Valdane's Chronicles

Falling Skies - Part 5

Avalos Spaceport and The Blind Saint.

With the relay secured and operational, vox traffic starts flooding in from all over Lordsholm.

First, Kill-Team Fury broadcasts their Deathwatch cyphers on all channels, hoping to notify Imperial forces in nearby systems of Cel’s predicament and of the approaching Tyranid fleet.

Then, they start to compile tactical information relevant to their mission.

Most importantly, Cel’s only spaceport, Avalos, is under siege. Although any current attempt to leave Cel would result in death at the hands of the Kraken ships, a gateway off world will eventually be needed. Should it be lost, full-scale landings of reinforcements would be rendered incredibly difficult.

Secondly, the Kill-Team receives a panicked short-range vox transmission from a nearby PDF force. A platoon-sized element is trapped inside a tavern deep in the Calistria District – The Blind Saint – and is currently being besieged by numerous rebels in superior positions.

As the tavern was a regular watering hole for the PDF, a large group of much-needed officers has been trapped there since the first night of the uprising. Although they have managed to draw in a few nearby friendly units when hostilities started, they now lack the strength to attempt any kind of breakout.

With this newly acquired information, Kill-Team Fury forms a plan. First, they will liberate Avalos spaceport and – should it have survived the fighting – they will requisition the Inquisitorial acolytes’ Cutter. Then, using the vessel, they will insert deep into Calistria and secure The Blind Saint. Once they’ve freed the PDF reinforcements and officers, they’ll attack the Rag Markets from the rear and allow the main force of the PDF to fully break through the rebels’ front lines and into the very heart of the uprising.

Skold voxes any and all surviving PDF forces to put the plan into motion.

After a short journey, the small Imperial relief force finds the spaceport. Much of Avalos is in ruins, but among the rubble, a few scattered PDF platoons hold out against a much larger enemy force. Additionally, by the smashed landing pads and damaged storage sheds, the battle brothers also spot the slightly-damaged Cutter, defended by a squad of PDF and a few non-uniformed personnel.

Furthermore, thankfully, the Kill-Team has once again advanced on the disorganized enemy lines from behind.

The brothers use another devastating grenade barrage to rip apart the rebel lines and throw them into disarray. Then, Skold, Tyr, and Dariel hammer the enemy with accurate bolter fire.

Gerhardt and Junon take to the skies, landing deep among the rebel troops. With savage precision, they begin dismantling their lines.

Meanwhile, Kor silently strides forward and unleashes gouts of burning promethium from his flamer, catching swathes of enemy troops in holy cleansing fire. Their forms twist and turn in agony as the rain sizzles upon their flaming husks.

Needless to say, the rebel lines immediately break.

The Astartes gun down the remaining survivors as they turn to flee.

Soon, soot-stained faces pop up over the Imperial lines, attempting to spot tjeir saviours. The PDF’s weary expressions turn to awe as they see the legendary Astartes approach.

Skold makes contact with the Avalos PDF leadership – a few officers and staff sergeants as well as Corvath, the Inquisitorial pilot of the surviving Cutter. The other PDF survivors head out to gather ammunition and weapons from the dead rebels.

Skold briefs the small gathering on the Kill-Team’s mission and then orders the PDF to send a few of their men back to reinforce the relay.

While the battle brothers and PDF prepare for their next offensives, Corvath and Kor depart to inspect the Cutter. Kor inspects the craft for structural damage while Corvath runs his pre-flight checklists. Satisfied of the vessels condition, Fury mounts up.

The flight over the ruined city is brief, but provides a good glimpse of the destruction and strife below. Massive fires still rage throughout Lordsholm unchecked, lighting gargantuan plumes of smoke rising up into the night sky. The brothers’ augmented vision pierces the heavy rain and smoke, allowing them to see the scores of tracer fire throughout Calistria and rest of the capital.

Corvath pulls the Cutter down low to get a better look at the situation on the ground. While he skillfully dodges ground fire, the Astartes spot their target – The Blind Saint. Skold orders Corvath to land.

Finding a suitable drop zone roughly a kilometer from the Saint, Corvath hovers the Cutter low over a canal embankment. The battle brothers leap the dozen or so feet to the ground before Corvath slams the afterburners to full and quickly departs.

Surprisingly, this area is without much visible fighting – the PDF having likely been routed here in the early days of the conflict.

Reaching the square surrounding The Blind Saint, the Kill-Team sees the defaced statues on the roof that have given the old, stone tavern its name. Here, they see how the rebels have occupied each of the four buildings surrounding the Saint, covering the tavern from every angle with heavy weapons and small arms fire.

Utilizing a standard Codex Astartes Tactical Advance, Fury rapidly approaches from the north and moves into a position adjacent of the first two rebel-held buildings. The battle brothers then spit up, dividing their skills between the targets.

Skold, Dariel, and Tyr hammer the two buildings’ windows with bolter fire while the others make their advance. The small assault teams toss grenades through the windows and charge inside to finish off the surprise-stricken garrisons.

The Kill-Team demonstrates a rapid, ruthlessly efficient brutality – operating with a level cohesion, brotherhood, and trust not often seen among Kill-Teams of such varied Astartes chapters.

Having cleared the first two buildings, Kor moves up to the higher floors and secures one of the rebel heavy stubber emplacements. From here, he provides suppressing fire as the others advance to the tavern.

The brother make the short run across the torn up and crater-marked square. As the Astartes approach the Saint, the PDF opens their barricaded doors, allowing them a straight path inside.

The inside of the tavern is a mess, with wounded soldiers and empty charge packs littering the floor. Tables and chairs have been pushed against the doors and windows, providing only the smallest amount of concealment and protection. Atop the tavern’s stoves and heaters, the troopers attempt to regain any sort of charge for their weapons.

The ranking PDF officer, Captain Gremarch, greats the Astartes, but the gathering is short-lived. Immediately, Kill-Team Fury plans their next steps.

Skold orders an advance to the roof-top. From there, they will launch their two-pronged assault on the remaining two buildings. Kor will suppress the target building to the east, while Junon will attempt to plant a demolitions charge in the lower levels. The rest of the Kill-Team will focus on the western building, hopefully overwhelming the rebels within.

Boosting each other up to the roof in turn, the battle brothers make for the cover of the tavern’s crumbling statues. Immediately, enemy fire rains down upon them. A few of the Astartes are struck as the rebels attempt to keep them from gaining a foothold.

Kor adjusts his aim and starts hammering the eastern building. The torrent of rounds strikes a few of the rebels through the windows, while the others dive for cover.

Seeing his opening, Junon burns maximal and quickly crosses the square. He kills his thrust a few metres from the building’s main door, and glides down into a run. Without breaking stride, he smashes through the entrance and slides into position. The rebels iinside are awestruck – immediately unloading dozens of rounds point-blank into the Storm Warden. Although being wounded, Junon ignores his foes, pulling the demolition charge from his webbing and putting it to place.

Meanwhile, from the Kill-Team’s roof-top position, Skold uses accurate fire to pick off rebels inside the western building. Time after time, he blows apart anyone straying from cover.

Tyr joins his heavy bolter to the Space Wolf’s cacophony of death. His hungry weapon devours foot after foot of its ammunition belt, swallowing the linked bolts before propelling them with righteous fury. The massive rounds blast apart the western structure, shredding dozens of targets contained within.

Dariel too fires at the rebels, utilizing the bolter lent to him by Kor by way of Junon.

Additionally, Gerhardt leaps forward on gouts of flame, plunging into the heart of the western enemy building and tearing apart their forces.

Together, the combined assault is overwhelming – absolutely shattering the rebels’ morale. Tyr, Dariel, and Skold continue to gun them down as they flee like insects from a burning hive.

Having now placed and set the charge, Junon leans back and burns his jump pack again, propelling himself out of the building and into the night sky.

Behind him, a bright white blast ripples out from the building’s ground floor.

Instants later, subsequent secondary explosions mark the death of the structure.

A sizable shockwave shakes the district as the large tenement begins collapsing in upon itself. Atop the rubble, sparks from torn electrical cables glimmer like lightning.

Rockcrete dust clouds billow out into the dark, pouring rain as a stark silence settles over the square.

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