3 Weeks Later. Godswinson Foothills. Skagerrak III
Cain watched his company race from the treeline, bikes racing forward to screen a line of Rhinos, Razorbacks and Repulsors. Scouting Land Speeders had reported the ridgeline ahead of them to be clear, and Cain intended on taking advantage of that mistake. He watched as the Razorbacks and Rhinos pulled ahead before easing off as they reached the foot of the steep slopes.
As soon as they’d started their climb they had gunned their engines and raced forward. The Repulsors were more hesitant. Carefully selecting slopes that were more manageable they struggled to catch up to the Rhinos as they neared the crest. The doors and ramps of the Rhinos and Razorbacks were opening before they even stopped below the crest, and the marines within charged out, throwing themselves into position peeking over the crest without skylining themselves before the doors of the Rhinos were even fully open. The Repulsors pulled in at the far left and the doors opened. The Primaris marines spilled out and took positions, far more hesitantly and continued shifting up and down the line, the last of them not settling for nearly 20 seconds after their conventional brothers had frozen in place.
Looking to his right he saw the devastators Razorbacks and his command squad. The devastators set up on a little knob just off the ridge’s shoulder, targeting scanners already reaching to select targets. He left them to Lieutenant Bors and ordered his vehicle to the right of the Razorbacks at the crest. The bikes gathered on the left of his line, ready to strike as he ordered a skull-drone to pop up to give him a view of the enemy.
The traitorous guard regiment spread in entrenchments for nearly a mile starting just off the foot of the ridge, a company had started to climb the slope to fortify this last weakness in the line, they were looking up in confusion at the sound of the engines and the clatter of battle plate coming down the slope from his so far unseen company. Everything was positioned as he had planned, his plan would work perfectly.
“Swords and Bolters brothers! For the Lion and the Emperor! ATTACK!” He called into the vox, ordering the Repulsors over the ridge.
“Repent, for Tomorrow you Die!” Intoned his company as they crested the ridge and opened fire. Trusting Lieutenant Nabbuk to direct the Repulsors guns he watched his company fight through the vehicles auspex array. The veteran marines fought flawlessly. Covering each others reloads, blasting down any targets that moved to threaten them, pressing back the shrinking company with a hose of fire. The larger guns of the Primaris blasted holes in the ranks of their enemies but their fire was uneven. Reloads weren’t timed, targets were selected, but fire was not maintained well. The bikes gunned from around the far end of his line and the screaming engines of his assault squad and Inceptors striking deep in the entrenchments beyond, preventing them from reinforcing the devastated company caught out on the slopes.
“Forward, Mount up and move to your beacons!” called Cain, rapidly selecting positions at the edge of the trench line. His own vehicle had nearly reached what remained of the traitors lead company and he ordered a door open, throwing himself out, plasma pistol already firing as his auspex sought targets worthy of its fury. Two shots blasted melta-gun carrying troopers from a throng around a heavily ornamented officer. With a guttural growl he lunged forward, drawing back his power fist and caved in the whole side of the enemy commander’s body. Around him Chaplain Zadok and Lieutenant Nabbuk swung into the fight, precise blasts of fire shattering the bodies of those too far to be reaped by their energised blades.
He glanced down at the battle array cast on the backside of his gorget, showing the state of his troops and the enemy. Pale red icons flew away down the slopes, shattering and dimming while his assault troops drew in the bright red of the next enemy company in a ring facing away from his men. Again the Rhinos and Razorbacks were already slamming into position with abandon, the troops spilling out blasting fire while the Repulsors again lagged behind.
His own command vehicle belched fire, trying to carve a gap through to the beleaguered assault elements, wide to the left the bikes cut another furrow in the enemy lines, while to his right Bors made his firepower felt, Hellblasters, Missile Launchers, Plasma Cannons, and Lascannons from the heavy guns simply tore open one side of the ring, as well as shattering several field guns that had been slewing around to fire on the marines.
The Guard reeled in shock at the massed firepower and the veteran squads didn’t give them even a moment to recover, throwing themselves in with abandon, the Primaris behind them throwing themselves in with no hesitation. Cain caught brief glimpses of his exposed assault element, seeing his Inceptors blasting back any threat to his assault troops, while the screaming chainswords wreaked havoc on the bodies of those near the more conventional assault troops. The bikes circled clear beyond the ring, racing to an unseen command post and the whine-Bang of teleportation announced the Deathwing arriving at the Ravenwing’s beacons.
The vox came to life again a rich contralto calling “At them Skaggerak! Into the traitors!” and further to his left, two companies of loyal guard raced forward in Chimeras, supported by Leman Russ tanks. He could see Colonel Peaks, her short hair waving in the wind as she sat high in the cupola of her command vehicle.
“Bors, bring your element forward, we need to trap them from retreating! Micah, Shamgar, get your Repulsors forward, get them behind the enemy flank to catch them as they flee. Move!”
He continued to direct his troops through the desultory fighting that remained. The traitors fell to the last man, his own losses were a couple dozen lightly wounded, 2 serious injuries and 2 fatalities. He left Nabbuk to speak to Peaks, and set up security with the Ravenwing and Deathwing, meanwhile he called his squad leaders together to discuss the battle.