“Last night, a team of specialist guardsmen entered the rebel-held city of Daraa on the desert world of Morkai, assaulted the city’s front gate, and opened it to allow loyalist troops to enter and crush the mutant scum that defied Imperial rule.“—Imperial Voxcast, 6 164 743.M41.
* * *
MISSION REPORT: Operation Shadow Walk
LOCATION: Daraa, population 10,000
FILE: Mutant Military Activity
SUB-FILE: Shadoq Province
INPUT DATE 6 177 743.M41
CLEARANCE: Theta 2
SUBMIITED BY: Lieutenant Marc Dekker, commander, Special Mission Platoon Alpha-Six,
attached to the 1st Special Operations Branch, 1st Headquarters Company, 17th Morkai PDF Regiment
On 6 159 743.M41, the headquarters of the 17th PDF Regiment—stationed outside the hive city of Charcharoth—received word that the city of Daraa had been seized by a rebellious mutant population.
Declaring loyalty to the mutant leader Haruspex of Ungolath, the rebel leaders executed the rightful Imperial Administratum leadership and declared independence from the planetary government.
Subsequently, the regiment’s 1st Battalion was ordered to advance to the city and restore it to Imperial control.
Moving by night, the battalion made every effort to use stealth to approach the city. There were no indications that the rebels were alerted when the battalion took up position behind a low rise of hills just two kilometers from the city’s front gate.
Recon teams conducted a thorough examination of the city’s defenses. Encircled by an ancient stone wall nearly five meters deep, the city appeared a challenging target for assault, as its two city gates were built of thick plasteel.
But one recon team discovered an abandoned sewer pipe about 100 meters outside the city walls, half-buried in the sand, and, after exploring it, it was determined that the pipe led directly into the sewer systems beneath the city.
This discovery led to a plan: A special operations platoon—subsequently designated as Mission Platoon Alpha-Six—would use the sewer system to infiltrate the city. Alpha-Six would assault the front gate at night, take it under control, and open the gate.
Upon the team’s signal, a motorized company of 1st Battalion would rush the gate and set up a beachhead in the city before rebel forces could react. After that, the rest of 1st Battalion would enter the city and liquidate the rebel threat.
The target gate, known as the Gate of Abdash Kallou [Gate of the Morning Light], is located on the eastern side of the city. The gate is approximately eight meters in height and consists of two large plasteel doors with titanium trim and filigree.
One challenge of the mission was that there was no single control to the gate. Each door of the gate is independently powered by a separate promethium-fueled generator, and each door is operated by a separate control panel, each housed in a separate blockhouse on each side of the gate.
What’s more, as a security measure, neither gate door opens unless the cogitators controlling each door receives confirmation that the cogitators of the other door has simultaneously received a command to open its door.
This meant that the Alpha-Six needed to storm both blockhouses, seize control, and independently send a command for the gate to open. Thus it was determined that two squads would be required: one to assault each blockhouse.
As commander, I requested additional forces, arguing that it was a high risk to expect a single squad to conduct each assault. My request was denied, and after receiving a rightfully administered rebuke for my negativity, I proceeded as ordered.
At 01:13, 6 164 743.M31, Alpha-Six entered the sewer pipe outside the city and began its approach to the city gate.
It was necessary to estimate the team’s position under the city and, when the platoon’s two squads—organized into two assault and two demolition teams—rose to street level, they found themselves exiting into a ditch adjacent to the Monument of Imperial Heroes. (Location approximately 170 meters from the target gate.)
The time was 02:32.
The platoon advanced on the gates in four separate columns. Fire team 1 and Demolition Team 2 advanced down parallel alleys to the southern blockhouse, while Fire Team 3 and Demolition Team 4 advanced on the northern blockhouse.
The approach to the blockhouses did not proceed without incident. In one instance, Fire Team 1 was forced to slip past a tavern filled with patrons. This was unexpected, as it was assumed that the mutant rebels had instituted a curfew. They had. But it appears that the curfew did not apply to the rebels themselves, and a sizable number of mutants had taken over the tavern.
As there was no other route to the blockhouse, Fire Team 1 attempted to use a dark alley behind the tavern, where it was believed that no customers were likely to be found. Alas, a drunken reveler stumbled out the back door, apparently to relieve himself, but he was promptly overwhelmed by two of my guardsmen, quietly killed, and stuffed into a nearby trash receptacle.
A more serious incident occurred as Demolition Team 4, approximately 30 meters to the north, attempted to maneuver through a city market, abandoned during the night but offering the concealment of numerous stalls, sales tables, and market tents.
As the team came within site of their targeted blockhouse, they were stymied by the presence of four armed rebels, obviously on patrol, standing in the street engaged in conversation.
ASSAULT ON SOUTH BLOCKHOUSE
At 03:01, the situation was: Fire Team 1 and Demolition Team 2 were deployed in the shadows of two alleys, with a clear view of their assigned blockhouse. They were only 20 meters from their target.
Fire Team 3 also was in position, but Demolition Team 4 were nearly 50 meters from their objective, blocked by the conversing guards, and any attempt to advance would almost certainly lead to a firefight that would raise the alarm.
As I debated my course of action, Fire Team 2 reported that a rebel had exited the hatch of the north blockhouse and had walked away, leaving the hatch open. Upon hearing this, I realized that Fire Team 2 had an opportunity to seize their objective even without the help of their Demolition Team 4. I ordered an immediate assault.
I lead Fire Team 1 forward. We rushed the south blockhouse without firing, until the two guards at its hatch noticed us, and then we opened fire on the run. Both guards were shot, and the fire team took control of the hatch. Alas, it was locked.
I ordered Demolition Team 2 forward. It joined Fire Team 1 at the hatch at about the time that the alarm was sounded, and we began taking fire from a few guards atop the city wall. I ordered Fire Team 1 to return fire and suppress the enemy.
With the hatch locked, I relied on our Mechanicus support, Enginseer 69-Kreard, to help us gain entry. Inserting a mechadendrite into the hatch control panel, he interfaced with the machine spirit of the hatch controls and, after almost three minutes of nerve-wracking effort, managed to activate the controls and open the hatch.
At this point, Fire Team 1 entered in a standard assault formation, swept into the room and spread themselves out, and shot the only inhabitant on the ground floor of the blockhouse. We were successfully inside.
Click here to read the conclusion of this battle.
The artwork at the top of the article is courtesy of “Henskelion” of DeviantArt.com. Normally, we would include a link to his work, but his account is closed. We are contacting him to see if he has a new link available to view his other fine artwork.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Leave a Reply