Operation Ajax – Blue Company
The decent to the surface of Taurus V was uneventful. At least this was not a
contested planetfall. It would appear that the inhabitants of this planet are as
much surprised by appearance of invaders as the Imperium was at the
appearance of their planet in real space.
Lt. Colonel Sharpe re-reads his orders from Colonel Locksley once again.
“Locate reportedly abandoned training facility for Eversor Assassins. Obtain any
remaining records and eliminate any hostile before destroying the facility.
Potential resistance is unknown. There is no detectable electronic signature from
the facility, suggesting that systems may be dead. Coordinates are pre-
programmed into the drop ship computers.
Proceed with caution. This entire planet is presumed to be hostile until proven
otherwise. If there are any remaining assassin disciples, I don’t have to tell you
these abominations are deadly. Shoot to kill and from afar if possible.
Upon completion of operation proceed to coordinates Delta 6, Beta 85 and await
further orders. Red Company will be moving to the Prime Objective. Green
Company will be approximately 20 clicks to East of your position in a defensive
Good luck and take care of the men. If it gets too hot, pull back and contact us
Don’t worry Rob, thought Sharpe. We’ve been in hotter spots than this. I won’t
waste men needlessly, particularly since we are unlikely to get any
reinforcements for some time, if ever.
Sharpe turned to Rapier, the codename for the assassin Locksley assigned to his
command. “We’ll advance the armored Infantry and Ogryns toward the position.
The fire support will be here.” Sharpe pointed to a detailed satellite scan of the
target area. I want you and the other snipers positioned to cover the men as they
approach the compound. Ideally, we will be able to take down any threat from a
distance, avoiding physical contact.
“That would be advisable,” stated Rapier in a cold monotone. The combat drugs
are unstable when manufactured under controlled processes. After centuries of
isolation, it is uncertain what mutations in the gene pool or formulation of the
drugs may have occurred. If any units are still functional, they will be more than a
match for the Praetorians and only the physical stamina and resistance to
damage of the Ogryns will allow them a chance to survive the initial attacks.
Ideally, a squadron of tanks would be the most appropriate hunter force.”
“The sentinels, chimera and our firepower will have to suffice.” Said Sharpe.
Capture of the Eversor Temple (Temple is the tall formation on left)
The vanguard of Blue Company advanced into the valley. Lt. Col. Sharpe and
his command section rode in the command Chimera, specially modified with
extra communication equipment to keep Sharpe in contact with his key
subordinates via Com-link.
Six sentinel walkers, the command chimera, an armored fist squad in a more
heavily armed chimera, a squad of Ogryns and two veteran snipers led the
advance. Before them was an eerie landscape of stone outcroppings and almost
coral-like formations. In the distance through the mist was the stone enclave that
reportedly once housed an Eversor assassin-training lab/temple. The humidity
was oppressive and the insects were hungry.
“Proceed with caution,” Sharpe warned over the com-link. “Under no
circumstances is anyone under 7-feet tall to seek close combat with any hostiles.
Shoot anything that moves.”
“How tall you?” Grof Nebber, Ogryn scout asked his large comrade, Russ
Holding his hand just above his waist, Orkslayer replied, “Me not know, exactly,
but your sister is taller than 7 foot. Har har.”
“Shut faces and watch forward”, hissed Slog, their team leader. “That dark man,
Rapier is an assassin. He says that if any of these assassin types are around
they are like snakes on legs. Fast and deadly.”
“And short!”, snickered Grof. He would find out all too soon that this was no
The vanguard cautiously advances. First reserves come forward. The vindicator
assassin, Rapier is accompanied by 8 ratling snipers. The 6th Platoon HQ
section with their mortar battery, heavy bolter battery and the 16th Squad set up
rear fire bases.
Faint life readings are picked up from two of the outcroppings on the right flank.
These formations appear to have multiple cave openings. Movement and wild
war cries are heard.
Two groups of feral looking humanoids armed with odd pistols and swords rush
from the formations. A group in the center advances toward the lead sentinel and
the Ogryn squad. On the right they begin to charge across open ground.
Sharpe’s com-link crackles with a message from Rapier. “Two groups moving
fast. Not Eversor but they are moving unnaturally fast. Probably drug induced
frenzy and heightened reflexes. Likely equivalents of apprentices or partially
mutated assassin trainees referred to as initiates. Recommend termination with
“Fire at will”, ordered Sharpe.
Multilasers, ripper guns and heavy bolters tear the initial attackers to shreds.
The heavy flamer on Sentinel 6 fricassees one group. Cpl. Jenkins in Sentinel 3
calls over the com-link to his buddy, Evans, in Six. “Say hello to my little friend. A
little overly done there garcon!”
The advance continues. The Armored Fist Chimera approaches a large formation
in the center of the valley. With a whoop, three groups of initiates emerge from
hiding. There appears to be tunnels connecting the formations and caves hiding
who knows how many feral, drug-crazed maniacs. The remaining reserves come
on. The 14th Squad takes up a position guarding the mortars.
The more groups of initiates pour out. One each against the left and right flanks.
Two groups in the center.
Caption: Silver figures resembling witch elves are initiates
Initiates pour from the formations in the valley center toward the sentinel
On the right, Sentinel 1 is assaulted. The Initiates inject themselves with drugs to
boost their strength and manage to bring down the metal walker, slaying and
beheading the driver. They sweep past the other two sentinels on the right and
move toward the ratling snipers.
On the left, the initiates screened by demons advance. Soon they will be within
assault range of the 16th Squad.
The ill-fated 16th Squad braces itself against the advancing demons
In the center, the Ogryn squad is attacked! Two initiates kill Grof and the whirling
dervishes wound another Ogryn. The Ogryns manage to kill one initiate but
panic and flee back toward the 14th squad. They are caught and slain.
The 16th Squad supported by a heavy bolter battery fire on the oncoming
demons and initiates on the Praetorian left.
“Captain Potter,” Sharpe’s cool and calm voice comes over the com-link. “ The
left must hold. Direct the heavy bolter battery and chimera toward the group
advancing on your position. We will handle the group in the center. The Ogryn
were cowards and deserve to die.”
The battery on the left responded. Along with the combined fire from the 16th
squad and the platoon command section’s lascannon they manage to gun down
the demons, but two initiates survive the onslaught. In the center, the combined
fire of a chimera, the 14th squad, a sniper, and two sentinels wipe out the
initiates. A good thing too as they would have likely swept through the infantry
not protected by armored transports.
On the right, things are not looking good for the ratlings. Rapier drops an initiate,
but fire from the ratlings and sentinels is ineffective. Five initiates remain and
they are moving fast.
“Mortars, on my mark,” orders the mortar battery team leader. Thirty-seven
degrees mark 28.0.” With a thump, the first mortar shot lands directly in the
center of the advancing initiates. The second and third mortars follow suit
zeroing in on the ranging shot. All three shots fall among the rapidly advancing
The ratlings shout with joy as the smoke and dust clear to reveal nothing but
initiate body parts and craters.
“Outstanding shooting Sergeant”, says Sharpe.
“That’s Corporal sir.”
“Not any more.”
Rapier’s voice comes over the link, “Well done. However, I am picking up a bogie
coming in from the northeast. Even faster than these abominations. No ID yet”.
On the left, the two initiates inject their arms with combat drugs and assault the
16th squad. Lt. Potter, observing from a position toward the center notes, “They
are moving like Eldar. Too fast for our men! It is a slaughter.” Sure enough, the
16th is nearly wiped out in the initial attack and is overrun when attempting to fall
back. “Heavy bolters, they are coming your way, we will support from your right!”
In the center, Jenkins’ sentinel is overrun by a new mob of initiates from the
center formation. It goes down on its metal knees. The initiates try, but cannot
get to Jenkins. .”The weapon is dead but I can try and shoot them with me pistol”,
shouts Jenkins. The initiates sweep past the immobilized sentinel toward the
Praetorian center, which was reinforced last turn with the second Ogryn Squad.
Looking for revenge and “encouraged” by the Commissar in the command
chimera, these Ogryn are out for blood.
Jenkins’ sentinel is assaulted yet again by drug crazed Initiates
On the right, another group of initiates boils out of the caves and assaults
sentinel 4, destroying it. The Praetorians are down to two operating sentinels in
the center, one on the right and one immobilized.
Back to the left, the heavy bolter battery team breathes a sigh of relief when their
fire wipes out the 2 initiates that destroyed the 16th. The firepower in the center
thins out the assaulting mob and the Ogryns attack. On the right, the mortar
team again makes up for poor shooting by the snipers and kills 4 of 6 initiates in
the group that killed the sentinel. The last two are shot down by Praetorians.
The armored fist chimera rumbles forward on the left. The Ogyrns finish off the
initiates in the center and move toward the large rock formation in the center of
Suddenly a new sound is heard in the chaos of battle. Automatic weapons fire
hammers the last sentinel on the right and it explodes in flames. “What the hell
was that!” Shouts Sharpe.
“Bolters.” States Rapier. “We’ve got traitor marines in the caves at 2 o’clock from
Sure enough a tactical squad of Space Marines in oddly marked armor had
emerged from the caverns and set up a firing position that can rake the center
and right of the Praetorian advance. If that was not enough, on the far left and
command squad of Nurgle Plague marines led by an imposing figure had opened
fire on the armored fist chimera and summoned demons. In the center, yet
another group of initiates appears and assaults the armored fist chimera,
temporarily stopping it in its tracks and disabling the turret weapons.
Just what we needed. A squad of traitor space marines!
“Sergeant, relay a digital image of that Nurgle leader to the Beacon for analysis.
Potter, direct your heavy weapons toward the Chaos marines. Get those Ogryn
forward to support the chimera! All units in the center and all snipers fire on the
Fabius Bile and his Retinue appear on the Praetorian left just East of
Spaghetti Junction. I guess Casey was adding some Zip Kicker to his pasta
for a little spice.
The heavy bolters on the left are ineffective but the lascannon cuts a Plague
Marine in two. He dies laughing. Rapier kills a traitor marine but all other sniper
fire is ineffective.
“Sniper 2, have you acquired a target,” hisses Commissar Putin on an open com-
“Y-yes sir, I’ve fired at four targets so far sir.”
“None sir, but the enemy…” Sniper 2’s sentence is cut off by the Commissar’s
bolter pistol shot emanating from the rear hatch of the command chimera. The
small hole in the sniper’s forehead is contrasted by the gaping maw that was the
back of his head as blood and brain matter is splattered at the feet of the mortar
Immediately the ratling’s next volley claims two marines.
“Amazing what a bit of constructive criticism can accomplish. Wouldn’t you say
Colonel?” Putin exclaims gleefully.
The Plague Marines withdraw to cover. The center group of initiates gives up
trying to dent the chimera. Their drugs fail to take effect and they withdraw into
the central caves. With a whoosh!, the Marine Squad’s missile launcher fires and
Sentinel 2 explodes. No collateral casualties are incurred. Another initiate team
assaults the immobilized sentinel of Cpl. Jenkins, continues to damage it but
cannot seem to destroy it. Jenkins’ curses can be heard as he fires random pistol
shots through whatever crack in the superstructure of the sentinel he can find.
The demons on the left advance! Rapier informs Sharpe that an Eversor or
something resembling an Eversor has appeared on his scanner and moved
rapidly into position behind the marines.
The fire teams on the Praetorian left wipe out the demons. The armored fist
chimera has recovered, but holds its position, wary of possible melta weapons in
the Plague Marine Retinue. A message comes down from the HMS Beacon.
‘Chaos Marine leader identified as Fabius Bile. Subject threat index is Maximus.
End transmission’. Mortar fire is ineffective on the marines but sniper fire is
slowly taking its toll. Combined fire teams shoot down the center group of
initiates. The Ogryns move toward the initiates in the center and assault. The
initiates drugs fail and the Ogyrns manage to wipe them out and now hold the
center cave network. Sharpe orders the command chimera and last remaining
operable sentinel to cover behind a rock formation.
The marines on the right react angrily to the sniper fire. The missile launcher
fires but narrowly misses dropping a frag missile in the midst of the ratlings. The
latter scramble for cover.
The Retinue and Bile withdraw toward the Eversor Temple. The Eversor
assassin appears. It moves much incredibly fast. “Inconceivable!” shouts Putin.
The Praetorian left fires at the retreating Fabius Bile and his retinue. All other
available forces fire on the marines causing two casualties. Their armor is
effective but the quantity of fire they are receiving is wearing them down. The
mortar team hits them with two shells. All snipers make for cover to avoid further
missile attack. Rapier starts to move toward the center to try and get a shot at
The missile launcher cannot resist firing at the immobilized sentinel of Jenkins,
so the entire marine squad opens up on the damaged vehicle. Pieces and parts
fly. It takes a direct missile hit but is still not destroyed. Jenkins is curled up
under the dashboard swearing and covering his head.
The Eversor flies into the Ogryns and dismembers them. No more initiates
appear, so it may be that these abominations are no more. Bile’s retinue moves
closer to the temple.
The armored fist chimera advances toward the temple. All units fire on the
marines causing a few more casualties. The marines refuse to retreat. A
member of the retinue falls.
Much to the horror of the infantry in the Praetorian center and their commanders,
the blood-soaked Eversor leaps into the open space between the center rock
formations and the Praetorian line.
“This is very bad.” Mutters Lt. Potter. “Sir, request all available units to fire on
“We’re on it Leftenant,” interjects Sharpe. “Stay calm and fire at will.”
The Marines fire a frag missile at the 14th but miss. The Retinue makes it to the
entrance of the temple and disappears into its tunnels.
The armored fist chimera turns around to bring its heavy bolter to bear on the
Eversor. The 14th Squad, Platoon HQ, heavy bolter battery and two chimeras
zero in on the mutation. Even Jenkins’ laspistol is seen extending from the
wreckage of his sentinel. The Praetorians let loose a withering rolling volley.
Finally, the HQ lascannon, the last available unit, fires. The Eversor explodes in a
plasma blast that temporarily blinds the driver of the chimera, but causes no
“That was close. That thing could have killed everybody outside,” said Private
Jones, the command chimera driver.
“Son, don’t be so sure we were safe,” noted Sharpe.
Frustrated by an inability to hit unarmored targets, the remaining 3 traitor marines
and missile launcher fire on the indomitable Cpl. Jenkins. A direct hit from the
missile blows off what was left of the left leg of the sentinel and the crew
compartment hits the ground hard, but the unit is still powered, if not mobile.
Jenkins’ arm is seen extending from the wreckage popping pistol shots at his
“Two o’clock Jenkins! Your firing at us!”
Sharpe orders a general advance on the left toward the temple. All units on the
right and center fire on the marines killing all but the missile launcher. Squad 14,
spreads out to limit exposure to frag missile casualties.
The lone surviving traitor marine fires one last time at Jenkins, enraged by his
inability to destroy the sentinel. Again he hits, but only does superficial damage.
“Damn!” He says just before Rapier puts a round through his visor.
The butcher’s bill is in. The 16th Squad was destroyed but 4 troopers will live to
fight again. 3 Ogryns will survive, only due to their remarkable strength and
stamina. 6 are in multiple pieces, so they are unlikely to recover.
One of 6 sentinels survived unscathed. Jenkins’ sentinel is beyond repair and
one exploded, but the other 3 that were knocked out may be salvaged. The
chimera turret heavy bolter will be repaired. The services of Sniper 2 will no
longer be required due to summary execution.
Sharpe, accompanied by Rapier, Putin, and a sizable guard investigate the
temple. A large fresh tunnel, apparently left by a subterranean vehicle gives
evidence to Bile’s escape. In the temple, they find a lab with 4 stasis chambers.
Three are empty. It is presumed that one was the original home of the assassin
slain in the battle. One contains an Eversor in suspended animation. Rapier
examines the systems, which are barely operating, and downloads remaining
core information. The conclusion is that the other two empty chambers were
recently opened. It is likely that Bile now has two operable Eversors at his
command. Cell samples from the remaining subject indicate no taint of chaos.
Rapier demands to be left alone with the subject. Blast doors are sealed and
Rapier completes arcane procedures to revive the Eversor. He succeeds in
reviving the subject and programming it to respond to Praetorian command.
New intelligence acquired.
Fabius Bile loose on planet with a retinue and 2 Ecersor.
One Eversor acquired to supplement the 95th.
Casualties were acceptable given the risk. At any point in time the entire infantry
group was in danger from the drug-enhanced berzerkers.
The battle plan was executed with excellence. The tactic of leading with armored
vehicles and sentinels supported by covering fire from the remainder of the task
force was effective.
Commendation to Cpl. Jenkins who miraculously held out under heavy fire.
Commendation and Field promotion to Mortar Battery leader Lewis.
Commendations to the mortar crews.
Operation Odysseus – Green Company –
“Your men ready?” asked Staff Sergeant Fowls, commander of the 20th Squad of
the 95th Praetorian Foot Guard Regiment.
“Ready as can be expected after a ride through the atmosphere in a metal pod.”
Replied his counterpart from 4th Squad, Sergeant Ripley. “Where’s the Captain?”
“He’s walking the line, talking to the men and checking out the positioning of the
heavy weapons. Did you notice every squad has a lascannon or missile
“Yep,” said Ripley, “Can only mean one thing.”
“Armor,” they said almost simultaneously.
“Damn,” said Fowls. “I hate tanks. Unless they are ours of course. Too bad the
landing pads are not yet secure. I’d feel a bit more comfortable with a Basilisk at
our backs. Any melta bombs in your squad?”
“Nope,” replied Ripley. “I think Lt. Cink has some. Not sure I would want to get
close enough to use one anyway. I’ll be looking over Smithers” shoulder when
he aims the lascannon, I will.”
“Captain’s young, wouldn’t you say?”
“No one is young after the last mission. Richardsen served under him and said
they were in combat for 2 straight months and had a 60% survival rate. Pretty
damn good against the mobs of Orks we were dealing with. 20-30% was about
the norm. I like the way he talks to the men and I like his attention to detail.
Can’t be too careful.”
“A-men to that”
As Ripley leaned against the rock he started to feel some slight tremors in the
stone. Usually you can feel the vibration from approaching armor before the
sound arrives. Both sergeants felt the same vibrations. With a nod they moved
off to prepare their squads for the coming storm.