The Imperial Fleet returns to Nestir V
Written by Chaptermaster Graymantle
Xavier Crussis, Deathwatch Veteran of the Imperial Fists (Aarhus)
Cryus Crom, Champion of Khorne (Kevlarshark)
While the outgunned Imperials out of the Fort at Occassus Noveo Montis were leaving Nestir V behind and heading for the Bloodied Scion, the battle between the fleets in orbit was truly heating up. All along the front lines, lance fire and torpedoes were flying across space, while fighter craft of different sorts were moving towards each other like small clouds of living metal. The Choas Fleet was less active than could be anticipated however, for by holding their position they were hoping to lure the Imperials into the waiting trap Dalencius' Fellmarines had set up within Nestir V's astroid belt months earlier.
Onboard Cryus Crom's blood red battleship, the Strages, the mighty Khornite warriors of Crom were growing restless with all the waiting. Crom himself was on the bridge, growling low in his throat, like a wounded lion warning his surroundings not to get too close. Hulkingly huge in his ornate terminator armour, he was observing the scene of the approaching enemy fleet through huge gothic windows, gnashing his sharpened teeth and fighting himself to retain his “calm” composure. Distinctive tracings of micro circuity under his bald scalp and neck revealed a Frenizon dispenser, and though the device was off at the moment, Crom was itching for a bloody battle.
He hated waiting, and the war for Nestir V had seen entirely too much of it. In the Dark Crusade's opening phases he and his warriors had relished in defeating the helpless human defenders of Nestir V, but it had eventually grown tiresome, for there had been no real sport there. Only when the Imperial Crusade of Space Marines arrived had he felt he had begun to have some real fun, and he had fought them on several occasions, standing victorious at every turn. - He had taken the planet's largest landing site, the Altitronus Superna Space Port, and he had defended it against enemy intruders again and again. His ears had been blown apart in the last of those battles and he had even flown through the sky due to an explosion. He had been battered, bruised and burnt, but eventually, on every occasion, he had won in the name of the God of War!
He had fought against the enemy, and he had even fought against their own Traitor Guard when those disloyal cowards had turned against the cause of Chaos within the underworld of Nestir V. He had fought in the cold; he had fought in a barren rocky desert and had even lifted a legendary sword from a river of lava to please the mighty master of the Dark Crusade. He had tried wielding that allegedly legendary weapon as well, though in truth he much preferred his own sword Brainbiter, and he had been relieved when Adramalech had insisted on taking the Chaos nemesis sword from him. In a glorious battle he had killed Space Wolves, and later he had fought in the battle to take the Fort of the Snow Leopard. - That had truly been a glorious battle! He had secured a place in the heavens for the Chaos forces, and he had fought in so many other places. Crom was truly proud of his exploits during the war for Nestir V. - He only wished there could have been more violence.
Now there was no violence. Powerful energy was being exchanged between mighty steel behemoths as they glided through space, that was sure enough, and Crom was certain that this too pleased his wargod, but there was nothing personal about it. Soon though, the Imperials would have moved close enough that the Chaos fleet could spring their trap, and in the following confusion, Crom's Berserkers would be unleashed upon the Imperial Fleet like furious dogs of war. Their Chain Axes would drink deep and terror would fill the souls of their enemies. Crom held on to that sweet thought and exposed his sharp teeth in a smile that unnerved everyone on his bridge.
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On the other side of the two fleets facing each other, Xavier Crussis sat ready within a Caestus Assault Ram onboard the Bloodied Scion. Next to him in the cramped compartment, was his old friend and battle brother Tigris, formerly of the Rampagers. Another three Marines from the Deathwatch were also with them, and in the other compartment were yet another five Deathwatch Marines. Crussis knew that his second in command, Brother Orion, formerly of the White Consuls, was also ready in yet another Caestus filled with Deathwatch and Legio Marines. Beyond these were even more Marines from his own home Chapter, the Imperial Fists. They too were mounted in Caestus Assault Rams, and as soon as they were in range, they would all launch and set off for the closest capital enemy ship. Their goal would be to cripple or destroy, and Crussis had the honour of leading his men into battle. - He would not be alone off course, as countless similar actions would be taking place across the fleet, but Crussis' teams had been tasked with an additional special mission; to hunt down and eliminate enemy captains.
Brother Captain Xavier Crussis was a man who was proud to be a direct son of Rogal Dorn. He was stern, unsmiling in all his works and efforts. Practical, lethal and unforgiving. Yet he took some measure of pride in what he had accomplished in the Crusade for Nestir V so far. He had helped retake Nestir V in the Crusade's opening phases. He had not relented when the Crusade's original Commander had suddenly disappeared, and he had dutifully tried to find his Commander again, even against impossible odds. He had faced and fought against Chaos sorcerers, undead and phantasms of Chaos alike, and had come through it all victorious. With only a small team to support him, he had carried out sabotage missions against the Chaos forces in Hive Primus during a planet-wide snow storm. He had built the strength of their Imperial War Machine as he had trained the Legio Militia of Nestir V. He had been among the sabotage teams that went in to take and secure Hive Primus in the retaking of the Hive City, and his warriors had been instrumental in carrying out a covert assault on the precinct house of one of the Mid Hive Sectors of Primus, thus creating a distraction for the Imperials when they moved in to retake the Hive. More than this he had lead the work to secure Primus' infrastructure and defences after a bomb had decimated the underhive of the city, and he had done a damn fine job.
All this he had done, and more. During the war he had lost nearly three fourths of his original battle force, but by orders of the Crusade Commander, he had received reinforcements from a small group of Imperial Fists, Deathwatch Marines and Legio Marines. For a month now he had however been forced to do very little, but as the pragmatic man that he was, he had used that time to rest and heal an injured knee that had plagued him ever since crash landing in a Thunderhawk months earlier. He had repaired his equipment and armour, even replacing his old, devastated helmet with a new one that he had adjusted and calibrated to perfection. His strike force too had been perfected as they had trained for hours on end every day, and now they were ready to serve the Emperor's cause in full as a truly well oiled machine of war.
+ + + + +
Back on the Strages, Cryus Crom was leaning on the armoured glass of his bridge's observation deck. He could feel his hearts beating in anticipation as explosions littered the dark sky beyond, and the fighters of the two fleets finally met in glorious combat. One of the Imperial vessels took a hit and an explosion plumed outwards from the distant ship, but to the front of the enemy formation, the huge Battle Barge that obviously served as the flagship of the Imperials continued to lead the way. It and it's escorts were just about to come into firing range of the Chaos Fleet's hidden plasma cannons, Crom could see and any moment now the trap would be sprung. Then finally, the ship floated past the ambush point and launched what appeared to be torpedoes. Klaxons sounded on the deck, and Crom knew that they indicated the trap of the Chaos fleet had finally been sprung. Even now, twenty enormous plasma canons hidden within Nestir V's asteroid belt would be charging to fire on the lead ships of the Imperials. Crom anticipated that the ships would be harshly damaged and many of them destroyed. The rest of the fleet would be forced to evade the wreckage and would be caught in even more fire from the Chaos Fleet itself. In the following confusion and with the loss of their flagship, the Imperials would be ripe for slaughter. Crom would lead his men into glorious combat, and he would harvest skulls for the skull throne until he collapsed with exhaustion. - That would be a long time Crom figured and grinned at the thought.
Unknown to Crom and the rest of the Chaos forces, Dalencius and his Fellmarines hadn't done the job quite as described however, and rather than rigging the cannons to track and fire on enemy ships, they had rigged them to overload and explode. From Crom's observation window he could see that something was wrong. Their hidden cannons hadn't fired and the Imperial ships were still approaching at a steady pace, firing as they did so. Then a major explosion erupted among the Nestirian asteroid belt. Crom could see another flash of light in the distance where cannon fire should be coming from. Then another explosion and another, followed by sixteen more rapid explosions. The hidden cannons were gone and their trap had failed. Even worse, the explosions had sent huge asteroids and smaller projectiles straight towards the Chaos fleet, largely missing the Imperials entirely. The Imperial Fleet had been saved from being stabbed in the back, and the Chaos Fleet would be damaged in the process. Crom roared in anger, but was once again surprised as the largest view screen on his bridge came alive with an unexpected message. Crom curbed his anger and moved over to observe what the message was.
Behind Crom, his Khorne Berserkers formed up, axes held ready as they growled while Dalencius' face appeared on the screen. All across the Chaos Fleet the same image was being received, and for a moment every bridge in the Chaos fleet halted in their tasks. On their monitors was the image of the long dead leader of the Fellmarines, grinning like a fool. “This is a pre recorded message”, the image said. “If you're seeing this it means that you have triggered the plasma cannon trap we set up, and I am probably far gone or dead. Congrtulations! You have fooled yourselves by trusting in Chaos. I have betrayed your cause because I learned of Adramalech's plan to release a greater daemon upon the galaxy. An idea that my Fellmarines and I aren't too fond of”. Dalencius looked thoughtful for a moment. “As bad the Imperium is”, he continued, “it cant be as bad as releasing a demon that fancies itself to be a demi-god, upon humanity. I hope you see the irony of my trap within your trap, and that you will suffer for your trespasses against humanity. Woe unto all those of you who follow the Corpse God or the Ruinous Powers. Though you may carry out all manner of foul rituals, collecting skulls or souls, drinking blood or anointing yourselves with scented oils while practicing all manner of slavery and abominations; for
you shall not escape the Righteous Will of Malal!”. With that the image disappeared again and full control was reestablished onboard the many ships of the Chaos Fleet.
On his bridge, Cryus Crom roared in anger and ripped a nearby monitoring station from the floor with sparks flying. He threw it across the room and whirled on the observation window to look upon his hated enemy again, who he would now unleash all bloody hell upon. But when he turned to look out the huge window to his side, he did not see the Imperial Fleet. Instead he saw the huge front of a Caestus Assault Ram as it smashed its way onto his bridge. Crom was thrown backwards by the shockwave of an explosion hitting the window before him a split second before the Caestus followed into the wreckage. Debris was thrown onto the bridge as the Assault Ram settled, then the debris was suddenly flying the other way again as a large part of the wall blew out and started sucking air out of the bridge. Crom managed to slam his helmet on as many of his crewmen were sucked out into space. Laying on the floor Crom shook his head and felt the Frenizon dispenser embedded in his body kick into motion, filling him with combat drugs, adrenaline and anger.
Then, just as he got back to his feet, another Assault Ram smashed open more of the wall. Glass shards were flying through the room, while servitors and crewmen were suffocating as the huge bridge was being drained of oxygen. To one side, Crom obseved a group of his Berserkers charging at the intruders, and Crom thought to warn them, but was too late. Just as they were about to reach the first Caestus, a set of explosions shot out from the two Assault Rams, as Frag Assault Launchers detonated into the ship, sending the Chaos forces sprawling. Then another two Assault Rams slammed into the bridge in other locations and opened up into the crushed bridge with Wing-mounted Firefury missile batteries. Crom felt himself being tossed across the bridge again to go slamming into a nearby wall. Hull-mounted Magna-meltas opened up from the four Assault Rams that were now protruding into the devastated bridge, and the high energy beams slammed holes even deeper into Crom's ship, opening up further breaches through which air started leaking, and again the bridge was filled with shrapnel and screaming traitors as they were sucked into the void of space. One of the Magna beams narrowly missed Crom and even within his power armour he could feel the searing heat of the weapon. Despite the fog of his anger clouding his mind, Crom could hardly believe the devastation that had been delivered to his bridge in but a few seconds, and he wondered how anyone could still be alive on the bridge at all.
Furious, Crom got back to his feet and picked up his sword from the rubble. Nearby more of his warriors were getting back up to. This wasn't over yet. But then again, two more of the Assault Rams opened up with their Frag Assault Launchers and Crom was hit squarely in the side. His power armour absorbed the impact and incoming shrapnel, but again the detonation sent him and his warriors reeling. The blasts didn't send Crom over again however, but he had to take a moment to catch his breath. - There was just so much glorious destruction! The Assault Rams were just sitting there, all four of them waiting, and Crom decided it was time to take the fight to them. Roaring through his vox link to his warriors, they all hefted their axes high above their heads and roared. Then they started sprinting for the Assault Rams, ready for battle, but again their world was turned up-side-down as the two last Assault Rams emptied their Firefury missile batteries into the bridge. Even more human traitors were ripped apart and control consoles went up in sparks. Crom and his warriors were showered in shrapnel as an entire wall gave out and Crom, like his warriors, was thrown over. A piece of flying wall hit him squarely in the chest and despite his combat drugs Crom could feel the wind getting knocked out of him. His armour was dented and cracked, but not opened to the elements, though he felt as if though he had cracked his fused rib-cage. Over to one side, some of his warriors were getting back up and Crom followed suit, Brainbiter still clasped securely in his hand. Roaring he charged for the enemy again, but some distant part of his mind also registered that there were fewer Khorne Berserkers than before.
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Back onboard his Caestus Assault Ram, Xavier Crussis was sitting calmly, observing the destruction beyond the front ramp of his small assault ship. The vid-monitor hooked up to his helmet showed him how a group of Khorne Bererkers were getting back to their feet. Beyond those few warriors however there were no more enemies alive on the bridge, and the room they had smashed their way into was utterly destroyed. With the weapons of their rams exhausted, Xavier figured it was time to take the fight to a more personal level. He pressed a button to his side and the retractable inertial suppression clamps holding his teams in place retracted. Then a green light flashed and the front assault ramp fell open. Xavier stepped into the devastated room beyond throwing a frag grenade while firing his Bolter at the enemy. His men did the same, and in mere moments, forty Marines from different factions had exited their assault vehicles to form a perimeter. Grenades went off, Bolt-rounds detonated and Xavier's Inferno Bolts burned orange streaks across the devastated landscape that the bridge of the Strages had become. To his front Xavier could see a huge hulking terminator charge at him with an enormous sword raised and some sort of assault claw ready for murder. Xavier opened up at the incoming Berserker and could see the huge brute stagger with the impacts. One of his Inferno Bolts clearly penetrated the giant's armour, but still he kept coming. Calmly and with expert precision Xavier unclipped, slammed another magazine into his Bolter and switched to full auto. The giant was almost upon him when he raised his Bolter again and point blank emptied a magazine of Inferno rounds into the giant berserker's chest. With that the enormous Terminator finally went down.
All around the chamber similar events were occurring as Xavier's Marines expertly slaughtered their already weakened enemy. At Xaviers feet Crom could hardly believe what was happening. His combat drugs were wearing off and he felt weak; weaker than he had ever felt before. Even so he forced himself to crawl further towards his enemy, trailing blood behind himself as he did so. The enemy warrior, a Deathwatch Marine from the Imperial Fists stood impassively, holstering his bolter and getting his Chainsword out. Crom breathed heavily as he rolled over on his back and looked up at the enemy above him. “I met your kind cowering behind the walls of your Emperor's palace 10,000 years ago. You were pathetic then, when you were in your prime. You are just as pathetic now”, he taunted through an open vox channel. The Marine above him tilted his head slightly as if in wonderment. “You have shed my blood and Khorne Welcomes your gift”, Crom continued, strggling to breath. “In killing me you take the first steps towards your own damnation”, he concluded and saw the enemy Captain whirr his Chainsword to life. “You can beg for your life all you wish”, Xavier Crussis said in way of answering. “But it will do you no good”. With that, Xavier set a foot down on Crom's head and brought the whirring Chainsword down on his throat, messily decapitating him in a shower of sparks and blood. - With the enemy defeated, Xavier kicked the Khornite's head away and walked further into the devastated bridge. “Come on!”, he ordered his men. “We have a ship to destroy!”.
And thus we conclude Battle 02 for Round 03 of the Nestir V AoD.
– Next up, is R3B3.
More to come!
Edited by Chaptermaster Graymantle, 22 April 2012 - 09:41 PM.