Written by Rman
Lord Commissar Krauser dashed to his personal super-heavy command tank, the Scream for Vengeance and got in; the crew had already started revving the engines.
As he got to the top of his command parapet, he noticed something strange.
Though the sun had already risen over the horizon, it seemed to be getting dark again.
A palpable black fog was beginning to spread across the battlefield and, no matter how hard he squinted, the Commissar could not see within.
The Scream for Vengeance lurched forward along with another super-heavy tank at its side, a Banesword called the Midnight of Modia.
A special crew of Grey Knight Terminators waited within to leap into combat within any daemonic forces that might appear.
Looking at the slowly spreading darkness, the Commissar reckoned that they would find plenty to fight on this day.
Nothing could be seen in that darkness, but screams could be heard from those engulfed.
No one came out. Inside the darkness, powerful Chaos magic streamed between the four great Chaos powers.
Temptatrix had bargained, cajoled and intimidated his rivals into joining him in the slaughter and corruption of this world; and his rivals agreed.
A mighty Bloodthirster, a devious Lord of Change, and a putrid Great Unclean One advanced in opposite directions to further enlarge their Tetragon of Darkness.
A Warhound Titan lurched across the battle field until it came to a stop across from its Chaos twin ? the Alpha Legion had foully desecrated their captured Warhound and now it snarled in a more bestial than mechanical way. Below both Titans rushed tanks and troops from both sides, scrambling to get into position.
Supreme Commander Rolando des Gard led a small command squad out in front of his personal super-heavy Baneblade command tank, recently renamed The Demon`s Wail.
Alpha Legion squads began emerging from long-abandoned buildings near the engagement zone and started to bring heavy weapons to bear on their despised Imperial enemies.
Dorn`s Fury, a thundering Land Raider rolled out amongst its Imperial Guard allies, eliciting rallying cries far and wide.
Twisted obliterators took up positions in the just captured Imperial lookout bastions alongside corrupted, evil little ratling snipers.
Harkonian mortar squads and Mordian Griffon heavy mortar tanks lined up to get advantageous positions. And all of a sudden, everything stopped moving.
Mordians and Harkonians stared at traitor Jenys-S Firstborn forces. Alpha Legionnaires starred at their hated Imperial Fist rivals waiting opposite of them.
Everyone and everything seemed to shift their eyes to the center of the battlefield where Biad-dur and The Life Generator were apparently waiting to be picked ? unprotected - atop a skyshield landing platform.
And just when it seemed like the stillness would fall into infinity, an impossibly loud bellow came out of the Alpha Legion Daemon Prince,
T`thrak…and the Forces of Destruction lunged forward in a bloodthirsty charge.
An initial exchange of heavy weapons fire resulted in exploding Chimeras, Rhinos, and Vindicators on both sides.
Hellhound tanks attempted to sneak by renegade Leman Russ tanks only to get picked off by Obliterators and stray tank rounds.
Traitor PDF forces poured onto the skyshield platform to capture Biad-dur, only to be scythed down by bolter fire from Captain Paoro Sandros and the mysterious presence of the Lost and the Damned. Basilisks, Griffons and mortar squad rained down artillery shells onto unwary foes from unseen positions. Both sides programmed deadly Vortex Missile Launchers to erase their enemies from afar. Within moments of the battle`s start, the southern flank of the Imperial side was overrun by enemy armor and the spreading Tetragon of Darkness. However, the brave Imperial Fists held the skyshield in the center of the fighting and were protecting Biad-dur.
The Forces of Destruction managed to launch their Vortex missile first and it landed perfectly amid the Imperial artillery line.
Basilisk tank crews, who thought they were reasonably safe far behind the battle lines were suddenly erased from existence and thrown into the warp.
The spinning vortex passed through a large administrative building and continued to wreak havoc.
Meanwhile, both Titans exchanged fire while simultaneously blasting tanks and transports attempting to join the swirling melee in the “no-man`s-land” of the center of the battlefield. A powerful Caestus Assault Ram lead the Imperial counter-assault in no-man`s-land.
The legendary Captain Lysander stepped from the assault ramp to meet the oncoming assault of the fallen Bloodthirster, Skarbrand. Just as the two were to be locked in combat, Lysander threw a compact vortex grenade, which immediately whisked Skarbrand away from the material realm. But so powerful was Skarbrand`s rage at being denied combat, that he willed the vortex back at the Imperial Captain, thus locking the two in eternal combat within the warp.
And just when it seemed like the Imperial forces might halt the Chaos advance, from the sewage system and tunnels under the base Tyranids by the thousands surge forth.
At first, they broke open vents and coverings and skittered across the pavement. But with each wave, lager species came, like Carnifexes and even a massive Hierodule, which tore open karger holes in the pavement. The Hierodule`s massive bio-cannons launched explosive death into the ranks of Harkonians and Mordians, paying no heed to their harmless human weaponry.
Termagants and Genestealers pounced on and ripped apart horrified human soldiers, but paid little attention to the vortex missile launcher counting down to launch.
The first Imperial Warhound lost its void shields from concentrated heavy weapons fire and started to take severe damage from its Chaos rival.
It`s crews raced to contain the damage, but the situation was escalating out of control.
Meanwhile, Judass the Arch-Slayer lead his personal bodyguard on and assault of the skyshield.
He knew the Imperial fist captain was up their protecting the tech-adept and he knew his Alpha Legion would be needed to rout them out of their protected position where the flimsy PDF soldiers had failed. From one level down, the Chaos Lord managed to lock eyes with the Space Marine Captain.
He was about to bellow a hate-filled challenge to Captain Sandros, when the nearby Imperial Warhound suffered catastrophic damage and exploded. The explosion was like the dawn of a new sun right there on the battlefield; PDF Sentinals, advanced Mordian veteran squads, Alpha Legionnaires, and Harkonian transport vehicles were lost in the fiery detonation.
But undoubtedly the most monumental losses were those of Judass the Arch-Slayer and Captain Paoro Sandros of the 3rd company.
A huge smoking crater remained with only the skeletal remains of burned-out tanks and walkers and the slightly stunned form of the mammoth Hierdule and its controller, the Hive Tyrant known as Leader Organism #1342 remaining. But soon more Tyranids began to swarm into this crater and even small warp portals opened to allow daemons to join this side of the battle.
The remains of Lysander`s Terminator squad charged into the gap to keep these horrors from pressing further into Imperial-held territory.
It was then that the Imperial vortex missile coordinates were re-programmed: the gap had to be maintained to prevent the Imperial side from being overrun.
The missile hit with pin-point precision and erased the seemingly unkillable Hive Tyrant, its bodyguard, and swathes of lesser Tyranids…and the remaining Terminators.
Colonel Gary McMillan nodded grimly at the news that Leader Organism 1342 had finally been dispatched, for good.
As if waiting for this exact opening, the enigmatic Eldar chose this moment to strike, now putting aside their loathing of humanity to combat the greater evils of Chaos and the Tyranids.
Sleek Wave Serpents, Falcons and Vipers dropped out of the skies or zipped across the northern end of the Imperial base to fill in the gap left by the Warhound Titan`s explosion.
Fire Dragons dropped out of their transports and combined fusion gun fire until the monstrous Hierodule dropped to the ground, smoke emitting from several huge cauterized wounds.
Eldar War Walkers and Fire Prisms began unloading deadly laser fire into the Chaos advance and even the Alpha Legion began to stagger backwards.
It seemed that the Eldar Spearhead would start to turn the tide of the battle. Autarch Jade, donned in his Swooping Hawks wings, made a precision deepstrike behind enemy lines and fired his fusion gun on some rebel PDF transports. Unfortunately, the ancient leader failed to notice the huge, hulking forms of two Carnifexes charging him from behind. The two ravenous beasts ripped his carcass in two and devoured both halves. With their commander slain and with re-prioritized plasma and laser blasts coming from the Chaos Warhound, the Eldar began to falter and fall back along with the rest of the Imperial battle line on the north side.
Supreme Commander Rolando let out a little amused laugh. With Judass dead, his new masters would now surely favor him above all others.
And the commander was right. He doubled over in agony as his body warped, and mutated and generally grew. Huge muscles, and extra arms and spines grew from his formerly human form, leaving him in body- wracking agony. His personal bodyguard stepped away from him and watched in horror as their formerly human commander stood up, fully twice as tall as his previous height.
The towering daemonic form bellowed a deep and cruel laugh and addressed his followers, “I am no longer merely your commander.
I am now the favored of the gods themselves and lord of this world.
All will fall before my blades today. Follow me to victory and glory!” His men hollered in support and charged after Daemon Lord Rolando`s huge strides towards the skyshield platform and Biad-dur.
On the south side of the base, the battle fared even worse for the Imperial forces.
The Grey Knight Terminator squad waiting in the Midnight of Mordia demanded that the tank be driven into the heart of the Tetragon of Darkness so that they could destroy the Greater Daemons of Chaos. However, a diabolic Lord of Change chose that moment to use its foul magic to possess the drivers and operators of the Midnight of Mordia.
The tank suddenly turned all of its guns on its allies, laying waste to an Imperial Fist Predator and helping to finish Commissar Krauser`s personal command tank, the Scream for Vengeance.
The Lord Commissar leapt from the burning wreckage just in time and the climbed aboard the Midnight of Mordia to find the Grey Knights aboard slaying the gunners and sponson operators.
“They are possesses by foul sorcery. Eliminate them!” cried the Grey Knight Captain.
Krauser decided to stay out of their way and watched helplessly as the super-heavy tank inexplicably turned around and began firing on isolated squads of Tyranids instead of heading towards the real threat of the daemonic tetragon.
Temptatrix laughed and cackled as he literally danced across the battlefield, his every step spreading the dark magic of the tetragon.
He occasionally side-stepped or pirouetted a Leman Russ tanks shell or a lascannon blast, only to slice guardsmen down by the dozen or cut a battle tank in half with his mighty clamor.
Laughing contemptuously, the vain prince disregarded the column of approaching tanks sent to stop the Keeper of Secrets.
But after several volleys of tank fire, even Temptatrix could not keep his hold on the material plane, and he screamed in frustration at being banished back to his realm. With Temptatrix gone, the points of the Tetragon also fell until all that was leading the gibbering mass of Daemons was the legendary Scarbiethrax ? the largest, nastiest, and foulest of all Great Unclean Ones. The most-favored of Nurgle gazed the spinning light of the vortex that remained from an earlier vortex missile launch…and decided to eat it!
Mordians and Harkonians fled from the battlefield by the hundreds at the sight of the 4-story monstrosity chuckling while a vortex of pure warp energy flashed and spun where his monstrously bloated gut once was.
Lord Commissar Krauser`s last glimpses of the war zone saw the Grey Knights making their suicide last stand against a Bloodthirster and an ever-tightening ring of lesser daemons.
Krauser himself was pursued from the field by foul little Nurglings. He voxed his long-time ally,
“The bastards have got us on every side. Pull out.” Colonel McMillan voxed back, “We are already waiting for you at the fall back point, old friend.” Krauser shot back, “What about Biad-dur?” “Forget him. He`s lost. Captain Sandros is dead.
Even Captain Lysander is lost.
That bastard Rolando has turned into some kind of Chaos monstrosity.
No one and nothing could stop him,”, replied the colonel.
The Commissar cursed three times as he took a few potshots with his custom stormbolter and ran from the ensuing destruction and death of what remained of the Imperial battleline. It was over.
His personal command tank was destroyed.
His men were dead or scattered.
Rolando had beaten him again. Jenys-S II was lost. And like the name of his former command tank, Krauser let loose his own scream of vengeance.
Indeed, nothing could stand before Daemon Lord Rolando`s charge; he cut down guardsmen and space marines almost casualty as he climbed up the support beams of the landing platform.
His command squad soon caught up to him and watched him corner Tech-Adept Biad-dur against the humming and now operational Life Generator.
“You will never understand the secrets of this machine`s spirit!”, cried Biad-dur.
Rolando leveled his burning gaze in response, “No fool. It is you who cannot possibly understand.
This device calls to us. Only we can harness its true power.”
At his mere gesture, his men cut down the tech-priest with their lasguns.
The towering Daemon Lord approached the Life Generator and layed his massive hand on top of it.
The machine began to hum louder…
|Part Eight - Epilogue
Lord Commissar Krauser pounded his cybernetic fist into his open hand again and again, but the pain just added more fury and passion to his speech.
He paced back and forth in the spacious meeting room.
His audience sat half-entranced and half-afraid of the legendary Imperial Commissar, and no one said a word to interrupt him.
He was flanked on one side by his long-time friend and colleague, Gary McMillan of the Mordian 82nd . Krauser`s voice was rising to a crescendo and his speech was about to hit its climax.
“That`s why we must immediately go back to Jenys-S II and engage in all out planetary siege to take it back. We can take it back! We must take it back! I will have my revenge!”
This last line may have been what ruined the slim chance that the Lord Commissar had.
After a short deliberation, the appropriations council for the Segmentum Solar gave a short, but firm response: “Denied!” “What do you mean, `Denied!`?” cried the Commissar.
The head of the council stated in a calm, level tone, “We have already lost too much in trying to take Jenys-S II and without the Life Generator as incentive I can see no reason to invest more in this lost cause” Krauser roared in anger and his allies had to wrestle him under control.
The head of the council lean forward and closed the meeting with one last remark, “Besides, it`s unlikely that planet will remain where it is for very long.”
The original threat of a long forgotten Tyranid experiment had risen again and was finally exterminated on Jenys-S II.
A formidable contingent of Eldar had also been eradicated on that planet.
A large portion of the Alpha Legion 8th Company was destroyed there as well, but the Imperial losses were much greater.
The Imperial Fist 3rd Company was ground down to one-tenth its original size and needed to be rebuilt from the ground up.
Over 30,000 Imperial Guardsmen lost their lives in the fighting there and another 175 million civilians were presumed dead when the planet was abandoned. The top secret Reclamation project had also been abandoned and the mysterious Life Generator was also presumed lost. It lay buried beneath a living tide of daemons that swarmed over the planet`s surface.
The newly anointed Daemon Lord Rolando`s hand opened a proverbial Pandora`s Box, casting Jenys=s II into eternal damnation as a Daemon World.
The Life Generator multiplied and multiplied the daemonic presence on Jenys-S II until the planet was literally saturated in warp energy.
The newly crowned king of the planet, Daemon Lord Rolando barely had time to appreciate his monumental victory when the planet destabilized entirely and was sucked into the Realm of Chaos.
1000 years later…Daemon Lord Rolando stared out across the barren plains of his Daemon World.
Every inch of life had been twisted, tormented and devoured by Chaos itself.
Every moment, thousands and thousands of daemons of all shapes and sizes left his kingdom to roam the warp.
And every moment they were instantly replaced by equal numbers spawned from the still active Life Generator.
Rolando never tired of watching this. A particularly sudden and violent warp portal opened at the base of his command dais. Out of it charged an impossibly huge and wingless Bloodthirster bellowing hatred and rage.
It rampaged across the plain, trampling, striking down, and devouring daemons of all shapes and sizes. Rolando had never seen such unbridled rage…or, had he? Something flickered in his long-forgotten memories from his past life.
From his human life. “Skarbrand” he whispered. Immediately he knew this being was immensely dangerous and had to be diverted somewhere.
He communicated to his lieutenants to open another warp gate ? to anywhere ? and get rid of this beast. And that`s what they soon did.
Skarbrand seemed heedless of any danger and simply charged into this new warp gate which closed quickly behind him. It was then that Rolando noticed that the original warp gate still hadn`t closed.
As he focused his eyes on it once more, a smaller, humanoid form in yellow armor stepped from its coruscating energies.
Another name leapt to the Daemon Lord`s lips,