Deathwatch Kill Team - Entering Jericho's Reach - Heroes of Mankind
A Space Wolves Deathwatch Space Marine of the Ordo Xenos
The Ordo Xenos was created after the Emperor was interred in the Golden Throne, along with the rest of the Inquisitorial Orders (though some appeared far later than others), to investigate and study alien races and eliminate any alien threat to the Imperium that they identified.
Armed with the best human and alien technology available, extremely knowledgeable about their foe, and filled with hatred for non-human species, the Ordo Xenos or Deatwatch can respond to any alien threat. Their tactics vary depending on the situation and level of alien taint revealed.
Tactical Marines are the most numerous of Space Marine warriors, and as their name suggests they are equipped and trained to fulfill the widest range of battlefield roles. Armed primarily with boltgun, Tactical Marines provide the spearpoint of the Kill-team’s firepower. Most battle brothers taking up service in the Deathwatch have advanced to the position of Tactical Marine in their parent Chapters, and so are veteran warriors well versed in the many disciplines of war. Truly, there are very few enemies that the Tactical Marine has not encountered and defeated, and no battlefield holds any terror for him.
The primary task of a Kill-team’s Tactical Marines is to engage the bulk of the foe, and to bring about the achievement of its objectives. Any other specialists in the team, such as Devastator Marines and Assault Marines, are present mainly to support the Tactical Marines in their task. To this end, the Tactical Marines are masters of a wide range of combat tactics, and they are adept in the use of a variety of weapons and other equipment.
Brother Skold is a Space Wolf
Many Space Wolves have served in the Deathwatch, and some of the most celebrated Battle-Brothers are drawn from the Chapter. Their propensity to engage the foe head on has led to many great victories, even if none outside of the Deathwatch ever hear of them. Though many Space Wolves have been elevated to the rank of Watch Captain in the Deathwatch, comparatively few have served as Watch Commanders. It is likely that this is due to the brothers’ natural gregariousness, and their desire to return to the great feasting halls of Fenris once their duty is done.
Skold peered out of the rubble – there were Orks everywhere. With his back to the wall he checked his scavanged Hevvy Stubba. As far as he could tell it was still functional, at least for now.. his Bolter was slung in case of an emergency with a mere 6 rounds remaining. The Stubba had come from a reinforced position he had taken 2 days ago.
Skold was lost in a temporary reverie..
They had been scouting the enemy lines in readiness for a full scale Space Wolf assault, and were entering a tunnel when an Ork IED had exploded and collapsed the way forward.. Skold had been flung clear of the choke point by the detonation and had then rushed forwards to try to excavate his pack Brothers only to find after hours of toil that they were all dead. He had survived purely by chance as he had been positioned at the end of the column. Now all that remained of his team were four hastily erected cairns hidden away so as not to be found by Orks.. or other scavengers. Now he was alone.
Heavy footsteps sounded from behind the broken wall Skold was using as cover.
“You fink we got im dis time?”
“Well I aint gonna go and find out – you de curious one, I saw wot e did to Groppa – tore is ed off wiv a knife and frew it bak to us e did”
There was some gutteral laughter and another voice cut in – grating like a serrated knife on bone..
“GET IN DER YOU PANSIES! If yur gonna be afraid a sumfin, BE AFRAID OF ME!”
Skold peeked through a gap left by a missing brick. This Ork was enormous – easily the size of a marine in Astartes armour with arms as thick as Skolds thieghs and weighed down with engagement trophies from all manner of enemies. Clearly the leader..
Facing the wall he pulled his knife out and flipped it so he held the tip and then stood – pulling back and releasing in one practised fluid motion. The knife embedded itself to the hilt in the leader’s scarred forehead.. and for a moment it appeared he didn’t realise he was dead as he tried pulling the blade back out. As the Ork war leader crumpled to the floor a small puff of dust wooshed out from under where his mass fell and there was silence. Skold howled shattering the stillness and a chill went through the small warband.
“I fink its fair to say ee’s still alive” came a voice in the quiet.
Skold decided not to press his luck and moved away along the wall and through an old building. As he rounded the corner a hail of gunfire erupted in his wake along with delighted whooops and hollars as the Orks pounded his previous postion, the odd bass boom showing a few grenades had been tossed in for good measure.
Night time came and Skold made his way up to the hilltop he favoured as a camp. Checking all of his countermeasures and traps were primed he lay down under his camo net activating his beacon again and praying to the Emperor for deliverance from these brutes. This was the seventy third day of his one-marine guerrilla action on this forgotten rock since the cruisers signal had ceased. He hoped it was merely damaged and had retreated to affect repairs.. He had a lot of battle brothers on that ship. The only vox traffic he was picking up now was mostly unintelligible Orkish. Scanning through the frquencies he heard barked orders, songs, and tales of prowess being offered up for praise – not so different from his own packs barrack room chat he thought. Warriors were warriors no matter the race though he doubted the Eldar would have such ribald down time.. and throne alone knew what Tyrranids talked about.
Realising his thoughts verged on Heresy comparing an Ork to a Space Marine, Skold made a prayer to the Emperor for guidance and forgiveness. He pulled back his lip showing his chapter’s tell-tale fangs in a humourless grimace, hoping that he should never have to find out the result of a match between a full grown Ork and an unarmoured marine. Hand to hand combat moves flowed in front of his mind’s eye – not many favoured the marine. Though far superior in strength to even his augmented frame Ork’s did not have the years of training or the speed that an Astartes had. The powered armour worn by the Emperors favoured shifted the balance butting both species on an equal footing.. Skold found himself admired them their uncompromising ability to overcome more advanced species through pure will and hatred, winning battles purely because it was more difficult to kill them.
Skold’s normally well disciplined mind had wandered again and at some point it had started to rain. He assumed the solitude was getting to him and shook his head to clear his mind – splaying his wettened braids as he shook them free.
The snap of a twig stopped time as he realised he was not alone. Sniffing the air there was the unmistakable smell of Ork – around fifteen he guessed. How had they found him? The beacon! Thrones blood! ‘Curse me for a fool!’ He had been so carefull hiding his tracks and planting false trails.. It was a small matter though as he raised his head and counted an even twenty warriors threading their way through his defences. ‘Damn.. Well, they’ll have to work for their meal’ he thought, and reached slowly for his trap trigger..
His ears picked up a resonating thrum coming in low from behind the hill. Worse luck on bad luck thought Skold as there was no cover from whatever Orkish contraption was inbound.. Maybe a lucky Bolter shot might take it down? He really didn’t want to test the theory.
The Ork’s heard the sound a second or so later and looked at each other shrugging and then turned to a looming figure below them – a quick comm check revealed startling news
“It’s not ours! Get up dat ill and get me dat oomie before it getz ere! NOW!”
Elation filled Skold as he processed this information. Rescue! Though there might not be anything to rescue if he didn’t act fast.. He took in the scene below as the enemy forces quickened their progress up the hillside – adrenaline pumped into his system helping to pick out each minute detail.
‘Closer.. just a little closer..’ he thought – eyes wide and with a manic grin of anticipation..
The darkness was full of Ork parts as the nearest three came in range of the anti-tank mine Skold had rigged for remote detonation. A roar came up from the back of the group spurring them up the slope and the green skinned mass surged forwards.
The engine hum was steadily growing louder as a pit trap took two more Ork’s to a grizzly death making them cautious again.. Skold clipped the remote detonator to his belt and surged to his feet spitting death into the group from his captured Stubba – nine more down and the gun was empty. With a snarl of contempt he flung the useless weapon down the hill, then dodged back as the Ork reply bit into his empty position.
The top of the hill had been flattened out and there was a small hut at its end – Skold dove into a position facing the building and waited, counting on the mass stupidity of an enraged Ork mob. He was not disappointed.. the remaining score sprinted past him to the shelter and Skold readied his last surprise.
They stopped short of the door at a barked order from the leader – Skold’s heart rate quickened as he realised how close this brute was to his position and stopped breathing.
“Are you lot fick or wot?? Dat’s a trap boyz – he ain’t in dere..” said the Boss shaking his head.
‘Clever’ thought Skold as he judged the distance – close enough..
It was like daylight as the shack burst open in a dazzling display of pyrotechnics sending masonry hurtling through the air, ripping body parts off, and shaking the ground like the footstep of a Titan. The blast wave knocked the leader clean of his feet as trees were upended and stone shards like bullets ripped into the area.
‘Too much Promethium’ thought Skold as he un-buried himself from his trench and tried to shake the ringing from his ears.. he staggered a few steps and slumped to one knee – choking on the dust.
Huge meaty hands grabbed Skold’s arm and leg as the massive chieftain picked him up and swung him cart wheeling through the air – knocking the wind out of him. The huge beast bellowed hatred at him as piggy red eyes peered down at him through the rain, glowing with undiluted hatred as it readied to smash a stone block the size of a small cow into Skold’s broken body.
A glint in the dust to Skold’s side caught his notice as flaming engines broke over the hill momentarily distracting the Ork who looked up sudden shock – just enough time for Skold to snap his arm down to his bolter and bring it under the creature’s groin.
With a grunt it returned its attention to its near helpless foe. With a little smile Skold shrugged apologetically and pulled the trigger. Six mass reactive shells tore their way through the chieftains’ body splitting it nearly in two and pulverising through its head into the stone which disintegrated into gravel..
“For the Emperor..”
Then everything went black
When Skold regained his senses he was in the Apothicarium of a Deathwatch cruiser. They had fixed onto his beacon – ironically the same one that had brought the Ork’s to him.
That was nearly two years ago now..