Tuesday, November 25

Despair on Ordroth

The heavy clanging continued, slow and methodical.  The deliberate sound of their approaching doom. 

Each of the handful of surviving guardsman had rallied around their Lieutenant, a junior officer who had managed to survive the initial assault, thereby assuming command of the entire substation they were charged with safekeeping.  They were huddled in the command bunker, surrounded by flickering consoles and failing communications equipment, safe behind a heavy blast door.  Hundreds of bodies of the Ordroth 144th Regiment of Foot lay strewn across the narrow corridors outside, piled on top of even more bodies - many of which were traitor guardsmen themselves, their own regimental markings long since removed.

Renegade forces batter the staunch defenders with captured artillery.
 It was said that many regiments had joined the cause of the enemy, Urläg Blackfang, in the hopes of attaining a position of favor with their new overlords.  For days the shells of formerly loyal artillery batteries rained down upon the heavily fortified complex, crushing the resolve of the defenders within.  Suicide squads would charge into the claustrophobic and cramped passages of the bunker network, brandishing twisted metal blades and using depleted lasguns as crude clubs.  The wild look in their eyes could just as easily be that of blind devotion to their new gods, or a flicker of recognition of the monsters that they had become;  it mattered little to the loyal defenders who cut them down with disciplined fire. 

The metal-on-metal thudding was at its loudest now, heavy footfalls drawing nearer.  Terror permeated the command chamber, the nervous guardsmen looking up to their fledgling officer, who now appeared cool and collected.  There was no sign of emotion on his face - he had realized his dire situation, and was rising to the occasion.  This is truly a man they could die beside, they thought.  He was cleaning his ornamental bolt pistol, exchanging the magazine in a slow and purposeful manner.  A grim resolve swept over the handful of guardsmen, as they too rose, taking up a position in front of their officer.  If they would die, it would be on their feet! 

The regimental colors were unfurled, the line of soldiers were prepared behind crates of ammunition in a makeshift defensive wall.  The clanging stopped, the enemy was outside the blast door.

BLAM!

The Guardsmen looked behind their feeble line to see their headless officer slumped against a crate, the bolt pistol still smoking.  The regimental banner was splattered with gore as guardsmen snapped their attention back to the door as a terrible metal-on-metal tearing sound screamed through the room.  Sparks and smoke gave way to reveal a chainfist tearing its way through the bulkhead with remarkable ease, as powered fists tore back the shards of the once-mighty door.

The enemy arrives.

Over eight feet tall, filling the entire passageway, stood a traitor marine armored in ancient terminator armor the color of blood.  The combination of awe and terror the remaining guardsmen felt was short-lived as it was replaced by the horrific sensation of burning as jets of highly volatile prometheum was ignited from the terminator's heavy flamer.  The screaming, flailing guardsmen quickly perished, as the handful of terminator-clad figures began their assault deeper inside the complex, the potentially heroic last stand of the Astra Militarum nothing more than a minor annoyance to these superhuman warriors.

A lone survivor huddled in the far corner of the command bunker was in tears, rocking back and forth.  The clanging footfalls grew more distant, until all that could be heard was the dull thud of overhead artillery falling on the fortifications.