Doubles Tournament - The Reason

Outside the rain hammered against the aircraft’s hull; it wasn’t a slow downfall. It was a constant downpour, periodically lit by flashes of lightning, and drowned out by crashes of thunder.

Captain Kangor looked around the dimly lit interior of his Vendetta. The faces of his command squad looked grim. Under normal circumstances there were jokes and quips from his men, light humour helped pass the time, and distracted them from the battle ahead.

This time it was different, a difference that made the whole squad edgy, had them… worried. Not a word that Kangor would have normally associated with the regiment, especially not his handpicked Veterans.

He looked across the cabin at Astropath Lojac sitting silently in his webbing, eyes closed in concentration. Even he normally partook in the squad’s atmosphere. Admittedly that meant he sat in the same place, and smiled at the jests and banter. He knew better than to try and engage the men in conversation. They respected him, and trusted him with their lives… but they could never befriend him, his powers caused too much uneasiness in them, despite those same powers saving their lives so many times.

The Astropath opened his eyes and looked directly at Kangor, sensing the Captain thinking about him. Kangor had seen this behaviour before, still it disturbed him.

“Any contact from them?”

The Astropath shook his head.

“None that I can sense, the priest must be shielding himself from detection or he is no longer alive”

Kangor shivered as he heard the words he had not dared to speak. Thoughts he had tried to suppress. He cast his mind back to what had led them to this dreadful flight.

One week ago the Methelas 1st Airborne had been tasked to help defend the world of Hallan. The orders had been received from the Sons of the Lion as part of their ongoing work to defend the Varcan Cluster. The world itself had been under siege from several forces; however none of them had ever shown themselves in strength. At least not in enough strength to draw the attention of the Sons of the Lion.

During the first 4 days, the Methelas Airborne found themselves engaged in several running skirmishes with a selection of raiding armies, during which time they had several small victories, although nothing decisive.

Then on the 5th day they arrived. A Space Marine Strike cruiser appeared in system, offloaded its cargo via Thunderhawk, then the Thunderhawks and Cruiser disappeared. The ‘cargo’ was nothing less than a half company of the Fearsome Space Wolves.

Kangor remembered the sight of the Space Marines arriving at their Command post with pride. The Wolf Lord leading the force had met with the Regiments commanders to discuss the tactical situation on Hallan. He had been present at that meeting, something he would not soon forget.

However, despite the obvious boost to Regimental morale and pride at fighting alongside the Warriors of the God Emperor, the Space Wolves departed. Whatever mission or reason they had for being there was not revealed to the Command staff.

On the 6th day reports filtered in regarding a massive offensive that was to be launched against the capitol; enemy movement had been spotted and the size of the forces had more than tripled. The 1st Airborne had moved to redeploy its forces to defend the capitol; with the deployment nearly complete news arrived of the Space Wolves.

Kangor and Astropath Lojac had been discussing their upcoming deployment in the defence of the capitol. Mid-way through the conversation Lojac had hushed Kangor to silence; his whole demeanour had changed to one of complete focus… and pain. For the following 5 minutes Kangor waited in silence, trying to ignore the growing cold and gnawing worry in his mind whenever Lojac’s powers seemed to take control of him.

Suddenly, as quickly as his manner had changed, it changed back with him slumping to the ground gasping for breath.

“What happened?” Kangor asked, worry etched on his face. He had heard too many stories of psykers turning bad and did not want to experience it firsthand, especially to one he could nearly call ‘friend’. Lojac looked up at him, tears running from his eyes, his breathing ragged.

“It was the Rune Priest” he gasped. “He sent out a call to his brothers, a powerful call”

“A call for help?” Kangor asked, not really wanting to know the answer. Something the Space Wolves couldn’t deal with, he sure as sure did not want to know about. Lojacs shook his head weakly.

“Not for help… for vengeance.” He answered. Kangor moved closer to Lojacs barely resisting the urge to shake the man into talking sense, something he knew would not be appreciated by Lojacs.

“I need more than that. Vengeance, it doesn’t help me much… what did you hear?”

“Kangor, you do not know anything about the talent, it is not just hearing… it is seeing, feeling… experiencing.” Lojacs paused, trying to compose himself before continuing. “I ‘heard’ them die… their Wolf Lord is gone, slain in some terrible battle, and at the moment the remaining Space Wolves are currently dying one by one. They are fighting something and it is killing them.”

As Lojacs stopped Kangor didn’t start… questions bubbled in his head, but he held his tongue. The silence stretched, only interrupted by Lojacs heavy breathing. Over a minute passed before Kangor spoke.

“Did you see where?” He looked at Lojac, the Astropath nodded slowly. “Well that’s something, meet me at the staging area, hold back Squad 42, 43, and their transports… tell the rest of the Company to proceed with the plan.” Lojac nodded again, before pulling himself to his feet and disappearing from sight.

Kangor stood for a moment thinking. What he was about to do might very well earn him a firing squad but he knew it was the right thing to do. Whatever the Space Wolves were fighting he doubted the 26 men he could muster to help them could do much… but… but two Vendettas and a Valkyrie striking without warning could do far more damage than their numbers suggested.

So he had commandeered his own Vendetta and command squad, along with 2 squads of his Veterans, to fly out to where Lojacs told him this was happening.

All these actions had led Kangor to where he was… in his Vendetta flying over the middle of nowhere in the middle of a god awful storm, trying to perform a rescue for Warriors of the God Emperor. He shook his head with the first smile to grace his face in the last 18 hours. What a way to end a career… something he knew would happen. High Command would likely shoot him if he returned, and when you boiled it down to the basics… something killing Space Wolves is likely to make short work of him and his men.

Outside, the lightning and thunder intensifiedm just as the pilot opened the comm to the passenger compartment.

“Captain, we are approaching the location you provided. Scanners indicate Space Marines…” the voice trailed off for a moment, “Nowhere near Company Strength though. I count 25 life signs, one vehicle.”

Kangor pressed the button to respond.

“Alright. Open a Channel to the rest of Rescue Flight.” He waited for the affirmative click to come back through. “Lads… this is it, whatever is down there it seems to have done some serious damage to our Allies. Your objectives are to secure the local area then kill anything that moves and isn’t in Grey and Yellow armour. Shooting something that colour will not end well for you.” He paused…struggling for the words to continue. “Whatever you do lads… do the regiment proud… in the name of the God Emperor fight well and take out as many of them as you can!”

No cheers greeted him as he would usually expect from a pre-battle speech, however even he had to admit it wasn’t his best. He looked around his command squad.

“Lock and Load lads, we’re going in Hot.”


Max said…
Nice fluff- can't wait to hear the end of it!
Kraggi said…
Thank you very much, thats basically the premise of why we have picked out Doubles Tournament armies, and I will be continuing the fluff after we have played in the tournament, taking into account the results of the games, who we played and how well it went.
Kraggi said…
For anyone subscribed to the comments. The conclusion can be found here: