10 Assault Marines in Mk. II 'Crusade' Armour
"There commander, ten levels below on that gantry. The enemy are attempting to establish a defensive position overlooking the roadway beneath" said Tavius in his typical matter of fact manner.
"I see them" replied Herculon with more than a hint of mischief in his eye, "we engage".
Behind him was arrayed the rest of Priamat squad, arguably the finest assault squad in the chapter, some said the entire third legion. Certainly their combat record could not deny their skill and effectiveness in battle. It was a matter of pride and to a lesser extent competitiveness that Herculon trained and drove his squad to achieve greater heights of perfection. After all it was only through imperfection could they fail the Emperor, and they would not fail Him.
Herculon looked back at his waiting squad and nodded, it was time. Ten jump pack after burners fired in unison propelling the marines up and over the precipice of the tower they had been waiting on. The ground fell away alarmingly fast and a lesser 'man' may well have suffered vertigo, or worse blacked out. Not the Adeptus Astartes, not the space marines. With Herculon at the forefront the purple and gold armoured warriors tore through the air, their trajectory now bringing them to into the hurtling descent.
"Eight seconds until impact brothers!" he roared across the vox to his battle brothers. He had stowed his helmet prior to launch and had to yell to make himself heard above the din of battle and the scream of his jump pack. It was not standard practice to fight without a helm, but Herculon preferred to see and smell the battle with his own senses, it made him feel more attune to the flow of combat.
His knuckles clenched tighter around the hilt of his chainsword, he drew his arm back further readying himself for the first strike, his muscles across his back and shoulders tensed until they were as solid as adamantium and then Herculon landed.
Ferrocrete cracked and shattered in all directions, the decking of the gantry barely supporting ten fully armoured space marines impacting simultaneously at fifty miles an hour. Herculon had already decapitated the first of the foe as he landed, as he rose he punched a fist though the sternum of a second. Tearing his hand free he brought his chainsword around in an overhead arch and bifurcated his third victim. All around him his brothers were dispatching the enemy platoon with similar efficiency. Herculon's breathing was slightly elevated beyond the norm, this was child's play he thought as he turned and caved in the skull of an enemy soldier foolishly trying to stab at him with a steel blade. Brain matter and rich blood coated his left fist as he reached for his bolt pistol.
"The enemy is already broken and attempts to break from combat!" called Verinax.
"Pursue. Leave one survivor" ordered Herculon as he squeezed the trigger of his side arm and detonated a fleeing trooper into a haze of pink mist. In two strides he and the rest of squad Priamat had caught the routed enemy survivors. Again, Herculon's chainsword roared as he drove it through the back of one of the men. If Herculon could have seen it the man died with a look of utter disbelief on his face. As if he could not quite comprehend the sight of two feet of whirring chainblade teeth tearing out his innards.
"Hold!" he bellowed as the soldier dropped with a wet thump to the gantry floor. Herculon looked around to see his squad finishing the last of the kills. Only one remained, collapsed and shaking in abject fear at his feet. The soldier had soiled himself at least twice over and was littler more than a gibbering, broken wreck of a man. Herculon knelt down and slowly leaned in, looming over him. "Tell your commanders what transpired here today. Tell them what you saw and what will befall them should they continue to defy the Emperor and compliance."
There was a thump on Aurelius' left pauldron as Gorion joined him at the wall. 'Ready' was all he said. Aurelius nodded and with Gorion following close behind they rose as one and rounded the corner. Ahead of them about twenty metres down the rubble strewn boulevard was one of the defenders' hastily constructed bunkers. Solid round projectiles from some type of heavy weapon akin to an autocannon hammered staccato three shot bursts of fire at the two adeptus astartes advancing implacably down the roadway.
Most of the rounds flew wide of their mark, the defenders either untrained in firing the weapon or utterly terrified at the sight before them, perhaps a mixture of the two. Those few shots that did find the two space marines slammed into the heavy Mk. III armour but did no more than chip the paintwork and leave slight indentations in the plate. 'Iron' armour was designed for this type of warfare where cover was sparse and a direct frontal assault was required. Aurelius mouthed a silent prayer of gratitude to the machine spirit of his armour for withstanding even this slight insult to it's integrity.
Ten meters from the bunker Gorion locked his bolter to his thigh plate and primed a frag grenade. With typical economy of motion and with unerring accuracy he hoisted it through the now cordite thick air and into the firing slit of the bunker. There was a pause as the autocannon fell silent and Aurelius could hear the panicked shouts and yells from the soldiers inside before the grenade detonated with a 'crump'. 'Position neutralized. Move on.'
The first 100 points for the Great Crusade era Emperor's Children.
The 28th expeditionary fleet is still some years away from discovering Laeran (also known as Twenty-Eight Three) and is therefore yet to fall to the ruinous powers of Slaanesh. Nonetheless Fabius is still driven in his desire to enhance the physical perfection of the III Legion Astartes.
Another salvo of needle sharp projectiles tore through the polluted miasma that was Osirian's atmosphere, some embedding themselves in the already pitted and scarred left pauldron of Fabius' armour. Hundreds more flying with unerring accuracy at the squad of legions astartes who were returning fire from behind a rapidly disintegrating wall.
'Covering fire' yelled Sergeant Daerial over the squad's vox channel as the Lieutenant Commander and Chief Apothecary of the Emperor's Children broke cover and made his way amongst the rubble to the fallen body of Brother Kaloron. The barricade behind which the alien warriors were making their desperate last stand erupted in fire as twenty bolt guns on full automatic found their mark.
Fabius knelt beside Kaloron and quickly assessed the warrior's wounds. They were severe indeed but mercifully not life threatening. A large portion of the left side of his face was missing as well as his left hand and his right leg was severed just above the knee.
'How do I look' Kaloron rasped, turning his ruined face towards Fabius, the wounds already beginning to clot thanks to the superhuman physiology of the space marine.
'You'll live Janus' smiled Fabius beneath his helmet. 'But you'll be more akin to one of the Tenth Legion I shouldn't wonder.'
Going to have to invest in a much better camera as this one is rubbish. Must strive for perfection in camera and image quality!! :D