"Sacrifices" - An Apocalypse Narrative Part 1

Fluff Prologue to this tale, view the "Snatch and Grab" post.
Rules used for this battle are here: Apocalypse Custom rules; these were modified slightly ingame for 'balance'


Brother Librarian Teldris
Teldris knew their escape would be fraught with complication, but nothing like this. Since rescuing Inquisitor Justus from the grips of the Orks, they had managed to link with their primary battle-group. Sergeant Lhurus and his scouts were the first to fall, staying behind to slow the Ork advance and giving Teldris and the remainder of the assault time to rendezvous with Shadow Captain Korvydae and Chaplain Maneus.
"Brother Librarian, take flanking positions and prepare to surge forward, protect the flank and ensure Deliverance reaches the gates at tall costs." Korvydae's voice was gruff and direct, befitting that of his station. The Shadow Captain of the 10th Company was a fearsome warrior, veteran of Kastorel-Novum and as such, knew the threat the greenskins possessed. Already preliminary scout reports from his scout bikers had confirmed a large force of Orks moving to intercept with a heavy airborne presence and bikes too numerous to count.

"+Confirmed Shadow Captain. I suggest we both take flanking positions and entrust the care of the Inquisitor to the Brother Chaplain and Sergeant Bertramus' men. We must sacrifice all that we can to ensure his safe arrival to our allies within the outpost. The Guard have ensured that off world transport awaits. Their Commissar Demos is a shrewd leader, but has managed to organise a hasty defence.+"

The next voice on the command vox was filled with hate, as if you could feel the spittle hitting your face as he spoke with vicious intent. " I will NEVER allow the xenos filth to gain purchase on this mighty machine! Should they intend to break it, I will show them the true meaning of what it means to be of the Emperor's chosen." Chaplain Maneus had a fearsome reputation amongst the chapter for being, not only a fearsome warrior, but also a very colourful speaker when it came to the xenos.

Commissar Demos
The vox came back to life, interrupting Teldris's thoughts. "Attention Raven Guard Space Marines. This is Commissar Demos of the 67th Imperial Guard Vanadar Legion, we are prepared to receive you. Your reinforcement queue has been entered into the battle matrix, and your airship stands ready in orbit above to extract the Inquisitor. A full complement of heavy guns and many platoons are now battle ready. What is your status?" Demos had never fought with the Angels before, only heard of their exploits. But when the red armoured pilot of the Raven Guard flier had arrived to herald the news of an impending attack, he vowed his men would be ready and willing to sacrifice all they had to ensure the success of the mission. This to Demos meant ALL where expendable, and he was sure the Ravens felt the same. As such he had given his men permission to fire at will, even in "Friendly Close" scenarios.

"Commissar Demos. We are inbound and the Orks are closing the distance rapidly. We are beginning to deploy our veterans to the stern to hold off the impending attack for as long as they can. Myself, Librarian Teldris, and our honoured chaplain will be escorting the Inquisitor personally. We also have our fast elements along the flank ready to add to your fire support. Have you ensured that a small set of fortifications have been erected outside your fortress?"

"Acknowledged Captain Korvydae. Your instructions have been followed to the last detail and are ready for your use."

"Acknowledged." That was the only reply Demos had received from the Captain. So far these Angels of Death were very direct and to the point. The Ravens had many secrets it seemed regarding their battle strategy. This fact made him uncomfortable but his iron will and discipline were absolute. All for the Emperor. The battle grid at his command station had been flooding with information since the Ravens had contacted him with the success of their mission. How they had managed to infiltrate the Ork stronghold so quickly and easily was beyond him. Rumours of the Raven Guard were that they were silent killers, those that moved in the darkness as if it was their own. How such large warriors could move silently was beyond his ability to measure. What he could measure was the sheer amount of fire-power his men were able to bring to bear. This thought reminded him. "Sergeant! Has the extra ammunition been brought up from the stores below? I do not want the guns to silence once the attack is joined. "

"Yes Commissar. Although there have been some complications with communications with the men below. Seems as though the rats have managed to damage some of the cabling." The sergeant inadvertently took a step backward without realising he had done it. Commissars were not known for the compassion and understanding. They cared only for results.

"Very well, when this is over remind me to speak with the caretakers of the passageways. The Emperor does not look kindly upon those who are not capable of keeping the rodents of the Imperium at bay, no matter their lot in life. Dismissed...and send the lieutenant over with those weather reports!" The Sergeant saluted and immediately turned and ran to carry out his orders. Demos was pleased so far, despite the rat infestation there was a larger, more dangerous infestation ahead to deal with it.

Techmarine Varius

Varius took one moment to strain in his harness and look at the altimeter. The numbers were falling so fast that he could not even begin to fathom his height. No matter, soon he would be planet-side along with his brother. Since their dispatch from orbit, it had been what seemed like an eternity waiting to join the battle. He had gone over the sacred rites, anointed his Thunderfire with due care, and prayed to the Omnissiah for the battle to come. He was snatched out of his reverie by a harsh jolt as the retro thrusters came online, slowing his descent before the harsh crash signalled his arrival planetside. The doors to the drop pod burst open, and he stepped out, his cannon following along automatically, like some warhound ready to release its aggression.

"Shadow Captain, auspex readings confirm the successful planet-fall of both Thunderfire support systems. What are your orders?" Varius had received confirmation that his Brother had also landed successfully on the other flank. They now had taken up positions as best they could behind the impromptu fortifications hastily assembled by the Imperial Guard. With no time to bolster them, he led his Thunderfire into cover.

"Well met Varius. Prepare to receive the Ork assault. Target all their fast moving assets, particularly their bikes."
"Confirmed. Will continue on present tasking." Varius' responses were always cold and logical. A by-product of his training and livelihood. Since his inception into the ranks of the Techmarines, he had been taught to better understand the ways of the Machine God, and openly venerated both the Emperor and the Omnissiah. Conferring with his auspex he made a routine scan of the cannon to ensure it was functioning properly and tested its targeting systems. Scans showed the Raven Guard escort was in full concert, Deliverance moving as quickly as possible, no doubt carrying its cargo with due speed. Varius had fought with Bertramus before, a veteran of a millenia of battle, and a marine so large that his Terminator plate had to be specially adapted with several pieces of Dreadnought armour. Varius linked his targeting array with that of his Brother Techmarine on the far flank, aiding in the acquisition of targeting information during the battle.

Veteran Sergeant Andreus
Andreus looked around him. The honour had fallen to him to cover the retreat of his Brothers and allow them time to reach the Guard outpost. He looked to his left and saw his Brother Sergeant Cossos and his Terminator brethren by his side. Cossos and Andreus had fought together in countless engagements. While no less potent in the assault, Cossos preferred to get in close to the Emperor's enemies with his twin lightning claws while Andreus favoured the tactical advantage of his power sword and storm bolter. To his right, he saw their heavy support contingent. The Shadow Captain had left them with The Raven's Fury, a Vindicator battle tank. Lastly to his front lie four of his ancient brothers, from a time long before his ascension into the ranks of the Astartes. Four Brothers interred into their sarcophagi long ago, he had the support of two Ironclad variants, highly armoured and outfitted with as much fire power as they could muster. The other two were newly interred brothers from their recent incursion into Shandahar. He was glad to have their plasma cannon and multimelta since the Orks would no doubt be bringing their ramshackle vehicles and they were renowned for their toughness, especially when mounted on their iron steeds, albeit steed was a poor word for it he thought. Perhaps iron mules would be a better likeness. Suddenly his visor flared to life, battle sigils scrolling across the screens.

"Brothers, prepare yourselves!! The Emperor's enemies draw near, and we are to be their undoing. Death to the Xenos! Death to the greenskins!!"

"You would've made a fine Chaplain Andreus." Andreus looked over at his Brother as he began cycling the barrels of his assault cannon. Before Andreus could retort, the rising sound of engines and explosions could be heard. And above it all the sound of hundreds of Orks all calling as one. Over the rise they came, like the locusts of old, behind them trailed dust and foul clouds of exhaust and burnt oils.

Compiled by my friend at http://stalkingamongshadows.blogspot.ca/