He was tired. No, that’s not true. He was disappointed. Incarael hadn’t been on a campaign for a long time now. In the last century of M41 the Blood Angels had been endlessly toiling in the fields of battle to uphold the light of the Emperor and that meant that there was no rest for the Armoury. His work however, and that of his subordinate Techmarines had always been flawless, accurately crafted to Omnissiah granted specifications, repaired parts indistinguishable from new.
But now… now the battlefield was his own fortress-monastery, and the repairs were functional yet disgustingly crude. Disappointing…
We are losing the Arx Angelicum!
He heard running from his left, half human half machine. The ammo servitors had finally arrived at the makeshift bunker at the entrance of the Undying Light chapel. He had asked for replenishment thirty minutes ago, the delay meant that the swarm had probably blocked the junctions from the Observatory!
By the Blood, we are totally overwhelmed!
“Reload Tarantulas 236, 237 and 239, mark 238 as destroyed!”, he shouted at them, his wireless binaric transmitter missing along with portions of his helmet and skull bone. Thankfully the scar tissue from Larraman's cells was protecting the small exposed part of his human brain well enough.
“Complying master, ammo store 36 depleted”, came the reply.
“Use Training Range 2 stores for next run!”, if you can get there… he thought.
Incarael lifted Tarantula 236 with his one servo-arm to horizontal position, placed a metal beam fallen from the ceiling to replace acid-melted ground bracing, and set his flamer to fusion mode to weld the beam. Pathetic…
The one reloaded Tarantula started turning and elevating its heavy Bolter barrels for anti-aircraft fire, a Harpy was diving on their position from a hole of the damaged dome above. Without stopping the welding Incarael set his plasma cutter to spread fire and almost without looking begun firing his Boltgun in full auto to the direction the Tarantula was aiming.
“Stop it you old fool! You will end me before my time!”, the comm screamed in his ear.
The Harpy crashed on the floor with force and Incarael had to stop its crawl with his pollaxe before it toppled him over. A red figure lifted from the back of the creature, releasing a power fist from the monster’s crushed skull.
“Lieutenant Orim, as I live and breathe! Your manners haven’t improved since you left my tutelage, nor has your flying!”, responded the surprised Master of the Blade, happy nevertheless to see his former student alive.
“Well someone has to offend the enemy!”
“I still don’t understand what Captain Aphael sees in you and keeps you as his Sword.”
“I ‘m good at crash landing on my opponents.”
“I know, Techmarine Arestos always complains about the state you bring your jump-pack at his forge!”, Incarael laughed hard, but the pain at the back of his skull was returning. He got serious quickly. “Why are you here?”
“The captain send me to reinforce you.” was Orim’s reply.
“Me and sergeant Levantin’s assault squad, they are now with the Angel. That Harpy was not alone.” Orim looked Incarael closer, “How’s your head?”
“Functional! So, you think us two will hold this position now?”
“No. If it was up to me I would order a withdrawal and consolidation to the captain’s defensive perimeter. Higher ground and an Aegis line, not that my crash landing skills are needed there…”
Incarael couldn’t stop a snort escape.
“However,” Orim continued, “the captain and you seem hell-bent on defending this chapel, there’s probably more to it that I ‘m initiated in. Thus my taciturn brother, lieutenant Mateus is on his way already.”
“Captain Aphael is wise, but now he‘s being reckless, spreading the company too thin,” Incarael said.
At that moment the buzzing noise of the Tyranid swarm around Arx Angelicum intensified and lieutenant Mateus appeared on the eastern corridor running furiously towards them and throwing his last grenade behind his back on the small tsunami of Hormagaunts that followed him.
Incarael passed his Boltgun to Orim as his mechadendrite plugged in the three operational Tarantulas, “Don’t go crashing!” he warned him and the reloaded heavy Bolters burst to life. Over sixty gaunts were exterminated by the unerring accuracy of the two veterans when Mateus joined their small gun line. One more mechadendrite launched from Incarael’s master-crafted servo-harness, frost all over it from leaking coolant, and attached on Mateus’ combi-plasma’s auxiliary port just as he leveled it to fire.
“Full auto brother!” screamed the venerable Techmarine and dozens of blinding miniature suns joined the onslaught of exploding Bolt rounds.
It was pointless. They would never kill enough before the got on top of them. Orim clenched his power fist, Incarael lifted his pollaxe with both hands and Mateus went for his chainsword. The swarm never reached them. Anticlimactically, the swarm of Hormagaunts lost momentum and vitality, and only reached within 5 meters of the trio of stunned Astartes that kept firing mechanically.
“What’s this?” Incarael asked as his slaved Tarantulas went on firing on the now randomly moving mindless gaunts.
“Something happened,” Mateus replied, “Something big. I can’t contact the captain. Company comm frequencies are overwhelmed with signals and so is the chapter-wide net.”
“You‘re stating the obvious Mateus, I build and manage the communications equipment in case you forgot. I know that already!”, the pain from the back of his skull intensifying.
Orim launched himself, going through one of the huge holes on the high dome above. As soon as he landed he removed his helmet and looked down towards his brother Astartes to tell them what he saw. He couldn’t. He was overwhelmed.
Edited by Spyros, 28 June 2019 - 08:18 PM.