“The time for deliverance is at hand. The Haruspex declares the Time of Rising upon us. We will smite those who have despised us, exiled us, sought to cull our ranks as if we were vermin. Now it is our turn to bring death to the Imperials.“—Chakir Suleiman, mutant warlord.
IMPERIAL VOXCAST (3 863 740.M41)—After weeks of defeat and relentless retreat, Imperial forces finally succeeded in standing firm against the mutant threat from Ungolath.
“Earlier today, the 4th Cohort of the Charcharoth Home Guard, supported by elements of the 15th PDF Regiment, defeated a massive mutant horde descending upon the Bazaha Wadi,” Grand Elector Fabius Nemetorius told a cheering crowd from the balcony of the Imperial Palace in Golgenna, the capital city of Morkai.
“Learning from our mistakes, we recognize now that the mutant scum of Ungolath is not simply a mob of cutthroats but an organized and well-armed military force,” he added. “Thus we have sent a significant, combined-arms force of elite troops to tackle this threat. The mutants will be stopped.”
Having withdraw from the Azari Oasis, the Home Guard was challenged almost immediately after taking up a position in the Bazaha Wadi, the last Imperial-held region of the Thar Desert Basin. A vanguard of Skitarii, supported by a screen of PDF troops, were deployed south of a communications array built by the ill-fated 17th PDF Battalion some weeks earlier.
On 3 863 740.M41, troops guarding the array reported the approach of armored vehicles—industrialized trucks armed with makeshift cannons, tractors converted into ramshackle tanks, and cobbled-together trucks serving as transports.
“These vehicles were heretical in design, a blatant violation of the tenets of the Omnissiah,” said Transmechanic Caldarius A-87, a tech priest communicator who serves as a spokesman for the Home Guard commander, Dominas Kazzim-Aleph-1. “The Canticles of the Omnissiah demanded their swift destruction.”
Thus battle was joined. The communications array was situated to the west of a series of limestone mesas, with the surrounding region dotted with sand dunes, scattered rock formations, and Shardwrack Spines. As the Imperials marched north to meet the threat, the mutant vehicles hurried south, as if in a race for control of the array.
Having experienced first-hand the ambush tactics of the mutants in his previous battle, Dominus Aleph-1 reorganized his battle plans to maximize Imperial firepower.
A formidable Skitarii force was deployed in lines in the center of the Imperial formation, with more expendable PDF troops deployed in a screen surrounding the Skitarii. Operating in pairs, Kastelan Robots and Amiger Helverins operated independently on the flanks.
“This tightly packed formation denied the mutants the ability to appear in the midst of the army, and forced them to deal first with the outer layer of PDF troops,” Caldarius A-87 said. “This left the Skitarii free to use their superior firepower to bolster the PDF Screen as needed—to impressive effect.”
As the Home Guard advanced at a run, the mutants launched one of the most audacious ambushes in the history of the campaign. Almost the entire mutant infantry force arose from beneath sand-covered tarps right in front of Imperial troops and fired.
Recognizing the greater threat posed by the Skitarii, the mutants ignored the PDF screen and fired through them at the Skitarii in the Imperial center. Thankfully, despite suffering heavy losses, the Skitarii’s cybernetically enhanced psychology kept them determined to endure the casualties and face the threat before them.
The Imperial response was immediate—and devastating. Disciplined volley fire by the Skitarii, supported by the less-effective yet still deadly PDF fire, tore huge gaps in the mutant lines. Onagers scuttled across the sand, dealing out death with their massive weaponry, and Kastelan Robots engulfed hundreds of mutant traitors with holy and flaming promethium.
“Entire hordes of enemy combatants were annihilated within the first five minutes of the battle,” Caldarius A-87 reported. “Tactical algorithms indicated the threat level of the heretics fell 34.75 percent.”
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Categories: Morkai Campaign