Infection of Siarris
|Infection of Siarris|
Forces involved in the Campaign:
Loyalists Involved In The Conflict
Traitors Involved In The Conflict
After the rise of the Warp storms which isolated the Helix Cluster from the rest of Imperium, the Rogue Trader Castus Tharr became the highest ranked Imperial officer within the operational theatre. Being the rightful planetary Governor of Corabie by writ of his Warrant of Trade, and Corabie being the only Imperial settlement in the Helix Cluster, Tharr, by default, became the Sub-Sector Governor. Coupled with his existing Expeditionary Fleet Commander status operational command upon separation from the greater Imperium fell to the Rogue Trader.
Using his personal fleet and attached assets to fortify Corabie, Tharr made the planet the base of operations for the continuation of the Great Crusade until communication with the Australis Ultima Expeditionary command could be re-established. Expedition Fleet 1574, which had accompanied Tharr’s fleet to the Helix Cluster, was ordered to continue on mission and explore the Helix Cluster with an extended goal of securing a path to the far flung System of Kaloran.
Having followed standard procedure the Fleet had sent out a number of advance scouting forces to conduct surveys of sector in order to prioritise its movement. Potential resource exploitation had been detected at system AL-NH-1574 quite early so a small task force had been dispatched to follow up its evaluation and investigation. While closer to the centre of the Cluster the scouts encountered a multi-system Xenos empire, which proved instantly hostile. The Fleet launched a simultaneous assault on the Xenos worlds with large attack groups targeting the outer systems while the main Fleet invaded what appeared to be the ophiomorphic aliens’ primary system, designated Defos. Early into the campaign notification from the AL-NH-1574 task force of the discovery of an Ark Mechanicus was received by the Fleet command but they were already heavily embroiled in the assault.
Systemically crushing the central planets over the course of six years the Expeditionary force secured Defos and isolated the outer systems. Believing that they had broken the threat and leaving the consolidation of the outer worlds to the various task groups, Fleet 1574 made their way to AL-NH-1574 to secure the Ark. However on the coreward most system of Sairris the cleansing of its primary world began to slow. At first the advances which the Imperial forces were making were simply beginning to meet heavier resistance, believing this to be an indication that they were approaching the final opposition the commander stretched his forces and pushed harder. The expected end to the enemy forces did not come and instead the Imperials found themselves increasingly hard pressed to hold the field. The tides began to turn and instead of advancing the remaining invasion force went onto the defensive. No longer confident that he had the forces to continue the offensive, the task forces commander consolidated his remaining assets, dug in and sent out a call for help.
Co-ordinating the last of their actions on the other systems the remaining task forces accelerated their own campaigns and rapidly made their back to Sairris where communications had ominously gone dark. Making planet fall at separate locations either side of the last known co-ordinates of the original Imperial attack group, the reinforcing armies finally made contact with Astartes elements. The relief turned to confusion as the Marines opened fire on their comrades just as the Xenos attacked from the other direction.
Fighting off the ambush but unable to consolidate, the Imperial groups sent out a wider call to Corabie for desperate reinforcement before fortifying their respective positions and hunkering down. Even well entrenched Traitors who knew of the plans for the Heresy are confused by the in fighting and do not understand its cause. The forces are isolated and while the Xenos threat appears to have abated no one force trusts another enough to consolidate and leave.
Fighting to Escape
When reinforcements arrived, it was not to a besieged Imperial force, or one which was understrength and awaiting allies, but instead it was to complete anarchy. Order had completely broken down within the Hive proper and there was no overall Imperial command. A number of surviving elements from the original Compliance force had fortified their respective positions and hunkered down, unwilling to interact with any other elements on the ground and refusing to answer hails from orbit. With the coming of additional, fresh forces, albeit limited, the status quo changed and various Imperial forces made strikes to expand their territory while the newcomers attempted to make sense of the scene and establish themselves.
Six major strongholds emerged, defeating or allying with the Imperial forces in their areas:
One of the early Imperial established created in the first wave of the Compliance, this refinery settlement just outside of the Hive proper became a fortified outpost for retreating Imperial forces and staging point for them launch raids against Tegular and other established forces.
Stradling the southern wall of the hive, Niltar slums stretches into the wastes, wrapping around the newly created Titan bays retrofitted amidst huge underground silos, their original purpose long forgotten. While the forces bunkered here have the power of God Machines, their proximity to large civilian settlements forces them to defend themselves via conventional means. Rumours have began circulating that underhive passages linking the silos to the main hive have collapsed, revealing previously unexplored sections of the ancient Hive.
One of the arterial flows of commerce both in and out of not only Tegular but Siarris itself to the orbiting dockyards in geosynchronous orbit, the Orbital Elevator and its huge fields of storage yards and landing fields was not a tactically sound place to establish a base but it was a lucrative one. By controlling the flow of goods and being able to loot munitions and equipment the forces controlling this location can remain well stocked and ready for invaders. Irrelevant of such bonuses however, such a command decision is irregular, especially by an Astartes force.
A large portion of the reinforcing Imperials targeted the northern Hive entrance and its accompanying fortress to create a safe zone for themselves and the civilians within. This Hive entrance, initially, was promoted as being one under the protection of the Imperium and all, loyal, civilians would be protected and granted access to and from the city. Thousands of displaced flocked to the area, creating a bloody killing field when the war proper began.
Coupled with the former regimes Temple district, the Governors palace and its incumbent aristocracy were placed under 'Imperial Protection' at the time of the initial Imperial retreat. Rather then stabilising the political situation in the hive however, it created a splintering effect throughout the nobility and classes within the city. The Governor quickly lost control of the lower levels and as soon as outright war began the call went out for a full scale evacuation of the Governing office, some nine hundred individuals.
Black Site One last Imperial hold out exists, but its location at the time of the fighting beginning was unknown. It is believed to be stealth black site protecting a powerful planetary defence system which was created pre-Compliance, with the summary execution of the previous ruling governors it is not known whether the force is attempting to activate the defences or prevent them from being activated.
An Imperial Loss
While the missile launch itself was detected by nearly every strategic auspex within 100 miles, it was the astropathic scream which tore through realspace as the weapon translated to the empyrean that caused every combatant in and around Hive Tegular to falter and pause. The ungainly missile had barely made it into the stratosphere before the astropath’s brain which had been servitored to the weapons cogitators triggered the warp translation. Stoically defended throughout, the black site missile silo, Osnabrück, hidden deep within the slum habs of Theta-22 had transmitted coded verification signals back to the Solar Auxilia’s command centre until the last moment. Within those hours, a flurry of corrupted vox casts were openly transmitted between the black site and various locations around the Hive. Confirmation scans showed that the site had not been breached and the latest assault had been repelled, and yet moments later one of the silo doors had opened and the missiles ignition engines had fired.
Elsewhere throughout the Hive other confusing reports began to filter through to the various factions fighting for survival. Most prominent of them, next to an astropathically guided warp missile, was the isolation of the Orbital Elevator linked to the docks. As the attacks within the Hive increased, the Elevator began transferring more and more raw materials and supplies off world an increasing rate. Prior to the missile launch, orbiting Imperial ships detected a number of vessels of unknown origins depart from previously hidden births on the shipyard. Utilising what forces remained contactable aboard the space docks it was quickly discovered that nearly all of the cargo had been looted, assumed to be aboard the departed ships.
Below the surface, things were no better. Even before the height of the fighting, Xenos activity had been reported in the depths of a collapsed underhive dome neighbouring the Titan bunker. While a number of strike forces succeeded in breaching the defences and gaining access to what appeared to be Aeldari webway gate, the entire area became untenable when two Warhound titans being repaired above the dome suffered simulations plasma core meltdowns. Even the active god engines fighting to defend the facility on the surface behaved suspiciously after a number of unexplained instances of hab blocks being levelled, killing tens of thousands of civilians who were caught in the conflict. With the Laygus Gate finally torn asunder the Upper Spire of Tegular was, for the first time, open to large scale assault. Unable to stem the flow through the devastated bastion, the Imperial forces retreated inwards, intending on linking up with the remaining government and adminstratum echelons within the Temple District. The dozen or more crashed evacuation haulers attested to the state of the Hives Imperial government. The Governors own hauler was one of only two vessels to break clear of the fighting, the Governor, his family and closest entourage were, however, found executed in the hanger. Who had boarded the hauler in their place remains unknown, as to the Haulers current location or destination, another mystery.
To the west of Lower Tegular, the Desparax Sector closed it borders. Unable to trust even the civilian trade companies after multiple infiltrations, the Imperial forces in control of the mining complexes further isolated themselves, watching in dread as their last chances of evacuation came crashing down. With no Imperial authority ruling Tegular, and Imperial forces on the ground nearly none existent, the remaining Expeditionary fleets in system broke orbit to regroup at safe ports. It was then the infection throughout the Hive began to walk in the light. No longer needing to hide in the shadows, the Maggot Men emerged, seizing control of keys areas and, surprisingly, reigning in the chaos of the embattled Hive. Their emergence threw the already paranoid Imperial survivors into near panic, many of them gunning down their own commanders for fear that they were infected, others broke and discarded their uniforms, attempting to blend into the surging masses of refugees being rehoused in the Hive. The stronger, more controlled elements of the Imperialist instead left Tegular. Striking out into the areas surrounding the Hive they attempted to regroup and establish themselves away from the infection, waiting for the Slaugth to make their next move.
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