++++ Part 4 ++++
Gunnar looked around, sensing an ambush, or some form of elaborate trap. He glanced around the room, looking for anything out of place. He spied a false wall, evidenced by the arcing scrapes on the floor. He signaled two of his men to take up positions on the door, and another to take control of the prisoner. He cautiously approached the hidden door. One of the men tripped the release and the heavy door came unsealed. Gunnar pulled the wall segment open revealing a tunnel. The Sound amplifiers in his helmet picked up faint sounds from below, sounds of flamers, bolter fire belching death.
Gunnar Was about to take five men down into the dark abyss, when a sudden call came over the vox.
"Contact! All sides, numerous hostiles!" The voice was calm and even, but contained a hint of urgency, "Security teams pulling back to the target building!"
Gunnar's HUD confirmed the call came from one of the security teams. Ambushed!? How could we have not seen it? Was all Gunnar could think. The abyss before him became lit with a hellish glow. Gunnar saw shrieking forms clawing their way back towards him, and braced and fired...
The Extermination teams had been hit hard by the retreating mutants. They had attempted to flee, as Sgt Gunnar had predicted. The Containment teams had been effective backup, keeping things from getting out. Sergeant Bjorn and his fellow aggressors had met up in a central sewer hub, located below the target. They were met by stream of fleeing mutants pouring out of tunnel. Bjorn torched his way to the entrance and began to ascend the ramp, rendering all before him to ash and bubbling grease. He then heard bolter fire from around the bends at the top of the spiraling ramp. His HUD lit up, indicating that it was Brother-Sergeant Gunnar.
An amplified voice, not over the vox, shouted, "Contact, rear!" The containment teams opened fire to their rear. The same voice rang out again, this time over the vox, "Containment teams, seal the tunnels!" A series of explosions rocked them in rapid succession, collapsing the tunnels as the Intercessor squads burst forth from the dust kicked up by their hasty fortifications.
Sergeant Floki slapped Bjorn on the shoulder, a clank reverberated through him. Bjorn turned, performing a flawless pirouette on the ball of his left foot.
He called over vox, "Aggressors up!" To indicate that they had been tagged out to defend the flanks.
Sergeant Floki called up to Sergeant Gunnar, "Hold Fire, friendlies at your six!"
Gunnar called out, "Thunder!" and he was met by Floki's response of "Flash!" Having confirmed the identity of the men below, he lowered his weapon and flipped the safety of his weapon on.
Brother-Lieutenant Magnus called over the vox, "All units SITREP!" He was met by a chorus of responses. Magnus was relieved to hear that there had been no casualties yet, but now they were besieged inside this building. This was an untenable situation for them. The Inquisitor descended the stairs to the main floor, his entourage in tow. Magnus went about redeploying his forces to best defend their position. They were going to need to extract through the roof, as there was going to be no way for them to leave from street level, and the containment teams had sealed the sewers to keep from being overrun.
The inquisitor strode confidently over to Magnus. "I hear that you have a prisoner. Bring her to me," He demanded, "Unharmed."
Magnus called for Gunnar to bring the enemy Magos. Moments later, Gunnar came up the stairs, the Magos slung over his massive shoulder. Gunnar deftly popped her off his shoulder and placed her on the floor with careful firmness, to assert his control.
The Inquisitor motioned for Gunnar to remove the psychic restraints. Gunnar looked to Magnus, his helmeted head cocked quizzically.
"Don't look at him, Astartes!" The Inquisitor shrieked, "I gave you an order!"
Gunnar was in no mood to argue. Their raid had now become a siege, and The Storm Crows did not excel as defenders, it was against their nature. A heavy bolter opened fire from one of the windows as one of the Intercessor teams opened fire on a group of approaching cultists. Many Intercessors in the second company had formerly been Tactical Squad Marines, before crossing the Rubicon Primaris, and the chapter had adopted their modified use of Tactical Doctrine for the new Intercessor squads. Indeed the use of special and heavy weapons among the highly specialized Primaris doctrine was a common theme among the Storm Crows ranks. The right tool for the job at hand, Gunnar thought to himself, glad for his chapter's emphasis on tactical flexibility.
He removed the restraints. The Inquisitor began immediately to bombard the Magos with psychic energies. At least this one doesn't seem incompetent, Gunnar thought. Outside, the swarming cultists paused. They were now reconnected to their Magos, though she was in no position to give orders. The Inquisitor's two sanctioned psykers assisted in the torture of this abhorrent mutant.
The Inquisitor pulled information from the depths of the mutant's mind. The Inquisitor's aide feverishly transcribed the secrets he was pouring out. The Magos let out a piercing, bloodcurdling scream. She was obviously in unbearable agony. Gunnar could not help but feel pity for the mutant. He reminded himself that her very existence was treason against humanity, she was a herald of the swarm. Her existence was a threat to humanity and had to be purged. Still, the torment she was being subjected to was just abhorrent as her existence.
The Inquisitor stopped babbling out her secrets, and his face twisted into a baleful grin, and it was apparent that the Magos could divulge nothing more than screams and pleas for death. This was beyond interrogation, this was torture, for no purpose but the sadistic glee of the Inquisitor. Gunnar could stand no more. He twitched preparing to move, but Magnus snatched the psychic restraints from his hand, and slapped them on the Magos. Magnus rounded on the inquisitor, grabbing him by the throat, hoisting him from his feet. Gunnar exploded into motion, striking both psykers with enough force to render them immediately unconscious.
"What do you think you're doing!?" The Inquisitor sputtered. "Release me at once!" The inquisitor continued to squirm and gag, choking against Magnus's grip.
The rest of the Inquisitorial bodyguard attempted to intervene, but were quickly subdued by Gunnar's men. It was good to see that the Astartes of the Storm Crows all shared one mind when it came to their ethics. Skald Johann came over and relieved the aide of his dataslate, tucking it into his satchel.
The roar of engines sounded overhead. Magnus rendered the Inquisitor unconscious. He called over the vox for all members of the assault force to pull back and ascend.The Company's air assets scoured the surrounding streets, and their first company detachment descended, flamers and meltas burning through the gathered masses of cultists, as the Veteran Company's purge squads fell upon the enemy. The Intercessor teams pored fire into the horde as well, their infernus heavy bolters belching 25mm shells into the crowd and igniting all who came too close with bellowing flame.The Purge squads made their way to the building, and the entire assault force began to leap frog up the building to their rooftop extraction. For the next hour the assault force, and their relief fought, the mob of foul mutants refused to break. Even so its number was greatly diminished.
The entire assault force, extracted with no casualties, a testament to the skill of the Storm Crows. In addition they made off with a valuable prize, a Genestealer cult Magos. Her psychic talents would be put to good use, hooked into the seemingly arcane machinery deep within their fortress monastery, which would allow them to track and confuse genestealer cults for decades to come.
The inquisitor drifted back into consciousness. He jerked and felt the tug of restraints. He was bound to something. As his mind cleared he was able to determine that he was shackled to a cross. He was on his knees with his arms around those of the cross his wrists shackled with the chain across his belly, and his head bound to the cross at an upward angle. He could clearly see Captain Sigurd standing over him.
"I demand to know, just what do you think you are doing!?" He strained.
"It is simple, Inquisitor," Sigurd responded, "You are being punished."
The Inquisitor though this laughable, indeed he began to laugh out loud. "You think you have the Authority to punish me!?" He shrieked.
Sigurd looked him in the eye, no emotion playing on his face, he spoke, "For the gross misuse of your authority, the attempted murder of my Brother Astartes, withholding valuable information, and heresy, we, the Storm Crows Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, find you guilty. For your crimes, your sentence is death, but fear not Inquisitor, your death with be of use to the Imperium..."
Sigurd directed the Inquisitor's glare to a psychic beacon and what appeared to be a large bomb. The Inquisitor noticed that they were out in the wastes, far away from the sprawl of the hive city. The Beacon appeared to be active.
"You dare-" The inquisitor was cut off.
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, Inquisitor?" Sigurd questioned in perfect High Gothic.
Who watches the watchers? What ludicrous heresy is this!? The thoughts raced through the Inquisitor's mind. The realization dawned on the inquisitor. The beacon was bait for the remaining genestealer cultists, and his warp presence and the frequency of the beacon was the bait. The Inquisitor saw the horde's remnants come into view. The Inquisitor broke down and sobbed. He pleaded for his life, begging to be spared.
Sigurd walked away to his waiting transport. He boarded, and turned around to watch as the horde swallow the inquisitor. Moments later the bomb detonated, the massive heatwave incinerated the remains of the infestation.
Captain Sigurd, Commander of the Storm Crows Second Company, reported that the infestation had been purged, but that the Inquisitor had perished, giving his life to do so...
Edited by Ulrik_Ironfist, 22 June 2020 - 02:12 PM.