Saturday, 6 November 2010

Tales from the Dark Millennium : Lalinta Prime Pt V

Hells Kitchen
“Give me the count Lazlo.” Captain Dexion ordered quietly across the hushed bridge.

Brother Sergeant Lazlo Tiberius glanced down at the chronometer, the whirring and clicking of the brass mechanism thunderously loud against the faint background hum of the ships systems at standby power.

The Ultramarine Strike Cruisers Vae Victus and Valin’s Revenge were running silent along with their remaining escort of three Gladius Frigates Guilliman’s Honour, Sword of Ultramar and Grand Duke of Tallasar; having had to abort their strike force insertion two hours before, due to a clamor of Lalintan civilian craft that had fled towards their anchorage from orbit above their beleaguered home world.

In the ensuing confusion the Capitol Ship of the foul Death Guard and its minions had been able to ambush the fleet destroying the Frigate Warshield of Parmenio after a panicked Merchantman had fouled it with a collision. Dexion had ordered the fleet to withdraw so they could reform and return to the fight in good order.

The loss of the Parmenio and the seeming abandonment of innocents was a brutal sting and the Son’s of Guilliman bristled for revenge.

They had made it look like they were fleeing the system and then powered down their engine plants to reduce their chance of detection, riding the planets gravity well to perform a slingshot orbit. Their stealthy journey around Lalinta Prime had been sobering. Below them the atmosphere was stained with smoke as cities and refineries burned like the glowing embers of a dying fire.

“Crossing the terminator on my mark in five.” Lazlo breathed.

“Systems to power up, engines to flank speed on the word and prepare for full auspex sweep.”The Captain blinked as his MIU flashed this order throughout the ships systems and he felt the coiled dragon that was Vae Victus tense in readiness.


“Ready fore tubes ten through forty eight, open outer doors, full spread as soon as you have a solution.”Dexion intoned to his Master at Arms who echoed the order in return.


“Lance battery to me, Captains privilege.” At this the bridge crew chuckled despite the tension.


“Gun decks, weapons free.”

“Weapons free Aye.” Came the reply.


“Good hunting Brothers, Courage and Honour!”Dexion exalted and every mouth aboard the fleet returned the battle cry.

“Mark.” Lazlo shouted above his roaring brothers and looked up and out of the bridge’s rose window view port.

The darkened curvature of the planet ahead lit up as dawn broke from behind the Ultramarines ships, the chasing sun blinding the enemy to the fleet’s rapid approach.

Lazlo took in the scene in an instant, the destroyed flotilla as feared, The Plagueclaw engaged in a vicious brawl with a second force of Chaos Ships, even as it spewed drop ships from its sagging innards towards the surface.

“Well brothers it looks as though the Emperor has blessed us with an over abundant sky. Firing Solutions?”Dexion was almost jubilant as the other captains confirmed via their MIU’s which targets they had selected.

“I have one for you sir, lead Tzeentch vessel proclaiming itself Golden Dawn.” The Master of Arms replied.

“How very apt.” Dexion smiled.”Fire.”

The void between the Vae Victus and the Golden Dawn sparkled as the swarm of torpedoes streaked towards their target. The Dawn became aware of the threat and began to take evasive action, banking steeply to starboard its defensive batteries throwing up blooms of fire and conjuring a wall of force that transformed several of the lethal projectiles into randomly mutating objects that spiraled away into the darkness.

But it was a futile gesture, a full twenty five torpedoes struck home along its length. The melta warheads burrowed deep into the hull before detonating and turning decks and crew into a molten deluge which erupted brightly from the puncture wounds.

Captain Dexion followed swiftly with his Lance Battery, scything the ruby colored beams along the burning detonations in the Dawn’s flank. A beam ripped through the engine compartment its superheated passing touched off the propulsion system and in an instant the ship was torn apart in a brief, violent explosion.

Two of the Death Guard frigates also met their end to the Ultramarine onslaught, but the two Chaos fleets so recently at each other’s throats now turned as one and faced their shared adversary; a volley of their own collapsing The Grand Duke of Tallasar’s void shields and casting it adrift.

“Incoming signal Captain, priority coded.” Lazlo called above the urgent and focused noise of the Bridge.

Dexion eyes were closed and his mouth was set in a snarl as he and Vae Victus as one punished another target; he nodded in Lazlo’s direction but continued his focused attack.

“Message reads from Bloodied Spirit to Vae Victus, compliments on a sublime kill Brothers, may we dine with you? It’s the Blood Drinkers sir.”


Bix said...

That's the last of the introductions I wrote for the current campaign (thank the Gods I hear you cry); I hope that you have enjoyed reading them as much as I did writing them.

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