This is a brief story I wrote up as a dramaticized retelling of one of my battles against the Dark Angels. If this proves popular enough I'll post more, like my contribution to the Fate of Konor two weeks ago.
Towards the southern end of the Farsight Enclaves' territory, and slightly north of the Damocles Gulf lies the planet known to the Imperium as Zephon. During the Damocles Crusade, they were among the human planets that chose to secede from the Imperium and join up with the Tau Empire. It was a fairly well off world, rich enough in Iridium to warrant mining operations yet fertile enough for farmland. After an intense battle that resulted in a crushing defeat for the Tau, the planet was abandoned to its fate. After the Imperium withdrew to fight Hive Fleet Behemoth, the colony was assumed to be under their control, and was due to be reconquered. However the task was put off when the Beast invaded the Enclaves, eventually causing it to be forgotten. However, after some time had passed, an Air Caste expedition intercepted a transmission from Zephon, conforming that the human populations had indeed survived and were desperate for deliverance. O'Shovah himself then led a strike force to Zephon, hoping to claim the planet before the Ethereals could sink their claws into them.
Upon arrival, O'Shovah noticed that the population had dwindled from billions into just a few thousand. Though the plucky Gue'la had managed to repel an invasion from the Astra Militarum, it had cost them greatly. To make matters worse, reinforcements would be approaching soon, only this time it was not the hordes of the Imperial Guard, but the elite chosen few of the Emperor's Space Marines. Within days of his arrival, a Dark Angels carrier ship entered into orbit around Zephon. In a desperate attempt to prevent another conflict, Farsight sent a message to the ship, warning them that the planet lay under Tau protection. The only reply came in the form of Drop Pods, carefully aimed at the only remaining city. The Imperium had no intention of welcoming their wayward kin back, only in reclaiming their missing territory. Farsight cursed the timing, for his forces had been stretched too thinly across the planet. Only his entourage of 3 infantry squads, 2 battlesuit units, and a single transport vessel stood with him. With a heavy heart, O'Shovah ordered an evacuation of the Gue'la into their underground shelters, and led what little forces he currently had to intercept the Dark Angels. It would take 5 hours for the Air Caste to reach his location and provide support. Whether it would be an evacuation or firing support, only time would tell.
As the drop pods landed, O'Shovah noticed a rather alarming discovery: These were not the same marines he fought in the past. No, these were at least a human head taller, decked out in brand new armor and weapons, significantly more advanced than anything the Gue'la had ever sent against him before. Leading the assault was a marine decked out in ceremonial garb, wielding an elaborate mace crackling with electrical energy. The impact of the pods sent shockwaves across the field, damaging several of the nearby buildings. Farsight ordered the Pathfinders, Fire Warriors and Broadside Shas'ui'Trou'A into cover,while he and the Crisis team lay in ambush.
As the marines poured out, the initial volleys were launched. Unfortunately, the dust clouds obscured and dampened the pulse fire, leaving the marines no worse for wear outside of a few scorch marks on their armor. Undeterred by the barrage, the marines fired back, their brand new bolters proving to be far stronger than the previous model. 3 fire warriors and 2 pathfinders were slain in a hail of gunfire. It was then that Farsight issued the order of Mont'Ka. From behind the dampening Generator, Farsight and his 3 wingmen leapt into the fray. Their sudden arrival gave a split second of pause to the Marines, but that was all that was needed. As if out of nowhere, a shower of markerlights bombarded the marines, lighting them up like a Sanguinala tree, quickly followed by a carefully aimed burst of railgun fire from Trou'A. As luck would have it, the new armors were no better at dealing with a hypervelocity slug. On their flank, the breacher squad emerged from a swooping devilfish along with accompanying drones, before the Devilfish left to protect the fire warriors. Plasma and pulse fire erupted from two fronts, incinerating the marines before they even knew what happened. Enraged, a second squad of these new Marines charged into the fray, accompanied by a squad of terminators and an apothecary.
On the other side of the building, Chaplain Jophiel led his entourage of Deathwing Knights into the fray. Pulse rounds seared the hull of their terminator armors, but failed to penetrate. As the terrified Fire Warriors continued firing to no avail, the devilfish swooped in from the sky and wedged itself between the two forces. Undeterred, the Angels charged valiantly into the vehicle, slamming powered mace and flail alike into the hull. It buckled and sputtered, but still held fast, holding the line just long enough for a barrage of missile fire. Though they raised their shields fast, a single Knight hesitated just long enough to be slain in the resulting explosion. Another volley of Pulse Rifles erupted, catching the Captain off Guard and searing off the side of his face.
The Primaris charged directly into melee with the Breachers while the Terminators ran straight for the Crisis Suits. Coordinated Power Fist strikes lay low one Shas'ui, while the Captain impaled another on his sword. It was only thanks to a stroke of luck that Shas'ui'A'Polly was able to fall back, his leg clipped by the force of another powerfist. Despite this however, Farsight cracked a soft smile, the Gue'la were expecting an easy brawl, that would be their mistake. In a red flash, he fired up his thrusters and leapt into the melee. The Dawn Blade cleaved through the reinforced plate as easily as it would through the air, neatly slicing four of the terminators in twain. In shock, the Captain bellowed a challenge to the Commander, only to be evaporated a split second later by a blast of A'Polly's Fusion blasters. Out of the corner of his viewscreen, Farsight saw another comforting sight: The Breachers had evaded every blow, and managed to put some distance between themselves and the marines. The gap was long enough for Trou'A to slay another 2 with a railgun burst.
Chaplain Jophiel gritted his teeth as his men faced another hail of gunfire. Bellowing a prayer to the Emperor, he brought his mighty Crozius Arcanum down with the force of a meteor. The mighty weapon smashed clean through the hull and into the engine. With one last shudder, the Devilfish crashed to the ground. The pilots scrambled desperately to flee the site, only to get cut down by a burst from Jophiel's storm bolter. The panicked Fire Warrior Shas'ui ordered a retreat, but it was to no avail. Within moments, the Knights were upon them, staining the ground beneath them with Tau blood. Without missing a beat, Jophiel turned his eye to the frightened Pathfinders camping out in a nearby building and directed his Knights to their next target.
A bolter round struck A'Polly square in the reactor, forcing the Shas'ui to eject. With their attention divided, Farsight brought down the last of the Primaris with a few well placed shots from his Plasma Rifle. One still twitched and groaned, promting the Apothecary to dive in to try and revive him. Like a bolt of lightning, Farsight lept upon him, rending his head from his shoulders in a single swipe. With the last of their foes slain, he turned his attention to the other front. The line was buckling, and already he could see the Knights charging around the building to face them. With a nod, he sent the Breachers to the corner, hoping to see them intercept the enemy. Their targeting matrices lit up as markerlights struck the Knights and Jophiel. The breacher teams opened fire, only for the shots to be absorbed by the relic armor adorning the Chaplain. Jophiel fired his bolter in response, killing 2 of them. Just as he was about to tear into the terrified Breachers, a plasma bolt struck the ground in front of him, halting his advance just long enough for the Commander to leap inbetween.
"What sort of warrior kills those who can't possibly win against him?" Farsight spoke loudly through his speakers. Jophiel was taken aback by the voice. Where did this Xeno learn Imperial Gothic? A momentary silence seemed to hang over the battlefield, broken only by his reply.
"A warrior with no worthy opponents." he sneered, sizing Farsight up as he did so. "Lay down your arms Tau, and you will die painlessly." Jophiel aimed his Crozius Arcanum at the battlesuit, sinking into a combat stance. The Breachers rushed to aim their blasters at the Chaplain, but halted at Farsight's signal. He gestured them to the Knights, this would be his fight and his fight alone. "I am Chaplain Jophiel of the Dark Angels. First Legion of the Adeptus Astartes, tell me your name, so that I may record your name for the scribes."
Farsight paused for a moment to figure out the right words. Fortunately, this Gue'La was the honorable type. "I am Commander Farsight of Vior'La. Student of Puretide and Master of the Killing Blow." He too shifted into a stance. For a moment, both men stood perfectly still amidst the carnage around them. Then with a loud battlecry from each, they charged right into each other.
Jophiel swung with precise force, aiming directly for the cockpit. Just in time, Farsight brought up his shield. An impact ran through his battlesuit, rattling the inside but still he held fast. As Jophiel recovered, Farsight launched a swipe at the exposed head. Jophiel redirected his strike into a parry, knocking the Dawn Blade aside. But as he turned the parry to another blow, Farsight used the momentum to circle around to his side. With a snarl, Jophiel turned his body to face the Commander. Both men swung forward, their weapons smashing into each other with a deafening crash. Jophiel was stunned, the Sword should have been crushed into scrap, yet it held without even the slightest nick on the blade. The two men grappled in the blade lock, neither one giving an inch. Summoning up all his strength, Jophiel gripped the mace with his other hand and pushed Farsight away, he smiled and raised his mace up high. But Farsight had landed on his feet and raised his weapon into stance just in time. It was only for a split second, but the Chaplain had left himself open, and it was all the time he needed. O'Shovah fired his boosters to full and charged forward with a powerful thrust. Before he had time to see it coming, Jophiel felt the blade pierce clean through him. He barely had time to realize what had happened before his world went black.
At the sight of their Chaplain fallen, the Knights bellowed in rage and charged to swarm Farsight. Though only four remained, they hoped to avenge their leader. Farsight cursed aloud and raised the Dawn Blade. Just before they could close the distance however, a missile struck them from behind, killing two instantly and scattering the survivors. As they scrambled to their feet, one fell into Trou'A's line of sight allowing him to bring down the Marine with the last of his railgun ammo. The lone survivor did not last much longer as a focused burst of Pulse weaponry cut him down. Farsight looked up, and let loose a sigh of relief. Overhead a Manta loomed into view, dividing its fire between the dropship in orbit and the ground. Just in the knick of time. Farsight surveyed the battlefield. It had cost them dearly, but victory was theirs this day. He made a note of the new foes they had encountered, hoping to study them to devise better tactics should they come to blows again. With that, he diverted his attention to the bunkers, the Gue'la would need their relief supplies, possibly even an evacuation to a safer location. There was still much work to be done.