Approx. 800 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
written by SJ
On Thanatos-4, all the ground troops had left about a month earlier, leaving the three destroyers in orbit. The General had requisitioned four new planetary guns, but that would take at least a couple months. He had already sent a less powerful gun on its way to be set up on the south pole, if for nothing else, so his destroyers could leave the solar system and be used elsewhere. When the small transport arrived, it was met by a smaller ship, some kind of exploration vessel, which quickly left afterwards.
The transport ship was supposed to deliver some supplies to Zion before it unloaded the planetary gun. But, its entry into the atmosphere put it on course for the south pole. When the ship was contacted about it, someone calling himself a supply officer answered, saying the gun needed to be unloaded first because it was in the way.
The excuse didn’t arouse any suspicion initially. However, the first time the ship had been contacted, the captain answered; now he seemed unavailable. The transport was almost to its destination when Captain Falconer learned about the incident. When he called, the same person replied again, who repeated the same excuse without being asked. That’s when Falconer demanded to speak to the captain. When the transport stopped answering, that’s when he ordered the planet be put on alert, warning the personnel currently at the south pole.
At the south pole there were about twenty workers, with heavy equipment, plus four Guardsmen, all armed with the bulky, militia-made, railguns. As the transport made its approach for a landing, the officer in charge attempted to contact it many times...still, without any answer. The railguns were almost as powerful as a heavy bolter, but fired a lot slower, single shot. When the transport started to land, they fired, punching holes in the transport.
Then, just before it landed, the supply door in back opened up letting out ten Khorne Chaos Marine Berserkers, led by a more powerful looking Champion in a similar, but more elaborate battle suit. The Guardsmen managed to take out four of the Berserkers before being slaughtered. Most of the workers had time to get away, and much to their surprise, were not pursued.
An elevator had been set up inside the planetary gun complex, which the Berserkers, AND two strangely-dressed Terran males used to enter the complex. Inside, there were two civilians, a geologist and a archeologist, who had been examining the excavation site left behind by Tzeentch, and who hadn’t been contacted about the commotion above. They were on their way to the gun complex, when they spotted the elevator coming down. Once they saw the Chaos group, they hid. But, the Chaos group made no attempt to look for them, going directly to the excavation site. After about an hour, the two scientists eventually took the elevator back to the surface.
Falconer had been contacted about the short battle at the south pole and was sending about fifty Guardsmen, armed with mostly civilian weapons and a few more rail guns. The lasguns, and other more powerful weapons they were supposed to get were still on the transport, which was recaptured without a fight.
In four hours, Falconer and his Guardsmen were ready to enter the planetary gun complex at the south pole. The first thing they did was to send down some probes, which found the complex, the tunnel, and the excavation site all empty except for one of the strangely-dressed Terrans, who was dead. Seemly embedded in one side of the excavation site was a WARP gate, now burned out and dead with only one readable word. When translated, it read: KHÂRN.
As time passed, it was determined that whatever Tzeentch was looking for on the south pole of Thanatos-4, the forces of Khorne had slipped in and stolen, leaving behind the name, Khârn, as an ominous warning, either meaning they wanted revenge for his death, or that he was back. Even when Thanatos-4 became vulnerable (left with only two planetary guns), Chaos did not return. Eventually Thanatos-4 was equipped with the four new, more powerful, planetary guns. However, as another several months passed, the Chaos spaceships were not detected anywhere.