Shadow of the Serpent

Planetfall

Session 2

The squad is gathered in front of the briefing room. Another space marine, a Space Wolf, introduces himself. He is a personal envoy of Inquisitor Dolos, seconded with the blessings of the chapter about a year ago. After the brief exchange, the group makes their way to the launch bay to get ready to be dropped into the colony.

Saying their final rites, the Space Marines strap themselves in. The Techpriests and servitors moaning prayers to the machine spirit and blessing the hull of the drop pod with holy ointment. Once complete, the drop pod launches to the surface like a missile. At thousands of kilometres an hour, an external camera shows the squad the battle the Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy are waging at the colony.

The drop pod’s retro-boosters kick in and and slow the decent just in time to not completely obliterate the building it lands on top of. Through 2 stories of rockcrete, the drop pod lands safely amidst the ruins of a once perfectly functioning Tau/Human hybrid office. The squad immediately spots a trio of battlesuits fly to the north side of the colony, where the tau intelligence is located.

Shortly after surveying their surroundings, the group looks to their auspex and draws their route to take around the city. Luckily, they hear the footsteps of troops coming their way. Hiding, the squad waits until the Firewarriors hit line of sight and the Ultramarine unleashes a Smite on them, catching the Tau completely off guard. Immediately the Dark Angel and Storm Warden toss grenades and eliminate the squad. The battle was so short lived, not a single Firewarrior could call for assistance.

The Space Marines finally decided on going south to the nearest tertiary objective, on the way to the shield generator, hoping to bring in orbital support. The Kill-team runs into several more squads of Firewarriors, but dispatch them as quickly as they find them. The objective was only lightly defended and the team quickly completed the it.

On the way to the shield generator, the team detects many hostiles guarding it and heading towards it. The Space Marines hide in a nearby building and let the Dark Angel set up his missile launcher. All at once, the Deathwatch let loose. A missile flies directly toward the generator and heavily damages it. Bullets fly and a Tau Battlesuit falls in the initial salvo. After a short exchange, the shield generator is destroyed and the kill-team gets away safely.

Once the shields were taken down, communications between the Deathwatch and Imperial Forces were reestablished. Admiral Archer offered an orbital bombardment to the location of the Deathwatch’s choosing, locking onto a beacon. The Kill-team, however, chose to save this for later, possibly to kill the Shas’o. The team heads to the drop pod site to plan their next move.

While discussing their next course of action, the Ultramarine sees a light shimmering over one of the roof tops, but pays it no additional heed. The squad decides to give the Blood Angel a beacon to attempt to place it onto the Shas’o building, to kill him with an orbital bombardment with the rest of the squad placing the last beacon on another tertiary objective. However, while making his way through the alleyways in the hab-block, the Blood Angel is ambushed by 3 stealth suits. Riddled with pulse rounds, the Blood Angel charges the squad leader and makes a rent into the armour, hoping the rest would stop in case they hit their leader. Although he didn’t understand the language, the experience of a hundred battles told him the Stealthsuit gave the order to fire into combat.

Wounded heavily, the assault marine flees and regroups with the rest of the squad. The Space Marines realized the Stealthsuits must have been sent in after the shield generator was destroyed. However, with how precise the attack was, they had to assume the Tau would not only observing them, but listening in on the conversations. They then relied on the two librarians for communication.

Their plan came to be that they would make an explosive satchel with much of their grenades and place it at the edge of one of the northern hab-blocks, to draw the defences away from guarding the Ethereal’s building. Using the additional scanning power of their ships in orbit, the Deathwatch was able to observe the movements of nearly all enemy troops in the city. They also find two Tau Orcas being prepared for the immediate departure of the Ethereal. Time is running out.

After placing the charges in the hab-block, the team makes their way to the nearest block to the Ethereal’s hideout. The charges explode and completely level the northern part of a hab-block. The explosion was so large it caused buildings to shake. At that moment, the Ultramarine spots invisible Stealthsuits all around them, off balance. The Firewarrior squads are all running to see what happened.

Turning to the knowledge of Codex Astartes, the squad instantly decides to run as fast as they can into the Ethereal’s building. Only spotted by one squad, the team forces their way into the building anyways. Bolters blazing in a torrent of fire, the Space Marines mercilessly cut down the Ethereal’s guards. Before any Tau can react, the Dark Angel and Ultramarine work together to kill the attendants and stun the Ethereal. The Dark Angel breaks a leg of the Ethereal before restraining him with a mere hand on his shoulder. In less than 30 seconds, the Kill-team breaks into the Ethereal’s home, kills his bodyguards, and captures him alive.

Off in the distance, the group makes out 3 Battlesuits heading their way. In a stroke of genius, the Dark Angel has the idea to use the beacons to triangulate coordinates for Admiral Archer to use to fire on the Battlesuits. A minute after sending the coordinates, the orbital bombardment began. The Battlesuits were caught in the epicentre. The entire hab-block was obliterated and all that survived was a barely working Battlesuit that crash landed in front of the Ethereal’s building. The pilot ejected, but was immediately killed by the Space Marines.

Keeping the Ethereal hostage, the Space Marines make their way to the Orca transports. Once outside, the team is surrounded by Firewarriors, but no gunfire. After a short, but intense, verbal exchange, the Space Marines threaten the Tau into piloting the Orca for them.

The team flies their way to the Eastern wall where Imperial forces are still at a stalemate with the Tau. However, when looking around, the team finds a squad of Firewarriors eviscerated in the middle of the street. No Imperial weapons, to their knowledge, aside from chainswords could do that, but no other imperials should be in the city and the team was never in this part of the city. Focusing on the mission at hand, the Space Marines set down and find a service hatch. They bring the Ethereal and the unfortunate Air Caste pilot with them. The door was ajar, but the team forces their way in on high alert.

In low light, the Deathwatch make their way to the control room. Through the din of battle just through several meters of wall, the team makes out pattering of something organic on metal. A corpse was found in the control room, ripped apart. Guarding both entrances, the kill-team lets the Space Wolf open the wall gate. The whir of gears did nothing to dampen the screech of hundreds of voices echoing in the tunnel. All around, humanoid creatures with claws drop from the air ducts and run in from the tunnels.

Protecting the Ethereal the Space Marines cut their way through Hybrid Tau citizens, and eventually, genestealers. With the exit in sight, but what is turning into a sea of scrambling creatures on both sides, and forced to only move 2 abreast, the battle seemed bleak. Using any explosives could kill them all. Desperate and cut off, the Space Wolf decides to cast Smite. Taking cover, the squad is miraculously unharmed along with the Ethereal. The pilot was not so lucky. He was obliterated along with the Tyranid creatures. Before any more could stop their way, the Space Marines run outside. Heavily wounded, but alive.

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