The Dark Fortress

Complex Assault

Astartes Record: /// 4th Co arch /// Dark Angels
Crossfile to: /// ref: 0013052004
Author: /// Chronicler Isiah

Esteemed Brothers.

My apologies for the lateness of this report, but my host squad, together with the 3rd squad and 2nd Attack Bike squadron have been involved in an assault mission with a platoon of the Ash Legion's Rangers [see an account of this Planetary Defence unit in the +Tactica Section].

To give a little background: units of the 78th Ranger Battalion were ordered to secure a power generating complex thought to be under control of non-Imperial forces. But initially a system of bunkers and interconnecting trenches guarding the entrance must be overcome and defenders either captured or destroyed. In overall command of our assault was Sergeant Zahariel.

I have produced a narrative of this action from the various Battle-Logs of those present:

:: Battle-Log narrative begins ::

[Isiah, 1st Squad]

"10 minutes to landing zone" the pilot rasped over the intercom. We made our final weapons and systems checks prior to disembarkation. On the lower landing deck our battle-brothers from the Ravenwing gunned their machines into action, spinning wheels to heat tyres, running powered ammunition feeds to their heavy bolters. They were accompanying us to act as our mobile heavy weapons support platform. We ourselves had acquired a flamer for this mission — this was going to be an up close and quick assault.

The ramp lowered with a whine of protesting servos, before it was fully flat we were out, closely followed by the three assault bikes of the Ravenwing Attack squadron.

"Make for nearest cover", ordered our squad sergeant [Zahariel]. We made for a drainage ditch 200 metres in front of us. Behind us the Thunderhawk had taken off and was making for a prearranged rendezvous point.

The target bunker complex was in front of us. Our arrival in the Thunderhawk meant that we had lost the element of surprise. We were going to do this the hard way.

We scanned the complex closely. Three bunkers positioned carefully so that each give the other covering fire. It looked like each mounted two or three heavy bolters. As planned, the nearest bunker would be our initial target. Once we had taken it we move along the communications trenches and onto the next.

"Form up for frontal assault"


[Brother xxxxx, 2nd Ravenwing Attack Squadron]

"Keep moving and get around the flanks," roared sergeant Baradiel over the comm-link. I revved the bike up to emergency power and headed for clear space to the right of the first bunker. My gunner next to me began using his heavy-bolter to great effect; I could see great junks of the bunkers' superstructure being blasted off. The other two attack bikes in our squadron adding to the deadly barrage.

"Keep their heads down — give the Tac squads a chance to get in close."


[Sergeant Rahtiel, 3rd Squad]

From our rearward position we could see Zahariel's squad preparing to attack under the cover of heavy bolter fire from the Ravenwing Squadron. "Make ready for supporting assault," I order my squad. The missile-launcher marine primes his arming mechanism and lifts the weapon to his shoulder. "Fire when target is clear" I tell him.

The missile streaked through the air, the black propellant trail dispersing slowly in the heavy atmosphere. It was right on the button. It entered the weapon slit of the first bunker and erupted into an orange bloom of searing heat and flesh-tearing metal. There would be nothing much left of any size or danger in that bunker!


[Isiah, 1st Squad]

We were covering the open ground in front of us with giant powered strides, keeping our time in the bunkers' kill zone to a minimum. A missile cracks overhead straight into the weapon slit. We ease up slightly — the first bunker has been 'purged' by venom of the Emperor.

"Go right to command trench" Zahariel barks "and roll up to the second bunker".

We swerve away from the bunker towards the trench just visible zigzagging off to the right. We hunker down near the corner of the blasted bunker — providing cover from the shattering heavy weapons fire coming from the second bunker. I could see troops in the trench preparing an autocannon to hold us off. I decided that speed and shock was the best policy, so jumped into the trench with my bolter on rapid fire. The weapons' crew were literally cut in half. I kicked the autocannon over and smashed its power duct so rendering it useless. I continued forward towards the next bend in the trench, the other battle-brothers followed me. I let the flamer-operator shoot a gout of searing heat down the next trench section where a squad of troops were digging in behind ammo crates and barricades, followed by 3 or 4 frag grenades just to be sure. We advanced with bolters blasting both the already flaming enemy bodies [some shrieking in terror and agony — they were dying noisily but fast] and into the few survivors making for the second bunker.


[Brother xxxxx, 2nd Ravenwing Attack Squadron]

With the first bunker destroyed, Sergeant Baradiel orders us to rake the communication trench between first and second bunkers where we had seen enemy activity. The shells from our bolters tearing great gouges in the ground and splintering the hastily erected parapet of ammunition boxes and tree boughs. We were also under a well-directed and sustained fire from the second bunker ahead of us. So we switched targets again to deface the bunker frontage with cratered and pulverised ferrocrete, silencing their heavy weapons for a few precious seconds.

But our options for further movement are limited, so once at the foot of the second bunker we skidded our bikes around and headed back along the same arc we had just advanced. On this path our gunners were on the wrong side of the bikes to hit the target so we concentrated on creating as much dust and flying debris as we could kick up from the wheels to give cover to the first squad and to the advancing and exposed third squad.


[Sergeant Rahtiel, 3rd Squad]

I advanced my squad at a rapid pace. Our target was the [third] bunker on the left of the enemy complex. We could see the Ravenwing Squadron streaking back to the nearest bunker [first] where they would link up with us for the last assault.

At the foot of the first bunker we reloaded our weapons, checking that grenades were ready for instant use. The missile launcher marine fired at the last bunker and succeeded in penetrating the lower left section of the structure — but the missile failed to detonate.

I realised that the easiest route of attack would be along the communications trench between the first and last bunker, but this could be slow as it would be well defended. I decided on a direct assault.

"Rapid advance. Expect heavy defensive fire," I shouted to the squad over the comm-link.


[Isiah, 1st Squad]

We continued along the communication trench to the second bunker. The Ravenwing squadron was blasting it with everything they have. Enemy troops are only half-heartedly defending this section and we cut them down without too much trouble.

"Ravenwing boys are turning about" Zahariel observes as we near the small entrance to the bunker. "We'll be alone from now on".

We reach the base of the second bunker, the enemy's heavy weapons cannot traverse low enough now to hit us so we briefly regroup to check grenades and re-clip bolters. Frag grenades are thrown up and into the second level weapons slit, while a marine places a demo charge against the reinforced door. It detonates with a dull thud. "For the Emperor!" We are in. This bunker is larger than the first being two levels; we quickly turn the lower level into a miasma of gore, splintered fixtures and shattered armaments.

"Two escaping upstairs" I shout. I am out of ammo but they are not destined to survive for much longer. A stream of fire sears towards them turning one into molten pulp and the other into a flaming figure who breaks into chunks when his ammo belt detonates.

"Up to the gun level — no prisoners to be taken" orders Zahariel. I am up the stairs and over the flaming human debris in an instant, throwing two frag grenades into the dark space of the second level. Two deafening explosions later I am in and firing. Several torn bodies lay around but there is movement to my right behind the power units. I throw my last grenade. There is an orange flame and a muffled scream then nothing. "All clear up here" I report.


[Sergeant Rahtiel, 3rd Squad]

My squad advances over open ground to the last bunker. We are taking a lot of heavy bolter fire — but we must get to the foot of the ferrocrete wall and relative safety. The Ravenwing squadron is giving us good covering fire from their mobile gun platforms. They are awesome in action. I take a heavy bolter shot on my right shoulder pad and it knocks me over, two battle brothers drag me on to the bunker. When we reach it we present a curious sight. All our body armour is heavily dented and leaking hydraulic fluid from various points, not one of us has escaped fairly severe damage.

"Everybody OK to go?" I ask. The squad all check in affirmative (not that I had expected anything different) so we gear up for the final push. Four grenades get thrown up and towards the second story gun slit. We don't wait for they detonations but blast the locking mechanism on the entrance port with our bolters and kick it in. The door falls back in onto an enemy conscript who dies quickly under its bone-crunching weight.

"Split into two sections — one to take each floor". We have done this time and time again both in training and for real. Lasgun shots streak towards us in the darkened bunker but they will not stop us. I swing my chainsword at anything moving and cut effortlessly through flesh and bone, red arcs following the movements of my deadly killing tool. Within seconds we have control of the lower level. On the upper level the assault is as equally quick and effective. The bunker is ours. I order the squad to spike the heavy bolters and destroy all the power packs. Any documentation found within the bunker to be given to me. Any chaos artefacts to be taken back for further examination.

"Reform at rendezvous. Prisoners to be secured for immediate evacuation". Zahariel's voice crackled over the comm-link [Zahariel was in overall control of this assault].

Our job was done.

:: Battle-Log narrative ends ::

As we pulled away in the Thunderhawk, units of the Ash Legion started their assault against the central power facility complex itself. But we were not required for this unless they ran into serious trouble and needed our support.

We had captured some 25 prisoners — some with neural implants — from a fallen company of the Ash Legion. It was likely that they would be 'questioned' by Interrogator-Chaplain Zuriel, but unlikely that they would yield any useful information. Several were severely wounded (one missing an arm) but they feel no pain or emotion. They have been turned into soulless battle-drones by the diabolical surgical procedure of some very powerful force.

And that force we would have to face sooner or later.

Your obedient servant

Imperium Approved: Honoro Legio Dark Angels.

Isiah signature

Chronicler Isiah, the 4th Battle Company, Dark Angels.