The Crusade

Author: John Miles <jm_dover[at]>

Ok I've recently been talking to a few mates recently and they are in agreement that i should post this fic here at Xanderzone. It is quite likely my most ambitious project ever and I hope You like it.

The Abaddon Crusade

A Warhammer 40k Fanfiction

Latest addition


The glittering achievements of the Dark Age of Technology have been all but lost, obscured by uncounted centuries of superstition and fear. The worlds of Man are scattered across the galaxy, with vast gulfs of wilderness space separating one from another. But the Age of the Imperium has cast the Emperor's Divine Light across a million worlds. It has established an iron regime only maintained through flesh and blood, endless toil, monumental sacrifice and unthinking loyalty to distant Terra. Man has learned to embrace war as its religion, billions take up arms against a galaxy of foes. Great ships sail the void, their guns charged to rain death upon enemies of the God-Emperor.

Still it is not enough to guard the fragile worlds of man from a cruel and uncaring universe.

Still it is not enough to guard against the unnumbered horrors which lurk upon forgotten worlds, the alien races which prey upon the scattered outposts of humanity and the heretics who dare defy the Emperor's will.

This is the Age of the Imperium. A time of war and carnage among the stars, of great fleets and mighty armies, selfless heroism and blackest infamy.

There is no peace among the stars, only war...

The Cast.

The Imperium Of Mankind

Alexander Harris
(Commander Fenris 1st Imperial guard)
Ragnar Blackmane
(Commander 1st Company Space Wolves Chapter)
Sven Ironhand
(Veteran Captain Space Wolf Space Marine)
Lord Admiral Ravensberg
(Commander Battlefleet Gothic, High Lord of Terra)
Captain-Commissar Elias Tannan
(Executive officer of the Emperor's Wrath)
Sgt Hanmon Ressik
(Former Platoon Commander imperial guard)
Colonel-Commissar Ebram Gaunt
(Commanding officer Tanith First and only)
Sgt Brin Milo
(Platoon leader 2nd Platoon Sabbat legion)
The Avatar
(Voice of the Emperor.)
(Goddess of the Sabbat Worlds)

The Chaos Powers.

The Prince
(Fallen Angel)

Chapter 1

Forget the promise of progress and understanding,
for there is no peace amongst the stars,
only an eternity of carnage and slaughter
and the laughter of thirsting gods.....
In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future there is Only war
Well this is another fine how do you do

He had seen demons and monsters, mutants and the true faces of evil, however even with many years of experience fighting these things he was in no way ready for the true dangers of the outer realms of space and time.

It had been Seven months almost to the day that his voyage had begun, it was a good thing that he had ended up on the world he had, very few other worlds would have accepted him in the way he arrived but the brothers of the chosen of Russ had accepted him and had gradually allowed him their trust and the trust of the entire chapter.

From behind him he could sense the older man that had taken him under the wing of his company and his allies. Captain of the 1st Veteran regiment- he had gone against the tenets of his chapter and taken in a civilian- a 'damaged' one at that and allowed him into the recesses of their fortress monastery- commonly known as The Fang.

Ragnar Blackmane, captain and a lord of the Space wolf marine chapter walked up behind his young compatriot, seven foot tall and encased in ancient but powerful marine armour his shoulders covered by the dark fur of a fenrisian wolf. He dropped his hand onto the young man's shoulder as he looked out into the void of space.

"I've been in space for over a century my friend and it never seems to fail to take my breath away when I look out of the viewing ports. It is preferable to watching Augur screens from inside the ship or the bridge."

"On my world we had only recently started space travel, we'd made it to our moon even sending unmanned probes to planets and moons across the system." He took a breath. "We had never really imagined anything like this ship and the Imperium except in science fiction stories."

"The emperor in his wisdom is responsible for the creation of all he surveys, it is told he is many tens of millennia old. Perhaps he once saw these fictions of types you recognise and built the Imperium in its image."

"Maybe, but our writers never saw a future based like this. We had series based where humans built a utopia where all people try to get along, ally together against common foes. We never guessed that far futures would be war-ridden."

Ragnar looked at his young friend, the man-boy was still quite naive but there was hope for him. He had not been in the Imperium long and it was difficult for him to have his world change so completely, Ragnar remembered his own transition from boy to fenrisian warrior to Emperors chosen warrior. His world had been turned around much like his friends.

"Alexander my friend, time will help you to adjust, the tutorial engines and ships library are at your disposal and I have been asked to give you a message from the wolf priests."

Alexander seemed surprised at that, he had not been well taken to by many of the people of this time and place. The wolf priests had seen him a heretic and said he was a throwback and of little use to the Imperium, however the lord of the wolves Logan Grimnar had stayed the objections of the priests and after a cursory examination had had Alexander taken to one of the VIP rooms of the Fang. He had later been told of the discussions that had been undertaken by the lords of the chapter, that he had been stayed the basic ritual of cleansing and execution.

He had been seen as a kindred spirit by the mages of the chapter, a spirit was awoken many eras before much like that of a wolf sprit of a space wolf marine. A powerful force not unlike that of Ragnar himself was inside him, the divination of the wolf priests and the senses endowed upon those few psykers in the emperor's service had seen the strength of the spirit- not a wolf but something else.

Something Darker.

Alexander had told them of his possession of a beast spirit many years beforehand, the fact he had held it down since and had few urges from it had gone a long way to earning the respect of the Wolves. Tests and religious ceremonies had been done around him attempting to discern who or what he was, no alien influence was found and no Chaos taint was evident in his life aura.

"A message?"

"They have reconsidered the demands for your execution, you seem to have intrigued them, and they wish for you to meet at the priest levels tomorrow."

Alexander stood stunned.

"No non Space wolves have ever been requested to join the priests my friend, it is quite an honour. Few people I have known have become priests or even know the inside of their sanctuaries. This is a rare honour Alexander."

"I never realised Lord Blackmane, It's been over half a standard year and I still find it difficult to figure out how and what to do around here. It's a little disorientating."

"I do know the feeling, I've been a Marine for over a hundred years and I still don't know all I really wish to. Even with the tutorial engines, It's still strange for me o come to grips with."

"Yeah, I only wish I could do something to help around here, I feel as If I'm imposing on the hospitality of the Chapter. If I had not once had the spirit of a beast within me there is little chance I would have been accepted here."

Ragnar had no reply to that, the man was right though he was a true warrior he would have been put to death by the ecclesiarchy had the lords of the chapter not had intervened- the lack of proof is not lack of falsehood. In these days of Chaos and war across a million worlds, one man missing is not noticed. Even high officers like Chapter masters and Battlefleet commander will not be missed by much outside the Segmentum of their forces. This frail human would not be missed by anyone, except those few who had known of him In the chapter, funny that a man his size and stature would have faced down such a man as his battle-brother Sven Ironhand without flinching.


Two weeks after Alexander's appearance at the Fang Monastery-Fortress, Y976 M41

Ragnar watch as his closest friends Sven and Strybjorn had a tussle, they had fought with and alongside each other for the hundred years the three of them had been Wolves. Their rumble was disturbed when the slight (compared to a Marine) figure appeared inside the doorway to the banquet hall, most of the commotion in the hall stilled as he appeared, he hadn't moved but awaited respectfully for the lord to allow his presence in the hall.

Ragnar motioned his young guest into the chamber, and with head unbowed he strode in, the wolf nodded at this show as it would give the others notice that he would not be bowed by their behaviour. Alexander made his way up to the top table where he had been motioned and sat alongside the lords themselves. Many of the marines were shocked at this almost unheard of breach of protocol that a human- a non imperium citizen would be allowed to fest at the side of a lord of the wolves.

You could see it and even the reduced senses of this human could feel the irritation and aggravation of the veteran marines and the envy of the new scouts and blood fangs of the chapter. He felt his own fear and anger spike and knew the wolves could smell it, pushing it down with a force of will he sat at the end of the table set with a place for him. The basic Marine utensils and dishes were much too big for a normal human so a place was set for him using those usually reserved for dining by dignitaries from the ministorium.

Alexander could feel the eyes, ears and noses probing his position. He looked straight up and at the marines, locking eyes with everyone that would dare to. Many nodded and backed down, some snorted as if he was not worth their time. Some of the veteran marines were amused by the show of bravado, and one….

One decided to try to sort Alexander out and to attempt to put the boy in his place, Ragnar saw this and attempted to intervene, however a elder wolf priest lay his hand upon Ragnar's armour to hold him in his seat. The wolf approaching Alexander was a long term comrade in arms of Ragnar- Sven Ironhand, taken into the fold the same time as the Lord himself had taken it upon himself to 'put the boy in his place.'

Alexander was not ignorant of this fact and waited for the marine to approach, slowly he himself stood adjusting the belt that his equipment now hung upon removing it from his waist, the marine was no longer dressed in his encumbering power armour- but was still much more formidable than many demons Alexander had witnessed. Sven sauntered his way over to the table.

"So you believe you are worthy of being at the head table stripling."

"I don't believe…"

"Oh so you're so bloody confident that you can just walk in and sit down."


"Your nothing but fodder for a Guard regiment, No a Bloody Penal guard regiment."

Alexander just looked at Sven, an unimpressed frown on his face. He walked across to the Marine and Tilting his head up looked directly into the eyes of the much bigger man. He did nothing else just looked at Sven, then slowly whispered Just so Sven and a few others at the table could hear.

"Shut up Marine if you have a problem address me and not in front of the Chapter's lords. I am here at the God- Emperors pleasure, You are a servant of the Golden Throne, one of the few chosen Ones- so ACT LIKE IT."

With that Alexander turned on his heel and sat down leaving a dumbstruck Space Wolf standing their stiff as a statue, the look in his eyes changed from the disgusted contempt to amusement. He laughed out loud and howled.

"Damn I like this bloody kid."

Alexander Replied out loud. "I don't really care."

Another Shout from Sven's table, "Neither do we."

Ragnar looked at them and Just nodded, allowed the Small gathering of Wolves to play off each other. It had been a rough few years against the last black crusade and they all needed the morale boost.


It was evident however that Alexander had had a bad time adjusting to the time and place he was now interned to, he place, time even the customs and people were too different for him to be at home for. Even Seven months later he had still to find a place for him to be comfortable with, he didn't know if Alexander would ever be at home, especially on such a world as Fenris- one so different as Alexander's home world. He clapped his hand once more on the Young man's shoulder and left the room and his friend in silence.

Two thousand Light Years away.
Segmentum Solar
One year ago

"This crusade must not be allowed to continue." The voice of Lord Admiral Ravensburg, commander of Naval Forces Segmentum Obscurus. "We need to stop them at all costs."

For the first time in almost One Thousand Years The full assembly of the High Lords of Terra had been formed, the five segmentae lords and the avatar of the Almighty God- Emperor himself were convened at the Imperial palace on the ground of Holy Terra Itself.

"The Black crusade is doing very heavy damage to the surrounding sectors of the Cadian system, the gate itself has almost collapsed, and many sectors are under heavy attack."

"The Segmentium Secundus forces are mobilising as we speak they will be there when they can." Responded The Avatar, "The crusade is much larger than any since the great Treachery of Horus ten thousand years ago." The blind wizened man sat back in the hard wooden chair- one that had been the head of the table of the lords since the great crusades over Ten thousand years and one that had sat the emperor for many millennia.

"This black crusade has been foreseen for many years by the Imperium, we have known that the forces of the despoiler would launch and they have. We have allowed the enemy to take the systems they have- they will be destroyed without much preamble when the time is right."

"Much of the Battlefleets in Segmentai Obscurus and Pacificus have been destroyed or heavily damaged over the last few centuries- with other units sent to other Segmentai to reinforce their fleets after encounter with Xenos scum its is my regret that we may not have the power in the fleets to remove the taint of the corrupted from the Gothic and Cadian sectors."

"All will be Well My lord Admiral- we just have to wait. The Emperor protects."

"The Emperor protects."

The Howl of Fenris
Space Marines Battlebarge
Gothic Sector
Segmentum Obscurus
Thirteen Months later
20 Light Years from the Front Lines of the Black Crusade

"Condition Red All hands to battle stations." Across the four kilometre long warship thousands of crewmen , vassals, servants and marines of the Wolves chapter set themselves for battle, along the great flanks of the ancient warship weapons ports slowly opened- torpedoes were loaded into their racks ready for launch, all along the rows of weapons adepts and tech marines prayer over the weapons as had been the custom for time unknown.

All in the name of the God-Emperor.

"My lord whats going on." Asked Alexander, his friend and chapter master Ragnar has called the entire companies of men aboard to arms. He himself was armed with all the equipment and weapons that a marine habitually carried plus one or two others that were his alone.

"We are going into battle young cub, get to the armoury they will issue with appropriate weaponry you may be called upon to prepare yourself for battle."

The evident hate in the elder Wolf's words could only mean one thing- one thing the Space Wolf Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes hated more than anything.


"Your intuition serves you well my friend, we have reports that a traitor chapter are on their way through the sector we are to hold them off until reinforcements arrive. I am fearful that even the companies of the Sons of Russ will not be able to hold this tide back."

"Then I stand by you my lord Wolf." With that Alexander of Terra ran to the ships armoury readying himself for battle.

The inboard armoury was full to the rafters of the cathedral like munitions bays with weapons adapted and created for use by the Marine chapter, however several areas were for use by the normal sized humans that ran the ship, unlike Arbites and Guard ships there were only a few weapons to choose from, basic Bolt weapons, Las Pistols, chain weapons and a few heavier weapons like shotguns, lasrifles and right at the back a very old but well maintained Meltagun as well as a newer heavy Lasrifle-

*Musta come from Cadia before the crusade- damn that's a nice weapon.*

Requisitioning both plus a dozen magazines for each as well as a small bolt pistol, to hold as a sidearm in case he needed it he moved to his bunk to check the equipment over.

Resting on his bunk he stripped the lasrifle and Bolt pistol and looked the pieces over, he had been in this nightmare future for a good few months at this point and had been taught the rudiments of field repair and weapon upkeep- he was not a guardsma and definitely not a marine but he had surprised many at the proficiency with weapons during a range test on Fenris. His lasweapons skills were crack shot level and his bolter weapons skill was above that of most regiments well into the range of Arbites special units.

His new eye- implanted by the wolf priests to replace the one he had lost a long time ago in battle had been a lot of help during his retraining with the advanced weaponry he could now use. It allowed his already formidable weapons abilities to expand- he was already as good as the scout troopers of the Tanith first-and-only regiment and had the weapons skills of the Cadian regiments best. He was still hesitant with some weapons but the ones he knew best of all he was among the deadliest human fighters in the Imperium.

The last of his weapons was one given to him by the Scout company's 2nd troop, a chain axe- a former weapon of the commander of the fangs- one who had died in battle recently. It had been bequeathed him by the Wolf veteran as he saw that Alexander had the soul of a warrior and while he couldn't be a Space wolf he should be armed with weapons that were real weapons- not imperial guard basics.

The weapon was one of his proudest possessions and one he looked after meticulously stripping and cleaning it every day since he got it- it was in completely perfect condition- he had gone as far as to check and replace any tooth that was worn or broken- the weapon was in a condition he hadn't been since it left the Adeptus Mechanicus forge world of Mars Two thousand years ago.

The footsteps of the crew running to their posts combined with the noise of the engines and thrusters powering up had been overwhelmed by the weapons systems being powered and the void generators activating. However throughout all this Alexander had been immersed in the preparation of his weapons- only disturbed by the thunder of a fist on his door.

Opening it presented the commander of the 1st Company- his old nemesis and friend Sven Ironhand, seeing the veteran Wolf he just nodded and made his way to the chapter's main chambers- the time for combat was at hand.

Flames of Blood
Sons Of Horus Battle Barge
Chaos Space Marine Fleet
Chaos Warp Gate
Outer Systems
Gothic Sector
Segmentum Obscurus

"My Prince the Fleet is ready to depart- however we have news that a fleet of the False Emperor's loyal marines are insystem."

"What chapter My champion."

"The Sons Of Russ My Prince."

The Prince known only as a member of the Fallen, one of the few that betrayed the Marine chapter known as the Dark Angels. This man had once been nothing more than a scout in his chapter- but his inherent power and favour of the Chaos gods had changed him greatly. Now he was a Daemon prince- one that had led this Black crusade to it's full glory in a short time.

"It is of no consequence, they have maybe four companies that are inbound, we have half a legion. Have chapters three, four and seven destroy their command ships and the battle barges- with them gone the rest of the pitiful defence force will be routed or destroyed."

"Your will be done my master."

Battlefleet Gothic
Thirty standard minutes later…
Battle Enjoined

The Imperial fleet had picked up the enemy fleet one hundred million kilometres from the system, this had allowed them to be battle ready and have all attack craft launched with plenty of time to intercept any ordnance or fighters launched by the enemy forces.

The Emperor Class Battleships- Divine Light and Pride of Cypra Mundi were the first to come face to face with the enemy fleets, six flotillas of Chaos Destroyers had broken of for torpedo runs on Admiral Ravensburg's Command Dreadnaught- the Emperor's Wrath- a new and improved Command Cruiser. The Battleships had seen them and while three groups of Cobras were pouncing from one side the two battlewagons laid down a wall of fire destroying all but one flotilla within seconds- the cobras wiped out the lat ships seconds later.

Then the fleets were in range.

The fleets were massive- Virtually the entire Gothic Sector's naval forces were there Excepting a secondary fleet and port Maw and task forces keeping order, everything that could be scrambled and pulled in- in time had been- including the fleet of the Wolves and a full fleet from their brethren the White Scars Space marine chapter.

Thousands of Capital ships with hundreds of thousands of escorts on each side lumbered and raced into range of the other side- thousands of Lance rounds ripped into each side tearing apart ships and annihilating escorts and those smaller ships unlucky enough to be in their way. Over a Dozen battleships Heavy cruisers and Command ships exploded on either side within seconds, hundreds of Attack craft and destroyers succumbed to their enemy's fire- but these losses were miniscule and barely noticed- the fleets just kept on the push to the enemy ships' flanks.

The Heaviest ships in the imperial fleet had pulled behind in small task groups on either side of the main fleet angling to get a better shot at the enemy forces. However the lest elements of the Main fleet had already engaged and were in the way of the larger ships weapons.- though by imperial doctrine this mattered little as over one hundred twenty ships opened up with the most devastating weapon of the imperial arsenal- the nova cannon.

Over one hundred cannon rounds hit single ships with the rest exploding in amongst groups of smaller escort ships, detonating engines cores and shredding the closest ships to those hit directly. Almost two hundred of the enemies biggest ships and tightly packed escort formations were wiped out within seconds- the carnage was unimaginable but still it stopped neither sides from it's inexorable clash- the Chaos ships ploughing through the ruins of hundreds of their own ships as if they were little more than bugs on a windshield.

Then came the responses from the massive ships of the chaos fleet, few if any of their ships were equipped with the fearsome heavy artillery of the Imperial battleships so had to get in closer- they had reached firing distance even with the continuing bombardment of the Imperial lines. Thousands of torpedoes left every ship in range from the chaos ships, followed closely by a swarm of Attack and assault crafts launched from the huge carriers and cruisers.

In turn the same thing happened amongst the imperial lines- hundreds more nova cannon rounds thundered across to the enemy followed by many more thousands of torpedoes. As the massive bombardments collided torpedoes and attack craft hit each other and their opposites wiping out masses of torpedoes and attack craft- the chaos forces had little regard for those craft and assigned them to shoot down every torpedo they could and then to attack the lines of the Imperial Navy.

Hundreds of torpedoes made it through the massed explosions of the munitions fired by both sides- most were wiped out by the close flying assault craft remaining close to the capital ships, yet more were destroyed by countermeasures from escorts and the bigger ships. However inevitably some torpedoes would make it through the masses of defensive firepower, several dozen rounds and nova rounds got through the defences crippling some ship and destroying many more- shrapnel and wreckage damaging the escorts and cruisers around each damaged ship- reactors overloaded on carriers and exploded ramming other cruisers and battleships.

The greatest loss in the first exchanges was an Emperor Class Battleship by the designation of Divine Right- the same capital ship the High Lord Admiral Ravensburg had fought and won the Gothic sector war years beforehand. This only spurred the command crews of the closest ships to attack harder and with greater precision- to avenge their lost comrades and the loss of a much loved and respected command ship.

Bridge of the Emperor's Wrath
Primarch Class Battle Dreadnaught
Flagship 2nd Segmentum Obscurus Imperial Battlefleet

"My Lord Admiral, the assault ships of the fleet are ready to attack. All bombers are fully loaded with Ship destroying warheads and fighters are loaded with Anti-Fighter and Anti Ordinance Missiles. Boarding Shuttles are ready to depart on your order." Captain- Commissar Elias Tannan Executive officer of the Wrath

"Excellent have Escort Flotillas two, seven, sixty four, nineteen and three eighty-four cover the fighters for their runs. Tell them to hit anything they can and then withdraw when torpedo stocks are dried, contact all nova equipped ships and tell them free fire is authorised while they are still in range. All ships are to prepare another torpedo bombardment- have them staggered firing lets see how good the enemy defences really are."

Lord Admiral Ravensburg looked out of his Plasteel Windows at the massed fleet action and smiled grimly, the two sides were too symmetrical in size and combat ability- this would be a close run battle- much too close to be called at this point in time. Nova cannon rounds thundered from the launchers of the closest ships- including those of his own Primarch Class Dreadnaught.

And What a ship over seventy kilometres long with the most advanced and powerful weapons ever designed by Imperial hands, decks upon decks of plasma Launchers, Lance Cannons, Macro Shell Artillery, Torpedo Tubes, Multiple weapons batteries stretching across ass faces of the majestic vessel culminating in the forward turrets of FOUR nova cannons backed up by twenty four Torpedo tubes. No ship short of the planet destroyer of Abaddon himself could come close to destroying this ship- the tech priests of Port Maw, Cypra Mundi and the other Segmentum based battlefleet ship yards had learnt from the mistakes of both sides during that war- it was now almost impossible to destroy the dreadnaught with torpedo barrages that had crippled the massive ships of both sides.

It's Void shields and massive armour was all but invulnerable to torpedoes and in the eventuality torpedoes did get through the defence screen then the ship's own defensive turrets would pick the large missiles off before they hit. It was also believed that the ship could take several impacts from the Nova cannons of the larger ships before it would succumb- however Lord Ravensburg had no wish to test this belief out. In short this new Command Capital ship of the Battlefleet was a true sight to behold, and with several more also on the causeways of the five segmentai these ships would help to drive the enemy fleets of the Orkmada, of Chaos and any Alien scum that threatened the tranquillity of the Imperium.

And now it was ready for it's baptism of fire against the hordes of the betrayer's chosen generals.

"Sir all ships respond ready and are firing."

Across the entire armada of Imperial ships massive bursts of torpedo launchers rippled across the prows away from the destroyers, cruisers and capital ships of the Loyalist forces. Then milliseconds later every Nova cannon in the fleet from the cruisers designed around the cannons to the prows of the heavy warships, battleships and dreadnaughts of the fleet. Many more times the amount from the first salvo as many more ships had entered range and had clear line of sight with the enemy fleet.

This time the enemy armada had been smashed harder than either fleet had yet, over three quarters of all the projectiles entered into the enemy fleet wiping out the entire vanguards of the Chaos fleet and ripping gaping holes deep into the masses lines of armoured prows. Several all the way through

The devastation was immense- over four hundred ships had been destroyed in barely two hours of sustained combat. The Imperials had taken less than a quarter the chaos fleet had, many ships had started to slow and even break off once the core Combat fleet surrounding the Wrath had come into view. The bigger ships with their own task forces had stayed and continued to fight- this battle was far from over.

The battlefleet had been getting closer with each passing second and within hours the full force of all the ships met in close combat, the Heaviest ships could no longer fire their nova cannons or fire their massive torpedoes as they were within minimum firing distance of such weapons.

"Have Groups Necromunda Secundus and Macharius Primus pull back to Nova Range and keep a bombardment on the enemy lines- all escorts with remaining torpedoes are to do the same then engage the traitor escorts."

"Aye Sir."

Across the board ships were dying in their dozens with each minute, escorts caught in capital ship crossfire, suicide ramming by the myriad of crippled Chaos ships, Nova cannon rounds, torpedo spreads- assault craft squadrons letting loose from all side. By this time the last remnants of the rearguards had made their way forward and the full fleet action had begun.

Howl of Fenris
Lower decks
Port Side

*Boarding Action*

The Wolves' main battlebarge had been boarded a few hours into the fleet battle, with every ship coming into it's range wiped out by the massive plasma bombardment cannons the chaos lords had chosen a full two chapters worth of Space marines to take it from the wolves and to destroy the marine's escort fleet.

The Primary target as with all marine battles was engineering and command centres of the bigger ships, ob board the Howl was no different- one chapter had launched against them and while the escorts and ship's own close in defences had destroyed many assault ships several hundred worth of marines had penetrated the outer hull and started their push into the main sections of the ship- coming face to face with the descendents of their former brethren.

Along one of the mile long central corridors dozens of fire fights and close combat skirmishes had sprung up, Wolf vs. Son, Imperial vs. Traitor. A few of the normal humans had also begun the repulse counter attack, few were capable of doing much- however it allowed the wolves their chances to hit and kill the enemy marines.

"This is not a good day to be here." Mumbled Alexander as he released another melta charge into the enemy ranks- he was gratified to see his weapon was of some use against the traitor marines. A few more rounds were sent into the enemy ranks before his weapon's charge was depleted, dropping it to his feet he shouldered his heavy lasrifle and started firing into the throng of chaos marines storming the great hall of the Barge.

His blasts hit many of the charging marines and beastmen doing little damage but for a few fortuitous strikes in the few weakpoints in the armour of either creature out of the corner of his eye he watched one of the ship's vassals a small by well bulked older man he didn't know the name of pick up his discarded Melta rifle and install a new magazine into the priming chamber. Dropping down next to Alexander he grabbed the laser rifle as it ran dry and gave back the Melta rifle.

The more powerful weapon was of much more use against the chaos forces than any other guard issue weapon, each charge at full power could rent a hole into the adamantium/ceremite of a marine's armour. Alexander used this weapons ability to do so to great effect, several space marines that had turned their backs on the normal unmodified humans learnt from their folly as several went down under his constant stream of fire. Backed up by the stream of laser fire from his new cohort and several other members of the crew they succeeded in disabling or distracting several of the traitor forces allowing the heavier guns and weapons of the Space Wolves to come into action.

Pieces of the corrupted armours of the Chaos marines were thrown across the room by the ferocity of the wolves' assault, one such marine had it's helm ripped away by a single stroke of the blade of Ragnar. Alongside him his closest battlebrothers- those of his 1st company stood shoulder to shoulder with him slashing at anything Chaos driven and firing whatever weapons were to hand when they got a clear shot..

The unrelenting weapons fire of both marine and unchanged man killed over a dozen chaos for no losses of their own, the clash and thrusting of the hand weapons dismembered even more- however luck turned against the servants of the emperor with the loss of one then two then over half a dozen battle hardened warriors. The chaos forces just pushed forward driving the defenders back towards the barricades the vassals had set up along the hallways of the ship.

The remaining wolves pulled back to behind the barricades alongside those already fighting the chaos force, a dozen smaller men ran up to the marines handing them standard issue marine weapons- within seconds, plasma rifles, storm bolters, las cannons, grenades and the rapid fire of the guard weapons thundered into the enemy force. The entire column several rows back were destroyed by the overwhelming force of the barrage, slowly fire returned from the other side hammering and shattering the barriers that had been built up by the defending forces. On one side Alexander could see four of his troops drop entire pieces of their bodies blown away by direct hits from heavy bolter shells. Two more Space wolves were killed by the massed enemy weapons fire- they had no choice they pulled back and away from the incoming horde.

The enemy now had a foothold inside the Wolves' battle barge, across multiple hull breaches across the many decks of the massive ship entire companies of the ancient chapter found themselves face to face with their mortal enemies in the forms of entire chapters worth of Traitor marines. Even with the ships impressive defences and it's complement of Marines and marine vassals- the forces arrayed against the Imperial servants was much more than they could handle.

"Pull Back, all units pull back to armoury deck primus, well reset the defensive perimeter there." A voice came over the vox units and beads of the fighting troops- the voice of the Wolf commander Logan Grimnar had sounded a retreat into the warrens of the battle barge. By sections the group pulled back- unlike many troops of the Imperium the vassals of the Wolves and the Wolves themselves had the tactical fortitude to cover each other like the armies of ancient times.

"You heard him, all units pull back." Shouted Alexander as he volleyed another salvo from his Meltagun, by section the two platoons, Maine and Human both covering th others to the massive Vacuum tight Adamantium doors to the next section. Three more armsmen were lost and one scout injured with the loss of his left arm from the elbow down. With a sound of heavy metal against metal the doors slammed shut and sealed- this gave the Imperium servants a slight breathing space. The new section had been fortified by members of the ships crew, techmarines and vassals for the eventuality that they would have to pull back from the boarding points. Several fireteams had set up nearby with massive turreted and tripod mounted Bolters, plasma cannons and one or two missile launchers- known in Guard circles as Tread-Fethers.

"Blackmane to bridge."

"Bridge, status report Captain."

"My lord we've lost the portside breach, sector sixteen by nine. Platoons one four and nine with vassal platoon reinforcements have converged at defence position three, sector sixteen by eleven."

"Very well Captain. Keep my apprised. Platoons seven and sixteen of third company are enroute to reinforce your position. Six terminators are also en route."

"Understood Bridge Blackmane out."

Entire platoons from other areas of the ship that had fought off the boarders or were no longer needed elsewhere had made their way to the upper decks and anywhere else the enemy had infiltrated the ship. Weapons were unslung from shoulders and packs, groups went into the fortifications and set in for the attack which they knew would be soon in coming.

The attack came soon enough, the corridor shook with an explosive concussion, followed by several more until the massive Vacuum doors leading to the lost corridor exploded into shards followed by the enemy troops behind it. The Imperial counterfire was intense and accurate, unlike the chaos forces who fought with fury and little tactical sense. This allowed the smaller but well co-ordinated force of Imperials to hold off the enemy push, however even the best trained force could only hold the fight for so long. The heavy weapons overheated and shit down, rockets were used and depleted- the stormbolters and las weapons of the troops ran low and stopped and all too soon ammo became scarce.

As the heavy weapons fire petered out the chaos horde got braver and charged the encampment of the Imperial forces. Again as before massed weapons fire took out the front of the enemy force but barely blunted the attack force and again the loyal forces of Mankind fought hand to hand against the enemy force. However this opportunity the chais were determined not to be denied- as more forces came upon the defenders the ship's vassals had to get into the rough and fight hand to hand.

Many of these men had very little or no chance against the massive and mutated force they were fighting against, over a dozen men and women of the ship's human crew were killed within seconds. The remaining force tried to defend themselves alongside the marines but finally group by group or one by one they were being killed, several realising they had little to lose picked up grenades and flung themselves into the enemy essentially becoming human bombs- taking out entire reinforcement groups of chaos forces and allowing the marines to forge a stronger more solid defence.

The remaining human fighters kept on fighting tooth and nail against claws, talons and chaos transfigured monstrosities that would give many of them nightmares for a long time in some cases the remainder of their lives.

Alexander fired another blast at point blank range into a chaos thing that had attacked his position, following it up with another salvo hitting and maiming if not killing several more scuttling things. His meltarifle overheated and shut down leaving him with only his sidearm and chain axe to fight with. From what he could see the bolter would be of little use against the heavier enemy force and so settled for his Axe.

Setting it to full speed he pushed himself up from his crouched position and swung at the closest enemy creature, the teeth of the axe ripped the creature's arm off and crewed deep into it's carapace. Pulling back he bisected the next and swung back decapitating the first attacker, dripping with Ichor the chains of the Axe ripped into yet another attacker and so the carnage went on.

All across the massive expanse of the corridors and passages the marines, scouts and armsmen were fighting like the spirits of the primarchs had entered them, dozens of enemy troops fell. Chaos beasts were ripped apart, warp things scattered before the wake of the space wolves and their supporters- however as was inevitable the tables turned once again against the Imperials as more and more losses depleted their ranks. The worst loss of four marines and their terminator back up were destroyed within minutes of each other, seeing there was little they could do to stop the enemy advance Ragnar called for a retreat.

Alexander heard the call as he killed the last of the latest batch of enemy around him, checking on his rifle he noticed something odd, the overheat had fused shut part of the powering mechanism and a strange hum was emitting. Turning to his cohort beside him he asked him what would happen with a rifle that had been fused that way, the answer was not very thrilling.

"It would overload and explode taking anything within several square meters with it, more if it has a grenade launcher attached."

Alexander hunched down and tried to remove the malfunctioning power pack, from the corner of his eye he saw a rusty standard issue Guard bayonet swinging towards him. Using the rifle as a sjield he disarmed the enemy and smashed it across the head with the butt of the rifle exploding it's decayed head. The knife however had ripped deep into the rifle and jammed the pack in place, there was no removing it now. However it could be used for a good reason.

Knowing he had minutes maybe less he hunkered down and strapped the last four of his power packs to the gun, its hum had turned into a high squeal that hurt his ears and caused the pixels inside his eyepiece to flicker randomly. Grabbing it by the strap he took several steps back and spun it, letting go it flew quite a distance into the biggest throng of enemy creatures seconds before it exploded.

When it did the entire room froze as the massive wave of destruction consumed the areas forward of the defences and even into the corridor they had lost before, the explotion destroyed what was left of the doorway as well as dozens of creatures on all sides. Several chaos marines were injured but none killed- the best news however was that none of the allied soldiers were hurt and within seconds had got back to fighting dismembering, killing or destroying all enemies within reach ass to not allow them to regroup or recover. Twenty five seconds after detonation the entire main corridor had been cleared as well as much of the forward corridor, some of the chaos beats were still being stopped, the last large groups had been destroyed using a combination of plasma rifle packs and tube charges tied together much like the Melta rifle had.

However Alexander of Terra had not been conscious to see the victory his actions had led to

Flames of Blood
Sons Of Horus Battle Barge
Chaos Space Marine Fleet

"What do you mean the attack on their barges failed?" The Prince was angry, in his many years as a champion he had never been defeated in one single day against the false emporer's puny Marines. His forces had always taken the barges and many a marine prisoner and this single chapter had crushed his attempts across the entire battlegroup. Displeased was not a harsh enough word to describe the Prince's displeasure at this time, he grasped his servants neck in a massive gauntleted fist and squeezed. The Priest-Marine gasped for breath as he felt the bones of his throat grind together and his muscles contract under the claw like appendage, then as suddlnly as the Prince had grasped his neck it was released and the marine scrabbled away from the demonic champion.

"They…" He croaked trying to clear his throat, "They managed to destroy entire groups of our beasts with some kind of explosive. The biggest explosion we recorded killed over sixty of out beasts."


"My lord do we send another attack they are damaged and many of their troops are lost, another strike may defeat them."

"No. They have defeated my men and therefore I shall spare them for this moment, however if we are to ever come across this ship again we shall take it and twist the people on board to the wills of the changer of ways."

"Yes my lord."

"Call the retreat to the Marine fleet, we shall retire to the main conflagration against Battlefleet Gothic. Some interesting sport may yet be had."

Across the entire system broken chaos ships were annihilated by their brethren, the remaining Chaos ships broke off and out of the system into warp gates sprung upon by warp magic. The remaining Space Marine convoy of ships fired a few ineffectual shots only grazing a few ships and crippling another that soon exploded over a void generator breach.

Howl of Fenris
Space Marine Battle Barge

"My lord." The Wolf pilot of the battle barge stood to attention as he addressed the Great Wolf himself. "The Corrupted fleet has left the system, our Astropaths believe they are on their way to the Gothic sector battle."

"How many of our ships can follow."

"A dozen strike ships two battle ships and the Lord of Fenris can proceed the rest of the convoy is too damaged to continue we have to return to Port Maw for refit and repair."

"Damn those Chaos scum. Detach those ships capable of battle and send them to reinforce Ravensburg's fleet, the rest of the convoy retire to the docks at Port Maw." For the first time in many years, the Great Wolf of the Space Wolves Astartes chamber felt his age.

Bridge of the Emperor's Wrath
Primarch Class Battle Dreadnaught
Flagship 2nd Segmentum Obscurus Imperial Battlefleet

The Ship rocked with a impact of over a half dozen torpedo impacts, the ships of both sides had pulled back from the engagement to open up the gun ranges. The impacts from the enemies weapons were getting quite sporadic as their weapons and engines were crippled by the expert shots of the Imperial Navy, however the Chaos navy had started to come about and continue the engagement with the appearance of a Space marine Battlebarge corrupted and ruined by chaos magic.

Across the Augur Viewers of the Dreadnaught's bridge several ships exploded under massed Lance fire, while smaller defensive ships and escorts were ripped apart by multiple waves of Attack craft. The Massive shapes of two space marine battle barges came into view and started pummelling the Wrath with massed Bombardment cannon fire. The quad Nova cannons responded ripping into the largest enemy ships as well as the marine barges, however many hits were accepted by smaller ships and those vessels hit exploded immediately, a lucky two strike hit from an enemy lance battery disabled a single nova cannon. A massive plasma salvo from the Wrath's Escort Battlecruiser destroyed the already damaged enemy battleship.

Lord Admiral Ravensberg's command was still in the fight however, a secondary group of Battleships seconded to his command from the 3rd Battlegroup had arrived and started pouring fire into the enemy ship in front of them. The dozen nova cannons attached to the Mars and lunar cruisers were giving an account of their own; the three Apocalypse battleships Ripped apart a concentration of Carnage class cruisers with their own weapons. However the Spearheads of both fleets had blunted the other and few gains were being made by either side, the ships that had run from the battles had returned breaking through the flank protection and hitting several of the close formation near the centre of the Armada.

Those ships had been destroyed in short order but the devastation they had caused had been immense, the close formations had hit each other and many ships had been lost to friendly fire and collisions as had been lost to enemy fire. Fortunately the experience flotilla commanders had managed to pull the ships out of the melee and into some order of fighting trim. The battle was a stalemate even with the arrival of the Marine ships from both sides, Torpedoes and lances still rained upon the force of the enemies of both sides, nova cannons and bombardment cannons ripped gaping holes into ships and destroyed escorts and attack craft by the dozen.

Over a hundred thousand ships had been lost in the battle so far, and it was still only just beginning. For the next few days the ship to ship combat would rip the ships apart crippling seemingly indestructible Battlewagons, weapons bristling platforms, speedy escorts and entire wings of support craft would cease to exist in massive crossfires. Battleship squadron of twenty craft or more would plunge into the melee attempting to break through to encircle the enemy would be wiped out within minutes by a dozen their number stitching the armoured prows of the massive ships with counterfire. Chaos fireships and boarding torpedoes would plough into the enemy attempting to destroy or capture Imperial ships to use against their fellows and be wiped out by the escorts.

Ten thousand ships were lost a single hour across a line over six AUs long and many millions of kilometres deep one every axis, out of control battleships would explode shattering the closest ships or running on into the enemy ships ripping through them with Adamantium armoured prows. Vessels fused together by impacts span into the void shedding debris and riding inexorably out into the depths of space.

The massed debris of tens of thousands of lost vessels now covered a incredible full light year in all direction, bodies ripped apart and blood flash frozen by the depths of space mingled with adamantium prows and the remnants of plasma drives. Pieces of what used to be void shield generators pulsed with the little power still left in their coils. The losses of this one battle eclipsed many wars since the beginning of the Imperium, with the end of this battle it may be that neither side would be able to recover lost crewmen or officers, or worse any of the few remaining intact or merely crippled battlewagons of the Imperial or Chaos fleets.

It was now the fourth day of the battle.


Chapter 2

Infirmary of the Howl of Fenris
Port Maw Shipyards
Gothic Sector

The light of the infirmary was harsh compared to the darker corridors of the Battle barge, unaccustomed to the glare of the light many of the ships residents never set foot inside. However this day was different to that of the aftermath of most battles, very few survivors were ever recovered from the hordes of daemon things a Chaos boarding party brought.

Thanks to the efforts of a brave few several of the humans and Marines that would have died in the battle had been brought back from the brink, one scout that had lost his leg was stable and would receive a mechanized limb. The rest would need various types of care or limb replacement- the luckiest of them had been the human man Alexander of Terra, he had taken a hit from a daemon that had pierced his body armour and cut into his back- it had obviously been an attempt to stop the rifle throw but had been too late.

The daemon had been killed in his place by Sven Ironhand who had seen the straits that the young man had been in, and he may not be a Wolf but by the God Emperor he was not willing to let the man die. He had seen the final devestation caused by the "Grenade" thrown by the Boy and had been impressed in the amount of carnage that it had wrought. He had saved the boys life and that of his cohorts, the other marines had ripped apart the trickle of enemies left in the halls of the ship until the few remaining had been destroyed or had left in the few remaining functioning boarding ships the enemy had left.

The wolves had been unable to make chase due to the damage to many of their ships the few that they had sent had been pitiful to say the least, the worst insult had been the capture of three of the battle brothers by the enemy and the slaying of over fifty of their number. Almost half a company destroyed on their home ground by the evil doings of those whom had once been battlebrothers to their progenitors, the saving grace for them had been the death of over two hundred of the Chaos Marines and many thousands of the pitiful warp beasts that had been so easily overwhelmed even by the few human servants that had been inducted into the Wolf Chapter"s service over the years.

The Howl herself was crippled and heavily damaged around the areas that the boardings had taken place, the enemy Battlebarges could easily have destroyed the prized vessel of the Space marine chapter but had left the scene without any parting shots at the defenceless vessel. Sven did not even claim to attempt to understand the things of the enemy commander he just thanked the Emperor and the Golden Throne that he and his brothers would survive to fight again. That included the few humans that had survived the battle against the Chaos forces, they may not be up to much physically but they were marines at heart and that was what mattered to the brother of Russ.

"He"s still unconscious I "m afraid Brother-Captain." The Medical Captain of the barge spoke up, "So far we"ve got him patched up and replace his lost fluids. The biggest hurdle was the fact we have no supply of stitching for a normal human body, we had to use some of the chapter "s own steel insets to hold the wound together."

"He"ll be in a lot of pain while those are in there."

"Yes he will. There is little else I can do, its live with the pain for a while of die within hours- from what Brother Commander Blackmane has told me about the young man he would want to continue fighting."

"Too Bloody right, he almost got himself killed saving a squad of brothers from those Emperor damned vermin. Any man who willingly does that is a true warrior and we will make sure he survives."

Sven left the room to get to the bridge, they needed a human doctor and he would get one- even if he had to go through every ship in Port to do so. He owed the boy that much and perhaps more.


Port Maw
Imperial Guard regimental barracks
Planets surface
Four Hours later

The station of port maw was the largest and most comprehensive shipyards and staging grounds in the entirety of the Gothic sector, across the massed expanses of orbital docks and stations. Warships of every type were being repaired, refitted or commissioned into the fleet, fighters and shuttles were churned out by the squadron- however on the surface of the planetoid of Port Maw things were much different. Across an entire continent sized area of concrete and grass secured in tents, In huts and even in massive constructed multi-tied barrack rooms lay an entire Imperial Guard army. Consisting of millions of men and thousands of fighting vehicles the forces that had set down on Maw was enough to take any planet in the sector.

Sven was counting on a certainty that a doctor with enough knowledge and experience would be capable of saving his friends life without the boy having to endure the pain the steel sutures were sure to cause him.

His passage on one of the fleet "s shuttles had caused quite a ruckus in the compartment he sat in, mainly Guard and some civilians were on board- many had never travelled alongside a fully armoured Space Marine before. Sven scanned the room with his feral stare, with that most people looked away or even shied away from Sven"s gaze, Only One man didn"t look away he just looked back at the Astartes Warrior and nodded.

Sven nodded back- he knew another warrior when he saw one- and this man-boy was no exception.

The shuttle landed outside the main encampments of the Imperial Guard regiments, the other passengers disembarked the vessel and went in their separate directions, and obviously they knew where they were going and why. Sven having never been to the planet before did not know where he would find what he wanted. So He did what a Wolf should do and followed his nose, the closest encampment he could smell consisted of dirty clothes, some unwashed bodies and open fire cooked food. Sniffing again he attempted to remove some of the smells and concentrate on others.

"Waste, Urine, Foodstuffs, Gun oil, power generators, Wait there." He sniffed once again and focused on one area, there he could smell disinfectant, open wounds, rotting flesh and surgical smells.

Finally having his primary objective he started towards the encampment where the smells were coming from, the half a mile distance was covered in less than a minute by the big Marine. Once there he looked around and found the building with the biggest concentration of clinical smells in the area, he watched as more and more men were taken in and out by the medical staffs of the hospital. Most of the people in the immediate vicinity had been horrifically injured, limbs missing or chunks of flesh ripped from their bodies by Emperor knows what. There were a good many dead and dying bodies around the building some in twitching groups and some lay along the ground ready for burial. Every so often a single shot would ring out from a bolt pistol or a faint buff from some energy weapon, he would seen commissars and clerics putting the most horrifically and mortally injured men out of the agony they were in.

He himself walked up to one man he lay across the ground suffering his agony in silence, he felt the presence of the Wolf as it"s shadow fell over him and looked up at Sven with clouded eyes.

"You are Astartes?" the man asked in broken Gothic, the pain the man was in must have been unbearable. Sven was impressed by the man"s willingness to lay and suffer in silence unlike many who were moaning or screaming in agony.

"I am Sven of the Wolves Guardman- who are you."

"I am Sgt Totha Raithing. … Twen… Twenty second Hallar Rifles Sir. Fifteen years in the Guard Sir."

"I have heard of your regiment Sgt, you and the entire 22nd are worthy of the name guardsman."

The little amount of energy the man had left had been used up in the few seconds of conversation with the Armsman next to him, the man collapsed and fell into a coma that he would never come out of, sven made the sign of the Aquila above the body of the man.

"Guardsman The Emperor Watches over you and will guide you do him in life and in death."

With a final movement Sven broke the neck of the man, allowing him to die an honourable and dignified death. He got up from his kneeling position and looked at the men who were carrying out the euthanasia that was required, they looked at him with an understanding nod each and got back to work.

Sven then walked away back towards the hospital complex, close by he saw the young man that he had met on the shuttle coming towards him, the youth was clad in the dark green livery of the Imperial guard a camouflage cloak hanging off his shoulders flapping in the wind. The Man was armed as were all the imperial personnel on planet a Cadian Issue Lasrifle shouldered across his left side, his small boltgun still in his hand from his assistance with the ritual killings he was forced into by the suffering of his fellow guardsmen. The gun was familiar to the Marine"s augmented senses it was that of a commissariat Issue boltgun inscribed with the seals of both the Commissariat and the Adeptus Munitiarius, the young guardsman accosted him half way across the fields of the dying.

"Lord Marine Welcome to The Fields." The young man said, looking at the youth he sees the face of the soldier he had met on the transport. He was young mid twenties at the most- but the eyes were much older having seen things that no one of his age should ever have seen. Eyes that befitted a true warrior.

"It is a sad day when so many of those who give their lives freely have to die, the emperor will guide them to his hands and protect them until they will be needed again."

"There are too many injured and dying to save my lord Marine, the planet"s apothecary supplies have barely scratched the dying that have been brought in by the Imperial transports, we "ve also found the Adeptus mechanicus are having problems trying to rebuild enough replacement biosystems for those that need them. We save those that we can and those that won"t make it we have to allow to die."

"There is nothing better that a man can do than lay down his life in the service of the emperor."

"Rogal Dorn, post Heresy. The Inscription of the Gothic Monolith."

"Well Remembered Guardman."

"Sgt Brin milo, 1st Company Sabbat Legion."

"Well met, Captain Sven IronHand, 1st Company Space Wolves Marine Chapter."

"How can we help you Lord Marine."

"One of the vassals of the Wolves had taken serious injury protecting myself and my battlebrothers, we wish the use of one of your Doctors to save his life, the only facilities we have are set up for critically injured Astartes personnel we cant save him."

"We"ve got a full hospital but as you can see by the bodies and injured coming in they are very Busy, I don "t know it we can spare anyone."

"This man saved myself and my battle brothers, he will be made whole if I have to take an entire hospital with me."

Brin had met several chapters of marines in his few years with the Imperial guard, in the many years he had spent with the Ghosts of Tanith and with the Sabbat legion. He had even managed to kill a single Chaos marine on a lone patrol many years beforehand even knowing he was lucky in that regard. He respected and admired the Astartes chapters and those that fought alongside them both as serf or as Battle brothers, to have the respect and friendship of one such as the legendary Space wolves was something that few humans would ever have.

"An old friend of mine is here I"ll try to get him as soon as possible he "s one of the best there is. Dordec of the Tanith first…"

"Tanith First and only, I have heard of their great works during the Sabbat Crusades through the other chapters involved, it is said that they assisted in the recovery of one of the Greater Saints of the Imperium."

Brin was a shocked that their exploits were as well known as they were- he himself had become a friend and consort of sorts to the Saint Sabbat, they were friends and sometimes lovers but his allegiance had always been to the guard and the Tanith even with his current promotion into the ranks of the Sabbat legion. The Tanith were usually deployed alongside the 1st Sabbat regiment with both of the regiments being the only of their name and type, the Tanith were still the superb scouts they had always been however this allowed the Sabbat with their Hunter/Seeker groups to back up the Scouts and give heavy firepower if and when needed.

Fortunately the disposition of the Tanith survivors and their verganite brothers were close to that of the assembled Sabbat Legion allowing a certain amount of exchange of NCOs and officers in both regiments, Brin had been attached to the Sabbat "s Command staff by the Saint"s request and had been more than willing to join them- he had felt a little guilty that he would be leaving Commissar Gaunt and his friends behind but they had all agreed that while he was and forever would be a Ghost he needed to spread out more and learn from others. This had convinced Brin that he could join the Sabbat regiment with a clear conscience without fear of his brother hating him, his fear were later allayed when several others had joined the Sabbat from the ghosts and vice versa, the Sabbat regiment had taken to the Tanith First and only quickly and many were now friends much like the Ghosts had been with some of the Armoured regiments they had been dropped with during the founding campaigns for the Tanith.

They had been on the front of the Battle against the Traitor Marine and guard forces for the last year since the first raiding groups had proceeded the Chaos battlefleets into battle only a scant few months ago, this recovery at Port maw had been an Emperor-sent favour for the hundred Guard Regiments across their section of the Gothic sector. Many regiments had been massacred and later amalgamated into new units, a few Regiments from the same battalions had even been joined together to form a single Regiment much like the survivors of the Tanith had had to do. The most unfortunate had been the losses that had meant entire Planetary forces had had their colours struck from the field of battle so few survivors had come out, the legendary forces of Ciaphus Cain had lost all but a half company and a few heavy squads- Cain himself had led the survivors out of the ambushes that had devastated his command much to the cheers of many of the Guard regiments that had lined the way back for them, those few survivors were to be joined with another regiment while Cain would be transferred to port Maw Guard Headquarters in orbit.

The Tanith and Sabbat regiments had been hit the least maybe due to skill, luck or divine guidance from the Saint of the Emperor however both had taken almost a fifth of casualties including the loss of several of the officers fortunately The Saint, Gaunt and his command staff as well as Dorden had survived. The loss of several of the Sabbat "s leadership had thrust Brin and a few of his company"s NCOs into the roles usually reserved for the officers, his men instinctively trusted him to get them out and he had done- his uncanny ability to detect danger not withstanding had brought the entire company through with minimum losses, he had returned command to the officers of the Sabbat regiments and retired to help with the wounded.


"Dorden Is still Trying to save those who can but with what I"ve seen we can "t save many, I"ll get him and We "ll return with you if and when we can that"s all I can promise."

"Well said young Sgt, for Now I must take my leave."

"Yes my lord marine the Emperor Protects."

"For Russ and the Emperor."

The Massive Space Marine left the side of the young Imperial guardsman, Brin was not a s shocked at the appearance of the marine as he would have been prior to the Combat he had been involved in during the later years of the Sabbat Crusades but it was still enough of a shock to see one close up and respectful of a Guardsman"s unit. Silently the Young Sgt left to continue his triage work and if necessary to euthanasia of the crippled and dying, damn the traitors, damn the ruinous powers and damn him for the fighting and killing he would have to do for the rest of his likely short life.

Sven Ironhand stood on the top of a massive hill overlooking thee Fields of the dying and the injured- thousands of men and women from all kinds of planets across the segmentum had pulled together to fight the massed hordes of the Ruinous Powers, his own Battlebrothers had fought their Traitorous counterparts from the Chaos Marine legions and had wiped them out almost to a man but they had lost a lot of the veterans and almost all the scouts on board the barges only the strike cruisers had come away with their contingents more or less intact- a call to their successor chapters had been answered and elements from three more chapters of the Sons of Russ were approaching the sector whether they would be in time for the next battle he couldn"t tell.

Looking back at the Massed human bodies he turned around and trudged back to the Bay the shuttles supporting the Marine fleet now were based allowing the marines to go directly to their ships and not through the naval bases around the planet"s orbit. He was unsurprised to see a small group of Guardsmen milling around the Thunderhawk gunship currently sitting awaiting his arrival, his enhanced vision could see a half dozen battle-brothers awaiting his return to the shuttlecraft; as he approached he saw the guardsmen look up at him one of them was the young Sgt of the Sabbat regiment.


"Lord Marine May I introduce Physician Dordec of the Tanith Regiment he has agreed to look after the patient in your care."


"Lord Marine."

Within seconds the Thunderhawk Gunship had taken it "s cargo of guardsmen and marine passengers into the air and out into space, Sgt Brin Mile stared out aat the fields of Guardmen until the massed bodies of the dead and dying were nothing more than a speck on the grasslands outside the command Hive. He turned back to the platoon he had put together to escort Dr Dordec to the Space Marine"s massive Command ship, in all six men including himself and the doctor had been granted passage to the Battle Barge by Captain Sven ironhand- the Marines may have been the Imperium "s greatest warriors but the Imperial Guard were loyal to their own and no matter what they would follow their Sgt into hell and back- a trait that the marines found to be worthy of their respect, It didn"t take long for the marine dropship to return to the "Fang" with their cargo of Medical personnel and guardsmen. With a slight bump the massive shuttlecraft dropped onto it "s landing pods and discharged it"s personnel.

The marine contingent from the Thunderhawk escorted the Doctor and his guard- Brin Milo to the Marine "s Spartan Apothecary, the marines themselves had little if any need for any kind of Aid stations however the chosen members of their entourage did on occasion need it- however these facilities were woefully inadequate to the task of saving the life of one Alexander Harris. The half dozen guardsmen that accompanied them were forced to wait in the ship"s massive hanger bay for the return of the Doctor and Milo- and were told in no uncertain term- "Attempt to follow and we will make you walk back" considering that the barge was not tethered to any of the massive battle stations in orbit of Port Maw this threat was more than possible-although in spacesuits it was possible to walk across the massed defences in orbit to get to one of them.

The Apothecary was as Spartan as the marines had informed them- there were few medicines and fewer surgical supplies, the painkillers they did have were almost all already used keeping young Harris under- worse yet the only way the slash had been able to be kept closed was by the use of ceremite staples through the torso. This while easily held up by a space marine constitution was not the best of ways to keep a normal unmodified human together, the staples would have to be removed before the surgical equipment that Dordec had with him could be used.

"How long has he been like this?"

"Just shy of one week, it took that long to make the approach through the Immaterium."

"The staples have to come out- do you have any tools to cut them off? I"ll remove what "s left surgically."

"You cannot cut them straight out?"

"What? No I can"t they are imbedded deeply and close together I can "t get the angle I need to cut them open."

"The only way to cut them out would be a plasma torch from the techmarines."

"That could kill him." Brin piped up.

"There is nothing else small enough to cut those staples unless a marine rips them out- that could also kill him. Can you keep him stable while he heals?"

"Well Yes But unless we remove those staples…"

"Then we leave them in."


"Do you have a hearing problem boy, the man has a warrior spirit we keep him alive enough to heal up, we try to find a way to take them out- so for now we leave the staples in."

"To keep him stable we need to take him to back to the surface, he needs a full clinic to keep him alive."

"Then we shall take him there."

The Stretcher was removed from it"s place in the Apothecary and transferred with reverence to the Thunderhawk- more surprising to many of the marines is the fact it was taken there by their Great Captain and a Veteran Sergeant both of whom believed they owed their continued existence to the human. The Stretcher in place the guardsmen and Doctor took their positions for take off escorted by a scout platoon assigned by the Great wolf Logan Grimnar himself an honour rarely given to non Marines, the Thunderhawk departed the hanger watched over by the surviving members of the marine group he had saved.

"May the emperor guard his soul." Whispered Sven

"He has the heart of a Wolf my old friend he"s not done for yet." Replied Ragnar


Third Naval Battle of the 14th Black Crusade
Day Seven

Bridge of the Emperor"s Wrath
Primarch Class Battle Dreadnaught
Flagship 2nd Segmentum Obscurus Fleet

The massive war-cruiser the Emperor "s wrath had been at the forefront of the battle for the system since the first shot had been fired- the Lord Admiral had left little during the battle and even know stood commanding his massed Battlefleet, High Lord Admiral Cornelius Ravensburg surveyed the Augur screens still intact and functioning on his command bridge, the massive screens were interspersed with damage and in some cases blank screens where sensors or links were down- several of them had been severed by the first and so far one of only three attacks to breach the ship"s reinforced Void screens- the first when a murder class cruiser had rammed the ship and been forced off by two Gothic class cruisers careening off the shields and cutting into the hull itself ripping out an entire section of weapons and armour and decompressing sections of sixty decks as it cut through the adamantium and ceremite port side. The second had been a concentrated salvo of over twenty torpedoes into the shields at close range cutting through the weakened shields of the same sections, through the blind firing of the local defences and detonating against the hull gutting an even bigger section.

The Wrath had taken out every one of the ships that had attacked from the murder class cruiser squadrons to the Battleship flotillas to the squadrons of escorts that had made it past the Gothic and Retribution class vessels escorting it"s flanks, the entire battle had ground to a halt as both fleets had pulled back from engagement range to lick their wounds- unlike the blind drive of many Fleet admirals and warmasters both the commanders of the opposing fleets were canny with their commands allowing their ships to attempt field repairs and recharging of shields and weapons.

That had been a danger to the Imperial fleet their opposition were commanded by a capable and talented naval commander pulling back when he was expected to push, encircling and crushing forces attempting to break through their line. The lull was still interspersed by piecemeal attack, single warship damaged beyond repair acting against orders and diving into enemy formations hammering shields and carving through reinforced hulls. Escort squadrons firing torpedo salvos into blind points keeping the bigger ships off balance whilst their own escorts fought against the brave crews of the Imperium.

Days into the battle the Chaos Fleet had been emboldened by the arrival of a fleet of their traitor space marine legions- the chaos marines were indeed powerful but their appearance had angered the battlefleet commander, Ravensburg had once fought alongside their true counterparts many years beforehand and knew their strength and cunning outdid any other type of warrior in the stars- therefore the Marine ships had been a target of choice for many of his ships until he had ordered their cessation after the loss of many ships to their unerring combat fire- his own ship had gone toe to toe with one of the many Battle Barges and it "s escort cruisers and destroyers shortly before the pause in combat. The entire Marine phalanx had been annihilated by his command line vessels, his ship taking damage again to several sections his shields even failing for several seconds the enemy"s bombardment cannons crippling one of his nova cannons and fusing almost half of the Wrath"s torpedo tubes with the heavy and almost fludic plasma fire.

The Augur screens of the Wrath cast their artificial eyes across the vista before them, hundreds of thousands of ships were cast adrift destroyed disabled or crippled by the immense firepower from the capital ships of both sides- battleships were hulled right through from Nova rounds and bursts of lance fire- escorts smashed into pieces while cruisers their backs broken floated in the depths of the system. Arrayed past them the chaos forces seemed to almost be straining at the leash to attack their eon spanning foes, both sides were now more or less evenly matched as opposed to the three times advantage the arrayed chaos forced had pitched against the Gothic sector Battlefleets. Most ships with Nova rounds had all but exhausted their rounds, much was the same for the torpedo carrying ships of the fleet all projectile dependent weapons were useless to the massive ships capable of holding them, the armoured transports still holding station close to the edges of the system could not get close enough to the fleet on either side to replenish their munitions supplies- even the gigantic armouries of the Emperor"s Wrath were close to depletion and while the onboard refineries could build them their was not the time or resources aboard to construct them.

The Carriers and fighter squadrons had long since left the Imperial battlelines the attack craft having taken such massive losses were all but ineffectual until they could be reinforced at Port Maw or one of the Mechanicus Forge Worlds in the sector, the carriers themselves had heavily losses with almost a third of them destroyed and another quarter remaining crippled from close quarters fire- the fewest losses had been amongst the Emperor class Battleships which still held their places amongst the ships of the line, their hanger bays were now chocked full with the surviving fighters many combined into almost intact fighter squadrons. However even with this attempt to rebuild the squadrons to some sort of combat cohesion the fleet was close to depleted of fighter cover, fortunately for the starships of the Imperial battlelines it was the same on both sides of the game with the Chaos ships also low on in numbers of their own jury built and salvaged fighters.

The only truly fortunate break that the Imperials had got was the news that Cadia and the Gate had been secured and was returned to Imperial hands by an attack force from Segmentum Secundus culled from forces from across the inner worlds both new and old ships- they had annihilated an assembled force destined for the war in the gothic sector. The only real problem had been that a force almost six times the size had been detected by the long range stations near the Eye "s frontier and it was heading out into the Cadian sector, the crippled defences of the Gate and the damage to it"s surrounding systems would not stop the forces coming through- though the seeding of System defences was proceeding quickly as many transport fleets and Rogue trader forces dropped in-system with mines and patrol stations towed or packed into their hulls.

But for now the fleet in front of them was the main consternation for the Admiral in command of the Imperial fleet.

"Ship"s status?"

"Hull"s been matched but won "t hold too long under bombardments good news is Void shields are up to full power on all ship"s sections."


"My lord, Nova rounds down to three percent, torpedoes down to seven percent, all defence turrets are operational, section two and nine weapons batteries are inoperative due to overheating and meltdown. The Port high Nova cannon is still down- repair Crews report it is not possible to repair the ship outside of a drydock facility, two torpedo tubes have been cleared and are operational, three are still sealed down no chance of Immediate recovery."

"Have the Remaining Torpedoes in their Racks transferred to the lower tubes, what else?"

"Section Nine Lances are down to fifty percent power- there a dozen ruptured conduits it"s killed the gun crews and most surrounding personnel the survivors will be baked alive in their turrets but have requested to be allowed to continue fighting- they do not wish extraction."

"My commendations to them."

"Yes My lord Admiral."


The heavily augmented Mechanicus commander approached the Commander "s dias and spoke a harsh whispered voice emitting from the implanted voxcoder in his throat. "Plasma Drives are at full capacity, Warp engines are offline until we can rededicate them to the Machine god, all thrusters and secondary drives are in good order bar the destroyed components in sections three, seven and twelve."

"Very good My lord Adept, Please return to you rededication."

"The Omissiah be with you."

"The Emperor Protects."

Like many of the Imperial armed forces Ravensburg was proud of his force and his people- looking down on all others as inferior- but they all had one thing in common a creeping chill and dislike of the Tech Adepts of the Adeptus Mechanicus no matter how much they claimed to follow the Emperor Cornelius Ravensburg and many like him did not trust the machine Augmented humans.

"Go to an all Ships Hail."

"All ships aye."

"Ravensburg to all ships, proceed with attack pattern Macharius two seven."

With the first movement of the fleet "s forward units the Chaos forces moved forward and unlike the Co-ordinated movements of the Imperial Battlegroups the chaos ships charged as one directly at the Imperial fleet- if the hunks of metal could look like a berserker the Chaos fleet would have, what must have been close to every remaining torpedo in the chaos fleet"s armouries headed straight for the Loyalist forces closely followed by the fast cruisers and escort squadrons right on the tails of the torpedoes- it was an inspired tactic while the defence turrets and weapons batteries of the ships were busy knocking out the torps hitting the fleet the enemy ships were weapons free in a close range battle stripping ships with lance fire and plasma blasts some destroyers ramming the bigger ships to knock them out of formation and into others forcing groups to break up or be destroyed.

Ships broke off from the battle and out into space to escape the enemy fire, a full two hundred ships escaped the conflagration around the edges of the conflict escorting damaged ships out of the way or providing covering fire for ships without and weapons.

The escorts of the Imperial cruisers fought back against the enemy ships with a fierce vengeance often engaging in one on one duels with their foe in some cases exact copies of each other the ships would engage in an almost reflective ballet of death until one or both exploded as engine cores were exposed or a lance shot pierced their fuel cells. The remaining attack craft of the Imperial fleet attacked the now vulnerable flanks of the Chaos fleet crippling many fleet ships and destroying a great many even with their depleted numbers, the recall to the Chaos escorts was a critical error for the chaos warmaster as his smaller ships were picked off in their dozens by the impeccable targeting of the Imperial Lance crews, the first mistake of the battle had been made and Ravensburg "s command captain"s knew that they had to take full advantage of this scenario and hit the Traitor fleet hard and fast.

The Imperial fleet had allowed the Attack craft and escorts to do much of the fighting to this point awaiting a chance that they were awaiting with the escorts of the Chaos fleet all but wiped out the massed fire of torpedoes from every Torpedo carrying ship engaged in something reminiscent to the ancient earth "Broadside" a rippling effect sent thousands of torpedoes spinning into the chaos ranks- with few escorts and no return torpedo fire they were forced to rely on the attempts of their remaining fighters, destroyers and shipboard defensive turrets to stop the torpedo attack.

They never stood a chance.

The few fighters and escorts took out a small percentage of the incoming warheads some even going as far as to ram the gigantic missiles destroying themselves and the warhead of the torpedo however the shaft and fuel cells of the weapons carried on at a changed angle usually impacting on the shields of a different ship and damging it nonetheless. The massive percentage of torpedoes that were not stopped impacted the unclean fleet on all sides ships blown to pieces and they shield buckled and the warheads impacted directly against the naked hull and detonating inside the holes already ripped by close range detonations. Ships in close range impact on each other destroying themselves and other ships close by many crippled by debris and shrapnel thrown out by the explosions.

As the impacts faded away the Imperial fleet opened up with everything they had Nova cannons ripped into damaged ships punching through shields and into the hulls of Cruisers and battleships alike, more torpedoes killing crippled ships and long range lances slashing a gutting anything in their way the chaos ships responded with their own few remaining ordinance rounds and lance shots a few dozen frigates and destroyers were crippled or exploded under heavy fire, a half dozen battleships also went under as their were skewered and ripped apart by the combined firepower of a dozen ships each.

In amongst the heaviest fighting yet seen in the battle the Emperor "s Wrath was cutting a swath through the forward units of the enemy fleet, hundreds of bolts emanating from the myriad of energy weapons ripped apart reinforced shields, bulkheads and armoured prows of ships from both sides. The ship"s remaining torpedoes and Nova cannons hammered into the Chaos tainted Capital ships blasting apart anyone and anything the got in the way, the ship "s bombardment cannons continued it"s ranged assault against the closest groups backed up by the long ranged lances of the prow weapons bays.

However the fight was a foregone conclusion the Chaos fleet had been cut in half in less than an hour of fighting, the chaos lord had made a critical error when send his escorts in relying on the immense firepower of his fleet to stop the Imperial torpedo salvoes that could come, it had been close to the eighth day when the mistake had been made and now his fleet while bloodied and battled would be victorious.

"Sir Pride Of Maw and Guardmen"s Fury signal ready."


The ships that had been escaping from the Fleet for numerous reasons had rendezvoused with each other exchanging personnel and supplies to allow some of them to return, it had also allowed as much of the replenishment of their torpedo stores as the twelve hours they would be gone from the battle from the Armoured transports outside the combat zone- a full detachment of one hundred twenty five ships made it back to the line of the imperial fleet coming into range from "underneath" the torpedoes of the second Detached Scout group added their attack in amongst the fire of the duelling lines. Many ships of the Chaos Vanguard were immolated by the fast and accurate fire- ships already damaged by the first attack by the Attack craft stood little chance of survival- those ships with intact or at the very least high powered shields were able to take the brunt of the torpedo and Nova cannon fire- lances of both sides lit up hulls and shields alike with deadly laser fire cutting and burning though into the vulnerable internal systems.

However No-one said Fate was ever fair to the Imperials.

The first anyone knew of what was happening was as two dozen Battleships and cruisers exploded in unison at the rear of the battlegroup- incredibly powerful beams of energy cleaved into the hulls of ships left and right highly explosive torpedoes hammered shields and hulls alike. The Augur systems of the Imperial battleships frantically sought their sister ships "attackers but even at full power and their massive numbers the systems could barely pick up anything from the rear of the armada until one of the scout ships picked up a visual through one of it"s portholes.

"Frakking Chaos Eldar, send a message to the command ship."

Bridge of the Emperor"s Wrath.
Battlefleet Command Ship

"Sir Message from Frigate Einstein- Chaos allied Eldar ships have attacked in the rear quarter, latest reports are we have engaged on the second front but sir we"re losing ships and fast"

"Enemy strength."

"Undetermined My lord we"ve lost over one hundred and sixty ships in the last twenty minutes it must be a massed fleet to hit so many so quickly estimated at five hundred elder Capital ships maybe more. Requests from rear flanks for reinforcements- wait.. sir we "ve lost contact with the Comamnd ship sir it was the Divine Right."

Ravensburg"s head bowed at he news that his former command had been destroyed by the Xenos scum, the Torpedo group must have been all but destroyed by the trap and the losses would grow unless he did something- something he hated to do and which Battlefleet gothic had not done so since before the Battle at Gethsemene.


"Emperor"s oath. Blast them if they can if not get them out, have all forward ships hit the Enemy formations hard and then retreat order all ships and regroup at Orar we "ll be back and they"ll pay for this treachery."

Piecemeal the Imperial fleet remnants broke off many doing irreparable damage to the Chaos ships that had opposed them for so long a thousand ships on each side went down every hour the torpedo ships bombarding ships allowing the lances and weapons batteries to wipe them out. The elder ships hit back giving more damage to the Imperial ships until finally twelve hours after the recall order the last ships retreated into the immaterium of the Warp.

The System was still for the first time in over a week all that remained was the smashed remains of the chaos fleet barely eight hundred ships of a force that once numbered in the tens of thousands of cruisers, Battleships and escorts. They had won the battle but at a fantastic loss of men and material including that of many of their precious Space Marines- only the arrival of the Dark elder had saved them from completed annihilation. As the demonic senses of the lead warship took in its surroundings it watched as the debris of many ships spun across an entire system of space the battle had been massive even by their warped standards some ships were still in survivable condition from both sides of the battle.

*Ships that could help the fleets rebuild their strength, but that would have to wait until the reinforcement fleet could take the ships back to the Eye. If they allowed him to live to see it of course- the Prince is not pleased*

Orar System Defensive Line
Two Days after the Battle

The Orar system like most populated systems in the Gothic sector was heavily fortified against attack from the eye of terror- a massive defensive blockade surrounded the inner system planets- it was the ideal place for the remnants of the 2nd Battlefleet to regroup. Unlike the smashed chaos fleet the Imperials were still in a reasonable formation as the sections came out of warp space some crippled but some in good condition, however only twenty two hundred ships of the force that had been assembled to fight the chaos hordes remained

The last group to assemble was the Admiral"s own attack force of battleships headed by his Dreadnaught starship each was marred and pitted by the damage taken from the chaos ships of the line they had barely managed to escape from still more had been damaged by the weapons of the elder ships that had come out of nowhere, for now though Ravensburg was now here to assign blame- that would come later and likely at the expense of some poor junior captain in the rear sections command, for now he had to toll the lost ships and report the loss of the Aquinrox Minor system to the enemy fortunately the ships he had retreat to the Orar system were only part of the remaining forces he had other ships had had to leave the force and return due to critical damage as well as the carrier groups he had had leave the system after depletion of their combat wings. If he was lucky he had maybe a tenth of his forces left if not then it was much smaller nether the less he had taken on a massively superior fleet and all but destroyed them at the loss of only a single reinforced Battlefleet, and unlike during the first gothic war he had reinforcements from all over Segmentums Obscurus, Secundus and Solar making their way into the sector.

"Astropath signal the Beacon at Port Maw."

"My lord." The hissing breath of the Chief Astropath Dolva Vier acknowledged, "I have the beacon."

"Attention of Sector commander Lord Admiral Cornelius Ravensburg Reporting, Battle of Aquinrox minor sector concluded- loss of sector to Traitor forces almost total destruction of Traitor fleet witnessed by Bridge crews of Command Line Ravensburg. Losses to 2nd Battlefleet at ninety percent. Dark Eldar believed to have allied with traitor forces advise all ships of possible contact with elder forces. Complete report to follow End Message."

"Message received by Port Maw Authorities Lord Admiral, request all segmentum forces to rendezvous in Maw sector within Two Solar weeks."

"Acknowledge receipt of message and advise port maw that we have damaged ship drydocks necessary for large contingent of ships."

"Port Maw advises all docks at capacity divert to Fleet Base In Quinrox sound."

"Emperors oath- inform them Emperor"s wrath requires repair and Port Maw is only station with capability."

"Informed- they await your return My lord."

"End transmission, XO Have all damaged ships divert to Quinrox sound send a contingent to escort them all undamaged or capable ships return to port Maw to regroup with the other ships."

"My lord."

It had been a hell of a week.

Port Maw Naval station
Space Wolves Fleet
On Station Outer defence perimeter

The space wolves fleet had assembled once again after the actions in and around the Maw sector- the ships sent to relieve the battlefleet at the Aquinrox System had been waylaid by an attack from the forces that had escaped from the Battle earlier on fortunately none of the ships were seriously damaged but had required the fleet to hold stationary for twenty four hours before attempting to reach the battlefront. They arrived in time to see the last chaos forces leave the system after the battle- the advanced systems on the Battle barges scanning the last of the ships entering their warp gates- one being the flagship of the traitors who had attacked them prior to their arrival at Aquinrox Sector., the Augurs view showing the truly colossal debris fields across the system.

The salvage ships that had entered the system to take damaged and salvageable ships had been destroyed to a one by the angered space marines sending the traitors to their masters in the warp, lines had been thrown from each of the wolves ships to take both damaged allied ships in tow and captured traitor ships fortunately or perhaps unfortunately the fleet had enough ships to pull the recovered warships back to Imperial claimed space. Those ships had been cleared by space marine squads and given to the Adeptus Mechanicus priests whom had as close to group hysteria as they could get, some of the ships had dated to pre Imperium times and were powerful ships from the Dark Age of technology.

The wolves fleet had rejoined their Battlebrothers at Port Maw yards where the combined skills of the gifted Tech priests of Maw sector and their own Tech Marines had begun to long repairs to the damaged ships the fleet would be down many ships until they could be repaired and in wartime that may take a while even if they were the Emperor"s chosen warriors.

The repaired and battle ready ships now awaited their brethren in the outer system their Great Captains and great wolf himself were on the surface of the Planet being informed about the latest from the fleets in and around the Gothic Sector, the signs were not good the destruction of the bulk of the 2nd Imperial battlefleet combined with the loss of the Cadian fleets, sniping from Eldar, Ork and Tau ships were taking their toll Cadia had been retaken and the defences were being reseeded slowly but much of the Sector was under Traitor control if they broke through the Gate again then the sector would likely be lost with only sporadic outposts like Cadia, Maw itself and the Quinrox systems left behind. The reinforcement fleets sent by the Imperium were barely enough to hold out against the enemy fleets already attacking- and the news that a massed fleet bigger than the one recently destroyed at the latest battle at Cadia and close to the size of the now destroyed forward Chaos fleet was ready to attack made it a tricky proposition for Ravensburg to defend against. Hence the Wolves "intervention- there was a request from the command council for the Segmentum that a reinforcement of Space Marine chapters be brought in, the Wolves had agreed and the entire chapter to a man was on it"s way, their successor chapters had also pledged their support with a full half of their chapter numbers- close to four thousand marines were incoming- a full five thousand Battlebrothers would fight side by side against the chaos hordes.

The Fleets of each chapter were being refitted and sent with the chapter reinforcements, battle barges, strike cruisers, escort vessels hundreds of Space marine ships were being made ready for combat. Not since the days of the Age of Apostasy had such a concentration or Marine might been brought to bear on an enemy such as it would be by the Sons of Russ and their battle brothers, the battles ahead would be glorious indeed.

The outer perimeter was a closely guarded system of interlocking fields of mines, weapons arrays and battle platforms- the perimeter was guarded every one hundred million kilometres by the truly massive Ramillies class star forts, the forts were the Imperium "s most recognised planetary defence platforms. The Maw system"s primary defences composed of dozens of these stationary Dreadnaughts brought in from defensive lines across the segmentum- many had been newly built and towed to the Gothic sector in the decades since the first Gothic war for the eventuality that had come true- the arrival of another Black Crusade at the steps of the Imperium.

System defence flotillas, fighter squadrons, armoured transports and task forces were all deployed across the system defensive systems running and ready- if the chaos scum decided to attempt the blockade or worse annihilation of the Imperium "s sector naval base then they would find a hell of a fight awaiting them, the system"s massed drydocks and repair bays were completely filled to capacity hundreds of ships under construction and repair from all across the sector- the planetary hive cities were constructing repair components, munitions and attack craft by the dozens per day, Imperial guard regiments were amalgamating and taking in replacement personnel ready for deployment. Billions of armed forces personnel were setting up for the continuation of the war- reinforcements were still pouring in across the entire war front from the sector command at Port Maw to the fleet bases at Orar, Gethsemene and Thera to the Hive worlds of Halemnet and Bladen all the command planets in the sector were being reinforced by segmentus planetary defences, naval fleets and Imperial ground personnel. The trio of Forge worlds had been supplied with excessive amounts of raw materials for the war effort- in some cases entire planetary surplus had been taken up and transferred by the Transport armadas of Segmentum Obscurus and Segmentum Secundus.

For now though the two sides were at an almost stalemate- crippling losses combined with the slow arrival of reinforcements on both sides made any serious push all but impossible until such time as new warfleets were formed and tasked to the front lines.

Port Maw Command station
Port Maw Hive City
Planetary Surface

In the months since the first invasion into the sector by the Black crusade forces of Abaddon the sector command planet of Port Maw had been constantly on alert unlike during the twelfth crusade which incorporated the Gothic War Port maw was not under siege or blocked off by the warp storms that were prevalent around the Segmentum. Hence the station was at all time Linked to her sister Stations in Segmentum Secundus and Segmentum Solar- directly to Holy Terra itself. The planet"s massive war-rooms had permitted the myriad Admirals, Generals Warmasters, Marshals and Chapter Commanders to plan the strategies for the war against the Chaos fiends that were attempting to break out of the Sector and into the Imperium itself.

The Arrival of the Wolves fleet had allowed a slight respite to many of the outer system defence flotillas allowing for maintenance and re-supply to the system defence ships to go ahead, the only member of the Command staff they were awaiting was the Lord Admiral of the Gothic sector Cornelius Ravensburg and his Command ship- the Commanders of the Imperial Guard and Air force had arrived, the sector commander and the Space Wolves Command Staff had all dropped in system in the last few days for this meeting.

"Gentlemen please sit." Lord High Commissar Ankridge requested to the assembled men in the massive war-room, a massive table inset with holograph projectors, augur screens and information terminals by each seat took up much of the table while the rest of the wooden table was engraved with dioramas of the Gothic war both space and ground battles. "Lord Admiral Ravensburg ship has been delayed outside the Orar system by damage to her engines she"s being towed by the second Maw Battlecruiser Squadron, He has requested we start without him."

"What is the latest Information on the Battlefront Commissar?

"The front lines are under constant attack from the Enemy Crusade forces, all across the front our forces are being pushed back- entire Army combat Groups have been cut off as the planets are taken by the Enemy."

As he spoke the Augur screens and data transfer terminals brought up a concise picture of the entire Segmentus warfront, while the Gothic sector was and still is the main thrust of the Black crusades- long red lines across the screens gave evidence to the immense thrust of the Chaos forces.

"As you can see across nine sectors our forces have been engaged by traitor forces- we"ve lost contact with over sixty worlds in just one week, including four forge worlds- our latest intel suggests that the worlds have been cleansed of all life and their forges taken to support the war effort against the Imperium."

Dark Green lines stood out clearly showing the exact positions of the Imperial defensive lines around the incursion, blue and green dots arranged to show the planets of the immediate areas around with the white dots of Imperial Starships guarding the patrol lines and battlefields of deep space. A haze of diffuse red gave the information from the very long range augur systems giving them a reading on the enemy ship deployment however inaccurate it may be, very little confirmed information existed about the space outside of the defense lines, some areas like the Cadia sector were still the Dark green of Allied space accordingly known allied ships and fleets still operational outside Imperial lines were also on the map their Astropaths giving Port Maw command their positions and confirmed deployment areas.

At the very end of the table a mass of red and black swirled spewing out red specks- the few Augur platforms still intact in the Cadia system were sending information about the Eye itself, the essential information about enemy ship movements or reinforcements necessary for the command personnel to gather Intelligence from was coming in strong, confirmed reports gave the movement of groups of ship mainly transports and fleet escorts out of the eye and into the warpgates still open into the gothic sector and the surrounding segmentum. The reinforcement battlefleets of the new Cadian defence force hit everything they could as the ships came through with some success but the sheer amount of ships sent in combination with heavy ships still in the area bordering the Eye and the Cadian system made it difficult for Imperium warships to do much in the way of damage, the recent losses of some of the areas surrounding the front lines had also made a severe impact on the ground battles against the enemy. Three of the captured planets had been Imperial Guard staging posts and while there many millions of men and machines on the planets could fight against the inevitable landings of the chaos war hordes it did mean that they could not be reinforced or resupplied easily

Another problem directly tied to this was with one of the forge worlds now captured by the enemy that of a forge world given the honour of the production of warlord and warhound class titans, the use of the production facilities could be dangerous to the Imperial forces with many of their Super Heavy Armoured Vehicles assigned to many of the planets already taken since the beginning of the campaign. With the loss of both the facilities and a large segment of their armoured Army groups, the Imperium"s reinforcement of their ground forces would be essential especially in the area of Super heavy tanks and titan Killers- fortunately the Lucius and Estaban Forge worlds had already dispatched several dozen ships to the worlds under threat each carrying Tanks ranging from the light scout Salamanders to the Super Heavy Baneblades. The reinforcement Marine chapters would be bringing replacement vehicles for the Wolves.

"With the loss of many ships of the 2nd Battlefleet and the entire 2nd and ninth army groups the surviving units have been pulled back to the adjacent subsectors- as of now we have gone to a defensive posture across the entire battle front until such time as the reinforcement units have been brought in and the ships currently under construction or shakedown are ready for the front. I make no pretence at this but we have our backs to the wall gentlemen the losses taken by Gothic sector command are immense and until we recoup our losses we will have to hold where we can. In the three years since the beginning of this war we have held the traitors back all we can ask of our men is to do as they have always done live and die for the Emperor."

"That is as maybe Commissar." The Guard Commander spoke up, "But I have almost sixty million men and many millions of units of armour and artillery stranded on those planets, even with the Guard units already coming in and reinforcing we can"t just leave them to fend for themselves."

"I understand that Warmaster however we have no ships available to break the blockade around those planets and even if we did the transports needed would hamper the war effort and resupply of the other planets in the sector. I will not risk the Fleets needed nor the planets that would need those transports, with the reinforcements we may be able to take them out sometime in the next two years."

"I understand sir, those Guardsmen are loyal and good men they will hold they know they don"t have a choice."

"I never doubted that Warmaster, the emperor will watch over them until such time as we can take our space back from the Enemy."

"Commissar." Logan Grimnar rumbled loudly, "What is to stop the enemy exterminating the entire planet as they did to the forge worlds."

"My Lord Wolf." Answered Ankridge "One of the planets is a massive Hive planet the planetary defences are formidable and would take much to destroy, the second planet Is another of our sector"s many Forge worlds newly created over the last thousand years it is invaluable to the enemy for their use- with it blockaded we cannot use it and the enemy will no doubt attempt to take the planet intact and to convert it to the nefarious schemes. The third planet however is neither of these and is the most likely to be destroyed from orbit- we won "t know until we retake the system from the traitor fleet."

Grimnar nodded his shaggy head in understanding, the loyal planets of the Imperium were often ripped apart by the forces of the traitors- many were rendered close to uninhabitable by any form of human life purely because they refused to give up their belief in the Emperor and his great power. The likelihood that the guard and their equipment would survive the invasion were slim to none but with no forces available to retake the systems those men were all but lost- worse still many may be turned into the enemy"s ranks emperor knows the Armoured vehicles and titans could be used by the enemy.

"Understood Lord Commissar, May the Emperor protect them."

"The Emperor protects." The Entire gathering spoke.

A Secondary control officer approached the gathering with a flexi in hand, obviously nervous about approaching such a gathering of the most important people in the Sector, however his training spoke up in the deep recesses of his psyche and he stomped down his nerves and approached the Commissar.

"My lord a message for the great Wolf."

"Thank you Ensign, Dismissed."

"Aye Sir." The young officer handed over the flexi and left the dias retreating to his post across the other side of the War-room, Ankridge handed Logan Grimnar the flexi and watched as the normally stoic face broke into a slight grin.

"My lords, Something has come to my attention I regret that I must dismiss several of my retinue to attend to this."

"Of course Lord Wolf."

Outside the war room Grimnar called in Ragnar and Sven both recently arrived to replace his guards as part of the wolves retinue to the war council.

"Brothers I have received a message from a Physician Dordec of the Imperial Guard it seems our Liege Brother Alexander has awakened."