Operation Nesting Asps- Battle of Khalita ridge part 3
The Stormtalon pilot recovering control of his craft noted the flames billowing out of his left engine.  He should he thought try to evade and make it back to base.  No sooner did the thought enter his mind he rejected it.  The other heldrake was napalming the advance holding it up.  For the battle to have any chance of being won that heldrake had to go down.  Throttling his remaining engine he zoomed in on the daemonic machine firing as he went.  The shuddering and shaking of the damaged engine was throwing off his targeting but he rejoiced to see a shot slam home and flames begin to bellow out of the mechanical monster.  The Guardian chapter marine knew in all likelihood he was dead with that maneuver but it mattered not, he would die clean, true to his oath of constantly striving to be a guardian to mankind.

On The Stygian left flank the Guardians chapter marines continued to advance pouring fire into the militia around Khalbad.  Three of the hapless chaos worshipers weren't quick enough ducking down into the cover of the trench and were blown apart.  The Liskavian infantry were another matter, with burning residue of napalm before them and seeing the Guardians taking the fight to the trenches Lt. Asnomiv ordered his platoon to turn and pour fire onto the raptors behind them.  Psycher 357 in the center of the battlefield saw the danger posed by the raptors and reached out with his mind to guide Lt. Asnomiv's men in their aim.  Imperial artillery lanced out and hit the raptors killing three of them.  Then the infantry fired guided by psyche 357's efforts.  The hail of fire bowled the rest of the raptors over either dead or incapacitated by their wounds.  They then turned to resume their advance.

In the center the immobilized demolisher tank swung it's turret around to target the terminators behind it.  The massive boom of it's cannon ripped apart three of the hulking brutes.  The infantry was torn they could see the infantry on the stygian right flank continuing to advance with cover fire from the overwatch heavy weapon squads in the ruins but they themselves faced the terminators behind them and the hulking obliterators in front of them.  One squad turned advancing and firing ineffectually at the two remaining terminators.  The rest poured fire onto the obliterators.  They watched as shots bounced off the monstrosity's skin.  A melta blast stopped by a dark cloud of translucent gas breathed out by the hulking beast.  In their hearts the guardsmen knew dread.

Major Polkernik of the 18th Liskavian Infantry watched the battle unfold from the upper levels of the ruined mechanicus building.  The Stygians had hit them hard in the counterattack but his men had hit back just as hard.  But was it hard enough he wondered. He could feel the battle teetering on the edge of a blade.  Experience told the major as the fighting raged that very soon the tipping point would be reached and with it the knowledge of either victory or defeat.
Special thanks again to Chris Edstrom pictured below for his role in this battle report. 


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