Once, we were legion…
865.M30 – 501st Expeditionary Fleet – Compliance: 501-13
Punishing rain fell from a wounded sky. Thunder roared above, as gunfire and the revving of engines echoed across the battlefield below. A spear of crimson-hulled vehicles belching black smoke smashed through the tree line toward the enemy. Leading the advance was a line of Vindicator Siege Tanks, their massive dozer blades crushing everything in an unstoppable wall of adamantium. Following close behind were a dozen Rhino armored personnel carriers, their Lucifer-Pattern engines howling in overdrive. Within the lead Rhino, Sergeant Nerva grinned, the red internal lighting glinting off his elongated canines. Three years of slogging through the mud, rain, and mountains of 13-501. Three years of chasing down the bipedal, canid-like xenos that infested the region and burning them out of their brood-lairs. The campaign had been long and hard-fought by the standards of the Legiones Astartes, but truth be told, the brothers of the 18th Company had enjoyed the challenge. The canid-xenos were cunning and possessed weapons of significant technological advancement. They slaughtered the Solar Auxilia forces sent in to pacify the planet and ignored all attempts at communication. Thus it fell to the warriors of the IX Legion to bring 13-501 into compliance. This was the kind of fight the 18th Company excelled at, dynamic mechanized warfare. “Smash and burn” was the unofficial catch phrase used amongst the battle-brothers.
Searing phase-laser fire lanced the side armor of their Rhino, but failed to penetrate. Nerva slammed his fist against the hull and laughed, “Try again!” A series of vox-distorted chuckles sounded from the members of 1st squad in reply. The driver abruptly changed course, angling their vehicle into the teeth of the oncoming enemy fire. Around them, the rest of the formation seamlessly mirrored the movement, meeting the fusillade head-on. As one, the Vindicators opened fire with their hull-mounted demolisher cannons, drowning out the sky’s thunder with their own. A series of deafening explosions tore the enemy line apart, overloading their arc-shields in a microsecond with sheer kinetic force. The canid-xenos were torn asunder, bodies blasted into oblivion or flung hundreds of meters to land in ragged piles of flesh and broken cybernetics. The squadron of legion vehicles smashed through the smoking remnants of the xenos line, their hull-mounted heavy bolters exterminating any survivors with precise volleys of mass-reactive rounds.
Beyond the destroyed enemy position, the terrain rose sharply toward a series of jagged peaks. The sonorous voice of Centurion Kyros cut across the detachment’s general vox band, “All units advance and engage. Stand by for tactical inload.” Sergeant Nerva donned his crested helm and activated the neck seals in his armor. Its internal display painted everything in a pale emerald green. A series of miniature icons representing the status of his armor, weapons, and the vitals of 1st squad hovered near the edge of his vision. An additional blinking icon in the shape of a skull indicated the Commander’s deployment orders. With a thought pulse, Nerva opened the inload and was presented with a geometric overlay showing the location of a xenos brood-lair. The genetically enhanced structure of his brain instantly memorized the information and he clicked a confirmation icon with another pulse of thought. The unit leaders among the rest of the formation acknowledged as well, directing their vehicles up the incline with a roar of engines and thundering treads.
The canid-xenos utilized cloaking technology, detectable only by infrared imaging, to shield their lairs. The warriors of the Legiones Astartes, however, had no difficulty locating and destroying the xenos strongpoints thanks to the technological enhancements of their power armor. As they approached the designated target point, the Vindicators cut loose with another salvo. The devastating barrage shattered the cloaking shield and blasted open several of the underground entrances. Coming to an abrupt halt, the legionnaires deployed, bellowing war cries and battle oaths. Sergeant Nerva was the first to disembark “Advance! Exterminate them!” 1st squad roared in assent and charged in, combat blades gleaming in the rain. Nerva joined the assault with a grin, bolts of corposant arcing from his charged powerfist. This was what they lived for, what they were known for, what they excelled at. They were the Blood Angels, and none could withstand their fury.
1st Squad, 18th Company, IX Legion Astartes
Commanded by Sergeant Leo Nerva - 865.M30
- VAE VICTUS -
Edited by Brother Tyler, 28 February 2016 - 05:02 AM.