Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Fedrico Caphone growled. His white-and-gold metal edifice refused to push forward fast enough for his tastes. It was an ungainly, constant reminder of his long captivity among the Orks of Ghorok. The frustration of being wetwired into the lumbering Dreadnought body could not dull his zeal, however.
After many long months, he had returned to Ghorok to exact his revenge upon the greenskins. This was the only vector which remained for him. His physical state made it problematic to return to Terra and part of him had resigned to the possibility that his mental state was also not quite stable enough to withstand the stress daily Imperial politics. It did not matter, though. Terra and the rigors of Inquisitorial posturing held as much interest to him now as the base human activities in which he no longer took part. Therefore, he had remained with the Blood Ravens in the Pakeshi Sector.
The desire in his heart for bloody revenge was masked by the reasonable mission goals of rooting out and destroying the Ork threat. Over the years, Caphone had lost track of many contacts and friends within the Inquisition. Until his own recent experiences, he had assumed they were all dead, victims of the Xenos filth which they had hunted. Of course, at least some of them had likely been killed in the line of duty. However, he wondered how many Inquisitors abroad had broken contact with the Inquisition and the High Lords simply to do their jobs? How many had cast away the shackles of politics in order to actually accomplish works worth dying for without being forced to discuss them in a committee?
Most of the Space Marines and the Skitarii gave him wide berth as they rushed through the meandering corridors beneath the Reclimatus facility. The Blood Ravens seemed capable enough and, more importantly, hadn't dared hinder his mission. When their Battle Barge had intercepted the distress transmission from the Ark Cruiser Primus Code, Caphone hadn't needed to pressure their Chapter Master to respond. The mission goals were more than enough to push him to action. Any intelligence the surviving Magos trapped somewhere within the bowels of the Reclimatus would be invaluable to their efforts against the greenskins in the region. Also, any STCs they could recover were likely priceless in the extreme. Caphone felt a small pang of guilt as he cared very little for these matters. He just wanted to watch Orks die, to silence their guttural laughter with fire and claw.
"Inquisitor," a voice rumbled, transmitted into his mind from his walking tomb's vox receiver.
He did not respond.
The voice was persistent. "If you push your carapace too hard, it will overheat. If it overheats, you could render it inoperable during the battles to come."
"Dreadnought," he replied to the voice, "I grow weary of your mothering of me."
"I'll thank you to refer to me as Brother Bolos, or simply Bolos if you please," the Dreadnought responded. Although his words should have conveyed annoyance, his voice belied something akin to amusement. The Space Marine was also new to his own mechanical tomb. He had fallen during the defense of this world only a few months ago.
"I wish they had assigned an older Dreadnought to this task, Bolos. One who is far less chatty," he snapped.
Unperturbed, Bolos replied, "Inquisitor, please. I still have feelings to hurt."
Caphone scowled as much as his remaining facial muscles allowed him while the Dreadnought laughed quietly in his mind.
"I am sorry, Inquisitor Caphone. I chose to speak with you because I wanted to discuss strategy. I know you are new to Dreadnought combat. Well, I am as well, but at least I've fought alongside them in the past."
He did not respond, but Bolos went on anyways.
"I am not equipped with any kind of real ability in hand to hand combat. I can fill an entire corridor with a constant stream of bolt rounds, but you will have to take the brunt of any Ork assault. I suppose I'll be able to crush a few of them underfoot, but your impressive claw arm will be far more effective against them. I shall do my best to soften them up for you before we engage. Your Tornado Bolter will also be invaluable in eliminating any anti-armour units the Orks may have before we launch an assault."
Caphone was quiet for a while, but replied, "Yes. That's acceptable."
"Having said that, it is important to wait until given the order to engage. It will be our job to tie up great numbers of the enemy so that our Battle Brothers may steal away and complete their mission. We shall have to engage them and fight," A hint of concern was at the edge of the Dreadnought's words, "I'm afraid that it is unlikely that we will find our way back to the surface
"Certainly," he growled, "I trust you are not insinuating that I am unable to choose death when the mission requires it?"
"No, Fedrico, quite the opposite. I have sensed your bloodlust. Don't deny it. I have no doubt that your goal today is, indeed, to finally die. I respect that decision," his voice changed slightly, sincerity creeping in, "Truly. I respect it. However, I need to make certain that you will not forego the needs of the mission to fulfill that bloodlust. We need to work together and make certain our Brothers can meet their mission goals."
"Don't be foolish," he replied, "I am not suicidal, Space Marine. I do not wish to fall in battle only to allow the Xenos threat to continue." This insistence sounded forced even to his own ears. Bolos had good instincts. Caphone could feel the part of him which desired nothing more than to charge headlong into the first enemy which presented itself. "I will keep the beast at bay, Space Marine, for as long as I am able."
"I can ask for nothing more."
|Doug Johnson, the creator of the F.A.T. Mats and President of TABLEWAR™, generously gave us 6x4 Industrial and 6x4 Underforge mats for this campaign. You'll see and learn more about those in upcoming missions. TABLEWAR™ has been developing innovative products for the hobby industry since 2010. Best known for the popular F.A.T. Mats that are now ubiquitous with tabletop gaming as the gaming surface of choice, they also carry a full range of products for the Display, Storage, and Light Transport of hobby miniatures. Check out the full line of TABLEWAR™ products at www.tablewar.com or the F.A.T. Mats at their marketing and distribution partner’s site www.frontlinegaming.org.|
|The green tide fills the corridors, they push at each other to reach the enemy.|
|The Captain's Command squad takes up rearguard in the assault.|
|A single Magos has been able to survive the push into the bowels of the Reclimatus facility with a handful of Skitarii warriors. Inquisitor Fedrico Caphone, of course has joined the assault force.|
|The fast-moving Assault Squad and Mechanicus Thallax shock troops take point while the slower units struggle to keep up.|
|The Ork's vanguard is dominated by a clanking monstrosity.|
|Objectives of opportunity present themselves throughout the Space Marines' flight through the dank corridors.|
|The forces of the Imperium are smart to remove dangerous threats such as Tankbustas before engaging in close combat.|
|Large swathes of Orks are incinerated even as more pile into the corridor in an endless wave, like water through a pipe.|
|Big Mek Rustbolt orders his Deff Dread to move away from the fighting, in order to secure a valuable objective.|
|The Inquisitor and the Dreadnought stand guard against the Orks, pouring buckets of ammunition into the encroaching horde.|
|Although some Orks are able to surge forward, their ranks begin to thin.|
|The Dreadnoughts form an impenetrable wall of steel and hate.|
|Inquisitor Caphone pays the ultimate price for victory.|
|As does the Dreadnought, taking many greenskins with him.|
|The Command Squad is forced to engage with the Mega-armored nobz which destroyed Brother Bolos in a hit-and-run attack.|
|The Meganobz fade back...|
|...and allow the Boyz to rush the enemy.|
|The Captain's squad grinds the orks down...|