0200 hours local time, Belgius, Franse sector M.38
It started with the fall of a thousand stars. Then the sky erupted in flame and ash, the ground rolled and bulged and giant gray raindrops smashed into the ground. Splitting and letting out the droplets inside, deadly as they were with their fearsome guns and mighty swords. Down came death, with its tail of fire and blazing cannons. Giant birds flew past, with bodies of black and grey, and from their wombs leaped the chicks, with the same terrifying orange tails, swooping down to kill their prey. It all happened at once. All of it seen through the eyes of the same awed space marine who had already infiltrated behind the enemy lines, inside a dark forest.
“Brother Hiedler, Brother Belso, be prepared. The bikers are swinging around for the wedge. We must set the forest afire and be gone as soon as they appear.” Brother Sergeant Ariosis called into his com-link.
Adulfus and Belso were the two flamer marines in the squad. The forest was directly behind traitor fortifications, and it was also their only way out and away from the terrifying space marines. It was a perfectly coordinated attack, planned according to the Codex Astartes. They had waited, and waited and waited for this moment to come.
There came a roar, a distant rumbling the likes of which is rarely heard. An arrow was fired, and the tip flew across the battlefield. With yells and raised weapons, the bikers rode through the melee, enemies underfoot. Ariosis nodded and Adulfus let loose with his flamer, the dry wood of the trees burning and effectively hemming in the panicked traitor guard. They yelled to their gods, hoping to be saved. Their prayers wouldn’t be answered.
The arrow head pierced the armour that was the traitor guardsmen. Cutting them down and sending them fleeing, with nowhere to go. Behind the fortifications, an inferno consumed the forest, and smoke drifted into bunkers, clogging noses and burning eyes.
Their lives were forfeit, Adulfus knew. But the battle was far from over. The front lines were breached, but an entire regiment of guardsmen lay past the forests that were now so fast burning.
0357 hours local time, after initial contact, Belgius, Franse Sector, M.38
The battle was short, to say the least. I feel that the horror inspiring display of force was ill-used; though I am sure others saw it. They know we are here now, and they will be ready. I am glad.
I will be seeing my first piece of actual combat in the next battle, for squad Ariosis is called to the frontlines, where our flamers will be put to good use.
After seeing today’s performance, I wonder why all space marines do not use the Codex Astartes to guide them. Our display makes me proud to be part of a chapter that has descended from the mighty Ultramarines. I send prayers to Guilliman every day, more to him than even the Emperor, for as I see it,
Roboute Guilliman saved the Imperium by saving the Emperor.
I aspire to show my bravery in this war, to be recognized, and recognized I will be, I swear it. I take some heart to find that my sergeant is more like me than any other space marine I have met. We have talked about our respective futures, and though his ambitions aren’t as large as my own, he wants to have his fair share of promotions.
Captain Alexi is calling for the march and I am afraid I will not be able to write. I will have to record our travel to the next battle.
0405 hours local time, Belgius Franse Sector, M.38
A blue light covered the land, as the first rays of Belgius’ sun poked up above the flat horizon. The blue orb accentuated the blacks and greys of Adulfus’ armour, turning them into deep navies and blue-grays. The forest that had once covered this land was nothing more than black ash and burnt wood that cracked and broke under the Astartes’ feet.
Three companies of space marines marched out, fanning across the plain. Orbital Intelligence had located the traitors behind a large hill that loomed in the distance. It took a good hour of fast paced marching before the wary Astartes reached that obtrusive piece of land.
Adulfus and his squad climbed up the hill, they were the first ones up. As Adulfus peered over the ledge, he could hardly believe the number of traitors camped there.
Ariosis signalled the assault marines ready behind him, and came again the black angels, trailed by fire, to deal swift death. Adulfus stood up, as did the rest of the marines, and yelled out loud, charging towards the traitors.
The maw of his flamer opened and spewed forth the purging flames of the Emperor. None could withstand the fiery bite of Adulfus and Belso’s flamethrowers. Adulfus felled dozens but more took their place. He was not worried though, for nothing could defeat three companies of choleric Astartes in combat.
Adulfus Hiedler felt his anger welling forth at the very thought of the heretics he was killing. How could they not see that the Emperor is greatest of the great? That he is holy beyond compare? That he has led humanity out of the darkness and into the light dozens of times, and that without him, they would not live today?
“Captain, the traitors are breaking ranks,” Battle-Brother Daeghun reported.
“Very well, pursue them. We will not allow them to escape,” Captain Alexi ordered.
The com-link was soon crowded by sergeants ordering their men to pursue. Ariosis’ voice was among them, so Adulfus yelled and followed the scores of space marines trying to cut down the guardsmen.
The space marines followed the guardsmen into a large valley. The following events happened so quickly that Adulfus couldn’t know exactly what happened until he replayed the recording. Traitors and heretics appeared everywhere. It was amazing, the very sight of them. They could easily form two regiments of well-armed platoons.
The guardsmen charged, and the space marines were stupefied. It took a very long moment before they could gather their wits and counter-attack.
“Form a line!” One sergeant called.
“Wedge formation!” Called another.
“Counter charge and do not let up brothers!” Ariosis yelled to his own troops, and they went roaring, smashing through the guardsmen. Their very bulk laid many a foe low, and their weapons scored dozens more.
Adulfus held his flamer in one hand, holding a combat knife with the other. His flamer devoured the traitors with its wrathful flames. His other hand stabbed and thrust, goring his enemies with the combat knife’s powered tip. But for each guardsman he killed, two would take his place. There was no end to them.
Beside Adulfus, Ariosis fought valiantly as well, his chainsword ripping traitors to shreds and his bolt pistol ripping them apart from the inside.
“Good fighting brother!” Ariosis called to Adulfus.
“There are too many sergeant!”
"Is there any better way to die?" Ariosis asked.
A faint whistle sounded, and it slowly grew and grew until the air was filled with the deafening noise. There was a giant explosion, then another, and everything went black.
"Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for."