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Campaign Log: The Maneater

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Dramatis Personae 


Brother Alyxander (Black Templar Tactical Marine) – Extremely fanatic brother who is known for his overlong prayer sessions and for the fact that he wears power armor everywhere. He also has his weapons tied to his wrists with devotional chains and thus is the only brother who eats with a boltgun on the table...


Anarete (Inquisitorial Ordo Xenos Liaison) – A powerful psyker who acts as Inquisitor Carmilluses right hand. She is a powerful biomancer and genetically enhanced with the best genetherapies available to mankind. She is also telekinetic and telepath. Her custom made power armor is tailored to react to her telekinetic powers and she enjoys a very intimate mindlink with Inquisitor herself. She is a strong asset for the kill team in close-combat situations, wielding both her telekinetic powers and a captured Eldar Witchblade with deadly accuracy.

Brother Cassius (Ultramarine Tactical marine) - Silent, laconian, dependable. Formerly a sergeant of the 10th company Cassius is a prime example of everything Ultramarines are made of and he has spent last ten years making sure the next generation of Ultramarines inherit as much of it as possible. He is a codex marine and proud of it, but it does not mean he is hidebound. He is a solid tactician with a load of dirty tricks up his sleeve just in case.


Brother Eukarios of Clan Hades (Iron Hand Techmarine) – Very largely cyborganized, well over half of his body is of metal. Specialized in weaponry and sensor-technology he blesses and maintains the kill teams equipment and also doubles as one of the shooters in the kill team.


Brother Ezekiel (Dark Angel Devastator) – An ancient veteran of Tyranid wars he was once the last survivor of his squad, ending up being buried inside a collapsed structure and only surviving by lapsing into deep suspended animation. He was found almost 100 years later and put to service in Deathwatch. His skill with bolters of all kind has been noticed and he has received Marksmans' Honours from the exceptional, Kill Ship-saving shot aboard Julius Robert.
 

Brother-Lexicanium Falcon (Winged Serpent Librarian) – A Librarian from a small 23rd foundation Ultramarine descendant chapter he dutifully keeps the kill teams records, assists in planning and draws extra information on upocoming missions by means of augury and imperial tarot. A dependable and multi-faceted warrior he can fill his place with either boltgun or force mace. Upholding the reputation of the Ultramarine line as more "humane" marines he is usually the first one to suggest any scheme that involves helping or saving the normal humans.

Brother Marius (Carcharodon Astra Assault Marine) – A soft spoken, calm and controlled marine with white skin, dead eyes and classical education. Can go turn into a raging beast on a drop of a hat, ripping, maiming and shooting everything around him. He is equipped with a curious auspex-artefact which is wired into his omophagea implant and allows him to “taste” the warp-signal of any living creature within a few dozen metres. His Lyman’s Ear is also specifically toned to high-pitch sounds released by the servos of a power armor, providing him a rudimentary “sonar” for fighting in the dark.


Brother Regis (Ultramarine Devastator) – Regis has seen the battle of Macgragge as a young Scout, fighting the Tyranids with boltgun, shotgun, sniper rifle and combat blade. Later on, when promoted to devastator status he earned reputation as a calm, courageous warrior, wielding his heavy flamer right in the front lines.


Sanguinary Acolyte Siracum (Blood Angel Sanguinary Priest) – No chapter can stand alone in the end and no chapter can chooce to ignore the chance to learn from others. Making young, headstrong and utterly devoted Siracum to realize this was the reason his chapters leadership decided to send him to Deathwatch. He administers to kill teams medical needs but also doubles as a chaplain of sorts. Some members of the Kill Team think that he might be a bit too enthusiastic about drinking human blood.


Brother Ulrik (Space Wolf Tactical Marine) – This young Wolf Guard is a dependable fighter... as long as its about boltguns and blades. While his situational awereness and survival skills are unrivaled his proficiency with heavier weapons is still lacking. During the missions with Kill Team Maneater his keen eyes and sharp sense of smell have been noticed and he has regularly been posted as either pointman or the sternguard of the team.

 

Brother Victor (Death Spectre Assault Marine) – True to his chapters reputation Victor is the kill teams leading expert in behavior, tactics and technology of various xenos races. Although he is at his best in close combat with bolt pistol and chainsword his method of combat is evolved stalking in deep caves of his homeworld and hunting xenos on barren worlds of the Ghoul Stars. Wild charges and furious bloodlust is far from his style of calm, collected and surgical execution.

Links to Setting (.pdf)

The Maneater, Inquisitor Carmillus and Her Retinue

Detailed Description of The Maneater and Its Crew

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Mission: Seedworld 357 – Planning and Preparation


Brother Siracum, Brother Victor, Brother Falcon, Brother Ulris, Brother Alyxander, Brother Ezekiel and Brother Eukarios arrived to the Watch Fortress for their Deathwatch tour and told that they would form a single Kill Team. They were also told, that this Kill Team would be pledged into service of Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Carmillus to help her in her research considering a previously unknown xeno-threat. After brief tour of the Watch Fortress facilities they went to meet with Inquisitor Carmillus aboard her destroyer “The Maneater”. Aboard the Maneater they met Anarete and were told to prepare themselves for their first mission, for which the ship would soon leave. They were also told that Anarete would follow the Kill Team and act as their liaison and contact to Inquisitor. By chance they also met the Tekwitch aboard the Maneater who suddenly stated them that the ship (referring to the Maneater) was literally filled with alien technology and it “Hates them with passion”.


Not overtly worried by the dire omens the Kill Team picked up the mission details: Inquisition had tried to negotiate with Eldar for a right to see certain stone tablets hidden inside a temple on Eldar Seedworld 357. Eldar had cut the negotiations, and forbade Inquisition from entering Seedworld 357 on pain of death. The mission of the Kill Team would thus be to infiltrate Seedworld 357, enter the temple and steal four stone tablets held inside. The temple was hidden deep within a labyrinthine sandstone caves and much of the planetary surface was open desert of shifting sand and porous sandstone.


The Kill Team had several problems in their tactical planning. Direct landing of shuttlecrafts and any use of heavier vehicles (like Land Raiders) was ruled out because there was too big a risk of vehicle being stuck in the shifting sands and recovery of such a vehicle on Eldar held world would probably be impossible due to Eldar counter-attack. Still some of the caves explored by earlier expeditions were huge, with clear lines of sight up to 1 kilometer inside the biggest tunnels. Reaching for the possible futures through the warp brother Falcon saw in his auguries laser blasts, something resembling a xeno-tach sighting device and a fallen astartes. From this brother Victor concluded that Eldar might have ranger-snipers deployed to the cave as they would easily pin down the marines in open desert and long tunnels.


Finally a plan was hatched. The Kill Team would deploy to right to the cave entrance by landing lowering their Thunderhawk few meters above the ground and jumping out. The extraction would be done with hovering Thunderhawk with simple harnesses that would be clipped to a lowered cable. Finally, they decided to take jump packs for Victor, Eukarios and Siracum to help with both deployment and extraction. Brothers, Ulris, Alyxander and Falcon would take kraken rounds to provide their boltguns with extra range for possible long range firefights in the caves. Furthermore brother Ezekiel would carry a heavy bolter loaded with kraken rounds.


While on transit towards the Seedworld the Kill Team had the chance to train together and get to know each other better. Brother Siracum had to fight with his problems of understanding the other Astartes cultures. At starters he completely redid the decorations inside the ships medical-bay, removing all unnecessary equipment and installing the statues, decorations and regalia to make it into a shrine to Sanguinus. He also decided repack all drugs and medicines, powdering all pills and mixing liquids with sugar or other similar powders so he could more easily mix them with blood on the field. There were also slight problems in pre-battle rituals. Brother Alyxander decided that he needed to pray and was quite perplexed when most left after just a few hours. While brother Alyxander spent the night in prayer brother Ulris wanted to feast and drink. The servants aboard could get him several barrels of distilled ethanol for this purpose but finally only brother Falcon and Anarete joined in the revelry. Last, but not least, just a few minutes before deployment brother Siracum wanted to gather blood from all the Kill Team into a chalice for everyone to drink. The chosen leader of the team, brother Victor, hesitatingly agreed but there was an uneasy pause in the ceremony while brother Alyxander hesitated in touching the “witchblood”. His logic was that the blood of brother Falcon and Anarete, who were both psykers, could taint him.
 

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Mission: Seedworld 357 – Execution


When the Thunderhawk finally dropped the Kill Team to the surface of Seedworld 357 the Kill Team found themselves in middle of a silent, peaceful night out in the desert. The single moon of the Seedworld was illuminating everything with blue light as they started to slowly approach the cave entrance. Slowly stalking through the tunnels for several kilometers, the Kill Teams approach was suddenly interrupted by a single laser blast bouncing off the power armor of the point man. Everyone went for cover, scanning for targets. Nothing. A second lasblast, then third… and the thunderous crescendo when the Kill Team opened up with heavy bolter and three boltguns. More lasblasts hitting the power armor, stinging but not really wounding. After several minutes of exchanging shots the kill Team started to realize that their return fire was not having any noticeable effect and the range to the closest adversary was close to 600 meters. Brother Victor ordered the Kill Team to advance. As the Kill Team advanced with Victor and Siracum leading on their jump packs and rest of the team supporting with bolter fire more and more lasblasts started hitting them, a few finding their mark between the armored plates, burning and drawing blood.


When the Kill Team had advanced slowly up to 150 meters of the enemy the lasblasts stopped and suddenly a large group of Eldar dire avengers stood up from their covers, opening fire with dozens of shuriken catapults. As the Kill Team braced for the hail of sharp metal they could see a trio of huge elder war machines, humanoid walkers of some sort, approaching behind the dire avengers, their weapons shooting warp-blasts that seemed to cut straight through reality itself. As Brother Ezekiel stood up and started to fire on the closing giants with heavy bolter, several members of the team instantly grabbed krak grenades, throwing them at the gigantic beasts. Without even waiting to see the results of their grenadiers, brother-lexicanum Falcon and Anarete charged ahead. Both were lightly wounded by shuriken catapult fire, but when they reached the Eldar lines both unleashed their psychic powers on the elder. A flaming form of a huge snake rammed the elder lines as brother Falcon gestured with his force mace and Anarete seemed to sweep dozens of elder down with a wave of her slender hand. The dire avengers broke and ran, leaving their war machines standing without support, soon to be cut down by heavy bolter fire, half-a-dozen krak grenades and a few more focused blasts of psychic energy. The Kill Team had just won their first victory together.


The Kill Team treated their wounds, picked up a few pieces of the elder war machine for later investigation and entered the temple. The eldar had fled and the temple was empty. The Kill Team quickly found their way to the bottom of the complex and managed to remove the stone tablets which were tied together and attached to brother Eukarioses armor for easier transportation. Making haste out the Kill Team made it to the cave exit without seeing the Eldar again. However, just as they were calling down the Thunderhawk for extraction they saw a twisted portal opening several kilometers away, revealing a trio of sleek, spiky skimmers. Taking the risk the Kill Team called the Thunderhawk down to what was rapidly becoming a very hot landing zone and when they climbed aboard the Thunderhawn for a moment it seemed the risk was paying off… Then the dark eldar crafts reached their maximum range and the Kill Teams mistake was revealed as dark lances started to scour the surface of the Thunderhawk hovering almost motionless while the pilots were adjusting engines for ascend.


Thunderhawk had reached an altitude of maybe 700 meters when the dark lances pierced its cockpit, killing the pilot and fatally damaging the control-surface. With anti-grav pods straining against the the hawk started to fall. Not wanting to see the results of the crash close-up the Kill Team exited from the hawk. Brothers Sicarius, Victor and Eukarios used the jump packs to steer away from the dropping hawk, keeping their altitude to keep away from the dark eldar crafts. Anarete used telekinetic powers to slow her descent into a slow levitation while the others just waited until the hawk had dropped to maybe 300 meters and jumped out, aiming for the closest dark eldar craft. Brothers Ezekiel, Alyxander, Ulris and Falcon managed to land on one of the eldar crafts, their fall gently broken by the antigrav field surrounding the Raider. Without a pause they charged the dark eldar warriors with bolt pistols, knives and forcemace.


Meanwhile Anarete landed on the prow of a Ravager. Quickly killing the pilot and the few gunners she took control of one of the dark lances and forced the third remaining dark eldar craft, a Raider, seek relative safety by crashing alongside the other Raider. The two Raiders now locked together the four members of the Kill Team fought their way through the swarms of dark eldar while Anarete abandoned the Ravager she was unable to pilot to crash somewhere. The four brothers finally killed of the last of the dark eldar warriors and managed to stop the Raiders. At this point the rest of the team had managed to contact the Maneater for secondary shuttle extraction.
Mission was over.


Imperial Casualties: One seriously damaged Thunderhawk with whole crew killed. Later on the Thunderhawk was successfully recovered by Raven Guard Strike Team Iron Corvus. Three full battle brothers and five scouts were lost in recovering the valuable machine.

Xeno Casualties: Approximately twenty to thirty killed eldar aspect warriors (type: dire avenger), three destroyed light walkers (type: unknown), approximately thirty killed dark eldar warriors, two dark eldar transport crafts (type: Raider) and one dark eldar gunship craft (type: Ravanger) destroyed.

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The_ColonelCommisar said:

Really cool Campaign, sounds like you've got yourself an awesome group there. The rules for the Eldar and stuff are in Rites of Battle right?

Actually that mission was played well before Rites came out. The rules I used for Eldar were partly home-brewn, partly conversions from DH supplements Purge the Unclean and Creatures Anathema.

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The latest mission logs so far:

Mission: Into The Beasts Maw – Planning and Preparation


Brother Ulris and Anette were called away for planning and preparation of Inquisitor Carmilluses next operation when the Watch Commander summoned the Kill Team for urgent Deathwatch deployment. As the Kill Team was temporarily reduced to Brother Siracum, Brother Victor, Brother Falcon, Brother Alyxander, Brother Ezekiel and Brother Eukarios they were reinforced with one more brother, Brother Regis of Ultramarines. The Achilleus Crusades situation on Baraban had steadily grown worse over time and according to Watch Commanders analysis the Imperial troops were near collapse. Recent intelligence showed that the Tau were preparing for a massive assault against the weak Imperial lines with the help of several fresh regiments of human rebel troops that had been brought to Baraban for this purpose. According to Watch Commanders analysis the Imperial troops needed at least two to three months before the crusade could cycle in enough fresh troops to stop the planned Tau assault.


The Kill Teams mission was following: Inquisition had managed to conceal a psychically imprinted tracking device into the battle-suit of one of the Tau commanders on Baraban who was responsible for liaising with the human rebels and providing them with tactical training, weapons and establishing communication procedures between them and the rebels. The Kill Team would use this device to track the Tau commander when he went to meet the rebel commander so they could identify the rebel commander, then they would allow the Tau commander to leave the place while tracking the newly-identified rebel commander and finally assassinate the rebel commander and his second-in-command. The mission parameters were:


1) The Kill Team must remain undetected until they had identified the rebel commander and Tau commander had left the area so that the Tau would not start to suspect that their commander was being followed. At the moment the strategic edge gained from following the Tau commander was judged too great to be sacrificed for short-time tactical gain.


2) The Tau commander and his entourage must remain unharmed for same reasons.


3) Both rebel commander and his second-in-command must be killed to ensure the planning for the rebel assault is disrupted enough.


4) The Kill Team must remain undetected by conventional Imperial forces as they contain infiltrators that might give the plan away.


5) The Kill Team must use only such equipment and weapons a normal Space Marine team might use. Nothing should give the Tau away the fact that Inquisition and Deathwatch were involved.


6) Infiltration will be one-way orbital only and exfiltration will be one-way teleportation guided by librarian telepathic signal. Due to heavy Tau fleet in-system presence air support, shuttle transportation or secondary exfiltration will not be available.


With these parameters sorted out the Kill Team got only a few moments to gear up and get themselves into the ship. They would have plenty of time to plan onboard but very little time to pick equipment. After some discussion Brother Alyxander was chosen to lead the mission. So, in the end they took grav chutes, preferring them as infiltration method over the pod. After infiltration everyone, even assault specialists, would go on foot as jump packs were considered to attract too much unwanted attention. For actual assassination they decided to try snipers as a first option so Brother Falcon took Astartes Sniper Rifle and plenty of ammunition and Brother Alyxander, working as backup sniper, took telescopic scope and kraken rounds for his bolter. in the case the rebel commander would not be reachable by sniper Brothers Victor, Eukarios and Siracum prepared to assault into rebel camp and go close-up with chain swords, bolt pistols, flamer and frag grenades. Devastators were equipped as a dual-purpose backup, Brother Ezekiel would take missile launcher with krak and farg missiles to deal with possible Tau armor and infantry while Brother Regis would go with his signature heavy flamer in case they had to assault into buildings.


While on transit into Baraban system Brother Falcon decided to scry into future for any possible dangers. The question he asked of Emperors Tarot was “What is the greatest danger to Kill Team in Baraban?” after asking this question the first card he touched suddenly burst into a flame and he entered into deep trance and started to draw a picture to the board with the burning card as if his hands were guided by some supernatural powers… As suddenly as the trance started it ended and the card (major arcane of Tower, as in tarot deck) was consumed by the flames. On the table the brothers witnessed a picture of Tau Pathfinder (I used a print of this picture as a handout). Later on brother Falcon also discussed the details of the psychic tracker with Inquisition representatives and found out that it worked by giving a visual cue on where its location will be 15 to 45 minutes into the future. This fact would either help or hinder tracking it depending on other circumstances. Whatever the future would bring the kill team was now sure that in order to successfully track down and identify their targets they would have to see them firsthand.
 

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Mission: Into The Beasts Maw – Execution


The Kill Team infiltrated by orbital with grav chutes, but right from the start things didn’t go as planned. Although the grav chutes were configurated for the Barabans gravity and general atmospheric conditions no-one could have foreseen that the Kill team would hit high winds about five kilometers above their target area. The winds scattered the Kill Team, tore loose some of their equipment and carried them dozen kilometers off the planned zone. They had to spend several hours of regrouping and searching for all the scattered equipment, but in the end several missiles, grenades and weapon magazines were never found.


Not wanting to spend any extra time in the zone in fear of patrols the kill team started their march. To reach the valley where they expected the Tau commander to arrive they had to cross a few mountains and march a couple of dozen kilometers through the Tau infested terrain. During their march they came across a destroyed imperial forward observation post. By examining the tracks around the post and especially after eating the flesh of few of the fallen imperial guardsmen they deducted that the imperial guardsmen had fallen prey to the madness-inducing ghosts of the Baraban and killed each other. They also noted that the imperial guard long-range artillery was constantly bombarding the next valley even though there were no Tau targets to be seen there.


After quickly running through the bombarded area the kill team climbed the next ridge and rested a few hours. During the night they witnessed some of the “ghosts” firsthand as they saw down in the bombarded valley figures of people which could not possibly exists there. On the morning the ghosts had vanished and they were almost enthusiastic to get further away from there. On the next ridge the Kill Team saw a line of fortified rebel positions and had to climb a few very exposed peaks to go around them unnoticed and finally reach their target valley.


Scouting the next valley the Kill Team found three villages which all housed rebel troops, in two of these villages there were detachments of Tau troops also. All the villages seemed to be constantly patrolled by Tau drones which would really hamper any attempts to sneak closer to the villages. The main problem was that on the end of the valley in a place which had pretty much the best possible view over the valley and the mountains they saw a well-camouflaged Tau devilfish transport, unable to get closer to it without a risk of being spotted they figured that it could be the transport of a Tau Pathfinder team.


The Kill Team divided into three teams: Brothers Ezekiel and Regis deployed about 300 meters away from the devilfish and were prepared to destroy the transport with missile launchers. Brothers Falcon and Alyxander prepared snipers positions near each village and waited for the tracking device to come to the valley. Everyone else was simply waiting nearby to support the others as needed. Finally the tracker came to the device and was detected to stop into second village, showing some kind of meeting in its future. The sniper team moved to their prepared position, situated 600 meters from the village, and waited. By following the trackers “visions” and observing the place through targeting scopes they successfully identified first the Tau commander and then the rebel commander and his second-in-command. Waiting for the Tau to first leave they then set up waiting for the time when they could neutralize the rebels… an unexpected chance came eight hours later when suddenly both the rebel commander and the second-in-command appeared on the yard heading to next building, unable to wait any longer brother Alyxander opened fire when both the rebels were at least twenty meters away from buildings.


The snipers hit their targets and killed both on the spot but the surprising start left the rest of the Kill Team without clear instructions on how to proceed. Ezekiel shot two krak missiles into the devilfish, destroying it. Unable to see any other targets but not willing to run straight into possible rail rifle –wielding pathfinders brother Regis used the heavy flamer to set the forest on fire and both devastators started to fall back using the flames and smoke as cover. At least a kilometer away the snipers the three others, Victor, Eukarios and Siracum, started to fall back towards the ridgeline when they suddenly came under fire from several burstcannons used by Tau stealth battlesuits. They were all wounded and pinned down in uneven firefight when brothers Alyxander and Falcon, both falling back from sniper positions, walked into the same kill zone. The five brothers tried their best to get forward, using flamer to set the woods on fire, throwing grenades and shooting at almost invisible targets. Unable to push on and still taking hits they were quickly outflanked by a few stealth suits and found themselves under focused burstcannon fire from two directions, both 200 to 300 meters away. Situation looked already bleak when two Tau devilfish transports, coming out of the villages, came in behind, also focusing their burstcannons on the five brothers, nailing them down between incoming fire from three directions.


At this point the five wounded marines, pinned down on the kill zone, started to suspect that someone (perhaps the Pathfinders) had spotted them and were guiding more and more fire on their location. They simply had to get out. Yelling to the devastators over the radiocom to take out the devilfish brother Siracum stood up and ran straight towards the stealth suits. As he cried out for Sanguinus and Emperor others stood up, Victor joined the assault and Alyxander gave the order to cover the two with grenades and boltgun fire. This brave act turned the battle. Ezekiel took out both devilfish with two last krak missiles, giving the assaulting pair a short window of opportunity while others suppressed the stealth suits with long bursts of boltgun fire. Siracum and Victor hit the stealth suits like personified Emperors Wrath, tearing three suits apart with their chainswords. Seeing half of their team fall in seconds and hearing how the devilfish had been left burning down below the Tau morale collapsed and the remaining stealth suits took flight.


After regrouping and patching up all the casualties (five of them, including the medic, were seriously wounded and medic was also in throes of rage) the kill team quickly cleared the area, retreated a few kilometers away and called for the teleportation. Unable to calibrate the teleporter that far away they were teleported into empty space and floated around for several hours before picked up by space ship.
Mission was over.


Imperial Casualties: Five seriously wounded battle brothers.
Xeno Casualties: Rebel commander and his second-in-command, three Tau armored transports (type: devilfish), three Tau stealth battle suits. Unidentified number of Tau transport crew.

 

 

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Mission: Hivemares – Prelude

 

MISSION TASKS: CONDUCT RECONNAISSANCE ON THE TARGET WORLD AND UPDATE THE CURRENT INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY WITH THE AIM OF PROVIDING NECESSARY INTELLIGENCE FOR FUTURE DEPLOYMENT OF DEATHWATCH KILL TEAM ON THE TARGET WORLD. CONTACT ANY LOYAL IMPERIAL FORCES PRESENT ON THE TARGET WORLD AND SECURE THEIR HELP FOR DEATHWATCH KILL TEAM.

PERSONNEL: ONE (1) DEATHWATCH BATTLE-BROTHER, ONE (1) INQUISITION LIAISON.

COMMUNICATIONS: DIRECT ASTROPATHIC LINK BETWEEN INQUISITION LIAISON AND INQUISITOR IN CHARGE.

BACKUP COMMUNICATIONS: NONE.

INSERTION METHOD: SINGLE UNGUIDED DEAD DROP. NO CURRENT INTELLIGENCE ON THE LANDING ZONE AVAILABLE.

EXTRACTION METHOD: NONE.

MISSION TIME: APPROXIMATELY 90 DAYS

MISSION ABORT PARAMETERS: NONE.

MISSION END PARAMATERS: THE ARRIVAL OF DEATHWATCH KILL TEAM ON TARGET WORLD.

MISSION DANGER RATING: PURPLE

* * *

The engines screamed and the pod shook violently throwing brother Ulris and Anarete against the safety harness. Even though the harness was securely bolted to the huge metal stalk in the middle of the pod floor for a few seconds it felt like it really could give up under the stress of several hundred kilos of power armored marine being thrown against it. The screaming intensified, drowning all other sound and the drop pod stabilized for a fraction of a second before it hit the planets crust with bone-jarring crash. The lights went out and the emergency bolts exploded, releasing the drop pod doors to open. Brother Ulris threw his head back and let out a howl of joy. The wolf had landed.

The drop pod doors slammed to the ground, revealing a landscape of black basalt and orange sky. The ground looked like solid bedrock of basalt and the horizon was filled with volcanic clouds of ash pouring to the sky from the ground. Somewhere between the clouds one could just make out the outline of a huge hive, obscuring the sky with its unreal looking mass. The hive must have been at least half-a-dozen kilometers away but its bulk filled most of the sky on one side and it towered so high that most of it vanished above the clouds. The air smelled of sulphur and smoke and the hot air stung brother Ulrises eyes, filling them with tears.

Looking back inside the pod Ulris saw the small, power armored form of Anarete making her way out from between the jumbled mass of equipment crates. Under the stress of drop pods tumbling around in flight and finally hitting the solid rock surface of the planet the crates had broken loose and one had nicked Ulris on the forehead, leaving a small cut. Anarete seemed unharmed except for a few scratches on her armor. As there was no sign of anyone else around Ulris shouldered his boltgun and started to sort through the crates, lifting them out of the pod while making a mental list of all the stuff they had…

Twenty stainless steel tanks with 50 liters of oxygen each, ten thermoplastic canisters of water with 100 liters each, 200 individual rations of “food-like-substance” packed in twenty small plastic boxes. Containers including, that was more than three tons of stuff. Enough to keep the two of them alive for 100 days even if they were completely dependent on power armor life-support systems. Then there were the weapons: Both of them had a boltgun with 180 bolts and bolt pistol with another 24 bolts, the drop pod housed a Stormbolter with two boxes of 60 bolts in it. And then there were the crates of ammunition, twelve in total, each weighing closer to hundred kilos and inside each crate was 600 securely packed bolts. A total combat load of 7728 bolts. In top of all the oxygen, food, water, weapons and ammunition came the aegis shield elements, the ferrocrete elements, the thermoplastic shelters, long range voxcaster with hundred kilos of extra batteries and lots of other, smaller stuff.

Enough for the mission, Ulris thought. Then it sunk into his mind… It had to be enough, there was no extraction planned and their nearest point of contact was in another star system. In this mess they were truly alone. Well, at least for the time before the rest of the Kill Team would make planetfall. Ulris had no doubt they were coming. Sooner or later.

* * *

Intelligence Summary: CASTOBEL
Deathwatch / Astartes Only

World Type: Hive

Terrain: The terrain consists of desert and volcanic plains broken by large canyons and mountain ranges of volcanic origin.

Weather: Hostile. The whole planet is constantly battered by violent windstorms which bring torrential rains of volcanic ash. Radioactive fallout brought by the rains is a recent, but reoccurring phenomena after one of the hives destroyed itself in nuclear pyre caused by purposefully inflicted meltdown of its central reactor system.

Enemy Activity: The world is under constant siege of Hive Fleet Dagon. The Hive Fleet has managed to achieve an almost complete orbital control of the planet, but has continued to have trouble in getting a solid foothold on the planetary surface. While the Tyranid organisms have managed to overrun two of planets six hives the hives fleets victories have so far resulted in net loss of biomass for the Tyranids. This is partly because the second hive to fall committed a mass suicide in a nuclear pyre which denied the Tyranids of their flesh. However, the harsh nature of the planetary terrain and weather systems along with complete lack of indigenous life is also working against the Tyranids.

Currently the hive fleet is conducting its operations by relying on the hive fleets own biomass and energy, organizing massive scale orbital landings in order to capture the remaining hives and access the biomass they contain.

Imperial Activity: The planetary government have managed to keep the population of the rest of the hives under control, but maintaining civil order along with repelling constant planetfalls by Tyranid organisms are draining resources quickly. Current analysis suggests that the PDF has less than 20% of its orbital defence capability and less than 50% of its ground-fighting capability left. While the losses on PDFs trained manpower have been sustainable so far the shortage on weapons and ammunition is slowly becoming critical.

The Achileus Crusade has lost all contact with the world. Before the world came under attack the Tyranid attack a few ships of the Imperial Navy managed to get through the hive fleet, but after repair and rearming they were unable to flee the Castobel port. 3rd company of Angels Vermillion along with parts of 132nd Scout Maniple of Legio Titanicus was dispatched to search for the lost ships and managed to make a planetfall, but they are also now stuck on Castobel with no way out. They have been involved in heavy figthing ever since and are now reduced to two Warhound-class Titans and approximately 40 battle-brothers of Angels Vermillion. The detachment is running dangerously low on ammunition and repair-parts.

* * *

Anarete sat on the the edge of a huge basalt crevasse and watched the fire whirl dancing several kilometers away. For now it was harmless to their little camp, but she could still remember how the last one wiped out the drop pod, destroyed much of their shelters and scatter most of their equipment around several square kilometers area. The flaming tornado created by the combination of high winds and heat which ignited the dust-like ash had actually been strong enough to push the ferrocrete aside and throw aegis shield elements around like paper kites. Luckily their shelter and their power armor had protected them from the worst. The only real damage was some singed hair. Anarete had to crop her hair shorter than before after losing an inch or so of her hair to hungry flames. Ulris had escaped with just lost eyebrows, but perhaps the hit his ego had taken after was more severe than that.

Several hundred meters away, at the bottom of the crevasse, Ulris was concentrated in something totally different. The tracks in the ash looked familiar. Termagaunts. After meeting the Angels Vermillion astartes a few days back and agreeing to patrol the valley together with them Ulris and Anarete had ran into these small Tyranid creatures almost daily. Ulris pointed at the tracks and opened his fist twice, spreading his fingers to signal the red-armored angels following that there was at least ten or more Termagaunts nearby. His own radio cracked once. It was a signal that Anarete who was above them, keeping watch at the fire tornadoes had seen the signal. Quickly glancing back Ulris saw the form of brother Galenor, an Angel Vermillion devastator, nod as the red-clad giant started to charge his plasma cannon. The Angels were an odly serious, even sour bunch and while Ulris found little in common with their rituals and litanies he had to agree that they were very experienced in hunting the tyranid bioforms.

The force of the astropathic transmission hit her like an electric jolt, forcing Anarete to her power armored fingers into the basalt rock when her whole body tensed up. It was a very strong sending. Strong and precise enough to cut through the veil of silence that enveloped the Castobel system and the symbols invaded her mind, coming a quick bursts. Anarete was trained to push her feelings aside, block out most of the sending and concentrate purely on memorizing the symbols one by one. Many times it was actually necessary to protect her own mind from all the emotional package that came through together with the actual message, but in this case there was no need. The intimacy of the sending was unmistakable. There was no need to protect against this mind and she knew that her link with the sender was so strong, so primal, that the symbols would be burned into her memory without her even thinking about it. Instead, she just emptied her mind, threw her head back, closed her eyes and enjoyed the warm, almost orgastic rush of the renewed connection. For a brief, fleeting moment it almost felt like she could touch Iris... and then it was over. Sadness filled her mind. Anarete could remember how at times the loss of such an intimate connection almost brought tears her eyes, but now there was no time for it. Forcing herself on her feet and starting to talk to the radio Anarete noticed how her whole body felt prickly in the aftermath of the shock the sending had sent through her.

Unaware of what had happened a few hundred meters away Ulris only noted that Anaretes speech sounded like she was a bit short of breath. He didn't have much time to think about it, as the news stole away his attention. ”Hey howler, her highness just sent that they are on their way. As we speak the ship is exiting warp in our system and she'll send the kill team by drop pod into Landing Zone Alpha Three-Three-Fower as soon as pilots can plot the route. She estimates the team will land in few days.”

”Hell, its about time!” Ulris replied grinning inside his helmet.

* * *

 

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This sounds like a very decent campaign. I quite enjoy the writing style, especially in the last post with the mix of personal perspective and the ongoing mission briefing. Sounds like the two will start to merge shortly!

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Dramatis Personae: Addition


Brother Marius (Carcharodon Astra Assault Marine) – A soft spoken, calm and controlled marine with white skin, dead eyes and classical education. Can go turn into a raging beast on a drop of a hat, ripping, maiming and shooting everything around him. He is equipped with a curious auspex-artefact which is wired into his omophagea implant and allows him to “taste” the warp-signal of any living creature within a few dozen metres. His Lyman’s Ear is also specifically toned to high-pitch sounds released by the servos of a power armor, providing him a rudimentary “sonar” for fighting in the dark.


 

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Mission: Hivemares – Planning and Preparation


MISSION TASKS: RETRIEVE ALL THE REMAINS AND NOTES OF EXPLORATOR AHMID. SUBJECT LAST SEEN ON CASTOBEL.

PERSONNEL: SEVEN (7) DEATHWATCH BATTLE-BROTHERS, ONE (1) INQUISITION LIAISON. INCLUDING ONE (1) DEATHWATCH BATTLE-BROTHER AND ONE (1) INQUISITION LIAISON ALREADY ON-SITE FOR PRELIMINARY RECONNAISANCE.

COMMUNICATIONS: DIRECT ASTROPATHIC LINK BETWEEN INQUISITION LIAISON AND INQUISITOR IN CHARGE.

BACKUP COMMUNICATIONS: NORMAL TWO-WAY RADIO TO NEAR ORBIT

INSERTION METHOD: SINGLE UNGUIDED DEAD DROP. NO CURRENT INTELLIGENCE ON THE LANDING ZONE AVAILABLE.

EXTRACTION METHOD: THUNDERHAWK EXTRACTION PROVIDED AND PROTECTED BY ESCORT FLEET DECURIO OF RAPTOR CHAPTER

MISSION TIME: APPROXIMATELY 10 DAYS

MISSION ABORT PARAMETERS: NONE.

MISSION END PARAMATERS: THE RETRIEVAL OF EITHER OR BOTH OF THE REMAINS AND NOTES OF EXPLORATOR AHMID

MISSION DANGER RATING: WHITE

 

* * *


The huge form of grey power armor was barely visible against the ash-covered sky. There was little sound as it moved, just a barely audible whirr of servomotors and nothing else. Inside the armor Marius listened to the echoes of the whirring sound, seeing the world in distances and vectors. He also tasted them. Two beings in a hastily-built trench: A marine and a psyker. Marius had heard the rumors of other Astartes being present on Castobel, but he wasn’t sure if to believe them. Two years had passed since Marius came to Castobel with three brothers to suppress the Genestealer Cult. Two year had passed since they saw the task was hopeless and retreated. Two years had passed since he jumped out of the shuttle to silence the missile launchers and cover his brothers escape. Stuck on this falling world, unable to trust the local PDF he had fought his own war from the shadows until now. Marius checked his bolt-pistol. He was down to 14 bolts. Thirteen first were metal-storm round, originally carried for shipboard combat which was his specialty, but equally deadly against Tyranid hordes. The last one was implosion round. The only bolt that would guarantee a full penetration against his own power armored helmet. Marius would not leave his knowledge and memories for the hive mind, or any psyker for that matter, to rummage through…


* * *


Five members of the Kill Team, Brothers Siracum, Victor, Falcon, Ezekiel and Eukarios, were informed that preliminary reconnaissance mission on Castobel had provided information cautioning the Deathwatch that the world was under very real chance of being lost. Inquisitor Carmillus had hoped to recover the astrographic information of a famous explorator last seen on that world so the Kill Team had to act fast. They would move to the world directly, drop there and retrieve the remains of the explorator, last seen in one of the now destroyed hives. There was no time to requisition for more equipment and the intelligence on the planet were scarce. Two of their friends, Brother Ulrik and Anarete where on the planet and could provide current intelligence, three drop pods were reserved for their insertion and there was some special ammunition available from the ships storages. For the insertion and extraction they would also get help from a Raptor chapter escort fleet of three small destroyers that had been keeping eye on the Castobel. They also had recent information that 40 brothers of Angels Vermillion were fighting a losing battle on the Castobel and were critically short on ammunition and other supplies.


Librarian Falcon decided to augury for the exact location of Ahmids remains. Although his powerful psychic ritual did demolish the holographic projector used to provide a map for his scrying they did manage to see a short vision holographically projected into air… It showed an abandoned office situated in one of the highest spires of a dead hive and the bones and metal remains of cybernetic implants on a chair. On the table was shown a notebook locked with complicated-looking mechanical lock. The vision ended in pale, outstretched hand taking away the book. Based on this information the Kill Team hatched a preliminary plan: They would board one drop pod themselves and fill the two others with as much boltgun ammunition and grenades as they could. They would scry out the locations of their own vanguard team (Ulrik and Anarete) and the Angels Vermillion and drop in so that they could liaise with both their own team and the Angels Vermillion, providing the Angels Vermillion with much needed ammunition resupply.


* * *


Meanwhile, on the ground, Anarete and Ulrik were contacted by a lone Astartes of chapter that was completely unknown to them. He introduced himself as Marius of Carcharodons Astra and wanted to ask them to get a word of the Castobels eventual fall out of the world if they could. After a brief discussion Anarete and Ulrik became convinced of his good intentions and decided to help Marius by giving him their extra bolt-pistol clips and trying to contact Inquisitor Carmillus who was now within easier astropathic connection for Anarete.


* * *


Anarete felt the familiar touch of a soft hand on her cheek as she opened the connection and sent the symbols to Iris. She tried to stretch the fragile connection as far as possible to let Iris in and managed to receive a message signed with a soft touch of a hand on her neckline. The symbols were still forming, but she translated them as fast as possible… “Carcharodon Astra chapter”, “known to me”, “use this symbol”… Anarete visualized the symbol Iris had sent, a smiling grey shark in top hat, and archived it in her mind for future use… “provide help”, “keep close”, “point location”, “yours”, “we arrive”, “soon”.


Opening her eyes she felt a strange mix both anxiousness and calm. Iris was close. The Kill Team was here very soon. “Her highness sends that we should switch on our locator beacon, keep our new companion here and help him if need be. They will be here very soon.”


* * *
 

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Mission: Hivemares – Execution


The Kill Team dropped to the Castobel and met up with Ulrik, Anarete and Marius. Ulrik was elected to lead the mission because he had been on Castobel and knew it better than other members of the original Kill Team. In addition to the supplies they brought five members of Raptors to guard the drop site. Brother Siracum recognizes Marius’ chapter markings and recalls an old tale of how Carcharodons Astra saved a company of Blood Angels during 7th Black Crusade in M37. Based on this ancient blood-debt he persuades the Kill Team to help Marius and they provide him with more equipment, including a jump pack, extra bolter and six clips of bolter ammo.


When the Angels Vermillion come to collect the supplies their sergeant recognizes Brother Siracum as a Sanguinary Noviate and falls to his knee, respectfully asking if Siracum could come to perform the sanguinary rites for the remnants of his company who have been without spiritual guidance for so long. The Kill Team decide to go to the Angels Vermillion camp and find out that the camp also includes two Warhound class scout titans, the remnants of Legio Titanicus Scout Maniple. While Siracum performs sanguinary rites for the Angels Anarete contacts Inquisitor once more and receives permission for the Kill Team to take Marius along with their mission. Brother Eukarios tries to negotiate with the Titan Princeps for assistance and after a pompous ceremony the Titan Princeps refuses to grant them the assistance of the warmachines. However, in compensation, Eukarios receives full maps of the hive they are going to and the last intelligence on Tyranid creatures sighted there.


Angels Vermillion decide to help the Kill Team by providing them with escort convoy to the empty hive with their Rhinos and Baal Predator. After clearing a zone near the hive the Angels then leave and the Kill Team starts to climbs the outer surface of the Tyranid infested hive. Some thousand meters up the hive they run into clouds of volcanic ash and are ambushed by ripper swarms and gargoyles hiding in the clouds. During the fight Brother Siracum gets lost in the clouds and is nearly overrun by Tyranids when Anarete decides to use her telekinesis to float up into the cloud and kills the gargoyle horde with a telekinetic thunderclap. The Kill Team quickly regroups and continues upwards, deciding to avoid the clouds now. Further up, near 3000 meter height they are engaged again, this time by a Tyranid Harpy that drops sporebombs on the Kill Team from the heights. Several Kill Team members, including Anarete, Siracum and Falcon are wounded in the attack. Victor and Marius race ahead on their jump packs, keeping the Harpy under constant bolter fire while Ezekiel decides to stand his ground, remaining in open to pour heavy bolter rounds at the Tyranid monster. The first Harpy is quickly cut down, but another joins the fight dropping more spore bombs at the team. Brother Victor realizes that the second Harpy is screaming aloud, signaling other Harpies and possibly gargoyle swarms to join the fight and informs the Kill Team that they should get out of the open. Brother Eukarios finds an abandoned maintenance tunnel and quickly hacking its door open dives inside. Ulrik orders everyone to withdraw and when the whole Kill Team gets inside Eukarios bolts the tunnel entrance shut. For next several hours the Kill Team makes its way through the maintenance tunnels, engaging and killing small hormagaunt patrols until they finally get to the Administratum level of the hive, some eight kilometers up the spire. Here they decide to take a little break to rest.


During the rest Anarete contacts Inquisitor to report on current progress of the mission and Falcon tries to use augury to see what kind of enemy lies ahead. Brother Falcons augury succeeds beyond his expectations and reveals him a picture of a dark eldar homunculus and his succubus bodyguard. As a child, prior to entering Astartes training, Brother Falcon had to witness his ships crew being methodically tortured to death by dark eldar pirates and seeing a vision of them in this desolate place shocks and angers him so much that the psychic backlash cuts Anaretes astropathic contact. Anarete is furious over this, but soon calms down as Falcon explains his vision and the Kill Team decide they must be prepared to meet this new enemy. Continuing their journey the Kill Team make they way through blasted barricades and minefields left by the last defenders of the hives Administratum level.


Finally arriving to the great cathedral of the hive they notice that the cathedral grounds seem unharmed by battles. Entering the cathedral they find several hideously mutilated bodies of Tyranid creatures, genestealers and lictors, being chained to the walls. They also observe that many of the bodies have been surgically attached with crude pieces of steel and debris of war. Then they here a soft voice in the public audio system of the cathedral, bidding them welcome. As the abominable constructs suddenly wake up and start to protests in their chains a lithe form of black-clad dark eldar homonculus descents from the upper spires to meet the Kill Team. The Kill Team barely holds their fire and decides to see what happens. The homunculus tells them that he knows exactly why they are in this hive and what they seek and is willing to offer it all to them for a small payment of a single digit, either finger or toe. The Kill Team protests against any deals, but Anarete tells them that she has some knowledge of how to negotiate with xenos from her service in the Inquisition and is given a permission to try. Anarete asks who should pay the price for homunculus who graciously says that he is willing to accept any finger or toe as long as its cut fresh from a living body.


At this point Anarete surprises the homunculus by offering him one toe or finger cut from his bodyguard succubus. As Anarete suspected the homunculus is always ready to enjoy a gladiatorial show and proposes following terms: Once homunculus gets his payment his bodyguard Lorelai will lead the Kill Team to the notebook and the remains of exploratory Ahmid. There is just one catch: She obviously has to be alive to do it. Anarete accepts the terms even if it means that she is in distinct disadvantage dueling against an opponent who can kill her but who she should not kill. As both Anarete and Lorelai start to circle each other brother Victor, convinced that the xenos are going to double-cross the Kill Team, prepares his boltgun, ready to open fire at any sign of foul play… or even just in case Anarete seems to be losing. The duel starts by Anarete using her telekinesis to fire a bolter round out of the bolt pistol on her hip. It misses and Lorelai jumps ahead, kicking the boltgun away from her hands. Anarete manages to dodge Lorelais frenzied slashes and draws her witchblade. With a quick stab Anarete manages to nail Lorelais left foot to the ground and, threatening to burn the dark eldars soul with her psychic powers, forces Lorelai to surrender, cutting of two of her toes. Presenting the toes to the homunculus Anarete demands that her part of the deal is now closed and homunculus signals Lorelai to show the Kill Team to Ahmids remains.


The Kill Team follows Lorelai to the upper spires when Lorelai suddenly addresses them, telling that the homunculus is prepared to betray both her and the Kill Team. Lorelai says she wants to make a deal with the Kill Team in exchange for her own safe escape. After a brief negotiations the Kill Team are faced with a problematic situation: According to Lorelai the notebook is not in realspace but hidden inside webway, which is also Lorelais way out. The remains of Ahmid are in spire but they are trapped with pheromone bombs that, if exploded, will wake up a huge number of Tyranid creatures around the spire and mark anyone caught in the explosion with Lictor-pheromones that will make all the Tyranid creatures home to him. Lorelai on the other says she does not trust the Kill Team one bit and is convinced that they will either kill or capture her if given any chance to do so. So she suggests that after getting Ahmids remains they all escape to webway through a portal Lorelai can open and part ways after Lorelai has given the Kill Team the notebook.


Negotiations turn a bit heated when Eukarios is strictly against entering webway and many others are also very suspicious of all these deals. They do manage to get Lorelai explain how the webway works, she can transport them all to the webway where the Kill Team can wait for a few hours for the pheromone trail to vanish and then return back to where they entered webway while she will continue on her own to her home in the dark city. Ulrik decides to trust Anaretes negotiation skills and they finally agree on a deal but still decide to see if they can somehow disarm the pheromone bombs. As the Kill Team enters the room where remain of Ahmid are they notice that the body of Ahmis and the chair its sitting on are held inside a xeno-tech stasis field along with two chemical grenades caught into stasis right in the moment of them exploding.


Seeing as the stasis field is controlled by a little device right in the front of the chair and switching it off will probably fill the room with whatever gas (or pheromones) are in the grenades the Kill Team decides to let Lorelai open the webway portal first. Then Eukarios switches off the field and Victor and Marius grab the remains of the exploratory along with chair and all. As the stasis field is switched off two side walls of the room turn to dust and six huge constructs of flesh and metal charge in (yeah, dark eldar homunculus always try to double-cross you…) Brother Falcon is the first to react and kills two abominations with pushed Avenger, but the psychic backlash of his pushed power makes the whole room shake violently, throwing most brothers and abominations off their feet. In brief but brutal fight brother Eukarios is knocked across the room and has most of his chest caved in after which the abominations are promptly cut down by combined bolter/heavy bolter fire and another pushed Avenger power from Ulrik, Ezekiel and Falcon.


The Kill Team escapes to the webway where they finally learn that Lorelai has been carrying the notebook on her person all along hidden inside a dimensional-bending box, a sort of “bottomless bag” device where you can store more material than its outside dimensions seem to fit (yeah, its not like a dark eldar succubus wouldn’t leave something untold in negotiations...) The Kill Team still honor their word and let Lorelai escape. Exiting the webway several hours later the Kill Team finds the spire almost destroyed by frenzied Tyranid swarms. Not wanting to wait for them to come back they quickly make their way to the cathedrals shuttle platform and call the Inquisitor for Thunderhawk extraction. The final thing they see from the windows of the ascending Thundrehawks is dozens of searing pillars of light impacting the hive as the Inquisitorial ship Maneater and the escort fleet Decataur scour the Tyranid-infested hive with lance strikes.
 

Imperial Casualties: One critically injured battle-brother, four seriously injured battle-brothers.

Xeno Casualties: One tyranid harpy, Six dark eldar grotesques, approximately 30 tyranid gargoyles and approximately 60 tyranid hormagaunts destroyed during the mission. Approximately several thousand various tyranid bioforms destroyed in the final orbital bombardment.

Miscellaneous: One Carcharodon Astra battle-brother evacuated, one xeno-tech stasis device captured, Angels Vermillion company supplied by delivery of approximately 24 000 bolter rounds, 8 000 heavy bolter rounds and 100 gallons of flamer fuel.

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Mission: False Flag – Planning & Preparation

 

The Kill Team (Battle brothers Eukarios, Ezekiel, Falcon, Marius, Regis, Siracum, Ulris and Victor) had only spent a week after the last mission on the orbit of Castobel, when they were summoned to meet Frater Astrotechnicus Mikail. After a brief discussion on the desperate situation of Castobel Mikail briefed them on the Kill Teams next mission. The Deathwatch wanted to neutralize a genestealer cult that had infiltrated into one of the remaining Hives of Castobel and had members amongst the PDF, the Adeptus Arbites and the High Command of the Hive. The problem was that they needed to do it in such away that it would not alert the Hive Fleet Dagon. Thus a complicated and desperate scheme was hatched. The Kill Team would make a hole into the outer defence ring of the Hive infiltrate into the underhive marking their own path with the Hive Fleet Dagon Lictor pheromone samples that had been collected from their equipment after last mission. They would make their way to the Broodlords lair and find a way to inject the Broodlord with a specifically brewed poison made from the same chemicals used in psy-out warheads. The Hive Fleet Dagon tyranids patrolling outside the hive would find the hole and follow the pheromone trail into Broodlords lair while the poison would temporarily neutralize the Broodlords psychic abilities and disconnect it from the hivemind thus creating a situation where the tyranids following the pheromones would not recognize the Broodlord as one of their own and would attack it. At least in theory... If the scheme succeeded there was a strong chance that the Hive Fleet Dagon would actually destroy its own genestealer vanguard which would throw their whole invasion plan out of track.

Hearing of the plan the Kill Team discussed long about the situation on Castobel as some of them were hesitant to breach the hives defences and lure hundreds or even thousands of tyranids into the Imperial hive. However, in the end they concluded that if they did nothing the Hive would be doomed by the genestealer infestation and this plan actually gave the citizens of the hive a marginal, but real, chance of survival. Since the plan depended on usage of anti-psy equipment and disrupting tyranid hivemind the Kill Team decided that their librarian brother Falcon was best to lead the team. Their plan was to reach the Broodlord without alerting anyone on the hive of their presence (after all, local troops were infiltrated by the genestealer cult). Thus they decided to wear scout armor and camo-cloacks. Interrogator Generus Herreu of Ordo Xenos and got three anti-psy needles and two anti-psy grenades for the mission. The needles were prepared to work on the Broodlord while the grenades were more of general-purpose type and could be used to disorientate the Broodlord or neutralize any hybrid psykers present.

After getting their anti-psy ordnance the Kill Team held pre-battle rituals, including an open mass for Emperor and brother Falcon used the Emperors Tarot to augur for any major obstacles during the mission. Several battle-brothers were overcome by strong visions of genestealers during the augurs and the Kill Team took this as a sign that they would face the genestealers in the underhive. After these ritual Interrogator Carmen Merinae and Frater Astrotechnicus Mikail escorted the Kill Team aboard a fully-automated Deathwatch supply-cruiser (similar to kill-ships, but carrying equipment between Watch Fortresses) for requisitioning equipment. The Kill Team took sniper rifles for both devastators (Regis and Ezekiel) and lots of hellfire rounds, meltabombs, demolition kits and other general purpose gear for others. In addition several of the Kill Team took autopistols and equipped them with silencers in case they needed to quietly kill humans or hybrids in the underhive. Eukarios took a flamer, Regis took his personal heavy flamer and Ezekiel took his personal heavy bolter for heavier support.

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Mission: False Flag – Execution

 

The Kill Team made planetfall during a particularly violent storm. The air was filled with volcanic ash and visibility was cut to 15 meters. After narrowly evading a tyranid hormagaunt patrol, the point man Siracum concealed himself under camo-cloack only 10 meters away from nearest gaunt, the Kill Team found the outer defence ring of the hive and made a hole into it with a meltabomb. They then rigged a remote-control pheromone bombs to the hole and proceeded inside the underhive. After negotiating the severs the Kill Team entered into huge hot-air ducts that would eventually lead them to the maintenance tunnels where the Broodlord was to be found. However, the air ducts were corroded, in bad repair and far from empty. After a few hours of travel the Kill Team came into a junction where the smaller ventilation tunnels connected with a huge vertical shaft 70 meters across vanishing into darkness both below and above their level. There was a small catwalk going around the open shaft to the other side where they were supposed to go next but guarding the shaft there was a small team of enforcers who had set up a strong-point into one of the smaller tunnels. There was five enforcers hidden behind aegis blast-shields, armed with shotguns and one plasmagun. Luckily point-man Siracum had spotted the enforcers and stopped the team before the enforcers sighted them. The Kill Team desided to kill the enforcers quickly before they had a chance to radio in. The devastators set up aiming at two enforcers with sniper-rifles while the rest of the team sneaked up behind the aegis shields and drew combat knives. On a mark of ”Go” the snipers dropped two of the enforcer with simultaneous head-shots and the rest of the team jumped over the shields and promptly killed the enforcers with a few precise stabs of combat blades.

After dropping the bodies of the enforcers into the large ventilation shaft the Kill Team continued on their way. Their next encounter with enforcer teams came half-an-hour later when they were crawling across a ruptured ventilation duct and spotted an enforcer rhino on overwatch, guarding the duct. Brother Siracum climbed down to the rhino and moved silently beside the rhino, arming his melta-bomb. He then waited for the others to slowly crawl across the rupture the rhino gunner was guarding, ready to melta-bomb the rhino at first sight of trouble. The enforcers did not spot the Kill Team and never knew how close to death they came that night... A few hours later the Kill Team entered the upper maintenance tunnels and brother Ulris took the duties of the point-man. A few moments later he ran into a genestealer at point-blank ranges and Emperors providence allowed him to kill the foul xeno with one, surprising burst of boltgun fire. Not long after the Kill Team sighted another genestealer in the front and auspex warned of second one closing fast behind. Brother Ulris and Viktor braced themselves, aiming at the stealer in the front waiting for a sign of it (or another genestealer) spotting the Team. They did not have to wait for long before they heard shouting and whoosh of a flamer from behind. Taking this as a decicive sign they executed the genestealer with a few accurate bursts from boltgun and bolt pistol. At the aft of the Team the second genestealer managed to ambush Eukarios and Siracum despite the auspex and ripped a large chunk of flesh from Eukarios' leg while the techmarine used his flamer. After this Siracum and Eukarios engaged the, now-flaming, beast with combat knives in hand. The genestealer was furious with the burns and managed to swipe brother Siracum to the face, ripping off several teeth, lower lip and large part of his lowe jaw before Siracum ended the genestealer, stabbing it through the skull with his combat-blade.

After quick first-aid to the wounded the Kill Team continued on their mission. Next point-man Ulris spotted a huge figure of a genestealer moving across the corridor and informed the others he had sighted the Broodlord moving. The Kill Team took a look at the map and decided to spread into to teams with one sniper in each. First team would go straight ahead trying to catch the moving Broodlord from behind while second team would move to intercept it along its likely path. At this point brother Eukarios launched the remote-controlled pheromone bomb left on the hole in the hive defence ring and attracting the tyranids to the pre-marked pheromone-trail. First sniper to get a line of sight on the Broodlord was Ezekiel who was forced to take a quick snap-shot at rapidly fleeing form. Despite the difficult shot his anti-psy needle hit but failed to penetrate the Broodlords carapace. Broodlord continued its escape and ran right into Regis' sights. His first needle also failed to penetrate the hulking beasts carapace so it came down to the third, and last, needle. With sure aim and unshaking hand the ultramarine put the last needle into the neck of the beast. With the anti-psy poison injected into the Broodlord and tyranids coming Ulris threw his anti-psy grenade right into the lap of the Broodlord. With the agonized screams of the thrashing Broodlord echoing in the tunnels the Kill Team decided to escape fast. The point of the team ran into several genestealers with Falcon, Viktor and Marius at fore. One of the genestealers dropped right into Falcons face who responded with pushed strenght Avenger. His psychic flames did not quite kill the creature, but the weave of the reality was torn and the tunnels in 50 meter radius of Falcon were filled with hypnotic sights and eerie cackle of daemons. Pushing through the distractions with pure force of will Viktor and Marius killed of the genestealer with chainswords. The remaining two genestealers were overcome by the disturbing visions of warp and scurried off into shadows.

With the Broodlord incapacitated by the combined effects of the poison and the anti-psy grenade, the genestealer bodyguards fleeing in confused panic and the chitter of several hundred blood-hungry hormagaunts echoing along the pheromone path the Kill Team made its way outside the hive and were picked up by a Thunderhawk which transported them right back to destroyer Maneater. Eukarios and Siracum were immeadeatly admitted to sick bay.

Imperial Casualties: Two seriously wounded Battle-Brothers. Five Imperial Enforcers killed.

Xeno Casualties: Four Genestealers killed.

Aftermath: The resulting three-way fight between Hive Fleet Dagon intrusion force, the Genestealer Cult and Imperial Enforcers lasted for three days. The final estimation of the casualties of the battle is that the Broodlord, eight genestealers, 350 genestealer hybrids, 500 tyranid hormagaunts, 36 Imperial Enforcers, 89 PDF troopers and 600 civilians were slain.

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False Flag - Epilogue

* * *

 

Few knew that there was a direct access to the Maneaters Navigators Dome from the Inquisitors Chambers. Only the Inquisitor ever used it. Thus brother Mikail was slightly surprised when he entered the dome from the command-bridge's door and found out that the dome was not empty as he had assumed. The techmarine had come to spend little time in silent contemplation with nothing but the light of stars as his company when he suddenly found himself looking at revered Inquisitor Hezika Carmillus who had apparently come here for the same thing. What was more was that Inquisitor was sitting there, her long legs resting on a table, clad in adorned silken robe of gunmetal color that resembled of nightgown. His augmented senses could feel the heat of her body and he could smell her sweat. Likely she had come here straight from the practice floors or one of the gyms inside the Inquisitors Chambers. Mikail assumed she was beautiful. Her form had pleasing symmetry in strictly aesthetic sense and Mikail could appreciate her well-formed, functional muscles but in all honesty he had no real knowledge, or capacity to judge, whether a normal man would consider it beautiful. Such things were simply not in his nature. The sight did, however, seem like he had unknowingly just disturbed a somewhat intimate moment.

”They did succeed.” Inquisitor Carmillus said, not letting her eyes off the outline of the planet showing through the lower, floor-level, panels of the dome.
”I did not disturb you?” Mikail asked.
”No, not at all.” she answered, turning to look at him. ”I hope I did not disturb you.”
”Surprise, yes. Disturb, no.” Mikail said moving at her side.
”It is a rare creature that can surprise a Raven Guard.” she smiled, ”but I think it was my lack of formal attire of powered armor, rather than anything I did. I apologize for it, hardly a decent attire for this hour.”
”Yes, but the failure was mine. I had allow myself to grow so accustomed to see it that I had come to expect it.” Mikail said. ”But how do you know? That the mission succeeded, I mean.”
”I just contacted Rosa. She is down in the hive, disguised as one of the clergy. She sent me there was a battle in the underhive. Around seven hundred people dead and a similar number of tyranids and assorted hybrids. The remains of one of the tyranid creatures found contained strong doze of psy-out dust.”
Mikail nodded. It had to be the Broodlord, so they had gotten it. That was still good to know.
”It does not change your opinion on the mission?” Carmillus asked.
”The fact that it succeeded? No. I still think Watch Commander Mordigael made the wrong decision in allowing it to pass.”
”May I inquire why you are of such opinion?”
Mikail stayed silent for a moment, contemplating the Inquisitor. ”I believe that the decision to push ahead with the original mission despite of the radical changes in operational environment was done at least partly to assist the Angels Vermillion company on the ground.”
Carmillus smiled impishly ”You think that the decision was corrupted by Watch Commanders feeling of brotherhood towards his fellow Astartes?”
Mikail shook his head. ”I am afraid it was the ghost of the legions and their long-dead primarch, not any feeling of brotherhood for Astartes in general.”
”You might underestimate Watch Commander, I think.” she said, turning back to look through the glass wall.
Mikail just nodded. ”It is possible. You never told any of us what you thought of the mission.”
”And, even though you are so polite not to ask directly, I will respectfully have to decline from telling you.” the Inquisitor answered, rising to her feet. ”It is a matter of mutual respect between Watch Commander and myself. He knows what I think, we have discussed it and the call was his.”
”Good night, Frater Astrotechnicus.” she said, opening the well-disguised door in the wall and vanishing through it.

* * *

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The Destroyer of Worlds - Planning and Preparation

 

* * *
MISSION REQUEST / BLUE PRIORIOTY / REQUESTING PARTY: DEATHWATCH


AUTOMATED DEATHWATCH KILL SHIP JULIUS ROBERT HAS SUFFERED A BREAKDOWN IN
COMMUNICATIONS AND ROUTE CONTROL PROCEDURES DUE TO ROUTINE ASTROPATH MESSAGE NOT
CONFIRMING WITH THE ESTABLISHED CODES. THE SHIP HAS BEEN AUTOMATICALLY LOCKED DOWN
AND IS UNABLE TO CONTINUE ITS PRESENT MISSION UNTIL THE COMMUNICATION AND ROUTE
CONTROL PROCEDURES HAVE BEEN RE-ESTABLISHED.


MISSION TASKS: FIND OUT THE REASON FOR FAILURE ON COMMUNICATION AND ROUTE CONTROL
PROCEDURES ABOARD AUTOMATED KILL SHIP JULIUS ROBERT. RESUME THE COMMUNICATION
AND ROUTE CONTROL PROCEDURES AND/OR ESTIMATE THE NEED FOR REPAIRS.


PERSONNEL: ONE (1) KILL TEAM


COMMUNICATIONS: DIRECT RADIO UPLINK TO TRANSPORTING SHIP


BACKUP COMMUNICATIONS: SECONDARY RADIO COMMUNICATION PROCEDURES


INSERTION METHOD: CAESTUS ASSAULT RAM


EXTRACTION METHOD: CAESTUS ASSAULT RAM


MISSION TIME: APPROXIMATELY THREE (3) DAYS


MISSION ABORT PARAMETERS: COMPLETE FAILURE OF KILL SHIP SYSTEMS. IN CASE OF MISSION
ABORTION THE MISSION PERSONNEL MUST PREPARE TO DESTROY THE KILL SHIP JULIUS ROBERT
BY ANY MEANS AND USING ANY ASSISTANCE NECESSARY


MISSION END PARAMATERS: ASSERTING THE REASON OF FAILURE IN AND RESUMING OF
COMMUNICATION AND ROUTE CONTROL PROCEDURES.


MISSION DANGER RATING: PURPLE
* * *


Intelligence Summary: JULIUS ROBERT
Deathwatch / Astartes Only

Ship Type: Autonomous Kill Ship

Mission: The Julius Robert was last sighted on routine patrol mission, cruising between twelve worlds in Jericho Reach deemed most likely candidates for Extreminatus in near future. The patrol was prognosed to last from 15 to 28 years in total and was divided into 30 segments, according to pre-calculated way points. The contact protocol of the ship was to stop in each way point and automatically lock down all its functions. Then the ship astropath would send out a coded signal. After receiving the signal the Watch Fortress Erioch would send a confirmation signal which would open the automatic lock-down and allow the ship to continue. The last signal received by Watch Fortress Erioch 32 days ago used wrong code, so no confirmation signal was sent and the ship is assumed to be in lock down. At the time Julius Robert was carrying a payload of six atmospheric incineration torpedoes, six cyclonic torpedoes and twelve virus bombs.

Structure: While the ship itself is extremely sizable, being 1900 meters from rear to bow, there is only a limited number of strategically important targets on it. Most of the space on board is taken by the cloacking devices and the huge reactors powering them. Between these, the ships main reactors, warp coils, Exterminatus loading bays and launch tubes and the water and waste recycling systems there are only three habitable areas: The bridge, the main engine controls and the armory labyrinth.

The bridge is in three levels each separated by bulkheads and secondary airlocks. The first level is used by the automated navigation personnel, the second by the weapons servitors and the third by the astropaths.

The main engine control is five levels high but is actually one huge space used only by the Magos Cybernetica and his altar-servitors. It is also the main Shrine of Omnissiah on board.

The armory labyrinth is technically habitable since in cases of emergency and when the exterminatus warheads need their centennial rites of reforging it must be traversed by the enginseers. However, everything there is normally operated by fully automatic machine spirits. The place is built in shape of labyrinth with no lights or signs and the actual warheads are hidden inside the various corridors of the labyrinth to protect them from tampering in case some one manages to break into the ship.

Enemy Activity: No known enemy activity. No indigenous life. One hundred and sixty-seven weaponized servitors and kept in constant cryo-sleep unless an unauthorized breach is detected in the ship. If released these servitors do not have any kind of locks or overrides installed and will continue to engage all living targets inside their designated patrol area untill destroyed.

Imperial Activity: The crew of the ship consists of Magos Cybernetica, 3 cyborg-astropaths, 21 cyborg-pilots and several thousand servitors. All the ”living” crew, the Magos, the cyborg-astropaths and the cyborg-pilots are permanently wired into their work-stations. Of these the Magos is the only one continously awake. The cyborg-astropaths and the pilots work in three shifts with each shift lasting for three onboard months or one jump. The serviotrs on board are awakened and put back to cryo-sleep according to instructions of the Magos.

 

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Dramatis Personae: Addition

Brother Cassius (Ultramarine Tactical marine) - Silent, laconian, dependable. Formerly a sergeant of the 10th company Cassius is a prime example of everything Ultramarines are made of and he has spent last ten years making sure the next generation of Ultramarines inherit as much of it as possible. He is a codex marine and proud of it, but it does not mean he is hidebound. He is a solid tactician with a load of dirty tricks up his sleeve just in case.

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The Destroyer of Worlds – Planning and Preparation

 

 

The Kill Team Maneater returns to watch fortress Erioch after the long stretch of operations on Castobel. Arriving to the Erioch they find most of the fortressess senior personnel and Kill Teams absent, being sent on other operations around Jericho Reach. While they have been away the fortress serfs have been outfitting a tactical room for the Kill Team Maneater. The tactical room is outfitted for their use only, requiring passing a genetic lock to get in. Inside they find a spartan room with large table and holographic display board. On the table is three files and a short note from Watch Commander Mordigael himself. The note states that Mordigael has left all the lower-priority pending assist requests, three of them, that the Deathwatch on Jericho Reach had received and dumped them on Kill Team Maneaters desk to be resolved at their own phase as soon as they are able.

For the moment Kill Team Maneaters strenght is eight men: brothers Eukarios, Ezekiel, Falcon, Marius, Regis, Ulrik and Viktor and a new replacement, brother Cassius of Ultramarines, who has just been inducted to the Deathwatch and is on his way to fortress. Brothers Falcon and Marius are still absent for reasons unknown to rest of the team so the team have two days to discuss the merits of different assistant request. They quickly decide to tackle the problem of the unresponsive Kill Ship at first and proceed to start training for spaceship boarding operations. Meanwhile brother Victor goes to ask Interrogator Merinae for information on Kill Ship Julius Robert which is their target.

At the same time Falcon and Marius have been with Watch Commander Mordigael. As Marius is now unable to contact his chapter and presumed to be dead by them and even Deathwatch does not know how to reach the chapter master of Carcharodons the Watch Commander has decided to offer Marius a chance to join the Deathwatch and Kill Team Maneater. Marius accepts the terms that he will serve in Deathwatch using his personal and/or his ships coat of arms untill such time as the chapter master of Carcharodons can be contacted and informed of his whereabouts. Knowing the nomadic patterns of his chapters fleets and the solitary nature of the Chapter Marius silently prepares himself for the possible eventuality that he will spend the rest of his life in Deathwatch. As inducting astartes into Deathwatch withiout Chapter masters approval, purely on premises of recommendations of Deathwatch Kill Team members and Inquisitor is extremely rare event brother Falcon will spend two days with Marius, recording all details of his induction, the terms of service and description of the rituals where Marius' power armor is repainted. As librarian he will later file the records into Watch Fortress Eriochs archives.

When bothers Falcon and Marius get back from the rituals and Cassius arrives to the station the Kill Team Maneater is in full strenght and can start to prepare for the coming mission for real. Interrogator Merinae has found a whole file of stuff about Julius Robert for the Kill Team, including rudimentary blueprints (with several strategically important areas missing) and ancient photographs of the insides of the ship. As there is no information what has actually gone wrong with the ship the Kill Team decides to cast Emperors Tarot and augury for details on their opponents. Borther-librarian Falcon prepares the rites and deals the tarot. As he goes deeper and deeper into a trance the other astartes precent notice that he has unknowingly set the tarot aside and, deep in trance, is dealing invisible tarot cards. As the room grows darker all the reflective surfaces (mainly the polished left arms of the Deathwatch power armors) start to twist and strange reflections show on them. Suddenly the holographic boards picture also twists and phases out to be replaced with strange shape the Kill Team recongnizes as the outlines of terminator suits helmet.

Convinced by the auguries that there might be renegade marines with terminator armor aboard the Kill Ship the team chooses their best ship-boarding expert, Marius, to lead the team and start to outfit themselves with equipment needed to deal with locked doors and inside bulkheads and with weaponry capable of penetrating heavy armor. All bolters are loaded with kraken rounds, brother Regis leaves his heavy flamethrower home in favor of missile launcher and several dozen krak missiles and everyone packs with extra krak grenades, melta bombs and demolition kits. For the next two weeks it takes for the Kill Team to reach the last known location of their target ship they practice ship-board combat tactics and disembarking from Caestus Assault Ram over and over.
 

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The Destroyer of Worlds – Execution


* * *

Locked and loaded. Magnetic locks grasp the elbows and the helmet of the power armor. I have twenty-two krak missiles weighing on me. One in tube, eighteen in backpack ammo holders, three on my armor in quick-releases. The Ultramarine behind me carries two more krak missiles and will load my launcher. He also has a bolter and will keep my back if the two-dozen krak missiles run out. I hope they won't. My only back up is handfull of krak grenades and a bolt-pistol with 14 kraken rounds. Twenty-four shots. I pledge each of them to Emperor for he protects.

The outside feed cuts out as the magna-melta fires, filling the void ahead with bright, searing flash. I shake around in the magnetic locks as Caestus impacts the hull of Julius Robert. A brief flash of outside feed, nothing really can be seen except for the bright fireworks of the frag-launchers going off, filling the corridor ahead with literally hundreds of thousands of 8 mm steel ball-bearings. The assault ram door open and the Caestus has stopped but the magnetic rails to which I am attached start to push me forwards, out of the ram. The man before me, Marius, activates his chainsword. I do not hear the motor, but I see the outline of the blade blur as it starts to run. He goes in first. If he falls, I will avenge him with my first krak missile.

As I clear the mouth of the rams assault tube the magnetic locks release me and I drop to high kneel, aiming forward and left. The automatic sight of the launcher starts to seek for targets. There is none. There is only rubble, blinking of emergency lights and the smoke. The pressure of the frag-launcher blast has popped open all maintenance hatches and thick bundles of cable hang out of them like exotic snakes. The silence is all around. A single 8 mm ball-bearing rolls on the floor past me. I have just survived the most dangerous part of Caestus assault. We proceed.

* * *

The Kill Team Maneater enters the ship by crashing through the outer hull with Caestus Assault Ram, boarding the Julius Robert near engine control room. They run into an empty, deserted corridor. Entering the large cauaseway leading towards to main doors of the Temple of Omnissiah they notice that there are no signs of fighting or hostile boarding. All the statues of the past magi cybernetica who have served on Julius Robert are intact and the great doors locked with the cogwheel of Mars are closed. There is a fine layer of dust on the floor. The Temple of Omnissiah, also known as the engine controls, is a huge, open cathedral. The floor is littered with technological machine-monoliths three to five meters tall each and the middle of the circular space is dominated by a huge pillaring power core. Lighting strikes sporadically between the machine-monoliths also exposing the ships magos cyberneticus who is permanently attached to the floor by a termite-mound of optical cables and connected to the power core by thousands of other snaking cables.

The Kill Team spreads out, covering for the techmarine Eukarios who heads straight over to magos, and detect something large moving in the shadow of the power core. As it comes closer they spot a huge machine, a cross between terminator armor and a small dreadnought, with green-white paint and symbols of a known Adeptus Astartes Chapter, Sons of Medusae. This is no traitor marine. They hail him on radio and a deep, booming voice answers: ”This ship belongs to Sons of Medusae. Lay down your weapons or you will be destroyed.” As the dreadnought-like thing starts to encircle behind the team, towards the door, and all contact-attempts are answered with demands of surrender or destruction Marius orders the Kill Team to open fire. A krak-missile crashes into the force field of the thing and its techxorcism gun short-circuits brother Regis' power armor in turn. Then the tide turns as five more Sons of Medusae, each wearing a full Terminator armor, teleport to the engine room. The Kill Team takes cover and starts another round of negotiations with the Terminators. However, even the sergeant Drakon of the Terminator squad insists that the Sons of Medusae are here in emperor service to remove the exterminatus warheads from the ship and that they will fight anyone, even Deathwatch, trying to detour them from their sacred task. The Kill Team decides to retreat to the smaller tunnels of the engine compartment.

The Kill Team reaches the engines and going to the outer hull of the ship are able to contact the Inquisitor Carmillus aboard the Maneater for instructions. Carmillus tells them that the Maneater has detected a light cruiser belonging to Sons of Medusae and have started jamming its teleporters. Hearing about the terminators she also notes that the light destroyer is of type capable of supporting only a maximum of ten to fifteen astartes. The Kill team decides that they must now try to reach the bridge and see what is happening there. Arriving to the bridge the Kill Team finds all the cybernetci pilots awakened. Of the ships astropaths one is dea, shot to the head by single bolter round, and two others are asleep inside their stasis coffins. The tracks on the dusty floor look like there has been a group a terminators here just a while ago. The Kill Team asks the pilots to assists, but the pilots are tied into contesting the magos cyberneticus for the control of the life support systems and the lock-down is hindering them too. The Kill Team figure out that if they can wake one of the astropaths they can get the astropaths send a confirmed code, receive a confirmation and get the ships lockdown released. However, brother-librarian casts new augurs and the signs tell him that the terminators are on their way back to bridge... its time to prepare for combat.

The Kill Team puts all the pilots back to stasis fields to protect them during the combat and start to booby trap the corridor leading to bridge. Gathering all their krak-grenades they trap ever meter of the 20 meter long corridor and set up fire positions in the bridge so that each and every one of their eight brothers can fire to the corridor at the same time. As the terminators start to push to the corridor the battle ebbs and flows each round, but, in the end, the Emperor protects the Kill Team and when the last of the terminators falls they are all still alive. Brother Falcon is critically wounded and unable to continue and almost everyone else have suffered small wounds from storm bolters and fragmentation launchers. They have expended literally hundreds of kraken rounds, half-a-dozen krak missiles and four krak grenades. The bridge is a smoking ruin. The Kill Team figures out a way to release the astropaths by shutting down the power of their stasis coffins. The problem is that they must cut a single cable that is inside the Temple of Omnissiah. Brother Falcon stays behind with Eukarios to attend to the astropaths and everyone else sneaks downstairs. Prepared to fight the dreadnought thingy the Kill Team does not need to do it as brother Ezekiel skillfully snipes to cable with a single bolter round, managing to cut the cable without damaging any of the other systems.

Now that the astropaths are awake and pilots have regained the control of the ship they ask the Kill Team to go and switch the damaged magos cyberneticus offline. The Kill Team goes back to engine control and prepares to tackle the dreadnought thing. They plan to booby trap the corridor and lure the dreadnought there but as they are nearing the door, the dreadnought comes out and the Kill Team finds itself closer than they wanted. Brother Eukarios manages to disarm the things thunderhammer but it quickly disables Eukarios with burst from the techxorcism gun. Meanwhile brother Victor has managed to attach a melta bomb to the dreadnought things hull. When Victor disengages to get away from melta-bombs blast radius and everyone else starts to shoot at the dreadnought thing brother Cassius tries to drag Eukarios to safety. Then the thing shoots Cassius and his power armor goes dead-cold due to haywire. Now fighting with his pure strenght to move both himself and Eukarios out of the melta-bombs blast radius. Realizing he can't get away he uses last ounce of his strenght to push the frozen techmarine into safety, rips away his helmet and yells a command to Viktor to blow the melta-bomb. Viktor pushes the remote-detonators button and both the dreadnought thing and Cassius vanish into a ball of white, searing light.

As brother Regis runs to see what happened, Cassius slowly crawls to his knees. His armour is ruined, but he is alive and brother Eukarios is also alive. The dreadnought thing, however, is melted to slag. After this the Kill Team quickly turns the magos off-line and contacts the pilots to confirm that they have the ship under control. With the ship now online and preparing for the next jump the Kill Team retreats back to their own ship.

Imperial casualties: Six battle-brothers of Sons of Medusae chapter are killed and three members of the Deathwatch critically wounded.

Aftermath: Three more battle-brothers of Sons of Medusae chapter are killed aboard the Julius Robert by ships murder servitors. The Sons of Medusae light cruiser is seriously damaged by Inquisitor ship Maneater. Subsequently the whole incident is covered up by Ordo Xenos and Deathwatch.

 

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The Baraban Incident – Planning and Preparation

 

* * *
MISSION REQUEST / BLUE PRIORITY / REQUESTING PARTY: DEATHWATCH


INQUISITION HAS LOST THE ABILITY TO TRACK TAU FORCE COMMANDER SHAS’O K’ILA AND AS SUCH
SHE HAS OUTLIVED HER USEFULLNESS AS A SOURCE FOR INFORMATION. DUE TO HER MAJOR ROLE IN
ORGANIZING, TRAINING AND MENTORING THE REBEL HUMAN TROOPS ON BARABAN HER DEATH WILL
SERIOUSLY DISRUPT TAU OPERATIONS ON BARABAN AND WILL HELP ACHILLEUS CRUSADE IN HOLDING
BARABAN AND THE GREYHELL FRONT.


MISSION TASKS: KILL TAU FORCE COMMANDER SHAS’O K’ILA ON BARABAN. DESTROY HER
RETINUE AND HEADQUARTER STAFF.


PERSONNEL: ONE (1) KILL TEAM


COMMUNICATIONS: ASTROPATHIC LINK TO TRANSPORTING SHIP


BACKUP COMMUNICATIONS: NONE


INSERTION METHOD: THUNDERHAWK DROP


EXTRACTION METHOD: THUNDERHAWK PICKUP


MISSION TIME: APPROXIMATELY THREE (3) DAYS


MISSION ABORT PARAMETERS: NONE


MISSION END PARAMATERS: DEATH OF SHAS’O K’ILA


MISSION DANGER RATING: WHITE
* * *

After evacuating from Kill Ship Julius Robert the Kill Team Maneater returns to the Watch Fortress Erioch. Brother Siracum had been absent from the last mission, being interred in the medicae halls of Erioch where his jaw bones and lower teeth had been replaced with ceramic substitutes after the original had been swiped off by a genestealer in Castobel. Most of the team were impressed to see how well he had been patched up, only a small scar across his cheek and jaw were left, but Siracum himself seemed more comfortable hiding the scars under high collar. After surviving the melta bomb aboard Julius Robert brother Cassius was almost recovered from his wounds but his armor was wrecked beyond repair. However, he had been issued a new one which brother Eukarios brought to him from the Erioch armoury. The new armor was a true wonder, an Aquila -pattern Mk7 which was till grey ceramite, never before painted or used by anyone else. Indeed it looked so new that the paddings inside were still uncut, radio devices uncoded and even the small plastic sheets covering the helmet lenses were there...

The assebled team was just admiring the new power armour when watch captain Ramiel entered, throwing a pile of reports, their own reports from last mission, to the desk. ”I strongly recommend putting the traitorous Sons of Medusae and their chapter under full prosecution suspected of crimes against Empire.” Ramiel quotes from one of the reports. ”What are these reports? I cannot send these report up the chain. No-one wants to read stuff like this. You are not Inquisitors. Who has given you any right to judge another Astartes Chapter? What if they had perfectly legitimate orders from Mechanicus like they claimed?” Ramiel chastised the team. ”You all better rewrite these reports. Right now.” he said, turning to leave. ”Oh, by the way, you are all expected be in the hangar bay three by 21:00 tonight. Full parade dress. And brother Ezekiel better look especially good there.”

So it was back to work. Drawn between rewriting the reports and painting the new power armor for Cassius the team was already running late but managed to be in the hangar bay by the time, all wondering what was to come. When the doors opened on 21:00 a Deathwatch dreadnought and three librarians enter the hall. While one of the librarians records the ceremony two librarians, their armours covered in scrolls, escort the dreadnought to the Kill Team. No words are spoken, but skull servitors are constantly writing down the thoughts of the dreadnought and the two librarians on the scrolls covering their armour. The dreadnought presents brother Ezekiel with marksman's honour, the golden badge made from the exact same bolt casing brother Regis pocketed aboard Julius Robert after the shot that cut the single optic cable from among hundreds of others and freed the astropaths of the ship from stasis coffins. After the dreadnought and the librarians leave everyone is clearly impressed and moved by the rituals and the team decides to dedicate the rest of the evening for celebrations.

Next morning the team gets together in their briefing room and looks through the assistance requests piled on their table. ”We can walk to this Eldar ambush some other time” brother Regis says, throwing a request detailing a mission to escort Inquisition personnel into some xenos ruins on the table. Afew others nod and the team quite quickly decides to tackle a request for assassinating Shas'o K'ila, a tau commander whom the Kill Team had tracked before on Baraban on another assassination mission. This time it looks like the Ordo Xenos has lost their ability to track Shas'o K'ila and thus she is no longer needed alive as a source of intelligence. However, it seems that the situation in Baraban has tensed up. There are indications of major Tau assault coming soon and Shas'o K'ila has been last seen near the strongly fortified front lines of Tau. So instead of stealthy assassination the mission looks like having the profile or a quick and dirty assault.

The Kill Team selects brother Regis for their leader and starts to equip for the taunting task at hand. For moving across the grass stepped of equatorial Baraban they get themselves some bikes and a single land speeder Storm. The assault marines prepare for cleaning some trenches and bunkers, brother Victor taking two power swords while brother Marius makes do with chainsword and bolt pistol. Brother Siracum, always eager for close combat, also takes chainsword and bolt pistol while Eukarios lays his trust on powerfull machine spirits of a meltagun. For long range firepower brother Ezekiel takes his trusty heavy bolter, brothers Ulrik and Cassius take boltguns and librarian Falcon takes a stalker pattern boltgun and auxiliary grenade launcher. Preparing for proper trench warfare and bunker-busting everyone loads up on frag and krak grenades, meltabombs and demolition charges. Brother Viktor even decides to requisition for a single cryo-grenade. Just in case.

With everyone stacked to the limit with extra ammo and grenades the team takes the oath of weapons, make last minute maintenance rites to their armaments and kneel down in prayer before the Thunderhawk that is taking them down to the battle.

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The Baraban Incident – Execution (part #1)

 

 

The Kill Team lands near the imperial lines and finds itself on a grass plain some kilometer away from what looks like Imperial Guard lines. They have been promised a recent intelligence update and guides from local Imperial Guard, so they try to contact the lines over and open radio. For the longest time no-one answers and then suddenly an unknown voice starts a panicked rant over the radio, demanding that all transmission over the radio are forbidden and only traitors use radio. The Kill Team is quite perplexed over this at first, but then they hear the roar of artillery somewhere in the distance and suddenly shells start to drop all around them, throwing a few battle-brothers and their bikes around like rag dolls. Concluding that the defectors are using Imperial radios for zeroing their artillery Regis orders everyone to shut down their radios, from this on it'll be full radio silence with only signs and spoken commands used. Meanwhile librarian Falcon has sneaked near the Imperial trenches and once the artillery bombardment starts he dives down into the trench, protecting the shell-shocked guardsmen with his own power armor. The artillery bombardment lasts for a few minutes and once it is over Falcon calls the others to the trenches.

When the Kill Team finally finds the command bunker they find out that what they thought would be the 13th Maccabean Janissaries regiment has been shrunken to a mere few companies and left-overs of one battalion HQ staff. The regimental commander and his HQ are dead, the regimental vehicles and mortars are lost and the 360 survivors are led by the battalion intelligence officer, holding the last strongpoint in the line of defector advance. What they can give the Kill Team is the approximate location of the Tau command center somewhere near the Tau southern main trench-line 400 kilometers away. They also promise to send two guardsman bikers as guides to lead the Kill Team near the lines. As the Kill Team and the intelligence officer are discussing the enemy locations suddenly a winded young sergeant runs in, informing that the enemy is attacking again. The intelligence officer takes a look outside and turns to the Kill Team ”Thats the main assault coming our way with full artillery in support. If you leave now, you can probably just make it out of the way before we'll have a real battle in our hands.” The Kill Team also goes outside and surely a human wave of somewhere around 600 defectors is closing in, firing their lasguns and in the distance the roar of the artillery picks up again. There is a quick discussion amongst the Kill Team on if they should help the guardsmen to stop the assault with brother-librarian Falcon wanting to help the guardsmen and several others wanting to leave right away. Brother Regis makes the call and judging that they might run slow on ammunition before even getting near their main target if they stay now orders the Kill Team to break contact and get out now.

Having abandoned the Imperial lines behind them the Kill Team pushes on and drives for a full day without breakes. On their way they are attacked once by a Tiger-Shark class Tau fighter which manages to force them into spreading out and wounds Regis with ion cannon blasts before it is finally dropped by concentrated fire from brother Ezekiels heavy bolter and brother-librarian Falcons stalker boltgun. A few hours later, near the evening, they finally reach the Tau lines. Visual surveillance from the top of one of the nearby hills tells that there is a network of trenchlines several kilometers wide and deep ahead. The trenches seem to be manned by human defectors but the Tau command centre of Shas'o K'ila is supposedly somewhere in the middle of it all. A bit unsure of how to proceed the Kill Team decide to ask librarian Falcon to augur for them. Drawing a circle on the ground and lighting a dozen candles librarian Falcon starts the ritual but is answered only by a an ill wind, deep rumbling and tremors of the ground and darkening of the shadows around which also scares one of their guardsman guides to fleeing the camp never to be seen again. The Kill Team decides that this is an ill omen sent by the Emperor himself to chastise them that they are relying too much on augurs and should start to work harder by more mundane means. So they hatch a plan: the two assault marines sneak near the enemy lines and try to infiltrate into the trenches, once they are notice the rest of the team will lay down continous bolter-fire to suppress the enemy lines while the assault marines break into one of the bunkers and capture a defector officer bringing him back to the others for interrogation.

The firefight starts as brothers Marius and Viktor get within 50 meters of the trenches but as their seven other battle brothers concentrate heavy bolter, boltgun and bolt pistol fire along the width of the trenchline the defectors are easily pinned and the assault marines easily break into the trenches. Clearing away few squads of defectors with Marius' chainsword and Viktors powersword they break into a nearby bunker, overpower the defectors inside and capture one of the defectors which looks something like a leader. The interrogations are a bit of a letdown as it turns out their prisoner is just a lowly defector sergeant who has seen Shas'o K'ila last time almost four months ago. When they finally execute him brother Siracum and Ulrik gain some insight on hwo the directional marking system inside the trenches work by drinking the defectors blood and eating his flesh. With this knowledge the Kill Team decides that it is time to break through into the trenchline again. They quickly camouflage their bikes and the land speeder amongst the grass, leaving the last guardsman guide to guard them and set out again.

 

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The Baraban Incident – Execution (part #2)

 

* * *

Guardsman Xarus was running. It was a maybe just an hour before that he had fled from the presence of the Astartes, but he had already lost his sense of time. Baraban had been known to do that, but this time Xarus was not sure it was the planet. There was something fundamentally wrong here. At first the concept of being chosen to guide the honorable Astartes had filled him with pride and joy, but the last twelve hours had not been what he had expected. The angels of death in their black armour were not what he had thought. They were cold, calculating and acted as if they didn't even notice Xarus. To them he was as if he had not ever existed. It was not what he had expected at all. His squadmate Janis hadn't understood it at all. He had tried to talk to her, but she didn't seem to mind the cold attitude of the angels. But the worse was yet to come. The ritual. All those black-clad giants around their circle and their candles had smacked a bit too much of the heresies the church-fathers in Maccabeus Quintus had warned Xarus about. When the ground finally roared its protests on the vile rites Xarus had decided to run. He had tried to drag Janis with him, but the silly ***** insisted on staying, just smiling and staring at the dark clouds above as if she was smitten by the display of power the psyker angel had just unleashed. She didn't seem afraid, just exited.

Suddenly Xarus' right leg went numb and he fell hard to the grass. He hadn't seen or heard anything but when the tingling pain started to spread around his thigh he knew he had been hurt. Xarus crawled around on his back and looked at his right leg. He had been shot. Xarus had seen enough wounds to know it was a lasgun blast that had ripped a hole into the back of his thigh, gouging and maiming the muscles. It was neatly burned and black now, but Xarus knew he didn't have more than five minutes before the muscles that had constricted from the blast would relax and blood would start to flow from his wound. Besides of that there was also the small matter of someone who had shot him. Xarus unslung his carbine and slowly rose to his knees to peek out of the grass just to see the familiar form of Janis aiming at his direction with lascarbine just a couple of dozen meters away.

”Janis?” he asked, still unsure of who had shot him. He noticed there was a fresh cut in Janis' forearm. As if someone had cut an inch-long incision into her left arm with a knife less than hour ago.

”Xarus.” Janis rose up, still aiming at his direction. ”Don't raise that lasgun of yours.”

”Whats this about, Janis?” Xarus asked, leaning on his lasgun to rise on his feet. ”You are cut. What has happened.”

”Oh, that.” Janis said, slowly walking towards him with lasgun still aimed at his body. ”Its nothin' really. I made it to remember you by. To remember this.”

A cold feeling went up Xarus' spine as he heard that cold statement. ”Jan, don't. They are not human. They are not worth it.” he begged.

Janis stopped, now only ten meters away. ”I'm afraid it don't matter. You showed disrespect to the angels by running away. You shamed yourself.”

”But Jan, they are psykers. They are mons---”

Xarus' plead was cut short when Janis shot him. The single lasgun blast penetrated his forehead and destroyed his brain in blink of an eye. He died before ever realizing it. Maybe it was good he died so fast and never got to see how Janis kneeled before his dead body and drank his blood from the wound.

Just as she had seen them do.

* * *

The Kill Team decides to break into the trenches from pretty much the same place they captured the defector sergeant from and do it by using pretty much the same tactics. The rest of the team lays down a barrage of bolter fire along the trench while Marius and Viktor sweep in with their jump packs to clear the way. Although the defectors are now alerted and standing ready in the trenches they are easily pinned down by dozens and dozens of bolter shells aimed at them while the assault marines quickly jump into the trench, bringing death with them in the form of boltgun, chainsword and power swords. When the second wave of Ulrik, Sicarius, Eukarios, Falcon and Cassius run forward and reach the trenches Marius and Viktor are already making way deeper into the fortified system of trenches with just an occasional flash of bolt pistol of power sword showing the way. Without stopping the devastators also follow up and the Kill Team reforms into a line with Marius and Viktor alternating on the point and Ulrik and Cassius keeping the sternguard. Eukarios starts to navigate using his cartographer to draw a map of the trenches as they move, guiding them deeper inside the fortified lines. The Kill Team makes steady progress with the first assault marine pushing ahead into melee every time enemy is sighted and the second one using his jump pack to dive further ahead, cutting off any chance of retreat. With this tactic Marius and Viktor wade through the defectors feeble lasgun fire, leave little for the others to do, leaving a trail of dead bodies, burning cloth and charred, blood-soaked grass to mark their way. Brother Siracum follows closely behind, drinking blood from several dead defectors in order to abstract more information out of them.

The Kill Teams lighting advance comes to stop when they finally reach a circle of seven bunker domes dug into a hollow hill. As Marius, who is currently going first, charges ahead with his jump pack he is struck by a lucky lasgun blast. Out of the dozens of shots aimed at him one amazingly hits straight in the left lense of his helmet, blowing the lense apart and damaging his eye. He falls down for a few seconds, quickly switching into his echolocational sonar as the other battle-brother run in to help him. Noting the bunker domes the Kill Team think they are now at the top of the Tau HQ and Eukarios starts to use his meltagun to blast holes inside. Suddenly a huge swarm of Tau drones sweep in from hidden caverns all around and start to rain pulse blasts on the Team. Pretty much everyone except Eukarios and Ezekiel are hit several times. Ezekiel and Falcon start to pump heavy bolter and boltgun fire into the drones, but it was the two frag grenades and demolition charge thrown quickly by Ulrik and Cassius that disperse most of the drones, allowing the kill team to get in. With almost everyone hit the Kill Team have no choice but to pause for a few minutes and let Siracum patch them up. Regis has had pulse blasts burn through the power armor lining of his neck, Cassius has had his left forearm filled with burns and Marius has, in addition to the left eye, had pulse blasts sever the oxygen pipe of his power armour, break a left rib and pop out parts of balck carapace. Siracum can't do anything about the eye so he just pumps the Carcharodon full of pain suppressors and nails the loose bone, carapace and left side of the breast plate into his thorax as an emergency measure. Brother librarian Falcon has had his artery ripped by pulse blast in thigh, so Siracum quickly sews the artery together and uses repair sement and industrial nail gun to attach his power armours thigh plate right onto his black carapace, thus closing the wound at least untill his body can start to regenerate.

Already having given the enemy inside the bunker several minutes to react and prepare while the Kill Team was patching up their wounds Regis pushes on the assault. Eukarios navigates using his auspex to scan through the walls and cartographer to mark the progress. Marius, Viktor and Regis are in the front, Cassius and Ezekiel in sternguard and Ulrik, Siracum, Eukarios and Falcon clearing rooms to the sides. Few rooms filled with Tau are cleared with fragmentation grenades untill Eukarios opens a door into bigger hall where Tau firewarriors have bunkered up. The Kill Team uses grenades and heavy bolter to suppress the Tau while the vanguard of Viktor, Marius and Regis run around to corridor going around the right side of the room, use power swords to cut a hole into the wall behind Tau barricades and roast the Tau with few blasts of flaming prometheum from Regis' heavy flamer. Having found an elevator in the now cleared hall the team stops to consider how they can find Shas'o K'ila and her retinue from the bunker complex. Regis suggests that Siracum, being worryingly enthusiastic about drinking enemy blood, takes some from the Tau but he refuses to touch the filthy xenos blood. Ulrik, on the other hand, sees his refusal as sissy weakness takes a bite from one of the Tau and Viktor also tries it. Drawing on the memories gained from Tau flesh and aided by the Death Spectres intentisive knowledge on xenos and their tactics Ulrik and Viktor quickly conclude that the Shas'o K'ilas battlesuited retinue has probably bunkered in some bigger hallway where they can concentrate their fire on only few avenues of approach. Like this hall with only one doorway and the elevator. Using auspex to scan through floors and meltagun to make holes Eukarios leads the way six stories down where auspex shows that there is a similar elevator hall with auspex showing movement inside.

The Kill Team decide to surprise the Tau waiting for them by using the meltagun to melt holes into the ceiling, drop grenades and pour fire on them and drop into close combat. The plan, however, goes into a right mess as Falcon opens up with pushed Avenger and the rolling tides of the warp cause all power armours shut down and become powerless. This does, however, also cause the Tau battlesuits freeze and when Siracum and Viktor manage to use their feat of strenght to get their power armour frozen servos moving they start to cut down the frozen tau battlesuits with Viktors power swords and Siracums krak grenades. When the power comes back a few seconds later two tau battlesuits are already down but the rest five are coming back online. Ezekiel cuts down one suit with burst from heavy bolter while narrowly dodging the return fire from plasma rifle and Viktor engages the commanders battlesuit, throwing his cryo grenade first. The cryo grenade slows down the commander and she is quickly cut down by the flashing twin powerswords. Regis grapples down one suit and pins it to the ground, allowing others to finish it. Siracum tries to attach a meltabomb onto one and succeeds but doesn't have time to get away and both him and Marius are badly burned by the blast. Ulrik also grapples one Tau battlesuit and manages to pin it, allowing Viktor easily kill it later with power sword.

With the Tau commander now killed and her retinue destroyed the Kill Team proceeds to burn and destroy the nearby command centre and get back up to the bunker roof. At this moment librarian Falcon gets a message from Maneater that the Tau have managed a breakthrough in imperial lines and as the second echelon troops are soon marching towards the break through the very spot where Kill Team is they must be evacuated from the plante immedeatly. Covered by orbital lance strikes searing the trenchlines all around them the Kill Team board the Thunderhawk that lands right on the bunker and fly back aboard the Maneater waiting for them in the orbit. On their way up they notice from the Thunderhawks tactical displays how several regiments of fresh Tau troops are converging to the spot of the imperial line where they earlier saw the 13th Maccabean Janissars make their last stand. With the primary liaison between defected humans and Tau now killed and her headquarter and personal retinue demolished, but with a huge breakthrough in Imperial lines the fate of Baraban is still undecided.

Imperial casualities: Three critically wounded Deathwatch battle brothers, six lightly wounded Deathwatch battle brothers.


Xeno casualties: ~180 imperial guard defectors killed, ~50 tau firewarrriors killed, ~50 tau drones destroyed, 6 tau XV8 battle-suits destroyed, one Tiger Shark -class fighter dropped and commander Shas'o K'ila killed.


Aftermath: ~360 Maccabean Janissars of the imperial guard and 500 imperial guard defectors killed in breakthrough. ~200 imperial guard defectors killed by orbital bombardment to protect the Thunderhawk pickup.

 

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 The Dead Ground – Planning and Preparation

 

* * *

 

MISSION REQUEST / BLUE PRIORIOTY / REQUESTING PARTY: ORDO XENOS

 

ORDO XENOS HAS DETERMINED THAT THE TAU ARE ENGAGED IN INVESTIGATING THE XENOS RUINS FOUND ON OBJECT BR-11789. DUE TO THE HEAVY PRESENCE OF TAU FORCES IN SYSTEM FURTHER INVESTIGATION OF THE RUINS HAS PROVED IMPOSSIBLE BUT IT SEEMS THAT THE TAU HAVE A SOURCE GUIDING THEM INSIDE THE XENOS RUINS. FURTHER INTELLIGENCE INDICATES THAT THE SOURCE IS LIKELY A LIVING CREATURE. IDENTIFICATION AND CAPTURE OF THIS SOURCE IS OF GREAT INTEREST TO ORDO XENOS.

 

MISSION TASKS: IDENTIFY AND CAPTURE TARGET CODENAME ”UPSILON” ALIVE AND FUNCTIONAL AND EVACUATE IT TO ORDO XENOS CUSTODY

 

PERSONNEL: ONE (1) KILL TEAM

 

COMMUNICATIONS: DIRECT RADIO UPLINK TO TRANSPORTING SHIP, USABLE ONLY FOR EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

 

BACKUP COMMUNICATIONS: NONE

 

INSERTION METHOD: ORBITAL DEAD DROP WITH EITHER DROP POD OR GRAV CHUTES

 

EXTRACTION METHOD: THUNDERHAWK PICKUP

 

MISSION TIME: APPROXIMATELY FIVE (5) DAYS

 

MISSION ABORT PARAMETERS: IF CAPTURING TARGET CODENAME ”UPSILON” IS IMPOSSIBLE, IN THIS CASE THE MISSION REVERTS TO SECONDARY PRIORITY WHICH IS TO KILL TARGET CODENAME ”UPSILON”. IF BOTH CAPTURE AND KILLING OF TARGET CODENAME ”UPSILON” ARE IMPOSSIBLE THEN THE TERTIARY PRIORIOTY IS TO CALL AN ORBITAL STRIKE ON COORDINATES OF TARGET CODENAME ”UPSILON”.

 

MISSION END PARAMATERS: TARGET CODENAME ”UPSILON” IS ALIVE AND IN ORDO XENOS CUSTODY

 

MISSION DANGER RATING: WHITE

 

* * *

 

The team has returned from last mission into Baraban and find themselves being given another set of three urgent calls for assistance. After a longish discussion the team finally come to the conclusion that the situation developing slowly at Object 11879 needs to be handled as the Tau have suddenly developed an unhealthy interest to the arcane xeno ruins on Object. The kill team has also been assigned to a new Watch Captain, in this case Watch Captain Mordu of Fire Angels, a member of a chapter known for its ties to Ecclesiarchy. Fire Angels being from one of the more recent foundings and known for their tendency to support the canon Imperial Creed as preached by Ecclesiarchy several members of the kill team, especially ones from First Founding chapters, don't exactly seem too happy with their new assigned leader.

 

Before starting to work on their plan the kill team decide to gather some information on the Object 11879 and the strange ruins. They meet up with Watch Fortress Eriochs cartograph and one of the Inquisitorial Stormtroops scouts who has just come back from reconnaisance mission on Object. After some talk with both the cartographer and the scout the kill team walks away with maps of the area and some solid knowledge on the environment on Object 11879. Meanwhile Brother Victor managed to track down some information on the ruins and finds out that they are known to be remains of the unseen xeno-race of Necrontyr, presumed to have been extinct for last 60 million years. Victor actually knows these types of ruins as his chapter, Death Spectres, has examined similar ruins before in the Ghoul Stars region and raided them for xeno artefacts on behalf of Inquisition. The ruins are known to be dangerous because space and time do not function normally within them and it is easy to get lost forever. The Object itself offers hazards as it is an airless rock orbiting a powerfull pulsar star. The radiation from the pulsar disrupts all radio communications and its radiation is dangerous to exposed personnel and equipment. As if that would not be enough the scout has told the kill team that the Tau have several space ships orbiting the Object and maintain a well-equipped fighter base on the surface.

 

The kill team decides on a basic plan which involves them slowly infiltrating near the Tau air base and camp and wait for the ”Upsilon” to show up. When this happens the first part of the team, Cassius, Eukarios, Marius, Siracum, Ulrik and Victor, ambush and catch the ”Upsilon” while a second detachment, Ezekiel, Falcon and Regis, attack the fighter base and destroy the fighters on ground before they can take off. With this plan prepared the kill team elects Viktor to lead the team, take the Oath of Astartes and prepare to take off. While preparing to take off brother Siracum prepares a service to Emperor and Primarchs in the chapel of the Watch Fortress. This, however, turns sour as the Ultramarines Cassius and Regis politely decline to attend the service, preferring instead their own prayers. As Siracum approaches Regis and asks what is wrong an argument develops as Regis explains to Siracum that he does not feel comfortable with prayers and rituals of Sanguinus and blood. Several other also take part in the discussion and suddenly Victor finds out that the situation is hopelessly deadlocked. Bother Eukarios even suggests that Regis and Siracum should duel, but both decline that idea. Finally Viktor has no other option but to ask for Watch Captain Mordu to step in.

 

Watch Captain Mordu meets up with the kill team in the chapel and hears out the case. Finally he instructs brother Siracum to lead a short common prayer to Emperor to the whole kill team together and then leave the rest of the time allocated to prayers and religious service for everyone for their own chapter-specific rites. Everyone agrees to this. After leading the short common prayer brother Siracum leaves to meditate on the recent turn of events. This is the first time in his career that he has been reminded of the fact that all Astartes do not have the same beliefs and revere primarch Sanguinius as he does.

 

 

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