Walls of sleet crashed against the concrete battlements on Delta 42. The men huddled in its shelter, casting a nervous glance across the battlements more through fear than duty. The line was dotted with the dark shapes of tanks, silhouetted by the white out of the storm. Battle tanks, chimeras, hellhounds and hydras rose as sentinels above the ramparts.

The checkpoint was a dark grey line stretching across the entrance to the pass, curving inwards towards the center to create a killing zone. Bunkers hunched heavily along the line, their shape more of a grey blob then an actual construct. To the far left stood a watch tower, built into the mountainside, the ground was barely visible in the colorless swirls down below. The windows were battered by the wind, shaking violently in their frames.

Godfrey sighed, it was the best they could do to peer into tempest and hope that nothing came for them.

Several men sat at various consoles, their efforts to contact any other formations were futile. Their voices gradually growing more anxious as the hours passed, the crackling of static like a terrible orchestra. A man stood squinting into the blizzard, his body noticeably trembled, his fingers clasping a flask tightly to his lips. His great coat wrapped closely to him.

"Lieutenant, you are an officer of the Imperial Guard, start acting like one." Godfrey ordered irritanted. The man turned towards him, his eyes seemed haunted and distracted. The cup fell from his hands, clanging heavily onto the floor. The room was silent, the soldiers now watching their leader fall to insanity. The hot liquid drummed loudly as it landed on cold steel.

"They're coming, the darkness, the fear, the ripper, the bearer, the evil." He shrieked in a inhuman voice, tearing at his skin as if trying to release his innards from their fleshy prison. "Only blood can sate them, our blood. YOU WILL ALL DIE HERE!"

The officer jumped at Godfrey, falling to his knees and grasping at the collar of his thick coat.

"RUN! RUN! THERE IS NO HOPEā€¦"

He never finished his sentence as Godfrey drew his sword, slashing up and severing the man's head and arms in one movement. The body limply crashed into the floor, blood gushing across its crisp surface. The head rolled gorily to the steps, dropping 30 meters to the ground and cracking open on impact. Brain matter saturated the floor, melting the ice that had formed there.

Godfrey lowered his blade, blood dripped from it euphorically, each one pounding deafeningly into the puddle that now formed around his boots. He walked grimly towards the loudspeaker terminal, the whole room engrossed in the horror of the event. Darkness seemed to whisper at their minds, biting at their souls, ready to engulf them. It picked at the scabs of their conscious mind, bearing down on their faults and inadequacies, murmuring of deceit and destruction.

The loudspeaker screeched into life. The men prepared themselves, rushing to their positions. Weapons were loaded and cocked. Fires were snuffed out by the heavy boots of guardsmen. The battlements bristled with weapons, bayonets fixed. A thousand tiny spears arrogantly prickled from the rockcrete. The booming voices of platoon sergeants were drowned out by Godfrey.

"Men of Tallarn, your enemy is here. The great enemy. You are soldiers of the Imperium, let yourself not be swayed by the perversion of chaos. You are his light. You are his fire. You are his will. You are his hammer. Faith is your shield from the darkness, do not taint our name by falling prey to their deceptions. Be strong brothers, may the Emperor deliver us."

A loud cheer arose from the men, audible even above the heavy din of the storm. "For Tallarn and the Emperor!"

A great silence followed as wind whistled past the squinting forms of guardsmen, who twitched nervously, each one engrossed in his own rituals of combat. A gunner squirted oil into the working parts of his autocannon, while a marksman whispered rites of battle to his rifle. A sergeant spoke softly to his men, strengthening their resolve. A Leman Russ crew studied their sensors as they loaded the first of many shells into the battle cannon.

A tall silhouette strode arrogantly from the storm. Its thin form smattered with verses of the dark powers. It grinned manically preparing to sacrifice itself upon the alter of blood. It raised its sword in one hand and began to shout. It never finished its first sentence as its head was stripped from its body by a well-aimed sniper shot. The gangly body collapsing into the ice, weeping a pool of red across its white surface.

As if in response hundreds of twisted forms charged from the swirling sleet. Bodies of men warped by chaos, spikes now bristling from their carapace like skin, while some bore wings of inhuman growth and others had mutated to be twice the size of a man, wielding huge rusted axes and swords, their flesh covered in plates of thick armor. Spread throughout were huge ceramite plated men, their red rust armor trimmed in brass, charging manically towards the checkpoint, chain axes spinning wildly above their heads. Above them strode machines of iron, like spiders striding across the battlefield, spouting flames from their arms, some of the cultists below them caught fire, screaming in both agony and pleasure as they burned.

The guard opened up with everything they had. Autoguns rattled and cannons thumped as empty casings sprinkled the battlements, clinking down onto the thick snow which hissed and melted as it contacted the hot brass. Even the might battle cannon was drowned out by the ferocity of the firepower as it blew a sizable hole in the enemy forces.

Godfrey watched from the tower. The chaos cultists growing ever closer to the Imperial lines, even as round after round sliced muscle from bone and tore chunks of flesh from its screaming victims. A metal spider flailed in the center of the mass of red, its limbs laying broken and battered around it while metallic hooks and claws spun outwards, ensnaring the worshipers of khorne and tearing them limb from limb. Red gore spread across the ice, each drop expanding it further still. It crept forward till it reached the grey surface of the battlements, staining the concrete at its base. He heard the artillery finally open fire.

Shells dropped into the center of the enemy army, sending pink mist shooting into the atmosphere. The explosions shook the floor beneath his feet, and yet the horde still kept coming, their insatiable lust for blood driving them onwards. A guardsman ducked below the fiendish talons of a winged beast, sending slug shredding through its body. It collapsed from the sky smashing painfully into the hull of a chimera. Spouts of flame burst from the lines as the cultists got closer. Holy promethium raining down upon them.

A hellhound smashed through the concrete battlements and out onto the plain, spraying an arc of flame before it, incinerating everything in its path. Its dense metal form crushing the corpses below its tracks. In its wake followed two leman Russ, heavy bolters spitting death from their sponsors while the battle cannon annihilated innumerable horrors of the warp. Despite this desperate counter attack the enemy closed in around them.

They hit at that instant. A berserker launching his ceramite form onto the ramparts, cleaving his way through several men as he did so. The battle descended into madness, small groups of men banding together in forlorn hope. Cultists and other unspeakable creatures hacking wildly at the bleeding forms of injured guardsmen. Godfrey began descending the steps, if his men were going to die, he'd go with them in honor.

A huge metal spider descended upon the small spearhead that had pushed through the lines. It burst into a shower of flames as the hellhound fired at it but continued unhindered. Its iron claw hammered into the hull, piecing straight into the crew compartment. The tank exploded as flaming promethium rained down across the nearby cultists.

The leman Russ were now being swarmed by legions of cultists. One slipped and fell onto the track, spinning forwards on the metal links before falling underneath the weight of the tank, its ribs busting open in a fountain of gore. The crew grimaced as the top hatch of the tank was ripped off by the minions of chaos, grenades descended into the darkness of its cockpit. The explosion launched the turret high into the air, its armored shell descending into the masses of chaotic worshipers before the shells that were stored there ignited. The blast sent a shockwave across the battlefield knocking down dozens of the cultists.

The eyes of the insane officer stared accusingly at Godfrey as he passed them and charged out the door. The freezing wind almost blew him off balance as he entered the cold air. Around him was the carnage of battle. Guardsmen were using their rifles as clubs, beating the chaos daemons back to hell, while chimeras and leman Russ ground men and beasts into dust beneath their steel tracks. A group of vehicles had banded together on the rear line of defense, heavy guns ricochet off armor, ripping through the combat, severing limbs and riddling torsos with holes.

A space marine berserker charged at Godfrey, screaming unmentionable tongues of the warp and swinging its axe wildly. Godfrey dropped to a knee as the axe slashed across his body, ducking under its blade he unsheathed his sword, scoring a bloody arc across the marine's chest. It shrieked in joy before collapsing to the ground, the last sight it saw was the peaked cap of an Imperial Officer and his powersword slicing through its neck.

A loud roar was heard above the terrible sounds of battle. Godfrey looked up to see three thunderhawks descending overhead, their brutal appearance and snub nose was conspicuous even in the storm. They dropped low over the carnage before continuing towards the Inquisitorial fortress. He allowed a hopeful smile across his face, the angels of death were here, their fair unshakable, their martial prowess unmatched.

He turned to see a guardsman pull of his helmet as he kneeled above a cultist, smashing it down upon the Chaos minion's face as it furiously snapped at him with sharp fangs of ebony white. The cultist raised its head in anger, but the guardsmen had gone past the point of being angry, he unleashed his rage, his head came down, smashing it in the face, causing blood to spray onto the pure white ground. He pulled a knife from his boot and force it in between the cultist's ribs, plucking out its heart. He stood up smiling at the Major through a grin of red stained teeth before picking up his rifle and charging once more into the fray.

A centre of resistance had been formed just ahead around the two Hydras that the company possessed. Their colossal quad autocannons threw explosive slugs at the enemy, obliterating a dozen enemies in a single burst. Around them stood a ring of survivors, many had picked up weapons from their dead comrades, flame and plasma roared from their ranks as they forced the enemy back.

One of the spiders clambered over the ramparts, its ghastly frame looming over the guardsmen. The Hydra flak guns turned their attention upon it. Its legs breaking and twisting as bolts thumped through its iron shell. It cried in agony as it collapsed in a shriek of twisting metal. Legs barely attached to its body limply trying to raise its body back up. It struggled for a second before another burst of shells removed its limb. Leaving its debris strewn across the battlements.

Godfrey rushed towards them. Rounds cracked past his head from the fire support unit at the rear, he stumbled over the bodies of his men, forcing his way towards the guardsmen. A cultist lunged at him, missing by only inches with its barbed blade. Its horrible face snarled awfully up in realization as the power weapon came thundering down upon him, cleaving him clean in two.

"To the wall" He screamed above the unbearable noise of combat, "TO THE WALL!"

His order was echoed across the line as the guardsmen advanced in line. Steadily they pushed the evil back, cleansing the checkpoint one yard at a time. The burnt corpses stung at Godfrey's nose as the putrid smell of death reigned over the battlefield. The fight was over for now, the last of the cultists and daemons sent scurrying back into the tempest beyond the wall.

As the guardsmen slumped heavily against the wall exhausted from the trials of combat, Godfrey surveyed the damage. Men knelt over their dead friends, tears rolled down their cheeks and prayers passed their lips as they mourned. Some of the tanks smoked from large holes in their hull, some were merely wreckages, burnt and charred, and their crew was but charred remains of humans.

His company was decimated; the men that remained would surely not recover fully from such an event. Few soldiers ever returned from war whole, especially around the Eye of Terror. They wouldn't hold the line if another attack came, he'd need to rally his men here and head towards the fortress, that was their only hope. He looked at the horror etched on the faces of the guardsmen, veterans and raw recruits alike, he'd give them a few moments to collect themselves, it was the least he could do.

He knelt down next to a color sergeant, seemingly one of the highest ranking men left alive. His face hardened against the outside world, but his insides were likely in turmoil about his dead brethren. Godfrey reached out a hand, resting it gently on his shoulder.

"Color, we have to start organizing the men, we're going to fall back to the fortress." He said softly, allowing the words the sink in as the man looked sorrowfully back at him. "I know my friend, but we are soldiers, we must continue."

Godfrey stood up, reaching out a hand to the man, who took it gratefully. All those around just watched in silence, they slowly picked themselves up, following their commander's example. He allowed a comforting smile to cross his lips.

"Soldiers, Brothers. The fallen shall forever be remembered as the Emperor's finest." He shouted above the whistle of the storm. "We are soldiers, and we must continue. We push back to the fortress."