Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hylas: Salamanders retake Berkley, liberating West Coast

General Brooke had replaced Alexander as commander in the Zadoc subsector for a number of reasons including the fact that Lord General Roover detested Alexander and couldn't wait to get rid of him. Alexander was arrogant, while Brooke seemed eager to please and never made a fuss. However, this did not mean Brooke was a mere lackey. In fact he was an incredibly persuasive, charming and resourceful man who was now ideally placed to make sure the various organisations of the imperium worked together for common cause. Hylas now demanded the general's attention, and all his skill, charm and pragmatism to halt the greenskin advance before it was too late.

The Red Angels and General Gault's regiments of Librian, Prozan and Praetorian guard had so far been unable to halt the advance of the orks. The failure of the imperial navy to prevent the orks from resupplying their invasion was one particular problem, but not one Brooke was going to dwell on. He needed the navy on his side in the sector. The combined forces of Thrugnik, Uzfang, Krumpgutz, Na'Porkleon and Snazgubbins had proved too strong for Gault's men, and he needed reinforcements. Using his contacts, of which he had many in various circles, general Brooke managed to convince the Salamanders and the Legio Griphonicus to send a force to come to the aid of Hylas's defenders, and on 2211.012M42 they arrived at Tennyson, the Salamanders fleet forcing the orks to flee the immediate region of space around Hylas for long enough to land a full company of marines and two powerful reaver titans.

The Salamanders immediately saw an opportunity to disrupt the ork advance. The greenskins had taken Berkeley and advanced north, but their supply line was stretched. If a powerful punch from the west along the Sump Sea could retake the city and reach the impassable slopes of the massive plateau known as mount Flynn, a continent spanning ancient volcano, the ork forces would be cut in half. Those north of Berkeley would then be extremely vulnerable to counter attack from the Librian forces holding the line from Baldwin Bay to the Hylas plateau.

The Salamanders led the attack into Berkeley supported by two reaver titans of the Legio Gryphonicus, and were met by the forces of Da Verminator in strength. This was unwelcome news to the imperium on Hylas, as up till now the forces of that particular warlord had been assumed destroyed following his defeat in the Perseus Deeps. Sadly the warlord somehow managed to survive and even prosper, as was evidenced by the large force at his command. The ork warlord immediately counter attacked, but the Salamanders had moves so swiftly that the battle was raging where they wanted it to, in the streets of the city. Although one reaver was destroyed and the Salamanders lost much equipment, the orks were pinned to the battle in the city, allowing a fast moving reserve to race across the plains to reach the rocky ground further east. In less than a day, the ork advance in the west was cut in two.

With the ork supply lines severed the Librians to the north merely had to bait the orks to attack their defences, and soon the greenskins ran out of ammunition and equipment. Rendered powerless, the imperial guard with the help of the navy completed the job, pushing south towards teh ruins of Berkeley and routing the remaining orks.

Gault could finally report a victory to his superiors, and the greenskins suffered their first serious reversal on Hylas since the invasion began. However the Salamanders had achieved the victory, and it was General Brooke who had garnered their support. In any case the men on the ground cheered as they entered the battered city, but the war was far from over.

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