idiot, brilliant red blood surging out of the neck.

Before any of the cultists realised the ritual was complete, two things happened. First, the Sorcere raised his staff, shouted an arcane incantation and vanished in a hellish portal. Half a second later, the wall of their building collapsed to reveal a huge bipedal figure aiming four very large guns at them. This thought barely registered before the guns spoke and the cultists fell.

High in the rafters, the Sorcerer watched the loyalist scum destroy his “assistants” with a maniacal gleam in his eyes. So, the last phase has begun. Now I can watch as they engineer their own destruction.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-07-23 08:07pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Another update, more to follow in the next couple of days. Some feedback might be nice, just sayin'

Delta Section, 8th Battalion, 501st Regiment
Administration Hub Alpha, Sunrise City
Red Sky Lost, Dysprosium Confederacy
155:8765 ACF


Major Argus rode in his Command tank rather than walk. Even though most Red Skull forces in the area had been crushed it was still possible snipers lurked in the ruins, waiting for a chance to decapitate a company. Before him the tactical hologram showed his forces advancing in good order, contact reports flashing up occasionally from Alpha and Bravo as they stormed thorugh the Habitation blocks. Charlie Two-One’s report about the summoning circle made for interesting reading, terse though it was.

What foul beast might they have been summoning? More importantly, where they successful? The evidence pointed to the ritual having failed. After all, no eldritch horror had appeared from the netherworld to slaughter his men. No stinking alien scum scuttled in the shadows. No more traitors either. Simon was feeling uneasy. When his command section of seasoned veterans had stormed into the enemy forward command post there had been no one there. No defenders, no bodies, not even traps and mines. It was baffling.

It was also annoying on a base level for the Major. On planet for three hours now and not one round expended or enemy killed. I’ll never live this down in the officer’s mess. He was snapped out of his musings by a call from his aide:

“Sir, I have the Colonel on the line.”

“Very well.” Simon changed channels to the Regiment command circuit. Moments later, the gruff voice of Colonel William Wallace sounded in his ears.

“Major. Sitrep.”

“The 8th is advancing on all fronts sir. The landing zone is secured and my artillery is in place, along with my land speeder squadrons ready for quick response. All companies are advancing and my command section has taken the enemy CP. Charlie Two-One reports they encountered and destroyed a traitor summoning circle. The Sorcerer was not among the dead so we assume he escaped. Since we have no reports of contact with demonic forces we assume the ritual was a failure.”

“Sounds reasonable. How many traitors killed in the CP?”

“None sir. There was no one here.”

“Well isn’t that strange. Traps? Sabotage? False data?” Simon could almost here the thought processes running through his commander’s mind.

“No sir, none of that. I’m distinctly uneasy about this sir. It’s too easy. I believe the Red Skulls are withdrawing after their initial losses and are preparing further defence lines deeper in the city. By the time we find them we’ll be too close for orbital support.”

“They may be traitors but they were trained as Marines. I’m getting similar reports from the other battalions, except they haven’t encountered any rituals. Very well Major, continue your advance. 9th battalion is moving to the surface now, the barges just left the ship. I’ll dispatch them to your landing zone, I suspect you’ll need the support soon.”

“Understood sir. We’ll be glad to see the track-heads, I’m feeling mighty lonely in my command tank right now.”

“Carry on Major.” With that the comm channel closed and Simon was once again left to ponder his thoughts. New signals appeared on the tactical map, the barges carrying 9th battalion and their super heavy vehicles to the surface. Simon made a few adjustments, ordering the barges to land in a precise pattern to optimise deployment.

Then there was a resounding bang and the lights went out.
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-07-24 04:42pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Delta Section, 8th Battalion, 501st Regiment
Administration Hub Alpha, Sunrise City
Red Sky Lost, Dysprosium Confederacy
155:8765 ACF


Simon shook his head, desperately trying to clear it after the second impact had sent him flying over the plot table and on to the floor. His trained eyes quickly surveyed the command post, seeing that most of his staff were in a similar position to him, groggy but essentially ok. Marine Blitzen was the exception, he was laid out on the floor with his neck bent at a clearly fatal angle. Simon sighed and forced his mind to focus.

“Delta Six, Delta One, what’s the situation?” The order was punctuated by a third clang as something lanced off the tank’s armour.

“Delta One, the blasted traitors blew up the whole damn street. Must have filled the service tunnels with explosives. We’re still upright but that first blast damaged our fire control and sensors. Best we can tell we’ve also got enemy Devastator squads opening up at us. Fire control coming back up now, close-in weapons to suppression fire! Hold on Major…gunner! Target left, tank, range fifty, FIRE!” This time the roar was that of the tank’s main gun letting fly at the enemy, the recoil rumbling throughout the frame. Moments later there was a muted, distant-sounding explosion.

“Ha! Damned Predator thought we were an easy target. What are you orders Major?”

“Pull us back half a kilometre. Ninth battalion’s heavy tanks will be moving up in support, they’re better suited for this. Prioritise sensors and the tac-net, I need to know what’s going on.”

“Yes sir. We’ve got comms back so we can…” the tank commander’s voice trailed off as he saw a new target emerging from the smoke and fires ahead of him. “Shit! Enemy Titan sighted, straight ahead, range ninety-five hundred.”

The traitorous Warhound Titan stalked forwards, it’s reverse-jointed legs giving it a sinister gait as it approached the command tank. The tank’s gunner frantically traversed the heavy turret, desperately lining up a shot, but he was too late.

The Warhound’s turbo-laser fired, a brilliant blue beam of death lanced out from the weapon and flew straight and true across the comparatively short distance. The Ferrus Manus was a command tank, designed for hauling a command section around not as a true battlewagon. It could not survive many hits like this. The blue beam lanced into the tank’s turret, immolating the gun crew and detonating the heavy shell that was being loaded before blasting out of the turret’s rear armour.

The detonating shell did remarkably little damage. The tank had been designed (like all Legion vehicles) to be compartmentalised to minimise damage spreading. The explosion blew the turret clean off the tank, flying a good hundred feet into the air before crashing down in front of the tank that was already rapidly reversing. Everyone aboard felt the explosion and more than a few heads were slammed into bulkheads but largely the vehicle survived. At the expense of five men and its main armament.

Upon seeing the Titan the driver had instinctively began to reverse to get out of sight of the monster. Some may have construed this as cowardice but it was a sound tactical decision that was vindicated by the tank commander’s urgent bellow. In the command area Simon glanced at the damage-control screen before reaching for the comm.

“All Echo One units, enemy Titan sighted at coordinates three-two-nine. Engage and destroy immediately!”

The Thunderhawk pilots had been waiting for this call for three hours. They had known going in that enemy super-heavy units were on the surface. Echo One’s commander had fitted all four of his birds in the Titan-killer configuration, Turblo-lasers, lascannons and missiles with plasma warheads. All of the gunships wheeled around in the sky and flew straight for the target in a loose formation.

“Echo One units, Echo One-One. Attack direction south. Las weapons in a massed salvo then two missiles each for the kill. One minute to range.” The squadron roared low over the mostly intact buildings, in some cases flying between towers as they rapidly approached the target.

“Engage on my mark….fire!” Four brilliant streams of light leapt from the dorsal weapons and slammed into the Titan’s void-shields, accompanied by eight lesser streaks. The Titan staggered, it’s shielding destroyed but miraculously no shots had penetrated to the hull. The vehicles commander ordered his turbolaser gunner to track the targets before he noticed the eight blips racing towards him.

The Titan raised its arm, intending to use the massive gatling guns to shoot down the missiles. The guns roared and flame spat from the barrels. First one, then two and finally a third missile was swatted from the sky before time ran out.

Major Argus had reached an observation port to watch the attack moments before the Thunderhawks had fired. He saw the damage and he saw the missiles streaking in. Five impacted on the Titan’s chest and detonated in a blinding flash. When Simon blinked away the spots in his vision there was nothing but dust.

“Echo One-One, Delta One. Excellent work lads!”

“Our pleasure Delta One. Let us know if you have other targets you need removing. Out.” The pilot’s voice was full of pleasure at having smashed such a powerful target without any damage. His planes waggled their wings in victory before jetting off west to see where else they might be needed.

“Delta Six, Delta One. Hold here, we’ll wait for the 9th to arrive before our advance. Take five and make any repairs you need. We’ll be heading deeper into the factory district to hunt these vermin down.”
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-07-24 04:48pm 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
For those interested the Ferrus Manus Command Tank is a mobile command post based on the Banblade. It removes the demolisher cannon and hull mounted heavy bolters but keeps the main turret. Said turret is moved to the front of the hull (like a Leman Russ) and the vehicle has an extra set of bolter/lascannon sponsons at the rear. Capacity is 20 Space Marines (The Major's Honour Guard plus one of the Sternguard squads, the others have their own transports).
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Eternal_Freedom
PostPosted: 2013-12-15 09:49am 

Castellan


Joined: 2010-03-09 03:16pm
Posts: 5634
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Charlie Company, 8th Battalioin
Warehouse District 9-Delta, Sunrise City
Red Sky Lost, Dysprosium Confederacy
155:8765 ACF


Were he a man given to cliché, Master Sergeant Marshall would have said it was too quiet. Fortunately for his squadmate’s patience, he was not such a man, so he settled instead for muttering “we should be hearing more than this.” That didn’t mean it was silent of course, there was the distant crackle of flames as the former summoning circle burnt far behind them, there was the terrible shrieking sound of metal tearing as distant buildings collapsed and of course there was the gentle rhythmic pounding of his squadmate’s boots on the paved ground.

But most ominously, there was not the sound of sporadic or sustained bursts of gunfire one would expect to hear as part of an infantry force advancing into hostile urban territory. There were no contact reports on the tac-net, no calls for assistance or artillery. The only calls were from other squad leaders who, like Marshall, were growing increasingly concerned over the complete lack of resistance beyond the initial enemy positions.

An optimist might say that the vigorous and determined advance, coupled with the heavy initial orbital bombardment, had destroyed or driven off the enemy. Or that the enemy could see the force arrayed against him, realised he was now out-matched and had decided to withdraw to other areas of the city. Granted, that enemy Titan had been downed and the Red Skull Company had taken heavy losses, but it had not been entirely one-sided either.

However, these squad leaders were not optimists. In the Hellrazer’s Legion, optimism was not considered a survival trait. In their combined experience, traitor marines had never once retreated from combat without it being bait for a trap, or a feint for an advance elsewhere, or some equally cunning and nefarious scheme. So the advancing squads were acting even more paranoid than they normally would in enemy territory.

Far behind them on the landing zone, 9th Battalion's heavy tanks were deploying to help cleanse the threat. Platoons of Baneblades, Shadowswords, Stormlords and others formed up and moved off down the wide streets, their smaller turrets constantly moving and watching for anything even remotely hostile. They would find nothing, at that moment the only living things for twenty kilometres were the Hellrazers. The Red Skulls had indeed withdrawn and the civilian population had long since been eradicated.

The squad continued to advance, Marshall continued to feel something was distinctly “not right,” and Major Argus continued to be both baffled and annoyed by his enemies unwillingness to show himself. Hours passed, one after another, until Alpha, Bravo and Charlie companies were spread over a huge area of the city. Of course, each company kept itself in good order, ready to fight any threat, but each company was now over twenty kilometres from the others, and the support company was even further behind. The gunships still circled, ready and waiting. The artillery was still loaded and set, but the advancing units were approaching the edge of their effective range and they would soon have to move forward. Worse still, the 9th Battalion’s heavy tanks had long since moved even further ahead, using their speed to draw out any potential enemies ahead.

Finally, reluctantly (as he knew this would be the best time for the enemy to launch a counterattack), Major Argus ordered his artillery battery and the support company to advance fifteen kilometres, supported by the gunships and the combined land speeder squadrons. It was precisely this moment that the Red Skull commander had been waiting for.

For Sergeant Marshall and his men, one moment there was the maddeningly quiet environment of a dead-yet-hostile city and the next there was thunder and fire and rounds smashing into the ground around them.
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