Tales of the 42nd: Alenvin line
+++OUTPOST IRONTALON, ALBIAN II, ALBIAN SYSTEM+++
+++633.000.M41 / 0800, 18 AUG 41000+++
+++ L+15H +++
Cecilia, Rayna, Leana and Alex are gathered in the command room of the so-called Outpost Irontalon. The tech-priest and their servitors managing to coax the machine spirits back into life and convincing them to work for them instead of their heretical former masters. They look down at a holo map of the area that surrounds them, along with the map on their dataslates that they are not plugging into the network just in case. Cecilia lets out a small sigh before she speaks, all of them clearly still tired after the few hours of sleep they managed to grab.
"Right then, so in to recap the situation. We have landed here, about 200km south of the LZ and RZ. Now that should only be a few hours travelling, but that does not count the Alenvin line in between us. And we don't know where the rest of the BCT landed. Did I miss anything?"
Leana shakes her head slightly.
"No that seems to have covered it all. The only thing now is, where do we go from here?"
"Yeah, technically what we should do is make for the RZ, but that means we would have to try and fight our way across the Alenvin line..."
Cecilia trails off with a look in her eye.
"I've just had an idea, we know where the planned attack point of the line was, if we can get there and take it, the Corps will not have to assault the line. Or if we can't take it, then we can attack it when they launch theirs to hit it from two directions."
Rayna nods slightly at Cecilia's words.
"It could work, we covered basic ideas of a similar situation in the Schola Progenia. Our other option could be to dig in somewhere and broadcast our location to try and rally BCT 304."
Leana taps the hololith slightly while she thinks.
"Though that would most likely result in us being under siege and any units of the BCT being ambushed. We can't push on, as we don't have enough forces, we can't stay still as we will be surrounded, we can't make the RZ as we would have to cross the defence line, which is L+1 objective. So, I think Cecilia is right, our only option is to go on the offensive."
Alex nods along with the others, staying silent mostly as she doesn't have anything to add. Cecilia glances at Leana with a nod.
"If we are to go with that plan, we need to be moving ASAP. And it would probably make sense to travel as individual companies and regroup at Hill 154, this side of the Alenvin line."
Leana stares at the map for a moment before she takes a deep breath and looks between Cecilia and Alex.
"Do it, get your companies moving and regroup at Hill 154."
Cecilia and Alex both snap off salutes before they hurry outside and start passing out the orders to get their companies formed up to start moving. Leana looks at Rayna, the only one that hasn't left yet as she doesn't have any direct responsibilities when it comes to the chain of command.
"Commissar, how do you know when you gave the right order?"
Rayna looks over at her, a small, sad smile on her lips for a moment before it vanishes.
"Colonel, you know when you see who is left standing at the end. You need to be able to adapt from your initial orders, but you can not second guess yourself when things aren't going according to plan. It is a hard balance to find, though."
Leana nods slightly at Rayna's words, part of her already knowing them but feeling better for hearing someone else say them.
"Thank you, Commissar, part of me knew that was the answer, but I needed to hear it from someone else."
"Not a problem, Colonel. Anyway, I believe that it is time for us to be moving out."
Rayna nods to Leana before she steps outside to look at the flurry of activity with the last of the vehicles pulling away from the outpost and forming up into their companies by platoon. Leana soon follows them out, and with a final nod, they both enter their transports and form up with their units.
"The is Colonel Biscari, all units. Move out!"
With the order given the two companies begin the drive towards Hill 154.
+++HILL 154, ALBIAN II, ALBIAN SYSTEM+++
+++634.000.M41 / 1700, 18 AUG 41000+++
+++ L+1D +++
The Alenvin line is a series of defence lines that span the narrowest point of the peninsula. Two lines of trenches and bunkers backed up by a 50-meter tall defence wall, lined with weapon batteries along the front and top.
The small task force that has formed has been getting set in the little hollow on the revers of Hill 154 for a few hours now, waiting for night to start falling and to see if the main attack will begin on schedule. While on the route and waiting, the two companies have been joined by 3rd and 4th Company of the 22nd, 3rd and 6th(W) Company of the 42nd, A Squadron of the 52nd Caledonian Yeomanry, the battery of the 89th Xailiv Artillery and both the Caledonian and Xailvian engineer companies.
Leana and Cecilia are in the camouflaged observation post that has been set up for them. With the front of it looking towards the gate in the Alenvin line that they are going to try and capture. Cecilia lightly taps her data slate once she has finished reading the latest report.
"So our scouts are saying the area is clear of approaching hostile forces, and the rest they can see are busy looking at 30 Corps. So that is looking good and our task force..."
Leana looks away from the wall the dominates the landscape in the area to look at Cecilia.
"Yeah, we are sitting at a full battalion-size unit with armour and artillery support. So we are in a good position."
"We are, and the engineers should have finished digging the basilisks in now for once the attack starts. And the armour has split into two arms to pincer attack towards the gate."
Leana lits out a small sigh as she sinks down onto the ground to sit for a moment while she looks up at Cecilia, a look of doubt and fear filling her usually sure and confident eyes.
"Can we actually pull this off or are we just rushing towards our death?"
Cecilia moves over at sits down next to her, knowing that they still have a few hours until 30 Corps should be launching its attack.
"That is one of the hardest parts of being in command, the second-guessing yourself before the battle starts. It is good to have doubts because it means you are not overconfident, but you can not let your doubts cloud your mind, the people under your command rely on your ability to command them."
Leana nods slightly at Cecilia's words, leaning into her while they sit there.
"I know...but it is still a lot, I've never had any proper training or upbringing to prepare me for this...I am scared for my people and your Caledonians."
Cecilia smiles slightly while she looks at Leana, turning Leana's head so that their eyes meet.
"And that is why you will be fine, your care for your people means you will not throw their lives away pointlessly, and that is what every soldier fears. The 22nd would follow you into the depths of the warp if you ordered it, not of fear or misplaced loyalty but because of respect. So would I..."
Cecilia leans forward lightly kissing Leana for a moment, the two of them enjoying a moment of relaxation as their walls come down before the moment ends with their data slates beeping. They break apart with a look of regret in their eyes while Cecilia moves onto her feet, offering her hand to pull Leana up. The two of them stand like that for a moment, holding the others hand and looking at the others face, both of them knowing that they can not know what will happen during the battle. Cecilia is the one to finally let go and start moving towards her company on the left flank, one final glance over her shoulder at Leana while she walks away.
"May the Emperor protect you, Leana."
Leana smiles sadly while she watches Cecilia walk away.
"And you Cecilia..."
With two mechanized infantry companies and two armour companies on each flank, with the other infantry company, the mechanized weapons company and one armour held in reserve. The plan is to lightning assault the gate and close the distance before the heretic forces have a chance to respond.
Cecilia climbs up into the commanders' cupola of her Chimera, looking over the assault force before she turns towards the wall, getting ready to begin the assault. Moments later, the roar of Earthshaker cannons opening fire can be heard from the other side of the wall as 30 Corps start their attack, soon joined by the blasts from the guns atop the wall in their counterbattery fire.
Cecilia closes her eyes for a moment at the sound of the Basilisks in the hollow of the hills with them, open fire at the rear of the gate to saturate the area while Leana's voice comes over the command net with the go order.
"All commands, this is 22 Actual. Jericho, I say again, Jericho."
With the order given, she switches to her own command net.
"The order is given, all units, begin the assualt! The walls will fall."
From around either side of the hill charge the main flank force of 20 Leman Russ Tanks, 84 Chimeras and 24 Hellhound Variants, plus their support with Salamanders, Sentinels, Griffons and Hydras. In total, just over 1000 infantry soldiers ready their weapons in their Chimeras, waiting for the moment the ramp drops and they charge forward into battle, or their battle comes to an end inside the back of their transport.
Cecilia makes the sign of the Aquila with one hand, her thumb across her palm and her fingers splayed out, looking similar to the wings of the Imperial Aquila. Before she double checks her weapons and ducks back inside of the cupola to look through its viewports while the Wall draws closer and closer.