this is chapter 5 of a stoy i started years ago but grew bord of and am only just getting back to.
previous 4 chapter are here.https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...light=golithia
but be warned it is a lot of reading
Cordax finally looked up from the table-sized viewing tablet in front of him, labelled markers denoting the real-time position of his remaining forces on the planet. The bulk of R platoon had reached the rendezvous and were preparing for the push into ‘New Seti‘, the planet’s capital.
“Colonel” he finally said, turning to face the man in the starched, deep blue and gold uniform. The Mordian Officer snapped to attention and removing his gold trimmed cap in one fluid motion, revealing grey, neatly cropped hair. The stern face held several scars, the most prominent cut across the right side of his face from the bridge of his nose to the corner of his mouth.
“Fully mobilise the 12th Mordian Foot for deployment, go”
“yes sir” replied Colonel Iridian Auston before saluting. The man’s heart swelled with pride as he turned away, but refusing to show such unprofessional feelings in his expression. His whole regiment in battle as one. Four thousand fighting men. Brave, Steady, Mordian men ready to march at his order. He’d show those Cadian fools how to fight and win in the emperor’s name, they had lost almost two whole regiments in strength against animals. Auston shook his head, just children playing at soldiering. He would show them, by the emperor he would.
The door hissed shut as the colonel left, leaving Cordax with the rest of his senior command staff.
He leaned back over the viewing tablet, tracing the planned route of the 13th’s armour with his finger. The hardest part of commanding an army was the relentless waiting, Cordax thought. He smiled as the tags marked ‘XIII CADIAN AR’ and ‘IX CADIAN FT-R’ simultaneously started to advance down the highway to the city.
His thoughts were interrupted by a newly arrived naval lieutenant coming to attention across the table from him.
“Lieutenant?” said the lord marshal, acknowledging the officer wearily
“You asked to be informed of anything sir” he replied “ the sensors picked up large blip three planets out from our position in the system. It registers no energy or propulsion on our sensors but it continues to correct its course towards us”
“Debris or an abandoned craft?”
“We don’t know sir but neither would change course so precisely”
“Very good lieutenant, keep me updated”
Cordax looked away from the saluting naval officer as a sign of dismissal and the man retreated from the tablet.
X X X
Stylus placed his combat helmet beside him on the scorched track guard of 13th company’s command demolisher, holding it in place with one hand. The convoy had just set off with the Ravens strung out along the line of armoured vehicles, where ever there was space.
Metal tracks rumbling along a concrete highway, the demolisher ramming abandoned vehicles aside. He cast a forlorn glance back they way they came, Hawthorw had not made the rendezvous. His fate unknown. Colonel Jace, the man in command of the 13th, had flatly stated that he wouldn’t wait any longer and D platoon’s commanding sergeant had agreed.
So the Ten vehicle force had left with the colonel leading in his Demolisher tank followed by three regular pattern Leman Russ tanks, one Vanquisher variant, a Hellhound flame tank and two Chimera transports and a recon element of two Salamander scout vehicles. He could see the outskirts of the city on the horizon, he passed back the order to ready and check equipment.
He looked back again with faint hope, no nothing. He turned back to face the city, he would have to lead these men alone. For better or for worse, the Raven where in his hands now.
“Sergeant!” a deep voice roared over the noise of the tank.
Stylus turned to face the weary face of Colonel Carlin Jace.
Jace raised his hand beckoning to stylus and to also brushing his jet black hair away from the burnt side of his face. As stylus clambered onto the turret of the Leman Russ the colonel revealed a data tablet displaying a map of the immediate area.
“Orders from the lord marshal, the Ravens are to deploy here” he pointed to a
memorial square inside the government complex directly outside the governor’s intelligence service headquarters.
“Secure the GIS Headquarters and use a vox pack to upload all the data on the mainframe straight to the Vindication. Then you’ll need to advance the rest of the way to the spaceport on foot”
“D platoon with us or you?”
“Us, command seems to think we need close fire cover on this one” he snorted back indignant laugh”
“And the eta?” said stylus, starting to return to the track guard
“20 minutes give or take hour relying on road conditions” the colonel said barking a laugh as his tank shunted a rusting van off the highway”
“you just better have that spaceport locked down colonel when we get there, I’ll be looking forward to some R&R”
“5 star all the way sergeant” replied Jace in jest as he closed the turret hatch
X X X
“set the charges !”
Private Kurth turned around in the cave entrance at Hawthorw’s order. 3rd squad filed passed him as he pulled a brace of demo-charges from his webbing and hurled them back down the tunnel. Searing las-bolts flickered around him, digging into the mass of claws and chitinous armour washing up the passage towards him.
The recoil of this fathers old service auto-pistol felt reassuring in his hand; Kurth’s lasgun remained embedded bayonet first in the ribs of a leaper back in the cavern. His other hand grasped the detonator as he ran hunched over out of the cave , diving to the floor when he had cleared the entrance.
His thumb found the arming switch ontop of the device; a red light flashed repeatedly on the handle
“On a five count soldier. Ravens, take cover!”
A bright flash erupted from the tunnel as the charges went off. A storm of stone and dust rushed out of the entrance; a few meters into the cave the roof had collapsed and trapped the xenon behind a wall of rock
Fye looked up through the settling dust, blinking furiously to clear the white flash scared on to his vision. The sergeant rose to his feet and looked down at his right hand still clutching the exhausted sniper rifle, its breach still open where the last casing had exited. He let the weapon drop to the ground and drew his las-pistol from its holster. The rest of 3rd squad and the 1st squad fire team were sprawled around him and were themselves recovering from the blast shockwave, slowly rising and recovering their weapons.
“Fye, over here “ beckoned Hawthorw as he turned to show the sergeant his data tablet
“We’re not going to make it to the rendezvous, instead we’ll head north north east until we intersect with the highway. If we still miss the column then we’ll head in on foot”
“yes sir, the men just need a few minuets to rest and gather themselves. It was one hell of a fight sir.”
“sorry no, we cant afford it. Even a few minuets could mean we miss the convoy”
“with all due respect sir, the’re not Kasrkin. They can can’t do what we can”
“They, sergeant, are soldiers in the God Emperor’s service, they will do what is asked of them in his name. the emperor protects”
“the emperor protects, but sir the..”
“get them up and ready” interrupted Hawthorw “I want to be in that city by night fall”