The Sabres of Fury
Broken, remade, vengefulA crusade against the enemies of mankind is what drove us onwards... faithful servants of the Emperor, descendants of Dorn, we strode through systems and purged our foes without wavering. But then the great beast found us, its unquenchable hunger eclipsing everything, even our own fervour. Our greatest warriors were torn apart like training dummies. Our mightiest weapons counted for nothing against their unending tide. With our spirits broken and chapter in ruins, we fled into the ether, unsure where, when or if we would ever return...
A fleet based successor chapter of the Imperial Fists, the Sabres of Fury prided themselves on their devotion to the Emperor as well as their martial prowess. They believe no city would fall with them behind its walls, nor stand with them outside them. Amongst their number stood Captain of the Second Company Davian Lukas, a rising star in the chapter.
Lukas displayed an almost uncanny ability to anticipate enemy movements on the battlefield. His skills saved many a life, a fact the men under his command revered him for.
The second company under Lukas were increasingly deployed without support companies, seeming to need little assistance when engaging enemies on the chapter's crusading mission against the threats to mankind. Chief Librarian of the Chapter, Brother Anatole, was often to be seen fighting alongside Lukas, with an elite squad of terminators they made a fearsome force alongside the company's marines directed by the young captain.
The battle for Colnaga
The Sabres of Fury were in the final stages of a purging of Ork Waaaagh Skream 'Ed when distress signals reached them from the heavily populated Colnaga System. Racing to the aid of the undefended planets, the Sabres of Fury's third company deploys to Colnaga Secundus, which is under full attack. Fighting through orbiting bio ships, the marines make planetfall but all contact is lost mere hours later and the tough decision is made not to send reinforcements in as the Strike Cruiser Bright Blade only just manages to escape destruction as it limps back to the main body of the Sabres' fleet.
The chapter deploys to Colnage Principia, where a much higher civilian population then Secundus makes mass evacuation a near impossible task. The Sabres' deploy a full battle company at each of the main centres of population on Principia, with the chapter's fleet arrayed in a defensive cordon around the planet. Specialists in siege warfare, the Sabres are as comfortable defending positions as attacking them. They deploy heavy support vehicles and squads where they will have the most devastating fire and assault squads stand in reserve ready to aggressively counter any threats. Tactical squads bolster PDF forces not engaged in maintaining civil order.
Neither the marines or planetary forces understand what is coming.
Once the bio ships have finished harvesting the biomatter on Secundus, their advance to Principia continues at frightening speed. The battle in space is intense and rages for many hours. Chapter strike cruisers and escorts pound the bio ships mercilessly but cannot cause enough damage to slow the tide. Seeing that a planet wide invasion is imminent, Chapter Master Arcos Nyman orders that as much of the planet's population be evacuated as possible, but there is no time. The air above Principia is filled with xenos lifeforms hurtling towards the surface and although they rush through a torrent of devastating fire from the planet's defences, enough reach the ground to begin assaults on a global scale.
The first to fall are the Sabres' fourth and fifth companies, who are overrun seven hours after the first contact is made planetside. The cities they guard are consumed entirely. The first company, along with the reserve companies six through ten defend the capital Colnaga Pacifica and it's 32 million inhabitants. They are under attack almost immediately but the presence of so many veteran marines, not to mention Chapter Master Nyman, means the defence is well organised and initially, effective.
The second company is on the far side of the planet when the xenos first make landfall. Managing to send a dozen transport ships into orbit and through the tightening net of alien vessels, their efforts are progressing relatively well.
Nine hours after first planetfall, Battle Barge Sword of Vengeance is destroyed, meaning only a handful of smaller strike cruisers remain, all of which are engulfed in intense fighting.
Eleven hours after first planetfall, the outer defences of Pacifica are breached, with heavy casualties amongst the brothers. Second company are also now fully engaged, defending the city of Indana.
Thirteen hours after first alien planetfall second company forced to resort to siege tactics to create kill zones in the streets and collapse them with heavy firepower, but it's all merely a fighting retreat. Similar tactics are employed by First company and the defenders of Pacifica, where the fighting is at its fiercest. PDF troops hold out until they run out of ammo and fall back if they are able. Sabre squads provide covering fire until they too are forced back.
Fifteen hours after first planetfall and Chapter Master Nyman and his elite terminator units are dead, after being attacked from behind by huge tunnelling xenos beasts. All contact lost with brothers defending Pacifica. Second company holding out with half a dozen PDF units thanks to the remarkable leadership of Captain Davian Lukas and with Chief Librarian Anatole unleashing ever more wild psychic flames against the aliens.
Preparing for the end, a message breaks through to the surface from the strike cruiser Wrathful Blade, badly damaged but capable of evacuating the surving astartes if they could reach a shuttle. It is a desperate fight to the last space-worthy transport but the battered survivors manage to get onboard as Captain Lukas and brother Anatole keep the alien beasts at bay - Anatole burning them from the skies and Lukas using his uncanny ability to anticipate his opponent's moves to lethal effect with his power sword, decapitating a huge xenos creature that seemed to be leading the others,
Anatole's considerable skill kept the winged aliens away from the shuttle as it escaped the atmosphere and made for the strike cruiser. The Wrathful Blade was firing constantly at targets all around it and the wreckage of other ships was serving as a screen of sorts between the badly damaged vessel and the much larger alien ships.
Once aboard, the true nature of the damage was revealed. The ship's Geller Field was damaged and not fully functioning. A warp jump would be possible but almost as likely to kill them all as remaining where they were. Faced with a possible death or a certain once, Lukas gave the order and Wrathful Blade lept into the Warp.
The second company were never seen again.