Finished a game tonight and had a pretty epic cinematic moment with my Cinder-Roc (see earlier in the thread for homebrew)
"Septimus-Theta 4-2, this is Epsilon-Echo 6-6, requesting attack run on lased target, transmitting spectrum codes and co-ords now."
"Epsilon-Echo 6-6, Septimus-Theta reads you five-by-five. Coming around to new heading now, will be 40 seconds until our shots will be on target." The Alpha Legion's Cinder Roc Interdictor rapidly dumped some of its excess fuel available into its engines; it was nearly empty of ammunition of its pair of Xiphon missile launchers on the ball turrets at its waist as they had tracked a pair of the Salamander's Caestus Assault Rams over the skies over Potima IV. It had already claimed a Primaris-Lightning with its main gun, a Knight-class Volkite Chierovile capable of tearing apart the lightly protected flyer with ease, the Salamander attack fighter's forward facing weaponry incapable of targeting the XXth's heavy interdictor.
The Assault Rams were extremely resilient and flown by extremely capable pilots, men who had survived the massacre of Isstvan unphased by the XXth's - they had been driven off successfully, which allowed the air support of the Alpha Legion to operate as such; it had already dropped a pair of its Phosphex bombs; the horrific, ever-hungry nuclear flames had been a particular hatred of the Salamanders, (a curious sentiment given their affinity with flame, thought the pilot of Septimus-Theta 4-2), and hearing the screams and cries for help from the shattered legionaries over their compromised vox had been satisfying. While they did not resonate with 4-2's pilot like it might have done with the already insane followers of the Word Bearers or the Gratification Symphony's within the Emperor's Children, the sanctimonious and pompous nature of the Salamanders was second only to Dorn's meatheads and the rear echelon bastards of the Ultramarines.
The two waist turret operators were sitting in their cradles with an eye on the skies; the agile Interdictor was easily capable of avoiding the saturation warheads and the melta splash thanks to the early warning systems in the aircraft, the weapons fire detected. However, the Salamanders had been able to escape with some Raven Guard, including presumably a techmarine, or one similarly skilled; the engines were baffled and their signals hidden; not just warded, but hidden. They were impossible to discover by anything other than the telltale glow of a meteoric reentry from near-space atmosphere, the shouted warnings giving 4-2's pilot time to alter course.
With nearly 120 years of fully fledged combat operations within the Legion to his name, 83 of those in aircraft and 24 inside the Cinder Roc Interdictor, 4-2 was among the most experienced in the galaxy; forgoing promotion over the ability to keep flying his beloved airframes, 4-2 knew what he was doing, and it was as natural as breathing. With three bits of information being recieved to his senses; one lens showing the scene that was visible in his cockpit, one showing the vision from various camera sources, not just on the aircraft, but from those available around the battle; every astartes' headcam, (not just of his legion, but those of the Salamanders who hadn't yet realised that the loss of some of their brothers with nigh-intact armours allowed the Alpha Legion to datamine, crack the protection and then hack into their own cams), bolter cams, and surveillance overhead command and control-automata on loan from Kelbor-Hal, and finally, the sensory input from the beast he was riding with, the vicious thoughts of a mother out to hunt for meat for her starving children flooding his psyche. 4-2's eyes and mind were capable of independent thought and vision, and as he triangulated all of the information provided from Seeker squad 6-6, he wink-clicked an icon in his right-lens HUD to trigger the correct light spectrum filter needed to identify the particular laser target designator needed.
He found it within point-three of a second, and had oriented his craft as needed; he identified the threat; a veritable horde of Salamander Breacher Marines, and what looked like a black armoured figure in front, closely supported by a squadron of similarly sable coloured Destructor-pattern Predators - it looked like one Predator had already met its match, the neat circle bored in its central armour showing the caress of a meltagun; but around it were a pair of Alpha Legion - their helmet cameras showing the locations and cover of the shield armed Salamanders sheltering themselves behind the low wall half destroyed by the advancing Raven Guard armour. Squad 6-6 were pinned down by the bracketing fire of the Predators, their return shots bouncing off the thick front armour; 4-2 guessed that the squads combi-melta gunners had been killed, or already used their shots on halting the advancing tanks, while the occasional shot of the Salamanders who advanced in a pepper-potting formation, bounding forward in 2's and 3's in a slow steady advance while covered by the guns of their squad, and the Raven Guard sniper took the life of another Alpha Veteran.
The squad was already down to 4 men, and more would lose their lives if he didn't act now; the gyroscopic stabilisers in the nose mount traversed the wide mouthed Volkite weapon to its most optimal position as decided by 4-2's machine spirit. An order over his Mind-Impulse-unit imparted itself within those of his waist gunners, the rapid firing Xiphon reallocating to the desired targets where their cluster munitions would do the best work.
Unlike the Alpha Legion infantry on the ground, the Cinder Roc had acquired a side-on profile to the 17 men on the Breacher Squad. The red glow of the Knight-Titan class laser in the Interdictors belly caused by its capacitors dumping energy into the mag-propellant caused a slight flicker in the instrumentation of the cockpit, a sure sign that that a small amount of damage had been done by the few stray flakk-missiles operated by a hidden emplacement, but nothing too serious. As the energy continued to dump, the high pitched whine changed to a dull thrum of highly stressed power-dams, before 4-2's pilot let loose the coruscating molten lightning beam; it shot through the air with a dull "choom" that would have caused the teeth the itch had the pilot been standing outside, striking the ground in a burning scythe that battle damage showed 9 Astartes charred to a crisp, followed by drop of a Phospex bomb; the ceramite going up like so much kindling in the nuclear inferno while a pair of missiles from the rotary missile launcher took out both of the Predators, their rear amour nothing as the cluster munitions exploded like a thousand miniature suns. The after math of the attack run was horrific; 14 dead astartes, and two Predator tanks.
"Septimus-Theta 4-2, you have the thanks of Epsilon-Echo 6-6, we can take it..."
"Break, break... Ram attack, bearing 197" The shouted warning from his port gunner interrupting the infantry's gratitude, as a Caestus dived out of the sky, as if a hammer hurled from the gods. The warning was enough to allow the Cinder-Roc to avoid the nigh suicidal ram attack of the original Caestus, but not the second; distracted by the first one, the second Caestus was able to correctly guess the Cinder Roc's resultant move, and slammed into it with god-breaking force, sheering it in half. That the Caestus was destroyed in the ram attack was no consolation, as 4-2 plummeted to the ground. The two waist gunners were dead; crushed into little more than liquified paste, but the armoured cockpit would crash land intact; "luck" was on 4-2's side as momentum carried the cockpit into the stunned remainder of the Salamanders breacher squad, the Raven Guard sniper not quick enough to move out of the way as the mangled cockpit smeared with its remains, landing on top of him. Feeling his steed die, as the few remaining munitions cooked off, maiming and wounding those too close.
Hitting the release on his harness, 4-2's pilot dragged himself out, his legs shattered and one arm severed, his remaining arm holding a Phobos pattern bolt pistol as he struggled across the burning wreckage. His fight was over. All that remained would be to stay alive until after the mop up of the Salamanders was complete and 6-6 picked him up. With a single attack run, he had vaporised the entire Salamanders right flank. But that was not to be the case - one of the shield armed Salamanders dragged him out. His armour was scorched and showed the remains of black. His MkIII helm shattered, he saw an eye of fire ringed by the black of horror, crazed and angry beyond reason. 4-2 was resigned to his fate.
"Why do this? Why? Speak, snake." 4-2's pilot was surprised at his interrogation in the middle of battle, but a Caestus had been brought down too - it seems that the earlier flakk missile turrets had been captured, and turned on the slayer of 4-2, bringing it down, but whatever luck had turned the remains of his own ship onto the enemy maliciously had done the same to the Seeker squad. Their bodies incinerated by the exploding melta fuel, there was no-one to recover his body. Resigned to his fate, there was only one answer...
"I am Alphar..."
The report of a Bolter shot ending 4-2's pilot's life was something that was muffled under the sound of gunfire across the rest of the city. As if in answer, there was a moment of high pressure, followed by near silence as the very air turned into a vacuum as the choom of an immense Volkite Carronade slammed through the buildings, destroying them with ease. The few remaining Salamander breachers were melted by the nuclear laser, their bodies turning to ash as the beam over a meter wide scythed through ferrocrete like a Nostraman whisperknife slides through flesh. The fate of the Salamanders was sealed; an immense Glaive smashed its way through the charred remnants of the Caestus, it's main cannon steaming in the acid rain, its actinic blue colouration stark against the grey as it tracked its new target. Realising its flank was open to the super-heavy slaying vehicle, the now exposed Typhon began to trundle backwards, but the wet ground and weight of the vehicle combined with the recoil of its main weapon had liquified the ground underneath it into a quaggy morass. There was no escaping its grip.
Harrowmaster Vermuylen of the XXth smiled a shark toothed grin as his finger closed once more on the pressle, sights zeroed in at point blank range on the stricken siege gun.