Chaos Beckons (Attn. Chronosia)
The vox-net broke in and out of static as the drop-pods hurdled threw the atmosphere. It was filled with voices of thousands of Confederate Marines, all screaming of the coming victory, of the total unification of Mankind. The order for radio silence had obviously been ignored, and Blake Moore could do nothing about it. Though with a steely glare he kept an eye on all of his own men, ensuring that none of them would take advantage of the tumbling voices on the vox-net to try and sneak a scream in. It would have been hard for him to hear their voices or even hear them in the drop-pod due to the roar of the pods shattering of the atmosphere. He didn’t suspect anyone in his ten man squad would break the order, but he knew that given the occasion they would be tempted. He could really blame the rest of Alpha Squadron for their zealous behavior; this was after all the final battle of the Great War which had been waged for forty-five years non-stop. It was also commonly called the War for His Excellency, since forty-five years ago when the Confederate Government was established on a recently united Tarsonis that he called for the unification of Mankind under one banner, his, threw force or pledge. Since then, the Confederate Marines and Alpha Squadron had been exacting his will across the twelve planet system.
He’d been there since the beginning, since the first assault on the Sirenhold of Kraken, Warsaw’s Moon. Where the religious fanatics and their Lunar gods were unable to hold back the tide of the Confederate Marines, all the way to the Suicide Drop incident, where Marines, his men included, were dropped into the Imperial Palace of Emperor Suken, on Ferrous. He remembered that day the most … maybe because it just happened two years ago, maybe because the bewildered look on Suken’s face as his Imperial Guard were crushed, literally, under the numerous drop pods that landed in the middle of his entombed, bunkered, throne room. To die right then and there would have been enough for Blake – to know that His Excellency was pleased that the drop had even succeeded. Nevertheless, he fought against Ferrous’ populace for thirteen weeks as they assaulted the Palace in droves to try and rescue their already executed Emperor. When the fourteenth week dawned, there was no one left in the capital city to defy them and as a result the planet fell. Now he drew in a deep breath as he felt the drop-pod break threw the atmosphere of Terra Extremis …
Terra Extremis …
Its unofficial name was Gretnor, named by the inhabitants. Though His Excellency had decided the name was absurd and renamed it Terra Extremis to more represent its place in the Warsaw System. The planet was, surprisingly, temperate despite its distance from Warsaw, the system’s sun. Though it was largely barren and was mostly inhospitable, save for the one large ocean it boasted. Which is exactly where all of the major city-states existed, and where anything of any importance to the Confederacy existed. With a sudden stop that brought a few of his men to their unprepared knees, the drop-pod slammed into Terra Extremis. Blake exhaled as he heard the explosive hinges go off and the large, heavy metal plates of the drop pod fall away. Blake didn’t ask questions, he didn’t think, he didn’t even look – he pulled the trigger and send high caliber rounds bursting out of his gauss rifle. To his surprise, he didn’t hit anything, but it did make the few Gretnorian defenders quickly scramble to whatever cover was available.
As was Blake’s ritual, he led from the front and pushed himself out of the drop-pod first, he power armor hissing under the immense pressure he put on it. He kept firing and even launched a grenade into a storehouse which looked promising to use. The grenade exploded in a fury and he easily broke threw the door, putting a few rounds into the mutilated corpses on the floor. He men followed in behind him, and they immediately did a quick sweep. Outside the sounds of gunfire and the low rumble of artillery could be heard.
“They may have expected this,” he muttered.
Pyr Rahl, one of his newer but promising recruits, nodded, “We can’t expect everyone to be shocked by it. Especially since His Excellency allowed the media to cover our drop on Ferrous “
Blake rolled his eyes, the media, while under the direct control of His Excellency, was an annoyance that was best left on Tarsonis. Though Blake would not dare question his leader’s decision, such was not the way of the Confederacy. To exist in a cold, uncaring Universe and a dangerous galaxy, one must simply assume that His Excellency was doing the best for Mankind. If that meant he listed you for a suicide mission, then so be it. Your death would bring Humanity one step closer to its ultimate goal of everlasting peace. It was the only thing that maintained His Excellency’s Dominion, and it would hold it forever if Blake had anything to do with it.
“Raven, Tristan, Walden,” he barked once the sweep of the storeroom was complete, “Stay here and provide support fire for us as he make our way across the street.”
There was only blinking green lights inside of his left eye. Every Confederate Marine was required to loose one eye, to be replaced with an augmented one which would allow them to see the battle in an electronic way. Increased optics, the ability to silently exchange orders by merely thinking them, or blink picing. Some within the weaker parts of the Confederacy believed it some sort of horror to have your eye removed – since tradition demanded it be done without numbing agents. Blake, however, remembered smiling the day they ripped his out of its socket. The pain, the blood, the misery; he knew it was all in the name of His Excellency and would eventually save lives. Since he had spawned those thoughts, he had found it answer and that was that the optic eyes were critical to the success of the Confederate Marines. He pushed the thought from his mind as one of his fellow Marines broke down the other door to the storeroom and the six marines quickly filed out into the streets, their red power armor contrasting with the pale grey of the concrete structures around them.
They had, unfortunately, landed in the middle of one of the city-states. One that was very prepared, since as soon as he took a step outside, the world become rich with lead suddenly. One of his Marine yelped loudly before falling to the ground, his life sign blinking out in Blake’s eye. He shrugged the loss as acceptable and pushed his Marines onwards. The door to the adjacent building was quickly reduced to splinters and the room lit by the luminous glow of a discharging gauss rifles. The meager defense force was quickly dealt with. As Blake entered the new building he found it be a former store of some sort, by the way it was set up it could have once been a butcher’s shop. A sudden roar caught Blake’s attention and he quickly tried to put distance between himself and the door, but only got a few feet in before the entrance they had just splintered was now burnt to crisp as an explosive, low-yield missile, slammed into the concrete of the building. Shards of concrete, reinforcing steel and metal sheered across the room. The concussive blast knocked over Blake’s men, and he was left still on the floor for a moment, trying to regain his senses. He could feel that a few of the metal shards had managed to penetrate his back armor and even as he began to move he could feel them slicing further into his flesh. He shrugged the pain off as already the suits built-in systems were coping with the wounds by injecting him with stimpacks.
He growled as he turned on the vox-net and switched it to his particular command’s station, “Tell me that bastard is dead.”
“Yes sir”, came Walden’s voice, “Though the bastards are rushing us.”
Just as Blake turned around, he could see a large contingent of enemy soldiers, clad in butternut uniforms better suited to a naval security detail than a ground force, charging with their guns blazing. Normally they would have died in the streets, but the street was fighting with them. From every building, machine-gun, low yield missile, and small arms fire blazed towards the storeroom where nearly a third of his squad remained.
“Looks a little uneven,” said Pyr slogging up beside him. His sarcasm barely held in check.
“Sounds about right,” said Blake, “Maybe we should charge with them. Then they’ll have a chance.”
The smile that crept across Pyr’s face was sadistic. It had often been suggested that is Confederate Marines every fought one another, that the war would last forever and the planets of the Warsaw System would never be united. Blake quickly barked orders and his men set up a firing line, out of the windows of the butcher shop they opened fire on the Gretnorian soldiers. Their unprotected bodies were easy prey for the high caliber rounds of the gauss rifle and they died quicker than Blake had even expected. Though their deaths meant little since more and more gun-fire began to separate Blake from his remaining squad members. Suddenly one of the low rumbles which Blake had discounted as rolling artillery suddenly grew louder and louder until the form a Acolyte siege, its massive twin barrel cannons swirling to acquire targets. Low-yield missiles struck it immediately and for a moment the sheer volume of them left the Acolyte covered from view by smoke and fire. The siege tank, however, was far more sturdy than that and quickly pushed threw the smoke and fire in a roar as its engines struggled to keep up with the demands of the tank commander. It twin cannons barked a response to the attack by the Gretnorians: again, and again, again. The sides of buildings exploded as the tank fired volley after volley, slowly making its way down the street.
Blake howled approval, “Don’t let the damned tankers get all the glory!”
He and his Marines charged out of the safety of the buildings and lined up beside the tank, walking along beside or behind it and giving it protection fire as Gretnorians who lurked in the alleyways attempts to charge the tank. For ten merciless minutes the column made its way down the road, blowing apart resistance cluster after resistance cluster. By the time they made it to the intersection, the street behind them was effectively impassible due to debris, at least to anything the Gretnorians could manage – Acolyte siege tanks would easily crush the rubble beneath their massive tracks. Blake sent an encoded message threw his optic eye to the tank crew, giving them his thank; which they quickly replied in the same manner.
Blake looked up into the already tortured sky of Terra Extremis. To his horror it was lit up with anti-aircraft weaponry and he saw more than an average amount of drop-pods turn to balls of flame. He growled, their damned refusal to adhere to radio silence had probably doomed a large portion of the first wave because it allowed the enemy’s sensors to draw beads on them. Fools of the highest caliber, thought Blake. Nonetheless, he could see the battle was already turning into a massacre. The Wraiths swooped in, quickly turning an invasion disaster into a quick victory.
As he reloaded his gauss rifle, Blake knew the battle for Terra Extremis would not be a long one.
Blake Moore sat back in the dropship, focusing on the numbing sound of its twin engines soft rumbling, the thick metal armor of the dropship drowning most of the sound out. His mind wondered to the events that had transpired over the last three weeks. They had been hard on everyone, the Gretnorians were far more resistant than anyone could have predicted. Nearly all of the initial first wave Confederate Marines were dead somewhere inside of the city, the second wave that followed were literally forced to pillage threw the bodies of their fallen comrades as the Gretnorians slowly, methodically divided them into resistance pockets. While the Confederate Marines were by far more superior to their lightly armored enemies, they did not have numbers on their side and Alpha Squadron could not provide safe orbital support. Blake’s squad was down to six men, due to several ambushes which they had encountered since their initial landing. Of those Tristan and Pyr were dead, and Walden was missing in action. They had lost him when the enemy had activated a low yield nuclear weapon in the district they were in. If it hadn’t been for Walden slamming the door shut in front of him when they crowded into the subway, than it was likely all of them would have been killed by the firestorm. Across from Blake sat Rustin, a tall and fit Marine with a quiet nature. He’d always been a damn good Marine though, and Blake had offered him promotion several times, only to hear the same reply from the man,
He wasn’t sure if it was a lack of ambition or care on Rustin’s part. A loud roar broke Blake’s thought, as it always did. A missile shrieked by the dropship and slammed into a building. His men simply watched the missile impact, probably killing more Gretnorians than Confederates. Luckily he’d never been one to allow green Marines into his command, and his connections with some of the upper echelons had ensured him a constant flow of veterans. It prevented things like jumpy, trigger happy idiots. The dropship tilted slightly as it made its way towards their next engagement zone. The rough, sharp sounds of gauss fire and the almost silent sounds of the Gretnorians slender automatic rifles already piercing threw the roar of the engines and the protection of the ships armor. He could feel his stomach swim in his chest as the transport made a steep decline into the heart of the battlefield. Now the sounds of shouting commands and wounded men could be made out. Blake and his Marines quickly got to their feet the moment the dropship went stationary, lining up in a perfect two man wide, three man deep formations. The hydraulic hiss of the exit ramp was easily heard as the two columns marched slowly forward.
Dropships never dropped lower than a hundred feet from the ground, so the Marines were forced to jump; their power armor easily taking the abuse. Blake stood as the front man of one of the columns with Rustin leading the other. He knew his men’s spirits were getting low; this constant leapfrogging from battlefield-to-battlefield with no seeming end was draining them. This was, after all, some of the hardest fighting they had done in a long time. Not even Ferrous was this intense.
“His Excellency demands your lives!” he shouted suddenly, catching his men’s attention, “Will you give them willingly?”
“All for Mankind!” they shouted in return. He could hear their spirits raised by his cheering. With that, and a smirk look from Rustin, he ran forward and leaped without a second thought. The ground was underneath him before he could get a good observation of the battlefield. If the small, almost vague briefing they had got was anything to go by, they would be supporting the Ninth Division in their attack on the enemy’s government district. The situation right now was quiet different, the Gretnorians were gaining the upper hand quickly, they had managed to bring forth some of their acclaimed “Gun Tanks”, as he had labeled them. Massive tanks the size of Acolyte’s, but with heavy-caliber guns protruding from every possible position. They were emblazoned with dozens of logos, symbols, and hand-drawn words that told of the machine’s god-like nature. He and his men would show them the folly of such arrogance.
“For His Excellency!” shouted Blake, bullets already whizzing around him and his squad. Though they did not stand idle, they had begun firing while he chanted, he eventually adding his own gauss rifle to the chorus of death being flung around the battlefield. Though it did not last forever as his squad was forced to get to cover as one of the Gunner Tanks began to unleash an amount of gunfire than Blake doubted even a company of Confederate Marines could have matched. The broken, ruined buildings that made of the battlefield, their own pale grey now pox marked with bullet scars and the occasional streak of black from a flamer, were excellent cover for his men but would only last so long against a torrent like this. Blake saw a figure bobbing up and down, leaping and suddenly disappearing from view behind various pieces of rubble, making his way towards his squad. He would have opened fire but the fact that the enemy was already doing so hinted that he was friend, not foe.
Blake sent an optic-thought message to his men, indicating to them where the man was, he had come into enough distance for Blake to realize he was wearing a Confederate Marine’s armor, red as always. “Cover fire!” shouted Blake as the Gunner Tank which once bullied them now swirled to deal with the on-and-off exposed Marine. Rustin was the first to heave his massive gauss rifle over, only able to wield it thanks to the mechanical enhancements his suit power armor gave him, and it was he who opened fire first. They did not both firing at the Gunner Tank, which would have just ignored them, its armor too think to be penetrated by mere gauss fire. No, instead they fired upon the Gretnorian soldiers who had exposed themselves by using the Gunner Tanks fire to slowly advance towards the Marine position. Blake formed a grin as he realized he’d caught them committing a big no-no. The Confederate Marines were illuminated by the flashes of their gauss rifles as they cut down the Gretnorians where they stood. They too realized their folly and attempted to scurry towards cover, but many of them perished for their arrogance. The Gunner Tank suddenly swirled again, and for a moment Blake could almost see the embarrassment on the faces of the crewmen. The Gretnorians didn’t have military discipline, at least not the way the Confederate Marines had them, since often times their men would divide up and try to conquer the enemy alone, sometimes down to one man charging a squad. He vaguely remembered reading up on the planet’s customs and found that wars in the past had been waged in a similarly disorganized way. No known reason could be found other than that it always worked in the past so the Gretnorians assumed it would work again. He and his men had just now, as he had been forced to show hundreds before, had to show them that such was folly. Nevertheless his squad took cover again, and he Blake put his back to the pale-grey rubble to reload his gauss rifle he saw the Marine his men had probably saved crouching low and scurrying up to him. He quickly realized his rank was no more than that of privates, the Marine’s features hidden behind his helmets tinted armored glass.
The Marine shifted into a more protected position, “Private Vispus, sir.”
Blake nodded in return, “Out on a stroll where you private?”
At first Blake almost thought the man took him seriously, “No, sir, not at all. Captain Adrian is in command of this portion of the line. You are aware of that right sir?”
The sergeant remembered the name, in his orders slat, given to him by the dropship pilot that picked him up – that he would be under Captain Rick Adrian, of ‘D’ Company of the Ninth Division. Blake nodded, “Of course, what are the captain’s orders?”
“He wants your men to take out the damned tank.”
The words almost made Blake laugh, “Of coarse he does.” He suddenly realized the kind of man he’d been sent to work with, someone who wanted to gain as much ground as possible and show a little losses on his casualty report as possible. Blake shook his head in annoyance.
“We’ll need a distraction,” he said dryly.
Even though his features were hidden, Blake was almost sure that he could see a smile. “Already taken care of sir, should happen any second now.”
“What?” he replied, shocked that Adrian already had some sort of plan set up. Moments later he heard the screaming sounds of Wraiths as they swooped in low, firing their tri-laser cannons for all they were worth. As they approached the epicenter of fighting they pulled up hard, trying to head east, away from the fighting as quickly as possible. Though their fire as done its job, the Gunner Tank was now swirling to take care of the Wraiths, one of its tracks was burning white-hot as one of the laser rounds had struck it, also the screams of the mutilated and dying could be heard from the Gretnorians as the other rounds stitched threw their hidden ranks.
“Damn it!” shouted Blake, realizing he wasn’t prepared. He used his power armors artificial strength to push himself on top of the rubble, firing immediately. He optic-thought orders to his men to immediately charge the Gretnorians and try to keep them away from him while he charged the Gunner Tank. As his men reacted they too charged over the rubble and ran, their power armor crushing chunks of debris beneath it as they cut down any enemy foolishness to be standing, even partially, at the time.
“For His Excellency!” was the cry someone used, Blake surmised that the voice was Patrick’s, an eleven year veteran of Blake’s. Nearly all of his squad gave a similar cry and charged forward. Blake jumped onto and then over a piece of what used to be a massive column, nearly the height of a Marine in power armor and easily the width of two of them. Next to him he saw a Gretnorian raise his silent rifle and take aim. Blake knew he didn’t stand a snowballs chance in hell of avoiding the shot. Suddenly Raven jumped over the column and used his power armor’s massive weight to crush the man as he landed; he immediately spun around and killed two more Gretnorians charging over some rubble. As Blake turned his attention back towards the Gunner Tank, he saw Raven using the gauss rifle’s chainsaw to cut into an enemy’s torso, spilling his insides out in a gruesome display. The Gunner Tank realized the mistake it made as the Wraiths quickly reached out of its range, someone inside must have noticed the sudden advance of the Confederate Marines, because the massive guns of the tank began to swivel towards him. Sergeant Moore put all the strain on his power armor that he could as he sprinted towards the tank. With a massive thrust he threw himself into the air and onto the top of the tanks boxy frame, at that exact moment the guns opened up and Blake nearly fell to his knees just from the suddenly of sound, which pierced his ears like knives. He gathered himself up as he realized the tank may have missed him, but was now probably aiming towards his men. He quickly found one of the frontal slits which was probably used to view the outside; he spun his gauss rifle around and shoved it into the glass, which easily resisted it. Blake pulled the trigger and did his best to hold onto the bucking weapon as the armored glass did its best to resist, but ultimately it wasn’t designed for a prolonged assault and finally gave way, allowing the crewmen inside to meet the last six rounds in his gun’s clip. Has he pulled his rifle up and reached around to get a fresh clip of ammo, the tank lurched forward, knocking him on his back. He must have hit the driver, he thought. Blake scrambled to get back onto his feet, the tanks speed slowly increasing. He only managed to get to his knees when he heard the sound of the hatch, which he previously hadn’t even noticed since it looked like any other piece of metal, suddenly unlocked itself and began to hiss open. He knew he had only a second, he reached and get his massive fingers under the hatch and using his enhanced strength ripped it open. He pointed his gauss rifle at the dumbfounded crewman looking at him, and pulled the launch trigger. A low-yield missile exited underneath his gauss rifle’s ammo barrel, and detonated in the crewman’s chest, showering Blake in blood, flame, and organs as the man exploded. The missile’s effect was felt as suddenly the Gunner Tank came to a sudden, grim stop. Blake heaved himself up and surveyed the battlefield. His squad was advancing finely, pushing back the now shocked Gretnorian infantry. He also noticed that the rest of ‘D’ Company was advancing now that the Gunner Tank was disabled, he sneered – must be green men.
Blake sent an optic-thought to Rustin, “Status.”
His unofficial second-in-command responded immediately, “No losses, though Raven’s got a few new facial scars. Got caught in the open by the tank.”
“He’ll be parading them by tomorrow, I’m sure,” snorted Blake. As Blake turned around to find a way down the tank the large hulking figure of a red Confederate Marine approached him, although the insignias and markings on his Mk. I Power Armor did not resemble Blake’s own Second Division’s blood stained two set with a sword threw it vertically. No, it showed the number nine, written so regally it barley looked like the number at all. The markings indicated that he was a captain. Blake nearly sneered at the man.
“Captain Rick Adrian I presume?” he said deadpan.
The Marine had his visor pulled up and his features were unremarkable; black short hair with the typical bionic implants in the skull, along with dark sunken eyes that were cold and blue. Blake had heard that blue eyes and dark eye were suppose to be a rarity some two hundred years ago, but since then the continuous cross mingling of different peoples had pretty much made it as common as brown eyes. Although unremarkable in features, Rick Adrian’s voice was one that immediately radiated with authority, “Yes, Sergeant Moore I would like to personally thank you for a damned fine job.”
“You requested the best, you got the best,” said Blake looked around at the honor guard that surrounded Adrian, “We do what others cannot.”
He could see, if only for the tiniest fraction of a second, the tension in Adrian’s armored form, “Seems that way. The Ninth as already suffered, my company above all. Many of us were struck from the skies by anti-aircraft, and those that remained were scattered by the enemy.”
Blake would have chastised him for not maintaining radio silence as was directed, but Adrian didn’t seem like the type that would have broken that order. So he settled with something simple, “The Second has also been scarred, so let’s make this unenlightened bastards pay for it. What are your orders, sir?”
Adrian nodded, clearly liking the new direction of the conversation, “HICOM, obviously, wasn’t expecting this kind of resistance. If we kept going on our previous course, by leapfrogging to every engagement zone to fight the enemy in a war of attrition, it’d take us months to break them. So the Ninth was tasked with the task of assaulting the government district, to try and capture their leadership.”
Blake jumped down from the Gunner Tank, his massive power armor boots shattering the pale-grey concrete below him, “They expected a drop pod assault.”
Adrian nodded, “What is your point?”
“My point,” said Blake looking over in the district towards the various looming spires which we only just now caught threw the haze of the battle, recognizing them as the Towers of Champions, where the loosely organized city-state oligarchy made residence, “Is that if they expected that, what makes HICOM think that they would be stupid enough to remain in their cities? There is a million hiding places in the wastelands. They could run forever.”
Adrian’s sunken features grinned, “That’s simple. One of the tin-pot dictators is on our side.”
Blake let out a small laugh, “Sounds about right. First sign of a possible fall and someone always breaks.”
Adrian nodded, “Indeed. He’s convinced them to gather in the tower furthest to the west of here.” Adrian then connected with Blake’s optic-eye and located the structure on his TACMAP. Blake nodded when he received the indicator.
“I want your boys to enter from the top door.”
“Top door?” questioned Blake.
“Indeed,” replied the Captain of ‘D’ Company. Optic images were sudden filed into Blake’s system, which showed that the tower was actually connected to another building – a shrine of sorts. “That is the Shrine of the Obsidians. Apparently the oligarchs claim their power by managing to gather enough obsidian, which apparently is rare here, to make a throne for themselves. This is actually our friends tower.”
Blake nodded, “I get it, and you enter from the bottom and work your way up. I’ll go threw the shrine and work my way up and we’ll clamp them from both directions.”
“Exactly,” said Adrian, “Also, I’m sending one of my squads – Likak’s boys. They are a little arrogant, so just be sure not to let him run the show too much.”
The sergeant rolled his eyes, “I crush the spirits of men like him on a daily basis. Have you met the men of my squad?”
Adrian laughed and the jest and turned to walk off, “I shall see you there, sergeant?”
“To hell with this Gretnorian bullshit,” shouted Raven as he fell into cover behind Rustin, who was working his way down the road with the rest of his squad. The unofficial second-in-command merely grunted at Raven’s comment and turned the corner, flipping his weapon’s hard-switch, and fired a low-yield rocket down the road, watching its arcing pattern as the gravity of Terra Extremis quickly tried to drag it down. Rustin had already compensated for the gravity and felt satisfied as the rocket slammed into the Gretnorian heavy-weapons emplacement. He looked back, the faintest sign of a grin on his face at Raven.
The hardened veteran then quickly took off, gun-fire snapping all around him, and the asphalt pox marked with hundreds of bullet wounds itself. Raven snorted, “Fucking show off.” He then took aim and unleashed several three-round bursts at one of the windows, watching the Gretnorian quickly fall out. Somewhere, he’d pissed one of the man’s friends off and now fire was being redirected towards him. This time, however, he didn’t seek cover he actually began to take a step forward, further out of cover. His suits auto-targeting system rapidly acquiring targets and categorizing them based upon a variety of things: from weapons –to- assumed experience based upon countless factors. Raven rapidly fired as he advanced, though his suit whined as small caliber rounds slammed into it, testing its structural integrity in the best way it knew how. Within a matter of minutes, the street fell silent as Raven, who was quickly accompanied by others, including Rustin, put an end to the resistance. The Gretnorians were collapsing; there was no doubt about it now. In the days since their arrival in the government district they had fought savagely, taking the full brunt of the city-state’s military might and throwing it back at them. Raven assumed that over time the Gretnorian oligarch’s armies simply ran out of veterans and were now throwing their greenies into the meat grinder. Such was evidence by their ability to use their Mk. 1 Power Armor’s built in auto-targeting system, if he’d tried that just a few weeks ago, the enemy would have immediately went for some of the thinner portions of his armor and put him down, quickly. The men he’d just laid to rest were desperate and simply hoping for results rather than making them.
As the squad began to form up, Rustin gave Raven a curt nod. The rugged Confederate Marine did not approve of bravado, and even though the enemy was crumbling before them, his action was still brash since he did so without contacting the rest of the men. From one of the buildings emerged Sergeant Moore, his armored bearing the make of hundreds of small arms wounds, his visor was cracked and his face has long dried blood upon it. The younger, but not by too much, Marine could not help but be inspired by his commander, he had led their squad from the front in every battle since the direct drop assault began. The weariness had begun to show upon him, since even though the majority of their abilities came from their power armor, it still took a heavy toll upon their flesh to bear the armor. The constant flow of stimpacks and battle-chems were enough to drive a normal man mad. His sergeant walked straight up to him, his expression grim.
Raven was a good man and a damned good Marine, though his spontaneous displays were sometimes tiring. Lucky for him, this was not one of them, “Brave move.” That was all Blake Moore said as he approached Raven, to see his face suddenly appear as he adjusted his visors settings. Raven was probably only six years younger than Blake, but Blake had years upon years of more combat experience and his face far rougher and stained than his comrades. Blake placed a massive hand on Raven’s massive shoulder and turn to his squad.
He raised his gun into the air at the towering building that they had fought their way too. It rose like an obelisk into the sky, it exterior walls decorated by the engraving of a thousand battles – its stone polished a pale brown with streaks of obsidian worked into the design. Blake had recalled Captain Adrian’s comments on how obsidian for Terra Extremis was like gold to Tarsonis. He smiled; no amount of his now would save the oligarchs. A normal commander would have called off the assault, since by now, the days it took them to slog to the Tower of Champions, that the oligarchs would have realized their situation hopeless and fled, regardless of what the turncoat oligarch has convinced them of; then again, Ninth Division had managed to seal the known exits to the district off as they pushed towards the Tower. Irregardless, Blake had been given an order and he would see it completed. He quickly established an eye-optic link with his men and detailed their assault plan. Resistance was expected on all twenty-floors of the towering obelisk; they would attack in the standard close-quarters fashion with the entire squad working together. His men already knew well in advance the strategy they would use, but Blake would take no chances in there being any needless mistakes.
Once the details were reiterated to ensure clarity, Blake set his men out. The six man squad assumed position, with Raven and another Marine called Kalep took up positions to the left and right of the door respectively. Two more Marines took up positions behind the initial Marines, while Rustin and Blake took up positions away from the door, ready to lead the way for their Marines, as was tradition. Raven got the optic-eye signal from Blake and set off the charges on the door they had set. Normally, men in non-power armor would have had to move, to avoid injury, but the Mk.1 Power Armor was designed to withstand such things, giving the slight edge that the Confederate Marines demanded, and needed. As automatic fire began to sound inside of the main lobby of the Tower of Champions, Blake and Rustin both fired a single low-yield missile into the lobby, the explosion sent dust and fragments of what appeared to be wood flinging out of the door. Raven and Kalep immediately entered and opened fire with Blake and Rustin right behind them, the two final Marines entering and fanning out. Their auto-targeting systems were useless and so all of them had already thought them to be shut down. They used their senses and shot anything that moved. Within a few minutes, the room was cleared. Blake was nearly visibly shocked by the lack of skilled resistance – they really had bled the oligarch’s white.
“It shouldn’t have been that easy,” said Raven who kicked a corpse, noisily cracking his ribs.
“Count yourself lucky it is that easy boy,” said Rustin, “I was there in the Sirenhold, that was hell.”
Raven scoffed, “I’m sure it was, sir, but these men just died. They probably barley knew how to fire their rifles.”
“Well, I’m sorry we had to disappoint you,” said Blake, “I’m sure once the war is over, His Excellency would agree to my recommendation to have you stationed on an outer-system recon station.”
Raven looked visibly hurt, “S-sir.”
“Enough,” said Blake, his voice stern, he’d already heard enough of the young Marine’s blood thirsting, “Lets keep moving.”
And there shall be a false Terra amongst the stars, and those that crawl upon its surface shall live in ignorance. Blindly they shall cleave to traitor kings, false gods and heretical ways...They shall earn the ire of the Chosen and burn in the fires of the Warp. So shall the new dawn be forged; in fire and blood, and the sons of Chaos shall inherit the stars.
This their beginning, this their end. So it is spoken, so it shall be.
-Words of the Blight Prophet Tarzius
He let the knife, rusty with age and coated with dried fluids, draw across the belly of the bloated sacrifice, as easily as though he were gutting a pig. The man shuddered, breath hissing from his cracked lips, tongue lolling from the side of his dry mouth, lapping ineffectually against sores and pustules. The sorcerer grinned coldly within his helmet, feeling the scent of rot and warpfire coil about him. He drew one hand back before sliding it into the belly of the dead prisoner, his body and soul offered up to the Greatfather. This was devotion, this was servitude. This was glory.
What did lesser men know of the touch of Nurgle? They viewed it with fear and hate! How could they fail to see the love? His love, pulsing beneath their ruined flesh, pushing through their turgid, torpid veins. How, he wondered, could any ignore it? He raised his hands from his bloody work, and tugged his helmet off, feeling pressure hiss from it, tasting the stale necrosis of the air. He replaced his hand within the cavity, pawing at organs, feeling them bloat and bleed beneath his grasp. He closed his eyes, before tugging hard, drawing forth a large and meaty organ from the man. He let it drop to the floor, pawing it reverently, teasing his fingers over the flesh like a masseuse.
“Hm...Of course....Oh yess...” Gurgling happily, he leant forward, tongue lolling from his mouth as he examined it more intimately. “Oh yesss”
“I trust the news is good, sorcerer?” The great shadow loomed over him, swallowing what little light prevaded the charnel depths of the great fortress. Eyes flickered up to gaze at the helmeted face, the gleaming deathmask of the Primarch Lucian. The sorcerer licked his lips again, bowing his head in dire respect.
“My Lord...My great Lord...”
“Spare me your sycophantic whimperings, Sorcerer...What is the news?” Lucian's voice was a dry crackle, the hiss of stale breath from within ruined lungs. His was a body transformed, infected and infested, made glorious by the power and the will of Nurgle. Rot encrusted gauntlets clenched and unclenched, the towering figure dominating the room, his shadow enveloping the sorcerer as he sat, still prodding at the pulsating organ.
“There shall be...A false Terra! Blazing in the heavens, alive and alight with heresy and sedition! They bow before unclean idols and prostrate themselves before a False Emperor! They are as apostates before the true faith!”
“The Greatfather speaks, oh lord! He calls upon his faithful, his most dedicated, to rise up! There are children unloved amongst the void! Ungifted with the traces of his viral magnificence! Do we not owe it to our brothers, to rise from perdition and drag them to his great bosom?”
There was laughter now, throaty and booming. Lucian knelt down, the lenses of his helmet scrutinising his servant coldly, gleaming in the putrid half-light.
“Should we indeed?” More laughter, bubbling and corpulant, blissfully amused. He let the shaft of his great scythe slam against the floor, over and over, tapping out his thoughts, pondering what had come to pass. “Then this a great day in the sight of our Lord!” He smiled now, his lips coiling unseen, as he rose anew, his arms hefted skyward. “You shall direct our fleets of war, that we might smite the infidel. Who shall be sent?”
“There shall be our warriors of the Fang, my lord, and there shall be the children of blood and vengeance!”
“Cabot's children...Of course.”
“And there shall be the anointed! The glorious sons of the Blood and the Bloody World!”
“Sanguar...The Anointed of Chaos. Most interesting, it promises to be a truly glorious campaign. I shall make the preparations at once. You have done well, sorcerer.”
“It is my pleasure merely to serve the Pestilent Father.”
Astropathic missives slid cold through the void, escaping the decrepit atmosphere of Lucian's world for the twin destinations of Sanguar and Cabot's efforts upon Zanthus, Chronosian capital within the Charybdis Cluster. In response to this, Cabot declared that his efforts of crusade would be headed by his most faithful disciples; First Captain Achaeus and Second Captain Brensis. Each was a Son of Cabot, his very image and devotees of his Khornate fury. These would be the warriors to lead the host of the Wolfsbane legion, these would be the soldiers to stride side by side with the Primarch of the Envenomed Fang.
The universe seemed to scream, rending itself apart as the fleet tore into space about Terra Extremis. A hundred ships crowded the skies, appearing as aberrant stars to those upon its cruel surface, and coming as a twisted surprise to any who lingered in orbit. There was a hammering, the sound of terrible and glorious thunder, as they turned to their errant foes, or to the world below them, and sounded off their arrival with a barrage of cleansing fire. Random targets exploded upon the planet below, mostly range-finding assaults on areas of desolation, while the guns turned towards their enemies in space howled louder, inflamed by terrible hunger for violence.
Half the ships seemed rotten hulks, barques and warships given over to death and its dominions. Necrotic madness seemed to hang about them, as if the space they inhabited was itself ruined, stale and dead...Cold and empty and putrid. The others were cruel, sharp craft, each one painted in red and edged in glorious bronze. Skulls were set into every available placement, staring out across the void with empty sockets. Skulls of countless races and species gazed out at those who would soon join their ranks, taunting indicators of the Chronosian's martial prowess and terrible wrath.
Already the preparations were being made; Stormbirds and Thunderhawks and Drop-Pods, all ready to embark towards the surface...And to reap their fill of heathens.
The astropath convulsed again within his sealed life-chamber, thin crimson dribbling from his parched mouth. He strained against the thick, black-coated cables which burrowed under his skin, his mouth slack in silent agony as he recieved the last communication of his squalid life. The message ripped through his mind like a swarm of vile insects, filling his head with their mindless, buzzing tone and consuming his fragmented sanity as they went.
Seated outside the chamber, an eyeless servitor-scribe chattered its' way through the decaying thought processes of the astropath. Emaciated fingers scribbled back and forth, the silver stylograph clutched within dancing over the automated page to recreate the message in a thin, swirling spider-print. Its' movements slowed in concert with the life-chamber's vitals monitor, a single long line of black ink signalling the demise of the astropath.
The message was relayed to Command.
Standing beside a huge holographic display of the known galaxy, Karesh Etogaur mused over the crackling parchment, his mind filled with anticipation. The message was a call to war, the golden crucible of destruction which consumed worlds, returning only the glorious conquerors and the twisted, ashen corpses of the worthless dead. His reply was unquestioning, hissed through row upon row of shark-like teeth.
"As the Warmaster commands."
OOC: Interesting thread, I shall read. Any possibility I could join at some point?
JGFS First Class
Flagship of Alpha Squadron
Orbiting Terra Extremis
His eyes locked on a single, predominant flare upon Terra Extremis, the small ruined world that was the last to make a defiant stand against His Excellency. It wasn't fitting, he'd thought since he'd first laid eyes on it. The last to stand should be the biggest, it should be Ferrous that they were assaulting. Though fait and HICOM hadn't allowed it. At the time Ferrous was under attack, Terra Extremis or Gretnoria as it was known then, was an ally of the Confederation of Mankind. Its factories had been committed to manufacturing the weapons that were even now being used against them. The irony was bitter. Grand Admiral Bradley's eyes broke them the singular object and danced around the bridge, all was as it should be. The bridge crew were elites, many of them had been in the Confederate Navy for years. Hell, many of them had been in some of the hardest naval battles of the war. He quickly flashes a memory of the assault on Tarsonis' five moons, each one controlled by a despot who was in turn financed by a variety of other governments on the other worlds of the Warsaw System. It was the first time they'd even launched their vessels, being forced to build them on the ground. That day was the most glorious of his life, even though at the time he was barley a captain, commanding the JGFS Recall back then. A lightweight frigate, and it'd never been destroyed, but his all the same.
Not since then had the fragmented remains of Mankind given such resistance to the Confederate Navy. Not since their fleets watched on live feed as the Lunar Cooperative's ships blazes on the surfaces of the five moons killing billions as their dozen plus nuclear reactors went critical. Since then, the rest of Humanity had figured it best to fight on the ground rather than wasting lives in the air. Of coarse they all offered some resistance, but after Rise Battle it was meager at best. Only Furrous had even had the strength to hold them in space for any amount of time.
"Abnormality, sir" reported Karkasy, the navigator. He never turned to face the Grand Admiral, but nontheless sure he was heard.
"Monitor," he said briefly before looking at the TACMAP on his command chair's datascreen. The information was promising. Most of the major city-states, all of which had been forced thousands of years ago to cling to the world's only body of water, a large sea near the southern pole, had been taken by the Marines. Only a few remained, and it appeared the one that mattered, where the war would end, still had some major resistance left in the residential areas.
"Damn fools," he muttered. The Gretnorians had the chance to peacefully join the Confederation of Mankind before all of this happened, it would have been a fitting end to the Unity War. A peaceful end, something that would have served well for the scribes and scholars in Korhal, the capital of Tarsonis. No, they had to resist, they had to act shocked when His Excellency demanded an end of alliance and a beginning to a new era for Mankind. Now they paid, they paid with their lives, their wealth, and their respect in His Excellency's eyes.
"Sir," said Karkasy again, "The abnormality won't go away. I've tried rebooting the secondary systems, and I even fragmented, cleansed, and sealed the primary systems, Its just there."
"What is it exactly?" droned Bradley.
Karkasy didn't speak for a long time, long enough to stir Bradley's anger, "Karkasy as you listening to me!"
"Sorry sir," he said suddenly snapping back into life, "Its .... growing?"
"What?" explained Bradley, "Growing?"
"Yes sir," he said and rapidly send commands into the system trying to comprehend what exactly was happening, "Sir ... I-I thinks its a wormhole."
Bradley couldn't speak for a few seconds as his mind comprehended what he'd just been told. A wormhole was a possible natural occurance in space, the technologists in Korhal had divined that much already. Though, what were the chances that here, on the eve of His Excellency's finest hour, that a wormhole would simply appear above Terra Extremis. With the Law of Average working against the 'abnormality', there was also Bradley's gut which was twisted like a wet towel that screamed deep into his animal instincts that it was in fact what he feared -- aritifical.
"Raise shields!" he bellowed across the bridge, "Raise them now damn you! Order all ships to prepare for ship-to-ship action! Now Tarsonis damn you!"
The First Class was lucky, desperately luck for Bradley had the instincts of a wolf when it came to being ambushed. He could just smell the disgusting scent of cowardice in the air. Could the Gretnorians actually have held a fleet in reserve this whole time -- out of system? Impossible, they didn't even have Faster-Than-Light technology. His Excellency be praised, not even he of all Men had it. That alone settled that dispute in Bradley's mind.
Bradley saw it before the shield's felt it -- a massive explosion of purple and pink that send radiation glittering like a hurricane in space across the planet and into all that the ship's viewscreen showed. At first Bradley actually began to consider it a natural occurance, its beauty couldn't possibly seeth with any evil. Though as shapes flickered into space and suddenly embranzoned themselves upon his viewscreen like a swarm he gasped. The ships were vastly different, some looked like a swarm of millions upon millions of skulls, staring across the vastness of space. Others seemed like hulks, barley kept apart, much less afloat in the void of space. Though none of that startled him more than the hundreds of laser that suddenly salvoed across the distance between the two fleets. First Class was hit, death on, blinding Bradley and the viewscreen.
"Report!" shouted the Grand Admiral as First Class stopped shuttering.
"Dammit it all!" shouted Karkasy, "We lost over a dozen ships ... including a battleship. The Eternal Flame!"
Bradley gasped, the Eternal Flame had been one of the ships present in the Rise Battle, her death would shake Tarsonis itself. Though a Battleship was formidable, it was nothing compared to a Dreadnaught or Juggernaught. The First Class was the later and would show this unseen foe the folly of its way.
The COMLINK was opened to 'Fleet-wide', "Captains! The Gretnorians seem have to a surprise for us after all! Make them pay with blood and iron!" With that the Confederate Navy, in a shaky, but steady, unison unleashed hundreds of lasers.
Fire rained upon them, lances of energy striking out against the shimmering void shields of the Imperial fleet, holding resolute in orbit of Extremis, fresh from the warp translation point. It amused them to see a system already touched by war, already tainted by the petty squabblings of human conflict...So tragic, so predictable. And now they thought them mere tools of their enemy, mere instruments of desperation and revenge. It would be a sad error in judgement to so utterly demean the forces of Chronosia, and the will of the Primarch.
Lucian gazed out across the expanse of space, his hands folded behind his back as he regarded the enemy fleet. A laser blast slammed against the flagships void shields, making them thrumm and sing for one glorious moment. He closed his eyes within his helmet, breathing laboured with phlegm and corruption, the blessings of Nurgle scintillating in his blood just as the shields ululated beyond the viewport.
It sickened him to look upon these worlds, to see them riven with heresy and doubt. These were humans who toiled below distant stars, unknowing of the Imperium, unthinking of the divine Gods who rendered their will and judgement upon existence. Soon all that would change; these worlds would be illuminated by their crusade, liberated through their actions. Omen and portent flitted about this system, talk of conquests to come and developments for the future; new recruiting grounds, new Forges...New opportunity. Regardless of such thoughts, his brother had seen fit to direct them here, to guide their hand; who was he to question the will of the Scion?
“M-My Lord?” The voice came from a cowering aide, a subordinate creature in the tatters of uniform, bloated flesh obscuring its features. “Great one, your Legion readies for its deployment. What say you? What orders do we convey?”
The ship shook with impact, enemy weaponry scything through the void shields of a nearby cruiser. He watched it, and other vessels, disintegrate under the hammering return volleys of their foe. He let himself chuckle darkly, his altered physiology rendering it choked and hoarse. Return volleys were already rocketing forth; the entire fleet returning fire against the weakness of the foe, the treachery of foreign weapons and deceived powers.
“We shall strike as the cleansing rain and wash away their heresies. These are unworthy beings, scuttling beneath the skies; ignorant of the doom and the revelation that yet approaches.” He reached out one clawed gauntlet, as though to cup the world in his hand, clenching it, to draw great imagined gouges across its surface. “Behold all their great works?” He swept his hand across the expanse of space, where wreckage and ruination already dwelt. “So we shall cast them down...It is the blessings of the Greatfather, that they be brought low.”
“It is...Divine...Divine providence, Great lord! We shall reshape and remake! We shall...Purify!”
“Yes, purification in putrefaction; freedom in death. Ready the Legion; have them deploy immediately into the midst of the foe. What news from Cabot's warhounds?”
“The Captains in charge of their end of the Crusade offer sacrifice and slaughter for victory, my lord...They ready to deploy fully against the enemy. You have orders for them?”
“None yet; let our brethren play their part. We shall catch them between the tides of blood and the rocks of inevitable catastrophe.” He turned back to regarding the world below. “This shall be a great triumph for our kind...This shall be...Something momentous.”
The blood of the sacrificial victim pooled before them, still warm, still pulsing with contained life essence. They had died like dogs, bowing and scraping on the floor; their howls and whines echoing about the vast vaulted chamber deep within the Battle Barge. This was a place of worship, of the only sort of worship that truly mattered. Here blood ran eternal and skulls decorated every available surface. Here in the very heart of the ship, they offered up the life blood of the unworthy and the worthy alike, to sate the eternal thirst of Khorne.
Achaeus snarled as he brought the great chainaxe down again, severing another head in a single squealing motion. The bone snapped and shattered, dust before the power of his weapon. He watched with a singular satisfaction as the stump gouted forth with blood, his head tilting lightly before he thrust the blade into the air, eliciting roars of approval from his battle brothers, armour anointed and caked in gore.
“My brothers! Sons of the Blood God! Warriors of the Legion! I salute you! I stand before you as the instrument of our Liege-Lord! Cabot has chosen us, his most favoured and honoured children, to take the fight to this meagre foe! It already bleeds above this world! It already haemorrhages into the void! Why then should we not gut them on their own worlds? Why then should we not cleave the very skulls from their shoulders! Face to face! Blade to blade!” Cheers echoed about him, the throaty howl of his battle-kindred. They and he had stood together in countless campaigns, spilled the blood of who knew how many foul alien races, or made trophies of simpering heretics.
“This new prey will falter and die, as any other who opposes the will of the Imperium and it's true sons!” Again the roaring praise, raising to fill the great hall. Ceramite fists punched at the air, howling chainblades clawing towards the ceiling. Now was their time.
The heavens opened, the skies burned and the angels of the Gods descended to cull the unworthy
-Chronicles of the Warsaw Conflict
The skies of Extremis had caught fire.
Not simply from the Chronosian bombardment; its fury still blazing amidst the ruins of cities, the desolation of a world, new calamities tearing from the heavens; but with the burning drop-pods and transports that now stabbed out like claws, to impale and defile a world.
The first of the dire crop slammed to earth amidst smouldering stonework, thudding into the centre of a once proud square, a shattered edifice rendered now as a cavity in the charnel bones of the metropolis. There was a hiss, a hydraulic breath as the pods slammed open, ceramite and plasteel shattering the ground beneath them with machine-spirit propelled fury. For a moment, there was silence. Then they came.
They strode from the smoke and the fire of the conflagrations like avenging angels, like daemons come from the stories to devour the weak and the foolish. The scintillating light of the fires caught off their armour, picking out the tarnished green of their armoured forms, illuminating sickly runes and glyphs, revealing tattered honour rolls that spoke of unholy war upon a thousand battlefields. Others bore the blood red and gleaming bronze of their patron, the flicker of pale bone-white skulls in the candle-light of the apocalypse. Devils. Monsters. Giants come to fight in wars the likes of which only insane Gods could dream of. The very heralds of doom and madness, come upon this world with the lie of Compliance, the hateful iteration of 'illumination' on each pair of twisted lips.
So it was that they set about their bloody business.
Bolt rounds hammered at this new foe, the roar of their discharge setting teeth on edge. The hard crack as they struck armour contrasted deliciously with the soft thump of their detonation in living flesh. Lucian's sons advanced with only the howl of their weapons; each putrid warrior as silent as a mouldering tomb, their movement fluid and organic as they turned their guns against each new foe. Ameeron, Captain of the Third, gurgled with joy as he strode with his warriors, his bolter resigned to its holster as he drew the long sickly blade from its scabbard. It had been a thing of beauty once, a master-crafted tool of warfare from the very heart of the Chronosian forges. It had spilled alien blood on countless campaigns and put the unclean to rout with glorious ease; now it was a pestilent implement of vengeance and heresy.
“Forward...” His low whisper was conveyed over the inter-squad vox-links, his words reaching every warrior under his command. “Forward; let us show these dogs the glory of the Emperor! The might of the true Imperium! The power of our Gods! The Greatfather marches with us; we shall not disappoint him!” He growled, low and feral, as he brought the sword round in a sweeping arc that halved a Gretnorian. He glowered down at the writhing torso, listening to it's squeals of pain before slamming the blade through its throat, watching with grim satisfaction as the corpse began to immediately putrefy.
“Such is the fate of all who stand against us.”
The warrior-sons of Cabot were, if it were possible, less subtle in their depravities. They too graced the world with their presence, searing through the air in Dreadclaw assault pods before sallying forth, a howling wave of rage and fury; all gleaming brass and crimson as it descended like a guillotine to the throat of this new conquest. Brensis marched at their head, his blade raised high; it's adamantine teeth roaring with capricious hunger, screaming in concert with his own raised voice.
“FORWARD! FOR THE WARMASTER! FOR THE EMPEROR! FOR THE BLOOD GOD! REND THEM ASUNDER! TEAR THE FILTH APART!” He struck out to one side, striking the head from the shoulders of a cowering Gretnorian with scarcely an afterthought, his lips twisting into a grin behind his helmet as he spotted the bulky Confederate Marine forces. “HAVE AT THEM!”
They moved like a seething sea of blades and blood-red plate, flowing around or through the natural obstacles of the battlefield; makeshift defences overturned, rubble vaulted, corpses trod underfoot; and they moved around another more profound obstacle. The great battle-sarcophagus of a Dreadnought moved with them, slow and steady compared to the rushing tide of its peers. It was blood red, daubed with gory sigils and carved with runes proclaiming its might in service of Khorne. Chains surrounded it, reminders of its imprisonment within the bowels of the Battle Barge, lest it escape and slaughter it's kin in blackest rage. This was a tormented thing, a thing of nightmare and eternal suffering; of devotion forever to the will of Khorne.
Brother Talor swivelled, opening fire at a clutch of Confederate Marines with whirling assault-cannon even as its chainfist whirred and snarled with hunger for war, with the need for the kill. Horns blared from it, and a choked artificial voice was raised alongside its brothers; a senseless wordless howl of unimaginable fury.
"The powers of Chaos are one of the most powerful and insidious threats to civilized life to exist in this galaxy. There are many offshoots and cults that are spread throughout the galaxy, but all of them combined could not threaten the galaxy. No...it is the Chronosian Imperium, that fallen shard of the Imperium of Man. They are the driving force behind them, their deceitful whispers spreading chaos wherever they tread, be it with a single man or an entire Legion. It is our duty to stop them, wherever the battle may take us or whatever the cost it requires. To do otherwise puts the fate of every soul in the Dominion in the hands of Fate....and I don't feel very lucky."
-Psi-Commander Taros, Meditations on Chaos
Another day, another crisis. That seemed to be the order of the day for the First of the Dominion, Jonathan Spring. They had recently been forced to wipe out a colony in the Kishin System to prevent an enemy invasion fleet from taking the planet and using it as a base, they were still at war with the Huntaerian Empire, the Coredian situation was getting worse by the day and now he had just been informed of a new problem. The Chronosian Imperium was always considered a threat to the Dominion. Despite their formal alliance under the Extra Solar Union of Systems, the Dominion had always tried their best to ensure they were ready to fight the Imperium whenever it was called for. Before the recent crises appeared, they had been ready to start intervening. Now, they had to be careful with what they sent.
As part of their attempt to ensure the Imperium was kept from harming the Dominion, they monitored the ESUS Battlenet to catch any points of interest from the Imperium. Over the last few years, however, they had remained quiet, no new Crusades or wars going on. Now, however, it appeared they were ready to move. A report from the Chronosian part of the Battlenet spoke of a nation of "heretics" that had to be "cleansed and brought forth into the light of the True Gods." It talked about the force disposition of the heretics, which was quite large and gave them hope, but the force they were sending was quite large in itself and their victim wouldn't know what hit them. He needed to do something about it. Picking up a phone, he pressed a button and waited until he heard the voice on the other end.
"Shana? Yes, it's me Jonathan."
"What is it, sir, I'm rather busy."
"Yes I know you are busy, but I need something."
"It's only one thing, small as can be."
"You promise you aren't lying this time?"
"Yes I promise."
*sigh* "Alright, hit me."
"Alright here's what I need...."
As the Chronosian assault on the Confederate forces began, a small anomaly in space appeared than vanished. The Chronosian and Confederate forces, distracted and bombarded by the battle going on between them, wouldn't noticed the ONI frigate stealthed in the system. The commander of this mission, Lieutenant Matthew Banks, sat in the command chair and watched as the two fleets battled it out. He turned to his bridge crew. "Situation assessment, Ensign."
The sensor officer nodded and began to read the data. "Sir, I am reading one hundred Chronosian vessels; they seem to still be in formation they use to travel through the Warp. They must have just got here, sir. I am also reading a large contingent of landing craft heading down to the surface. They appear to be launching an initial assault while they fight the fleet. I'd say they are either mad or awaiting reinforcements to have engaged such a navy." Banks grunted.
"That or they outmatch them technologically. Any ideas on the natives?"
"Nothing much, sir; I'd have to disagree with your tech theory, since sensors show they are quite powerful. There are a lot of energy spikes and weapons fire coming from the planet; it looks like they were putting down a rebellion or something sir."
Banks bit back a swear. They weren't even united?! Dammit, that was going to make things worse. "Bring us closer to the planet; we need to get within range to send down our landing pod from orbit. We need to warn them of what they are facing. Helm, bring us to course three-zero-one-five, mark five-seven-two. Give me quarter drive power."
The ship began to head for the planet, being careful to avoid the two fleets as they engaged one another.