The Apostasy Gambit
Location: Warzone near town of Sharaga
Cell Roster:Brother Lazarus, Constantine ‘Krell’ Fenrick, Dariel ‘Able’ Cruze
Allies: Ishta Espinoza, Taura Bălan, Dieter Schrieder, Hastus, Johan, Lucas Drake, ‘Mongrel’, ‘Pipecat’, Trooper Brutus, Nale Kain, Karl Kain, Logen Blackman, Titus Blek—
Following the helicopter chase incident over Angel Aria, the acolytes were arrested by local magistratum officers and taken into custody. Their questioning didn’t last long. When the acolytes mentioned their Inquisition connection, the magistratum fetched officers from the Arbites.
The Arbites questioning officer was Provost Zane Moran, brother of suspect Sybas Moran. The Provost was quick to have the acolytes silenced, before sentencing them to death. Another man was accompanying Provost Moran that day, a one General Ramirez of an unknown Imperial Guard regiment. General Ramirez suggested that death in service to the emperor was a more appropriate and less wasteful punishment to which Provost Moran agreed.
The Penal Legion
The acolytes spent the next few months training on board an unknown bulk freighter, being put through their paces in preparation for joining the Calixian Penal Legion. Little is known about this period as none of the acolytes have spoken in much detail about it, however Penal Legion training is normally as intense as normal Imperial Guard training, if not worse.
The acolytes were drilled into Penal squad X3804 and fitted with their explosive collars, flak coats and given their regulation lasguns.
Before long they were being given a basic brief; they were about to arrive on the planet Veneris- a once very holy place which had been caught in the grip of chaos rebellion. The squad’s mission is simple: storm and take a beach emplacement held by enemy rebels.
Approaching the beaches in waterborne transports, the squad took heavy fire from the dug-in cliff-top defences. A number of squads were present in the assault but only a handful of other Penal legionnaires make it through the battle. Eventually the squad were victorious and have the gun emplacement under control. During the assault however their Custodian, Sgt. Anderheim was killed leaving the squad without leadership.
The squad considered re-arming from the fallen rebels’ equipment, but Pvt. Lazarus convinced them to leave the ‘chaos-tainted’ gear alone. Before long, more troops arrive from the water transports among them a Commissar Lucas Drake along with two Guardsmen from the 101st Mortressan Scythewind (an Imperial Guard unit currently active in the warzone) who assumed command of the squad by collecting Sgt. Anderheim’s collar control unit. Commissar Drake explained that the squad would be splitting into two fire teams;
Cpl. ‘Mongrel’ Plassey (101st Mortressan)
Pvt. ‘Pipecat’ Sheldon (101st Mortressan)
Fireteam 1 were to advance down the coastal road and capture an enemy-held village which controls an important bridge on a road leading to the main warzone. Meanwhile Fireteam 2 were to head further inland with Commissar Drake to collect a “VIP” whose transport had crash-landed nearby.
Fireteam 1, under the command of Mongrel eventually found their way to the village and found it crawling with chaos troops. Able waited atop a nearby hill with a hunting rifle he had ‘liberated’ from the enemy while the others advanced into the town in two groups. Lazarus, Krell and Pipecat began securing the town building-by-building in vicious close quarters gun battles with the enemy. Meanwhile Mongrel blew an enemy heavy weapons emplacement to hell with his rocket launcher then joined Johann to flank the enemy via an alleyway.
During the fight, Krell managed to rescue a captured Arbites trooper, Brutus who joined the fight. Krell then worked his way stealthily around the entire flank of the enemy to ambush them from behind, taking out a mortar position but discovering a horrifying secret; the enemy had summoned a plaguebearer daemon and it was about to attack!
Krell ran back to the others, yelling to take cover closely followed by the plaguebearer and more rebels. The fight got particularly serious, Johann even stopped looting the buildings to help fight! Mongrel was taken out of action by a hallucinogen grenade causing him to blow his own leg off, but Pipecat stepped up and tore through the enemy ranks with her lasgun.
Able placed a few beautiful headshots into the enemy atop the tower where Brutus was holed up, allowing the Arbites trooper to bravely leap from the tower to help in the fight- but he slipped at the last moment and fell, leaving him badly injured. The plaguebearer approached and took fire from the entire squad, Lazarus screaming catechisms of hate at the infernal beast but still it came on and skewered poor Brutus with its plaguesword. Able moved closer and added his firepower to the squad’s but Krell was too shaken by seeing the outsider and ran full pelt from the battle! Mongrel even staggered from the building where he was injured to pump shotgun rounds into the daemon. Eventually the monster went down under the intense rain of fire and the town fell silent.
Krell returned from his hiding place with dire news; a large enemy tank battalion was turning off the main road to investigate the battle in the town. The fireteam, with no way of contacting Commissar Drake decide to flee the village and regroup.
Behind Enemy Lines
Fireteam 1 managed to eventually find Commissar Drake and Fireteam 2. The second fireteam had been unsuccessful in retrieving the “VIP”- it appeared he/she had been captured by the enemy judging by the tracks around the crashed transport. Also because fireteam 1 had failed to hold on to the village, the enemy front had moved forwards and now the entire squad were behind enemy lines.
Tracking the captive “VIP” to an enemy coastal town called ‘Sharaga’, the squad lay low and planned their actions. Sharaga was a heavily defended town bristling with defences and troops. There was even a large ship in dock with powerful-looking cannons. The squad decided to ambush a civilian truck they spotted coming down the road towards the town. Taking the vehicle fairly simply, the squad disguise themselves as farmers and hide their weapons (along with a few of their number) in the hay bales on the back of the truck.
Speaking the local language, Commissar Drake convinced the guards to let them pass and Hastus drove the truck into the bustling market square where civilians and rebel troopers mixed. Parking in a shaded corner, the squad attempted to leave the truck and arm themselves but the rebel troops spotted them and attempted to arrest them. A gunfight broke out in the busy market place and there were many civilian and rebel casualties. The squad did not escape scot-free however, Hastus attempted to run over some rebel troops as he was still in the driving seat of the truck but was hit by an overcharged las shot and set ablaze. The truck along with Hastus plunged into a nearby dock. As the squad scattered into the town, Commissar Drake was shot in the head by a concealed sniper.
Johann, Mongrel and Pipecat became separated from the others, leaving Able, Lazarus, Krell, Taura, Dieter and Ishta alone in the city.
The squad eventually link up with a group of underground Imperial sympathisers who were currently resisting the chaos uprising. They were led by Logen Blackman and were holed up in an old dockside tavern. Together the squad and the resistance planned their next move. The resistance had heard of the so-called “VIP” being detained in the old Arbites precinct on top of a large hill at the north end of town. The precinct was now in the clutches of chaos troops of course and storming it wouldn’t be easy. The resistance had failed to get any more information about the captive however and so the group still had no idea who it was they were rescuing.
The plan was formed however; Lazarus along with resistance fighters Titus Blek, Nale Kain and Carl Kain would flank the precinct from the north and cause a large distraction while Krell, Able, Ishta and Logen would blow the doors and push into the building. Taura and Dieter would provide fire support to suppress the defenders then head inside the bunker to cover the rear. The resistance fighters armed the squad from their ‘acquired’ armoury and the group waited until dusk to launch their attack.
The initial stage went well, Lazarus and his team laying down full-auto fire and lots of grenades to draw the defenders away from the front door and into the buildings surrounding the precinct.
Krell and his team took heavy fire at the main door but eventually managed to get it open and stormed inside only to be met with more defenders and elite Perfect Voice Praetorians. The fighting within the complex got pretty hairy until Krell found the Arbites armoury and began handing out shotguns and riot shields. Finally forcing the praetorians deeper into the complex the squad was joined by Lazarus, Dieter and Taura who helped to add their firepower to the group, flanking around a different corridor.
The Praetorians then received some reinforcements of their own- a Tzeentch Daemon had left the interrogation room where it was ‘working’ on the “VIP” to assault the squad with psychic attacks. Many members of the squad broke their will at that point and fled back out of the complex leaving Krell, Able, Lazarus and Ishta behind who stood resolute in the face of the daemon and put the beast down with combined firepower.
Turning the corner into the interrogation room, the squad found the “VIP”; an Imperial Navy intelligence officer by the name of . She was unconscious but alive so the squad grabbed her and any equipment they could and made their way to the front door of the complex, unsure of where to go from there.
As they left the building and regrouped with those that had fled, the squad were greeted with an amazing sight. The Imperial Guard, the Hammer of the Emperor had reached Sharaga, having attained victory in the main warzone further down the coast. Chaos troops were fleeing wholesale through and around Sharaga followed closely by tank regiments and valkyries as they hunted down their foes. The squad sat and watched as the Imperial warmachine punched their way through the town and put the chaos troops down.
A sleek black valkyrie with an ominous ‘I’ symbol on its’ door hovered overhead and the squad grabbed their weapons, ready to fight for their lives once more. But there was no need. The vehicle landed and its’ doors opened revealing one Inquisitor Mercius Kane. He was here to recover the and happened across some of his newest acolytes without realising it. When he realised who they were he commended their courage and bid them entry onto the valkyrie.
They had been rescued.