The Enemy of My Enemy
Nemesor Sanderis studied the reconnaissance data his scouts had provided. The arrival of these Chaos Marines at the same time he launched his own assault on this world was fortuitous indeed, forcing the defenders to fight on multiple fronts. But they must not be allowed to delude themselves into believing themselves his allies (as if he would ever ally himself with such flawed and corrupted creatures). This world belonged to Sanderis, and if the Chaos Marines harbored any fantasy of sharing in its riches, then they must be disabused.
Sanderis spent a few seconds assessing the thousands of possible courses of action, searching for the optimum strategy. First, the enemy must be kept off-balance, never knowing who their enemy was or where they would strike next. Second, they must be guided to where he wanted them, herded like the cattle they were. Looking at the holographic display, Sanderis quickly identified three pressure points; a series of strikes at these points would force the enemy to move at his direction, like dams altering the flow of a river. The attacks must be small enough to avoid detection, and there must be no survivors; nothing to reveal too soon the guiding hand behind events.
The irony of the enemies soubriquet did not escape Sanderis’ notice. Iron Warriors, they called themselves, but iron is brittle; sufficient force applied at the right point could break it like a dry twig, just as these Iron Warriors would break before his invincible Necrons. Let them see what real metal could do. With a satisfied nod, he issued the interstitial command that would unleash his forces.
Watching from Hyperspace, the 5 Deathmarks observed their target – a patrol of 5 Khorne Berserkers and 5 Chaos Marines – approaching the killing ground. Choosing the Khorne Berserkers as their prey, the Deathmarks rejoined the 7 Warriors that were supporting them and settled in to wait.
The ambush was triggered by a salvo of long-range fire from the Deathmarks’ synaptic disruptors, killing 3 of the Berserkers before they were even aware of the Necrons’ presence. The warriors leant their gauss fire targetting the Chaos Marines, but the Marines’ armour was equal to the challenge, and only one of them fell. Realising their predicament, the surviving Chaos forces surged forward, but were unable to bring their full might to bear, killing only 1 Deathmark with their return fire.
As their enemies advanced, the Necrons held their ground, the Deathmarks killing the last 2 Berserkers and 1 of the Chaos Marines, whilst the Warriors fire was more wayward, killing only 1 Marine. With their ranks decimated, the 2 remaining Chaos Marines resigned themselves to dying in the sevice of the Blood God; 1 of them managed to charge in against a Deathmark, whilst the other supported him with bolter fire. Unfortunately, they were unable to overcome the living metal that formed the Necrons’ carapace.
The 3 unengaged Deathmarks silenced the bolter of the unengaged Chaos Marine, whilst the Warriors charged in against the lone survivor, swarming over him and tearing him to pieces. Silence reigned over the killing field.
Plains of Vordor
As the second patrol of Berserkers and Chaos Marines advanced across open plains, Sanderis knew that surprise was impossible. Instead he opted for speed and armour, sending a Ghost Ark against them with a detatchment of 6 Warriors mounted in it.
Knowing that the only real threat to the Ghost Ark came from the Chaos Marine with the meltagun, the Necrons elected to concentrate their fire on this individual. The open design of the Ark meaning that the Warriors could fire freely without dismounting. Unfortunately, they were unable to penetrate his power armour, and the Chaos forces advanced, planning to engage the Ark with krak grenades.
As the Chaos forces advanced, the Ghost Ark fell back, seeking to keep the meltagun out of range, but this precaution proved unnecessary as he fell under their withering volleys. The remaining Chaos forces, realising that they could not damage the Ghost Ark as long as its quantum shielding was intact, fell back in disarray, but were unable to outrun the skimmer. One by one they fell, the green discharge of the Necrons’ gauss rifles playing over their shattered forms.
With both Chaos patrols eliminated, all that remained for Sanderis’ plan to succeed was the destruction of a small outpost, guarded by 7 Plague Marines. Against these, he intended to throw 4 Wraiths. With their whip coils and particle casters, he was sure that they would be more than a match for these foul mutants.
The Wraiths swept down on the outpost without warning, catching the Plague Marines completely off-guard. 1 fell to their particle casters, whilst 3 of the Wraiths were able to charge home, killing another 2 Marines in close combat. The response of the remaining Plague Marines was disjointed, 2 of them electing to shoot, whilst the other 2 charged into close combat. Unfortunately, their whip coils and ability to phase in and out of this reality made the Wraiths all but invincible; whilst one of them was damaged, another marine fell to their razor-sharp claws.
The 2 unengaged Wraiths fired their particle casters at the unengaged Marines, but when the shots bounced harmlessly off the enemies power armour, they charged home. With all 4 Wraiths and the 4 surviving Plague Marines locked in combat, it was only a matter of time before the Necrons prevailed; soon, 3 of the Marines had fallen.
With only 1 Plague Marine remaining, the 4 Wraiths piled in, tearing him to shreds. By the time they swept apart, what was left was unrecognisable as ever having been human.
Nemesor Sanderis looked on as the Chaos forces swarmed aimlessly about; was there ever a species more aptly named? Unable to determine who the enemy was or where they had struck from, they had no way to respond. Little by little they shifted their forces as he had predicted – spreading out here, concentrating there – soon it would be time for the hammer blow.