Operation Nesting Asps
Tular Valley Massacre part 4
The Stygian forces advanced forwards eager to finish off the marine force that had tried to root them out of the valley.  The Helldrake on the Stygian right flank raced forward and dipped low snatching a marine up in it's scythe like talons leaving only a lone marine in the squad behind.  The talons flexed and the marine was cut in two and dropped onto the battlefield below as the autocannon opened up again on the hapless surviving rhino.  The Flurry of shells reducing it to a burning wreck and ensuring that there would be no possibility for escape for the loyalist astartes.

Meanwhile the second Heldrake belching out black smoke turned it's baleful eye to Sgt. Surnov and the remnants of his squad.  Erupting a shriek that promised only painful death the heldrake spewed napalm upon the squad incinerating them and adding their fire blackened bones to the charnel pit that lay beneath the raging firestorm in the center of the battlefield.
Intense fire from a militia squad cut down two of the marines attacking the heldrake.  Seeing the hopelessness the lone Guardian plasma cannon gunner attempted to fall back but was cut down by fire from the obliterator.

The lone surviving Guardian watched as a horde of militia swarmed towards him.  The situation was hopeless but he drew his bolt pistol in one hand and gripped his bolter in the other.  He was a scion of Dorn, and he would not betray that lineage now, not even in the face of overwhelming odds.  he began to fire his rounds pounding into the militia but still they came.  His bolter clacked empty his bolt pistol too.  Defiantly he hurled them at the enemy and drew his blade.  He ran the first militia man through bellowing defiance.  He never saw the axe descending towards his head to his right.

Reports of the massacre reached Asura in his command bunker.  For the loss of three spawn and 24 militia, thirty loyalist marines and their transports had been wiped out.  Asura knew that news of the massacre would delay imperial efforts to break the stranglehold Operation Nesting Asps had over their supply lines to the front.  It was time then to begin a new phase of operations.  The Stygian guard on the frontline would now attempt to cave in the Imperial front line now that they had been weakened by lack of supplies.  If the Stygian Guard could break the front, the Imperials would have to retreat.  And that retreat would carry them into the hills and valleys were the militia and other units dedicated to Operation Nesting Asps would be able to savage them.  In his mind's eye Asura saw it.  Retreating Imperial columns hammered with airstrikes.  Sudden raids on the columns flanks from asp dens of militia, all the while the Stygian guard chasing at their heels.  it would turn the retreat into a route.  And while he would not have enough strength to take the hive city he would gain defendable ground and defense in depth and preclude any Imperial offensive for at least another year in the north.  Smiling Asura drew up the order for the Stygian Guard.
Special thanks go out to Chris Edstrom (pictured below) for all his help with these battle reports.


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