Captain O'kari of the Mangalo 3rd had had a bad night. He went through a hangover, more severe than usual, and vomited over his uniform. The pretty girl he met, whoever her name was, turned out a hive rat and stole his wallet when he was not sober. Lacking personal identification, he was forced to call up to High Command who then contacted the Munitorum and had his genetic code checked, his body measured, his old scar in his most secretive place examined; only then could he enter the barrack and get some sleep and forget about his bad night.

But morning was even worse. Waken up by the banging klaxon, he got out of bed and headed straight forward for the battlement, not even bothering putting on his stained clothes. The men and women of his company were scrambling into position, grabbing any wargear and manning any piece equipment they could find. Lieutenant D'pora was waiting for him, the look on his face as grim as any commissar when someone came up with the excuse "a Hormagaunt ate my Infantry Uplifting Primer".

From his binocular, O'kari saw death approach.

Skimming towards him now, across the desolated grassland, were Necron constructs, about twenty of them or so. O'kari was not unfamiliar with land speeder, but where a land speeder required to be driven by a pilot, in this example of xenos machinery, the pilot and the craft were one and the same. Rising from the prow of each of the skimmer's body were the torso, arms and head of humanoid automaton. Looking more carefully, O'kari could see they all had their right arm melded into some sort of ordnance that pulsed with malevolent energy.

The vanguard of the invading force had arrived.

"Form up and prepare to repel them," O'kari made swift order to his troops. To his relief, they had fared better last night and managed to take up fighting position quickly, ignoring the lack of adherence to protocol displayed by their commander. Polas, his vox operator reported back to HQ about the enemy's encroachment. There was no way O'kari could hope to defeat such a foe with a single company, but he could hold them back as long as the Emperor willed him. Or die trying so.

As the Destroyers got closer, O'kari gave the order to open fire. The gun line immediately bristled as torrents of laser shots from dozens of places were unleashed altogether. The autocannon turret added in with its high-explosive shells alongside three heavy bolters, one on the Chimera, the other two operated by two squads of heavy weapon teams.

The Ancients' resilience seemed an insurmountable odd, their metal hides absorbing enough hits that would fell even the toughest of man and still going. Nevertheless, the Imperial's effort was not worthless. Some of the Destroyers were listing badly, their carapace scorched and dented. One skewed sideway, colliding with another and they both fell to the ground, unanimated. As the Necron returned fire, at least two cannons malfunctioned and blew itself and the automaton they were attached to up. Greenish coruscating beams hit the defenders with eerie accuracy, blowing them apart, those hit directly literally ceasing to exist.

"Hold the line. Hold the Throne-damned line!" O'kari shouted. His men had yet to break, but that point was coming. The pressure was too much, even for hard-worn the veterans like they were. "Polas, call command and tell them we need fire support right now. They areā€¦" The captain was cut short as he saw his vox operator dead, his body dissected like some sick autopsy that would have made him vomit had he not emptied his belly's content the night before.

Disappearing and reappearing inexplicably, the Wraiths began to wreck havoc on the Imperial line. The ethereal xenos would shift in when a prey was in sight, lashing out with whip-like arms and lethal scalpel-fingers, only to blink out of existence again in the face of retaliation. Any fire against them was useless, going straight through as though they were not even there. They were the source of horror as much as frustration.

One of the Wraiths headed advanced towards O'kari with malicious intent. Screaming, captain fired his las pistol. The shots did not even hit the target. The xeno got closer. O'kari let out a scream as it materialized in front of him, striking with its whips. The blow suddenly stopped halfway. O'kari realized two pieces of metal resembling a crab claw snatching it and keeping it in place. A second later, the Wraith was crushed in half.

Still shocked by what just took place, O'kari gazed upward and took in the form of his savior: an Ork wearing some sort of parody of the Imperial Commissariat, with skull-bearing cap (an Ork skull, even) and red sash. As the bewildered captain staggered back on all fours, the Ork let out a below, "Alright, ya gitz! Let'z show diz puny humiez how we fight feh da Emprah."

A mob of Orks emerged from the rampart and met the Necron Wraith head-on. At the same time, rough riders from the Rakustin 7th Hussar, mounted on fast-moving bipedal creatures with avian-like beak, charged straight into the flank of the Destroyer formation.

Tried as they might, not even the Orks could cause any harm to the Wraiths in their ethereal form. However, that was not their purpose all along, shooting or stabbing these constructs to death. Instead, as the Wraiths materialized to slay the them, the crafty Greenskins would detonated the bomb he carried, blowing himself up (in good, Orky fashion) as well as his would-be killer. Not all were able to blow up in time before expiring, but those that did scored kills. Fourteen explosions, fourteen Wraiths brought down, thirty one dead Orks. That alone was much more efficient that what the Mangalo 3rd had been managing so far.

To O'kari's astonishment, one of the Orks shouted, "Da Emprah prutekz!" before exploding. He vaguely heard of a regiment that called itself the Emperor's Greenest, a travesty of a name, he had thought. Never had he imagined how much the meaning would be so literal.

Over the grassland, the Rakustins were gaining ascendency. The Necron Destroyers were caught off-guarded and had no effective means of engaging in close combat against. Power Spears in hand, the rough riders made successive attack runs against the foe, breaking their formation and distracting their aims. The Ancients were ill-prepared for this maneuver. Within minutes, the battle was over, every single alien skimmer slain, their bodies sparking lightning and tortured energies.

"Iz ya still surving da Emprah, humie?" asked the Ork to O'kari. The bolt pistol in his right hand was pointing directly at the human captain, resembling a commissar about to execute someone for cowardice.

"Of course I am," said O'kari determinedly. Part of him was still amazed, the other disgraced at the fact that his faith and loyalty were question, much less by a xeno. "The Emperor will guide us to victory for we are His hammer."

"Den get up. Get into posishun. Get ya boyz into posishun while ya at it. And get some Dakka goin'. We'z got a battle to win 'ere."


"You don't look so good, son," Lord Militant Drake addressed Hostfede at the meeting. "Having trouble sleeping lately?"

"That is of no importance, my lord," the general replied. Truth to be told, he was exhausted from the amount of work to be done in preparation for this battle, at least twice as much as any other Lord General in this room. The fact that somebody (presumably Yazz) ate all his bananas made matters even worse. "I am ready and willing to serve as always."

"I would have trouble sleeping myself if I were surrounded by Greenskins like you," commented Lord General Vulsar of the artillery detachment. "I remember in the old days where we would just maim and kill xenos at first sight and where they would do the same to us."

"Time changes, general," said Hostfede. "We are much less primitive compared to our ancestor, and so are our foes."

"Well said, son," said Drake. The Lord Militant was the only person so far who showed optimism, and Hostfede could understand why. Eighty years living on the fast line, he had gone through thick and thin and everything in between, facing off and besting the swarms of the Tyranids, the Chapters of Chaos Space Marines, the hordes of daemons and many other unspeakable evils. It would take more than a legion of restless death machines to scare him. "While lacking technical adeptness, the Orks are physically and biologically sounder than us humans. They are the much needed extra force I would be glad to have on my hammer. Hostfede, I suppose your boyz are ready for the defense of this hive."

"They are, my lord," said Hostfede. As soon as the Necron overstretched themselves, the Imperials launched a counterassault, inflicting heavy losses and more importantly, stalling the re-awakening process of many tombs on the planet. Seeing the threat as insurmountable, the Overlord had decided to focus all his force on eradicating the human usurpers before going on with the Red Harvest. On that note, the Imperial had returned to defense mode, waiting for the enemy to come for them in a situation where they had the upper hand. It would be in Hive Locryst that the two forces met, in mortal combat, until one is finally destroyed.

"How long have you been in command of a regiment anyway?" asked general Concordie, his eyes staring uncomfortably at Hostfede. The Emperor's Greenest general quickly found himself, living up to the name of his army, as the greenest of the generals in this room.

"Two months," Hostfede replied tersely. "I was company sub-commander before that for one year."

"Your advancement is awfully quick," said Concordie of the Mangalo 3rd with undisguised suspicion. "Tell me, is it because of extraordinary achievement, or extraordinary noble blood, or extraordinary luck that you make it thus far? It took me thirty years of service to reach this rank."

"General Hostfede is no ordinary man for sure," Drake interrupted. "On Taurok, it was him who single-handedly bested an entire Ork warband. Even more incredible was the way he did so from within. I hope your doubts are now gone, general Concordie."

"I may not have seen as much action as any of you here," explained Hostfede evenly. "But what I want in experience, I make up for with knowledge and expertise. Scholar Progenium became my home after both my parents, whose faces I never saw, were eaten by Tyranids. The first word I was able to utter was 'Emperor'. I fired my first short when I was two. I killed a Hormagaunt at five, a Genestealer at seven and suffered two dozen whips for only managing to severely wound a Carnifex with single Krak grenade at eleven. At the age of thirteen, I have inflicted injuries, some of which fatal, on more than a thousand victims bigger than my size. I understand your concern, general, but I need you to understand also that it has been misplaced."

"Fair enough," Concordie nodded, quite impressed by the way the youngster addressed him. "I hope your regiment is also up to the task."

Hostfede's answer was firm, "I hope so myself, sir."

A tremble shook the building. Debris fell from the ceiling and half the lights went off. Not single gentlemen in the room seemed fazed or distracted, for they knew what was going on and how they should appropriately react.

"Looks like the Ancients are less tardy then we thought," said Drake as insouciantly as someone who commented about the weather. The Lord Militant stood up, sword raised and head high. "To battle, warriors of the Imperium. Let none but the Emperor judge out deeds this day."


The Necron forces hit the bulwark like a hammer blow. From his vantage point above the wall, Hostfede saw thousands of them advancing on the right flank, thousands on the left, thousands forming the center block, a seemingly unstoppable mass of moving metals, their footsteps in unison creating a grim tune to those within earshot. Swarms of Scarabs and Tomb Spiders crawled amongst them. Tomb Blades were at the forefront of the assault. Night Scythes and Doom Scythes filled the sky. Monoliths and Annihilation Barges moved stately behind the infantry formation, ready to unleash fire support.

The Imperial Guards opened fire at the approaching legion. Dozens of Basilisks and Manticores sung at the same time, the effect quite deafening. Huge swathes of the invaders were blown apart. The skeletal warriors were reduced to their component parts, as units of Spiders and Scarabs, too many to count, were eradicated alongside them. Skimmers were tossed around like toys by massive explosions. A Monolith took a direct hit, the crystal on top unleashing voracious energy upon its demise, swallowing dozens nearby Necron warriors. The Hydra joined the cacophony with their autocannons, blasting one flyer after another from the sky. The Tomb Blades were punished heavily by short range stormshard mortars from Wyverns even as they fixed their guns on the defenders.

The Orks added their own fire. Unlike before where every mob had something to shoot from afar, one division now possessed all artillery pieces, much like how the Imperial Guards forming separate regiments for separate roles. The same could be said for all the vehicles. Though all mobs still had access to the basic Trukks, all others were grouped into three mechanized groups, one consisting of Deff Dread, another specialized in assault with the majority of Battlewagons and the last in support, claiming most of the Looted Tanks. These three mobs were assigned with the lion's share of Mekboyz in the regiment. Despite the controversy over his decision, Hostfede could see his reform pay off as more shells were loaded and fired at the same time as before. Though the level (in)accuracy had persisted (they were, after all, still Orks), there were just so many targets to kill. Feral cheers came from his boyz each time an enemy squadron or vehicle was destroyed in good Orky fashion.

The Ancients did not falter in the face of massive casualties, their stubbornness matched only by their resilience. Their formations did not even break despite the holes punched into them, each individual moving at the same speed and with the same intention. The first of the Warriors finally reached the rampart, stepping over the bodies of the Tomb Blades who were almost exterminated at this point. As they entered the battlement, many were blown apart by booby traps laid by the defenders, as well as some nasty tricks by the Kommandoz, but the rest carried on as though nothing had happened.

The Orks met them head on with axes and knives. Though they stood no chance against the Necrons, they bought valuable time for Imperial Guard forces to relocate themselves. Once the evacuation was complete, the he ordered the Orks to break from combat and rejoined their Imperial comrades. To Hostfede's chagrin, a number of them did not obey and were cut down as the Necron force grew thicker. In order to enhance loyalty amongst his troops, the Lord General had chosen some of the brightest candidates from each and every clan that constituted the regiment, subject them to fighting in (non)lethal duels until the victors grew larger and became suitable for the position of Nobz. However, while this worked fine on macro level, many individuals still aspired mindless bloodshed and took hierarchies for granted.

The rest of the Necron moved in. Destroyers and Tomb Spiders sprouting particle projectors blasted battlements, gun emplacements and defenders alike with coruscating beams of molecule-shredding energy and searing bolts of hard white light. Those caught by emerald beams screamed briefly and died as layer after layer of their body were stripped away. Although shot down by the scores, the remaining Night Scythes let loose their invasion beams on the on top of the bastion's wall through which squads of Warriors, Immortals and even Deathmarks were deployed.

The battle was fully joined. Orks and humans fought alongside one another, putting all their differences in race, religion and hygiene preference aside. Hostfede and his bodyguards were at the thick of it, smashing across endless waves of deathless constructs. The Grakk and the others were chosen in the first place simply because they were retinue of Warbosses before recruited. That they all survived (relatively unscathed) while their erstwhile masters always ended up being blown to bits, impaled by Power Swords or stomped to death by a Titan was an alarming sign indeed. Not going to make the same mistake, Hostfede spent time and effort whipping them into discipline and taught them how to watch his back in hectic melee. Other generals had also joined the fray, though, being humans and all, they stayed away from close combat as much as possible.

"Fight on, boyz," cried Hostfede as he clubbed another Warrior to death. He had lost count of how many he had slain so far, not withstanding those that got back up. "Show them strength, show them death, show them how we fight in the name of the Emperor!"

WAAAAAARGH!

On the right flank, the Scarab swarms were overwhelming. The Greenskins were brutal, but not even they could swing their weapons quickly enough to stop the tide of mechanical insects. The Scarabs got into the Orks' mouth and burst open the body from within. Deeming the mob lost, Hostfede, even as he parried the Rod of Covenant from a Triarch Praetorian, the beam from the wargear grazing his cheek, ordered his Burnaboyz forward to put them out of their misery. A hail of scorching promethium spelled the end to the Scarabs as they were burned to crisp.

Numerous Orks dropped dead without a reason. Shots bouncing off his Refractor Field warned Hostfede of the Necron sniper elites. Auspex detected a group Deathmarks occupying the top of the church, their presence hidden to normal eyes but not sensorial scans. Muttering a prayer for forgiveness, Hostfede ordered his boyz to fire at its direction. The Particle Whip confiscated earlier was put into use and within a blink of an eye, the entire section of the building disappeared, masonry raining down long with fragments of Necrons.

A number of Monoliths were teleported in the thick of the fight. One suffered mishap as half of its hull blend in with one of the buildings, causing both to contort and fall apart, atom by tiny atom. Killa Kan mobs intercepted them as they leveled their weapons at the Leman Russ formation. All grotz in the regiment were assigned to a single mob led by Runtherds, giving the lesser Greenskins more autonomy which pleased them greatly, though some lazy Orks was annoyed at having to fetch their own food from now on. Nine tin cans were decimated by Particle Whip, but the line held firm, allowing the Vanquishers to lay waste to the Necron constructs.

Sustained fire from Annihilation Barges and Doom Scythes brought down a section of the wall surrounding the hive from which Necron infantry spewed forth. They were stopped in their track by a Morkanaut whose over-sized frame blocked the breach nicely. The Ork stomping walker swung down with its Klaw of Mork, clearing any automaton who escaped its all-devastating Kustom Mega-Kannon.

"Hwuahahaha," laughed Grakk maniacally as he smashed down his foe with his massive claw. Scores of dead machines laid beneath his feet. "Diz iz da fight I wuz lookin' feh. Deff to da Emprah's foe!"

"That's the spirit," said Hostfede. He and Grakk had gotten along quite well in the past few days, the Nob proving an invaluable asset when negotiating with other clan leaders. While Lorark provided the aura of authority and right to fear, Grakk gave him deep insights that allowed many debates to end without the usual head breaking. Hostfede was too proud to admit their bond was growing, while Grakk, out of sheer simple-mindedness and much to the general's embarrassment, boasted to everyone how close he was to his Boss.

Hostfede and his Nobz were finally able to destroy the Necron law enforcers, though four of his retinue laid dead. His respite was cut short, however, as the next trio of Night Scythes deployed Overlord Daphrakh himself and his council. The Lord was clad in crumpling vestment and wore what seemed to be a golden crown atop his head. Where he walked, fallen Necrons rose to fight again, living metal re-knitting itself like tissue, repairing damaged limbs and reassembling their armored shells anew.

"This is your final warning," said the Overlord in strong-accented Low Gothic. "Remove yourself from this place and I shall spare your lives. This world belongs to us just as it had been million years before."

"Not quite so," replied Lord Militant Drake, stepping down from the battlement. joined him. "This world 'was' yours, but not any longer. You have claimed it for long enough, only to leave it to laxity and negligence. The age of Necron on Dorian 7th is over. It now belongs to the Imperium and His Holy Majesty the Emperor."

Daphrakh raged forward, "Then you shall perish along with every flesh on this planet." The Overlord brought down the War Scythe at his opponent. Drake blocked it with his master-crafted Power Sword. Activating a secondary digital weapon, the human commander caught his assailant by surprise and hurled him back, a fist-sized hole on his chest. The Lychguards stepped into the defense of their master as Daphrakh began to recover from his unexpected injury.

"Their leader is here," Hostfede shouted. "Let's go after him. We take him out and victory shall be ours."

"Roja dat, Boss," said Grakk as he tossed the broken form of a Praetorian sideways. His gaze shifted onward in the direction of the Lychguards now standing between him and the duel of the two leaders. "Lookz like we'z got some obstacle ahead."

"Lorark, tell you boyz the time is now," the Lord General cried into the vox.

Bursting from the camouflage, the Kommandoz, led by the Boss Kommissar himself, assaulted the Lychguards from behind. Lorark grabbed three of his foe with one sweep of his Power Klaws and broke their bodies like chopsticks. Hostfede's Power Mace was blocked by the Dispersion Shield, but his Plasma Pistol took out his opponent before he could bring the Hyperphase Sword to bear.

Drake was laid low by the Ancient Overlord, his Power Sword knocked from his hand along with three of his fingers (one of them already bionic). Enragement consumed Hostfede and he charged headlong for Daphrakh. His blow connected, but failed to deliver any significant result against the Ancient's tough hide. With a contemptuous swing of his Warscythe, the Overlord cut through Hostfede's Power Maul like a knife through paper.

"So weak," Daphrakh remarked with a tone that sounded mocking. "So fragile. And yet, you dare defy us."

"To hell with it!" Hostfede spat, pulling out a melta bomb. Before he could throw it, energy burst from the Overlord's Warscythe sent him sprawling to the ground coughing blood.

"No metal gitz touches me Boss when I iz around!" Shouting defiantly, Grakk jumped in between them. Unfazed, the Ancient's Warscythe impaled on his chest in midair. Crackling lightning rip the Ork's body to shred. In his last moment, however, Grakk focused all his might and deliver one single blow that removed the Overlord's left hand up to his shoulder.

Daphrakh began re-forging himself, but Hostfede was there to make sure his bodyguard's sacrifice was not in vain. He threw the melta bomb in the middle just as the Ancient's arm flew up and became one with the rest of the body. Daphrakh watched in disbelief as the melta bomb was stuck within his body.

"How?" he asked. The situation here was absurd in epic proportion. His existence had lasted for eons, and now it was on the verge of being curtailed by a creature that had not lived for more than thirty Terran years.

"We may be flesh on the outside," said the human general. "Feeble and perishable. But you forget one thing, that our will burns like hot adamantium. That nothing in this universe can never break. We stand united, and we shall stand victorious."

The explosion was massive. In mere nanoseconds, the skeletal king disintegrated, his whole body reduced to molten slag. Not even the most advance reanimation technique could hope to counteract this. The Warscythe, the only artifact left of Daphrakh that was not totally destroyed, clang darkly to the floor, announcing the Overlord's demise.

The Necrons' advance faltered. Any warrior still functioning began to shimmer, their armored bodies becoming blurred and hazy. And then suddenly, the defenders were staring right through them until they were not there anymore. Hundreds were teleported away, but thousands more, too damaged or simply running out of energy to perform phase shifting, were left behind. With Daphrakh dead, the Necrons were as good as beaten. Soon enough, the planet would be free of their taint.

A grand cheer came from the defenders. Humans and Orks hugged and congratulated one another. They cared not the others were not of their species, nor the fact some of the hugs led to broken ribs. Losses were high on both sides, but it was still worth it. The moment was uplifting. They had fought hard together, and won a victory they deserved.

"Good job, son," said Lord Militant Drake as he patted on Hostfede's shoulder with a hand that had only two fingers left (both of them bionics). He wore the same smile the first time they met. "I always knew I could count on you."

Hostfede did not answer. He instead walked towards the remnant of what used to be his most favored personnel. An Ork, brutal and savage alien who thirsted only for war and loot, as he might be, Grakk gave his life in the defense of his master. He was a brave soul. Without him, this victory would have been impossible.

Ignoring the whooping and laughter, exuberance and merriness around him, Hostfede kneeled down and put his hand on the head of his chief bodyguard. The rest of his body was blown in different directions.

"The Emperor protects," he said. "Or Gork. Or Mork." A drop of tear fell from the edge of his eyes. Hostfede hoped no one was there to see it.


Author's note: And on that note, this adventure comes to its conclusion. This chapter is longer than the previous two because I want to make the finale more epic. It also contains more action and emotions.

Hope you like it. I will be back with my Eldar stories soon.