The Choral City
Tiberius snarled to himself as he barrel rolled the jetbike out of the way of a ball of raging plasma. This was not supposed to happen like this. His legion was one built one the premises of speed and perfection of their strikes. He should have anticipated that the jetbikes they had finished off would not be the only ones. What he had not expected that they would be this well armed. Even in the most productive of legions, arming an entire Sky Hunter squadron with such complex weaponry would be a massive risk and investment. Such an investment usually reserved for the command cadres of each legion.
How they came to be facing such a well armoured squadron was the least of Tiberius’s concerns right now. The white blurs of the XIIth Legion’s jetbikes had so far only scored glancing hits on his jetbike, but they were enough to significantly hamper its function. He was certain it wouldn’t last much longer. In this state, even between him and Krateron they could not defeat their foes. They were outnumbered and despite his skill with a jetbike, Tiberius could not get close enough to bring his Phoenix spear to bear on them. He could not risk an open dog-fight, since his foes energy weapons would disassemble his molecules long before his heavy bolter immobilized or destroyed their foes.
However, Tiberius was banking on one fact. If he could ground their foes, he was certain the World Eaters wouldn’t gun them down. The savages of the XIIth legion were worst that his current allies. They had to feel the blood splash against their cheeks for the kill to mean anything. Simply destroying their foe was not enough. It has to be gory, it had to be messy but most of all it had to be personal.
A melta beam glanced his jetbike, evaporating one of the dorsal wings. At such incredible speeds, the small amount of aerodynamic control that those wings afforded was crucial. Tiberius struggled with his mount. He swore under his breath, a harsh combination of syllables totally at odds with his regal voice. “Krateron! We have to fall back! We can’t break through here!” Tiberius shouted down the vox over the roaring hum of the jetbikes. Tiberius half expected Krateron to keep trying to push on, just to make his escape. However, he agreed and the duo executed a brilliant series of movements that positioned them in the same direction they had just come from whilst avoiding the scalding fire from their pursuers.
Their Jetbikes carried them back to the position of Dilinger, but Tiberius’ heart began to sink as he saw what had become of their allies’ position. Twirling clouds of dust and superheated debris surrounded the building which shone as if polished. However, they had little choice. The only allies they had might still be there and there was a safety in numbers. Besides, Tiberius was reasonably certain that his jetbike would not carry him much further than his starting position. Frustratingly, all their venture had gained them was fresh coating of ash on their armour and more wasted time.
Fortunately, as they set down their mangled Jetbikes, the shapes of Dilinger appeared from the dust, bolters and blades at the ready. The dust began to clear and the ground beneath them shook in another base-y growl. Tiberius did not like the sound of that. However, more pressing was the shapes of the World Eaters approaching them. Tiberius had been right about one thing, they wanted to finish them off up close and personally. They each sauntered from their Jetbikes, leaving their energy weapons and the poor bastards speared to them behind. Tiberius reached to his belt, slowly unhooking one of his krak and one of his frag grenades. He palmed them.
The World Eaters that approached were almost certainly veterans. Several bore chapter symbols on their armour, a mark of recognition amongst Angron’s dogs. But the most imposing of the six was the one that fixed Tiberius with a stare. The white armour of his lower half was smeared with blood. Some feral creature was draped over his shoulder, no doubt of some particular importance to the warriors of the XIIth but it meant nothing to Tiberius. Ringing his collar were four spikes, three of which were filled with the heads of fallen legionaries, one of each legion. The absence of a purple helmet made it clear to Tiberius why this creature was so interested in him.
The brute unsheathed a massive sword and a chainaxe, to signature weapon of the XIIth Legion brawlers. Suddenly a voice erupted from their vox units. It was Captain Torgaddon. Although he was not of the IIIrd, Tiberius was glad he yet lived. But the news he bore was better. The Emperor’s Children held the Precentor’s Palace. Tiberius smiled under his helm. If they lived, he could make it back to them. He was not alone.
His HUD spluttered back into life, indicating friend from foe. Mercifully, all of his current compatriots remained green. It also revealed who his challenger was. Captain Krejer of the 5th Company. He did not know the man personally, but if his skill at arms was anything akin to the Captains of the IIIrd legion, this was not another rabid hound that Tiberius could put down. It was a formidable foe and should be treated with caution.
Krejer began to speak but Tiberius zoned him out in favour of listening to his vox. Decurion Aurellian was still alive. “Status is ok for the moment. I’m with a loyal squad of Sons of Horus. We’ve confronted the Captain of the 5th Company of the World Eaters, and he is most certainly not friendly. Tell the survivors that the 5th Company are traitors, if they didn’t already know. I’ll let you know when he’s dead. Over”
Krejer stared him down and Tiberius knew the Nails were eating away at his brain, as well as the the brains of his compatriots. “Oh, I’m sorry did you say something. I wasn’t paying attention. Busy thinking about where we will head when you’re dead.” Tiberius couldn’t resist. He was unlikely to beat Krejer fairly or without injury to himself, but if Krejerwas so intent on taking his head, he would not do so without considerable cost. Without any further words, Dilinger opened fire on the out-numbered World Eaters. Some form of shield flared around the Captain. It gave Tiberius an opening.
He pulled the pin on his frag grenade and a moment later on his krak grenade. The World Eaters roared in anger and as they ran, blinded by hatred, Tiberius sent the two grenades rolling underneath their Jetbikes. With some luck the frag grenade would destabilise the plasma weapons, the krak grenade causing their ammunitions supplies to detonate, washing the World Eaters with superheated plasma, metal and burning debris. If not, it should at least destroy the jetbikes and release the poor bastards nailed to the front of them. Perhaps he should have conserved them, but if the World Eaters killed them it wouldn’t matter if they had the means to escape and with two jetbikes wrecked anyway it seemed unlikely that they would all get away even if they survived this confrontation.
Tiberius rose to his full height, holding his Phoenix spear in a position ready to move when Krejer became in range. The extra reach that his spear afforded him was likely to be his saving grace, but even then if he was doubtful that he could beat Krejer on his own. And if he could, he had to wonder at what cost? “Krateron, Vultus, do what you Wolves do best and tear out their throats. I’ll hold Krejer at bay. When you can, lend me assistance and we’ll being this beast down for good and avenge our brethren.” Krejer wounded Herridon, but didn’t pause to finish him off. Foolish. A wounded foe was not a defeated one, especially not a wolf. He came for Tiberius. Tiberius moved to meet him, Phoenix spear moving with deft grace to reach Krejer first with a battle cry on his lips. “Children of the Emperor, death to his foes!”...
Last edited by Deus Mortis; 02-19-15 at 09:54 AM.