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Connor McKane
14-09-2011, 03:36
FORGED IN FAITH: A Story of the Imperial Hammers.

Brother Sergeant Malcolm Turk crouched in the shadow of the statue of Saint Bacchus twenty-five stories above his target and waited. Inside his helmet he quietly chanted the ’Litany of Preparedness’ and double checked his war-gear. The planets sun was sitting low in the morning sky. The bright, white star, so similar to the sun of ancient and blessed Terra, warmed his power armor against the cold of the late winter air. Despite the blood, grit and grime of six months of battle caked on his power armor, the burnished gold of the Imperial Hammers chapter colors still shined in the morning sun. The black fields on his armor’s pauldrons were scorched and chipped by the poorly aimed las-fire of the traitor guard and the errant bolts of the World Eaters chaos marines who occupied this world… Arkus Prime.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++

Arkus Prime. Once a shining beacon of hope in the dark endless void of space. A shrine world, every space sacred and devoted to ‘Him on Earth,’ Arkus Prime was once one of the most sacred places one might ever make a pilgrimage to, apart from Holy Terra herself. As brightly as it once shone, now, it was as equally desecrated. Blighted and fouled, Arkus Prime is now a charnel house. The world’s population down to the last man, woman and child, lay slaughtered in the defiled temples and chapels throughout the single continent of Arkus Prime…sacrificed in an orgy of death and blood in the name of Khorne. Their bodies hacked to pieces and strewn about the holiest of holies as a gruesome tribute to the Blood-god.

The Imperial Hammers Librarium Psykana in low orbit over Vulkanus had received, via sub-space transmission, a small part of a brief distress call requesting aid for Arkus Prime. The Imperial security codes were of the planetary defense force commander, then suddenly it was silenced. The Librarian’s meditations detected the taint of the ruinous powers, in turn the Truth Sayers of the chapter’s Librarium hailed the War Council of Vulkanus, and Lord Bjorn the chapter master if the Imperial Hammers, requesting the nearest Imperial Hammers force lend aid to the embattled world. The Second company was so honored, and heeded the call.

When the second company made planet fall they were taken by surprise. A treacherous ambush from the tainted traitor guardsmen of the P.D.F. Masquerading as the survivors of the resistance on Arkus Prime, the traitor guard destroyed the spaceport by igniting the extensive promethium reserves in the tanks beneath the spaceport. The simultaneous attack on forces caught unawares and bolstered by the blood drunk World Eater marines caused extensive damage to the Second company as it tried to make planetfall. Arkus Prime’s beach-head cost the lives of almost half of the second company in the first few days. Despite the massive losses, the Imperial Hammers would not be denied, and a counter attack was launched, pushing back the vial traitors and granting a foot hold on the planet for the rest of the company to make land fall before the overwhelming naval element of the chaos filth destroyed the venerated strike cruiser ‘The Revenge,’ home to the Second company for over three millennia.

In its death throes, the Revenge had sent a desperate astropathic message to the chapter, requesting assistance, and the chapter had answered…

The Imperial Hammers of the Third and Fourth companies had arrived and brought with them a host of Grey Knights, ready to rid the world of the taint of Chaos. Upon hearing of the arrival of their brethren, the second company fought on to ensure that their reinforcements arrived safely, but the warp spawn had other plans. In a decisive strike, the traitor marines were able to take control of the orbital defenses and in a day that will live in infamy were able to blast many scores of the falling Hammers out of the sky, before they even had a chance to return fire.

When the butchers bill was settled the losses were staggering. One-hundred and thirty five Imperial Hammers and sixty Grey Knights were vaporized by the orbital defenses of Arkus Prime. While the losses were crippling, the remaining elements of the Imperial Hammers and their Grey Knight brothers vowed that the deaths of their kin would be avenged. Led by veteran sergeant Pax Ares, the Hammers and Knights fought tooth and nail and drove the World Eaters before them, crushing them with a white-hot righteous zeal and skill that could only be wrought in the fires of unwavering faith. Even when the World Eaters had sacrificed hundreds of their traitor guard allies to rip open a portal in the warp and summon forth a massive host of demons, the fury of the heroes of the Imperium of Man did not waiver. The Grey Knights valiantly brought the hammer of the Ordo Malleus down upon the demon-filth and with the might of their nemesis weapons and the righteous bark of their Stormbolters, showed the World Eaters what true bloodlust is. Throwing the demons howling back into the warp, the Grey Knights shone brightly that day, and the host of demons where decimated. The portal shuddered and cracked ripping the materium asunder with the energies of the warp as it bled through to reality, but it had cost the Grey Knights their lives. The Grey Knights were all slain, but so richly did they sell their lives, that the tide had now turned. Now the last of the three remaining companies of traitor marines cowered in the temple complex, awaiting the Hammer’s fall.

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Malcolm Turk finished the litany, readied his weapons, check his chronometer on the display of his helmet and activated the comm-rune opening the vox to the command channel. He did not need to turn to look at his unit. He knew that they were ready. For so long they had fought and bled to bring them to this day, they would not falter. For if they did, they would fail, and that was unimaginable. Hi squad was made up of the last remnants of the jump-pack equipped assault marines on Arkus Prime. They were hardened by battle, sharpened by discipline, armored in resolve and forged in faith, but they only numbered nine, only four of which were part of Malcolm’s original squad of ten. Brothers Turnn, Dagnor, Namus and Scarr were all that was left of assault squad Beta of 3rd Company. Sergeant Fenris 'Ulf, veteran assault sergeant of 4th company had appointed Malcolm the leader of this assault, due to his right arm being vaporized by a plasma cannon four days ago. Despite this fact, Malcolm would have bet his right-eye that Fenris would have thrashed him in the sparring pits, one-armed or not. Fenris' remaining brothers Eran, Payne and Aaravan, had taken Malcolm's lead and would not fail him. They would be the hammer in the hand of the Emperor, and forge victory from the flames of war and the anvil of righteousness. They would ring true, and with bolt and blade craft a tomorrow for Arkus Prime.

There was a slight beep in his helmet and then Sergeant Ares voice spoke through the vox caster. Malcolm rose in the sunlight from the shadow and prepared himself for the assault as Sergeant Ares spoke to all the marines of the Imperial Hammers.

"Sons of Bjorn, Hammers of the Imperium, now it is time. Time to show these Traitors that only the Emperor deserves our devotion. Only the righteous can stand before the fall, and not waiver from their course, and the only thing that Chaos will forge is defeat. You have your orders... you do not have permission to be defeated. Strike True! Be the Hammer in the hand of the Emperor!"

With the last word Malcolm sprang into the air, the jump pack firing and taking him high above the battlefield. He could see the ramshackle barricades on the doors and windows of the complex and the hastily dug trenches of the traitors. Almost immediately the fire began to pour out of the openings and the hastily dug trenches below. Pax Ares' plan was simple in theory, and therefore would require perfection in execution. Malcolm’s assault squad would be the lynch-pin for the entire operation. They must operate fearlessly, viciously and expertly. When presented the chance of survival was almost nil, so immediately Malcolm was honored to stand and place his helmet on the war-room table signifying his intent for this honor. The countenance he wore as he looked at the assembled sergeants silenced them, and told them he would not be denied this honor. He was to lead the nine man assault on the complex's western edge, and kill everything they could. Each carried the remaining melta-bombs and scores of grenades so they might make the loudest noise possible, drawing the attention to themselves, diverting the Traitor Marines to address them, and allowing the remaining battle brothers to get into position for the final blow. They would rain righteous might down upon the chaos-filth that even the Emperor himself would have to turn his gaze to see what the commotion was about.

As the fire streaked skyward, following the assault marine's trajectory, Malcolm gave his orders…

'Loose grenades!' he shouted above the roar of the jump-packs.
Dozens and dozens of grenades rained down as the assault marines furiously activated and threw them toward the heretic positions. The dull thumps blasted dirt and rock into the air, and wreaked havoc all across the western front of the temple complex. The severed limbs and ruined bodies of heretics flew in every direction as the fury of the Imperial Hammers’ assault brought all eyes to bear on the western front.

'Bolters fire!' Malcolm shouted and the rain of death began, and mass reactive shells drove the heretics under the nearest cover. those brave or fanatic enough to continue to fire up at the assault marines were blown apart. Skulls bursting and showering gore on their cowering comrades. The Imperial assault was indeed furious, but the overwhelming numbers’ return fire was withering as well. Cursed bolts and las-fire, much more accurate now that the distance was closing between the Imperial Hammers and the Traitors, scored again and again. Las-rifles cracked and scorched the marines armor as they fell, bolts pierced and pattered off power armor, causing some of the falling assault marines to falter in their trajectories. Cursed bolts punched through Sergeant Fenris' chest plate and blew great bites of ceramite from his armor, but he did not cease to fire. None did.

'Melta!!' Malcolm screamed now into the vox, the din of battle becoming deafening.

Brother Scarr hurled the melta-bomb toward the second floor barricade, his timing was almost perfect as the anti-tank bomb exploded in a ball of super heated gas and force. A huge hole appeared in the wall on the second floor of the complex, the ancient granite and marble façade vaporized. The heretics barricaded behind the wall were either vaporized as well, or blown apart in the resulting explosion. Malcolm and the remaining marines directed their fall and timing the descent engines expertly, slipped into the hole made by the melta, landing in a practically undefended area, but it would not be so for long.

'Seal the eastern entrance, lets funnel these bastard before us.' Malcolm, ordered as he directed half of the squad to seal the hall with explosives. He turned and instantly recognized that the squad was missing Sergeant Fenris.

'Where is Fenris?' Malcolm asked.

Brother Namus answered, 'He fell short. He had taken a lot of punishment. I watched him fall into a throng of Traitors in the trench below.'

'Then we will honor him,' Malcolm said has he activated the thumb-switch on his chainsword, 'now we'll show this Traitorous filth what bloodshed is!'
The assault squad charged down the stairs into a throng of Heretics, ready to secure their glory songs, as the explosives in the eastern corridor collapsed it upon itself.. The heretics below thought the universe was coming to an end, when Malcolm and his squad crashed into them in a blur of bolter fire and whirling chainblades. Malcolm brought his blade down on a Heretic's shoulder and opened the man from shoulder to hip, sending blood spraying into the air. It had barely fallen to the ground before he blasted two more apart with his bolt pistol. His squad fared well, and soon not one Heretic remained. A ring of corpses were testament to their fury. He had only a moment to glace over his shoulder to take stock of his squad before he head the tell-tale drum of ceramite boots coming down the corridor before him.

He ducked to one side of the doorway and saw in the low light the outline of Traitor Marines. He activated his vox, and whispered.

'Scarr get that last melta in there.'

As ordered, Scarr activated the melta-bomb and flung it down the hall.

'MELTA!' came a strangled cry from the far end of the corridor, then the massive bomb did it’s duty. Superheated air and concussive force filled the hall, black blood and shrapnel from the shredded Chaos Marines shot out of the corridor like a bolt.

'NOW!' Malcolm ordered.

The squad charged down the corridor blasting anything that moved with their blessed bolts, and soon this area was quiet as well. Those traitors not vaporized by the melta were now laying in pools of their ichorous black blood, broken upon the chainblades and bolts of the Emperor's Hammers. Despite the flawless execution o the plan to this point, Malcolm called for quiet, and it was quiet... too quiet. Malcolm felt a tinge of disappointment, feeling as if they had failed to draw the attention required of the plan.

His fears were unfounded, for no sooner than he thought they had failed then they heard the tromping boots of dozens of Traitors closing to them. He consulted a data slate and threw it down the corridor smashing it upon the far wall. They were in position, and from the sound of the approaching number, they had indeed brought the bulk of the Chaos spawned traitors to the western side of the complex. Malcolm gave the order to use the bodies of the traitor marines to build a barricade.

'Pile that filth high men, he have to keep these fools busy for a few moments longer. Barricade here, and close that side passage, we have to hold for five minutes. You had better hold brothers, or you will answer to me, then to the Emperor.' he challenged.

They had less than a minute to pile the dead Traitors to a height no more than their waist before the first of the cursed bolts began to slam into them. The amount of fire filling the corridor was intense, Malcolm could feel the rush of air as explosions echoed down the hall. So thick was the fire, that many times pure bolt met defiled bolt midway causing the mass-reactive shells to burst upon one another filling the passage with strobing light. The remaining grenades were thrown, creating a never ending smoke filled lightshow in the tiny confines of the corridor. It was glorious. It was the finest moment in Malcolm's life. Bolts slammed into marines and warp-spawn alike as blood spattered, curses were spat and righteous zeal was ululated.

The digital readout on Malcolms visor blinked twice, and Malcolm returned the signal twice signifying readiness. 'Here we go men,' he shouted over the cacophony of war, 'we did it!' Dull explosions sounded outside, and a deep rumble shook the corridor.

Still firing a cheer went up from the squad, 'We are the Hammer in the hand of the Emperor!'

Then their world collapsed into smoke, fire and finally darkness…

Connor McKane
14-09-2011, 03:37
Deep in the tower of saint Bacchus, the charges around the support pillars blew. Expertly placed melta-bomb satchels vaporized the beams on one side of the tower while the conventional explosives caused the remaining supports to crumble. To behold from outside it was glorious, the twenty five story tower began to lurch and lean over the four story temple complex of Saint Quinn. Heretics stopped firing long enough to gawk at the tower as it fell. Like a ten-thousand ton hammer, the tower crashed into the Temple Complex. Then it flared like a tiny sun, shattered, as hundreds of grenades, and scores of melta-bombs bundled in the tower's belfry, placed by Malcolm’s sSquad before their heroic assault, detonated... right on top of the assault squad's position. No cheers went up from the assembled forces outside, for nine brave marines gave their lives to ensure the defeat of chaos. As the assault marines made their way into position, the remaining Imperial hammers began their assault in earnest, but with the majority of Traitors making their way to Malcolm’s position, they were killed or crushed in the fall of the Tower of saint Bacchus. The half-hearted attempt to repel the Hammers, now that they were alone, sent the Traitor gurad into a full retreat, quickly turned to a rout by the strength of the Hammer’s assault. Many of the remaining heretics threw down their weapons and cried for mercy, but there would be none. The few remaining traitor marines perished under the hand of the Imperial Hammers, and when the last chamber was entered, a Bloodthirster of Khorne slew imperial four Hammers before Veteran sergeant Pax Ares, wielding the Mighty Deamon Hammer 'Hubris' the personal weapon of the honored dead Captain Brutus Varites of Second Company, crushed its skull into its spine, and sent the foul beast into the hell that spawned him. Victory was now theirs.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++

Early the next morning, while the sole Techmarine of the Imperial Hammers worked to restore the off world communications array, Pax Ares stood on the eastern bastion and stared into the dawn. He had said his prayers, and removed his helmet. He knelt in the cold mist, bowed his head, and just made the sign of the Aquila across his chest, when he heard it.. The whine of power armor servos getting closer. He looked into the mist and dropped to his war-gear to retrieve his bolter, ready to kill the Traitors as the emerged from the mist, but stayed his hand when he heard a voice call from the mist.
'Brother…stop pointing your bolter at me, unless you mean to kill me.' sergeant Malcolm Turk called as he emerged from the mist. He held a marine, gravely wounded, upright as he approached. Malcolm's armor was bent, broken, and very badly damaged. The leg servos whined futilely and thick black smoke poured from his power pack, the mini-reactor bleeding a glowing green fluid as it sputtered and sparked. Pax stared in awe as seven other marines emerged silently from the smoke, all badly injured and battered, but alive. Brother Payne bore the body of sergeant Fenris 'Ulf, both his arms shorn from his body, his chest plate riddled with bolter holes. He breathed, but barely.
Unbelievably Malcolm’s squad had survived an assault on over two-hundred heretics and fifty plus traitor marines, in hellish close quarters fighting, and then survived being crushed by the Tower of Saint Bacchus, and then survived the explosion of hundreds of grenades and dozens of melta-bombs.
Veteran Sergeant Pax Ares had never witnessed anything more miraculous… and shook his head to make sure that he was not hallucinating.
'You're alive?' Pax asked, stunned.
'Good to see you alive as well Brother Sergeant.' Malcolm smiled through pain, and adjusted his grip on brother Scarr, lifting him higher to avoid dropping him.
Pax knew then he wasn't seeing things, and let out a mighty yell.

'APOTHECARIES!!'

Imperial marines and apothecaries rushed out of the morning fog and hesitated, not believing what they were seeing, then rushed to give aid to the heroes of Arkus Prime. Malcolm walked forward, refusing aid until his brothers had been tended to. Fenris was the worst of the injured, and while alive he would never fight in power armor again. If he survived, Malcolm knew, he would be entombed in ancient dreadnought armor, to serve the emperor of mankind for all eternity, and Malcolm knew, a mightier dreadnought would never be found then that of Fenris ‘Ulf.
Pax approached Malcolm as he sat down on a broken piece of ferrocrete. He could tell Malcolm was gravely injured, but thought better of advising him to receive aid, after all, Malcolm was a sergeant as well.
'How?'
'The Emperor must not have been ready to receive us. The room we fought in collapsed, plunging us into darkness. After a few hours I awoke and found everyone partially or wholly buried, but still alive. While everything around us lay in ruins, by the tower and the explosion. We were spared by a Statue of the Emperor made of simple marble, which supported the ceiling of the hall in which we lay, a simple marble statue untouched by the explosion or the weight of the towers collapse. As we exited the complex we found Sergeant Fenris surrounded by dead traitors, but alive as well… The Emperor truly watched over us.' he began to remove his power armor, and blood poured heavily from his wounds.
Pax made the sign of the Aquila over his chest as Malcolm spoke the Emperor’s name.
'There is a saying..."Be bold, and great forces will come to your aid." Do you believe this now Malcolm?' Pax asked as he sat down next to Malcolm, and offered him a drink from his canteen of water.
'Of that, my friend," Malcolm said has he placed a battered gauntlet on Pax's pauldron, 'I have no doubt.'

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +

A small group of chapter serfs talked quietly amongst each other as they cleaned the primary arming chapel aboard the Imperial Hammer strike cruiser ‘The Redemption.’ They came upon a gleaming white marble statue of ‘Him on Earth,’ or the Allfather, as they knew him on Vulkanus, and stopped.
‘Is this new?’ one asked the crew leader.
‘It is.’ he answered and quietly and reverently began cleaning the statue with a soft cloth. Taking great care in his sacred duties to maintain the primary arming chapel.
‘Wonder where it came from?’ the youngest amongst them asked.
‘…Interesting you should ask…’
Behind them a voice came from a darkened alcove. Captain Pax Ares, commander of the Honored Second Company Reborn, emerged from the alcove, his prayers complete.
‘I am sorry Lord,’ the young serf knelt in reverence to the honored Captain, ‘I should not question. I should only obey.’ He said in a shaking voice.
‘Do not trouble yourself with fear lad, it is no sin to be curious… in fact… I would very much like you to listen to the story of this statue… it begins with a young assault marine sergeant… and ends in victory…..’

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phoenixguard09
15-09-2011, 08:35
Another Turk I see.

Well written again although I have to say, I do prefer your Guardsman stories.

Keep it up mate. :)

Connor McKane
15-09-2011, 14:01
Thanks for the feed back. I had an idea for a tie-in when I started this story, about something not really delved into in the 40K universe.

Malcolm Turk is John Turk's Great Uncle, and they were going to meet on some war torn battlefield somewhere, but I lost track of that story idea.

Malcolm was chosen as a space marine candidate, but his younger brother Darrius was not old enough to participate in the trials. He grew up, had a son, who had a son, and Malcolm was John's grandfather's brother.

Sort of a Humanization and return to familial thoughts. The only BL that really deals deeply with familial ties I have read was Rafen and His brother, so I thought it would be a good return to that type of story line.

Maybe I will write it out later...

But thanks for the feed back.

phoenixguard09
15-09-2011, 22:36
I see. That could potentialy be very interesting.

Cheers mate,