by Michael Bard


Astropath Andalas

Astropath Station, First Landing

Message 97827364, Blodsburg : 4326141/M41

### Start Transmission

"Imperial Navy patrol Cordilias on routine maneuvers around the 2nd moon of Blodsburg detected unknown energy signatures. A close flyby revealed an unknown Eldar fortified encampment. It is unknown how they arrived, or what their purpose is. The flight would have investigated further but encountered heavy ground fire from tanks and heavy ground troops. Request immediate investigation and eradication of the Eldar presence."

### End Transmission


Astropath Indalus

Battle Barge "Emperor's Prize", Omega Marine Chapter

Message 198765512, "Emperor's Prize" : 6326143/M41

### Start Transmission

"Omega Marine chapter will arrive shortly and eradicate alien presence in the name of the Holy Emperor. May his will be done."

### End Transmission

Blodsburg, 2nd Moon

Augury Satellite Delta

Orbit, Blodsburg, 2nd Moon


The Augury spirit is focused on the Marine Drop Pod assault on the alien moon. Ground fire destroys one of the pods but the rest land safely.

Devastator Squad Alexander of the Omega Marines leapt out of his drop pod and deployed with the rest of his squad near a small clump of trees, making sure to keep the small alien fortification in site. Dreadnought Brother Philip was on the far side almost in contact with a towering Eldar dreadnought. It's gears whirring, it trained its fire on the alien fortification and the roar of an assault cannon cut through the cries of alien animals, but were unable to hurt the bunker. Fire from multiple alien vehicles and from troops within the bunker eventually destroyed Brother Philip. Then the alien construct advanced on Squad Alexander's position, first at a slow pace, and then accelerating into an eerily human run. Before Brother Priapus could prepare his laser-cannon with the Emperor's blessing, the alien construct raised it's arm and grabbed his head and crushed it like a rotten melon. In the distance a Land Speeder dodged fire from an alien gun battery.

Commander Alindus followed behind his fellow Omega Marines ready to provide support. He watched an alien tank silently drift and then fire balls of fire that rippled through the air into Assault Squad Zeus. As the tank fired, alien ground troops poured out, opened fire, destroyed the entire squad and then fell back. One figure, probably the leader, was armoured all in royal purple - normally reserved only for the Emperor - and it was he who finished off the assault troops. The alien forces then fell back.

By the Emperor this would not BE! Filled with righteous fury Alindus advanced after the alien forces, first slowly and then at a run, his ornate oiled and blessed power armour filtering out all sounds but those of combat. He watched Tactical Squad Saladin assault the aliens and their transport, but the transport danced out of reach and the alien troops laughed off their assault. Finally Alindus arrived and roared into combat, his power fist silently clenching, swinging at the alien commander who nimbly dodged. Then, in a blur of motion, the alien spun and danced and sliced with a glittering power weapon, the energy blessing of the divine Emperor sparking as the alien weapon passed through, and on through his armour, and into his chest.

Terminator Squad Tandalor paced out of their pod with slow deliberate movement and grouped facing the largest alien building. An alien transport was starting to lift off the ground and the squad fired, the missiles from Brother Manalus spiraling into one of the engines causing the craft the fall to the ground and then shatter into two pieces. A hatch opened and alien figures staggered out and ran for a nearby woods.

Another alien craft flew up until once almost in front of Squad Tandalor it spun around and its hatch opened and alien warriors, all armed with flickering weapons ran out and charged. Brother Fangulus tried to raise his hammer, but there was suddenly a piercing scream digging into his skull like the claws of a Ranthian Dragon. Only his years of training kept him from falling to the ground, but it distracted him for a critical instant and allowed one of the alien warriors to slash through his blessed armour with their cursed weapons and into his heart.

Brother Defalus, chosen and blessed to be the Emperor's Champion and cleanse this moon of the alien (cursed be the alien) advanced with his battle brothers. To his left his auto-senses showed alien skimmer-bikes swooping in front of larger alien war-bikes. One figure, dressed ornately in deep purple turned to look at him through it's faceless helm and then he could feel its mind clawing at his own. He staggered back but by force of will remained standing, for he was the chosen! He turned to his right to reinforce the terminators but the alien mental assault had distracted him just long enough for the alien warriors to cut down the last of the Terminators. Still confident; holding his sword ready; he advanced, ignoring the hail of alien projectile file that damaged the Land Speeder beside him. His battle brothers would be avenged!

Still advancing as the aliens spread out to engage more of his battle brothers, Defalus called out the ancient rite of Challenge. A hush of silence fell and an alien voice spoke through his autosenses.

The Mon Keigh know something of honour. We will respect their honour with our own.

Defalus watched as the leader of the alien assault troops, a tall woman in purple armour with flowing crimson hair leapt and ran towards him. She was armed with alien weapons - a pistol, and a halbard that glittered with barely contained energy. Defalus, confident, knowing that the Emperor was with him, waited for her to attack, to leave an opening.

As the battle continued elsewhere, the two circled. Defalus was quiet, holding his Black Sword at the ready, waiting for the alien's slightest mistake. She was fast, much faster than he, but he was able to parry her first flurry of blows and then had his avoided as she danced with alien temptation away from each blow just enough. He felt another claw reaching into his mind, but this time his will fought it off. The aliens were betraying the rite of honour! And they would pay.

There was another flurry of blows, but this time Defalus was not fast enough and the alien warrior dodged and gracelessly stepped around his blows and finally whipped her halberd through his divine protection, through his armour, and deep into his chest.

As Defalus fell, his lifeblood gushing onto the alien soil, he watched the alien assault squad fall on his battle brothers with a terrible fury.

With another wrench on the control stick, Brother Falimus dodged another sphere into the void that appeared as the alien weapon battery fired again. Each blast opened a hole into the insane horror and chaos that was the immaterium. Only aliens would be so blasphemous as to risk releasing the immaterium into the universe. They would die, all of them would die.

They'd only had time for one attack run on the alien weapon battery dug in deeply in a large wooded area. One alien had fallen to the bolts from the heavy bolter fired by Brother Candulas, but Falimus had then had to concentrate only on keeping them alive as hole after hole opened into the immaterium.

He didn't even see the alien transport that drifted into view through a gap in the trees and that fired searing bolts of heat and death that claimed him.

Brother Sergeant Hallander fell back from the alien assault troops, firing with his pistol, but never able to hit the dancing, dodging targets. The com feed was filled with the death chants of his battle brothers. He'd seen the Terminators, the Assault Squad, and even Brother Defalus, chosen champion of the Emperor, hacked down by the aliens. A pair had fallen to his power axe, but that wasn't enough to stab the tide as they came for him.

His last shots went wild.

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