The light went green, the door opened and I stepped out into the black sky. "TAKE TO THE SKY BROTHERS!" was the cry behind me. That would be Brother Jerold, he has a flair for the dramatic. Myself, I would rather just make it through the air defences. For the first seconds of this action, we would be the only things in the sky.

I spot our formation beginning to drift apart as we hit terminal velocity. "Keep your formation brothers!" I call into the vox. 'Sloppy' I think to myself as the altitude ticks off in corner my visor, If you drift out of position this high up, you are likely to be hit by our own brothers riding their drop-pods to the ground. They shouldn't have to be reminded of this, Every Brother in my squad is a veteran of countless assaults.

The sky began to light up with an unnatural dawn as drop-pods began to fall into the atmosphere, cherry red with the heat. This was my least favourite bit of the whole process, 'brace yourselves brothers' I call again, not wishing to take any chances with them after their earlier performance.

The Defenders guns spotting the drop-pods woke up and began to fill the sky with bolts of metal, and streams of light from rail guns, flack cannons and the like. The air became turbulent, and violent slamming into myself, and my squad as the drop-pods passed us, as though they were shells from a cannon.

I tumbled end over end, embarrassing, I know, but I gained control in one revolution and without firing my jump-pack. "We saw that Brother-Sergeant" came a call from over the vox. "I expect a lap of the fortress from you for that display" came another in what I thought was a poor imitation of me. "The 'pods will have hit, can anyone spot the beacon?" I called back trying to pull their attention back to the matter in hand. I was becoming conscious of the rapidly decreasing distance between us and the ground.

Hearing "negatives" from all around was not a good sign. No beacon meant that we had lost at least 4 drop-pods on the decent, and we would have to guess a landing spot and, as my altitude maker passed 12,000 ft we were running out of time. Scanning quickly I saw a cluster of Tau Broadsides pinning our troops in a corner. It wasn't our primary objective but with no marker beacon, it would have to do. I tried to guess an appropriate distance, too far, and we'd be shot apart, to close and we'd land on them, probably killing them, and ourselves in the resulting explosion, not a preferred outcome.

I sent the co-ordinates to my squad and the Brothers below, Everything was set, now all that was left was to count down.

9000 ft



6000, It was starting to look dicey for the Brothers down there, The Broadsides had them zeroed in

5000 "No mercy, Brothers. For the Emperor!" I cry

4000 "For the Emperor!" I hear from all, adrenaline surges through me

3000 my jumpack fires, the gee-force is almost enough to cause me to blackout the sensors of my suit scramble briefly in sympathy.

2000 Almost automatically I engage my chain blade and clench my teeth against the crippling gee force and brace for worse on impact. The Tau broadsides spot the flames from our Jump pack from above and begin to move, making my point of impact a bit too far from them for my liking.

1000 The gee is just starting to ease off, I brace to hit the ground, I have to come out swinging or the broadsides will tear us apart.

Impact! The force is jarring! Because of the late burn on the jetpacks the energy involved is almost the same as being hit by a tank. I lunge forward towards the retreating broadside, It's all or nothing! My ears a ringing, my legs are numb and my vision is foggy, but I feel my blade bite!

As my senses sort themselves out after impact I glance at my fellow Vanguard Brothers, standing on the corpses of the Tau Battlesuits while around us fellow Marines stream out of the bottleneck and onwards to the form the beach head for the landing craft.

As I try to find the location of our true objective the Tau Commander from the Battlenet, I hear Brother Jerold say "I'd like to see an Assault Marine try that." "We were all Assault Marines once" I reply. Just as my hud flashes up the information I was looking for. "Come on, Brothers, This is where were supposed to be."

As we took off again, I though to myself 'Brother Jerold, really does have a way with words'

My first foray into the 40k universe so thanks for reading, and leave a review.