This is substantially better written than "Lone Dreadnought" grammatically and is substantially more structurally sound.
Thanks,, i stopped working on this due to a, well perceved lack of intrst, and so i started other projects. i have a back log of other chapters though so i can post a few more
Chapter 3 the tide turns
“Now is the time, sound the war horns we at dawn we march!”High General Michal Archer
as new troops were being found a new space battle was brewing. Navy scout ships had spotted a influx of new ships, this plus the ships form the first battle brought the total to a estimated 10 ships of the line and 15 escorts. The battle was once more on a even keel.
Then knew were the old ships were hiding, in a asteroid belt, but they could not bring battle to them. Every 5th asteroid had a atomic torpedo tube on with a 50 mega ton war head on it. They just could not fight them. Now it seemed they might take the battle to them were and when were problems, or and this was worse switch to convoy raiding as more men were need more would be brought vie the space lanes that now were open to the Alliance fleet. They had to be tracked down and destroyed but with the fleet in the asteroid belt they could not be brought to battle meaning the only response was convoy guarding but with the current number of ships only one convoy could be guarded at a time any more and they would just throw all there ships at one convoy and destroy the fleet one ship at a time.
The easiest solution was more ships but getting them was the problem cry to Segmenturm command more fell on deaf ears. No more would be given but Hermon Lutheran Von Wellburg could conscripted some more, yes? As he went trolling for yet more ships he soon drew the attention of Conclave of Bourbon. One of the more imported jobs of the inquisition was to police its own, and it seemed that Hermon was corrupt, abusing his power to further his own goals regardless of the harm it did to the wider Imperium.
In a session the conclave decided to send inquisitor Coruncanius Octavius to investigate. When he arrived he was turned away, Hermon claimed he was serving the Imperium but to subvert claims of treachery he said he would stop recruiting and he said he would share his reason only to a fellow Inquisitor lord. When the reply was sent to the conclave, Inquisitor lord Camillus Ruga did indeed arrive and he brought 6 company's of storm troopers and a Commandery of sisters of battle.
When he arrived he was welcomed and bid to see something of Iladon, 10 hours latter he returned and claimed that not only was Hermon not treacherous but was welcome to as many of the Imperium resources as he needed. This was not unnoticed by many eyes. As convoys started to arrive bring more men and supply's into the fight the the Alliance knew they had to make there move before this chance slid by, NOW!
the Inquisitor arrive was noted, something was on Iladon and if it could be layed to siege they would put the Imperium on the back foot as they rushed men to defend,,, what every was imported enough for a 2 Inquisitor lords from both the Ordo Xenos and Ordo Hereticus to claim it must be defended. In orbit hidden on a small asteroid that barely deserved the designation of moon that orbited Iladon a set of ground penetrating radar buzzed to life. Before now it was quiet for fear of being found out before it and it passive GPS, vox listener and spy cameras were destroyed.
As it began it sweep the reason became clear enough. Vast anomaly's of something dotted the world the smallest being a couple yards in diameter the largest as big as city's. The one place that could be ID was what seemed to be a simple Imperial plasteel base hidden underground, or rather buried it could be easily excavated from the fine sand that coated it and if the readings were right it was dense enough for what was planed.
Hidden in the shadow of the moon was yet another reason not to revel it with a active scanner, a P55 O-KRAB a orbital kinetic rod assault battery armed with 6 10 ton solid titanium rods the upon impact had the force of a nuclear weapon as Imperium ships moved upon the recently uncovered asteroid the rods lunched. 2 rods went north toward new imperial trench lines as the other 4 hammered into the base. From miles away you could see the massive glow of the rods as they screamed to earth glowing red hot as they heated up from entered the atmosphere and hit throwing up mile high mushroom clouds which when faded reveled the base. A large group of short buildings the indirect bombardment had revealed, now with miles clear between the army and it.
On the command staff what started as a ordinary meeting on reinforcements took a turn when a low level staffer arrived to report on the rebels (they still did not know they called themselves the Alliance) newest action the detection of the asteroid, it destruction and the capturing of a satellite of some kind but before it was taken it had fired a something possibility atomic warheads more likely juddering by like of radiation a kentic attack of some kind but more interesting it had unearthed some kind of, imperial base.
Before he even finished Hermon declared it off limits no one was to enter a 5 mile radius or be declared excommunicated, Lionus Lorien questioned why, what was it? Hermon gave no answer, and Lionus said unless he knew his marines were going back to Dutur. The next thing the staffer said was that a army was moving to attack it, if no one could move in 5 miles who would defend it? First using his conscription power he drove George Dike to from a tench line 5 miles away form the base, or rather 10 as he need room behind the marine line for artillery defending the base proper would be some space marines form the Ordo Xenos, and sending a call to Camillus Ruga before he left system and being told yes, 6 company's of storm troopers and a Commandery of sisters.
At the base the forces readied for battle the space marines,sisters and storm troopers readied, what would it be? Tanks? Or troops? It seemed this time to be a mix of mechanized infantry and tanks and behind them a whole army of Xenos. The Alliance slammed into the defensive works and the battle was on. A head on attack rammed into the space marines as the tanks swept around on a flanking move it found sisters, and it was surprising the human troops seem leery of attacking the sisters, unnerved even. The Hypon who were in the attack did not care but the humans did, why?
When questioned after the battle as to why the captured troops could not put a finger one it, for the most part due to the fact they were sisters not unknown on Alliance worlds nor uncommon but they were not by god militant! They found it hard to kill the emperor favorites. The battle swung to the Imperium even as losses mounted for them until they fell back to the Trenchy line. The last act of the battle was when a supply convoy moving up to the new front ran into the trench line, they called in a Themobaric bombing run and destroyed the entire trench line in front of them just because it was in there way. The final straw was a leaflet dropping over the remaining trenches that told of the effects of a Themobaric bomb, the huge explosion followed by a vacuum that sucked the air out of the lungs and, with pictures, told that fact that it sucked you wind pipe and lungs out your mouth.
To the men of Kreig this was the last straw moral plummeted, it was not that they lost men, but that they had barely killed any one, they chosen way of war, perfected for millions of years, rendered obsolete in a moment. They would fight to the end but with little hope it took much less for them to fall back or surrender as at lest 1 platoon had. Iladon was almost over unless more men could arrive but Dutur
Dutur Counter Attack
was going no better when the order to attack was sent to Iladon the men on Dutur began the fight anew. It began on Habcomplex 448. Defending it were 8 full platoons of guardsmen with full air support and a full 8 more of Elysian in reserve along with 3 platoons of drop armor it was well defended. The plan was simple, blitz. Rush up fast and with vigor turning the fight into one of there choice. Technology on technology, skill on skill. Simple in theory but they would have nether bombing or artillery support due to harming the hab complex and the civilians in side the other problem was the choice of units.
They hailed from a sanctuary world, ill trusted due to iner politics which though fewer then the Imperium can be just as bitter there often sent on rear echelon duty's. Up to now they had played little part in the war, till now. And once more the chosen commander was Josepha, a Choas space marine. The objective was to take the hab complex, with out destroying it. The first the Imperium knew of that attack was when the air was filled with the sound of rail rifles and heaver ground ponders, followed by the mass of rifle men led by a tall man in dark green armor. As the guard drew from the far perimeter to fight the Alliance the battle grew in intensity. Then on the far side of the perimeter a force of Rifle men smashed thought the guard weakened perimeter and trapped the guard in there own siege works hemmed in from both sides, by fighting. Cry from both sides rose sky word each beclaiming the glory to either the chaos gods or the Emperor each rising higher and higher joining to gather to form one loud tribute to war.
As confirmation that ground based hydra flak guns were neutralized the air was filled with the screech of air superiority jet fighter and even as Valkyries and heavy lifters moved to support the guard there were forced to land a mile away from the battle and the drop platoons were forced to run to the battle, though more often then not they just jumped on top of the Leman's and just held on tight. When they got there they found themselves in trouble. The Alliance had not only dug in they had dug in hard. As the Elysian charged into the fight it seemed George Dike guess had been right drop armor off set the lack of Elysian heavy weapons. But that heavy fire power was concentrated and as each tank fell so did a fair bit of fire power. It was the fight they had wanted skill on skill technology on technology. As the guard began to fall back or in case of the guard trapped between the two pincers of the Alliance attack surrender the Alliance let them and dug in for the counter attack. Scouts that moved to form the front reported a large force of both guardsmen, tanks and the first of the 3 Storm swords on Dutur.
To counter this threat a few of the hand full of hunters that were on Dutur in theory there massive cannons could split a Bane blade in Twain, in theory it had never been tried. As the battle began anew, amongst the thump of heavy bolter and the lighter humm of las guns fire in volley it soon became clear that this battle was different they could not run overwhelm the Alliance as had been done before they were to few and the fire power was to strong, but then the Storm sword rolled up firing its massive siege cannon it flattened a whole segment of the defensive line but it was now in the fire arc of the hunters. Farther down the street that led to the complex the hunters now had a bead on there target. The guns hummed loudly gaining in pitch and volume as the gun charged it self up to full power when it fired it striped the rust off the iron street due to the magnetism. The first shot missed grazing the side of the tank stripping off a pair of heavy bolters. The second Hunter hit head on rolling it up on the back of its treads only to fall back to it level with a crash. The first hunter reloaded and fired once more this time it hit right in the cannon just as a new shell was loaded. The shell exploded and the blast force also blew back and hit other internal shells they too exploded and the tank not only blew up but it took a far number of guardsmen with it.
With out the tank there much reduced number due to how many loses they had taken in the days of fighting fierce fighting. They were repulsed, the counter attack had failed for the first time the war had began 7 weeks ago, a time that saw a rapid advance taking 30 miles of land in every direction and the taking of 50 hab complexes, the Alliance had won a battle and held the ground they took.
And made a small riot in the imperial command staff. As the Alliance carried foreword on both Dutur and Iladon the staff was divided. The Torstenson Von Diago started a purge of the regimental commanders on the grounds that they had failed, at the same time pruning the experienced leaders Dike wanted Hermon to stop him but he refused pushing them farther apart, while Karl Von Nafir and Joesph Don Ludwig tried to pushed for Hermon to use his power of conscription to gain them more men or ships,both of witch was needed. Lionus Lorien and Luther were each vieing for more attention to the chaos marines. The tension was growing just as the loaming space battle began.
in space on the edge of the system the first of many supply convoys was inbound guarding was the whole of the imperial navy fleet in system wary of any attack.
Suddenly a fleet was seen on the radar screens steaming toward them at high speed as the transports bunched together for defense the ships moved to attack the Alliance. The Mighty Retribution class ship Immortal Thunder as the point of the spear in front of them was the Alliance fleet. In command was Flag Admiral Alexander Gorden from his personal battle ship, Indomitable, the first of a new class of ships the ARS Indomitable was built to out fight,race and last anything of similar tonnage.
Rear Admiral Alexis sighed in relief as he looked at the scans, guarding the flanks in a pyramid formation with it point facing the Imperium were ships that he knew well for they were Imperial make, but alarming him was on the far edge of the radar senses eldar ships, it seems the interrogations were correct some eldar mercenary were part of this traitor force but now was the time for battle not war. He lead his ships to counter the Pyramid mindful of the fast eldar ships that sat on the flanks. Indomitable soon started to lash out with its foreword atomic missiles lighting the void up with it blasts of heat, light and radiation. Such a wanton use of atomic weapons was unknown to the Imperial navy it seemed the Alliance used atomic weapons freely in space battles were radiation did little in ground battle not a single atomic weapon had been used.
As the distance closed the atomic bombardment ceased as the blast would harm the user from there it was close combat of the highest degree. In side each ship macro cannon, plasma cannon and lance (or as the Alliance calls it lasers) each trading blows on board Immortal thunder Alexis was reeling each impact staggered him as the ship shock like a earth quake. As Thunder fought the mighty Indomitable soon Indomitable lost a fin but it did not slow soon a second volley of torpedoes was fired from a broadside? They had a much lower yield to be sure but still did a fair bit of damage. Even worse the ships he did now were firing faster then his own how skilled were there gun crew?
Not very truthfully the Alliance had,, modified the guns of the Imperial ships so each shot recoiled the gun back to a waiting ram rod that shoved a new round in place followed by magnetic fields slamming it foreword back into place all the gun crew did was sight it for accuracy and to make sure that the gun did not change in degrees during firing. Each shot was 5 times faster then the Imperial crew though they suffered in maneuverability when in gunnery mode when most of the power was deviated to the reloading of the guns, but in close battles like this speed was of little use, slogging it out like titans,yes, roaring with thunder? Like Space wolf scorned, definitely, speed? No not at all
As the battle continued it the Imperials kept losings ships at a horrible ratio, it was the same story of the whole war, massive loss for little retribution. senator Richter Winter had been right this battle was were they proved them selfs as better the Imperium, ship for ship, tank for tank, man on man. None not even the mighty space marines of the Adeptus Astartes, the Angels of Death could shake the mighty men and women of the Alliance, step by step they walked there path paved in blood and bones of the Imperium bearing the torch of the truth. Now was the time the hour. Even as the last of the Imperials fell back and though the convoy had gotten away the damage was done.
The loss was the last straw. As the army's fell back on Dutur Hermon stopped playing nice. He ordered the army's of Dutur back to Iladon, every regiment, every company, every platoon, every man, to Iladon AND THATS A ORDER! Dike disagreed he was here to take Dutur damn it if he failed he would be politically doomed. Joesph Don Ludwig sided with Hermon, Leon Frost and Luther watched weary knowing there fate might be on the line Karl Pressed once more he need ships for even Iladon, Lorien grew tired of this fighting, beside his losses were at the tipping point any way. Time to leave.
He said so and was promptly ordered by the Inquisition mandate to fight on. He was ignored, more then that Hermon had gone to far ordering space marines! There history may not be as long as most chapter but it was a proud history, he threatened him Hermon and Lorien were ____ that close to fighting, a battle that would leave Hermon a broken bleeding wreck. But good news kept them at apart. At the beginning of the war he had recommended asking the Blood Ravens for help and the request had been sent now it payed off. In the middle of the duel to be a staffer brought the message the the blood raven 4th company was here. Seeing his job done Lorien stormed out of the room in 4 hours the Mechanicus were gone. The command staff was dissipated for the day.
That night Dike went to sleep in the command bunker on Dutur even as men left for Iladon he slept on in the center of the most heavily forfeited zone on Dutur, what could go wrong. That knight a shadow of a man moved though outer perimeter with out a Tarantula noticing. Falling in line with a company of men set for redeployment, they did not notice a extra man, he left the company to join the hubbub of a full evacuate zone pushing foreword he approached the bunker, its map long since memorized, the sentry's blocked him from entering until he flashed a Inquisitor sign saying he was on classified business and was allowed in, a staffer woke Dike saying a Inquisitor servant was here to see him. In his personal lounge he met the man, Dike said “what does Hermon Lutheran want now?”
the man said nothing for a moment then spoke “your death.” drew his bolt pistol and fired 5 bolts as fast as his finger could pull the trigger but Dike was once upon a time a sargent having raised him self up and still had the reflexes, even as his body guards began to move raising bolt pistols he dived for the floor, rolled and delivered a massive upper cut that would have shred him had he been wearing the power fist he wore the whole of his battle field career. As the assassin staggered back Dike ran to his room, shut the bomb poof door and from a case he kept under his bed pulled out and his power fist and bolt pistol, turned toward the door to await the assassin.
But the assassin, after dealing with the guards with two shots. He left his mission done. As more guards came to investigate the shots they ignored the servant, just one more staffer, when the guards got to Dike, (after accidentally clipping one with his pistol, nerves) and he told them what the assassin looked like the guards started looking for him. He was almost out of the bunker when a guard finally ID him, as soon as that happened he started running his bolt pistol out shooting every shot a head shot, a kill.
As he ran toward his target he ducked into a company of guardsmen being given a prayer to the Emperor before loading unto there transport. The company broke down in chaos as word of the assassin spread slightly slower then the assassin plowed though them. Once he was though them he was on the air field as the air filled with lasgun fire from the company he ducked into a hanger, and soon the air was filled with the whine of a jet engine and from the out the hanger burst a Valkyrie gun ship from the Elysian regiment to be loaded on to transports ships tomorrow. As the order went out to Hydras to shoot down the Valkyrie the Valkyrie got away and the only result of the order were 5 Valkyries being shoot down due to friendly Hydras. The assassin had escaped.
When a investigation was lunched it was found he had gotten in with a Inquisitor symbol, and had things gotten tense with Hermon that last meeting? The possibility that he was marked for death could not be ignored. He called a emergency meeting command meeting and there accused Hermon of trying to have him killed which was repudiated he then brought the medallion that had been lost in the fire fight to light, Hermon said he never saw it, but Dike was on the war path and kept accusing him. On Cassandra the Inquisition and Commissars are hated more then nearly anything and this racial up bringing was coloring his view. Hermon tired of him order him to be put under arrest until a full investigate came to light, the end result would find Dike demoted back to a company commander in charge of drop troops though he was once more aiming high, he had clawed up once and he could do it again.
Meanwhile with Hermon now focused on Iladon and with out Dike in the way the evacuate sped up 100 times, also in response to the unrestricted use of atomic weapons in orbital battles he gave permission for unlimited use of the trinity of forbidden and forgotten weapons, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical all unleashed. Records show that chemical and biological weapons had little effect on space marines due to the power armor though a high enough density of chemical weapons could melt a space marines armor this was typically almost impossibly high concentrations. So though chemical might be used for the unarmored xeno axillary atomic weapons would be primarily used.
To Michale when the first bombs dropped he had a choice fight back in kind, he had vast stock piles of the chemical Sulfuric Ormoric Renlithit also know as Sulfuric 88 when in hailed it made all of the alveoli in the lung burst meaning the victim would drown in there own fluids. Also it was flammable in high enough concentrations and a weapon was set off in the cloud (save a rail or shuriken weapon due to the non heat related lunching) the weapon would set the cloud off detonating it making a huge fire ball. But in the end he decided against it. The Alliance claimed it was better then the Imperium how could they claim that and yet proceeded to use gas.
Calling the Hypon back in decided to unleash another weapon the M20 Mega Marines held back so far as part of his plan to split the Imperial command staff although from there spy it was as split was it was going to get, Cardinal Luther fired up to destroy it while Leon Frost would want to steady it as it was a heavy modified Penitent Engine the Mega Marines were deployed in mass as the war on Dutur ended the Imperials did one last act of destruction.
The massive star port built to shuttle men, metal and munitions the one that took up months of time to build up was destroyed by bundled earth shakers shells and rockets form the long range rocketry, massive craters dug into the run ways by the very men who had paved it in the first place, bunkers shattered by the very artillery they defended a final act of destruction raging against the defeat. The Alliance watched as men redeployed to Iladon and the rifle men knew that soon the war on Iladon would be brought conclusion in Operation Mountain god. Classified and unknown to all but the relative troops. It would begin soon. And the Awakening would follow.