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Kolstrom Burning.

Monstra Sumus

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Civil war had come to Kolstrom V. Crumbling political edicts and an ever increasing sense of tyranny had finally awakened the sleeping giant that was the Manufactorum workers. Loud hailers screeched out into the night from Adeptus Arbites transports declaring martial law and the PDF forces had been drafted into the main Hive city to quell the worst of the rioting. It had taken six months before the Fabricator-General and the planetary Governor had finally given into the pleadings of their council and saught Imperial aid. What had begun as a tidal wave of oppressed workers lashing back at the hand that fed them had sundered society and turned Kazon Hive into the central point of world wide conflict. The Kazon 5th had managed to endure siege for six long and brutal months inside the Hives, repelling constant assaults upon the walls. Those fighting upon the battlements knew it was only a matter of time before the formidable southern facing gates would buckle and the horde of rebels would bring fire and retribution upon the Hive. What made Kazon Hive a bastion of resistance was the Manufactorums deep in it's heart, the work force pacified and forced to keep the Munitions factories running by the heavy hand of the Adeptus Arbites.

The defenders of Kazon Hive had fresh weapons being produced every day and two Penal Legions from their sister planet of Kolstrom IV. They had survived six months by rotating the Penal Legionaires between holding the most ravaged parts of the battlements, this had given the Kazon 5th time to rest the defence troopers by platoons. Yet exhaustion still crippled the defence every day and they found small pockets of resistance flaring up inside the Hab sectors closest to the walls, as rebels inevitably found a way through the defence of the walls. The Fabricator-General had refused to be moved from his stance on holding the siege out by themselves until he was called to the walls. He'd given direct orders he was not to be summoned unless to be made aware of a dire shift in their situation. He assumed the rebel forces had managed to bring up some of the Demolisher pattern Leman Russ manufactured on the southern continent. They had their own Executioner pattern tanks to counter these ordnance lobbing brutes but nothing to stop the destruction of their southern gates.

He was only half right.

The Fabricator-General could feel the heat rising as he descended in his personal transport from the spires of Kazon Hive. He had with him his personal Skitarii body guard and an Prefectus of the Ministratum. It had been five hours since he'd received the call and it had taken him four of those to reach the front lines of the battlements. The heat had kept rising causing beads of sweat to form on what was left of his organic features. He could feel his bionics becoming uncomfortable with the unnatural heat. Kolstrom V was a temperate planet of rolling plains and sparse forests, it was usually wet and wind stricken. The Fabricator-General and his followers took a shell loading lift to the wall top, struck by the full effect of the heat wave he took a brief pause to wipe the moisture from his face. His Skitarii forced their way through the mass of Legionaries and Kazon 5th troopers to link up with the command element on the walls. Fear and wide white eyes met them. The Kazon 5th Major pulled at his fatigues and snapped a shaky salute, then gestured to the vista before them.

The horizon burned.

His metallic fingers clacked as he gripped the rockcrete wall, his glittering red bionics whirring and extending to take in the expansive view offered to him. He was becoming more aware of the noise adding itself to the view. Swarms of rebels, even the elements of the Kolstrom Defence Forces stationed in the other Hives were here, baring their guns upon the walls of Kazon Hive. He could see the thick black clouds obscuring the sky where their sister Hive of Tarvon was, reduced to a flaming beacon between the mountains. He felt a shiver a fear creep up through his thoughts and he instinctively clutched his red robes tighter about his armoured frame. His focus fixed upon an edifice several miles out but large enough to be made out clearly, his fingers found the front of the Prefectus white robes and he hauled him forward unceremoniously. He jabbed an armoured finger at the ziggurat and turned his eyes upon the Ministratum representative.

"It...it appears to be a pyre..."

The Fabricator-General could make out giant battle tanks grinding through the mob of rebels, he could see rows of artillery guns being lined up and trench works dug. He could see something else, too far to make it out clearly but the very hazy image of it twisted his stomach and his vision seemed to slip away from it. Then the noise seemed to increase in volume, vast poles rising high at points in the horde before the gates. Loud hailers screamed into the air, adding to the thunder of the horde something it had been lacking. Clarity.

Three words peirced the air, peircing every man of the defending force to their very core.

"Emperor save us..."

Came the Majors voice and the Fabricator-General slapped him hard across the cheek. He couldn't tear his eyes away from the figures rising up from the mob, gigantic hulking figures.

"Inform regimental command to formulate a distress call, wide band on all frequencies. Alert the Ministratum and the System Defence Fleet in orbit around Kolstrom Secundus....just alert everyone."

His eyes picked out the horns, the red and bronze, the living engines of destruction that approached the walls of Kazon.

"Tell them....Kolstrom Quintus is under siege by forces of the Legio Traitorus....Chaos has come..."

Then his words were drowned by the opening salvo upon the walls by the artillery positions. Screaming shells detonated and blasted chunks from the sheer face of the wall, the gate shuddered under the shells that struck it. The void pylons sparked and sent static waves through the air as the giant swirling purple vortex above flared with each shell that struck it. The Fabricator-General scrabbled back to his feet, helping the Prefectus up as the words chanted by the horde outside washed over them once again.





-Decode message....Level Vermilion clearance...-


-Return Message, same frequency band, message as follows:-

Relief forces on way to intercept Adeptus Traitorus, estimated time from Kolstrom system, four days. -


The screen went black, a single orange pixel flashing repeatedly in a slow, dull pattern. The figure stood at the wood panelled observation lectern tapped a ceramite clad finger upon the embossed Aquilla beside the brass rimmed screen. The data runes were chipped, faded and of many different hues. The giant hands framed the lectern, armour clacking upon the wood effect plastic panels. Flickering, electric candle light spread throughout the dim chamber, casting long and grotesque shadows into the vaulted arches. A skull hovered into the room through a circular portal cut above the wooden door, blinking red lights adorned the grim device, tiny metal limbs clicked and twitched as it breasted the length of the room, chirped at the chambers occupant before disappearing through a portal mirroring its entrance.

The lectern chimed and the armour clad hands tapped a large green rune. The screen blinked and an orange hue ghosted the figure before it, casting a sickly glow to the hard features regarding it.



-Decode message...Level Vermilion clearance...-

Glory to Him, may he grant us four days resolve. System Defence Fleet enroute, estimation four days from system ports.
What is your designation?....=

-Return Message, same frequency band, message as follows:-


The Emperor Protects.-


The door to the chamber opened on creaking hinges, a gust of recycled air detected by the environmental controls and simulated a flickering in the candle light. Heavy footfalls approached the lectern and the figure turned, dark eyes regarding the intruder of this quiet domain.

"Greetings Brother-Sergeant Gerhet, are all things well upon my bridge?"

The voice was level, holding the clipped accent of a distant and long forgotten region. The second figure stamped an armour shod foot and formed the salute of the aquilla across their broad ceramite clad chest. The candle light flickered across the dark red stripe down the centre of the corvus pattern helm, the black visor ports reflecting the dim glow.

"Greetings returned, Brother-Captain Tyrax, all things are well upon your bridge. May I ask how are things within the Sanctum Tactitorum?"

Captain Remus Tyrax curled the corner of his lip in the faintest of smiles, the thick skin tight with scar tissue. He turned away from the lectern, sweeping a hand in gesture towards the chamber.

"All is quiet, Gerhet. I have recieved a summons of aid."

Gerhet came to stand beside the lecturn, opposite his Captain. He lifted a hand and popped the seals upon his gorget, a hiss of pressure releasing the helmet from its magnetic stripping. He pulled it clear, a shock of white hair sitting free in a warriors stripe above a face only a mother could love.

"That so, Captain? And who, may I enquire, presumes to summon us?"

Tyrax tapped the curved glass of the screen and folded his thick yellow armoured arms across his robed chest.

"That is so, Sergeant. The Fabricator-General and Governor of Kolstrom Quintus request our military prowress in the face of their adversaries. Adversaries you will, I'm sure of it, be delighted to meet in glorious combat."

Gerhet raised a puckered eyebrow, the steel service stud above his right eye glinting. Tyrax waited a moment, letting the Sergeant sit in his suspense before speaking.

"World Eaters."

Gerhet slammed his fist onto the wooden lecturn and bared his teeth.

"By Terra, I relish this. A taste of revenge, I think. I am delighted about this news, Captain. Delighted indeed. I shall make ready an insertion force."

Tyrax cast his eyes to the metal bionic that was Gerhets left arm, taken from him a century prior to this by a World Eater half the galaxy away. It was time the veteran slaked his thirst for vengeance.

"Prepare a strategem for orbital descent, we'll be striking into the battle line where ever it may fall for maximum effect. Deploy Deathstorm pattern pods before releasing our insertion force. I think if the Defence Fleet can maintain air superiority over these traitors we can deploy a more situation appropriate force later, but for now, Brother, just the vanguard."

Gerhet saluted before turning from the lectern and stalking through the doorway. Brother Captain Tyrax turned back to the lectern and clasped it with his armoured hands.

"Oh, and Sergeant!"

Gerhet stopped, half turned back to the Captain.

"Do not mistake this for charity, Kazon Hive's primary manufactorums process Astartes grade weaponry to be shipped out to the Ministratum. I intend to replenish our armoury in favour of this defence."

Vetern-Sergeant Gerhet barked a short laugh and slammed the door behind him.
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  • 3 weeks later...




Kazon Hive had begun to burn like the rest of Kolstrom V. The curtain wall that protected the sprawling manufactorums and the Mechanicum bastion was a desolate skeleton of churned rock, molten slag and corpses. The front line had been pounded relentlessly with artillery shells, air burning las beams and hordes of screaming enemies. The majority of the wall had been spared the relentless attack, leaving the Imperial gun emplacements to strafe the horde outside at will. The push of Chaos had been focused upon the giant gates barring the way into the Hive city, their beautifully tooled bronze faces shredded and charred, the reinforced adamantium plating buckled and dented. Autocannon fire pounded into the wide gate, never ceasing. The defenders in the gate house poured an entire years worth of ammunition production down through the murder holes in the four days they had to hold out. Those four days had proved to be the longest of any man left standing and it separated the heroes from the chaff. The forces of the World Eaters had managed to breach the stalwart defence of the walls either side of the gate house twice, the first time sending a wave of frenzied maniacs pouring like water through the cracked battlements. The wave had been repulsed with disciplined volleys of fire from the PDF troopers and an equally savage counter attack by the Penal Legionaries and their power blades.


The second assault had been the make or break moment for the defenders of Kazon Hive. Expecting the rush of cult crazed guardsmen, the ranks of the PDF troopers assumed a rank and knelt firing position, the Penal Legionaries keeping their distance to either side of the breach. As the defenders sweated into their eyes and wiped the clogging ash dust from the lenses of their rifles, a calculated barrage of grenades sailed over the wall top and between the gap in the giant void shield and the wall. The projectiles stirred instant panic and the ranks quivered, the grenades touched the ramparts and erupted in clouds of choking smoke. With their vision obscured, the PDF forces struggled for the re-breathers boxed at their hips and it was then the second attack came to fruition. Scaling the wall faster than anyone of the defenders could predict came four hulking giants in red. The first over the wall catapulted himself through the breach with the awesome strength his power armoured form gave him, landing amongst the first rank of men like a wolf into a flock of sheep. With great swings of his chain blade he clove men apart, limbs flailing through the air. Great gouts of blood sprayed into the air as the smoke began to drift clear and the mass of men bore witness to the slaughter amidst their ranks. Orders were screamed and in panic born rush weapons discharged, the first chaos warped Space Marine spasmed as three hundred las bolts smashed into him, punching craters into his power armour. With a roar of utter defiance from the brass etched grille on the front of the World Eaters helmet it fell, brought low from the overwhelming fire power.


The second and third fought to squeeze through the gap in the wall and provided the men of the PDF scant seconds to rearm. It wasn't long enough. The berserkers broke free in a whirlwind of blades and thundered into the firing line as the first had done. The butcher work began and a furious struggle spread across the line as men fought to escape the carnage. An officer of the Kazon Commissariat shouldered his way through the line, snarling at the top of his voice, his provosts shunting men from his path as he approached the World Eater Space Marines. The Commissar levelled a glare of utter hatred at the enemy and activated the power field surrounding the mechanical fist he wore. It flared bright and he drew his bolt pistol with his free hand. With the Emperors name upon his lip he charged, his provosts slamming down visors on their helmets and thumbing activation studs on their power mauls. The first berserker died without ever knowing it, too focused on the slaughter of the struggling men before it, the Marine was blind sided by the power fist and his head vaporised in a flash of white. The second berserker wasn't so clouded by violence. The Berserker wrenched the corpse of a Guardsman from his chain axe, turning his ancient glare upon this new threat. The death of the World Eater Marine allowed the men to break free and a wide space formed on the parapet allowing the Space Marine and the Commissar room to battle. The provosts shook the fatigue from their shoulders and rushed forwards in an attempt to overwhelm the enemy. Chain-blades screamed through flesh, power mauls battering dents into the ancient armour. The berserker cut through the provosts as if they were wheat for the harvest on its way to the Commissar who slammed a fresh sickle magazine into his pistol. The pistol barked, blasting craters into the Marines torso as it advanced, dropping it to a knee. The remaining provosts took the advantage and grabbed onto the Space Marines arms, trying to weigh him down. The Commissar raised his fist and punched down with a yell of triumph. As his power fist connected with the gorget of the World Eater, the enemy broke a hand free and punched it's armoured fist through his midsection.


The fourth armoured beast took the wall, punching great holes into the rockcrete as it crested the breach. Knowing that the defenders could not withstand such a new and vicious assault, a Penal Legionary by name of Ira Hale threw his las rifle at his feet and ran screaming at the World Eater. He leaped at the last second and clamped onto the arm of the power armoured giant. As the goliath dug his armoured fingers into Hale's side, the Legionary detonated the melta charge he had clutched between them. The Chaos Space Marine was vaporised in a blinding ball of white fire, nothing but bubbling rockcrete remained. The defenders were afforded a respite having repelled the impatience of the berserker's only through great sacrifice. The stretch of wall had been dubbed Hale's Breach by those that witnessed the acts of a condemned man. It was then on the fourth day that the heavens flared with light and it seemed as if new stars were being born.




"Helm, bring us about and prepare to exploit the breach the Defence Fleet will create for us."


The robed shipman inclined his head and inserted his mechanical fingers into the brass sockets upon the lectern before him. The thick heady smell of incense accompanied the droning hymnal of activation surrounding the command pulpit. Brother Captain Tyrax of the 3rd Crusade removed himself from the pulpit, retrieving his helmet from the wood pannel surface.


"You have the bridge, Roshane"


A Space Marine in thick black robes thumped his first into his pectoral before ascending to the command throne. Tyrax took one last gaze around the command bridge of his strike cruiser, deeming everything in exact working order he vacated the bridge, the grinding blast doors admitting him entrance into the vast dark corridor beyond. He was intercepted by Veteran-Sergeant Gerhet as he made his way through the ship. A trail of servants splashing their armour with cleaning ugents, scrubbing away a patch of discolouration or testing the individual plates of their armour. It was common ritual and the servants knew to keep up or face punishment from their overlords.


"Preparations for orbital insertion are correct and complete, Captain"


Tyrax cast a glance at his direct subordinate as he adjusted the position of his left gauntlet.


"I trust all application of pre-drop disciplines have been adhered to with the strictist measure, Sergeant?"


Gerhet shoved a servant out of his way with his bionic, the man colliding into the panneled wall of the corridor.


"Aye, Captain. Brother Callisto has had the Teeth of Vengeance primed and ready for three days. They've waited in the launch bay since. I think he may be eager to embrace his new command."


Tyrax grunted, the wry smile at Gerhet's words turning his features almost maniacal as they passed under an orange glow strip and into the preparation chamber.


"Very well, he may have the vanguard. Who has been assigned to this drop, Sergeant?"


Tyrax walked to the centre of the wide circular room and spread his arms, allowing the flock of servants and their servitors to swarm about him, checking his various systems for stability and mounting his weapon systems in place upon his armoured form. Gerhet turned his perpetually sneering face towards his Captain.


"The drop zone is staggered, Brother Callisto and his Teeth will deploy two hundred metres from the curtain wall. Squads Diomedes, Saul and Claudius will deploy fifty metres from the curtain wall. Honoured Brother Lysandros and his Mantle of Hate shall deploy one hundred metres from the curtain wall and the Lance of Perdition shall deploy within the curtain wall itself in a pre-designated zone. My own squad shall accompany you and we shall deploy on a parallel trajectory with the Mantle of Hate. "


Tyrax digested the information as his power sword was belted about his armoured waist. He nodded his approval and then lifted his chin as his servants lowered his helmet onto his head. Initiating the seals around his gorget he watched the visor flicker into life, a tactical readout of all available information surrounding him scrolling across his helmet. He noted Callisto's increased heart rate.


"He is indeed eager. I commend the preparation of this strike force Brother Gerhet and you may carry the Punishment of Scorn into battle. May He cast his glance upon you and lend you his wisdom. Prepare our vessel for it's journey. May we trust it wholly or perish."


He turned, clutching the Umbra pattern bolter to his chest and inclined his corvus pattern helmet to the giant archway before him. With hissing pistons it slammed open to reveal the launch bay beyond and the waiting drop pod. Marines Malevolent finished their battle rites and clambered into the giant pods that would bare them to the world below. Remus Tyrax passed through the smoke wreathed door.


Gerhet outstretched his right arm, letting the servants bring forth an ancient weapon. His gauntlet was plugged into the open breach and the vacuum seal clamped tight around his elbow. A snaking power cable was fed from the weapon up under his reactive shoulder plate and connected to the bundle of cables there. He turned his hand, allowing the suits power to be rerouted and his servo's to compensate for the extra weight. He lifted the ancient power weapon before him and clenched his fist. With a flash of motion, two foot long blades fired forward to sit crackling with energy over his clenched fingers. The power claw was inscribed with the names of all who had bore it into battle before him and he knew that after this campaign his name would be etched forever into the adamantium casing.


He licked his lips in anticipation as his MKV pattern helmet was lowered onto his head. He turned his armoured bulk towards the launch bay, accepted his bolter with his bionic arm and marched to war.

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The roaring sound inside the Drop Pod threatened to batter the ears into oblivion but the auto sense of the Marines helmets stifled the assault of sound. Remus Tyrax shuddered about in his harness, his power armour juddering under the strain of the orbital descent. Harnessed opposite him was Gerhet, clenching and unclenching the deactivated power claw he wore. Remus blinked and in perfect unison with his thoughts, his visor flashed through several different displays of information settling on the life signs of the squad he shared the transport with. Each one a Veteran marine of the Company, having survived from their creation centuries ago by cutting a bloody path through the galaxy with utter ruthlessness. They carried the most ancient and revered battle gear and their armour was also of ancient design, kept in as pristine a condition as possible with what little access the 3rd Crusade had to the Mechanicum. There was something in his own bio-signs read out that caused him to scrutinise it, an odd jump and tick in his brain waves. He focussed on it more intently, trying to judge what it was. He also noticed a tiny, slight deregulation in the tattoo of his twin hearts which caused a moment of tightness within his chest. Taking a deep breath and reciting age old instructions to himself he calmed his beating hearts as the rest of his mind focussed on the thought pattern that evaded him.



"Five minutes Brothers!"


Gerhets voice speared through the sound of the Pod, filling his helmet from the padded speakers either side of his ears. It was then that Remus isolated the thought pattern and realised what he felt and why it was so odd. He felt nervous. Upon reflection he understood this momentary intrusion of feeling and then crushed it under the iron will of his indoctrinated mind. He was new to his command. The 3rd Crusade had its command element ripped out of it several months prior to his installation in a battle with the Ork menace. Remus Tyrax had been transferred from his veteran positions in the 6th Crusade by Chapter Command and given control of an entire Battle Crusade. He knew he was command material, but even so, the prospect of leading these Marines into battle for the first time was altogether exciting and thrilling. The normally well kept composure of Remus cracked with a smile as he switched his information readout back to that of his squad.


It was nearly time.


"Somebody wake up Haephestan. "




The downward thrusters fired on the underside of the first set of pods, allowing the transports to slam into the ground just shy of turning their occupants into mulch. The staggered pattern allowed one in three pods to be filled with bristling weapons, their firing paths not intersecting any of the transports harbouring Marines. Firing bolts exploded, sending the vast doors of the pods slamming into the ground, crushing curious rebel guard who strayed too close to the hissing vehicles. Giant, multi-barrelled cannons began to rotate at a frightening rate, the whir of noise causing those not crushed to flee in terror. The assault cannons opened fire, stitching a blaze of explosive fire into the mass of the enemy. Bodies were popped, shredded and shorn apart by the vicious guns. Several of the hulking Chaos Space Marines were scythed down amongst the horde of dead men.


Then the first transport bearing troops dropped its assault ramps and its occupants charged forth with a snarl upon their lips. Brother Sergeant Callisto punched the activation stud on his chest, igniting the twin turbines upon his back. He ascended on streamers of fire, as the rest of his squad followed. The roar of his jump pack was joined by the fierce whine of his chainsword as he revved it into action. He lowered his Bolter before him and unloaded the weapons contents into the mass of men below, blowing heads and arms from bodies. The Teeth of Vengeance smashed home into the enemy and began to cleave about them with screaming chain weapons and crackling power blades. Each Marine adorned with the heads of particularly honoured foes, trinkets and talismans taken from conquests. The most fearsome aspect of these grim warriors though, was the vicious snarling mouths painted up the sides of their corvus pattern helms. Saw edged teeth dripping with blood greeted each enemy as they died under the cold glare of the black visor lenses.


Callisto pulled his chainsword back, ripping the guts out of a wailing rebel. He fired point black into the chest of another as a mob rushed him and then proceeded to back hand his gun into the face of the nearest foe. Teeth crunched and the man's jaw shattered as Callisto fire his jump pack again. The Teeth sprinted amongst the vast horde of blood crazed fighters, adding to the carnage before rising like angels into the air on contrails of fire. They dropped down into the mob at random, creating as much havoc and confusion as they possibly could while their Sergeant sought his primary target.




Remus disengaged the harness holding him to the power station he was hooked into. He ran through his suits protocols one last time as the ribbed metal cables snapped away from his mobile power pack between his shoulders. He steadied himself, the pod had crashed its way into a make shift gun position, flattening the bunker beneath it. He shared a glance with Gerhet and nodded. The assault ramps fired their bolts and were sent hurtling downwards into the rubble. Remus sprung into action and the sound of armoured feet rang off the ramps.


++Bolter Link!++


He ordered his suits internal systems to activate and he felt the whir of servos as his auto senses adjusted into pre-programmed patterns. A cross hair formed on his visor, flickering and highlighting objects and strewn rubble in a white kill zone. He rounded the transport and saw men picking themselves up from the ground. A rebel cradled his limp and shattered arm to his chest as he caught sight of the giant yellow Space Marine. The rebel was out lined with a white silhouette as the cross hair turned red, Remus squeezed the trigger and his weapon did the rest of the work. It bucked in his hands as it sent a bolt round streaking through the air to explode the highlighted rebel. The silhouette faded to black with a chime as the cross hair acquired another target.




The gigantic assault pod sat in a crater of blood and body parts, hissing as it cooled. The rebel sergeant had heard the screaming through the vox unit on the operators back and would be prepared for the Space Marines when they came rushing out. He nodded to the man knelt before him, the large tube of grey metal resting upon his shoulder.


"Be ready to fire at the bastards as soon as that thing opens, they won't know what hit them!"


The assault ramp fired its bolts and the vast door swung downwards to crash into the lake of offal below. A wave of gore filled water sprayed upwards and the guardsman fired the missile launcher. The tiny warhead spiralled forward through the sheet of smoke rolling across the battlefield and detonated inside the pod. The Sergeant pumped his fist into the air and whooped. A whine filled the air, rising to a pitch that caused the ears to bleed. The Sergeant clutched at his head before his face formed a rictus of fear. The rebel with the missile launcher and the Sergeant were vaporised to nothing by a shimmering beam of heat that scorched the ground into a bubbling mess. Giant foot falls punched craters into the blood encrusted mud as the Mantle of Hate stamped forward on its massive pistons. The vast multi melta fixed upon its right side spooled up its firing motor again as the Dreadnought cut a path of nuclear death through a mob of rebels running to intercept the Captain. The living weapon lurched forward as a screeching chain blade bit into its gun arm. Servos whirred as the vehicle spun on its central axis to bring its full armament to bear on the World Eater who foolishly struck it.


The whirring assault claw on its left side clamped shut on the Chaos Marines midriff, crushing into the ancient ceramite casing and splintering the metal into the Marines innards. A gurgling roar bubbled from the brass rimmed vox grille as the Mantle of Hate squeezed the Marines innards out through its mouth. The Mantle released the pulped foe, letting it splash to the ground. The Dreadnoughts multiple sensor arrays triangulated the Captains position and the giant machine thundered its way into the swarm of rebels.




Callisto rammed his Bolter into the magnetic holster strapped to his armoured thigh as he roared down through the clouds. He braced himself, impacting on the top of the battle tank below him. He gripped the turret as the vast cannon swung about to target the Dreadnought cutting into the horde. He slung his chainblade and reached behind him to disengage the mag-locks on the melta device. The sound of metal rung out into the battle as he slammed the breaching charge onto the side of the Leman Russ. He spun the timer dial and punched his jump pack into life, kicking off from the tank he soared out into the air. The tanks commander decided to switch target at the last second to teach this Space Marine who landed in his firing line a lesson, the turret grinding down in preparation of obliterating the enemy. The explosion was immense, peppering Callisto with debris. He rolled his shoulders and laughed into his visor as the smoking remains of the tank cooked off in secondary detonations.


A bolt round exploded against his shoulder guard, tearing a great crater into the ceramite layers. He spun round with the force of the shot and grimaced as five hulking Chaos Marines lumbered through the smoke of the battlefield, firing from the hip at him. Bolt rounds detonated, sending chunks of earth scattering as he roared into the air on pillars of fire.


From his elevated position he surveyed the battle field, his eidetic memory absorbing all the tactical information afforded him. He saw one of the Teeth go down under a hail of gunfire, his jet pack causing him to spiral uncontrollably into a mob of guardsmen, exploding in a ball of incandescent fire. Callisto spotted the Hydra flak gun thundering shells across the sky and narrowed his eyes behind his visor. He primed another melta charge and clutched it in his hand before streaking forwards for a taste of vengeance.

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Very good, will gladly


Just a few errors:


Part 2, paragraph 3, line 1 - the berserkers, not the berserker's


Part 3, paragraph 2, line 2 - He felt nervous, not He felt, nervous.


Part 2, paragraph 3, lines 7-8 "The second berserker wasn't so clouded by violence. The death of the World Eater allowed the men to break free and a wide space formed on the parapet allowing the Space Marine and the Commissar room to battle". This could use an additonal sentence between these two.

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Cheers lads.


I'm enjoying writing this and it's a real journey figuring out how to write Space Marines properly. In my other story I just went for full blown action and fluff of Doom, but with this one I want to get it spot on. I always see people leave out that which makes Space Marines what they are, all their enhancements and routines.


Keep the criticism and comments coming as I'd like to build on this as writing is a passion of mine.


Visitor13: Thank you for the spots, corrections have been made.

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Double posty goodness.







Las bolts peppered the curtain wall, striking the hissing forms of the drop pods and causing their armoured plates to glow. A return thunder of bolter rounds streaked forward to explode into the rushing horde of cult crazed guard. An auto cannon stitched across the trench work of bodies the Marines sheltered behind, blowing chunks of meat across their scuffed yellow and black armour. Sergeant Claudius dug his fingers into the back of a corpse and hauled himself up, staring through his visor plates at the guard coming towards them. Claudius had his orders, upon impact they were to create a firing line in preparation for the Captains retreat to the walls. Saul and Diomedes covered his flanks with their own tactical squads and he knew that this rabble of blood crazed fools would barely scratch their armour. A las bolt struck one of the rounded studs on his helm and snapped his head back, the ceramite glowing white hot. With a snarl he blinked the shock away from his eyes and lifted his heavy calibre gun and sighted the guardsman. The traitor spat more needles of hard light at the Sergeants head and on the fourth shot his gun exploded, sending fragments of razor sharp metal scything into his chest.


Claudius sniffed inside his helmet and tracked the smoking barrel of his bolter onto another traitor, with a squeeze of the trigger the gun bucked, sending the mini warhead rocketing into the man's midriff. The massed bolter fire from three tactical squads obliterated the rush of the enemy. The heaving mass of men was cut down with such force it turned into a shattered rout, leaving some screaming for it to end amongst the piles of dead. The Marine next to Claudius took a round to the chest as he fired across the wall of corpses, the bolt round detonating against the curved and studded plate. The small explosion ripped apart the rear of the Marines bolter and seared his chest, leaving a sparking and crackling dent in the armour. Claudius snapped his head round to assess the damage, hauled the Marine to his feet and switched the firing mode of his own weapon. His targeting array chimed as it filtered a target through the haze of the battlefield. He sneered as he ordered his suit to relay the firing position through to his squad and in the second after it had been received a hail of bolt shells tore into the target. Claudius saw the power armoured form shudder under the impacts and collapse.

Then it became a fire fight, a strafing beam of radiation turned the bodies he was crouched behind into a bubbling mass of soup. He stumbled backwards, his suits thermal levels rising , warning chimes buzzing inside his helmet. Bolter fire echoed his squads, detonating in the flesh of the corpse mound and ricocheting off armoured shoulders. Claudius silently willed his weapon to ready it's charged shot, the plasma coils ribbing the top of the bolter crackling with building energy.

Howling filled the air, rising through the crack of bolter fire. Claudius cursed and relayed a message through to Saul and Diomedes on a closed vox channel.


++ Prepare for combatants brothers, seems things are about to get interesting. ++


The screech of chain blades filled the air as armoured forms rushed forward, bolter rounds streaking between them. Squad Claudius braced their weapons and tore into the line of charging lunatics, limbs detonating and torsos popping under the hail of fire. A chime echoed in his ear, coupling the scrolling message on his visor read out, Brother Cestus was ready to fire. Claudius returned the chime and coupled it with information from his tactical display. His visor flickered in opacity, darkening behind the digital display. An ear splitting whine filled the air before Cestus discharged his weapon, the whine struggling for dominance over the roar of bolter fire. A rippling display of light burst from Cestus cannon, the plasma burst warping and searing the ground it travelled over. It arched briefly before streaking into the ground amongst the charging berserkers, vaporising the brutes in a detonation that blinded surrounding guard.


More detonations erupted into the enemy from Saul and Diomedes' squads, the plasma shots bursting the enemy line open. Even the Traitor Marines who had begun to engage them rallied back, clubbing their way brutally through the guardsmen. Claudius ordered a hail of bolter fire to follow them and it broke the backs of the remaining guard, sending them fleeing head long from the walls of Kazon Hive. Claudius stood, the servos in his armour whirring. He vaulted over the wall of dead men and strode forward, sweeping his bolter back and forth. He came upon one of the World Eaters who had fired upon his position and observed the Traitor Marine struggle to unbuckle the Bolt Pistol at its hip. Claudius allowed the enemy to half draw the gun before he stamped his foot down upon his enemies hand, cracking the armour and pulping the fingers. The grille upon the enemies helm erupted in a burst of noise. Claudius leant his weight upon his foot, pinning the marine to the floor. He observed the craters punched clean through the enemies torso and predicted he had less than an hour of life left in him. Claudius outstretched his arm, tracking with his bolter from the enemies head and down his chest. With a tilt of his head he swept the weapon to the right and nodded. The gun roared twice, sending two bolts down into the Traitors elbow, exploding the joint in a splatter of meat and armour. The World Eater thrashed, its legs useless weight beneath it, howling in pain. Claudius knelt down as he heard his Marines fanning out around him. He tossed his bolter onto the blood crusted mud and gripped the World Eaters helm, he tore it from its mounts and held it before him. It was identical to his own in every way but for the colour of blood and rusted bronze. He glared down from the helmet to the pale face beneath, piercings littered the flesh and the eyes stared hate into his. This traitor resembled him on every level and it disgusted him. With a bellow he swung the helmet, bringing it down on the Traitors face with a crack. He pummelled the enemy to death with its own helm with brutal, efficient strikes. He stood, blood oozing down his own helm before coagulating in the air, and with a snort of contempt he flung the helmet from his hand.





Remus thrust his foot forward, shattering a man's face then he swung his bolter, popping the chests of two guard who thought to rush him from the bunkers door. He heard the boom of bolter fire die down and Gerhet report that the immediate area had been cleared. Remus nodded to himself and slung his rifle across his shoulder plate and drawing the auspex from his belt.


++ Brother Judas, you have one minute before we vacate this area. ++


He received an affirmative and watched as the named Marine began to punch into the earth beneath their feet. He forced his gauntleted fingers into the cracked rockcrete and hauled up the slabs. Judas produced a large gun metal box from the interior of the drop pod and tore the lid from it and twisted a dial on the interface that presented itself. With a grunt of satisfaction he pushed the box into the hole he had made then moved the slabs back into place.

Gerhet sounded the retreat and Remus took off at a run, squashing a skull beneath his foot. The Marines of the command squad sprinted away from the crash site, leaving their objective buried beneath the bunker. Remus established a vox link with the Teeth of Vengeance.


++ Callisto! Fall back to Kazon Hive, we've secured the primary objective. ++


He fired from the hip, ripping apart two enemy guard. The Captain and his command had barrelled their way into the rush of retreating guard, clubbing men to death with fists and bolters. A World Eater marine fired across Remus, the bolt clipping his shoulder guard causing him to stumble. Gerhet leapt forward and with a snarl brought his clawed fist slamming into the chest of the Traitor Marine. Energy discharged across the Traitors armour, electrocuting him from the inside, his bolter discharging wildly as his fingers spasmodicly clenched. Gerhet brought his helm forward in a thundering head butt, knocking the enemy from his claws and set off, sprinting to catch up with his Captain.




The Mantle of Hate swung back and forth upon it's central axis, the assault claw pulverising whatever it connected with. A World Eater shattered upon it's claw and shards of ceramite clattered upon its sensor array. Brother Lysandros turned his head inside the Mantle, the amniotic fluid bubbling around the tube coming out of his mouth. The metallic box clamped to the side of his head chimed a request. Listening to the Captains voice, the ancient Marine burbled into the fluid about him, his reply translated through his augmented voice box. The Mantle of Hate stomped its way in a wide circle, sending a scything beam of nuclear heat into the rout as it swept past the Dreadnought. Yellow armoured forms sprinted past the Mantle, one of them leaping to slap the side of its gun arm. The Dreadnought spun on its axis, its huge legs beginning its march towards the safety of the curtain wall as its weapon systems punished the World Eater retreat.


Honoured Brother Lysandros curled his wasted lips into a grim smirk, evidently the traitor bastards hadn't factored the Marines Malevolent into their invasion. If there was anyone in this vast galaxy that held a capacity for hatred that rivalled the minions of Khorne, it was them.

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Really loving the savagery of the fighting here.


Thanks, Visitor13.


I'm trying to capture the essence of just how vicious combat involving Space Marines would be. A lot of BL published works I've read make it seem like modern warfare and I just can't see the comparison.


Hope you continue to enjoy!



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Really loving the savagery of the fighting here.


Thanks, Visitor13.


I'm trying to capture the essence of just how vicious combat involving Space Marines would be. A lot of BL published works I've read make it seem like modern warfare and I just can't see the comparison.


Hope you continue to enjoy!




I'm sure I will.


I was hoping I'd find something that makes the M&Ms its chief focus instead of making them a mere foil for some better known faction.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Lieutenant Rigel Hauser clutched his las pistol tight to his chest. His eyes were screwed tight shut at the cacophony of war that beat about his head and his knuckles white. He was battered, bruised and covered in cuts and scrapes. His left eye was puffy and covered by a black welt and he'd lost his cap of office. They were either side of the battered gates leading into Kazon Hive, the majesty of the carved monument reduced to scraps of torn bronze and cracked adamantium. He opened his eyes, letting his bleary vision clear as tears washed grit and grime from them, leaving twin streaks in the dirt crusting his cheeks. He turned his head, aware someone was shouting at him from his left, but his eyes fixed upon the face staring at him from the other side of the gates. Directly opposite was Lieutenant Eric van Duborg, his own haunted eyes reflecting those of Hauser. Both officers gripped their las pistols and chainswords like life lines, as if they were the anchor point to keep them from slipping into madness. The shouting came again, sounding all the world like screaming under water, muffled and dull. Eric van Duborg nodded to Hauser and it seemed to bring the world back into clarity, the shouting suddenly booming right beside Rigels ear.


"Sir! Do we have the order to open the gate?"


Hauser pushed his shoulders into the reassuring bulk of the rockrete wall behind him and faced the Sergeant addressing him. He took in the man's features, reminiscent of the mastiffs kept in the officers mess, the cold eyes hard from things he'd seen. Hauser nodded and turned back to the gigantic gate before him, revving his chain blade to cycle the engine housed in the hilt. The Sergeant shouted, his voice echoing across the rubble strew courtyard the two platoons were spread across, a loud horn bleating out into the smoke in response. Giant cogs began to grind deep in the safety of the wall and the gate shuddered, a hail of dust clouding down onto the men below.


"See you back here, Hauser, you still owe me a shot of Udol!"


Hauser twitched as van Duborg called across to him over the grinding noise of the gate. He would damn the shot and just down the bottle when they returned, if, they returned. Their orders from Major Kharloff was to cover the retreat of the Space Marines until they were within the walls of the Hive city. Hauser had watched from the battlements just how effective the Emperors Finest were, each super human Marine a powerhouse of war. He had seen fire power poured into them that would have killed a man ten times over, only to shrug it off and continue on. Their engines of war were fearsome and it made the heart quiver to watch the giants in yellow armour stride amongst the enemy. They all knew the Astartes were coming to break their siege but they just didn't understand the magnitude of how it'd be broken.


It was truly inspiring to know that these Angels of the Emperor were here to save them. Hauser didn't know how much longer he could kept his humours intact. He had lost count of how many men he'd shot in the face or cloven in twain with his blade over the last few months. It haunted him and what little sleep he could manage was plagued by horrific nightmares. He was breaking, fraying around the edges and he knew it, but he had to be strong. He had to lead his men once more into the teeth of the enemy.


The gate stopped, its mechanisms forcing it into a locked position, the sound echoing like a thunder clap that reverberated around the wide plaza. There was a moment of silence before the storm began, engines, impossibly huge, rumbled into life. Grinding tracks squealed as they crushed chunks of masonry beneath their aquilla studded plates. The Astartes war machines began to advance. The Lance of Perdition consisted of three elements, but only two of the vehicles had been deployed surface side by the Thunderhawk gunship, Perdition. The two Predator pattern tanks turned into the gate, thundering through the smoke and out into the blood crusted battle beyond. Hauser was cloaked in shadow as the gargantuan tanks thundered past, his head hurt at the sheer scale of these mobile weapon platforms. He had always admired the bulk of the Leman Russ tank the Hive Manufactorums produced but the Astartes had brought an entire new level of warfare with them.


The two Predators opened fire, the sound like a battle Titan stomping its feet. The auto-cannon fired in controlled bursts sending high calibre death into the horde, exploding the ground and sending men squealing through the air. Las cannon sponsons split the air with blinding flashes of light, enemy tanks popping like over ripe fruit under the hail of hard light. Hauser raised his chain blade high above his head and swept the weapon in an arc, his voice roaring out into the press of noise and men. An echoing roar erupted from Platoon van Duborg and the Guard ran to war. Las bolts sliced the air, hammering men from their feet, grenade launchers coughed explosives high into the air. Bolters stitched through the fog of war, bright streaks of white amongst the thin beams of red, orange and green. The firing line of Astartes appeared first as the Lance of Perdition rumbled off into the smog of battle. Hauser stumbled as the behemoths casually strode backwards, firing from the hip with their utterly destructive weapons. Bright flares of blue flashed out of the end of giant muzzles, sending rippling balls of energy that looked like liquid caught into a ball. Hauser stood still as his men rushed past him and between the giant Astartes. Men fell to their deaths around him, men he'd shouted out over minor infractions had limbs shorn from their bodies. Men who were so full of smiles and laughter in the barrack mess were grim featured as they mercilessly gunned down fellow Kolstroms.


One of the giants reared up before him, the Marine encompassing his entire line of sight. A las bolt sparked off the huge shoulder plates of the Astartes and Hauser couldn't help but be held like a mouse before a Carnodon by the expressionless helm that stared at him. He knew there was a man inside that armour, but for all the world about him he couldn't fathom it in that moment. Everything seemed to slow down as the giant turned its studded helm, the red stripe down the crest of the helmet taking another las bolt on it that snapped the helm to the left. The giant lifted its weapon, blue coils glowing with blinding intensity, leaving white spots upon Hausers vision. The discharge of the weapon caused him to turn away with a yelp, the heat flashing the first layer of skin from his nose and cheeks. He opened his eyes to see the giant striding past him, the helm turned ever so slightly to stare the Lieutenant into the ground.


A bolt round struck the earth beside him and sent a shard of heated shrapnel into the side of his flak vest. Hauser stumbled under the impact and cursed, bringing his head up in time to see a crazed guardsman rush him. The man wore the Kolstrom blue uniform, but it was ripped, ragged, torn and filthy. His armour had been hastily painted red instead of its matt black finish and a red star made of a mess tin jutted up from his helm. His eyes were wild, his pupils so large there was almost no colour. They were the eyes of a man who'd seen too much and could never forget. The bayonet on his autorifle was rusted and bent but that made it no less deadly. Hauser finally snapped out of his sluggish reverie and screwed his face into a sneer of hatred. He slashed at the man with his chain blade, the sword roaring as it ground down into the enemy weapon. Sparks flew and Hauser kicked the man's shin, causing him to howl in pain. With a thrust he shoved the damned guard away from him and snapped his pistol up, gunning the man to the mud in a flurry of shots that punched searing holes into his chest. A second traitor ran at him from the right, an unintelligible scream upon his lips. Hauser raised his side arm and snapped three shots at the man, the first streaked past his head, the second seared an ear from the side of his head and the third was countered by the man's flak armour. Rigel grunted as the man collided with him, knocking him to the ground. It suddenly became a struggle as the man tried to plunge a combat knife down into Hausers face. Using his chainsword as a brace he pushed back at the man, knowing he had only seconds before he was over powered. He felt about for the activation stud and clenched it, sending the ripping teeth of the blade into a whir of action. Blood sprayed as the man's forearms were shredded. He reeled backwards, screaming to the sky above as his hands flopped uselessly before him. Hauser kicked away from the site of the struggle and scrambled to his feet. He raised his sword above his head just as the man before him exploded in a welter of gore.


Hauser blinked blood from his eyes and shuddered as he spat brain matter and hair from his lips. Sprinting out of the rolling smoke before him came seven hulking Marines, all adorned with a variety of weaponry. He watched one of them thunder a crackling fist of claws into the chest of a traitor, the man spasming as flashing arc of electricity enveloped him. The ground shuddered as from out of the smoke the legendary form of an Astartes Dreadnought came forth, flanked by the Lance of Perdition. The amount of fire power that poured forth from the heavy vehicles caused him to stop breathing for a moment, utterly awe struck by the wave of armour striding and rolling towards and past him. One of the Space Marines turned to Hauser, the black stripe down the front of his beaked helmet stark against the yellow of the armour. One giant hand came forward and grabbed Hausers flak vest and with a scream he was hauled bodily from the ground. He felt weightless as the behemoth sprinted towards the walls, clutching him in one hand, firing his immense bolter with the other. Hauser was thrust around like a rag doll but the anchoring strength of the Marine threatened to send more cracks along his already fractured psyche. Suddenly he was passing through the curtain wall, as if his charge hadn't carried him almost a hundred meters from the safety of the gates. With stark clarity he realized he had been the last of his platoon to be out there fighting, absorbed entirely by the fighting he hadn't heard Platoon van Duborg retreating. The armoured vehicles rumbled through the gate, crushing rubble and popping bodies in splatters of red across the dusty flag stones of the courtyard.


Hauser was unceremoniously dumped onto the stone, the breath knocked out of him. The Marine who had carried him turned and simply marched away, the towering warrior ignoring him. Hauser scrabbled onto his front and stared about him at the remains of the two Guard platoons and the giants that strode amongst them. A keening noise filled the air, immediately followed by a symphony of roars and he flung his head about to locate the source of the sudden noise. Armoured forms came down upon blazing pillars of fire, having leapt between the gap of the wall and the void pylons using jet packs. Hauser's jaw all but dropped as the eight marines slammed home, cracking the stone beneath them with boots and knees, one even rolling over end. His forehead creased as his jaw hardened, the sight of these Marines was intimidating in its entirety. The giants milled about, coming together in a rabble, evidently laughing inside their armour from their movements. Hands slapped shoulder guards and one even re-enacted some previous feat of bravery for his squad mates. One of them sauntered away from the group, vicious blood stained teeth curving up his beaked helm, heads hanging from chains around his waist, some of them dripping gore in staggered line behind him.


Hauser felt a hand upon his arm and snapped his head round to see Eric above him, just as pale faced as he was. He allowed van Duborg to help him to his feet. Both of them holding each other for reassurance as the Marines seemed to instinctively move away from the Defence forces. Hauser and van Duborg shared a glance, their eyes locking, they studied each others boyish features and neither of them could help the tears that welled within their eyes. As the gates clanged shut, the thud echoing out across the courtyard, both officers knew they weren't free of the fighting, if anything with the arrival of the Astartes, it was about to get a whole lot worse. Hauser spared a glance for the men around him, some of them standing in awe of the Marines, others staring into the distance with blank looks. Others cried, a few lounged against each other he spied a man cleaning his weapon furiously despite being covered from head to foot in gory mud. Hauser took a shuddering breath and nodded to himself. They had survived one more day in defence of the Hive and that was enough to make his fourteen year old heart to fill with pride.

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Remus Tyrax casually discarded the Kazon Officer upon the flagstones of the giant parade yard, as if he was merely baggage. In the Marines mind, he was, but Remus knew that they'd need all of the Imperial guns available to repel this invasion. He stalked his way towards the rumbling forms of the Predator fighting vehicles and the cluster of his battle brothers. They were huddled about the rear of the second Predator, lending what ever aid they could to the Marines stood upon it's wide flat roof. They lowered a pair of Marines down from the height of the vehicle, one limp, the other missing a leg. With a crease of his brow he cycled through the tactical information being relayed via the inter-armour vox link and it caused his cheek to spasm.


The first Marine down was laid upon the flag stones, his brothers reaching for medical aid from their utility belts or removing plates of his armour to better deal triage to his wounds. The second grunted as he was lowered, clutching at the Marine who eased him to the ground. His leg sprayed one last gout of over bright blood before his Larraman's cells stopped the bleeding, forming a rapidly crusting area of sticky, coagulated blood. Tyrax shouldered his way through his mingling brothers, coming between the two injured Astartes. Apothecary Iver stepped forward and went to a knee before the prone Marine, his white helm with its black stripe turning to regard the legless Marine.


"I will deal with you in short order, for now, you suffer."


He turned his gaze back and inspected the Marine below him. He sucked in a breath and removed several packs from his belt, opening them and then firing his narthecium into whirring life.


"Turn him over."


He demanded and the Astartes obeyed, the sound of armour scraping on stone rang out between the tanks who cut their rumbling engines. The form of Honoured Lysandros loomed over head, his assault claw whirling and twitching in anticipation, echoing the smaller affections of his brothers. Several of the Marines cursed as the extent of the prone Astartes wounds were revealed and Iver shook his head. He removed two small injection plugs from his portable narthecium and inserted them into a small port just behind the unconscious Marines helmeted head. He lifted his left arm, gazing at the small data slate as it burbled cryptic information to him.


"Hmmm, severe internal bleeding, Llaraman's organ is keeping the worst of it in check. His primary heart has been rendered useless, relying on his secondary. Both lungs ineffective and only his multi-lung is pumping the bare minimum of oxygen around his bloodstream. His suit has injected almost all of its pain-suppressors directly into him and judging by the multitude of fractures in his bone structure, the black carapace and torn musculature that Brother Merdoth is only going to survive if we can get him back to the Sentinel."


He frowned inside his helm, biting out of habit onto the padded in lay pushing at his cheeks. This was their first casualty and despite his initial misgivings of deploying directly into the enemy force, he was all together surprised they had only Merdoth as a primary casualty. Evidently the World Eaters had been taken by surprise, something most definitely uncommon. Iver regarded Merdoth before him, his power pack was sparking, barely able to keep the immense power field it generated in check, portions of the rear facing armour were scorched so fiercely from the exploding jump pack that the ceramite had bubbled and stuck to Merdoths skin, where skin was visible it was black, cracked and oozing.

Remus turned his head to review the mustered force, his Marines turning to gaze at him. The decision was his to make. Iver watched his Captain as he turned away from the assembled Marines and moved towards the Guard element. He noted the gait his superior had adopted, stalking like a wolf, his hands never more than two inches from his weaponry. Iver watched his Captain part the defence force like a shark amongst fish and proceed to the triage tent that had been hastily erected.


Tyrax stooped under the lintel of the tent and straightened, his helmet bulging the fabric of the roof. He ignored the staring, interested only on the screaming. He loomed above a surgeon fighting desperately to secure a severed artery in a mans leg, the patient thrashing in the grip of his fellow soldiers, screaming incoherently in pain despite the morphine. Tyrax cocked his head, observing as the surgeon cursed and shoved his fist deeper into the mans thigh wound. The Guard screeched and then passed out, smacking his head off the blunt edge of the metal table. Tyrax leant over the shoulder of the surgeon, taking in all of the fighting that went into saving the mans life. It was all so visceral, so desperate, nothing like the administration of medicine within the Astartes ranks. Tyrax focused more intently upon the struggle, using his Lymans ear to filter out all sound until he could distinguish the faint thud of the mans heart. It took barely a moment, one blink of the eye and he was gone.


"He is dead."


His voice boomed into the tent and the surgeon yelped in surprise, ripping his hand from inside the mans body. He turned and backed up against the table, almost climbing onto it with the corpse.


"E-e-emperor preserve me!"


Tyrax nodded at the medics shock and spoke again.


"I am sure he will, Medicae. I come to ask one question, how long will a man survive a krak grenade detonating between his shoulder blades?"


The surgeon stared in confusion at this giant before him, trying furiously to rub his blood stained hands off on the already bloody apron he wore.


"H-he won't."


Remus nodded and spun upon his heel, then he exited the tent without so much as another word. He kept the wide band vox channel open to hear the post-battle chatter between his subordinates but he sub-vocalised to Gerhet on a secure channel.


"Brother-Sergeant, what are our chances of getting the Perdition to return and extract Brother Merdoth?"


He waited, watching as Gerhet physically switched channels upon his gorget, unhooking an auspex from his belt. The Sergeant passed it back and forth, boosting his vox range. He nodded before turning to look in his Captains direction.


"Negative, Captain. The Perdition took a direct hit and is an engine down. They barely broke atmosphere to return to the Sentinel. No other flight will reach us before the enemy guns pick it from the sky. The Sentinel is now engaged in inter-ship manoeuvres and will be unavailable until further notice."


Tyrax had feared as much and released a sigh inside his helmet, terminating the communication. He bit the inside of his cheek to stop the spasm that afflicted the muscles there, closing his eyes to let the moment wash over him. He isolated Merdoths vital signs and projected them upon his tactical visor. With a nod to himself he resumed his vigil above both of the wounded Marines, handing his bolter out from his body, expecting one of his men to relieve him of the weapon. His gauntlet clad fingers came up, popping the seals upon his helmet and he removed it, the black stripe marking his command rank stark against the blood flecked yellow. He lowered the helmet to the floor, the ceramite clacking, then he knelt upon one knee. With a flourish he unsheathed his sword from its scabbard, the air sparked and hissed as the lethal energies within surged to life, bathing the steel blade in a sheet of white fire. He reversed his grip upon the hilt and slammed it, double handed, tip first into the stone beneath him. The rockcrete bubbled and blackened under the punishing power radiating from the sword and Tyrax basked in the heat shimmering from the blade. He stared at the white sheets of flame, coursing along the body of the weapon like liquid. He bared his teeth and began to the final words.


"A bitter day, a bitter night. Bitterness takes life and claims it, eternal."


Apothecary Iver understood and removed his own helmet, leaning forward to remove Merdoth's helm. The assembled Marines began to remove their own helmets and take up in chorus the words their Captain spoke. Their voices hard as hammers, their faces twisted into snarls of anger.


"Lamentation does not become us. Misery and Regret, unknown. One passes to the side of Him on Earth, so another may take his place."


Iver lifted his arm, bringing his narthecium to rest against Merdoths burnt skull, the carnifex powering into life, bringing the needle point piston to bear. Captain Tyrax then stood, turning his blade upright and holding it so close to his face, that his cheeks blistered. His voice rose, booming across the courtyard and silencing all but his brothers repeated chant.




Every assembled Marine Malevolent roared at the top of their super human lungs, the sound like a battalion of tanks firing in unison. Iver closed his eyes and willed his suit to activate the carnifex module, the shining pistol shot forward with the speed of a bullet and the force of a battering ram, the needle point crushing into the side of Merdoths skull, pulping the flesh and brain matter and ultimately severing the nervous system. With a body shuddering spasm, Merdoth died.


"It is done" the Apothecary solemnly intoned, "May Merdoth serve us forever more."


The whir of the chainblade attached the narthecium piercing the air and the screech of it attacking the armour was eerie. As Iver went about the business of extracting Merdoths progenoids, Tyrax sheathed his sword, powering it down. He lifted a finger to rub away a blister from his nose, the thing bursting down his armour. He turned to see the Guard all watching, to a man they had witnessed the death of a Space Marine. It was so ritualised, so unnatural to the passing of human life. It was entirely sacred and spoke of unimaginable loss compared to the constantly shifting scales of mortal existence. Tyrax picked out one uttered sentence from the lips of a man.


"They die like us...we're doomed"


Remus sneered in the direction of the assembled Guard. He spread his arms, as if daring them to approach, radiating hostility. His voice was like the snarl of a bear, almost a physical force as he bawled out the mortal men.

"Doomed? Nay, not doomed! RESOLUTE! We are resolute in our victory. It does not matter that you fall like wheat before a scythe, it does not matter that we fall like titans to crush the field beneath us. It only matters that we win, victory at all cost. You deign to serve the Emperor and you cower in the face of his foes? Find resolution in your hearts, men of Kazon, or I shall find it for you."


He spun away from them, the winged lightening bolt upon his pauldron flashing menacingly under the glow of the void shield high above them. He stalked back past his brothers, Gerhet falling into step beside him. Tyrax made his way towards one of the giant shell loading lifts that would bare his weight to the wall top.


"Intense, Captain, Merdoth shall be missed."


Tyrax turned about face upon the surface of the lift and slapped his hand at the activation rune, Gerhet stepped up beside him.


"Aye, Sergeant Gerhet, his hate will be missed. For now though, I go to prove the leaders of this-" he flicked his hand out, encompassing the throng of Guardsmen "- rabble...that they are wrong and we shall attain victory at any cost."


Gerhet chuckled, the sound low and dangerous.


"Any particular reason, Captain?"


Tyrax lifted his eyes from the pinprick dot that was his helmet, left by the corpse of Merdoth and fixed their cold gaze upon his Sergeants helm.


"I am now angry."

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...


Rigel Hauser stood in the entrance way to the triage tent, the sagging tarp that served as a door laying heavy on his shoulder. His finger nails dug into the wood of the support beam and a thin trickle of blood squirmed its way out of his thumb. His eyes were narrowed, bleary and bloodshot, his teeth clenched so firm his gums turned white. The Space Marine casually turned away from the grisly death of one of the Guard and sauntered his way towards Hauser. Rigel knew this was the man, no, not a man, the demi-god that had plucked him from the field of battle. The boy side stepped to avoid being crushed under foot, the giant armour plates of the Astartes whirring and clacking. As the behemoth ducked under the frame of the entrance, the power plant upon his back gusted out a searing plume of heated gas which set the nearest men to coughing. Then the hulk was gone. Hauser released his fingers from their wooden prison and moved into the stinking dimness of the medicae facility, his nostrils crinkling at the powerful stench of dying men. He came upon the closest surgery bench and the limp corpse upon it, blood pooling at the edges of the plastic wrapping he had been laid upon. The Medicae officer was pale faced, weary and stripping elbow length gloves from his hands, the soldiery that had held their comrade down were in various stages of grief. One weeped, two stared on with grim, tight lipped faces while the fourth spat in rage. 


"Kaiser verdammten Bastarde..."


Hauser flicked his gaze around to this trooper, a weasel faced scraper. The young officer stalked about the table and came to stand before the vocal Guardsman. 


"Gothic or nothing, Guardsman-" his eyes flickered down to the mans stained jacket "..Hect." 


"Warum verdammt noc-" his words were cut off by the harsh sound of flesh on flesh that rang out amongst the forlorn faces inhabiting the triage centre. Hausers slap snapped Hects head to the side and the officer had drawn his las-pistol before Hect could react. 


"Gothic or nothing, Hect, because we are citizens of the Imperium fighting the Imperiums immortal foes. We are not gunning down the knuckle dragging barbarians of the Kerig Range, we are killing men who we once served alongside. They do not deserve to be spoken of in Kolstratish." 


Hect flickered his eyes down to the pistol and back up to the boys face, judging on what he would do next. His tongue flickered against his bottom lip before he settled for rubbing his jaw and kicking the surgery table. 


"I wasn't talking about the turn coats, I was talking about that bastard Space Marine." 


Hauser cocked his head, his eyes spinning from face to face that presented themselves to him, men crowding in to hear the exchange. The Lieutenant lowered his pistol but kept it in his hand. 


"Explain yourself, Guardsman Hect!" 


The boys voice did waver and he was on the cusp of it breaking into the dull tones of manhood, but none of the soldiers laughed. They had learned very quickly in the barracks that despite Hauser's youth, he was a task master. 


"We've been holding off for six months, six blood-pissing months. Killing our best friends, our family. Seeing thousands of men cut down like animals! Then the Fabricator-General seeks aid from them..."


Hects face contorted in rage and he all but spasmed. 


"They swoop down, as if we need saving, as if we can't fight! We are the Fighting Fifth, Emperor damn it! Then that bastard swaggers in here and all but snorts at our dead, men who've braved the terror outside for half a year! They lose one Space Marine to our countless dead and he sneers at our men and calls them cowards as though we owe them? No...they aren't the Angels of my Emperor." 


The bitterness was infectious and it rallied the beaten and battered soldiers in the tent, growls of support rang around the plasteel beams of the tents roof. Hauser knew he should chew this soldier out and put paid to any further insubordination but in his heart, he felt the icy shard of resentment for their supposed saviours. He turned his eyes to look from Hects face, so full of hate and anger, to the pallid, stained flesh of the dead man on the table. He turned from Hect and leant forward, to better see what the man clutched in his death grip. Upon inspection, it was his Guardsman's primer and it caused a sharp twitch within Hausers chest. With a grimace, he reached out and snatched the dead mans ident tags from around his neck and without another word he spun on his heels and marched from the triage station, pistol still in his hand. 




Remus Tyrax stepped from the ordnance lift as it ground into it's housing upon the battlement, his prestigious bulk clearing a path through the clustering Guardsmen that had assembled, eager to see if they were being relieved. They recoiled from the two Astartes that prowled forward, revulsion, curiosity and intimidation thundering inside their minds. Captain Tyrax picked out his target within seconds and altered his course along the Hive's curtain wall, Gerhet slipping like a shark in his wake. The Fabricator-General turned towards the giant parting the soldiers before him like the ice breakers in the far north and with a undetectable burst of binary relayed orders to his Skirtarii. The gene-bulked enforcers stomped forward and formed a rank before the Fabricator-General's entourage, shouldering their powerful weapons but keeping them primed. The Space Marine stopped, his armoured form stationary several paces from his body guards guns, but the mans cold grey eyes fixed his bionic ones with a stern glare. 


"I welcome thee, O' protector of Mankind, to humble Kolstrom Quintus, may the Omnissiah grant you-"


The Space Marine cut his hand forward in the air, cutting off the flow of clipped High Gothic.


"Do not speak the words of Terra if you are only going to butcher them." 


The second Marine came to stand beside his Captain and although the rending claws upon the giant weapon he carried were still sheathed, the Fabricator-General noted the influx of energy that suggested the weapon was still activated. This situation would need to be handled carefully. 


"...I apologise my lord, I merely sought to offer thanks for your timely response to our struggle. "


Remus let the words shatter on his armour, he cast his gaze around the assembled members of Kazon Hive's esteemed upper echelon. He noted the fluted mitre of a priest and couldn't help the grunt that escaped his lips. His eyes settled upon the Skitarii blocking his path and he sized them up, he knew Gerhet was spoiling for a fight behind him. They wouldn't be able to take these Mechanicum super soldiers in a stand up fight on their own so Tyrax dismissed that idea. 


"Spare your apologies. Your men are weak, their courage is lacking and you must reinstall their fighting spirit or you will all die." 


Silence met the Space Marines words. Not one man on the wall top that heard could comprehend what had been said. These were supposed to the be the Holy Angels of the Emperor, the sacred protectors of mankind. There were stories told of these angelic warriors descending on flames to banish the darkness and its minions and raise up the children of the Imperium in songs of praise and love, they were legends come to life. 


"I see it is not just the Soldiery that is ill prepared." 


That seemed the spark some life upon the wall top and the Ministorum priest bustled his way forward through the assembled men but made sure to stand behind the armoured wall of the Skitarii bodyguard.


"O' Guardian of Man, speak not these unkind words! You were made with His love, with His will, it is your duty to give that unto us, the mortal children of Him on Holy Terra! I speak the words of Sebastian Thor-"


A cough of impatience cut caused the Priest to stutter. Tyrax raised a pointed brow at the man, his patrician features tilting slightly, his chin bared to the priest. 


"Save it, Priest. I care not for the scribbles of mad men. I care only for the ability of these men to fight." 


Tyrax cast his eyes out of the wall with a quick turn of his cheek. He nodded, almost imperceptibly to himself and sub-vocalised the Gerhet, his voice barely even a whisper.


"Pass orders to Claudius and Saul, man the walls and prepare to repel invaders." 


He heard Gerhet salute, his fist crashing into his plastron before turning to descend the wall.


The Fabricator-General made to speak once more but Tyrax raised a hand.


"I am here to see that the Emperor's investment in this planet and it's resources are well founded and not in vain. It is up to you, the men of this world, to secure that opinion for me. For now, prepare to receive the next assault."


He turned his back on the Skitarii, he knew it was a gamble but part of him just didn't care. He had more pressing concerns, like the rumbling tanks that ground over the battleground towards the walls, the hulks in red plasteel stalking behind them. 


Then he was faced with a something entirely unexpected. A youth, barely the height of his utility belt stood side on, a pistol pointed at his unarmoured head. Remus noted the officers stripes and the commendation medal upon his breast and his mind flickered through its memory banks to recall the faceless officer he'd plucked from the sucking mud of the war zone. Tyrax furrowed his brow in what passed for an annoyed expression on his stretched, in human features. 




The response seemed to set the Lieutenant on the back foot for a moment and it was all the Malevolent Captain needed. His armoured glove darted forward, fingers encircling the boys wrist in a vice tight grip and wrenching the pistol aside. The beam that discharged from the gun seared a line of bubbling flesh from the side of Remus' scalp. 


"Explain to me why I should not pull your arm from your shoulder and bludgeon you to death with it, lick." 


The Guard officer struggled, he fought, scratching and punching at the fist that held him fast. Remus positioned his other hand, extending his fingers so if he needed to, one simple jab to the boys exposed sternum would pulp his internal organs. Through tear stained eyes that fixed the Marines face with a sneer, the officer spoke. 


"I demand you fight." 


It was Remus' turn to display a fraction of shock, his brow uncrossed and he loosened his grip upon the boys wrist. 




The officer tore his hand free and clutched it with the other, the bitterness in his voice like a hard slap to the Space Marines cheek.


"We have fought and died for every inch of our home that has been taken from us. We have paid the Emperors tithe ten fold in the last six months than ever before in our history. We, the men of Kolstrom have killed our brothers, sons and fathers. Our friends and comrades. We, the men of Kolstrom, though we have found fear in our hearts, have killed Space Marines." 


Tyrax straightened his back and fixed his killing gaze upon the boys face, his cheek twitching. He let the officer continue. 


"We have fought and died with the Emperors name upon our lips all this time...all I have seen you...Angels of Death do is....run away." 


Tyrax bared his teeth, a guttural snarl escaping his lips that caused the men around to flinch. He curled his armoured fingers into fists and it took all his resolve to swallow down the venom that filled his hearts. Instead he allowed his iron will to reinsert itself as the dominant factor of his mind and levelled his eyes upon the officer. 


"Tactical retreat, Lieutenant. Now prepare your men to repel invaders. Never point a gun at me again." 


Remus marched past the Guardsman, casually brushing him aside with his armoured knuckles and stepping onto the loading lift. He fixed his eyes upon the small yellow dot that was his helm, far below between the rumbling Lance of Perdition. He allowed a small smile to crest upon his lips, lips that hadn't formed such a gesture in no less than fifteen years. 


It seemed that not all of the men of Kolstrom were cowards. 

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  • 6 months later...
Shards of rockcrete peppered the venerable battle plate of the Space Marines, flaying lines in the heraldic paint work. The mortal soldiers of the Emperor were laced with deep cuts as the explosions that rocked the parapet of the curtain wall sent the same shards into their ranks. Demolisher cannons roared, their mechanical thumping split the air repeatedly, their shells detonating huge craters into the pitted face of the wall, the crack and snap of las weapons pierced through the cacophony of heavy ordnance, leaving a bitter taste on the air. Melta beams seared deep black lines into the looming adamantium gates, the tooled bronze effigies of the Emperor running as molten slag. The renewed assault by the traitor forces wasn't an uncoordinated rush as before, no, this time it was full of stratagem. Marines of the third crusade fired volleys of bolter rounds down into the approaching horde, exploding renegade Guardsmen. The heavy weapons of Saul and Claudius struck out, sending rippling bolts of super-heated plasma into the mass of the foe. Men melted, screaming as they were incinerated by the fluid like flames of the plasma rifles or flung in a wide arc as the heavier cannon discharged. Even the foreboding figures of the World Eaters were not spared the barrage of incandescent death. The men of the Fighting Fifth accompanied the bolter volleys with massed las gun fire, the stark needles of hard light streaking down the puncture armour and flesh alike. Grenade launchers coughed their payloads in high arcs, auto-cannon chattered as they sent explosive shells in wide arcs, heavy bolters barking as their mass reactive shells blew smoking craters into the enemy formations. The heavier turrets built directly into the wall face reached out with vengeance. Punisher pattern Gatling cannon threw unending streams of fire into the approaching ranks, men coming apart like wet paper. The wall mounted battlecannon roared as they rocked their gun mounts, macro-cannon shells screamed through the air to detonate against battle tanks or among the enemy. For all the devastating firepower the Imperial defenders brought upon the invading enemy, it seemed not to deter them from their advance as the initial strike from the Astartes had done. The reason for this was evident in the hulking red brutes that marched within the ranks of Guard, their own weapons flinging back just as much as the wall guns released. Vicious dark light beams strafed the defenders, shearing heads from shoulders and cutting deep into the plasteel weapon housings. Sergeant Claudius disengaged the link between his battle plate and his bolter, deciding he could kill more unaided. His bolter sent round after round into the foe, each shell activating its thruster system to send death hurtling forth. Brother Gaelen crouched beside him, his massive battle raiment humming and throbbing with barely controlled power, a powerful green glow suffused the massive cannon clutched between his power armoured hands.


++ Not much left in the machine, one or two shots at most before it becomes too unstable. ++


Claudius grunted his response, sighting and squeezing the trigger on his bolter. A hulking red brute recoiled backwards into the crowd, blood spraying from his shattered helm.


++ Fire until you are no longer able. ++


Gaelen acknowledged and jabbed the firing stud on the side of the weapon grip once more, gritting his teeth as the heat levels in his suit rose several degrees past tolerable, the ancient spirit within the weapon was barely holding on, it's control unraveling as the plasma containment systems over loaded. The weapon ready diagram pinged and Brother Gaelen thrust himself up, stamping a foot onto the lip of the parapet. He sighted in on a mob of World Eater marines thrusting their way forward in an effort to bring their heavy caliber guns to bear. With a snarl he fired the cannon, skidding with the eruption of blinding flare that shot from his barrel. The rippling ball of energy lost its stability just as it was about to finish its arc trajectory and instead of detonating among the Marines it covered them in a spread of green flame that sent them flailing in all directions, the armour running slick. Gaelens suit suddenly lit up with warning icons, his weapon was venting gas in savage bursts, one of them seared a bubbling stretch across his shoulder pouldron. Three words flashed across his visor with finality containment breach imminent. With a grim set to his sweating features he knew there was only one course of action left to him, he jumped out from the wall top. The Marine soared out through the air, bolts popping from his weapon mount, the klaxon blaring in his ear distorted by his rapid descent. With a grinning snarl the ground rushed up to meet him, as did the faces of the enemy.


Claudius visor darkened several shades as Gaelen's power pack detonated, sending a rippling ball of green flame out in every direction. The massive cloud of emerald death seared men and Marine into nothing but blackened mess. Claudius pursed his lips and ordered another Marine to take the fallen's place. Brother Eren slammed his shoulder into the wall top, lining his melta weapon against the scorched wall top and unleashing a beam of shimmering heat down into the enemy. Claudius leaned back from the wall long enough to drop the spent magazine from his weapon and pull a fresh one from his belt.


++ Focus your fire upon the World Eaters, thin their ranks before they reach the wall. Let the 5th battle the mortals. ++


He received squawks of acknowledgement from along the line. The intensity of fire from the Marines Malevolent doubled, heavy weapons punching down into the Traitor Marines, blowing them apart.


Warmonger Tho'kar fired indiscriminately with his bolter, snapping rounds off at any figure on the stretch of wall in-front of him. Kazon Hive was proving to be a tougher nut to crack open than the rest of it's sister Hives. Good, he thought. One of the Marines under his command went down, his chest a smoking crater from a hard light weapon. Tho'kar kicked the corpse from his way, his squad striding forwards. His Iron pattern armour was glowing white hot in places where hard light beams fizzled out on it's surface. A bolt round had shorn layers from his shoulder plate. He inhaled a heavy breath of the stink around him and snarled out his commands, his voice like that of a wolf on the moor.


++ Tho'kar demands that fire be concentrated upon his visual co-ordinates, support weapons maintain fire until Tho'kar can reach the base of the wall!++


The red and bronze behemoths around him roared their approval as the rate of fire intensified. Heavy bolter fire and Reaper cannon stitched across the wall, detonating puffs of razor shards from the parapet. The black and purple beams of the las-cannon lanced out, punching a Loyalist Marine from the wall and into the courtyard beyond. Tho'kar picked up his pace, the mortals could clog up the Imperials targeting arrays. His foot falls came heavy, his bolter swaying in his arms as he ran, his power blade clanging from his armoured thigh. The warriors of his warband clustered in around him, firing up at the wall top as they went. Vithak of the Blade had been too impatient, he'd sent his berzerkers forward without consulting the wisdom of Lord Skagroth the Undying, more importantly, Vithak had sent his men in without the support of the heavy guns. Tho'kar felt each shiver that crept up his body when the Demolisher guns fired, their deafening roar pounding the wall back bit by bit. Tho'kar would take the wall top. His warriors would all crest the wall at once. Grenades, bolter volley, then they would draw swords. They'd trained for this, they'd wished for this. The itch of the butchers nails in the back of his head began to spread, flooding his body with battle reactive chemicals. His adrenaline levels soared, his suits flickering visor unable to keep track of his bodily functions, the limiter simply not able to comprehend the levels of testosterone within him. A guttural cry of rage errupted from his lips as he went from a lopping jog into a full on sprint for the base of the wall, crushing mortals beneath his feet, killing them as he smashed them aside. His men responded and the race for the wall had begun.


Tho'kar would take the wall.


Centurion Tyrax strafed his bolter back and forth, dropping targets here and there. The venerable Mantle of Hate swung it's massive bulk about beside him, the gigantic melta cannon fixed to the side of the Dreadnought reaping a terrifying tally on the horde below. The gate was his to hold. The wave of enemy Marines and Guard was almost endless. These ones were mildly disciplined in the art of war. It would make holding the gate a challenge. Good, he thought, picking off another enemy Marine, blowing open its chest plate. Behind the gate, waiting for its eventual and inevitable fall was the Lance of Perdition and an Armoured Regiment of Kazon Russ. The rumbling roar of engines was deafened by the cannon shots being traded between the wall and the invading horde. The Lance consisted of two Predator battle tanks and one Vindicator siege tank. It's powerful cannon trained directly upon the archway, ready to fire when the gates fell. Arrayed on either side of the lance was twenty Leman Russ Battle Tanks, a mixture of Vanquisher and Exterminator patterns respectively. The push for the fallen gate would be the bloodiest fighting the Hive would have seen since the siege had begun and it was down to the armoured might of the Imperium defenders to hold it for as long as possible. They were simply arrayed to buy the defending forces enough time to retreat from the curtain wall and push through the habitation blocks and industrial sectors of Manufactorum Tertius. Once the defenders had set up their firing lines upon the second set of defensive walls, the armoured column would withdraw and bolster the second line of rumbling battle tanks a mile behind them. Remus grit his teeth as a bolt round detonated inches from his face, his head rocked sideways, his visor array fuzzing with static. He'd make the price of these walls high, the loss of his Marines in the continuation of the Long War would not be cheap.

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