The imperial line had overextended. In the West the Leviathan had pushed too far ahead and was now almost cut off from the main battle line. He had heard on the short wave vox that the force under Captain Caine had reached Gravis and were taking up defensive positions among the wreckage of a stompa, The Praetorian Lancers and Dragoons had also managed to reach the Leviathan and were organising themselves for a final charge headlong into the ork lines.
In the East the Cadian armoured might had come unstuck. The near suicidal advance of ork trukks. battlewagons and bikes had delivered Warboss Gorblud and his retinue deep into their lines. In close quarters the tanks were no match and a great many venerable Leman Russ were unceremoniously ripped apart. Where these ork reinforcements had come from nobody knew, a great many had advanced on the Imperial lines from the flanks and the rear. The cunning of the orks had seemingly been greatly underestimated.
Admiral Drax was close by. That much he knew. He had expected to link up with him near the centre of the Imperial lines, attempt to re-establish communication and better coordinate the deployment of the heavier elements of the Fourth Mechanised. With the renewed ork assault and the arrival of the Green Tide, Drax, much like Gravis had been almost cut off from the main Imperial lines. An ork Skull Hamma battlefortress had been closing on the Cadian support weapons. From the reports of his own scouts, it appears that Drax had decided to see to it personally…
Colonel Winterborne was brought back into the present when the hull of a nearby chimera imploded under the impact of a crude ork rocket. The shock wave from the explosion washed over his command squad. A number of Cadians had been stood far closer and had been caught in the blast. Lord Stern strode over to them and unflinchingly administered the Emperor’s mercy.
The sergeant major continued to shout orders at the amassed Praetorian infantry. The remnants of a number of squads from the fourth foot had formed up with squads of the fourth mechanised. Two ranks deep they stood, arranged in a long line punctuated by support weapons in the form of heavy bolters and autocannons.
The first rank took to one knee and began reloading their lasrifles. Their comrades took aim over their heads, picking their targets from the onrushing orks.
The nearest orks absorbed the Praetorian fire, a great many falling to so many well placed hits, but many more shrugged of the lasfire, seemingly uncaring or unfeeling of the injuries sustained. The heavy weapon gunners did their best to focus on the larger orks, some shots punching clean through, others tearing off limbs. But still they came.
The Baneblade Indomitus Rex spoke with the fury of a god. It’s guns tearing huge holes in the ork advance. It advanced to the right of the Praetorian position, supported by Cadian veterans. These were the same veterans who had laid low the tyrant Warboss Gorblud. There hadn’t been time to find the body, and while these cocky veterans were prone to exaggeration, they were certain their melta fire had put too many holes in him to survive.
Combined with the armoured onslaught of the Baneblade the ork advance began to waver. It was then that the world went bright white…