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Thread: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (short rep with pics!)

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    Nov 2006

    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? (short rep with pics!)

    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

    ‘Kill-Team Talon to Vigilance, do you receive?’ Team-Leader Markius voxed, peering at the angry, tumultuous, vermilion sky.

    Vigilance to Talon, we read you. Proceed,’ came the inquisitor’s voice, heavily distorted by the magnetic storms that wracked the atmosphere.

    ‘Xenos artifact located,’ sent Markius.

    ‘Invictus, Talon,’ the inquisitor used their adopted acknowledgement signal. ‘Is the artifact intact?’

    Markius shrugged, eyeing the strange thing. Amidst the actinic ochre landscape of the roasting hot planet, the rock formation stood out as being of obvious xenos origin. It resembled a well hewn from a smooth, marble-like substance, veins of purple ore creeping along its every surface. But was it intact? That was more the inquisitor’s department to decide.

    ‘This is Psiren to Vigilance,’ a female voice came over the vox, and Markius glanced at Imperial Agent Athena, standing next to the artifact. The black clingsuit-clad members of the inquisitor’s PSIREN unit were running auspex scanners over the structure. Athena continued, ‘Surface damage to the artifact evident, but the seals appear intact – as well as whatever is inside.’

    ‘Invictus, Psiren,’ acknowledged Inquisitor William Zharn.

    ‘Oh, and by the way,’ voxed Athena, ‘We found it. I told you we didn’t need the blundering Deathwatch for this mission.’

    Markius narrowed his eyes and glared at Athena. Their mutual antagonism and rivalry still simmered every time they were deployed together. Then Markius winked and flashed her a smile. Ever since they had saved each others lives on Callasia 9, their relationship had reached a new understanding. To be honest, Markius shared her sentiments: Deploying a Deathwatch Kill-Team for this simple search mission to a deserted planet seemed like overkill to him, too.

    ‘Talon-Zeta to Talon-Actual,’ crackled the vox. It was the voice of Brother Andreus, whom Markius had deployed away to their western flank, beyond the abandoned ruins of an ancient Imperial basilica; a lonely testament to previous human contact on this Emperor-forsaken world.

    ‘Go ahead, Zeta,’ voxed Markius, suddenly tensing.

    ‘We have company, Actual,’ said Andreus. ‘Eleven contacts: ten infantry and a transport. Approaching from the north-west, about three klicks from you.’

    Brother Rasmus stepped up beside Team-Leader Markius and they exchanged a look. Markius voxed, ‘Invictus, Zeta. Any idea who they are?’

    ‘They look like Astartes, Actual, but not friendly. Attack formation. Red armour,’ came Brother Andreus’s reply.

    Beside Markius, Rasmus growled, reaching for his chain-axe. ‘It’s them!

    ‘All Talon call-signs, converge on my position now,’ Markius voxed. He took a breath to keep calm as the acknowledgements came in from his Kill-Team members, then switched channels and voxed, ‘Kill-Team Talon to Vigilance.’

    The inquisitor’s voice came back quickly, ‘Invictus, Talon. I heard that. I am coming down in Shadow-two now. Hold position on the artifact. Do not let them destroy it!’

    ‘Talon to Vigilance,’ sent Markius, ‘You may want to teleport; the atmospheric storms make navigation and landing almost impossible. Shadow-one is badly damaged.’

    ‘Negative, Talon-Actual. I have your position, and am bringing down another Kill-Team to reinforce.’

    Markius met eyes with Agent Athena, and she said, ‘He requisitioned two Kill-Teams? Just who in the galaxy is he expecting?’

    * * *

    ‘…His will be done, hallowed be His name. Amen,’ whispered Brother-Principe Sebasticáo Do Largo, completing the pre-battle prayer. Around him, the members of his Conquistados honour-guard knelt and intoned the prayers, their whispers barely audible over the growling engines of the Rhino they rode in.

    Standing at the head of the chamber, rocking with the motion of the Rhino as it traversed the barren landscape of the planet, Inquisitor Kristatos Kielman of the Ordo Hereticus checked the fuel cable to his incinerator and cast a steely eye over the kneeling Astartes.

    ‘Crimson Paladins!’ he addressed them, his thick white beard twitching with righteous fury over his ceremonial robes of gold, ‘Steel your resolve, for out there are heretics! Brothers who have lost their way! We will show them the true righteous path! His will be done.’

    Brother Batistos caught Largo’s eye and the big man grinned, his teeth flashing white within the tangled black beard that clung to his scarred, olive-skinned face. Then he put on his ceremonial knight’s helmet and his face became a blank, silver visage with intimidating black eye-visor. Largo donned his own helmet, crested with his heraldic lion carved from gold, and prayed for the souls he was about to cleanse.

    The world they still knew in their dialect as Castellinha – the land of castles – had been poorly translated into Low Gothic as the rather simplistic planet ‘Fortress’, and that had become its official Imperial designation. But the explorator fleets that had rediscovered this human world long ago in the Age of Redemption had not only found a pre-blackpowder, feudal culture. They had rediscovered a world still holding true to the old Lectitio Divinatus – a martial culture dedicated with fanatical zeal to the holy God-Emperor. Armed only with swords, shields and unshakeable faith, this culture had resisted the corruption of the Barbaros – hordes of ogryn-like Khorne worshippers that surrounded the many fortress-cathedrals the humans had built in the Castellinha, relentlessly invading from the frozen lands of the northern hemisphere.

    And from the glorious, battle-honed knights of this culture, the Adeptus Astartes of the Crimson Paladins were raised. Brother-Principe Largo knew the ancient traditions of his chapter were viewed with suspicion and loathing by their brother Astartes in the wider galaxy. For they had developed a close relationship with the Ordo Hereticus. While the Witch-Hunters had their own zealous forces, including the pious Sisters of Battles, there was one kind of heretic even these devout warriors could not defeat: Space Marines. And so the Ordo turned to the Crimson Paladins for help in the most trying of times, invoking the righteous wrath of the God-Emperor. And the knights of Fortress replied, bringing divine retribution to all enemies of the Imperium, even their gene-brothers. They called themselves the Heretic-Hunters, but a darker reputation followed them like a shadow. Others called them the Brother-Burners.

    A sense of sadness always overcame Brother-Principe Largo before he went into battle with fellow Astartes, but he pushed aside the guilt, focusing on his duty to his God-Emperor. All heretics must be shown the true path, even my distant brothers, he reminded himself. A steely resolve swept through Largo’s spirit, and his eyes burned with righteous fire.

    Then the Rhino exploded.

    * * *

    Battle Report: 500pt Cleanse Mission (using VPs rather than table quarters)

    Ordo Xenos Taskforce: Black Shields
    * Inquisitor Zharn (as marine Chaplain): Powersword, boltpistol, frag, rosarius.
    * Kill-Team Talon (as Assault Squad): 5 marines, boltpistols, chainswords and frag grenades. Jump-packs removed. Including Veteran Sergeant Markius, powersword, melta bombs.
    * Kill-Team Sabretooth (as Tactical Squad): 5 marines, bolters, 1 x heavy bolter. Including Veteran Sergeant Goran, powerfist. Mounted in Razorback with Lascannons.
    * Psiren Unit (as Marine Scout Squad): 5 Scouts, boltpistols, ccws and frag grenades. Including Athena (Veteran Sergeant), powersword.

    Ordo Hereticus Crusade: Crimson Paladins
    * Inquisitor Kielman (as marine commander): Powerfist, stormbolter, iron halo.
    * Conquistados (as Veteran Squad): 5 Veterans, boltpistols ccws and frag, 1 x melta gun. Including Veteran Sergeant Largo, powersword. Mounted in Rhino with additional stormbolter.
    * Lance Ignatio (as Tactical Squad): 5 marines, bolters, 1 x melt gun, 1 x missile launcher.
    * Lance Vascos (as Tactical Squad): 5 marines, bolters, 1 x plasma gun. Including Veteran Sergeant Vascos, power-lance and frag grenades.

    * * *
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