Friday, October 7, 2011

Deathwatch Mission Report

Extraction - 9/24/2011
(First one, comments welcome! Enjoy!)

[[Classified information - Ordo Xenos]]
[[Inquisition code recognized: Inquisitor Gracien]]

[[Mission Briefing:]]
[[Primary Objective—Retrieve the Magos’s Datacore]]
[[Secondary Objective—Rescue Magos Vyakai]]   
[[Deathwatch Kill-Team: Brother Makradon, Brother Priad, Brother Lucius, and Brother Apollo]]

Thus is the tale regarding the recent Deathwatch Kill-Team.

“You descend on wings of fire to the tormented earth of a dying world.

Within the thunderous, claustrophobic hold of your drop pod, the assault on your senses and the agonies the crushing G-force exert on your body would kill an ordinary man, while outside the armoured ceramite burns like a falling star. But you are no ordinary men who endure this fiery trial—you are Space Marines, the Emperor’s chosen Angels of Death.

Within your mind, you recall the mission briefing, replaying it with perfect clarity. The world below is Tantalus, a resource moon on the edge of the Castobel system, a system around which the jaws of the Great Devourer are tightening shut. Your minds focus on the goal of the mission, and you recall the last broadcast from the world’s surface—an icy, harsh voice barking from the vox-net through howling static:

“Attention Deathwatch vessel Thunder’s Word. This is Magos Biologis Zardos Vyakai. My conveyance has been fatally damaged and forced to crash-land en-route to rendezvous zone. I survive, the datacore survives. I require immediate extraction from this location. The swarm approaches, Crash site unsafe, I will seek shelter nearby until your arrival. The datacore must survive and be retrieved. Location Encarta follows. I will set this message to repeat as long as the anima endures. Message ends.”

The voice cut off and was followed by a rapid chatter of sacred binary code, before beginning again:

“The swarm, five hours and counting, five hours until the whole area is swept clear of life under an unholy tide of fang, venom, and claw. Five hours. Five hours and counting.”

The retro-thrusters hammer into you like a blow from an enraged god. The drop pod doors blast open and you spring forth from your crash harnesses, power armour systems already engaged, auto senses tracking, weapons in hand. The daylight wanes, and through your suit’s filters you detect two pervading scents on the bitterly cold air: burning chemicals and human blood.”

As the Kill-Team exited the pod they noted the crashed shuttle. Immediately going over to it to see if the datacore or Vyakai were still in the broken craft. Once arriving, they found the craft empty, save the dead, and rigged with the power running from multiple systems into the broadcast vox system. They assumed that this is where the signal was coming from. Outside the craft, Brother Lucius noted a trail leading away from the craft.
After about a twenty minute search of the area the Kill-Team discovered the still-sparking and juddering body of a bisected combat servitor, two dead naval crewmen, and a shattered servo skull. There are also the bodies of two dead Hormagaunts, one turned partly to fused ash by a melta-blast. There is no sign of the Magos.

The Kill-Team noted a trail of blackish blood leading from the site, heading toward a near-by pumping station. They decided to move toward it and keep searching, almost an hour had passed and soon the swarm would be upon them. Moving into the facility, the sound of a wet, labored breathing filled the air. While searching for the source of the sound, two Hormaguants moved with lightning fast response out of pipes and tunnels around. Attacking the Kill-Team, the managed to wound Brother Makradon in melee combat. Annoyed, they destroyed the few Tyranids and cursed them in the Emperor’s name, moving quickly they found the wounded Techpriest moving next to a pumping station near the far end of the facility.
Quickly they realized that there was something wrong with him, as noted by Brother Apollo.

“One entire side of his cowled head and shoulders were thick with wet, crimson-black blood, and one of his back-mounted mechadendrites was broken in half and sparking occasional pulses of electrical discharge. His movements were a curious mixture of drunken swaying counteracted with sudden stops and precise corrections to his gait and posture.”

Getting control of him was harder than first anticipated, due to the amount of damage he sustained. Once able to note they were a Kill-Team, Vyakai relayed the message:

“Deathwatch Kill-team is recognised. I am Magos Biologis Zardos Vyakai... [code interrupt, failure]...I am injured and operating on emergency protocols [warning, warning] the full maintenance of consciousness is [dev, dev, deviation] no longer possible, lead me immediately to extraction, [Omnissiah vult] Acknowledge compliance. The swarm approaches, this moon dies. Acknowledge compliance. Message repeats...”

Immediately, Brother Priad acknowledged the message and proceeded to fall in beside him to protect Vyakai as they exited the building. Noting on the map that the entire complex was south of the high ground, and time running out for them, the closest and most defensible position was the security bunker.
Over in the distance, Brother Lucius noted a strange sound. Men were still alive in a nearby facility. Sounds of gunfire and shouts carried through the thin, chilled air. Contacting them through the vox, Brother Apollo convinced the Commissar that commanded the men to meet them at the bunker to be saved. They agreed and made haste toward the building.
Moving quickly over to the bunker the Kill-Team found the place surrounded by a razor-wire fence, on which are hung several notices warning that trespassers face death, stood a small, armoured bunker. Littered about the ground before it are the shredded remains of nightmarish bat-like creatures that you recognise as Tyranid Shrikes. The automated heavy bolters which crown the bunker’s roof, and which probably caused their demise, now hung silent and deactivated. The bunker and its armoured door appeared intact and sealed from the inside.
Brother Lucius crafted a shaped charge from some of the grenades of the Kill-Team to enter the door. The charge worked properly and blew the door open, the Commissar and his men joined the Kill-Team just as they entered the facility. The sight of carnage inside was too much for some of the men and were killed on the site after cursing the Emperor’s name. The large, single room is strewn with the dismembered remains of provost enforcers. A giant hole gapping in the centre of the floor leading to a collapsed dirt tunnel, immediately Brother Apollo ordered the Commissar and his men up to the roof with Brother Makradon to await the Thunderhawk on the roof. Brother Lucius took the rest of the teams grenades and created a charge to put into the tunnel in case of any Tyranid beasts that would come up from underground.
In the distance the Kill-Team detected a sudden sound, unexpected and dreadful, like a dull continuous thunder growing quickly closer. With shock the men realised that the sound they could hear is the coming of the Tyranid swarm, made up of a thousand, thousand running clawed feet and the clashing of numberless fanged maws in expectation of the feast. Death has come.

It is then, like deliverance sent from the Emperor himself, that the Thunderhawk broke the boiling purple-black clouds above them, its dark hull pitted and scored with acid pockmarks, but its engines roaring white-hot in defiance of the storm. The pilot dares not land, but with consummate skill drops the main hatch at the hover, and the Kill-Team and companions lept aboard to safety. Brother Apollo glanced back as the hatch draws shut to see a limitless tide of horror begin to roll across the tortured earth below, and at last doomed Tantalus dies beneath you.

[[End of Mission log]]
[[Recorded by Inquisitor Dracin, 002.M42]]

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