View Full Version : Betrayals between Brothers

Inquisitor Engel
28-07-2011, 22:22
Hi guys -

Just doing some more idle story-telling at work and I've started on something I think will be a much more interesting story than my previous vignette. This one will most definitely be improved. :)

The first part - Let me know what you think. It looks way shorter when I paste it in here. *sigh*

The lines of ordnance exploded forward, throwing shells the size of men at lines of beings that once counted themselves amongst humanity. Screams of "Incoming!" and "Take cover!" echoed across the lines as warriors in dark green battle plate and smaller soldiers and servants braced themselves for impact, taking cover amongst trenches and mobile bunkers. The shells landed haphazardly across the lines, throwing soldier, worker and massive warrior alike back from the blasts.

The warriors stood back up, the smaller, weaker humans did not.

Veteran Brother-Sergeant Bonafyd Azalan picked his head up and look towards the direction the shots came from. "Return fire. Whirlwinds lock on to sources of shelling and fire at will." Azalan thought for a moment. He looked to his left, at the white, gleaming ivory sword and wings ingrained in his subordinates' armour.

"Brother Afrias, prepare for further incoming," Azalan vocalised, not bothering to use the vox in the brief moments of silence. The other Dark Angel nodded and moved back along the line, spreading the order to other Astartes and Guardsmen. Missiles shrieked over his head and disappeared into the crashed, ruined building opposite the battle lines Azalan occupied. The missiles impacted, but his lenses did not register any massive explosions, emanating from destroyed vehicles. Still, the shelling had stopped.

Behind the first row of ruined buildings, across the bleak, destroyed roads and mashed ground, cratered and muddied by shells, weather, bolter fire, dotted by corpses of man and machine, stood the city of Taris, the final stronghold of a heretic incursion of a minor world. An incursion that was, thusfar, proving difficult to erradicate.

Most of Tarissia was dedicated to the supply of its own populace, with some agricultural products and munitions making their way to distant crusades and military ventures. Other than its location on a minor trade route, it was unremarkable. Several large cities and a capital demi-hive that ruled the entire planet - Taris, site of the planet's only space port and seat of its government.

Six standard months previous, the city's ruling council had refused resupply to a beleaguered vessel from the 23rd Corpulus Fusiliers en route from Scorpius Reclamation. The Fusiliers' ship was blown from orbit as the rest of the planet watched on. Enough citizens had dissented to this display of independence to send messages briefly offworld to report it. Most citizens however, simply went about their lives. Until the Emperor's Angels of Death had arrived. Dark Angels and Imperial Fist drop pods and Thunderhawks had dropped from the sky to exact the Emperor's retribution.

That was six weeks ago. The other cities fell quickly, but Taris stood, like a rock in a river, resisting all efforts to secure it.

"Broadcast the declaration for today on loudspeakers. These traitor scum will hear us yet," Azalan voxed across the lines. Imperial scripture readings began to resonate across the general frequencies. Between each verse, a booming voice repeated, 'Repent, for tomorrow you die.'

Azalan changed to his squad's vox channel.

Brother Sectus clicked in, "Sergeant Azalan - the city holds still."

"Aye brother, the sons of night are bolstering the traitor militia well. This will prove an excellent challenge. How are the Fists faring?" Azalan asked.

"Reports indicate the sons of Dorn are experiencing the same resistance we are. Heavy fire preventing drop pods or thunderhawk insertion and severe resistance to ground assaults by misguided ogryns and enemy suicide squads," Sectus replied.

"Old enemies, all of us…" Azalan mused.

Inquisitor Engel
12-08-2011, 18:43
Part two - A new Perspective. .... Sidenote, I wish vB supported Tabs. :shifty:

The missiles landed and exploded harmlessly, or at least acceptably, noted the figure glad in a black cloak and midnight blue armour, trimmed with burnished, light gold. Red eyes stared out of an equally dark blue helmet. The figure looked at the craters and collapsed buildings around where the Whirlwind missiles had landed. He counted fifteen, maybe twenty local militia either dead or as good as. Acceptable losses.

"Brothers, take care to hide our numbers. The Emperor's dogs must only know our presence, not our power or our plan," Captain Azmenos of the Night Lords Fifth Grand Company voxed to his warriors, spread out and secluded amongst the city, directing the local militia during the day and conducting sabotage behind the Imperial lines.

It had been successful so far at holding the inheritors of the First and Seventh Legions at bay. The humans they were supporting were worthless bodies, perhaps better armed than the Fifth Company's own human militia, they had no answer for the desperation of men driven into an ideological corner.

"Send out the militia. Remain concealed," Azmenos called to his warriors. Lines of men in mis-matched clothes carry any manner of weapon they could find began to slink out of the ruins in long lines, running from destroyed building to destroyed wall to ruin, taking as much cover as possible as bolter rounds and lasgun fire began to rake the field. Screams made their way across the killing fields but were weak and meaningless by the time they reacher Azmenos' audio filters. His suit enhanced the audio in an attempt to find any useful information form the scream. He turned it down himself with a thought.

"Captain Azemenos," the voice cut in on his own vox in harsh Nostraman, not refined as his own, but warm and familiar, with a casual lack of respect for the rank but a hint of respect for the warrior himself.

"Raust," Azemenos' gravely voice acknowledged the blinking rune on his visor, telling him the identity of the speaker, though he already knew.

"Second Talon reports little success last night. The Imperial ships in orbit are contacting vox networks, rendering our local disruptions ineffectual," Sergeant Raust was being hard on himself. The leader of Fifth Company's First Claw was as good an ally as Azmenos could have asked for in The Long War.

"Tell them to skip the jump-packs next time, they're hardly subtle," the Captain looked back across the field. The militia he had ordered out appears to have found cover, those that couldn't fit had been reduced to a fine pink mist by the Dark Angels bolter fire.

Azemenos changed his vox to full Company and began to relay orders. "Fifth and Seventh Claw move to the other side of the city. Reinforce the Talons holding off the Fists. Eighth Legion tanks should reinforce the line against the Fists. The front against the robe-wearing monks will be over soon enough."

"Second Claw. Bring the prisoner to the forward command centre, I shall inform the Dark Angels we have a gift for them…" Behind his emotionless mask of midnight blue, Azemenos smiled.

Inquisitor Engel
19-08-2011, 04:28
No one? :(

19-08-2011, 07:21
Oh very intriguing, I love the perspective of both sides.

Looking forward to more if you have any.

Inquisitor Engel
19-08-2011, 19:41
Oh very intriguing, I love the perspective of both sides.

Looking forward to more if you have any.

Ask, and ye shall receive! Don't worry, there will only be three points of view. This is the third. :) This part even has some action! Space Marine action! And yes, I've totally stolen an existing character.


Captain Lexandro D'Arquebus of the Imperial Fists Fifth Company stood stoic upon the battlements of the pre-fab bunkers and battle line dropped by the transporters. Wind blew in his face, rustling his tabard. His ancient Mark IV helmet streamed data across his eyes as he surveyed the bridge into Taris his command was ordered with taking.

It was taking too long.

Decades of wandering the foul xenos webway, fighting off Eldar as they came across him, attempting to find an exit and then years attempting to find passage off the backwater world he had emerged from had taught him the meaning of patience. The indeterminate amount of time he had spent making his way back to his chapter and the months spent under the scrutiny of his chapter's librarians and chaplains had taught him resilience.

This battle was trying both qualities. The Dark Angels captain on the other side of the city constantly demanded reports. D'Arquebus had directed his sergeants to reply back with their mission reports. He noticed a number of enemy militia beginning to run towards the bridge from the shelled buildings opposite.

"First Squad," he voxed across chapter channels, "Deploy to the bridge. See these heretics off and advance. Second squad and Predator "His Fury" move forwards to support First as soon as the enemy has broken." A number of affirmation clicks came across the vox and a number of affirmatives and "Aye" comments came across. Larger threat icons appeared suddenly and focused his vision on the far end of the bridge. "I will join First Squad in the counter attack, it appears there are ogryns incoming as well."

D'Arquebus changed his helm to combat mode and the data streams minimised beneath his field of vision, in favour of ammo accounts and the charge in his power fist.

"Move forward," he growled, and leapt from the battlement and strode forward onto the bridge, his first tactical squad formed up behind him, blotters up. He heard Sergeant Cadris give the order to open fire and he heard bolter fire whiz by his head, watch the rounds fly into the crude barricades and the odd head of the militia-man, exploding it in a pink mist of blood and brain matter.

First Squad holstered their bolters and drew their combat knives in a fluid motion before the cowering traitors realised the fire had stopped. Before the closest, foolishly brave former Imperial citizen could process the Astartes' attack, D'Arquebus' power fist slammed through the fallen rockcrete wall, shattering the militiaman's head in a moment, bursting ear drums and weak, squishy eyes with the coruscating energy field and violent pressure wave before it. The man was dead before he realised the wall had even burst.

D'Arquebus fired his storm bolter towards the ogryns, heedless of the damage being wrought in their flesh. The militia men farthest up the bridge fell swiftly as Imperial Fist combat knives slashed throats and pierced the hearts of the misguided. The sound of a knife thrown with superhuman strength split the air, even above the din of the one-sided combat. D'Arquebus watched the knife, thrown by Brother Hebrodes, fly towards an ogryn, charging with its crude metal fisticuff held high. The knife his home through the creature's eye and it lurched forward, its steps faltering. The Captain pulled his arm from the wall, destroying it in the process and fired his bolter with his free hand directly into the ogryn's knees, bringing it crashing to the ground.

He switched to his helmets broadcast speaker, rather than vox and bellowed a cry towards the remaining traitors, "Your forsake the Emperor in life but will meet him in death!" he cried and began sprinting forward, leaving First Squad behind.

An ogryn made a swipe with the barrel of its heavy stubbier. D'Arquebus slipped beneath it and spun on his heel before pressing his power fist up again, correcting his balance with the force of something no human mind could readily comprehend. His fist hit the ogryn in the gut and the beast levelled over, eclipsing the light from reaching D'Arquebus' vision. Before it could finish reeling forwards, the fist was through its back and the Captain had push it forwards onto the ground and had removed his bloodied, gore-red power fist from the corpse and raised it above his head.

"For the Emperor!" he screamed as the reactions in the minds of the men opposing exploded in varying responses to stimuli. Most broke and ran, their fight-or-flight response incapable of doing anything but fleeing. None of them had woken this morning had expected to face the might of dozens of bright-yellow armoured post-human warriors running towards them. A scant few leapt over the the barricades, firing lasguns, autorifles and stubbers at the encroaching Space Marines.

Most of the charging militiamen were cut down by First Squad's bolter fire. The remaining ogryns had fallen to bolter fire and Sergeant Galind's chainsword to the throat. D'Arquebus noted this achievement and would be sure to commend the sergeant for the blow later. A single mortal man ran towards D'Arquebus and fired his laspistol directly into the Imperial Fist's chest. The dark scorch it left registered as a flash on his lens and the Captain reached down and gripped the man's arm with his gauntleted hand, not his power fist. He lifted the man up to eye level and lowered the brightness of his green eye-lenses, to give the impression of narrowing his eyes at the man.

The man screamed as his wrist collapsed in D'Arquebus' hand closed and the hand immediately turned gaunt white as its blood supply disappeared and what it had it in trained from the giant punctured in his arm. D'Arquebus lowered the volume of his helmet speaker and spoke to the man. "Where do your orders come from?"

"Wh…a.. What?" The man whimpered, his screamed ceased, almost in surprise at being spoken to by the giant. His eyes darted left and right to the other yellow giants were pushing past them, marching, slowly towards the building that sheltered his comrades, his friends and even his father and brother in law.

The growling, metallic response made his gut churn in uncomfortable way. "Your actions and tactics are not that of militia or the PDF reported to this world when its loyalty was not in question. You are being given orders from another source. What is that source?"

"Other…." the man gasped in pain, "Others like you. I haven't heard them…" he winced, "Just seen them talking to others. We hear their orders over the vox."

"Do you have vox codes?" the giant inquired, his tone more gentle, but still steely and aggressive, like a tiger waiting to pounce, with power barely stilted behind it. The man shook his head.

"Your information is appreciated, but inadequate. May your soul find rest in death you could not find in life," D'Arquebus set the man down, who immediately dropped to his knees.

"Thank you… Lord," the man said through tears. His arm would bleed out within hours form the wound inflicted by the Space Marine Captain's grip.

"Imperator ultionis est volatilis," D'Arquebus brother his storm bolter to the man's head. He thought he heard the man begin to scream in protest as he saw the muzzle to his head, but sent a round into the man's skull before the sound could really become a word, it exploded and sent a fine bloody mist onto the end of his weapon.

A searing white light forced his lenses to flare and correct, he saw one of his warriors fly back, his by the beam. Lascannons. "Report!" someone said over the Vox. "Night Lords!" someone replied swiftly, followed by the report of bolter fire before the mic cut off.

"To me, brothers, we shall bring them into the open!" D'Arquebus cried and watched those forward on the bridge fall back towards his position behind an exploded Chimera transport. Lances of lascannon fire flew towards the marine as they fell. It caught on Imperial Fist on the shoulder and threw him sideways but the Marine crawled quickly behind cover.

"Sir! We must split their attentions!" Sergeant Galind said to his captain, who nodded. "Sergeant Azalan!" the vox call across the city was spotty and poor quality, but consistent. There was clearly interference of some kind. D'Arquebus patched into the connection.

"Yes, Brother Galind - where is your Captain?" the voice was taciturn and clipped. Galind shook his head. So inflexible.

"Press an assault forward," D'Arquebus chimed in, "Night Lords are moving with heavy weaponry. There can't be many of them, divert their attention and allow us to secure the bridge."

"Yes, sir," the reply came. The Captain of the Dark Angels on Tarissia was holding the second-largest city from counter-attack and coordinating squadrons of his Ravenwing against the scattered traitors, leaving Azalan in charge of the Dark Angels besieging Taris. D'Arquebus was de facto leader of the siege.

"Hold for a moment, soon we'll have a the chance to end some traitor tales." Behind his helm, Lexandro D'Arquebus smiled.

19-08-2011, 21:36
ooh Captain Lexandro D'Arquebus, that brings back fond memory's of ian watson's books, space marine and the inquisition war series are books I still go back and read occasionally.

Can't wait for the next dark angel point of view, will be keeping my fingers crossed for an appearance from either wing.

Inquisitor Engel
19-08-2011, 21:40
Thanks for the kind words. What do you think of the actual battle scene itself? It's something I've been told I do well in the past (writing other fiction) but I've never tried my hand at it in 40k.

ooh Captain Lexandro D'Arquebus, that brings back fond memory's of ian watson's books, space marine and the inquisition war series are books I still go back and read occasionally.

To be honest, it does feel a bit cheap to use an established character. Then again, he IS in my army (he's using Kantor's rules) and it's very easy to fit him back into the current time-line.

My D'Arquebus will probably be a little different than his Ian Watson portrayal but I hope I can keep people's ire at bay for using him. To me he was honestly enough of a blank slate to start from. He's got header text, but no body in the background really. :)

Can't wait for the next dark angel point of view, will be keeping my fingers crossed for an appearance from either wing.

I was going to try and keep the Dark Angel perspective to Azalan, but my revised plan for the story-arc will require some Deathwing. Stay tuned. :evilgrin:

20-08-2011, 09:44
I like how the battle seem to be sharp and quick like statcto bursts of bolter fire with more distant fire fights being continuously heard at other times via shell impacts, very nice.

ps, sorry for the spelling/grammar am writing offhanded whilst holding my rather exuberant baby daughter

Inquisitor Engel
29-08-2011, 18:42

The Fists are the next POV. This one has some mixed Night Lords/Dark Angel views.

Azmenos stalked forward through the shadows surrounding the ruins. First Claw was behind him, bolters held into their shoulders, preparing to fire. Raust had two power glades blades, gleaming and humming with power barely contained in the metal.

"Where is First Talon and the damned Prisoner?" the Fifth Captain rasped under his breath. "I'd rather not engage them for longer than we must. Raust! Find First Talon. Now."

The sergeant nodded and a Nostraman acknowledgement rune flashed on Azmenos' visor. Raust filed off and began to sprint back to the Night Lords' operations base, a covered and hidden Thunderhawk gunship, hidden within the confines of a bombed out munitions factory and shrouded in giant black and grey cloths. That the beast had not been spotted by the orbiting Imperial ships was a positive development.

Raust ran up the ramp of the gunship and found First Talon revving their chain blades menacingly around the captive, circling and glaring. Their jump packs were off. "Madar!" Raust screamed. The sharp angles of First Talons helmets turned to face him, not birdlike like some companies' Raptor Squad but violent and designed to instil fear in those that saw them.

"Yes?" Madar's voice was silky and slow, even through this helmet's speakers. His accent was tinted with horrible edges and accented marks, even after all this time. It betrayed his origins of the old Legion, of a time before the Lord of the Night was returned to his sons. Madar's Terran origins had been largely overcome within the Legion. His pure vision and planning in using Fifth Company's assault troops was unparalleled. Still, his accent was murder on Raust's ears.

"Azmenos requires the prisoner brought to the front. We need to present the prize to the Angels," Raust's two blades were inactive now, attached to his thighs. His arms were crossed. "Has he said anything?"

"Negative," Madar looked down at the figure on his knees in the dark of the crew chamber. The figure wore dark astartes armour of an old style, much but his allegiance was clear, the winged sword on his shoulder almost glowed. A bone-white surplice covered his chest. His face was beaten and bruised, but still handsome. His arms were bound behind his back in such a convoluted manner he could not break the bond. Nostaman hanging knots were very, very good.

With a look that radiated hate from anyone who could see the face, the prisoner looked up and spat at Madar's feet. Madar leaned in a grabbed the other astartes' neck, lifting him from the floor before throwing him towards the open entrance. "Stretch your legs whelp, it may be the last time you can do so."

Azmenos had already engaged the Dark Angels by the time Raust and First Talon walked from the ruins leading to the Thunderhawk. "Good of you to join us, Madar," he snarked and fire his combi-bolter dismissively into the advancing Dark Angels, blowing a battle-brother's arm off.

"We've tapped into their vox already, sir," Raust informed his captain. "You should be able to speak directly to their commander. Azmenos smiled and marched forward into the smoke filled no-man's land with his arms outstretched, bolter rounds a lasgun shots flying around him. "Sons of Jonson!" he screamed into the vox. Some advancing Dark Angels stopped in shock and held their helmets as the violent volume of the Night Lords vox hack exploded into their skulls. "Cease fire, we wish to discuss terms," he voxed, to his own warriors and on the Dark Angels' frequencies.

Slowly, the fire towards him stopped as the Guard and Dark Angels slowly began to realise they were not under fire. A squad of Dark Angels began to slowly advance towards the imposing figure. Azmenos' red cloak was billowing outwards from the wind gusting forward. To those given to such suspicions, he appeared not unlike a great winged bat or a predatory bird, ready to leap from its perch upon its prey.

A Dark Angel stepped forward. "What do you want, traitor?" Azemenos removed his helmet slowly, revealing solid black, messy hair and palid white skin. It was not unhealthy looking, it had a strange, almost supernatural glow. This was natural. He eyes were sold black, like those of some deep sea predator. The traitor captain spoke slowly in accented gothic.

"We have something for you, Azalan," the use of the Veteran-Sergeant's name clearly shocked him. The Dark Angel theatre-leader lowered his sword. He raised a hand to signal is squad to stay ready, but not to advance forward with him.

Azmenos continued walking forward and held out a gauntletted hand with a small cube on it. With a flick of his wrist an image appeared in the air, blue-tinted, but otherwise colourless. A figure, wearing a bone-white surplice in dark, armour bearing the symbol of his chapter greeted Azalan.

"You think I will cease publishing you for your sins agains the Emperor because you have one of my brothers hostage?" Azalan spat at Azmenos' feet. The Night Lord closed his fist and crushed the hololith.

"I believe he has something interesting to say to you, Sergeant," Azmenos paused, "And you would do well to respect my rank, boy." The Dark Angel stifled and sensing their leaders' apprehension primed and aimed their bolters. "Tell your men to stand down or the Dark Angel dies. I imagine his gene-seed is rather… Tasty," he smiled and bared his teeth, gleaming white and straight, but with a hint of savagery to him. "You may consult with an officer if you like, I understand the minions of the False Emperor aren't exactly encouraged to think for themselves…"

Azalan tensed again. "I will call my Captain, remain here, filth." The Dark Angel turned away and Azmenos began to laugh. "Send the Guard back to the lines, they don't need to see this," Azalan told the other Dark Angels, who dismissed themselves to command the dumbfounded mortal men.

"This is Brother-Sergeant Azalan of the Third Company to the Battle Barge Seraphim's Flight…" He heard the vox begin to connect to the orbiting Dark Angels' ship.

"This is Ship-Master Schaal, your orders, Lord?" The voice of the ship's human commander was tinny and poorly received. Most of its communication capacity was being spent on connecting the troop-to-troop vox network.

"Find me Captain Caliel, I need him," Azalan turned and starred at the grinning face of the Night Lord Captain. He hand clenched around his chainsword. He could swing and behead the filth in one blow and end this conflict now. His brother in bonds would appreciate that.

Moments later the Dark Angel found his chain blade clenched firmly in the Night Lord's arm, biting ineffectively against the ceramite palm, sparks flew and reflected in the solid black eyes of his opponent, who was no longer smiling. The Night Lord pushed him back and Azalan was on the floor in an instant. "Unwise, Angel," Azmenos growled. A hiss of noise filled their ears and the stench of ozone filled his nostrils. It took a split second for the Fifth Captain to realise what this signified before diving swiftly out of the way of the blinding light appearing in the space between himself and the Dark Angel.

The thunderclap was deafening, even for the augmented ears of an Astartes. His eyes adjusted slowly, burning and itching. The light of this world was bad enough to his visual acuity but this light… This light had rendered him helpless. A booming voice filtered through the white noise coursing through his head. It repeated itself again. And again. Finally, he understood it.

"Stand and be judged, son of Curze. We are here to see what you have done with our brother." Azmenos blinked to see a giant in bone-white Terminator armour pointing a winged sword at his throat. As his vision focused he noticed two other terminators pointing their storm bolters at him. He also noticed Raust and First Claw with the bolters held to the Dark Angels' heads.

Swallowing the disoriented bile in his throat, Azmenos smiled and laughed, standing slowly and palming away the sword from his neck. The other Deathwing members kept their weapons trained on him. "Come, Captain Caliel, we have some things to discuss," he said.

"Very well…" Caliel said slowly. The Dark Angels relaxed slightly, as did First Claw. "Lead the way." Azalan began to follow the bizarre coterie of blue and white but one of the terminators turned and placed a deactivated power fist in his path.

"You must stay here, little brother, these are not things for your eyes," the terminator said. "Return to the lines and prepare for further battle. These negotiations may not go as we expect." Dejected and confused, Azalan walked back to his entrenchment. Something was different here, something reeked of betrayal and fear.

"Brother Sectus," he voxed across a private channel. An affirmative response returned. "I don't like what this implies." His friend and battle-brother came up beside him and the two watched the entourage of veterans disappear into the ruins.

"The Fists will be even less pleased with the development," Sectus mused.

Inquisitor Engel
08-09-2011, 17:13
Captain D'Arquebus threw the limp body of the Night Lord back towards his comrades. Never has he seen so much traitor scum in such a small space. He must have dispatched five of his erstwhile brothers and bolter rounds were still pinging off his armour and whizzing by his head. The head of the corpse he threw back at them was utterly crushed and the other two Night Lords staggered back.

"Come at me then!" D'Arquebus screamed at the Night Lords. The lascannons that had since bombarded their position were silenced by well-placed stalker rounds from the Sternguard brought in from the rearguard. The subsequent charge had been enough to all but wipe out the militia guarding the bridge. Were it not for the sons of Curze, the Imperial Fists would have the bridge.

He fired his storm bolter into the Night Lords, knocking one of them backwards. He charged forwards, slamming his boot onto the fallen warrior's chest, crushing it slightly with the tremendous force, power armour fighting power armour. The Night Lord screamed and the Imperial Fist Captain smiled. As the other turned to withdraw D'Arquebus' power fist grabbed his backpack with his power fist, ripping it off with such force that this Night Lord also fell to the floor. He tried to scramble up but D'Arquebus' foot found its way with a stomp onto his head.

The other, still living traitor astartes under his foot was digging his combat gladius into his golden-armoured opponent's leg. D'Arquebus looked down and emotionlessly fired a bolt round into the Night Lord's skull, filling the cratered helmet with mushy, pink pulp.

"Ave Imperator, scum," he said. The haze of combat began to fade and D'Arquebus took stock of the other squads around him. Sergeant Cadris and his squad had sustained two casualties. "Report!" he bellowed into the vox.

"It appears we have the bridge, Captain," the Land Raider's crew reported back. It had pushed forwards and had proved an excellent bastion in the previous engagement. "Sergeant Azalan is not responded. The Dark Angels appear silent."

"Patch me through to the Guard Lieutenant, immediately," D'Arquebus felt his hand begin to itch, as it often did shortly before things went horribly against the plan. "Quiet brothers…" he whispered, half to himself, half to those he'd failed in the past. The vox screamed and whined as his helmet and chapter frequencies changed to match those of the Guard units on the other front.

"This is Lieutenant Mason of the Necromundan Twenty-Third," the voice hissed and showed hints of one who did not know the underhives of his home planet. D'Arquebus did, several lifetimes ago. "The Dark Angels have drawn back to the lines and ordered us to hold fast. The enemy has also ceased to assault our position."

He switched to his Chapter vox, "Cadris, move forward and execute the remaining traitor humans. Tactical withdrawal if you encounter more Eighth Legion," D'Arquebus shifted his frequencies back to the Guard commander, "Mason, please repeat your last transmission," inside his helmet, he glared.

""The Dark Angels, Lord…. They're no longer fighting, nor is the enemy. I have no explanation. The front command centre has been sealed to non-Astartes." D'Arquebus' hand began to itch again.

"Damn… Thank you, Lieutenant Mason, that will be all," the Imperial Fist Captain muttered and abruptly switched back to his Chapter frequency. "Sternguard, to the Land Raider. We have an assault to plan. Vanguard, prepare your jump packs, I've a feeling we will need them before this day is done."

With the orders issued, D'Arquebus stepped into the mobile command centre inside the Land Raider and twisted his helmet slightly, listening to the hiss of compressed air and grimacing as the brief vacuum pulled at his senses and made his ears pop with violent strain.

He picked up the enhanced vox from inside and dialled in the appropriate frequencies. "Seraphim's Flight, this is Lexandro D'Arquebus, Fifth Captain of the Imperial Fists." A brief pause and then on the clearest frequency he had heard all day, the reply from the ship-master came.

"Schaal here - Ship-Master of the Seraphim's Flight. My Lord?"

The Fifth Captain of the Imperial Fists growled menacingly into the vox, well aware of how he sounded to the commander of the city-sized ship in orbit. "I demand to speak to Captain Caliel. Immediately."