The Ark Dominus fled through the warp, putting as much distance between them and the forsaken world of Hesiod’s Wake as they could. But the currents of the warp were tumultuous, throwing them off course. Psychic storms of remarkable power ripped at the Geller Fields, but the ancient warship was made of sterner stuff, and her crew among the best Battlefleet Calixes had to offer. They eventually found an opening a made a break for real-space where they would make port and effect repairs. But other forces were at work, and the ship became caught in a bubble between the warp and the material universe. Here they were set upon by the servants of the Ruinous Powers. As Captain Ravensburg gave the order for all hands to repel borders, dozens of assault craft tore into the stricken vessel. It fell upon the shoulders of the Acolytes to defend Aurelia, and they had long prepared for the coming battle. Narrow corridors rigged with explosives all cunningly designed to funnel the enemy into the killing zones. While Contintus and Antellus organized the defenses and platoon of marines, Praetus fortified the bulkheads and blessed the weapons and ammunition of the defenders.
When the slavering mutant hordes finally came they found waiting for them a veritable fortress. Low-velocity rounds from numerous heavy weapon emplacements tore into the enemy as they crossed no man’s land, dozens dying by the minute. The defenders tenaciously shrugged off wave after wave of enemy troops, only falling back to pre-planned positions when the monstrous living siege engines lumbered to the fore. Here the Acolytes cleverly deployed traps turned the narrow corridors into a charnel house. The dead were already stacked knee deep when Helmut lept from his concealed position into the heart of the enemy. Constintus roared into the fray, hacking his way to his ally with his chain axe. Soon the two were fighting back to back, and when the siege breakers finally broke through they fought side by side, they alone holding the gate while their fell back to Aurelia’s chamber, where they would make their final stand. Here Praetus and his grenade launcher did the Emperor’s work, the concussive force tearing dozens apart with each thunderous explosion. When the last machine gun emplacement jammed and was abandoned by the marines Praetus took up the weapon and uttered a prayer to the Machine God, clearing the mechanism and bringing it roaring to life once more.
The Acolytes made the enemy bleed for every inch of ground and eventually the horrendous casualties took their toll. The enemy lost heart while hundreds of their twisted brothers laying dead or dying, and the sound for retreated was called. The Acolytes had broke the back of the enemy, and soon the Ark Dominus was able to disengage and flee to real-space.