Into the belly of the Beast (Attn Azaha)
The Old Azahan Empire remained, for the most part intact. Worlds were far from thriving under the Chronosian Heel; another notch on the list of conquered nations and people; the vassals of the black and terrible Archon Lash; once hailed as a savior and a protector of Humanity; he had fallen to the greatest depths; embraced the foullest lords of unspeakable Chaos. He had betrayed his people; defiled his name.
Azaha IV sat as the jewel in his crown; the Monastary rebuilt as a thing of black purity, volcanic rock stretching about it; embracing the fortress that would have put Pertaurbo and Dorn to shame in its black ingenuity. Here the tyrant brooded on his black Throne. Here he waited; and watched the passing Galaxy. The Black Order were his to command; the tarnished legacy of the grey Knights.
Outside; countless slaved to further his goals; on many worlds, driven by slave-drivers in the vile rune-daubed tainted armor of their former defenders; the Azahans suffered slavery, degradation and death. Daemons rent their flesh at will; either bound, or possessing freely; leaping from host to host; tainting and twisting flesh on whims.
About the new Capital World; great scaffolds; metallic skeletons; immense rings circling it; spiked and daubed in heretic prayer; revolved slowly; the whirr of weapons platforms about this obsidian gem, not lost upon any who would oppose them.
One of 10 worlds; it now sat, dark and ominous; as Archon Lash rose to greet the day; and begin his daily work; the continued unification, defilment and enslavement of Humanity, to the Gods that he worshipped in undiluted splendor; the same gods he had fought in his youth...
Ricaud sat and watched, the images of a space probe long sent to send back images of the Azaha system just now reaching Jurai, where he and his brethren had settled in for a while. He sighed deeply, slouching ever so slightly in his armor, on his great rock chair, staring at the glimmering images. The System looked so peaceful, so tranquil, until close up images rocked the heart of Ricaud. Massive lines of slaves pulling rock's for the temple he used to reside in. Guard legions patrolling the once great planet, and close by mining worlds. Death, carnage, Chaos.
The images ended abruptly, as the camera pivoted ahead of the probe, and slammed into the hull of a chaos ship, destroying the probe and ending the transmissions.
He could not stand it. He would not let his people be used as slaves, being ravaged by chaos and demons. He would not stand for it. Ricaud stood up, and stares straight ahead, a single thought running across his mind, We will retake our home, or die trying.
But then, his mind was put in an unease. He did not have the man power yet for such and undertaking. He had one strike cruiser, the ship itself damaged and old, upkeep unable to be maintained because of the low crew compliment. Half her weapons did not even work.
He sighed, and knew once again he would have to ask for help, from his hosts.
The message was sent. Help us retake our home.
The Kraven Corporation
OOC: Is this open, I'd like to test out my new FT nation
OOC: Dunno... more of a personal war, between Old Azaha and Chronosia, we have no need to call in allies of any sort, besides Coreworlds, in which my Grey Knights reside right now.
I'll be keeping an eye on this m'self... thar be Godulans on Jurai too, although under somewhat less dire circumstances.
Has nothing to do with Jurai... just the starting point.
Help us retake our home.
Those four simple words stirred debate among the high levels of government at Jurai. It was, of course, a foregone conclusion that anything to hurt the Chronosians is a good deal in exchange for helping Azaha return home.
So, the reply was sent fortwith:
What do you have in mind?
The revitalized Grey Knights, or rather now, the Seekers of Vengeance had been replenished, man power wise, and ship wise. Now all they needed was a fleet.
A message was sent to give a basic lay-out of the plan.
If you would loan them to us, we would require a small task force of your great Star Destroyers. The plan is simple. This task force would occupy the few ships guarding the system, and one ship would land troops on the surface of Azaha IV to deal with the mass infantry. My ship and team on the other hand, will infiltrate the black citadel, and deal with the traitoris Archon Lash. We will sever the head of the enemy, the body and weapons will soon fall afterwards.
The reply came swiftly.
We shall have Redemption and Avenger accompany you. They are good ships and will serve you well. A small assault/escort fleet will accompany them.
That's a task force of two ISDmkIIs, 1 Acclaimator heavy assault cruiser, 2 Neb-B frigates, 2 Lancer light cruisers, and 2 Wolfpacks (1 corvette, 4 gunships per pack).
He chuckled. "How fitting names for such a mission..."
We will send subspace probes to scout the system, when you fleet gets here, ask them to be ready at a moments notice, etchalon formation. I do not want to keep them waiting too long after they find out about the probes.
Very well. They will arrive soon.
And as the Grey Knights sent out the probes and waited, the familiar spike of hyperspace exit was seen as the task force reverted to realspace and formed up in echelon with the Strike Cruiser.
The subspace probes had been longer underway now, and arrived in the Azaha system. Two probes scouted the outer, and inner portions of the system, while one probe scouted around Azaha IV.
"All ships, form one lightyear exactly galactic east from Azaha IV, I Don't want us to jump into the fray because our faster than light systems are different, so we may not show up at the same time. Ricaud out."
A rupture in space and time rent itself open, and allowed passage for Ricaud's strike cruiser. It slipped into the ebb and flow of the maelstrom, and dissapeared from view.
In contrast, the Coredian ships simply disappeared in a flash of psuedomotion while the engines drilled a tunnel into hyperspace.
Sensors whirled and howled like Daemons scream; a thousand alarms seemed to roar; defences manned; slumbering giants of ships spurring into action; men rushing to posts, or to board transports. The Imperium stirred, and it was the erratic fumblings of a waking giant. Weapons fire scarred the void; warning shots, knowing the enemy was far too distant; but not distant enough to hear the mocking voice of Archon Lash upon the communications arrays.
"I am Archon Lash, Lord Primarch of the Imperium and Soverign Emperor of the Azahan Colonies. You have trespassed upon my domain, and as such shall be subject to immediate extermination, unless you immediately withdraw. We shall offer no quarter to enemies of the Imperium; state your business; or prepare to be blasted out of the sky"
The message was recieved as the real space was ripped asunder, and the strike cruiser slipped out of the horrific tunnel. There the strike cruiser waited for the rest of the Coredian help, but didn't wait to send a reply.
The voice was familiar that of Ricaud, but it had dark undertones, and a sinister voice, "I am Vengeance Incarnate.. one great primarch has fallen, now another shall."
"You threaten a living God, boy" His voice echoed back, alive with ringing, mocking laughter. "Each and every son of Azaha shall lie dead, should you continue. At my word, every single slave shall be slaughtered; rapred; defiled; crushed and broken....I shall burn your worlds asunder and leave it as husks, nothing shall live; nothing shall survive. I would rather be bereft of kingdom and rich in warriors; than allow the heretical Knights to set foot upon my domain..."
In seconds, the Coredian ships reappeared in a flash right in formation around the Strike Cruiser. Battlestations was called and everything was prepped for combat.
Ricaud smirked, and spoke, "We shall see, I have faith in my fellow Azahan." He cut the channel, and turned to the captian. "Open up ALL frequencies, send a message to every colony and planet in the Azaha system, tell them that we are, tell them to rise up. If some one has radios, then they MUST hear it." Then he turned to his loyal Justicar. "Go to the meditation chamber, wail through the warp my brother, send messages to anyone on Azaha IV, should there be a man, woman, or child with the slightest indictnation towards telepathica, then they must hear it aswell."
The captian and Justicar nodded, and went off into their duties. Ricaud opened a channel to the Coredian strike fleet.
"Battle stations, start pushing into the system. I want the Redemption and the Avenger to engage any capitol ships. I want one wolfpack with my strike cruiser, I plan to drive deep towards Azaha IV, and I need the support."
"You'll get your support, Captain." Captain Picard (No relation to Jean-Luc) replied. He turned to his crew. "Begin the offensive."
The Star Destroyers lit their engines and prepared to engage the capital ships. A wolfpack moved to escort the Strike Cruiser. Everything was prepared to fight.
"Broad strokes, brothers; broad strokes. We have a canvas of destruction to fill; a portrait of horror and awe; broad strokes. Wide berth EMP; open fire on my mark." Weapons readied about the world as Archon chuckled fiendishly; "Now"
Explosions of sickly blue light rocked the area as EMP weapons and bombs fired towards the incoming fleets; FTLi fields whirled into operation; as the cannons began to open fire; great volleys and arcs of raw fire hurtling towards the enemy. At the edge of the system, defence sattelites activated, turning their considerable weapons upon the world beneath them; incinerating settlements and mines with genocidal glee. A lesson to those who would seek to liberate the slaves of the Imperium.
Planetary and Orbital cannons fired off; some fire fading before it could reach their prey; while others flew true.
It had began
EMP bolts wizzed by Ricaud's ship, which he redubbed the Vengeance. The great bolts of negative electricity slammed into the shield of the cruiser. Each bolt weakened the shield greatly, but inside the new crewmembers were hard at work trying to find ways to counter-act the EMP barrage.
Weapons' fire readings were off the charts as the system started to light up the satellites firing on civilians. "Avenger, take your group and destroy any sattellites you see above Azaha IV, the colonies are already lost, but we must save the people on the last major planet."
His own strike cruiser also now dived "down" through the system, aiming at an angle towards Azaha IV's southern pole, then down some.
Several ships were rocked by the EMP weapons and crew rushed about to reroute energy to vital systems.
The Avenger moved into position and began to target the satellite systems with its long-range turbolasers and missiles, while the much quicker fighters and gunships soared ahead to engage them decidedly more directly. The Redemption watched for enemy ships as it too targeted the orbitial defenses.
Sattelites burned and fell to earth in waves of enemy fire; shattering as they plunged itno the earth; great plumes of smoke staining the sky; weapons platforms burned and tumbled through the void; while others valiently fought on.
Imperial Guardsmen rushed to their posts; weapons readied; Marines took their places; cruel, mocking laughter echoing. Once again they fought their misguided 'pure' Brethern...How they would make them suffer.
Archon readied himself for war. His old apprentice would come before him; and convert; or he would die. Such was the will of the Gods; such was the way of Chaos. With foul laughter; he took to the field of battle; willing and yearning to unleash his powers...
Ricaud's ship finally pivoted upward towads the planet. Missiles tubes, turbo lasers, and lance batteries firing away at any defense sattelites they may have encountered coming throught he south pole, if there was any.
The ship strengthened its shields and tore into the atmosphere. With the engines repaired and slightly upgraded, they whizzed right above the dense air molocules, staying between air and space. Top and bottom shield batteries were strengthened to max, some power diverted from the lance batteries to help this. They were purely on the defensive until they could get directly over the black citadel, and teleport in.
Mighty cannons roared like hungry dragons in their howling discharge; weapons lashed out at the juggernaut that bore down upon them; nearing the vast Black Citadel. All across the world, the order was given; the Azahan's had returned! Slaughter them all! Chainaxe rent flesh; bolter tasted blood; as each and every Azahan slave that could be found was being executed; there was something in the air...A hissing, static, almost like a message trying to force it's way into the minds of all who could hear.
A Navigator; third eye seething, looked skyward; an eyeless Astropath turned his mis-shapen face towards the sky; as though feeling the heat of the sun upon his countenance. "What is thisss..."