Sons of Iron
This was a novella I started to write during the summer, however I abandoned it due to me running out of ideas, its not great but enjoy-
Great Crusade Era
The vast fortress had been erected in the name of Horus and Perturabo. Built atop the largest peak on Voga it housed a single Squad of Iron Warriors left there a decade earlier to keep Voga in place. Eight layers formed the fortress, between each wall was a killing ground of trenches, tanks traps and razor wire that was manned by hundred if not thousands of green uniformed Vogan Siege Troopers. A single dirt road ran the length of the fortress, passing through dozens of gateways and checkpoints that acted as chokepoints to any force foolish enough to try and invade.
Sergeant-Warsmith Arkias commanded these brave souls. Terran born much like his squad, Arkias placed his loyalties to the Emperor and the Emperor only. He had been present when Perturabo had been joined with his Legion and remembered staring into the cold dark eyes of his new master in both awe and fear. Arkias stood on a balcony in the uppermost keep, his robes fluttering around him he stared into the sprawling city that had grown from the earth around the fortress.
Shuttles moved silently across the night skies, their lights blinking in the air like distant beacons. Many were civilian vessels but others belonged to the Vogan Siege Guard, these were large brutish ships with barrel engines on either side of their slanted wings. Their needle like cockpits were tainted black so the pilots within were hidden from the outside world. Arkias scratched his chin inquisitively with one chain mail covered hand and sighed loudly.
His Squad had been placed on Voga almost a decade before, not once had they been ordered by Perturabo in that time. They would now and again receive transmissions from their Brothers on the front lines telling them of mighty conquests and campaigns that brought more and more worlds into compliance. Arkias had grown to despise Perturabo for abandoning him on such a backwater world. The Sergeant-Warsmith turned and walked back into his dimly lit chambers, taking a seat on a golden throne he closed his eyes and remembered past battles.
Vesalius ran his withered finger tips along the seams of a old red, dust covered book. Vesalius blew the dust away from its cover to reveal a Imperial Aquila and smiled at it gently, revealing gleaming white teeth. Vesalius had long served under the mantle of Sergeant-Warsmith Arkias, both Huscarl and Astartes sharing a close bond felt by no other within the Legion. Vesalius wore his simple grey robes tight around his muscular body, a golden broach held it together at his neck.
The Huscarl hefted the thick book up off the lamp lit desk and tucked it neatly under his left arm, he right tapped a tune against the holstered Laspistol at his side cheerfully. Vesalius walked past gangs of grey skinned servitors and green uniformed Vogan Troopers. Coming out of the huge Librarium, Vesalius looked into the night sky and took in a deep breathe of cold air. Vesalius scratched his nose and sniffed as he tilted his head towards the giant keep looming far above and began to walk towards it slowly.
After three hours of steady walking the sun began to rise over Voga. Vesalius wiped the sweat away from his wrinkled brow as he passed through a giant archway into a courtyard that was silent. Deathly silent. The wind howled around the pillars as something giant uncurled itself from the shadows and stepped forwards with a grin stretched across its scarred face. The giant came into view and took Vesalius back. Standing in full armour with a yellow cloak draped around his barrel like shoulders was Brother Tartarus, Second to Arkias only, bodyguard of the Sergeant-Warsmith.
Vesalius bowed and said “Lord Tartarus I bring the parchment that Sergeant-Warsmith Arkias requested” he placed the book in the palms of both hands and held the thick novella out in front of him. Tartarus held his long black hair in a single topknot that showed his heavily scarred head proudly. The giant reached out and grasped hold of the red book, his armour covered fingers nearly clearing the width of it. The Astartes pulled it away and nodded saying “Follow me Vesalius” and set off at a jog.
Something was not right thought Vesalius as he was lead through the mighty fortress by Tartarus. The hallways were almost abandoned, this very rare happened and when it did it meant that Arkias had ordered it himself. The Iron Warrior directed the Huscarl through a pair of great wooden doors that gleamed with polish. The room was large, big enough to hold five Squads of Iron Warriors and a pair of Huscarls for each Astartes it had a giant metal table in the centre which was now occupied by the only Space Marines present on Voga.
Arkias sat at the end of the table, elbows pressed into rivets with his hands clasped together tightly. Next to him sat Brother Evangelos, his heavy bolter lying at his feet his face was obscured behind a golden face plate crafted from the Forges Of Mars itself. Opposite Evangelos was Standard-Brother Spiro, the Squad banner tightly clutched in curled hands. Brothers Vlassis, Pavlos, Konstantinos, Diamanto, Pyrrhos and Hyakinthos occupied the remaining seats.
Each Iron Warrior was different to the next, all heroes in their own rights they utterly dwarfed Vesalius as he approached wearily behind Tartarus. Fear overtook Vesalius as he stared into the red bionic eyes of Pavlos, the Terran had been badly scarred when he fell from a high gangway into a pit of Alverean Mudclaws but had managed to fight his way out, both eyes and lower left arm taken by the feral creatures. The Astartes nodded at him grimly as Arkias stood and said “Brothers. We are at a time of need, a armada of ships has been sighted at the fringe of the system and at its current speed will be here within a week, they have been confirmed as Greenskins” there Astartes stared at each other for a few tense moments before Arkias continued “We will move the Vogans to the north those who can fight will stay Iron Within!” the Iron Warriors slammed their fists into the table and replied “Iron Without!”
Arkias watched the preparations from atop his keep with Vesalius and Evangelos. Vesalius stood there silent as Evangelos told Arkias of the defensive preparations, his arms crossed the Sergeant-Warsmith stared downwards with squinted eyes. Evangelos was notably the largest of the Astartes present on Voga, even without his Power Armour he stood nearly a head taller than his Brothers. But now, in times of wore he donned his Armour as if a second skin. Vesalius turned from the pair of Space Marines and placed both hands on the edge of the thick tower, staring down he picked out green uniformed figures performing rifle drills and hand to hand combat.
Vesalius did not dabble himself in war. He was a learner not a fighter. And now all he had lived for would be thrown away to tackle the Green Tide under the banner of Arkias. Vesalius turned back to his Masters who were now growing tempered, both had balled fists and were facing off against each other, chest to chest. Vesalius raised his hands saying “Calm down Lord-Astartes, our enemies lie without NOT within” both turned their heads towards him and backed away nodding each other Arkias said “What fools we be Brother”.
The Huscarl slowly let out his breathe between his teeth as he felt the tension slowly ease and wither away. Arkias turned towards him and said loudly “Vesalius I would like you to take a message to Vlassis and Hyakinthos on the first wall” and drew a long sealed tube covered in red cloth from a pouch on his side and handed it to his trusted servant before pushing him gently with one giant hand to the stairway.
Vlassis hefted his giant pickaxe above his head and brought it down onto a rock with a roar, shattering it instantly. A roar was sounded from the hundreds of spectators around him as they threw helmets into the air and clapped in awe at the sheer power of the Astartes. Vlassis sheathed his weapon into the left scabbard on his back so it crossed with his second pickaxe which lay neatly in his right scabbard. Vlassis spotted his fellow Iron Warrior, Hyakinthos moving towards him through the tide of Vogans. Hyakinthos fists were constantly wreathed in flame, wires moved up from their twisting nozzles and into large bulbous sections on his shoulder that turned oxygen into fire. Tasked with taking on the Orks in close quarters both Astartes would hold the first wall for as long as possible.
Hyakinthos wore a grill over his lower face, scars moved from it up across his bald scalp like smoke from a fire. Both Astartes moved towards the nearest steps that led up onto the three hundred metre high wall, they began to ascend it quickly, moving past Squads of Vogans who were spread out across the bunkers built into the twenty metre thick wall. Both Astartes finally came onto the first wall, each wall was a hundred metres taller than the previous and much more armoured meaning that the eighth was almost impregnable against most attacks.
Entire Companies of Vogans were housed within the walls some eight hundred Troopers for each and another five hundred in the trench systems behind. The two Iron Warriors took in deep breathes atop the high wall as they stared into the outskirts of the city two thousand metres away, the buildings had only two days ago reached the very base of the wall but under the order of Arkias these had been pulled down by the Vogans to create a no mans land that would be easier to take down Orks in.
Somebody suddenly came running towards them, wearing grey robes the man carried a tube in his hand as he went. Vlassis smiled and stepped towards him saying “Vesalius what’s the rush?” the man stopped dead in his tracks, panting and covered in sweat he handed the casket to Vlassis who proceeded to open it and take out a long thin piece of paper. The Astartes scanned it for several moments before handing it to Hyakinthos who took hold of it, he disengaged his flames and read the note with haste.
“Vesalius” said Vlassis inquisitively, “Yes master?” “Please tell Arkias that we will hold the wall as he wishes” the Huscarl nodded and turned, walking off with one hand on his gut. Vlassis turned back to Hyakinthos when they were alone and sighed saying “Looks like Arkias would have us die for this world after all Brother” his fellow Astartes simply nodded when something crackled overhead and caused the Vogans to scream, heads turned upwards in time to see a red and white vessel break through the clouds, followed by seven more both Marines muttering “White Scars”.
Arkias stared at the seven Stormbirds in awe and surprise as the landed on the giant platforms joined onto the Keep, each one lay there for several moments until Arkias, Evangelos and Tartarus burst out through a pair of giant metal doors and walked towards the landed transports at a fast speed. The lead vessels forward hatch suddenly fell open with a giant resounding clang! That hurt the ears of the Iron Warriors and caused them to reel backwards.
A giant armoured Astartes walked down the ramp confidently. Covered in pelts the man wore a single black topknot over his tanned head, a thick black beard covered his lower face like a fire. A single red coloured scar moved up his right eye where he had been initiated into the Legion. The Astartes wore a ornate suit of Tactical Dreadnaught Armour, as did the four Astartes that had now taken up positions behind him.
The giant dwarfed Arkias by nearly a head but the Iron Warrior did not falter, staring at the White Scar with fire in his eyes he said “I am Sergeant-Warsmith Arkias of the Iron Warriors state your name and reason for setting foot on MY world” the White Scar chuckled slightly and said “I am Khan Temur of the Eleventh Brotherhood, my Expedition Fleet, the eight hundred and seventh found ourselves in the track of the Ork Fleet and when we searched the files for Imperial Planets we got this one” a few tense moments passed as more and more Imperial Army Transports began to clutter the sky like giant bloated whales.
Three full Regiments, roughly sixty thousand Imperials now occupied the walls. The White Scars had deployed two hundred of their Brothers on bikes behind the first wall while the rest occupied the second and third, Arkias and his Iron Warriors along with Temur and his four Terminator clad brethren standing on the first. The transports had now left orbit, and the system at that along with the entire 807th Expeditionary Fleet. Now giant black objects could be seen floating across the sky, swarms numbering in the hundreds moving around them like bee’s around a nest.
Unearthly silence had fallen upon the Vogans on the first wall, their weapons clutched tightly people eyed the Astartes in the centre of the block wearily. The four Terminators stood on either side of the Iron Warriors who in turn stood either side of Temur and Arkias. Ork ships began to smash through clouds, chunks of armour flying off many and some even exploding in great orange-white fireballs. Standard-Brother Spiro unfurled his Banner, a mighty roar sounding from the dry throats of Vogans that had spotted the Banner tail twisting in the wind.
The Orks landed within the city, crushing buildings under the immense weight of their transports large doors dropped down and thousands of Green Skins burst outwards, roaring loudly the Vogans grew tense. Artillery fire from inside the walls began to rain down on the city on a torrent of fire, hundreds of Orks were sent tossing and tumbling in all directions, bouncing off walls as their skins burned. A roar was let out from the Vogans, some throwing helms into the air.
Temur curled the fingers of his Power Fists as he spotted Orks begin to pick themselves up within the smoke, he raised one fist into the air, fingers open and brought it downwards. Mortar and Cannon Teams within the walls to open fire. The second salvo was as devastating as the first. Those Orks who had survived were torn apart by pieces of rock ripped up from the ground. Skin was lacerated and limbs torn away those few lucky Orks who had found cover now awaited the arrival of the next wave and salvation.
Arkias watched the next wave slowly descend, at least ten thousand Orks in there he thought to himself as he sighted a large ship that seemed to be a mix or rock and metal land on the centre of the city, crushing a statue of the Emperor. This spurred the Vogans into a battle frenzy. Rifles were shouldered as the Ork Horde charged forwards, they stopped at the outskirts of the city and stared at the walls with pig like eyes, some shouting rants and crushing smaller Orks to death.
The Mortar Teams and Artillery Guns were now moving back into the relative safety of the second wall. Arkias turned to Tartarus and said “Brother take Brothers Diamanto and Pyrrhus and secure the second gate I want it safe for if, no when we retreat” the Astartes raised his hands to protest but he was silenced by a headlong glance from the Sergeant-Warsmith. The three Space Marines said their farewells before making towards the nearest stairway.
A battle-cry sounded from the Orks and the Green Tide began to charge forwards across no-mans land, most were armed with simply blades and makeshift armour but a few even carried crude Bolt Pistols. As the Orks drew closer Arkias turned to Evangelos and said “Mines” quietly into his Brothers ear. The giant nodded and pressed his hand down on the red detonator in front of him, suddenly no-mans land was thrown into the air along with almost a third of the Orks present. Flames bubbled upwards from mines and turned the Orks skin a smouldering black, the next order to come was “Load Weapons!” at that the Vogans pulled back cocking handles and took aim.
The sound of six thousand weapons being cocked is a glorious thing. But one thing even more glorious is six thousand weapons being fired. The Orks reeled backwards as hard rounds tore through their thick hides and exploded organs, blood bubbled from mouths and noses as they collapsed to their knees and fell flat on their scarred faces. After using up the ten rounds in their magazines a time of vantage was put upon the Orks, the firing mostly ceased bar the few turrets and cannons situated within the bunkers on the wall.
The Orks got nearer and nearer as the Vogans once again fired, the Orks suddenly lost their morale and turned on their heels, running back to the safety of the city the Vogans did not stop firing until their ammo had finally run out leaving some twenty thousand Orks dead in no-mans land. The Vogans slumped down against the wall, some played cards amongst each other while others took the precious time to sleep but more simply sat there wide eyed and cleaned their weapons robotically. The Astartes moved along the line, handing out friendly advice to the Vogans or advising Company Commanders on where to reinforce.
Temur stayed where he was, unflinching he could be seen by the Orks who feared him deeply. The Khan stared at the Orks as they began to set up fires and fight amongst each other, the White Scars couldn’t grasp their strange war based culture but compared it to the nomadic tribes of Chogoris but that was a insult to his people. Temur could see smaller species of Orks moving amongst their larger cousins, eating scraps of meat and getting kicked around by the more dominant creatures.
Vesalius had watched the entire battle unfold from the Keep. He had found himself roaring as the Orks were massacred, a sense of pride making him feel nauseous. He had a pair of Serfs bring him a chair and a palate full of meat and vegetables. Being a Huscarl Vesalius had the ability to command Serfs as a Astartes commands Huscarls. Vesalius placed his legs upon the railings and stared at the smoke coming from the city, he shook his head and got up. With one arm tucked under the other, Vesalius sipped on a goblet of blood red wine that felt warm as it slithered down his throat.
The Huscarl slurped away the remnants of the liquid and placed the goblet on the floor at his feet at pulled himself back up, he wondered why the Orks didn’t just bombard the walls from their ships? Then the answer came to him. They wanted a fight. How foolish they were to take on more than seven hundred Astartes and some eighty thousand Troopers though he knew by the sheer amount of ships in orbit they must have outnumbered them by at least three to one.
Vesalius coughed three times and moved away from the edge to his large wooden bed, red sheets were thrown upon it messily, a curve made out of them where he had pulled them aside earlier in the day. The Huscarl turned and fell down onto it, he moved up and down twice until gravity took hold and pulled him to a stop “Time to rest” he muttered and let all the worries swirling within his head disappear for another day.
The Orks sounded their first assault that day with mighty war-horns. The first wave was mostly made up of smaller Orks and those that Temur had witnessed being beat around by the larger dark skinned beasts. These were the easiest to dispatch that day. With one salvo from the Vogans the enemy shattered, heads popped and skin split as they were cut down those few that survived faced a more terrible fate when they returned to the Ork Camp, they were placed on large spittle’s and roasted two at a time, their meat being distributed between the Warbands.
Arkias stared at the ritual in disgust as another line of Orks, these all covered in thick red armour took up positions at the edge of the city. He knew these were the elite of one of the Warlords within the giant Waagh. He also knew these were well trained war machines. Arkias said without looking at Temur “These will be a problem White Scar, they are well armoured and my bets trained more than likely to breach our walls” Temur nodded his agreements and replied “I suggest you move any Missile Launchers you have unto the wall this is going to be a fight” and laughed slightly.
The Vogans were in good spirits however, a song now being sung by nearly every man along the line. The song was almost deafening and could be heard back at the Keep, nearly a mile above. The Orks charged. A roar was sounded from them as they approached faster than anyone expected, the Vogans awaited the orders of the Astartes and it finally came after several agonising moments. The Imperials opened fire with all they had in their arsenal, missiles streamed towards the growing line in front of them and sent scores flying into the air their bones crushed to a pulp.
The small arms fire however did little more than slow the Orks though a few lucky Vogans managed to blow out knees or take smash skulls. The Orks closed on the walls, some carrying mines between them. Arkias spat in rage and ordered “Grenades! Drop them on the bastards heads!” the Vogans complied and pulled pins of grapeshot grenades, dropping them down onto the enemy. This utterly devastated the enemy. They howled in pain as hundreds of small rounds metal shards tore through their line, metal shutters opened at the base of the wall and rifles poked out, as one they fired and struck those Orks still living in the chest downing them for good.
A cry moved along the line of Vogans, they looked upwards as someone shouted “To the skies!” before exploding backwards off the wall, his body falling far below like a feather. Some fifty Ork Fighters opened fire with their quad cannons, taking entire Squads off the wall even the Astartes ducked into cover from such a powerful attack. The wall became a scene of utter slaughter as Vogans crawled across the floor, dragging their entrails behind them. Others cried for long dead mothers as they held ragged tears in their flesh. One of the White Scar Terminators stood and aimed his Autocannon at a approaching Fighter, he pressed down on the ignition stud and the six barrelled weapon began to spin, hard rounds cracking through armour and pulling apart the pilot within.
The surviving Vogans roared in triumph and followed the Terminator in standing and targeting Fighters in Squads. This proved effective. Most of the Fighters were quickly overwhelmed, those that were not turned tail and fled back towards the giant Hulk in orbit that housed the particular Warlord of this Waagh. Medics moved along the wall, helping those they could and leaving those they couldn’t. Of the six thousand Vogans present that morning some two and a half thousand had been killed in the Fighter Attack, another nine hundred were out of action leaving only two thousand one hundred Vogans to defend the wall.
Arkias could not believe the high mortality rate. His forces were now spread out to thinly to withstand another major assault, although he still hade some three thousand Vogans within the wall itself they could not be placed atop it due to them having important positions where they currently were. The Sergeant-Warsmith would utilise the White Scars when the next assault began. And he planned to use them to their full extent, he turned towards Temur and said “We fall back, open the gates for the Orks now Brother your White Scars shall go to war!”.
Thousands of Orks made up the spearhead into the wall. They were lightly armoured, having only leather overalls on they carried simple blades with only the larger beasts having weapons that could fire. They moved across no-mans land slowly, losing several hundred to mines and other hidden traps they were forced onto one path to near the second wall, which giant studded gate was now opened like a maw. At the lead of the Orks stood a giant with a pair of cleavers in its muscled hands, a pair of yellow tusks moved up its face and terminated just below its helm.
Either side of the raised road was sharpened spikes, each wrapped in razorwire they could rip flesh from bones in seconds. Something terrible sounded from the second wall’s gateway and two hundred Bike mounted White Scars rode forwards, long curved blades in hand. The lead Ork roared as a blade cut through its skull and sent it toppling onto one of the spikes, the White Scars continued onwards, sending heads flying through the air in a maelstrom of blood and gore.
The White Scars continued onwards, the Orks on the road had been slaughtered but now those who had been following remained. They stood their ground before the red and white armoured Space Marines. And perished. Orks were cut apart by sharp blades as they burst organs and sent putrid smelling liquids splattering the armour of the Astartes. The Ork lines began to falter, slowly being pushed together by the White Scars who moved around them in great circles, cutting away stragglers. The group finally became bunched enough together for the Iron Warriors to drop a single missile on their position. The White Scars rode back into the confines of the second wall victorious, many carrying gory trophies upon their Bikes such as Ork heads and tusks.
The second wall would not fall as easy as the first it was decided between the two hundred and fifty White Scars defending it under Temur. Arkias had pulled his Iron Warriors and Vogans back to the fourth wall where they now prepared mine fields and fire pits for the upcoming battle, now Temur had to buy them precious time if they were to succeed in stopping the Orks once and for all. Arkias had already began to reinforce the fourth wall when the Orks first assaulted the second.
Temur stood grimly in the centre of his twenty five Tactical Squads, his four Terminator Armoured Brethren standing around him like imposing giants. Each of his four Bodyguards were armed with Power Fists much like their beloved master while one, Brother Kublai carried a Autocannon . Temur had watched the Orks move from the first gate into the trenches and had let them do so while his Mortar Teams targeted them and laid sights upon the enemy.
With a feral roar the Mortar fire was brought upon the Promethium filled trenches, ‘one last gift from the Vogans’ Arkias had told Temur before making for further up the slope. Now the trenches were alight with burning Orks who scrambled in all directions, trying to hit the flames away only to find themselves dying seconds later. The Orks that had been moving towards the trenches now stood behind the wall of flame, staring into it.
The Astartes stared at the pyre, their faces hidden behind helms. Temur growled over the Vox in his native language “Brothers! Prepare to deliver these whore spawn beast into oblivion! Open fire! No mercy! No mercy!” the call to war was answered by the sound of Bolters crackling in the wind was followed by the screams of Orks, many of which now began to push forwards causing some fifty Orks to fall into the fire.
The Space Marines had found themselves triumphant over the Orks when tens of thousands of Orks pushed through the first gate, Temur muttering “Emperor save us”. The Khan looked around quickly shouting “Ready Bolters! Chainswords and Bolt Pistols on standby!” the Orks were now pounding across no-mans land faster than anyone had expected. Bolters were shouldered and Chainswords revved as the got within firing range, Temur raised his hands and roared “By The Khan! Bring down these foul monstrosities!”.
The Orks were thrown head over heel as rounds smacked into their thick hide, the Orks exploded outwards in great plumes of pink coloured flesh and bone marrow. The White Scars continued fighting in silence, not one roaring or growling at the enemy. Temur smiled as the Orks were gunned down, they squealed in pain as they fell into the bloody mud. Mortar Teams cheered wildly as their fist sized explosives sent Orks into the air, skin flapping behind them.
Evangelos and Vlassis stared at the ensuing battle on the second wall. Both stood on the third wall, surrounded by White Scars and Imperial Army personal known as Arcadians who each wore segmented white armour. Each had their black visors drawn over their faces, red cloaks billowing out in the wind behind them Evangelos nudged Vlassis in the side and said bitterly “Looks like they have been around the White Scars for to long” the both burst out in laughter and got a glace from a White Scars Sergeant who winced at the brutish forms.
The Arcadians however were fine men. Born to a Xeno ruled world they had fought to overcome the Eldar who clutched the world in their lithe claws. They had risen up and thrown the Eldar enslavers on great pyres, along with those Arcadians who had sided with the ancient race. Then the White Scars had arrived and eight regiments had been raised from those PDF units and rebels who had fought against the Eldar. One of these regiments had joined the White Scars under Temur and had fought with them on more than a hundred worlds. Both Iron Warriors stared at the wall when something cause the very earth to shake under its force.
Deep within the city a cannon the length of ten Thunderhawks fired. The shell was the size of a Rhino APC was propelled away from the giant muzzle with a deafening crack, it spiralled past buildings and clipped the first wall taking away a large section which landed on the Orks below who raised their hands in terror before it landed with a crunch. The shell struck the second wall west of the gate, the resulting explosion could be seen fifty miles away. Debris and White Scars were sent tumbling into the air, weapons flying from their hands.
The wall crumbled apart, taking with it nearly seven full Squads of White Scars as the Orks began to charge forwards, blades spinning in their hands. Many of the White Scars were trapped. Waist deep in thick stones they could only draw Bolt Pistols and prepare for death. Then suddenly Temur jumped from his position and landed on the pile, arms crossed into a X. The White Scars began to roar his name as he strode forwards, his Terminators and those who were still standing following close behind.
Each had drawn their Chainswords and Bolt Pistols, the Terminators bar Brother Kublai has powered up their Power Fists ready for battle. The Orks met the White Scars head to head. Temur hissed as he punched the first of the Xeno in the chest, his arm passing right through in a jet of blood and bone fragments. The Astartes and Orks clashed together like a tide against the shore, the Orks were sent tumbling backwards by the ceramite armoured giants.
The Khan laughed as he head butted a giant Ork nearly as large as him its two tusk snapped apart as its small pig like nose pushed upwards into its tiny brain and killed it. Temur pivoted on his heel as a giant blade came down unto his shoulder, sparks were sent into the air like a firework as the White Scar punched down the beast with both arms. Temur turned his head to the clanking second gate and smiled as he found himself staring at the bike mounted Astartes, each one with a curse curling from their lips.
Arkias had heard the explosion. And seen it. And worse of all felt it. The entire mountain seemed to rock under the force of the cannon shot. The Iron Warriors had geared up but Arkias had told them to remain still saying that he would send Evangelos, Vlassis and a Company of Vogans to reinforce the second wall. The Sergeant-Warsmith would have sent his entire Squad but he knew the chances of Evangelos and Vlassis making there in time to help the White Scars fall back were slim. So why place his entire Squad there?
The Sergeant-Warsmith was simply focusing all his attention on preparing the defences. He would not let Voga fall. His Vogans were now stripped down to their combats only, shovels and pickaxes in hands teams of eight prepared pits filled with razor-sharp spikes or grenades or other strange traps. The Iron Warriors however were busy preparing their own weapons and armour for the upcoming battle, none wanted to let the Orks breach their walls but it was a simple fact they would.
Temur watched as some thirty Ork Dreadnaughts marched in through the first gate, followed by more of the Red Orks they had come up against the previous day. He stared in horror and ordered “That’s it! Fall back to the third wall Brothers! The second has fallen!” they looked around in surprise before finally doing as he said and walking backwards, Bolters still firing into the Orks. The White Scars took their toll even as they fell back, Temur was the last to step away from the breach making sure those who had been trapped earlier were safely within the second gate.
Evangelos and Vlassis charged down the dirt road, a company of Vogan Siege Troopers in heavy armour following at their heels. They passed entire Squads of injured White Scars limping back into the safety of the second wall. Vlassis turned his head towards Evangelos slightly and said “The White Scars took a beating, looks like there’s a lot of injured” his giant of a Brother simply grinned and said “I hope Temur has left some Orks for us!”.
Temur watched as the Iron Warriors and Vogans ran past him without even noticing the Khan and spat “Arrogant Terrans will be slaughtered! Damnation! Kublai gather a combat squad!” his trusted second in command bowed and ran off, returning several minutes later with five White Scars who Temur did not seem to recognise. The Khan grunted and said “Very well follow me” and spun, running off after the Iron Warriors and Vogans.
Vlassis drew his pickaxes with a grim smile. The Iron Warriors and Vogans were now standing on the pile of rubble staring at the mass of Orks as the White Scar Bikers rode in through the main gates and began for the third wall. Vlassis stepped forwards and raised his right weapon roaring “Face me you green skinned whores!” the Vogans cheered “Come! I await your deaths!”. The Orks answered. The lightly armoured Orks charged first, roaring and baying.
The Vogans took aim and fired. All three hundred of them. Their barrel mounted machine guns flashed, forming bright flowers at the end of their muzzle. The Orks fell. Stumbling on their knees they tried to pull themselves back up but found more rounds chewing through their skin. Even as the front runners died more took their place, hundreds more. Yet the Imperials held their ground. Under the fire from Evangelos and the Vogans the Orks could not get within ten metres of the Imperials, bodies began to form a natural wall creating cover for the Xeno.
Then the Dreadnaughts came. Smashing down the wall of bodies with chainsaw tipped arms each one was roughly shaped into a cylinder with a single visor across its centre, some were painted with black and white checkers while others carried grisly trophies on giant hooks. Evangelos spun around and targeted the nearest, firing the beast spun around on one leg as the rounds ripped through its armour and tore into the pilot within.
Its brethren howled as the drew closer, blades swinging in all directions. Evangelos stared into the eye slit of the first and swore he saw the red beady eyes of its Ork pilot as the first chainsaw fell onto his shoulder and caused him to collapse onto one knee, Heavy Bolter still firing. The Dreadnaughts armour became a pitted wreck as Evangelos’ weapon clicked dry he spat in anger and reached up for the blade with both hands, he wrapped his armoured fingers around it and with a roar began to push the blade back into the Ork Walkers chest, it cut through and shredded the pilot sitting on a leather see within its tight confines.
Evangelos stood at full height and hefted his empty Heavy Bolter, seven Red Orks charged towards him with giant orange painted meat cleavers in one hand and strange Bolt Pistols in the other. The Iron Warrior stepped forwards and swung his weapon around two handed, it connected with the lead Ork’ face and broke bones as its skull caved in and turned its beady brain into mush. The second Ork roared and clamped down on his wrist with giant tusks, bones snapped as it burst the armour and pulled tearing the skin away.
The Astartes stumbled backwards, staring at the blood filled maw that was the Orks mouth and charged forwards, he punched its throat with his good hand and snapped its spine sending it tumbling to the broken floor. Evangelos stepped backwards and hissed as he fumbled with his Bolt Pistol, which refused to leave its holster and realised this was it as a pair of Dreadnaughts moved either side of him and raised their chainsaw arms to cut him down.
Suddenly the Dreadnaught on his left exploded outwards, hard rounds ripping straight through it and striking the surviving Orks behind it. Metal shards showered Evangelos as the second Dreadnaught stepped backwards and spun around to face a new opponent, as it did so a missile twisted into its head section and sent it flying backwards, arms outstretched as a blizzard of fire ripped through its metal skin smashing it to a crushed slab.
The injured Iron Warrior looked around and found himself looking at seven White Scars striding forward, one with a smoking missile launcher in one hand and a Bolt Pistol in the other. At their lead was Temur and the Autocannon armed Terminator. The Orks stopped dead in their tracks at the sign of reinforcements and spun, dropping crude weapons only a giant beast nearly twice the size of Temur remained. In one hand, all the way to the elbow was a giant crab like Claw that clamped back and forth. In the other cat a giant meat cleaver stained with dry blood and that of the Vogans it was now butchering.
A pair of curled bone like horns rose up from its bowl helmet, hundreds of skulls and trophies hanged from its body like grim jewellery. Below it was red armour. This must have been the Warboss who had been throwing its elite against the walls and now after unsuccessful attempts was here in person, or whatever it was. Thousands upon thousands of scars covered its leather like face in all shapes and sizes as it turned towards the White Scars and Evangelos. It began to move towards them as the Astartes levelled Bolters and began to fire.
Skulls burst and sent bone fragments flying everywhere as rounds struck home, it covered the Xeno like a shield hiding its immense bulk. The giant gripped the first White Scar in its clawed hand and lifted him like a doll. The Marine still fired even as the claw tightened and sent cracks moving up his side, blood began to seep out of the hairline fractures when finally the Power Armour gave way and the Astartes was cut in two. The two halves landed hard, bouncing off the uneven ground blood jetted in all directions as the second White Scar last his body above the chest to the Beast.
The Marines trigger continued firing into the Orks immense bulk, his muscles within his are shaking under a spasm before the Ork squatted him away into the nearest wall. The Autocannon began to whump! Loudly as its hard rounds struck the Ork in the torso, sending it stepping backwards the creature roared louder than anything mortal should be able to make and charged forwards, the Missile Launcher bearing Astartes stepped in the way and fired his weapon point blank. The resulting explosion engulfed both man and beast in a wreath of flame and sent the remaining Astartes tumbling through the air in all directions, Evangelos landed hard on his back, his mind swimming the last thing he saw was thousands of Orks swarming into the breach.
Temur pulled himself up and looked around, his Helm was cracked down the centre a stream of light blinding his left eye. He looked around, there was no sign of Kublai or on that matter any of his White Scars. However he did sight the Iron Warrior, Evangelos lying in a slowly widening pool of his own blood, the Space Marines lower left arm transformed into a tangle of blood streamer like flesh and bone. A large piece of shrapnel had turned his abdomen into a red crater and was now slowly sinking like a ship within the filling blood.
The Terminator armoured Khan spat as he tore away his Helm and threw it onto the ground, revealing his scarred and bloody face. Charging forwards he could see the Orks drew nearer to his injured Brother who remained unmoving. Blood splashed around his feet as he reached down and gently pushed his hands around his Brother, he hefted him up and turned his head to face the Orks. Standing amongst them was a giant with wicked burning eyes, horns protruded from its head and in its left hand was the body of a White Scar which seemed almost doll like within its hands.
The two stared at each other for several moments before Temur spun and made for the third gate which was now being reinforced with some eight Companies of Arcadians bearing long hooked spears. Then a white hand, covered in blood, rose up a metre or so away. The bearded head of Kublai followed closely, the White Scar bellowing “Damned Orks!” still with a sense of humour thought Temur as his Brother rose and clutched his stub of a missing hand. The two White Scars stared at each other and shared a smile before turning and running towards the gate at full speed.
As they passed through the gates a order rang out “Close the gates! Lord Arkias has ordered it himself!” the Arcadians moved back within, spears held outwards the Orks were forming a large block for the upcoming attack. Eight White Scars ran towards them, two taking the injured Evangelos away to a awaiting Rhino APC while Kublai pushed them back barking “Stay away from me! Im fine!” he drew a short sword from his side with his good hand and turned to Temur saying “I shall draw Ork blood Brother! Let me lead the defence, you shall not be displeased” the Khan nodded and said “Very well Brother take your place among the line”.
Arkias could not believe it. One of his Iron Warriors was badly injured, chances are he would not survive the night and the second was missing in action. Vlassis, one of the best close combat experts within the Legion itself was missing, possibly dead. Arkias slammed his fists into a metal door twice, the first buckled it and the second sent it flying within as he roared and threw a cluttered desk through a window without even making a heave. Eight Serfs burst into the room and Arkias spun, a wicked smile moving across his face as he neared them.
Closing the door Arkias turned to the huddled up Serfs, they pushed each other towards the broken door but knew it only led into a access tunnel that had been blocked up several months before. Arkias grabbed hold of the first and with both hands tore him apart at the hip, blood squirted as the Space Marine threw him into a wall and grabbed hold of the seconds head, crushing it with one squeeze he let the body fall onto the ground and prepared to slaughter the rest. The six remaining survivors spun around, running into the tunnel Arkias grinned as he gave chase, his bloody form slowly losing to the darkness.
Vlassis found himself being taken aboard the vast Hulk. Covered in chains his armour was cracked and bloody, his shoulder was torn open, almost like it had been bit. He knelt in the middle of a rusted ship, surrounded by some five hundred of the Red Orks who stood around him like unflinching guardians. Some barked and whooped at capturing a Space Marine, he realised the Ork Warboss must have wanted him for some reason due to the simple fact he had not yet been torn limb from limb by the foul Xeno.
The ship rocked and Vlassis muttered “Emperor deliver me through salvation” as he expected it to fall apart under his feet. As he said that the closest Red Ork turned and punched the side of his swollen face, the Iron Warrior refused to yelp in pain and turned to the Xeno spitting a broken tooth mixed with blood and spittle into its face. The creature stepped forwards and grabbed him by the throat when he started to laugh defiantly “Your days are numbered Ork my Primarch will-” a terrible screeching noise sounded and the rear half of the ship was pulled away to reveal a giant expansive area.
Thousands of Green Skins roared as he was dragged out of the transport, some threw metal and rock at him bouncing off his armour the side of his face that had no Helm left was pelted several times, weakening his bone further. He was dragged through some eight different ships and what seemed to be a mine full of gleaming blue and green crystals that made the Astartes jaw drop, he desperately wanted to reach out and clutch them but knew a Astartes could not feel greed, yet it was still there within his soul pointing outwards.
A pair of cone shaped giants loomed ahead, each one a mismatch of metal panels and bristling with long barrelled weapons. Each one was draped in banners and stood either side of the fifty metre doors, though both of these were just about taller than them. Dozens of smaller Red Orks swarmed around them, fighting over food and other substances, the larger of which were forcing their smaller brethren around thuggishly as a war horn sounded and the doors began to clank open……
Brother Tahlmil stared into the Ork chocked skies and loaded his Bolter, the tanned White Scar stood firm on the third wall, with the rest of his Squad spread out at ten metre intervals, between them standing rows upon rows of Arcadians. The Orks were setting up makeshift tents, Gretchen Snipers could be seen crawling forth with mud smeared clothes pulled tightly around their little forms. The Arcadians took particular pride in finding these.
Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.
"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"
'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'