Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"
My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.
I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Heinze coughed as he crawled from the debris, his ears still ringing from the explosion. His head hurt, and he could feel blood streaming down his face and trickling off his chin. He resisted the temptation to yank off his helmet and instead staggered to his feet. A sharp pain stabbed into his chest, causing him to wince.
A broken rib…maybe two…
Ignoring the sharp, throbbing sensation, he glanced around to assess the situation. Gorbec’s sacrifice had not been in vain. The veteran sergeant had detonated the melta bombs as he had promised, bringing the xenos architecture down upon the Phantoms and burying half the regiment in rubble.
The Necrons…did we…?
Heinze whipped around when he heard Mallory’s voice. His aide was stumbling across the broken stone, desperately trying to make his way toward the wounded colonel. The explosion had knocked off his helmet, revealing his painfully young face, pale and slicked with sweat. There was a nasty gash at the boy’s temple, leaving a slight trickle of blood.
“Are you all right, sir?”
“Yeah. The men…?”
“Sergeant Gonz is gathering them together.”
At his aide’s words, Heinze swept his gaze across the ruins. He could see the grizzled sergeant major striding across staggering rows of men, yelling orders and hastily reestablishing their collapsed lines. Irie and Jones were dragging their autocannon from underneath the rock and setting up an emplacement.
Turning his head slowly, Heinze stared at the entrance of the xenos tomb. It was still glowing an eerie green. Ranks of metallic figures were still silently marching out from within, their gauss weaponry suffused with a deadly luminescence.
Heinze felt dread grip him as he stumbled forward, trying to confirm what he was seeing. His gambit had not worked. Gorbec had died for nothing. The Necron structure was undamaged, and they had failed to seal the entrance.
The xenos tomb had fully awakened, and now it was bringing its full complement of soulless troops to bear.
“Fire!” Gonz shouted. A barrage of red las scythed downward upon the marching Necron warriors, only to dissipate against their chrome surface. The gleaming warriors replied mercilessly, green streaks of gauss arcing over and blasting screaming men to atoms. The autocannons did a bit more work, smashing Necron warriors off their feet and denting their armor. However, even with their limbs sheared off by the high caliber rounds, the broken automatons continued to crawl forward, their advance implacable and inevitable.
By the Throne, there were so many of them.
Bradley screamed before he vanished, his body erased from existence. Jay wasn’t even able to make a sound, his body disintegrating instantly when a gauss blast struck him. Scarlet let off a shriek before the upper half of her body was atomized, the remnants of her lasgun clattering on the floor. All around Heinze, men and women were dying, his troops decimated by the seemingly unkillable metallic monsters.
Even so, his Phantoms did him proud, defiant to the end. Yelling, they continued to pour a hail of las-bolts upon the advancing Necrons. The ineffective las-fire illuminated the cold, skull-like visages of the emotionless xenos, and Heinze’s gut curled at the sight of their rictus grins. It was almost as if the Necrons were mocking them.
“Sir!” Vaan scrambled over the debris, his heavy vox-pack banging against the stone. Heaving from the exertion, he managed to dive under a stray gauss beam, the ethereal green energy atomizing a slab of stone above him. Gagging from the dust, Vaan crawled toward Heinze. “Colonel Rayford says the Volpone 95th are pulling out!”
“Damn those cowards!” Heinze hissed. He wanted to strangle his fellow colonel, but inwardly he knew he couldn’t blame Rayford. They had failed to seal the entrance and prevent the Necrons from emerging. There was little reason to remain here. All they could achieve now was to sell their lives as dearly as they could before the inevitable. They had already given so much during the assault on the catacombs, and now his surviving men – reduced to two-thirds – were being routed.
This is how it ends… Heinze couldn’t help but sigh, his mind going numb. The annihilation of my regiment.
The proud, gloried history of the Preslayian Phantoms 42nd, a prestigious Astra Militarum with hundreds of victories notched under their record, doomed to die here on an insignificant ball of dust. Under his command.
I’ve let my predecessors down I’ve failed the Imperium. I’ve let my God-Emperor down.
No doubt, if Commissar Makarov had survived the initial onslaught, he would have executed Heinze without any hesitation. The embattled colonel could still remember the stout, sturdy Commissar striding boldly through a storm of gauss fire, screaming for the men and women of the 42nd to follow him. He must have thought himself immortal, blessed with the protection of the Emperor.
Heinze had seen that fanatical belief die along with the Commissar, the courageous political officer shrieking when he was disemboweled by a Wraith, the ghostly constructs phasing through the ground to slice through the troops he was leading.
Shame gripped the colonel. He was actually relieved that the Commissar had died in the first wave of the assault. There would be no one to shoot him for his cowardice.
The thought lingered in his mind for a second. Makarov was dead. Rayford and his Volpone Bluebloods were pulling back. There was little more they could do here, except die in droves. Heinze chewed his lip for a second before coming to a decision.
“Gonz!” He yelled to his sergeant major. The grizzled veteran looked up at him, and the colonel nodded. “All units are to retreat in orderly fashion, squad by squad! The heavy weapon teams are the last to fall back. Tell them to leave their weapons behind!”
Abandoning their heavy weapons was the least of Heinze’s worries. The Necrons had no use for Imperial weaponry. Their technological sophistication of their armaments far surpassed anything the Adeptus Mechanicus could conceive.
Gonz nodded, and he relayed the orders to the squad leaders, hollering off rapid instructions through his vox bead.
“Mallory.” Heinze turned to the boy. “Fall back. Link up with Freida’s squad and fall back with her.”
“But, sir…” his aide protested.
“That’s an order, soldier,” Heinze interrupted sharply. “I don’t need you here with me. I need you to stay with Sergeant Freida. Okay? Listen to her orders.”
Mallory hesitated as he met Heinze’s cold, steely blue eyes, and then finally snapped off a salute.
He then ran off, occasionally glancing back. Heinze watched him, his chest tight with emotions, and then he turned to Vaan.
“Contact High Command,” he instructed the vox-operator. “Request for reinforcements.”
Vaan’s eyes went wide in disbelief. “Reinforcements, sir?”
Heinze understood his hesitation. High Command had thrown everything they had into this assault. In their desperate gamble to halt the Necron threat, and to trap them within the subterranean caverns where they had slumbered for eons, they had committed all of their reserves into this one final push. The destruction of the Necon structure was supposed to seal them in, but it had weathered the superheated blast of the melta bombs. For that goal alone, Lord Militant Voytz was willing to sacrifice all the men and women under his command.
The Nermenian 22nd Armor had been annihilated. The Cocytus 58th Rifles had been buried under the rock, triggered off by a seismic charge – the enemy had been expecting them. The Bremian Mobile Infantry had been slaughtered to a man, not just by the exotic gauss weaponry of Necron warriors, but also the deadly knives of Flayed Ones. There were no reinforcements because there literally was no one left to send.
“Just send the request anyway,” Heinze said sharply, wiping at his eyes tiredly. He glanced back at his retreating men and women, and wondered if there was still a position to escape to. Pretty soon, Edea VII would be swarmed with millions of Necron automatons, and there would be nowhere for the Imperial Guardsmen to fall back to.
Leaving Vaan to try and establish contact through the vox, Heinze swept his gaze over the withdrawing lines of his Phantoms. Credit to Gonz, the sergeant major had succeeded in organizing an orderly retreat despite the dire situation, the men and women moving in staggered movements and taking up positions squad by squad. Pausing occasionally to provide their comrades cover fire, they waited until the other squads were in position before rushing off again. The line of Imperial Guardsmen was slowly folding in, allowing the relentless wedge of Necrons to stretch them.
Only the heavy weapon teams remained, firing off an endless stream of high-caliber rounds at the enemy. With the order to abandon their weapons upon their withdrawal, there was no need for them to worry about preserving ammunition. Thousands of rounds were spent in mere minutes, the armor-piercing rounds hammering into the advancing Necron warriors, even the crawling, reanimated ones. Even the sturdier and more heavily armored Immortals – elite soldiers of the skeletal xenos – that led the countless warriors were punched off their feet, their exoskeleton of living metal shattered beyond the repair capabilities of tiny Canoptek Scarabs. The insect-like constructs crawled and scrambled over the broken remains of downed Necron soldiers, attempting to knit their broken husks back together.
There were in turn extinguished by huge gouts of flame, with the flamer operators of each retreating squad dousing the approaching Necrons in burning promethium. Several of the immolated Necrons fell, but not nearly enough.
Not nearly enough.
Heinze swallowed when he caught sight of Wilhelma’s squad cut down by gauss fire, the Necrons’ retaliation fierce and merciless. There was nothing left of them, the aggressive redhead obliterated into atoms alongside her squad. Ryder’s squad was next, the poor men and women caught out in the open as they sprinted desperately for cover. One moment they were running, the next moment – after a blinding flash of green – they simply ceased to exist.
Pyro roared, the big man stepping from his cover and unleashing a torrent of flames upon the Necrons as vengeance for his compatriots. His heavy flamer bellowed, liquid fire gushing out of the nozzle like molten lava and incinerating the first row of warriors that had reached the final line of Phantoms. Even an unfortunate Immortal had been caught in the blast, its blazing mechanical body dropping as it continued to burn. Thousands of Scarabs fled the inferno, scattering away into the safety of their larger brethren.
“You fool…!” Heinze growled, but it seemed that the Emperor was favoring Pyro for his courage. A storm of high-caliber rounds smashed into the ranks of the Necrons closest to the massive guardsman, knocking them off their feet and sending their aim askew. Irie and Jones had seen him, and now they turned their fire upon the Necrons, their autocannon barking harshly as it spat deadly bolt after bolt.
Then the two of them disintegrated, their autocannon vanishing along with them, as a massive surge of green washed over them. Heinze blinked, the glare almost whiting out his retinas. He recognized that attack from anywhere. It was the same one that had punched through the thick ceramite armor of the Lady’s Blessings, blowing the venerable Leman Russ battle tank up in a single shot.
“So you’re still alive…” he murmured, dread welling up in his chest as he turned toward the source. The familiar mechanical torso and skull-like face, welded to a hovering grav-platform. The commander of the Necrons, wielding a gigantic gauss cannon, floating above his warriors and directing them with savage arrogance.
Heinze closed his eyes. He was so sure that Gorbec had destroyed the foul abomination when he triggered his melta bombs at such close range, but evidently the cold, uncaring galaxy had other plans. There were still signs of damage – molten living metal dripped from ragged holes across the Destroyer Lord’s armor, and his face had been fused into a hideous mask of fury, the once gleaming gem-like visage mutated by heat. There was a noticeable list to the hovering grav-machine that now served as the xenos’ legs, a result of damage to one of those alien thrusters.
For a moment, Heinze’s eyes met with those cold, metallic orbs shining deep within the Destroyer lord’s sockets. Then the abomination turned away and continued raining down fire on the dwindling heavy weapon teams. Already the majority of the heavy weapon operators had abandoned their autocannons, heavy bolters and missile launchers, and were scrambling for safety under the cover of their fellow guardsmen.
The colonel understood the gesture. The xenos commander regarded him with contempt, and saw him as little more than an ant. An insect not worthy of its attention. Somehow, the Destroyer Lord was aware that he had failed his mission, and that he had failed his men.
“Sir, orders from Lord Militant Voytz. He says we are to act as rearguard, to buy as much time as possible for the other regiments to retreat.”
Heinze stared at Vaan dumbly for a few moments, and then he laughed. Tears streamed down his grime-stricken face as he chortled. His vox-operator watched him, bemused, and the colonel shook his head.
“So this is it, huh? We’re all going to die here.”
“…it seems that way, sir.”
“Frak this!” Heinze snarled, slamming his fist against a nearby piece of debris. Pain shot up his arm, but he didn’t care. “Continue the withdrawal! The Preslayian 42nd will not die here today! We are the Phantoms! We’re the Unkillable! Our legend will not end here, not like this!”
“But, sir…the orders from the Lord Militant…”
“I don’t give a grox’s ass if it’s an order from the Lord Militant or High Lords of Terra themselves! These are the lives of my men he’s throwing away! Gonz! Continue the retreat!”
“Sir…sir!” Vaan was pleading, but Heinze paid him no attention.
“If the Lord Militant threatens me with execution for disobeying his orders, tell him that he’s welcome to shoot me…if I’m still alive after all of this!”
“No, not that, sir! Look above!”
“What?!” Heinze spun around and stared upward, at where Vaan was pointing. His jaw dropped when he saw meteors streaking through the heavens, illuminating the night sky like fireworks in summer. “Holy Terra…!”
“We’re doomed,” Vaan was muttering. “We’re about to be hit by a…”
“No, Vaan,” Heinze cut him off as he laughed. And for the first time in what seemed like a long while, his laughter was one of delight and relief. By the Throne, the Emperor truly protected. “We are saved.”
The fiery contrails that lit up the horizon were those of Adeptus Astartes drop pods.