Tales of the 42nd: Point Thunder
+++XAILIV IV, XAILIV SYSTEM+++
+++APPROACH TO PLANETARY LANDING+++
+++891.999.M41 / 1500, 20 NOV 40999+++
The storm clouds above Xailiv IV suddenly turns into an inferno when the clouds are set ablaze from below with anti-air batteries opening fire on the incoming assault transports. The explosions and tracers rounds illuminate the front and undersides of the Imperial transports while they are on their final approach.
The Valkyrie rocks, while flak round detonates a few hundred metres away from transports left engine. Just before the intercom crackles to life with the pilot's voice.
"Captain! Our left engine is losing power and get similar damage reports from the other transports, we will not make the rally point with this Ack Ack fire, and the heavy transports have no chance. Requesting clearance to change to landing point thunder," the pilot says.
"Roger that...divert to landing point thunder and alert the rest of the transports. Get us down as quick as you can." Captain Cecilia Skye turns away from the intercom, looking at their command squad, while she sorts the beret on their head. "Right people, you hear the word we are diverting to landing point thunder, so that means we are landing behind hostile lines. Corporal, get on the Vox and pass the word to the platoon commands that we are moving to plan Victor."
The Vox operator nods before they start sending the new orders to the platoons in the company while the transports bank and dive to begin the emergency approach to landing point thunder through the storm and the hostile AA fire, with the devourer dropships following behind. While the Valkyrie banks, it takes a direct hit from one of the AA batteries on the ground the flak round completely rips apart the already damaged left engine. Another round detonates against the tip of the right-wing causing shrapnel to be sent flying and impacting into the right engine, setting it on fire. The pilot is forced to fight for control of the craft while it plummets towards the planet below with both engines trailing fire.
Cecilia stumbles before she manages to catch her self on one of the overhead handholds, while the rest of the passengers stumble and some of them fall to be helped back to their feet by their comrades. While the Valkyries race towards the planet below the anti-aircraft fire intensifies with the guns starting to get the oncoming Valkyries ranged sufficiently, with Valkyries getting hit and blasted out of the sky along with the bigger Devourer dropships beginning to take fire as well. The Captains Valkyrie takes another hit from the flak when the cockpit explodes into flames from the direct hit causing the Valkyrie to spin out of control before it crashes nose-first into the ground, ploughing through the land before finally coming to a stop. At the same time, the other Valkyries start to set down around the crash with the Devourers just moments behind. Cecilia had fallen unconscious for a moment when she banged her head against the side of the Valkyrie. She slowly came around to the sound of shouted orders and the quick movement of boots and tracks against the muddy ground while the Valkyries side door gets pulled open letting light pour into the hold with a few guardswomen silhouetted in the opening. When the door was opened, Cecilia slowly stands while she sorts her hair and beret before she picks up her sidearm, climbing out the open door and looks upon the landing of her company and out at the crashed and burning transports that didn't make it to the landing zone.
"Lieutenant Laski, I want a status report pronto!" Cecilia raises her voice slightly to be heard over the sounds of the company disembarking.
A young-looking Lieutenant runs over quickly coming from one of the other landing Valkyries, nodding to Cecilia when they reach her.
"Captain Skye, elements of the assault force, are still landing and deploying, but we are already moving towards to execute plan victor. Hotel company is currently mobilising with their armour support to take out the flak batteries while our company is digging in around the landing zone. Scouts are reporting that we are facing at least a battalion-sized infantry force with armour support." As Kiera Laski is informing Cecilia of the situation, they move towards where the temporary command post is being established with the battle map and markers already in place for Kiera to use to explain the situation.
"Good work, Laski, let's see if we can't nock out those guns for the rest of the battalion then shall we. What's the eta on our artillery being set up? And what's the eta to contact with the traitors?" Cecilia asks.
"The artillery should be good in the next 5 minutes. As for contact with the enemy, we can expect the enemy scouts anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour with the main body of the traitor forces being half an hour away." Kiera says while looking at the map with the final markers for reported enemy positions being placed.
Cecilia nods as she turns to the master of ordnance. "Ok Laski, tell Hotel that we are set up for them to begin their move. Sergeant, I want the heavy mortars ranged at 500 meters and the basilisks I want a setup for a disruptive barrage of their advance."
Laski turns to the Vox box set up at the command post to give the orders as the master of ordnance turns as she moves off towards the artillery pieces.
"Aye Aye Captain!" the sergeant says.
Moments later the roar of the engines and grinding of tracks that accompanies the movement of the iron fist of the Astra Militarium can be heard as the Chimeras, Leman Russ's and Griffons break from the landing site and head towards the traitor anti-air emplacements.
"Captain! I have just got in contact with local PDF forces!" The vox-operator says.
"Good work, Corporal, give it here." Cecilia Strides over to the Vox box before she grabs the handset for it, as her voice goes quite cold as she speaks down it. "This is Captain Skye of F Company, 42nd Caledonian, I want to know what the frack happened to my damn landing zone that was supposed to be secure!"
She is met by stunned silence for a moment before she gets a response,
"Emm...Hi there...this is Lieutenant Alexandra Aloy, 22nd Xailiv Defence Regiment. Emm...Well in regards to what happened to your landing zone well..." the stuttered response comes down the vox line before Cecilia cuts them off.
"Lieutenant, either give me a damn concise report of the situation or give me your superior," Cecilia says while pinching the bridge of her nose.
The Lieutenant takes a deep breath before she resumes speaking. "Captain Skye, I am currently the ranking officer of what remains of the 22nd Regiment. The traitor forces launched a concentrated offensive that broke through our trench line and took out most of the regiment in the process, we have been forced to fall back to the reserve positions where we have managed to stall them. I think the arrival of your regiment gave them pause, that allowed us to regroup."
"Understood Lieutenant, you are now the commanding officer of your regiment, congratulations on the promotion. Hotel company is currently going to take the AA positions in the area before the next wave of the regiment lands in the area, and once they land they are going to be launching a counter-offensive towards this trench line. I need you to be our point of contact with the local PDF until we have re-established the front line." Cecilia says, a small sigh of relief at the more concise report.
"Aye, Aye, Captain will do...be advised though that we estimated about 2 regiments worth of troops were used to break through, and most of them just pulled back from our current front line..." Alexandra says/
"Roger, thanks for the heads up." Cecilia nods as she hands the handset back to the operator. "Laski pass the word and get the engineers to speed up. Things are about to get interesting around here..."
+++891.999.M41 / 1537, 20 NOV 40999+++
Cecilia looks out across the broken, muddy ground to the south of Point Thunder and towards the approaching traitor forces. She turns slightly as she lowers her binoculars as she hears a commotion coming along the trench, moments before Laski comes running up to her.
"Captain, a report from Hotel they are almost in a position to begin the attack on the anti-air batteries. Still no contact with Battalion or another company yet." Kiera says.
Cecilia nods while she turns back to look out towards the approaching traitors. "Thanks for the update, Laski. Take a look at the approaching force, and tell me what you think their size is roughly."
Laski brings out her own binoculars as she looks out at the approaching force. "Looks like at least 3 or 4 battalions with armour squadrons, could be a full regiment and we just can see the rest yet."
"Aye, that's what I was thinking...a company of 42nd against a full regiment, this seems a bit unfair," Cecilia says, her hand resting on her bolt pistol.
"Aye, it does seem that way Captain...they should have brought another regiment at least," Kiera says with a slight grin.
The two of them share a small nod and smile before Cecilia's Vox operator come running up to them, "Captain, Lieutenant. I have the status update that you wanted."
Skye and Laski both turn to the operator as she speaks, "Corporal, give your report then." Cecilia orders.
"Aye Captain. Hotel is currently holding on the far side of the boggy ground on the left of our defensive line, ready to begin the attack. 3rd Platoon is reporting that they are entirely dug in on the right against the river as their flanks anchor. The Artillery Chief is saying that her battery is set up and has the kill zone zeroed in with the Basilisks ready to fire disruptive beyond that. And our recon troops are currently skirmishing with the traitors advanced scout forces." The vox-op quickly gives her report.
Cecilia nods slowly as she turns to look out at the approaching traitors again, as she adjusts the beret upon her head as she does so. "Thanks, corporal, contact Hotel and tell them to wait for the signal."
The Vox Operator is about to start transmitting before she stops and listens to her headset for a moment before looking up at Cecilia quickly, "Captain! The traitors are broadcasting on a standard frequency that they want to speak to you."
Cecilia looks at Kiera with a raised eyebrow before she turns to the Vox Operator as she takes the offered handset for the Vox, "May as well see what they want...You wanted to speak?"
"May I presume that this is the commanding officer of the Guard forces?" the voice on the other end responds.
"You may, yes," Cecilia says, her eyebrow raised in curiosity slightly.
"A pleasure to speak to you then, I am Major Julius Kyner commanding officer of the 83rd Xailiv Defence Regiment, and I've been authorised to ask for your surrender. We have you surrounded surrender would be wise." Julius says.
"This is Captain Cecilia Skye, Commanding officer of Falcon Company of the 42nd Caledonian, and you are a traitor the Imperium and to the Emperor. As for your request for our surrender, I only have one answer and a message. The message is Caledonians do not negotiate with traitors, and the answer to your request is this!" As Cecilia hands the handset back to the operator, she nods to the Artillery forward observer next to her with one word. "Fire."
The Forward observer already had their handset out as they bark the firing order down the handset as a split second later the entire ground seems to shake as the four Basilisks open fire with their earthshaker cannons. The shells arc through the rain of the storm before they reach the peak of their arc before they start accelerating back towards the ground with more shells already on the way behind them as they crash into the massed infantry of the traitor ranks. With a blast such that the shock wave can be seen racing across the ground in front of the dust, smoke, earth and bodies thrown up from the impacts of the shells. After a moment of shock on the part of the traitor forces, they then begin their charge across the broken no man's land towards the entrenched Black Watch Guardswomen.
Cecilia raises her right arm while she watches the approaching traitors charge across the no mans land as the scouts break away from the front of their force to harass their flanks. She holds her position while she waits for the first ranks of the traitors to pass a red ribbon tied around the remains of a tree. The moment the first ranks pass that point, she suddenly drops her arm and the trenches the Black Watch are in seem to almost explode into life with the red lasers of their lasguns fly out, accompanied by the blasts from their Heavy Bolters and Autocannons. And with that, the battle of Point Thunder is met in full.
The first ranks of the traitor assault seem to almost melt away under the first volley of fire, the entire body of the charge appears to nearly freeze when this happens before they are charging again with their armour coming up the rear. The traitors enter the kill zone set up by the artillery the mortars, griffons and basilisks open fire, decimating the entire first wave of what looked to be about a battalion of guardsmen in less than five minutes of the first shot firing. When the second wave of the traitor guardsmen begins their charge against the Black Watch, a series of explosions echo across the battlefield from behind the advancing traitors with pillars of smoke starting to rise towards to the storm clouds.
The moment Cecilia sees this, she turns to her Vox operator, who nods slightly in confirmation. With a small smile on her face, she gives her orders to the vox-op, "Send the confirmation to the battalion, Victor Blue is secure. Keep transmitting until we get a response."
About three minutes after the Vox operator starts to send the message to the battalion HQ, a flight of Valkyries comes screaming out of the clouds above, opening fire with their rocket pods on the approaching traitor forces.
"Captain, the battalion is on the line!" the vox-op shouts out with joy.
Cecilia accepts the handset as it is handed to her. "Go for Falcon Actual."
"This is Sunray, good work securing the landing route Falcon the rest of the battalion is already getting down at the Landing Zone behind friendly lines. Gecko Company will be in route eta 5 mikes. So just hold on until then." The battalion commander says.
"Afirm Sunray will do, and thanks for the air support," Cecilia says, while the good news starts to be passed down the trench lines.
"No worries Falcon, again good work. Sunray, out." With that, the battalion commander ends their transmission while Cecilia hands the handset back to the vox-op.
Cecilia turns back to look at the traitor forces under barrage from the artillery and from the Valkyries while elements of them start to break and retreat past the Black Watch while Hotel company comes around from the rear to flank them.