Sergeant Terrax scanned the walls, the reflected sheen of the polished marble registering as data spikes in the augmented optics of his visor. He easily made out the armoured form of brother Gomer overseeing the fortifications of the East-42 emplacement. He was standing in the arched entrance of a great tower, guiding the rest of the squad to affix plasteel redoubts over the intricate filigree work inlaid into the marble walls. Terrax grimaced at the thought of what had been done to the magnificent building, once a grand atrium of learned works from Terra's history. Originally a work of great knowledge and art and now only a fortified watchtower; the structure useful only for it's defensive position overlooking the grand gates of the Eastern palace steppes.

Approaching the working marines, Terrax requested a status update. Gomer replied in his usual clipped tones. He was an efficient warrior, and did not have time for unnecessary conversation. Terrax admired that.
"Fortification progress at 85% sergeant, this tower should withstand any impact short of a fellblade shell."
"Good work Gomer, I'll inform the captain."
Terrax paused before continuing. His men were combat veterans, and Astartes feared nothing in battle, but he knew the news would unease them.
"We have word that the rebel forces have entered the solar system, and are have taken the defenses on Pluto and Titan. We have perhaps two, maybe three rotations before they begin their landings. Command is calculating their likely attack patterns based on the composition of the forces seen to date, and we are expecting their primary landing position to be the Lionis spaceport. The White Scars have been tasked with it's defense."
Gomer made no movement that an unenhanced human observer would notice, but Terrax knew the steely cold look that had come into the other Astartes' eyes.
"Are we to join them?"
"Nay my brother. Despite the orbital defenses, we can expect attempted landings in the central palace. Our honoured Primarch has overseen a vast orbital and air defense network, but it is certain that despite overwhelming losses, some landing parties will slip the net. We cannot afford troops behind our lines compromising the palace. I need you and the men to be extra vigilant. Watch the auspex and the streets; I want nothing to get through."
"Aye sergeant. It has been long since we saw battle, and I have yearned for it again, but I do not desire it here, especially against ... Astartes". He struggled to speak the last word.
"Neither do I, my friend. But war is coming, and those we once called brother have turned against us and the Emperor. Steel yourself. We must be ready in mind as well as body. Roma est endure"
The warrior's motto was a tradition passed down through the Imperial fists since their legion's early beginnings in the unification war. Gomer replied in the traditional fashion and saluted his sergeant.
"Roma est endure"
Terrax acknowledged with a slight nod of his helmet and left the men to their work. Gomer's comments had left him uneasy. He knew his men would perform to their utmost when the battle came, and doubted no man's resolve or heroism, but he knew their thoughts, for he felt them also. All they had fought and worked for had come crashing down around them, and it seemed to many as if their last stand was to be here, beside their Primarch and Father, against those they had once called brother.
They would do their duty.


As Horus' plan nears fruition, The Siege of Terra looms over the fledgling Imperium ...

and Team Fisto returns.