++Priority Transmission: Coding/Delta/Rouge++
++Recipient: Inquisitor Calicus Rackham ++
++Subject: Ground Zero++
++Author: Albinus Davenos – Kill Team Davenos++
++Thought for the Day: Ruthlessness is the kindness of the wise.++
Sir, apologies for the terseness of my previous message. There is now a temporary respite in the assaults of the Burning Sun cultists and I can expand on what was only alluded to. The focus of the cult’s attention appears to be a subterranean relic. To my eye it looks to have been buried eons ago, but the cultists have already excavated a portion of it. It appears to be Aeldari in origin and it seems to be very large. For whatever nefarious reason the Burning Sun are fully committed to retrieving it. Brother Azureus has been performing reconnaissance separate to the rest of my team. He is reporting a large force preparing to assault our position. This is a choke point and we can hold them for a time. I hope you see the wisdom in calling reinforcements to our position. I include our coordinates with this message.
Rackham placed the dataslate on his bedside locker and grabbed his micro-bead vox. “Mktraw, course change. We’re going to Alpha.220”. He knew Alpha.220 was doomed, destined to be consumed by the approaching Tyranids. It was all part of the galactic scale game of regicide he was playing out. He also knew the power the Aeldari imbued in everything they constructed. It was what had been calling to him in his dreams. He couldn’t leave whatever was there to be ravaged or lost to the Tyranids. The Genuine was translating from the Immaterium already. Soon a new course would speed them to Alpha.220. He retrieved the dataslate, authed in and penned a response to Davenos. In the Warp it was hard to judge how much real-time had elapsed. He was not sure Kill Team Davenos could hold out long enough for him to arrive. Another message to Chaplain Zariah of the Blood Angels. His most recent intelligence reports showed this old warrior was still active on the planet. Zariah would not approve of some of the more ‘inventive’ techniques Rackham was now employing, but he would do what he could to support Davenos, a fellow son of Sanguinius.
(Game 3 report below)
Davenos’ team fought for two days continuously in the close confines of the ancient underworld of this unnamed Imperium city. Down here human engineering melded with Xenos, the alien constructions forming an ancient foundation upon which a civilisation had been built. The thought unsettled Davenos. The aesthetic, if that was a word for such functional building work, was disturbing. So too was being in such close to the Aeldari artefact.
The fighting had almost overwhelmed his team, but the assaults were easing off. Vox chatter indicated that the Blood Angels were securing the area above. His team were still on alert, all except Brother Karliel, who was just about holding on. A multi-armed brute had bludgeoned him with a ferocity and speed not typically seen in creatures of its size. The rest of the team had taken it down with Hellfire rounds. Karliel’s breathing was raspy, but Davenos hoped he would hold on. Relief wasn’t long away.
++Priority Transmission: Coding/Delta/Rouge++
++Recipient: Sgt. Albinus Davenos++
++Subject: Kingston mooring soon++
++Author: Inquisitor Calicus Rackham++
++Thought for the Day: Reach out to embrace the glories that will come.++
Davenos blinked to cancel the message from his visor. The subject said it all, Rackham had just translated into the sector and he would be planet side in a matter of hours. “Team assemble on me. Kingston will be here soon,” he voxed. Karliel was the first to arrive. He had not fully recovered in the week since their extraction from the underground vault, but there was an eagerness in the Dark Angel to show he was unbowed and ready to fight.
Even before the cutter made planetfall Rackham could sense a resonance, something that stirred in his consciousness and memory. It tasted like waring, felt like a dream he’d only half remembered. It was akin to a psychic static and he could feel it blotting out his awareness.
He rubbed his temple and spoke into the micro-bead vox, “Davenos, be with you in two minutes. I want to proceed directly to the site of the artefact”. The cutter, playfully dubbed The Insincere by his team, entered the atmosphere and was soon surrounded by dense clouds. They seemed to extend almost to ground level and he snatched only the briefest glimpse of the horizon before they enter the final descent. Ul’Vey and most of the team had stayed aboard The Genuine, Rackham reasoning that a Deathwatch Kill Team was more than enough protection to escort him through a secured part of the city.
Dust swirled as the cutter touched down hard, the rapid deceleration something he always associated with warzones. No aircraft wanted to spend more time close to the ground than was absolutely necessary. The ramp opened quickly and he exited. Davenos and three of his team moved in to surround Rackham. “Enemy sniper, sir”, the sergeant offered by way of explanation. They escorted him to the cover of a ruined administratum building. Rackham was about to ask for a report, but a sniper round blasted close to him. This signalled the hidden cultists to attack. The sector was supposed to be secure… the alien sounds coming from every direction indicated that that wasn’t the case.
(Game 4 report below)
The fight came fast and hard. Rackham and the Kill Team were assaulted from all sides. Hulking, multi-armed mutants swinging industrial tools as weapons smashed and slammed their way towards him. He fought. His mind and Bonnyread tore apart and cut town the enemy, but their numbers were formidable. The Astartes fought valiantly, but several fell to the abominations. He called up a map of the area, even while parrying blows and psychically assailing the attackers. A squad of Blood Angels was nearby. “Fall back on me”, he voxed and the Kill Team began to move. Sniper shots whistled by as they executed a retreat to relative safety. Bolt rifle fire cut down the enemy as they neared the Blood Angels.
“Welcome to Alpha.220”, Rackham thought to himself.
Game 3: Hidden Vault (Arena, P.28)
This was a close fought game. It represented the Deathwatch trying to hold off a subterranean assault as the Cult of the Burning Sun tried to gain access to the Xenos artefact. Colin was really unlucky – two Abberants completely missed their hammer attacks and this gave the Deathwatch just enough breathing space to eek out a the slimmest of VP margins. They ended up winning by one point.
Game 4: Surrounded (Elites, P.138)
This game was also a close run thing. The cultists were on top of my force exceptionally quickly. The photo above shows how close they were before the game had even begun thanks to some lucky Cult Ambush rolls. This game would have been a comfortable win for me if it had finished in Turn 4, but it went on for two more. I stupidly left an open shot on my Inquisitor in the last turn of the game, but thankfully the Sanctus failed to wound (it would have been bad news for a psyker to get hit!).
Rackham has arrived on Alpha.220 and now it’s time for him to inspect the Aeldari artefact that is buried beneath this city.
Until next time,