Valdane's Chronicles

Unrelenting Fury - Part 4
The synapse chambers discovered. An escape.

The Astartes of Kill-Team Fury ready their weapons one final time.

Skold orders Captain Grayson and his men back to their boarding vessels. Hopefully the exhausted, unaugmented humans will make it back in time to escape. Skold thanks the storm troopers and the survivors recovered from the Saint of Juno for their service, providing them with a guttural, Fenrisian farewell.

Uzas and Gerhardt flare their jump packs and burst upwards into the shafts towering above. Leaping from fleshy ledge to fleshy ledge, they dodge the bright electrical impulses sparking down the length of the chimneys.

Below them, Tyr, Skold, Dariel, and Kor begin their own, slower journey up to the hypothesized synapse chambers above.

Half way up, Uzas and Gerhardt smash into the Gargoyle organisms. Pushing off the sides of the chimney spires, they dive back and forth, shredding the foul xenos. With a flash of blades and the roar of chainswords, they dispatch the pitiful creatures. The Gargoyles’ wretched alien bodies slowly tumble back down through the low gravity.

Skold and ther others move up to join their Brothers. After a short climb, they all reach their objective – a massive domed cavern of grey and purple flesh dripping with a thick dark mucus. Five great pillars of flesh cords dominate the centre of the room, throbbing with electrical pulses and sparks, giving the chamber a terrible flickering light.

The presence of the hive mind is brutally strong here and the Astartes feel it pressing in on each of their consciousnesses. A few of them thank the Emperor that they were not gifted with a psyker’s mind.

Dariel inspects the flesh pillars, attempting to discern their use. Studying the room at length, he surmises that the cords are powerful neural networks – in essence the controlling force for the hive fleet. Valdane’s experts and the tactician Hadros have done well.

Should these links be severed, perhaps Fleet Captain Cobb and his battlegroup will gain the precious advantage they need in the ensuing void combat.

Gerhardt and Uzas immediately set out to destroy the pillars and fulfill their objective. Dariel stops their haste, pointing out that many Tyranid warrior constructs lay dormant along the walls.

Instead, Kor and Skold ready their remaining explosives and demolition charges. All of Kill-Team Fury quickly goes to work setting them about the room. Once the charges are set, the Battle Brothers proceed back down the chimneys, leaving Uzas behind with the detonator.

The Black Shield double checks the connections and ensures that he has a strong signal. With a silent prayer, he blast his jump pack – accelerating down the shaft while depressing the detonator.

A monumental explosion rips apart the synapse chamber behind him. The wave of righteous fire chases him down the tunnel, singeing his already black armour.

Uzas slams into the ground below the chimney’s exit point, rolling out of the way of the thunderous inferno following him. His Battle Brothers pull him from the destruction and down a side corridor. Already the war party is at a run, making for an escape from the doomed hive ship.

The vessel convulses, as if every muscle, chamber, and passageway attempts to act out on its own. Then, the motion becomes even more violent, throwing the Astartes off their feet. The hive ship thrashes like a wounded beast.

Now, with the hive mind’s link silent, the Battle Brothers hear their vox networks crackle to life.

Celebratory cheers are heard from among the bridge crews of various vessels – the Tyranids have temporarily stopped firing. Instead, the hive vessel and surrounding organisms are tearing themselves apart and attacking their own bio-ships.

Fleet Captain Cobb echoes through the Astartes’ helm, barely audible over the shaking and wailing of the Tyranid vessel’s walls. Cobb informs them they they must extract immediately, as the Navy has already started their attack run.

Through the violent shaking and convulsions, Skold manages to bring up a crudely calculated map from his helm’s sensorium suite. Although he already assumed their location, the point is now clear – their vessels are simply too far away.

Without saying a word, the Brothers all understand.

Quickly, Dariel locates one of the vessel’s outer passageways.

Tyr readies an armour piercing Krak rocket. Firing into the fleshy walls, the missile plunges deep before detonating a microsecond later. A metre-wide hole in the alien meat begins gushing blood.

Before the smoke can even settle, the Battle Brothers set to work, digging their own tunnel through charred flesh and chitinous bone. Dariel, Gerhardt, and Uzas slam their chainswords deep. Kor tears with his powerful servo arm. Skold and Tyr rip apart what they can with their power-armoured gauntlets.

Then, they feel it. The first tear.

Rapidly, the chamber depressurizes, blasting the Astartes out into the chill of the void.

Around them, the lights and explosions of the Imperial fleet’s lance fire and ordnance batteries rend apart space. Pieces of shattered vessels and living weapons tumble past. The full-scale fleet engagement is well underway.

As Kill-Team Fury drifts further out into the emptiness of the void, Dariel inspects the vial of genetic material recovered from the hatcheries. Although lined with newly-forming frost. It is intact.

Now free from hive ship’s living nightmare realm, the Brothers feel a collective sense of relief. Somehow, someway, they have managed to fulfill their duty – overcoming great odds and – Emperor willing – vanquishing a completely alien and unassailable foe.

They wait silently in the vacuum, knowing that salvation is not guaranteed.

Still, they hope that the knowledge of the Inquisition and the might of the Imperial Navy will triumph this day.

Here, over the darkened skies of Cel, the fate of all of Askellon shall be decided.

+ FURTHER RECORDS OF KILL-TEAM FURY EXPUNGED +

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Unrelenting Fury - Part 3
The void. The hatchery. The Saint of Juno.

With ordered fire, Captain Grayson’s Storm Troopers and Kill-Team Fury exterminate the incoming Gaunts – choking the murky tunnel with bodies.

The Astartes attempt to push through the corpses, but find their only means through blocked. Instead, Dariel seizes his bulkhead shears and begins tunneling directly through the vessel’s living walls. After a few minutes of drenching himself in gore and viscera, he punches back through to the chamber hosting the spore chimneys.

As visibility is still greatly diminished by the thick spore clouds, it takes the Imperials a few moments to locate a suitable exit. Guided once again by Tyr’s fleeting connection to the Hive Mind, they press on.

After more twisting and turning corridors, they find themselves surprisingly close to the hull again – walking through a vast transparent blister looking out into the void. From this vantage point, the carnage of the space battle raging outside is clear. The blackness of space is torn apart again and again by slashes of lance fire and exploding ordinance.

Suddenly the floor below the boarding party shudders violently and their attention is drawn to another blister nearby, from which protrudes a massive living cannon hurling deadly bio-plasma into the void. With no clear way to attack it from within the ship, the Astartes decide to venture to the outside of the vessel.

Grayson orders his men back to a safe distance down a few of the hallways – hoping to avoid the ensuing decompression.

With Tyr and his missile launcher close behind, Gerhardt cleaves through the translucent barrier separating the Kill-Team from the void. The barrier rips and tears, shuddering while trying to seal itself closed again. Much of the self-contained atmosphere rushes past, blowing out into the vacuum of space and leaving a fine layer of frost across the Astartes’ black armour.

Gerhardt braces himself against the opening, allowing Tyr to fire a deadly krak rocket at the xenos weapon blister. The missile plunges deep, detonating with a brilliant pale blue flash of the rocket’s explosive warhead and Tyranid bio-plasma. The shattered gun-blister decompresses, scattering its contained fluids out into the void.

Sensing part of their vessel under attack, a small group of Genestealers emerges from along the outside of the hull. Quickly pulling themselves along the vessel’s surface with their four arms, they close the distance with deadly speed.

Skold and Tyr fire at the approaching creatures, shattering a few of them with bolter and missile fire. However, the creatures soon reach the opening and launch themselves forward to begin their assault.

Seeing one of the leaping beasts, Tyr fires another missile – almost point blank. The missile strikes the beast in its silently snarling face. What’s left of its body drifts away lifelessly through the void.

Unfortunately, the other Genestealers manage to make it to Gerhardt, assailing him with their razor-sharp rending claws. He successfully parries their blows before dispatching them with ease. Then, only one Genestealer remains. Lagging behind its kin, it still drags itself along the outer hull.

With furious laughter, Dariel decides to remove the lone creature from its worthless existence. Pushing his Brothers aside, he leaps into the blackness of space. Crossing a half-dozen metres through the void, he slams his chainaxe deep into the xenos’ exoskeleton. The creature slashes back – exchanging a blazing flurry of blows. Somehow, Dariel is unscathed, repeatedly plunging his chain weapons deep and spraying a mist of purple-grey globules of the beast’s blood out into the surrounding vacuum.

Allowing the torn blister to slowly heal itself closed, Kill-Team Fury continues their journey towards the vessel’s Synapse Nodes.

Now, finally through the bio-ship’s outer layers, they arrive in the core of the ship, where inner arteries ferry vital fluids and bio-matter between the vessel’s major organs. Once again, shapes move about in the shadows and the tunnels’ fleshy mounds are still easily mistaken for enemies.

Rejoined by Captain Grayson and his men, the group treads quietly, as if stepping along the gullet of a great slumbering beast.

After breaching through this inner area, Fury comes across one of these vessel’s vast hatcheries – a cavernous chamber filled with thousands of gestation pods and birthing sacs. As they step into the hatchery, half-formed creatures stir silently, unaware of their presence.

The Astartes decide that this is the mostly likely place to find the genus sample that Inquisitor Valdane requires. Slowly and carefully, Dariel uses his reductor to take a sample from one of the gestation sacs. His diagnosticator helm and narthecium are unable to determine much about the sample – except for the fact that it is pure genetic material. The Apothecary stores the sample inside one of his gauntlet’s armoured compartments and the Kill-Team presses on.

However, as they go to leave the chamber, they catch glimpse of a vast, slumbering form. Through the creature’s pod, they make out a beast similar in profile to a gargantuan Warrior – surely a deadly bio-organism.

Although a few of the Astartes seek the glory of killing such a creature, Skold reminds them of their primary mission objective. Although they argue silently over the vox, they realize that awakening the entire hatchery would not aid them in their goal.

Knowing that the Kill-Team will leave the creature dormant, the Storm Troopers look relieved.

Eventually, the Imperials pass through the hatcheries and near the vessel’s vital organs. Soon, the party finds themselves climbing up a steadily sloping tunnel, the floor slick with bile and other foul liquids. Suddenly, the tunnel emerges into a truly massive chamber, so large that the ceiling and the far side are scarcely visible – lost in a haze.

Strangely, the chamber appears to be some kind of gargantuan stomach or digestive tract. The air is thick with an acidic mist and the floor deep in bubbling fluids. What catches the Astartes’ attention, however, is not the vile fleshy cavern but rather its contents – a partially digested Imperial escort. The massive vessel rises up, half sunken into the bile, its hull covered in crawling horrors as it is slowly dismembered by millions of tiny Tyranid organisms. Slowly but surely, it descends little by little into the lake of potent acid.

From closer, Skold picks up a vox broadcast from a group of Imperial officers holding out in the escort’s state rooms against a dozen or so Genestealers. From the sounds of things, the survivors are high-ranking officers from a vessel named the Saint of Juno.

The Kill-Team decides to head inside and free the officers – hoping that should they be able to escape, they may be able to assist in the void battle to come. Skold orders for Grayson and his men to wait here.

The Astartes leap aboard the Saint of Juno’s outer hull, making haste up the vessel’s slanted spine up toward the bridge and upper decks.

Getting as far as possible, Dariel utilizes his bulkhead shears to create an opening for the Kill-Team. The Battle Brothers drop inside, silently making their way toward the beleaguered officers. Approaching silently, they eventually hear the commotion of the dozen or so Genestealers trying to burrow their way in through various bulkheads and blast doors.

Still unseen, the Astartes ready grenades. They hurl their explosive payloads down the choked corridor, landing the charges into a neat pile at the creatures’ clawed feet. Microseconds later, Tyr unleashes a frag missile, sending it screaming into the tightly packed Tyranids.

The resulting explosion is absolutely immense, blending the hallway’s alien occupants with successive devastating waves of pressure, shrapnel, and flame. The Kill-Team leaves only ash.

The Astartes rendezvous with the trapped officers, freeing them from behind a now heavily-damaged blast door. The escort’s Captain and his adjutants express their thanks, dropping to a knee and making the symbol of the Aquila.

Suddenly, a wave of foul smelling air hits the group and the vessel shifts suddenly. The digestive tract releases a torrent of bile that quickly begins bubbling up from below decks. The vessel begins to sink rapidly as the acidic liquid pours in.

The group makes a mad dash towards the nose of the ship, distancing themselves from the rising caustic bile.

Quickly, they cut their way out through the hull. The Astartes toss the officers the short distance to the acid-lake’s shoreline where Grayson’s men meet them. Leaping from the Saint of Juno, the Kill-Team manages to escape just before it dips below the surface.

Regrouping, the now even larger party of Imperials continues on.

Following the inner arteries again, they finally find the first real sign of their goal – the vital organs of the hive ship. This area is unlike any of the other regions passed through so far, and the sense of importance is immediate. The thick, damp air is charged with electricity and thrumming with alien thoughts. There is a stillness that pervades everything, as if the party has found themselves in hallowed ground or in the nave of a great cathedral of flesh and blood.

Ahead, towering chimneys of light and electrical impulses lead upwards.

Entering the base of one of these vertical structures, the Astartes see it vanish up into a haze high above, lit occasionally by huge flashes of pale blue electricity arcing up and down the shaft. Small ledges, like ribs in the side of the chimney, mark walls of the passageway. The gravity here seems to have also lessened significantly.

The party decides to send the Storm Troopers upwards to scout ahead. With grapnel and line they climb the few dozen feet to the opening of the chimney before pulling themselves inside. With great arcing leaps from side to side, the scouts slowly make their way up the low-gravity chutes.

Then, having lost focus, one of the troopers is caught by the electrical impulses. With a sparking, cracking snap!, he’s knocked unconscious. Drifting back down the chimney, his body slowly accelerates, pulled faster and faster by the growing gravity. He falls from the shaft, his body shattering as it hits the floor of the tall chamber. Grayson’s medics rush to the trooper’s side.

Up above, the remaining scouts spot hordes of Gargoyles flying up and down the shafts – clearing away debris and biological matter. They seem to have noticed the scouts’ presence, but go about their business cleaning the tunnel walls. They show little sign of being affected by the electrical pulses rolling upwards.

Skold orders the Storm Troopers back down – knowing full well that it’s the Kill-Team’s turn to proceed.

Somewhere high above, Tyr can feel their final objective pulling at his mind – the vessel’s connection to the Hive Mind.

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Unrelenting Fury - Part 2
Into the dark.

Having acquired sufficient gear for their deadly expedition, Kill-Team Fury heads for their boarding torpedoes.

As they make their way to the launch bays, Valdane meets up with the Astartes again, intercepting the war-party from a side corridor. He apologizes for the final interruption, stating the need for secrecy.

He explains that the Tyranid hive ship is not only a deadly threat unto itself, but is also a breeding ground for the entire hive fleet. Should the Astartes be able to find a pure sample of the hive fleet genus while on board, it would be of great value to the Inquisition’s continued efforts against the Tyranid menace.

After the Kill-Team accepts this new objective, Valdane wishes them luck and departs – making his own preparations for the coming engagement.

Fury finds their launch bay and embarks upon their small, cramped torpedo while dozens of nervous but determined Storm Troopers board their own crafts. Some have been tasked to breach alongside the Astartes group, while others will enter different parts of the hive ship – bettering the chance of locating the hypothesized synapse chambers as quickly as possible.

From the relative peace of their boarding torpedo, the Astartes perform their final oath takings and rites of battle. Soon however, vox chatter breaks the silence. The Imperial fleet’s vessels have begun closing with the swarm.

First, the Imperials employ long-range lance and battery fire, strangely not drawing the attention of their adversaries. Then, as the battlegroup gets closer, the Tyranids begin to stir, moving like a single giant beast. Their living vessels start to slide sluggishly towards the Imperials, hurling bio-matter and ordinance into the void.

Finally, like a storm crashing over the shore, Cobb’s fleet is rocked with the first impacts—even in their grav harnesses, the Battle Brothers can feel the ship’s armour taking a beating. At this moment, the deck master gives the boarding parties a five-minute warning. The torpedo engines begin to thrum.

The wait is long and drawn out, while a mix of panicked and orderly commands echo across the vox.

Then, with an immense force of acceleration, the boarding torpedoes scream down their launch tubes on crowns of fire – out into the empty vulnerability of the void. Little is visible in the shadowy interior of the torpedoes’ crew compartments – their cold steel walls and crash-couches lit only by feeble red combat lighting.

The Astartes’ only connection to the titanic space battle raging outside is the continued vox reports of the Imperial cruisers fully engaging the swarm. More relevantly, the Battle Brothers can hear the chatter between the Fury pilots as they engage in a rolling dogfight to keep Tyranid bio-ordinance away from the boarding party’s vulnerable transports.

As the outside void is torn apart by the exchanges of fire, Fury waits in the dark.

Then after what seems like an eternity, Fury’s torpedo shudders alarmingly and seems to slow as if passing into deep water. Its hull rings with the sounds of thousands of tiny impacts. Finally, a mighty collision throws the Astartes back into their harnesses before they’re swallowed by silence.

They have arrived.

Quickly disembarking, they find themselves in a stringy, bloody series of tunnels. Alarmingly, the walls contract and expand at random intervals, as long cords of sinew slacken and then snap tight to the walls and ceiling.

To further add the to the confusion, the overlapping, chitinous flesh of the walls and ceilings constantly betray the eyes, marking out faux silhouettes of Tyranid Warriors, Genestealers, and Gaunts.

Down the tunnel, another torpedo has arrived intact. Dazed Storm Troopers soon begin to stumble from their craft.

There are two constants within the hive ship – the heat and the dark. The air is thick, and the Astartes’ warplate is soon covered with condensation. The Storm Troopers are already sweating, and even the Battle Brothers can feel the heightened temperature through their armour.

Forward facing spotlights illuminate the area in front of the boarding torpedoes, but the majority of the Storm Troopers rely on weapon- or shoulder-mounted stablights.

The boarding party spreads out into the darkness. However, as one of the Storm Troopers ventures a little too close to the bloody walls, he’s caught in the stretching sinew. As the cords snap shut, his legs are torn from his body, sending him careening through the air. One of the medics races to his side.

The Astartes share uneasy glances – already the humans are taking casualties.

Dariel and Uzas move to saw through the sinew-strapped walls, hoping to prevent further incidents. Their chain weapons dig deep, making easy work of the giant tendons. Once weakened, the massive filaments snap, whirling off down into the darkness.

The walls shudder in response, rippling down the length of the massive living corridor. A groan echoes from deep within the vessel.

Dariel and Uzas move quietly down one end of the tunnel, while Tyr and the Storm Troopers watch the other – fearing some kind of response. The rest of the Astartes continue to remove gear from their torpedo.

Soon, chittering sounds in each direction. Out of the darkness, hordes of Gaunts pour into the tunnel.

Uzas envelops himself in the folds of the walls, letting the Gaunts get closer. Dariel stands his ground. As the ravenous beasts gallop near, Uzas emerges, bathing the group in a blanket of flaming prometheum. The Gaunts leap after the Black Shield, burying him with a storm of shrieking talons. He rockets up out of the melee while Dariel plunges in. With bursts of flame and ruthless strikes from Dariel’s hungry chainsword, the pair finishes off the first group of xenos.

Meanwhile, Tyr begins to fire at the other advancing horde. The Storm Troopers also lend their fire, downing scores of the creatures with concentrated fire. However, the Gaunts hit faster and harder than expected, leaping into the gathered group of Imperials. Tyr smashes his way into the melee, throwing the beasts left and right.

Uzas and Dariel come back to aid the main group. Together, their work is quick.

As Captain Grayson and his Storm Troopers tend to their wounded, the Astartes push on.

Uzas scouts far ahead down one of the tunnels – finding nothing. Having wasted enough time, he returns to the others. Dariel and Tyr posit that perhaps the best route is deeper into the ship – into the heart of the beast.

Again, Dariel and Uzas saw through the tendons and folds of flesh lining the inner tunnel wall. Once through, they’re presented with a dizzying array of passageways, ducts, and chimneys snaking off in all directions. The moist, red and purple tunnels constantly ooze liquids and make disturbing noises. Some of the crevices shudder and pulse, disgorging tiny organisms that skitter off deeper into the ship.

With Captain Grayson’s detachment close behind, the Astartes head inside. Dariel makes crude guesses regarding the bio-ship’s anatomy, but the Battle Brothers are hesitant to head further in without a plan. Looking back to the charred corpses left behind them, Tyr has an idea.

Seizing one of the Hormagaunts’ skulls, he ingests pieces of what he assumes to be its brain. Immediately, he feels the chilling wrongness of the Tyranid Hive Mind. The xenos consciousness rips through his mind, pulling him towards the collective being of the Tyranid fleet. He feels an intense urge to proceed deeper toward the living vessel’s nose. With his newfound guidance, the Astartes carefully proceed.

After trekking through the twisting tunnels of the outer layer for a while, the Imperials begin to wade into a milky grey liquid. Dariel takes a sample, running a quick analysis. He determines that the thick, cloying liquid doesn’t seem pose a threat. As they press on, however, the fluid becomes progressively deeper.

At one point, the tunnel dips under the surface of the thick substance. The Astartes order the Storm Troopers to hold, while they scout ahead. Ensuring that their power armour is environmentally sealed, Uzas, Tyr, and Dariel submerge themselves. After swimming for several metres in pitch darkness, they emerge up from the liquid to find a vast chamber at the edge of a great lake of bile. Across the lake, islands rise up towards the rippling roof, each sprouting a towering lung-like pillar that expands and contracts rhythmically

Remembering their briefing, Dariel posits that these giant living chimneys are breathing in the self-contained atmosphere and using it to generate and propel spores down toward Cel. If they can be disabled, the Tyranids would lose the massive clouds protecting their vessels against incoming fire.

Standing far back, Tyr readies a krak rocket. The explosion is massive – the chimney bursts with shockwave that ripples over the bile. As the spores begin to fill the room, visibility drops rapidly.

The Battle Brothers set out to destroy the rest of the flumes. As they hack and slash their way across the lake, the vessel again shudders in response.

Eventually the towers seize up – unable to breathe and filter the spore-choked air.

Within a few moments, more Hormagaunts appear, pouring forth from hidden vents and passageways lining the walls. Seeing the overwhelming number of enemies, the Astartes fall back, returning through the flooded tunnel. As they reach the other side, they order the Storm Troopers to make ready.

Captain Grayson has his men take aim at the murky liquid – forming orderly ranks and firing lines.

The Astartes clear their weapons of fluid and await the Tyranid creatures close behind.

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Unrelenting Fury - Part 1
Goodbyes. Greetings. Briefings.

The Kill-Team is flown south for some time out over Cel’s outer provinces. Farms and orchards roll away below the transports, untouched by the uprising and yet to be ravaged by the coming swarm. Even further south, the vessels reach the Valshari Mountains where they arc skywards – initiating a full burn back to Cobb’s fleet waiting in orbit.

Holding position on the far side of the agri-world, the battle group has somehow continued to hide its presence from the advancing splinter fleet. The closely grouped cruisers are a flurry of frantic activity. Fury Starfighters fly close-support missions while transport shuttles ferry troops and ordinance back and forth between the warships. Furthermore, as the evacuees approach, they can see that an I nquisitorial Mars Class cruiser has joined the battlefleet.

Eventually, the Kill-Team rendezvouses with the battle group’s flagship, the Emperor’s Wrath. The atmosphere in the docking bay is somber, as a small gathering of Deathwatch Astartes, serfs, and stewards wait ready to receive Junon’s body. As Fury unload his motionless, power-armoured form onto a waiting grav-slate, a senior Deathwatch Techmarine of the Howling Griffins takes over, quickly placing the body into stasis. From Dariel, an Apothecary of the Crimson Fists takes Junon’s geneseed, preparing it for storage and travel back to the Storm Wardens.

A moment of silence swallows the hold, as even the lowliest of labourers pays their respects to the fallen Astartes. Eventually, the Techmarine and Apothecary depart with the sacred body and geneseed.

The remaining gathering of chapter serfs immediately move forward to receive Kill-Team Fury’s weapons, initiating the various Litanies and Sacred Rites of Unloading and Appeasement – hoping to calm and assuage the exhausted machine spirits contained within. Soon after – with hasty repairs to their power armour complete – Fury is asked to join the Fleet Captain in The Emperor’s Wrath’s strategarium.

As they enter the vessel’s vast strategic control chamber, armsmen and naval officers part before them, bowing their heads in respect. In the centre of the cavernous room, an immense hololithic display shows Cel, a pale blue orb in a sea of darkness. Flashing icons representing the fleet are almost completely enveloped by the vast grey-green stain growing on the far side of the planet – the swarm.

Among the gathered Imperial commanders, one tall, lean man stands ahead of the rest. He introduces himself as Fleet Captain Arast Cobb, stating his in hosting both warriors of the as well as an Inquisitor. He gestures over his shoulder, singling out Inquisitor Valdane, his entourage, and the acolytes with whom Fury has already familiarized themselves with in Lordsholm.

Cobb briefs the assembly on the situation at hand and introduces Hadros, his master tactician and chief advisor. Hadros praises the Kill-Team’s efforts, but humbly requests their further aid in liberating Cel from the Tyranid threat.

Unfortunately, the plan is far from simple.

Before Cobb’s vessels will engage the swarm, Hadros wants to try and weaken and disperse the Tyranids. Only then will the Navy will have a fighting chance against the hive fleet’s superior numbers.

Valdane’s savants believe that should the Kill-Team be able to disable the main hive ship’s synapse nodes – and thus disrupt it its ability to transmit the Tyranid hive mind to the rest of the swarm – Cobb’s battle group may gain enough of a tactical advantage to secure a victory – even a minor one.

Cobb explains that the Imperial fleet will close into range of the main hive ship and then attempt to blast a hole in its escort screen. With an opening made, the Kill-Team – and a company of Storm Troopers led by Captain Grayson – will be sent via boarding torpedoes to breach and enter the Tyranids’ main vessel. A screen of Fury Interceptors will attempt to protect the torpedoes during transit while Cobb’s battlefleet will try to hold off the swarm.

Captain Cobb makes it clear that time is an important factor, and that his cruisers can only stand for so long against the full firepower of the hive fleet. He will be counting on the Astartes to disable the synapse nodes as soon as possible. Then, hopefully the fleet will be able to pick apart the remaining Tyranid ships in the ensuing confusion.

Then, the Inquisitor provides a sobering realization: This mission is purely hypothetical – based on studies of smaller Tyranid organisms by the Ordos’ Biologis experts. The proposed synapse nodes may not even exist. No outcome is guaranteed. Neither is the Kill-Team’s survival.

Furthermore, Valdane believes that destruction of some of the hive ship’s key systems may help to buy Cobb’s battlegroup some time. Disabling the vessels bio-weapons or protecting spore ducts may help tip the balance in the Navy’s favour.

Lastly, as Cobb finishes the briefing, he informs the Astartes that the hive ship may hold survivors of other devoured vessels, bombers, and fighters that have been consumed, yet not full digested. Finding these survivors and managing to get them to safety may be a boost to both the fleet’s fighting strength as well as its morale but is by no means a primary objective.

Either way, if the Kill-Team is successful in its main goal, it must extract as soon as possible so that the Navy can begin its attack.

Gathering themselves and departing the strategarium, the battle brothers rearm and refit, not knowing what fate awaits them across the void.

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Oblivion's Edge - Part 2
The last stand at Avalos.

The acolytes’ servo skull continues to ping – providing only seconds of warning before the first few Genestealers climb out from their hiding spots under the St. Malban Bridge. Leaping up over the rockcrete and plasteel barriers, they surround the Lordsholm refugees and their Astartes defenders. The Battle Brothers of Kill-Team Fury fan out, spreading a front of black and silver around their protectorate.

From the far end of the bridge, two massive Tyranid warriors stride forward, pushing through the ruined Portica streets bordering the canal.

Behind the Imperials, their Chimeras begin to fire on the advancing elements of the Tyranid swarm. Sounds of skittering chitin and heavy weapons fire fills Cel’s sickly, spore-choked skies.

Dariel quickly takes to the fight, plunging headfirst into the first few Genestealers. With righteous fury, he manages to eliminate a few of their numbers. Still, more leap forward, quickly overwhelming the Flesh Tearer. Although Dariel fights back valiantly, the Tyranids’ rending claws bite deep, shearing through his power armour and tearing away his helm.

Skold provides his Battle Brother covering fire, striking a few of the Genestealers and allowing the bloodied Dariel to temporarily withdraw. With strips of tattered flesh hanging from his face, the Apothecary retreats back to the Imperial refugees and to patch himself up.

Tyr – standing atop one of the Chimeras – unleashes his first few volleys. No longer able to ignore the ‘Low Ammunition’ warning sounding within his helm, he yells to the PDF vehicle crew below him, beckoning them to bring more rounds forward. Too occupied with their own fight, the crew is unable to respond. Instead, Tyr opens the top hatch of the transport and drops inside. Scrambling, he grabs one of the few remaining drums of bolt shells. Heaving himself back atop the Chimera, he slams the fresh drum home. His heavy bolter chatters back to life.

Meanwhile, Gerhardt has rocketed skyward, heading toward the powerful Tyranid Warriors. Hovering meters over their heads, he draws their attention. Flying in and out of the nearby ruins, the Black Templar swiftly dodges the fresh living ammunition being fired his way. Shooting back with his bolt pistol, he takes the odd chunk out of his foes.

Having hidden under the bridge at the beginning of the fight, Uzas senses his time to strike. Emerging up and behind the distracted Warriors, he tosses two primed krak grenades. Burning his jump pack to put some distance himself and the explosive charges, he falls back to his fellow Astartes.

The krak grenades soar toward the Warriors, veering slightly wide. Although the detonations do considerable damage to the large and powerful creatures, they aren’t the knock-out punch that was expected. The Warriors – now sensing a more important target than the Black Templar overhead – start making their way down the bridge.

In the meantime, the Genestealers continue their attack. From overhead, Uzas spots them encircling the mostly helpless Lordsholm exiles. He plunges downwards, slamming hard into the already broken asphalt. Skold and Dariel charge in with him. Together, with a combination of holy bolters and screaming chainswords, they tear apart the Genestealers.

Ahead of them, Kor meets the Warriors’ advance, delivering a torrent of flaming promethium from his flamer. The Tyranid creatures instantly ignite. Although covered in a raging inferno, they ignore the damage to their exoskeletons and continue their advance.

From his raised position, Tyr easily spots the flaming monstrosities. He squeezes the trigger of his weapon, managing to catch one of the beasts in the face. The volley of heavy bolt shells blows apart the creature’s head, bursting it like a ripe fruit and scattering its blasphemous flesh across the bridge.

Taunting the other beast, Gerhardt maneuvers the remaining Warrior into the Kill-Team’s line of fire. With combined arms, Fury finishes the fight.

The Astartes secure the far end of the bridge, allowing the refugees to cross safely. Then, the Chimeras traverse one by one – delicately maneuvering around the damaged pieces of roadway. The Imperials and Astartes climb back into and onto their transports – resuming their flight from the doomed city. The nervous crews gun their throttles, hoping to put distance between themselves and the swarm – now only a few minutes away.

Finally, the Kill-Team enters Avalos Spaceport. Thankfully, the small PDF garrison they had left behind a few nights previous has been reinforced with fresh troops and two Tarantula sentry guns.

Among the spaceport’s ruined storage yards and wrecked vehicles, a small crew works feverishly to make the final repairs needed to the sole remaining landing pad. Atop the delicate structure, Corvath readies the acolytes’ Cutter.

As the desperate convoy closes in on the landing platform, a sharp vox message crackles into the Kill-Team’s helms. The man’s voice is blunt and matter-of-fact. He identifies himself as Captain Grayson, commander of the Storm Trooper detachment accompanying Cobb’s fleet. Grayson informs them that the situation has grown even direr. The massive spread of the Tyranid spore cloud means that Grayson’s shuttles can no longer stage re-entry directly into Lordsholm. Instead, they have to begin their approach from roughly a hundred kilometres to the south, in the Valshari Mountains. Grayson and a platoon of his best men are now en route in Valkyrie troop transports. He estimates they will be there in less than twenty minutes.

Unfortunately, the Kill-Team knows that the swarm will arrive at the spaceport in less than half that time. Over the crackling vox, Grayson advises them to hold the landing platform as long as possible – promising that he will be there as quickly as manageable.

The Astartes quickly begin their defence preparations.

Surrounding the landing zone is a maze of shattered and ruined buildings stretching off into the rest of the district. Any open ground is littered with debris, shattered transport containers, and burnt-out vehicles.

The Astartes quickly reposition their Chimera transports and the space port’s small garrison to cover the surrounding roadways and advances. Furthermore, the Inquisitorial acolytes lend their support, offering to help hold the line.

As the Kill-Team continues to make their final preparations, the first rumblings of the approaching swarm sound in the distance. The sky grows darker as the spores thicken, and caustic bio-matter begins to fall like rain, burning exposed skin and pitting metal. The clicking and chittering of a thousand insectoid limbs begins to drown out all other sounds. Finally, the first creatures burst into the landing zone, crashing over the ruins like a wave of nightmares.

Skold yells to make ready.

Tyr is the first to fire – utilizing his vantage point atop the central landing pad.

Beside him, Skold directs the Imperial forces. Using his autosenses to see through the haze, smoke, and surrounding fires, he skillfully commands the defenders to plug any gaps and to reposition their forces to meet the oncoming threats.

Dariel and Kor move to secure the northern rail yard, killing the first few waves of Gaunts with fire and fury.

Gerhardt and Uzas take the south. With the aid of a Chimera and a Tarantula, they manage to destroy dozens of the rampaging creatures.

As the battle rages on, it becomes obvious that the Tyranid numbers will soon overwhelm Lordsholm’s last defenders.

Eventually, the PDF and their Chimeras are overrun – buried under a ruthless tide of Tyranid organisms and downed by potent bio-weapons fire. Hoping to buy precious time for Captain Grayson’s arrival, a few remaining troopers charge out to meet the attacking hordes, delivering a handful of demolition charges deep into the enemy’s heart.

Skold scans the horizon, hoping to spot Grayson’s salvation. Seeing only spores and ash, he curses.

As the Tyranid numbers continue to grow, the Astartes detonate one of the space port’s fuel trucks, sending a rippling, flaming shockwave across the staging area. Trampling over their own flaming corpses, the creatures continue their relentless advance.

To the east, countless Genestealers emerge from Portica’s ruins – led by a fearsome Broodlord. Although Dariel and Kor try to hold them off, Dariel is again overwhelmed by the the creatures’ rending claws and scything talons. The Genestealers tear deep through his armour, spilling the Flesh Tearer’s blood and viscera over the space port’s ruined ground. Clutching his exposed organs and forcing them back into his body, Dariel pulls back from the front lines. Kor delivers a few bursts of burning promethium to buy them a handful of seconds to withdraw. Helping carry the wounded Apothecary back to the landing pad, Kor also helps protect Junon’s recovered geneseed.

Facing a massive influx of Gaunts and Warriors on the southern flank, Uzas and Gerhardt are also forced to fall back. They jump back in succession, laying down covering fire for each other with a storm of bolt shells and explosives.

Seeing the chaos unfold around him, Skold orders a Codex Pattern Bolter Assault – calling for his brothers to enact a rapid tactical retreat. Using overlapping fields of fire, Kill-Team Fury falls back, climbing to their final defence positions around the Cutter.

Suddenly, out of the swirling spore clouds above, Tyranid Gargoyles drop down into the fray.

Gerhardt is the first to react, bursting upward on a jet of flame and with his chainsword roaring. Tearing his way through the xenos masses, the Black Templar begins a deadly dance. Blood and ichor starts to rain.

Skold aims skyward, firing some of his last few bolt shells into the flock of creatures.

Tyr, unfazed by the fight overhead, continues to punish the encroaching masses. His barrel smokes red-hot as it chugs through more and more precious rounds.

Still, it isn’t enough.

More and more waves of creatures appear on the horizon, skulking up through the shattered city. With nowhere left to go, the Battle Brothers are completely overwhelmed.

Fighting back to back, the Astartes try to hold their ground.

Even the refugees are forced to take up arms – grabbing whatever rifles, pistols, or improvised weapons they can find. With tooth and blade, bolter and chainsword, they desperately keep the Gaunts at bay.

Then, without warning, the fragile land pad lurches to the side.

Looking over the barricades, the Astartes spot a Tyranid Warrior climbing up toward them.

Dariel readies a krak grenade – consecrating and anointing the blessed explosive with his own flesh and blood. The Flesh Tearer curses at the snarling beast rampaging towards him, hurling the armour-piercing charge into its maw. The grenade detonates with a shattering blast, peppering the defenders with fragments of the creature’s flesh and bone.

However, even with the Kill-Team’s heroic efforts, the Tyranids breach the perimeter – threatening the acolytes’ Cutter and the very lives of the Imperial refugees.

Skold voxes to Captain Grayson and the Valkyries, desperate to know their status. Receiving no answer, doubt trickles into his mind. The Space Wolf wonders if he should call off the evacuation and save Cobb’s resources.

The Gaunts continue to pour up over the landing pad’s sides and over the Imperial barricades.

The Astartes hurl a final battle cry into the darkened sky.

Then, as all seems lost, a faint whine of engines sounds over the din of battle. Suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere, two Vulture Gunships scream overhead and unleash a torrent of missiles into the Tyranids, lighting up the edge of the landing zone in a curtain of flame. A moment later, three Valkyries appear out of the gloom, their door gunners hammering the encroaching masses with heavy bolter fire.

As the first transport lands on the platform, a man dressed in Storm Trooper carapace leaps down from it and salutes. Captain Grayson greets the Astartes, cracking a few sly jokes while simultaneously ushering everyone aboard his transports.

The Kill-Team and refugees hastily depart, leaving the flaming, ruined city in their wake.

Lordsholm is no more.

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Oblivion's Edge - Part 1
A rapid departure. The St. Malban Bridge.

Four days pass after Kill-Team Fury’s confrontation with the Broodlord and the final bloody night of the Lordsholm uprising. With a heroic effort, the city has been saved, at least for the time being, and the Astartes retire to the late Governor Thorsholt’s manor to oversee the final stages of securing the region. There, they rendezvous with Uzas, another of the Kill-Team thought lost during the destruction of their cruiser, Juno’s Might.

Now, however, Lordsholm lies in ruins. Most of its population are either dead or have fled for the relative safety of the outer provinces, leaving the city largely deserted. Ragtag bands of rebels still plague the remaining PDF forces, but without the Broodlord’s domination and influence, they are no longer a real threat to Imperial control. Lordsholm’s PDF itself remains in tatters, a pale shadow of its former glory, but still, they continue their patrols among the twisting, rubble-strewn streets of the capital.

However, although Fury has secured victory on the ground, it has become painfully clear that a full-scale Tyranid invasion is still rapidly descending on Cel. During their few days of convalescence, the Astartes have received reports from across the planet of dark shapes moving against the stars.

Even in Lordsholm, the sky has now darkened with millions of spores and alien clouds obscuring the sun. Over the last few hours, day has turned to brown-red night and the air has become thick with raining bio-matter.

There can be no doubt as to what is coming next, and those few who have survived the uprising huddle in their hiding places as they await the next and final chapter of this nightmare to unfold.

Cel is in its final hours.

But perhaps all is not lost, however, as on the morning of this fourth day, a spark of hope lights up the darkness – Lordsholm’s Imperial forces receive a vox communication from an Imperial cruiser, the Emperor’s Wrath. Although distorted and crackling from the spore-cloud’s atmospheric interference, the message indicates that the cruiser has just made orbit. It seems that Cel’s final calls for aid somehow got through.

The communication is from Fleet Captain Arast Cobb, commander of the 112th Askellian Expeditionary Battle Group – a small patrol of Imperial warships and the closest force to receive the Kill-Team’s broadcasts. From his vantage point, he can see that the hive fleet’s massive spore cloud will soon touch down in and around the city.

Cobb’s orders are to retrieve the Kill-Team along with any other Inquisitorial assets or high-ranking members of the planetary government. More help may be coming, but there is no telling when Cel will be completely overrun.

The presence of the full hive fleet has cut off all inter-system communication. However, shorter range vox communication is still possible – though only on the planet or with Cobb’s ships in low orbit.

The Fleet Captain will be a few orbit-capable shuttles for the Kill-Team’s evacuation, but the majority of his vessels are occupied with full-scale fleet preparations. As such, space will be limited. To further complicate matters, the shuttles can only land at Avalos Spaceport on one of the surviving launch platforms – as the rest of the city has been too ripped apart to properly stage the evacuation.

The PDF Major in charge informs the Kill-Team that although the spaceport has been mostly destroyed, crews are currently in the process of shoring up one of the remaining landing pads. Additionally, Corvath is currently there, overseeing final repairs to make the acolytes’ Cutter void-capable once more.

The Kill-Team estimate that getting to the spaceport on foot would take hours at least and it is unlikely that they would be able to stay ahead of the approaching swarm. Furthermore, although the PDF would be of little help against the full Tyranid threat, there is still some semblance of a fighting force. Most importantly, three Chimera transports – in mostly working order – have survived the fighting in Lordsholm and are currently stationed in defensive positions on the Thorsholt manor grounds.

At this point, while the Kill-Team and other ranking Imperials make their plans, hundreds of Tyranid vessels now cluster in low orbit, crowded around a massive hive ship. The living vessels spill even more bio-matter into the atmosphere, turning the sky into an even darker and more sickly shade of red.

With haste, the battle brothers round up ranking members of Cel’s Imperial offices – the PDF Major and his surviving commanders, Elsharna and her chief Astropaths, and various high-level members of the Administratum. Along with the Inquisitorial acolytes and a few fortunate PDF troopers, the Kill-Team loads the Lordsholm refugees and Junon’s body into the Chimeras and quickly depart Thorsholt Manor. With the transports’ crew compartments full, the Astartes climb atop the vehicles and mag-lock their boots to the roofs.

Exiting Magistria’s gates and looking out over the city below, the Kill-Team sees the rapid speed with which the Tyranid vanguard is already devouring outer Calistria in a tide of horror.

As they cross over into Portica, survivors from the city below stagger out to meet the convoy. They reach out to the Imperial vehicles, pleading for aid – as the Astartes’ small group represents the last vestige of Imperial authority remaining. Desperate, they beg for help to flee the doomed city. The crowds quickly become unruly, realizing that their fates rely on climbing aboard. Scatterings of PDF troopers join the mob, unwilling to be left behind.

Skold fires warning shots from his bolter, forcing the hostile crowd back. Cursing at the mob, he calls for them to do their duties – to stand strong and die for the Emperor. Not willing to face the wrath of a Space Wolf, the crowd drops back a little, and soon, they are left behind.

The convoy continues into Portica, making mostly good time toward Avalos Spaceport. Still, the spore cloud hangs ominously overhead – growing larger and larger by the minute.

Then, out of the swirling madness above, a dark shape suddenly appears, growing at an alarming rate as it plummets to earth. Just ahead, the massive spore-pod crashes to the ground and bursts in a mist of bio-matter, spilling Tyranid creatures in all directions. Dozens of organisms pour from the vessel and into the streets, blocking the convoy’s path ahead.

Immediately, Uzas fires his afterburners and ascends into the sky. The rest of the battle brothers begin firing their weapons as the Tyranid hordes pour forth. Skold voxes to the lead driver – telling him to punch through.

The PDF drivers hammer their throttles and the Chimeras’ engines roar. The lead vehicle plows into the snarling faces of two dozen hormagaunts, pulverizing them under the transport’s steel and ceramite plating.

Overhead, Uzas drops a series of frag grenades, hoping to clear a path. They detonate deep in the hordes, propelling plumes of ichor and flesh up to greet him.

Surprisingly, the first Chimera makes it through – with Tyr unleashing point-blank hell from its roof. Skold also lends his bolter fire while shielding the Imperial Fist from waves of fleshborer beatles.

The second Chimera attempts to follow, but its tracks start to slip on the ichor and gore, spinning uselessly as they grind over the slick cobblestone streets. Then, as the vehicle plunges deeper into the horde, the vehicle’s runners become completely bogged down by flesh and bone and a multitude of slashing claws and gnashing teeth. With little room to maneuver around the stalled vehicle, the third Chimera in the convoy also quickly becomes trapped.

Skold gets the lead vehicle to slow, lest the others get left too far behind. He descends to the ground and charges back to stay in bolter range. Tyr, over him, continues firing volley after volley.

Gerhardt and Dariel leap from their vehicles and into the mobs, quickly dispatching scores of xenos foes. Uzas also lends his fury, dropping in from high above. Together, they quickly clear out some of the Tyranid creatures, allowing the Chimeras to continue on. Panicking, the drivers gun it, forcing the Astartes to leap out of the way.

Grabbing the last vehicle before it passes him by, Dariel swings back up to his rooftop perch and out of the hissing, gnashing mass of bio-organisms below.

Gerhardt and Uzas burn back skyward, keeping watch over the convoy.

Finally, the Kill-Team reaches the last real obstacle before their evacuation at Avalos – the St. Malban Bridge. The bridge stretches over Lordsholm’s largest canal and is one of the only remaining routes onto the spaceport’s peninsula. Damaged in the previous days’ fighting, the bridge appears to have been hastily repaired. Nonetheless, it remains weakened and fragile.

The convoy slows, unsure of whether or not they’ll be able to make it over.

From the rear access ramp of one of the vehicles, the Inquisitorial acolytes exit. From among them, Arkady walks forward, already running scans with his auspex and performing calculations on his dataslates and parchment spools.

He quickly posits that although the bridge is badly damaged, it should still support the group’s weight. However, the total combined weight of all of the Chimeras and Astartes would likely cause a catastrophic collapse.

As such, Skold and the Kill-Team discuss the matter and decide to leave the Chimeras behind to watch the rear. Meanwhile, the passengers will proceed on foot. Then, once the others are secure at the far end, the Chimeras will carefully cross one-by-one.

Slowly and steadily, the party begins to cross. The bridge groans and creaks underneath, shedding bits into the canal below.

Meanwhile, using their jump packs, Uzas and Gerhardt fly overhead to scout the far side. Back and forth, they scan Portica’s shattered storage yards and vehicle sheds. Then, they spot it – a forward element of the skittering hordes skulking through the ruins ahead.

Before they can report in, a chime echoes over the vox. Glancing at their helms’ displays, Uzas and Gerhardt see that the sound is originating from Dariel, Tyr, and Skold walking across with the bridge with the refugees below.

The Astartes turns towards the source of the noise – a small servo skull accompanying the Inquisitorial acolytes. The humans are frozen, gazing upon their blinking comrade with unknowing horror. Although unseen, the Tyranids are somehow already upon them.

Then, heavy bolters sound from the rear.

The refugees on the bridge turn to look back, seeing their transports firing upon a wave of teeth and terror.

The Kill-Team is surrounded.

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Remembrancer's Archive - Junon Nerevar
787.M41 - Sacris

+ COMMENCE PLAYBACK +
+ ARCHIVE RECORDING +

“Why do we fight?”

Brother Junon bellowed the question at his four junior battle-brothers as they circled him in the sparring arena, ceremonial blades held at the ready. Their tension was visible in the muscles of their unarmoured bodies as they prepared to attack their instructor. Junon, massive even by Astartes standards, stood at ease in the center of the arena, sword held low.

“To defeat the enemies of mankind, and liberate the Imperium!” barked Brother Cedric before he lunged at Junon from the flank, slashing his blade in a downward arc. Brothers Markus, Tarrik and Caleb followed his lead, lunging in unison at Junon from every direction.

“No.” Junon said flatly. He moved in a heartbeat, driving directly back into Cedric. Cedric, caught mid-swing while his blade was still raised above his head, was thrown off balance and hit the ground. Junon emerged on his far side, outside of the circle his brothers had formed.

“We will never defeat the enemies of mankind.” Continued Junon, to his brothers’ dismay. “There will always be a new enemy. It is the nature of the universe. War never ceases…” he stated, gesturing to Brother Cedric as he lifted himself off the ground, raising his blade anew.

“…and the universe only grants glory to those who fight for it”

Cedric lunged again, furious and determined, this time stabbing straight towards Junon’s heart. In a flash, Junon caught the blade with his bare hand. Blood began to drip from his palm as he held the blade an inch from his chest. Then, to Cedric’s dismay, Junon slowly placed his hand on his brother’s shoulder, as if comforting him. Junon’s voice took a milder tone

“The Emperor took this universe in a great crusade, and only through constant war will it remain His. So never forget, brothers…” lectured Junon, still gripping the bare blade in place. Markus, Tarrik and Caleb circled to Junon’s back, sensing an opportunity to strike.

“…Combat is worship…” Junon began. The three brothers began their charge.

“….Strength is faith made manifest,” Junon continued, louder now. It was in this fraction of a moment that Cedric realised his feet were not touching the ground. Junon was lifting Cedric’s entire body off the ground by his shoulder.

“…And we fight to remind our enemies that this universe already belongs us!”

With a backwards step and a turn, Junon swung Cedric’s body around his own, and flung him through the air and into his charging brothers. The three charging brothers were knocked from their feet, and hit the ground in a pile at the far edge of the arena. Junon laughed, apparently enjoying himself now.

“Now attack me again!” he roared.

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Falling Skies - Part 7
The Lord of Blood and Darkness. A legend is born.

Beneath the son where the invisible air buns, the Lord of Darkness sleeps in death – that is where you will find him.

The PDF remain awestruck, yet Kill-Team Fury is already moving out, taking stock of the limited loyalist forces remaining outside. With time running short before Elsharna’s prophecy takes hold, the Astartes realize that the PDF are in no shape to continue on.

Instead, the Kill-Team decides to send a platoon of the PDF’s freshest troops and the Leman Russ Battle Tank, The Avalosian Hammer, back to Portica’s storage yards in order to secure whatever supplies and materiel are available and to redistribute it among the front lines. Meanwhile, the rest of the PDF will secure the markets and prepare for any possible counter attacks.

Fury recalls the acolytes’ Cutter in order by-pass the heavily defended promethium bridge or the potentially hazardous seawater runoff running into Fabrica. A few minutes later, they catch a glimpse of Corvath, coming in low and dodging anti-aircraft fire. The Astartes meet the Inquisitorial pilot on the roof of one of the markets’ neighbouring hab blocks.

The Kill-Team makes a few fly-overs of Fabrica – attempting to find some sign of the Broodlord or his den. Using all sorts of thermal and infrared scans, the Cutter’s machine spirits eventually locate an anomaly. Deep within the refinery district, four square blocks show absolutely no signs of life. Even enemy patrols seem to completely avoid the area.

Skold orders Corvath to bring the Cutter down low. Hovering close to two stories off the ground, the Astartes drop from the front access ramp. Slamming into the ground, their heavy armour cracks and shatters the wet pavement below.

With his passengers clear, Corvath fires afterburners, returning to the relative safety of Avalos Spaceport.

Waiting, watching, and listening, the Astartes brace for some kind of xenos ambush. After a few uncertain minutes, Kill-Team Fury resumes their search. Skold removes his helm, allowing for his augmented and heightened senses to take in his surroundings. Quickly, he finds tracks – xenos prints in the district’s mud- and debris-strewn streets.

Following the trails a short while, the Kill-Team finds both their origin and terminus – The Sollar & Sons Promethium Works. The Kill-Team spaces themselves out and Gerhardt burns up to roof, hoping to get a better look inside.

The ancient, crumbling stone building is nestled amongst a row of refineries under a maze of pipes, pressure tanks, and exchange valves. Mostly untouched by the fighting, the promethium works remains largely intact.

On the roof above his Brothers, a dirty access hatch obscures Gerhardt’s view inside the facility. With sheer strength, he snaps the hatch’s locking mechanisms and opens the creaking, ancient access point. Inside, he finds the place eerily quiet – deserted, without bodies, blood, or other signs of battle.

The rest of the Kill-Team enters the seemingly abandoned refinery and Gerhardt drops inside.

Just as they begin to doubt Elsharna’s visions, they discover what they believe to be the entrance to Broodlord’s nest – a large section of pipe torn open, leading deep into the ground. Although dimly lit, the Astartes’ enhanced vision can make out pools of congealed blood and ichor.

Lowering themselves in one-by-one, the Battle Brothers find that the tunnel is only large enough for them to proceed single-file. Still, they continue deeper into the darkness. The pipes are a pitch-black maze, but the Kill-Team’s superior senses help guide them in the right direction.

However, as they pass through the darkness and near a three-way junction, a sharp rattling rings out from one of the pipe’s walls. Suddenly, a pressure valve slams shut, cutting Gerhardt off from the rest of his Brothers. Immediately, he hears the scampering of chitinous claws rounding the corner ahead. Gerhardt braces himself and quickly parries the snarling alien faces leaping from the darkness in front of him. With a flash of his chainsword, he strikes back, burying it deep among one of the creatures’ razor-sharp claws. Still, more approach.

Seeing Gerhardt’s valiant stand on their helms’ vid-displays, the remaining Brothers scramble to free the separated Black Templar. Tyr takes up an overwatch position in the cramped junction, preparing for a secondary attack. The others quickly reposition, giving Junon access to the pressure valve-gate.

The genestealers keep coming, drowning the Black Templar under tooth and talon. In the tight tunnel confines, he struggles to bring his full might to bear. The genestealers, however, twist and contort in the enclosed space, allowing them to fight alongside their kin. Eventually, their powerful rending claws strike true, cleaving open a rent in Gerhardt’s gorget and tearing deep into his neck. Arterial blood sprays up into his helm, obscuring his vision. Still, he fights, hoping that his Larraman’s Organ will staunch the flow of his blood. Overwhelmed by the xenos’ damage, his vital signs begin dropping rapidly.

Seeing his Brother’s glyph change to a flashing red inside his display, Junon mag-locks his boots to the tunnel floor and braces himself. Slamming his gauntlets into the pressure gate, he creates his own handholds. His power armour screams in protest as his brute strength and straining servos tear the door apart.

Skold squeezes around the mighty Storm Warden, leveling his bolter and unleashing a devastating point-blank volley that kills the remaining genestealer.

Dariel quickly rushes to his Brother’s side, moving to repair the damage to the Black Templar’s neck and chest. Stabilizing him, he pumps Gerhardt full of powerful combat stims and pain suppressants, bringing the Assault Marine back to fighting shape.

Almost reluctantly, the Kill-Team continues deeper through the claustrophobic pipeline, staying vigilant to prevent another possible ambush.

Now far underground, the promethium pipelines eventually exit into a series of pressure tanks. Already, it’s clear that this is a vile place – filled with bodies and coated with xenos ichor and filth. The collection of tanks is roughly twenty metres across and twenty again high, with at least a dozen smaller pipes leading in and out – each controlled by valve gates. Even with the Kill-Team’s augmented vision and augurs, the chamber is a web of shadows. Still, they know that the creature they seek is located here amongst the death and desolation.

Moving in a tight circular formation, the Battle Brothers advance into the room. Kor scans the chamber for life signs, but already the genestealers are upon them.

The first few creatures dive toward Tyr and Dariel, tying them up in a swirling melee of combat. Tyr smashes the first beast aside with his heavy bolter before quickly switching to his bolt pistol. Dariel, on the other hand, works himself up into a blood-frenzy, lashing back at the foul creatures with his hungry chainsword.

The other Astartes reposition to support their brothers – but stop dead in their tracks.

The first wave hits them – a psychic pressure unlike any they have experienced so far. The deluge of horror and dread gnaws at their resolve, planting tiny seeds of doubt within their hypno-conditioned psyches. Then, as the terrifying majesty of the Broodlord reveals itself, blood begins to trickle from their eyes, ears, and nose.

The creature – a thing of nightmare nearly three metres tall – towers over the Kill-Team. With ropey, powerful muscle and four taloned claws surrounded by super-dense armoured exoskeleton, the beast is an intimidating sight.

Without hesitation, Skold and Kor circle around their pretty to get better shots. Side by side, they unleash a volley of bolter rounds and flaming promethium. The Broodlord shrugs them off.

Two more genestealers leap out form the darkness, forming a protective screen around their master. In tandem, Gerhardt and Junon flare their jump packs, rocketing over the top of their Battle Brothers and smashing into the tightly-packed xenos group.

Then, as more genestealers pour out of the surrounding pipes, Skold and Kor are engaged in their own combats.

Rending claws meet ceramite. Holy bolts meet flesh. The blood starts to flow.

The cacophony of the warring Astartes resonates loudly in the confined space – with each gunshot sounding like a thunderclap and each swing of the chainsword like a roaring beast. The combat flows back and forth, which each side gaining, and then losing ground. Then, the first of the genestealers falls.

With a terrible silent scream, the Broodlord rips through the minds of the Battle Brothers. The crippling shriek sends them to their knees in agony. However, with faith in the Emperor and sheer force of will, the Astartes quickly come to their senses and hold the xenos at bay.

Gerhardt and Junon continue hacking away – repeatedly plunging their blades into the Broodlord and cleaving chunks from its powerful exoskeleton.

After suffering a few mighty blows, the Broodlord steps back, finding Junon’s gaze. Using the raw power of the Tyranid Hive Mind, the creature begins to tear the life-force from the Storm Warden, dropping the Astartes to the ground. Immediately, the beast’s own wounds begin to heal.

Skold, having killed a genestealer with a burst from his bolt pistol, moves to help Dariel and Tyr.

Kor, meanwhile, charges into Broodlord, slamming his servo-arm deep into the creature’s torso.

The fight continues.

Junon and Gerhardt, now heavily wounded, still fight on. Junon plunges his sacred claymore deep into the creature, driving the blade in up to his wrists. Stunned, the Broodlord frantically scrambles to pull the weapon out from between its armoured rib-plates. With a moment to reposition, Gerhardt hacks into the creature’s less-armoured flank.

Across the chamber, Dariel, Tyr, and Skold finish off their adversaries – righteously tearing apart the xenos.

Desperately flailing, the Broodlord carves deep into Junon, cleaving though his armoured chestpiece and far into one of his hearts. As Junon stumbles back, the creature drains even more of the Astartes’ life force – ripping energy directly from his soul. Dozens of alarms and warnings sound inside the Storm Warden’s helm as his organs and armour begin shutting down.

Skold and Kor charge the remaining genestealers while Tyr hammers heavy-bolter rounds into the Broodlord, driving the creature back under a volley of micro-detonations.

Although greatly damaged now, the Broodlord prepares to unleash another flurry of deadly blows.

Before it can strike, Junon taunts the creature, drawing its alien gaze. Using the last bit of his strength, the Storm Warden drives upwards, putting the entire weight of his powerful physique into the thrust of his claymore. The tip catches the Tyranid creature below the ribcage, slamming up through its organs, out through its clavicle, and then finally coming to rest deep inside the alien’s spasming skull. A flood of gore pours forth, coating the proud Astartes.

Caught in flailing death throes, the Broodlord emits a powerful death shriek. The psychic blast ripples outward, distorting reality itself. Sensing the death of their master, the remaining genestealers scatter – retreating into various tunnels and pipes.

Finally, the Broodlord falls over – dead.

With sword and armour covered in xenos ichor, Junon slumps back, laughing. He drops his claymore to his side – its metallic clang echoing Junon’s own death knell. Soon, his vox cuts out.

Inside the Kill-Team’s helms, the glyph representing their Storm Warden ally flashes deep, ominous red – life signs absent.

The Astartes gather around the body of their fallen comrade.

Dariel crouches low, already beginning the process of removing Junon’s precious geneseed.

As the Sanguinary Priest performs his holy work, Tyr too comes to Junon’s side. Unclasping his fallen brother’s gauntlet, Tyr delicately removes one of Junon’s fingers. He stores the digit, knowing that he will soon undertake the sacred rites of engraving Junon’s bones with descriptions of his deeds – ensuring that that the Storm Warden’s service will never be forgotten.

Meanwhile, Skold and Gerhardt remove the Broodlord’s head, gaining a grisly trophy of the Kill-Team’s victory – and sacrifice – in Lordsholm.

Finished with their scared work, the Kill-Team gathers up Junon’s claymore and body and begins their journey out of the depths.

By the time they exit the refinery it is already dawn. Slowly, Cel’s sun creeps over the horizon, embracing the smoking, smoldering city in a golden embrace.

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Falling Skies - Part 6
The red market. Crashing waves.

Having secured The Blind Saint, Kill-Team Fury plans their attack on the market district.

Located in eastern Calistria, The Rag Markets have been the scene of constant heavy fighting. Currently, the rebels are dug-in, waiting patiently to repel yet another PDF attempt to retake the squares.

Skold begins preparations by ordering the The Blind Saint’s liberated officers to bolster the PDF front lines. Accompanied by Junon and Gerhardt, they’ll return to the Portica staging areas via the Inquisitorial acolytes’ Cutter – bypassing the front lines. From there, they’ll lend some decent leadership and the might of the two Astartes to the frontal assault.

When they arrive, Junon and Gerhardt report that a single Leman Russ Battle Tank has joined the fray – The Avalosian Hammer. Having heard the Kill-Team’s broadcasts, they’ve just arrived from the outer provinces.

The rest of the Kill-Team heads south from their current position, sneaking through the ruined hab district and circling around the western flank of the Rag Markets.

The night’s storm continues to pound the shattered city, keeping the cobblestone streets slick with rain. Occasional lightning marks the outlines of the ruined skyline. Sporadic thunder adds to the distant sounds of battle.

Silently, Skold, Tyr, Dariel, and Kor make their way through Calistria’s alleys – careful to not draw any attention. Soon, they reach the outskirts of the markets – hearing the chattering of automatic weapons fire and the barking of orders.

Unfortunately, a small rebel guard post blocks the Battle Brothers’ path.

Skold hurls a brick into a nearby building, drawing the attention of the sentries. The rebels skulk away into the wet shadows, leaving a sole guard behind.

The Astartes sneak into the ruins as well, hoping to encircle and ambush their prey.

Skold draws his knife, and approaches the remaining sentry. Stumbling over some of the rubble, he alerts the guard. Immediately, the rebel begins firing with his stub rifle and yelling to his comrades. With the strength of a Fenrisian wolf, Skold hurls his blade forward, plunging it deep into the snarling face of his foe. The man’s body tumbles into a wet pile.

The Astartes charge headlong through the ruins, attempting to quickly finish off the other rebel sentries before they can alert the greater force in the markets beyond. Plowing directly through the hab’s flakboard and timber walls, Kor and Dariel subdue the first enemy. Tyr’s heavy boot finishes the other – along with most of the floor.

On the eastern fringe of the market, the PDF begin their assault – supported from the rooftops by Junon and Gerhardt. Immediately, things begin to go horribly wrong.

Overlooking the eastern market squares, an entrenched rebel anti-tank gun threatens the PDF’s armour support and halts its advance. Without the Leman Russ’ guns, the PDF falters, losing many of their men to effective heavy stubber fire.

Skold orders Junon and Gerhardt back and the Assault Marines help the PDF institute a fighting withdrawal. Firing all the while, the PDF’s heavy battle tank lumbers backwards, grinding over the crater-strewn streets and the unfortunate few too wounded to crawl out of the way.

Skold, Dariel, Tyr, and Kor know that their immediate objective is now clear – destroy the anti-tank battery in the central building to allow the PDF to resume their advance.

Having still not alerted the rebel garrisons to their presence, the Battle Brothers sneak forward building-by-building. Eventually, one final edifice remains before they must head out into the open. Maneuvering around back of the structure, they find the building’s rear door locked.

The Brothers ready their weapons and push in. With his servo-arm extended, Kor charges through the barricaded door, taking a large chunk of the surrounding stone wall with it. Around him, his comrades pour into the breach, slaughtering those inside.

Now, through the building’s dirty and bloodied windows, the Kill-Team gets their first good view of the market squares. The Rag Markets have been heavily entrenched, with a crisscross of earthen barricades and defensive positions providing multiple covering fields of fire. It’s clear that the rebels won’t give up without a fight.

At the center of the four squares, a mid-sized hab building has been converted into a central garrison and headquarters. Through a few smashed windows, the Brothers see that the ground floor has been cleared out and converted into a full battery, housing three large anti-tank guns and a variety of semi-hidden heavy stubber nests.

With a wet growl, Skold orders a breach and clear. He and Tyr ready their Krak anti-armour grenades, preparing to blow straight through the building’s heavy outer walls.

Meanwhile, sensing the coming ferocity of battle, Dariel works himself into a blood-frenzy, pouring battle-hymns through his vox, and allowing the Black Rage to flood his system with adrenaline.

Skold nods and the Brothers pour back out into the rainy streets.

Tyr and the Space Wolf release their payloads, sending the powerful charges soaring to the adjacent structure.

Dariel and Kor continue their sprint, allowing the grenades to detonate only fractions of a second ahead of their charge.

The shaped charges cut through the wall, carving a massive opening into the heart of the rebel headquarters. Through the smoke, confused and disoriented troops scramble for cover.

Dariel leaps through the gap, immediately plunging into the fray. His hungry chainsword slams into the disorganized mob, taking a massive toll. Back and forth, he swings wildly, screaming the most holy of Baalian hymns and proverbs.

Just as Dariel throws his tenth blow in half as many seconds, a crackling blade rises to meet the adamantium teeth of the Flesh Tearer’s borrowed weapon.

Clad in heavy carapace, the rebel leader clashes with the Astartes. Wild blows are exchanged, followed by parries and counter-attacks. In his blood-rage, Dariel lets his guard down, giving the rebel leader a microsecond opening to plunge his power sword deep into the Flesh Tearer’s shoulder. The crackling blade carves through Dariel’s gorget and paulron with ease.

Now finding himself overly focused on his single opponent, Dariel is overwhelmed by the surrounding mob. They club and slash the Astartes, finding little purchase among the overlapping ceramite plates of his power armour.

Seeing his fellow Battle Brother encircled, Kor unleashes a gout of pressurized promethium, enveloping the horde in holy, cleansing fire.

With their flesh crackling and sloughing off, many among the rebels fall to the ground, adding their horrific screams to Dariel’s bellowing laughter.

As the rebel leader catches aflame, Dariel turns and grabs the man by the throat, lifting him high overhead. He drags his chainsword through the man innards, spilling them to the ground and covering himself in a blood-rain. Smashing his pommel-clasping fist into the man’s pelvis, he stretches his arms outward and tears the rebel completely in half. Dariel tosses the shredded pieces aside and returns to his deadly dance.

Around him, the surviving anti-tank guns and machine gun crews continue to hold the PDF at bay.

Skold and Kor continue their assault, rampaging through the crowded building. Skold unleashes devastating volleys of metal storm shrapnel while Kor continues to fill the room with fire. Eventually, the main group of defenders are whittled down and destroyed.

Meanwhile, outside on the street, Tyr has been single-handedly holding the Kill-Team’s rear and defending both flanks. Taking cover among the alcoves of the ruined storefronts, his heavy bolter chugs through round after round of explosive ammunition.

Many of the rebels’ rearguard begin to reposition, attempting to circle around behind the now Astartes-occupied central building. Tyr holds steadfast, cutting them down as they cross out into the open. Swinging his gun both east and west, he takes down scores of troops and machine gun nests.

Back inside, Kor seizes one of the anti-tank guns, turning it on the rebel trenches outside. Firing near point-blank, he vapourizes one of their emplacements. Quickly, his servo-arm reloads the gun while he adjusts aim – repositioning the weapon’s crude crosshairs on another group.

Dariel and Skold finish off surviving weapons teams inside and prepare for a counter attack.

With the rebels’ anti-tank guns and many of their stubber teams knocked out of action, the PDF resume their advance. Columns of infantry push up behind the Leman Russ while others pour out into the market through the ground floor windows and ruins of surrounding buildings.

Lordsholm standards and banners are flown high and proud as the screaming masses of those still-loyal pour into the rebels’ forward entrenchments and earthworks. With brutal hand-to-hand engagements and short-range volleys, the PDF finally begin retaking the eastern squares.

Behind them, the Leman Russ pushes north and makes a mockery of the rebels’ mortar and stubber pits. The vehicle’s heavy bolters spew a torrent of hate while the tank’s main battle-cannon obliterates numerous buildings and trenches with ease.

Regardless, the remaining rebel forces to the northwest mass for a charge, pulling together a few hundred troops.

Through the ferocious combat and surrounding chaos, Skold somehow notices the rebel lines surge. He seizes a heavy stubber from one of the dead crews and immediately fires a torrent into the first wave. Pumping round after round into the rebel masses, he screams to his Brothers to make ready.

Kor quickly repositions to prepare the northern anti-tank gun. He hammers the firing mechanism, unleashing another point-blank burst into the rebels. The thunderous explosion shatters all of the remaining windows in the vicinity. The ensuing pressure wave is felt even by the mighty Astartes.

A billowing wave of smoke and ash washes back through the ground floor openings, encompassing the Battle Brothers’ position and obscuring the advancing enemy hordes.

Using the smoke as temporary cover, Dariel leaps headlong through the ruined northern wall, plunging deep into the rebel masses. The two forces crash together like a tidal wave breaking over a single rock.

Still, the rebels’ numbers are overwhelming.

The sheer volume of combatants causes the enemy force to swing around west, forcing the Kill-Team’s left flank. Like a swarm of insects, the rebels pour through the central building’s ruined windows and walls.

Tyr repositions in order to get a better vantage point and defend his Brothers inside. He locks his armour in place, hammering his foes point-blank. Almost choking his gun with the pure volume of carnage, he braces himself for the likelihood of being surrounded.

On the other flank, Skold continues to pour heavy stubber fire into the crowds. The rebels encircle him, finding weak points in his armour to stab and shoot at. The Space Wolf repeatedly disengages, leap-frogging backwards while hammering effective fire in to the rebels’ screaming faces. In blood-curdling Fenrisian, he curses back.

Kor too, is overwhelmed as the rebels pour around and over his anti-tank gun. A few of them plunge their bayonets deep into his right greave, dragging the Iron Hand to the dirty, wet ground. The Techmarine uses his servo arm to bat his assailants aside, shredding flesh, shattering bone, and ending lives. He fights back to his feet.

Finally, the rebels surround Tyr – their masses overwhelming even his heavy bolter’s astonishingly high rate of fire. Tyr lets his main armament fall, switching to his pistol and monomolecular blade.

The combat is ferocious – with scores of rebels literally crawling over the Astartes in an attempt to bring them down.

The Battle Brothers fight for their lives.

Some how, some way, the rebel hordes begin to thin.

Eventually, they break – choosing a hasty retreat over complete and utter annihilation.

Moments later, Junon, Gerhardt, and the PDF vanguard enter the central building – awestruck at the holy might of the Astartes.

Bruised, bloody, and battered, Dariel, Kor, Skold, and Tyr stand tall among a mountain of spent bolter shells and bodies.

One by one, the PDF make the symbol of the Aquila and take a knee.

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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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