I had some requests for another dramatised 40k battle report so I give you a tale of vengeance and death.
We thought we were unstoppable. We were wrong.
–Brother Menelus, Adeptus Astartes of the Dark Angel Space Marine chapter.
Menelus advanced with his reinforced tactical squad of Dark Angels. The vox buzzed with reports of heightened cultist activity beyond the Imperial bunkers in what had once been a suburb. Another unknown city on another unknown world. Either side of him, Dark Angels in green power armour marched behind a vanguard of Deathwing Terminators. The roar of a Predator tank’s engines rose above the stomp of ceramite boots. In such company, such a mighty force, Menelus felt invincible; the Lion’s finest prepared to destroy in the name of the Emperor.
Then, through the vox, came the inevitable. “Enemies sighted atop the western hill. Positions.”
Heavy bolt shells thundered into the ground and pummelled already devastated structures, erupting in showers of dirt and mortar. Menelus’ squad strode on and took position in the ruins of an Imperial shrine. “Objective secured,” he said into the vox. “What are we facing?”
He already knew the response. His blood raged through his limbs in a fiery torrent. The accuracy of the bolt rounds outstripped the wild shots of cultists and betrayed the enemy’s identity; a force to raise an Astartes’ choler like no other. The Fallen. Chaos Space Marines. Menelus gripped his bolter and focused through the smoke rising from the cultists’ objective across the battlefield: a giant sacrificial altar to Khorne, the Blood God.
The Dark Angels advanced in volleys of plasma and lascannon shots. Cultists fell in droves, acting as meat shields for their commander and the Hellbrute dreadnaught behind them. But instead of routing, the Warptouched army surged onward.
“Ravenwing Bikers deploy,” the Dark Angels’ commander said over the vox. “Chaos Chosen on the right flank. Take them out.”
In a scream of engines and streaks of black, the Ravenwing blitzed onto the battlefield, their twin-linked bolters, mounted on the armoured front of their bikes, spitting explosive shells into the Chaos Chosen. Tactical squad Nostrus advanced from their hill and unloaded their bolters into the Chosen’s left side at point blank range.
But the Chosen also wore the power armour of the Space Marines, fouled by daemonic symbols and fetishes. The storm of explosive rounds claimed only chunks of ceramite armour as casualties and the Chaos Chosen howled. Armed with close assault wargear, the Chosen ripped squad Nostrus apart.
Menelus heard their rout over the vox and a surge of bile rose from his stomach. The Emperor’s finest did not run. Respect earned from decades fighting alongside his brother Marines disintegrated in that instant of cowardice.
Drunk with the zeal of victory, the Chaos Chosen tore through the fleeing Dark Angels and piled into the advancing Ravenwing, diving onto the bikes and hauling the riders to the ground. Though the Ravenwing proved more steadfast, slaying most of the Chosen with chainswords and pistols, they too succumbed to the Blood God’s fury.
As the right flank crumbled, confusion reigned amongst the Deathwing Terminators who faced cultists and a mighty Hellbrute dreadnaught on the remains of smashed houses. Garbled orders to engage the Chaos Marines conflicted with demands that they attack the cultists. A futile spray from their storm bolters went unnoticed by the heretics, and before they had recovered, the cultists hacked and slashed all around them. Countless blows rebounded but even terminator armour buckled under so many. A single cultist stood out in their number, blood dripping from his zealous face, his power axe carving through armour. The remaining Terminators sought him with power fists and blades but the press of cultists always blocked their strikes, each praising the Blood God with his death.
While the melee raged, the Predator tank faced the Hellbrute, hammering it with autocannon and lascannon fire. The dreadnaught responded with heavy melta blasts which welded the tank’s tracks to its hull, turning it into a stationary turret. Its guns raged on and blasted the dreadnaught until it exploded in a hail of twisted metal.
Menelus looked at the devastation around him. Cultists and corrupted Marines lay in piles but the Astartes were crippled. A piercing scream overloaded the vox to white noise as the Dark Angels commander died to the lightning claws of fallen Marines. The killers stood over the body and impaled it with the Banner of Khorne. As it pierced his flesh, fire and brimstone erupted from the altar and blood wept from the walls.
Heavy bolter shells still pummelled and ground and a shadow fell over Menelus’ squad. He looked up and both his Astartes hearts pumped faster. The dark green of a Thunderhawk gunship approached but instead of opening its guns it banked suddenly to avoid a swirling vortex from the cultists’ altar. The earth rumbled and the cultists chanted and danced in frenzy.
Something was coming through the vortex. Something from the Warp. Something big.
Static crackled through the vox, and then an Astartes’ voice. “Tactical squad Morius: disengage and proceed to extraction point gamma. Predator will cover your path. Thunderhawk out.”
“Retreat,” Menelus muttered. The word tasted sour, its connotations crept around him like a tainted second skin. Though the very thought of it turned his insides to ice, he and the battered remains of squad Morius limped from the battlefield to the Thunderhawk rendezvous point.
The vox crackled. “Not retreat, Brother Menelus; repositioning. Squad Morius will rejoin its chapter brothers. They deploy for the counterattack as we speak.”
The frenzied chants of Chaos cultists reverberated through the smoke filled air, voices that would haunt Menelus’ dreams.
“Blood for the Blood God! Blood for the Blood God!”
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