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Old 01 Sep 2008, 12:50   #3 (permalink)
AuinMyrrath
Shas'O
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,807
Default Re: Entry H - The Iron Cage (Pettsy)

Over the next week the positions of both sides didn’t change much, the fire of the Iron Warriors kept the Imperial Fists pinned in place. Even with their primarch leading them they couldn’t advance. The Iron Warriors assaults were repulsed time and time again; despite suffering horrendous casualties they killed a number of loyalists with each attack, numbers that couldn’t be replenished. So far not a single marine had managed to penetrate the defences and reach the Eternal Keep; that would soon change. Sergeant Nimund crouched next to the approach to the next trench. Peering round the corner he was surprised to find no enemies, they had had to fight through many enemies to get this far and it had cost them dearly; barely half the squad was left alive. He spun around the edge and into the next trench, above them was the southern wall of the Eternal Keep with its massive portcullis leading inside. He was under no illusions that they wouldn’t be able to kill Perturabo, if they could injure him or hold on long enough for Rogal Dorn to arrive then their sacrifice would be well spent. The ramp leading into the Eternal Keep was paved with bones and skulls. With bolters raised Squad Nimund advanced. There was an aura about the Keep that drained the warmth from everything, Nimund shivered. The squad entered the Keep and moved to the centre of the open area before spreading out in a defensive circle ready to engage any threats they encountered. A cruel, cold voice rang out. “Sons of Dorn! Welcome to the Eternal Keep, for centuries you have blindly followed the fool Rogal Dorn and the Emperor. You have been blinded to the Higher Powers of this universe, we their servants have had our eyes opened to the truth. Yet still you cling to your beliefs. And for that you will all be scoured from the face of the planet, your souls will be feasted on for the rest of time. Surrender now and you will be finished off quickly”.
Nimund stepped forth. “We will never surrender traitor. You have spat on your oaths and will be punished righteously for your errors. We are the Sons of Rogal Dorn, the Fists of the Imperium and we will never stop fighting you”! With a screech of crashing metal the gates of the Keep came crashing down locking them all inside. “Brothers for the honour of Rogal Dorn and the Emperor we fight and die”. With the hiss of hydraulics portions of the floor opened and a number of Dreadnoughts were raised into the arena. Around the roof of the Keep squads of Iron Warriors appeared hefting a number of ancient auto cannons. With frenzy the Dreadnoughts began to move towards Squad Nimund firing their weapons and howling as the havoc teams opened fire. Nimund and his marines replied with fire of their own.

The time had finally arrived. After four weeks of continuous fighting the end was here. They had neither the ammo or marines to continue holding their line, all around lay the bodies of their brothers lying where they had fallen. Everyone living had a number of injuries, were it not for their engineered bodies each would have died many times over the past month. Rogal Dorn raised his head over the top of the trench line, though he couldn’t see through the heavy rainfall he knew instinctively that the Iron Warriors would be amassing for their next and final attack. The Imperial Fists had hurt them, but not badly enough. Their own casualties were horrendous, despite bringing over five hundred loyalist marines to Sebastus IV barely a fifth of that number were still alive, each ready to sell his life as dearly as possible. With a grim finality the artillery from the traitor positions began to rain fire down on the loyalist positions again. “Brothers. Though we are far from Holy Terra and Him we will not falter and take a single backwards step. We will give Perturabo and his traitorous sons a bloody wound that they will never recover from. My sons, it has been an honour to fight and bleed alongside you. If this is our end we will take many of them with us! For His glory”!

At the same moment artillery shells began to fall amongst the survivors of Sigismund’s veterans. Gathering the few warriors he had left to him he planned to create a short front that no traitor would be able to cross with ease. This would allow each brother to cover those standing next to him. No fancy speech was needed; every one of them knew what was now expected of them. Each would gladly give his life for his brothers; there was no tighter bond of brotherhood than that shared by these warriors. With a slow inevitable the detonating explosives slowly began to advance on their position.

The Warsmith looked out of the gun emplacement with a look of triumph; he felt pride knowing that the task of finally killing the upstart Dorn had been given to him. He gave orders to the gun crews and they obediently carried them out knowing that the time of their victory had arrived. With an ear splitting crack each was fired, had the shell cases ejected and reloaded before firing again. It was the perfect sound to accompany what was happening. Would Dorn just remain where he was and wait for the inevitable end or would he lead his men in a final charge? It wouldn’t matter what he did, this was the time for his long overdue death. The Warsmith began to move back towards the command bunker, the best position to oversee this momentous occasion. As he punched the access code into the door control his shadow was thrown up against the door by a blinding flash of light, spinning around he witnessed the first explosion. He was under no illusion what would soon happen to this entire area, he wrenched the door open and threw himself inside the force of the next explosion shot him further down the passage as something exploded right near to where he had been standing moments before. Regaining his feet he began to run towards the command centre.
Dorn’s and Sigismund’s heads shot up at the same time. All of a sudden the rain of explosives had been cut off and explosions could be heard from the distance. The whine of jet engines streaked across the surface of Sebastus IV, seconds later a pair of Thunderhawk Gunships shot over their positions. Dorn was shocked, they were painted in the blue of their brother Legion, the Ultramarines. How had Guilliman known where they had gone to, he had departed without telling anyone where they were going; he had wanted no help in this task. The screaming of landing jets and the sudden dust storm that had been kicked up made him turn and face the Thunderhawk landing behind their position. The assault ramp lowered and another walking god joined the action on Sebastus IV; Roboute Guilliman looked exactly like Dorn had remembered him. Surrounded by a guard of his own veterans Guilliman strode up to his brother and helped him out of the trench line that had been his home for the past three weeks. “It’s a pleasure to see you’re still alive my brother. Though it was ill advised of you to leave without informing me where you were going, you know I would gladly have aided you in your task”.
Dorn replied sadly. “It was my task and mine alone Roboute”.
Guilliman’s face turned sympathetic. “I know brother. But I’m afraid this task has failed, we detected a large Iron Warrior fleet arriving insystem as we entered the atmosphere. We don’t have the time or resources to get our traitorous brother before they arrive. We must leave now”.
“I can’t leave. Not now, not after all the effort we have expended in the past month. Not after all we have sacrificed”.
“Dorn listen to me now! If you stay here you and your brothers will die. Think of what you and your men can do for the Imperium, right now I need everyone of my brothers to stand at my side for the glory of the Imperium. If we don’t stand together then everything our fallen brothers and father have sacrificed will be for nought. Brother I need you and your legion”.
Dorn sighed and his shoulders dropped. “You are right Roboute”. A moment passed before he spoke again, this time with a great sadness. “What have we gained here? What have I done”?
“What you needed to do. Now gather your men together and let us leave this place whilst we can”.
Gathering the few remaining members of his legion together Dorn led them onto the Thunderhawk. Sigismund did likewise with his men, joining the Ultramarines that had landed at there position. Guilliman was the final marine to step onto the Thunderhawk as it pulled upwards into the sky and rocketed away from Sebastus IV. He communed with his command ship and set the orders for their departure and return to Imperial space. Once this task was completed he moved towards Rogal Dorn. “Listen brother”. Dorn looked up. “I need your views on a tome I have been compiling since the heresy, it proposes some radical changes so that nothing like the events of yesteryear to happen again”.
“I will go over it brother. But I have a lot of work ahead of me, my legion needs rebuilding because of my stubbornness”.

With a snarling rage Perturabo smashed the tactical display with a single strike from his armoured gauntlet. He had dismissed the arriving fleet as nothing but a fruitless attempt to rescue Dorn, if he had known that the fleet had personally been commanded by his brother Guilliman, he would have given it a more serious look. He had let the opportunity to destroy two of the Imperium’s greatest heroes escape. There was a small glimmer of victory to be taken from this last month; four hundred Imperial Fists had died under the blades and guns of his legion. His sorcerers even now were gathering the fallen loyalist’s geneseed for sacrifice to the gods of Chaos. Though he didn’t worship any particular god; unlike his brothers Fulgrim, Mortarion, Magnus and Angron. He did know that it couldn’t hurt to please them and there was no greater gift he could offer them. He smiled, Dorn and his legion wouldn’t be a threat for many years and his legion had finally got the vengeance they needed. They could now follow their brothers into The Eye and calm a new world for themselves. They could now focus on other tasks.
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