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Ill Omens

Haldis stares at the reddening sky. All should be going well; this outpost they occupy now stands in far better condition than the pervious one. Patrols have reported no movements of the Orks that have assailed them relentlessly since their arrival in the Pass. Brother Duskeye even insisted his pack take the modified Rhino to maintain communication, a prospect Iron Priest Rockaxe was thrilled of; barely masking his excitement behind half-hearted attempts to insist taking Adeptus Mechanicus equipment was a bad idea. Yet one piece of information, or lack thereof, gnaws at the back of Hadlis' mind, slowly driving him mad as the Heretech nails the abominable World Eaters jab into their skulls.

Haldis flips his Vox open. "Brother Rockaxe, how goes the work on our new Rhino?"

"Nearly finished Brother Starblade. We have Skychanter's systems fully slaved to Snowhammer's, and are making the final adjustments to the targeting systems."

"I'll take any good news at this point. What about your...other project? Any luck with that?"

Hakan sighs rather loudly. "What little we've been able to find was clearly deleted by Imperial commanders present on the base; all they've been able to tell us is that the Adeptus Mechanicus came to this moon for unstated reasons. Everything else has been wiped by Tech-Priests; that data is lost forever to us."

Haldis grumbles softly. "I was afraid you would tell me that. I'm also guessing there has been no word from our Fleet on the subject?"

"Not one Brother Starblade."

Haldis grits his teeth before nodding to himself. "Have Brothers Goldmane and Icecutter report to the northern border of the outpost. I want one last sweep before we set night watch and hunker down for the night."

"I will let them know. Iron Priest Rockaxe out."

* * *

The first purple tendrils of night etch across the sky, snaking from the looming planet below. Bludmouf sneers behind his crimson metal maw at his small gathering of Boyz and Grots. "Listen up ya snivvlin Squigz! 'Erez da fing. Da Boss wantz us ta figer out wat deze Furry Marines are doin 'ere. Soz dis is wat wez gonna do. You Grotz iz gonna be all sneaky-like and find yerselvez some Furry Marines. Den youz gonna hear dem az dey talk about fingz and seez if youz can hear somefing useful. Me and da Boyz here iz gonna find us a Furry Marine datz by hiz self, den wez gonna krump da informashun oudda him!"

A pack of the Grots fiercely chatter amongst each other until one is shoved out by his fellows. He nervously looks around before squeaking out "But Boss, the Furry Marines have those callermajiggers. If one of 'em is getting krumped, won't he call for the others?"

Bludmouf roars as he brings his axe down on the offending Grot, cleaving the unfortunate Greenskin in half before it can scurry away. "I'm da Boss of dis here operashun, soz wat I sez wez gonna do iz wat wez gonna do! Doez any more of youz Squigz got any queschuns?"

The remaining Gretchin look at the splattered remains of their comrade, then shake their heads violently.

"Gud. Den get goin! And find out somefing useful!"

* * *

"But before Russ could draw forth Mjalnar from its sheath, the Wolf Guard cuts the line and the mighty Serpent slips back beneath the waves. To this day the great World Serpent sleeps beneath the seas of Fenris, until the Wolftime."

A clamor of claps and cheers erupt from the gathered Moon Fangs as Langer takes his seat around the holo-lamp in the middle of the cleared Command Room. "So, which legend do you wish to hear now?"

"That will have to be the last legend for tonight Brothers." Haldis reaches out and flips the holo-lamp off. "Brother Bloodrune, go relieve Brothers Wolfbreath and Doomweaver. You will be taking watch tonight. The rest of you get some sleep; I want everyone up and ready by O-four hundred. Understood?"

"Understood Brother Pack Leader!" The Moon Fangs settle themselves along the shadow-lined walls, Bolt Pistols close at hand. Geir storms through the door, muttering to himself and nearly running into Hakan on his way out. The two glare at each other before continuing on without a word.

Haldis rises from the floor to greet Hakan. "Brother Iron Wolf, I'm surprised to see you away from our Machines. Is something the matter?"

Hakan shakes his head. "No Brother Starblade. I just felt it might put your mind at ease better if we spoke in person rather than over a Vox."

Haldis tilts his head to the side. "Put my mind at ease about what? Our mission has been going just fine; we've only three more Outposts to clear before we are finished."

Hakan folds his arms. "You know it's not the mission I speak of." A heavy silence falls between the two before Hakan puts a gloved hand on Haldis' shoulder pad. "Haldis, the technology the Adeptus Mechanicus cares to is very old and very temperamental. Look what a 20 meter fall of a Thunderhawk Gunship has done to Snowhammer's communications array. Any information the Mechanicus gathers is kept out of the ordinary soldier's hands for both their safety and the safety of the technology."

Haldis looks to the floor as another silence falls over the Wolves. Finally, he raises his head. "So you do not believe there is any maliciousness behind the missing files?"

Hakan chuckles softly. "If there was any maliciousness left behind, all the files would not only be there but also be corrupted. I see a Tech-priest doing his job in protecting the technology he is charged by the Omnissiah to care for; nothing more."

A few more moments of silence, then Haldis' shoulder relax. He reaches up and puts a hand on Hakan's shoulder pad. "Thank you Hakan. Your words do bring ease to my mind."

Hakan bows slightly. "Glad to be of assistance Brother Pack Leader. Snowhammer and Skycaller will be ready for our departure at dawn. Sleep well Haldis."

With a final salute, Hakan departs the Command Room. Haldis returns to the middle of the room, curling up in a ball for the night.

* * *

Haldis looks up, familiar cold gray stonework filling his vision; the blackwood chairs, the unpolished metal command nodes, the pelts of beasts great and small, each was in its place from before he left.

"I'm...back?" Haldis pushes himself up from the holo-projector before him, bench creaking beneath his legs.

"I was about to ask you the same thing."

Haldis' head snaps to the right, the voice of his Wolf Lord booming in his ears. He hastily bows, palms flat on his chestpiece in the shape of two wings. "Brother Wolf Lord! I didn't expect-"

"Nor was I expecting you back so soon Wolf Guard." The Wolf Lord strolls towards Haldis, fur cloak swaying as if caught by an unnatural wind. "You may have completed your objectives, yet your mission seemed far from over. Why were you so eager to leave Issfjall IV?"

"So eager to...wait, you mean our mission is complete?"

The Wolf Lord snarls, placing a hand on the holo-projector. "The objectives you were sent to complete were met. However..." The holo-projector hums to life, casting a fuzzy emerald schematic of the moon covered in red dots and lines. "...the mission to secure the planet is far from over." The Wolf Lord shakes his head, sighing softly. "I am disappointed in you Space Wolf. I had expected far better of you."

Haldis reaches a hand up, a finger rippling through the emerald light. "But Brother Wolf Lord, I thought you just wanted us to...wait..." He turns to the hulking marine. "What did you call me?"

"Do your ears refuse to cooperate with me either Space Wolf? The fact at hand still-"

"No." Haldis rises to his feet and approaches the figure of his Wolf Lord, stopping mere centimeters away from the massive Marine. "Who are you?"

"Do your eyes fail you now too Wolf Guard? Is there no end to your incompetence?"

Haldis snarls. "You may look like my Wolf Lord, but you are not Bran Redmaw."

The Wolf Lord scoffs. "And what makes you say that?"

"First, Bran would never chastise me in the main Meeting Hall; he'd save that for his private quarters. Second, Bran would never show disrespect against one of his Guard by failing to use the term 'Brother'. Third, and perhaps the most telling of all, No Rout would ever use the term 'Space Wolf'; only outsiders call us that."

The Wolf Lord leans in to Haldis, stopping just short of the Guard's helmet. His lips curl up, white fangs glistening in the artificial light. Then, unexpectedly, the Wolf Lord laughs. He throws his head back as his laugh echoes through the chamber. "I know not if your own senses or your natural resistance to the Empyrean allowed you to see through my ruse. Still, I must commend you for your perception."

The visage of the Wolf Lord shimmers, as a calm pond disturbed by a single stone. Through the wavering armor, a slender, alien figure emerges. Colorful cloth drapes the willowy newcomer, each limb bearing a distinct pattern.

Haldis recoils, reaching for a bolt-pistol that cannot be found. "You...I've heard of your kind before. You are the travelers, storytellers of the Eldar. How dare you take the form of the beloved Wolf Lord you Xenos witch!"

The figure opens its arms, crouching slightly in a non-threatening pose. "Be at ease Wolf Guard, I am not your enemy in mind or in body. I act now simply as a humble guide, to point you down the path you must take."

Haldis sneers at the masked figure. "Why should I listen to Xenos filth like you? Your mere presence is a slight against The Allfather and The Mighty Russ!"

"Because," the slender figure coos, "Your enemies and mine will soon be one in the same. Dark dealings began on this moon long before your arrival. To ignore them will have grave consequences."

Haldis eases his stance, eyeing the figure with less anger but greater wariness. "Suppose I were to listen to your words rather than dismiss them outright as Xenos lies. What would you have me do?"

"There is much still to do on this snow-covered moon Wolf Guard. When the path before you splits, you must follow the road which keeps you here."

Haldis looks to the emerald image of the moon, following a red line with his finger. "Why should I believe you?"

The hall around Haldis slowly grows dark. His eyes fight to stay open, his body sore with exhaustion. As the world about him fades, the final words of the figure echo in his ears.

"If you do not; if you refuse to stay, many will suffer for it."


* * *

Haldis opens his eyes to the sound of small trinkets clacking against the refurbished metal floor. His optics adjust to the lack of light before his Occulobe can, reveling one of his Routs huddles over a small pile of runes.

"Brother Icecutter? I thought I told everyone to get some sleep."

"Appoligies Brother Pack Leader," Magnar keeps a steady eye trained on his runes. "But I was having trouble finding peace in sleep."

As quietly at Haldis can muster to avoid rousing the rest of his pack, he slides over to Magnar and gazes down at the cast runes. "What are you seeing in them?"

"I sense some darkness in their message, yet much is still hidden."

The two ponder the runes in silence, poking and prodding each trinket. Soon, Haldis turns from Magnar and opens his Vox. "Iron Priest Rockaxe, this is Pack Leader Starblade, do you read me?"

A few moments of silence pass before a voice crackles over the channel. "Brother Starblade, this is Iron Priest Steelarm. Brother Rockaxe is currently resting; is there something I may assist you with?"

"You certainly may. There's some information I hope you can find for me."

Elof murmers something Haldis can't make out before speaking up. "Haldis, I had hoped Brother Rockaxe had finally put your mind at ease about the deleted information and made it very clear that we will not be able-"

"No, no. It's not about that."

"Oh!" Elof chirps over the channel. "Then what information are you looking for?"

"Get in contact with our Rune Priests in orbit. I'd like more information on the Imperium's activity on this moon."

"I will get in contact right away. Shall I inform you as soon as the information is available, or wait until dawn?"

"Wait until dawn; the information is not that vital."

"Understood. Will there be anything else Brother Starblade?"

"No, that will be all. I will expect a full report on your findings at dawn. Pack Leader Starblade out."

Magnar looks to Haldis, picking up his runes. "Is there something you are looking for Brother Pack Leader?"

Haldis shakes his head. "No, I'm not sure what I'm looking for. But I have a feeling once I see it, I will know."
Moon Fangs: Securing Snowbear Pass-06
On a snow-swept moon above a war-torn planet, a pack of Space Wolves embark on a simple and routine mission. Yet this simple reconnaissance mission will prove more dangerous than expected, and have  far-reaching consequences for those both on the moon and the planet below...

Part Six of Moon Fangs Mission I- Securing Snowbear Pass.

Warhammer 40,000 belongs to (c) Games Workshop.
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Missing Words

"How's your side Brother Pack Leader?"

Haldis looks to Havard, the pangs of concern in the Hunter's eyes barely masked by their usual jovial gaze. "It's doing fine; nothing more than a few bruises." He watches as his Pack passes a skin of Mjog amongst them, the occasional boasts of whom did the most damage to which Ork cut quiet only briefly by the swift chugging of ale. "Besides, we escaped from that battle without a single major injury on our side."

"All the more reason to celebrate!" Langer offers up a skin to Haldis, the smell of the strong Fenrisian drink wafting through the nose ports in his helmet.

Haldis holds up a hand. "I am fine Brother Blazeheart. The rest of you enjoy yourselves in this festivity of victory."

"And what is a drink to victory without a song?" Havard hoists himself to his feet, bracing himself on the wall of their Land Raider. "For did the Wolves with claw and fang did charge the fearsome foe!"

In unison, the Moon Fangs join in, ale sloshing as they wave their arms in time with the song. Silent, Haldis leans back against the thin padding of his seat and closes his eyes, letting his superior biology fix itself from the beating he took from the Nob's Klaw.

* * *

Haldis opens his eyes, feeling Snowhammer slowing down. His pack has since ceased their merriment, content to soft discussions between them on everything ranging from cast runes to severed Ork fingers. Shifting away from his seat, he flips his Vox open. "Brother Rockaxe, how far away are we from the second outpost?"

"Not far, maybe a hundred meters or so. This outpost however was built on top of a plateau, and the road leading up to it is winding and narrow."

"No doubt good for funneling enemies into an easy kill-box. Any good news on the state of our Land Raider's equipment?"

"No changes yet Brother Starblade. We've slaved the communications array of Snowhammer to our suits, but Vox range is still limited; not to mention the fact that the Bearfang Mountain Range makes communications limited already."

"Well keep working at it. If anyone can get these fickle machines to work it's you. Pack Leader Starblade out."

"You know Haldis I'm starting to think you take some adverse pleasure in twisting my machindrites with your blatant disrespect of these Ancient and Revered-" Haldis shuts his Vox off, chuckling ever so softly to himself. He turns, Havard eying the Pack Leader distastefully.

"So I'm the one that has to worry about being flayed for disrespecting machinery, hmmm?"

* * *

The Assault Ramp slams open and a blast of wind-swept snow barrages the Moon Fangs. Haldis steps out, surveying the near white-out conditions. He frowns and turns to his pack. "Seems the storm is picking up strength; same groups as before, helmets on. Keep a sharp eye on your auspex readout; anything could be hiding in this."

The Moon Fangs nod in silent unison, sliding helmets on. Another quick Vox check and the Routs disperse, Soren and Magnar making a bee-line for the Vehicle Hanger Bay.

The drab olive bunker stands foreboding amongst most of the structures dotting the outpost, nearly twice the size of the next-largest structure, the barracks. Windowless walls stretch up along side exposed support pillars, the occasional metal sliding door breaking up an otherwise featureless building. A wide array of Vox equipment, standard and ad-hoc, line the top of the walls along side a number of spotlights facing towards the roof; evidence of a landing pad.

"You see anything that suggests a lack of structural integrity Soren?"

The Grey Hunter shakes his head. "If anything, I'd say this is the most structurally sound building in the whole outpost."

"Then let's get one of these doors open and see what's been left behind."

Magnar raps on one of the large doors. "They seem pretty solid. I doubt even the two of us could pry this more than a few centimeters open. See if you can find some sort of a-" With a loud groan the doors slide open, a gust of wind blowing snow through the growing gap in the building's side. Magnar blinks, and turns to see Soren standing in front of a hatch hidden in the wall's structure.

"Well, I suppose that means we can add 'working generator' to the list of accommodations the Hanger still has."

* * *

"There doesn't seem to be any information on this console either. Any luck with yours?"

Soren looks over and shakes his head. "Nothing on this one either."

Magnar shuts his console off, a dark frown crossing his lips. "But why? Of nine consoles, why would none of them have any data on them save for the basic operation parameters?"

Soren turns to Magnar, shutting off his own console. "Do you think it deliberate?"

"Of course I think it deliberate; temperamental or no, machines do not erase data on their own."

"But why would the Tech-Priests go through the effort to clear data from every one of their consoles? Malicious intent?"

Magnar crouches down and throws a few runes on the smooth concrete floor. He picks over the collection of bone-carved trinkets. "Nothing dark, no hints of malice...but something is hidden. Perhaps the Tech-Priests knew this outpost would be abandoned and wished to have no information fall into the wrong hands?"

"It is possible. Still, I think we should check for any non-Imperial markings on the wall."

Soren turns to a large door nearby. He presses the large red button next to it; the wavy metal door slides up. The two Routs look inside before exchanging a look.

"Why would they leave this behind?"

"Maybe it doesn't work?"

"Do you think we should-?"

"Better to let our Iron Priests dabble with it."

After a moment of silence and another exchange of looks, Soren flips his Vox open. "Brother Pack Leader, this is Brother Goldmane. Brother Icecutter and I have finished our sweep of the Vehicle Hanger Bay."

"Excellent. Anything to report?"

"Actually Brother Pack Leader...we do."

The Vox falls silent. Finally, Haldis responds. "...And your report?"

Soren looks to Magnar, then back inside the room. "Actually Brother, it might be better if you and our Iron Priests came here and had a look yourselves."

* * *

Haldis stares into the room, unsure of which was playing tricks on him; his eyes or his auspecs. He blinks a few times, looks away, and then looks back inside to ensure his vision was not lying to him.

"So the fleeing Tech-Priests take the time to erase every bit of data from all the consoles in this building, but they decide to leave behind a Rhino?"

"Perhaps it's damaged." Magnar taps one of the lights with his finger. "Even the Adeptus Mechanicus must know when to leave something behind and wait for an opportune moment to come back and-" The lights glow as the engine roars to life, a plume of smoke belching from the exhaust ports.

"Good news Brother Starblade!" Brother Steelarm's voice booms over the Grey Hunters' Voxs. "The Rhino's Machine Spirit is in good order, and the Machine itself shows no signs of any issues."

Haldis looks at Magnar before flipping his Vox channel open. "That is good news, I am certain...though I'm not certain how this would serve us in our mission at the time."

"Actually, it may. It seems the additional Vox casting equipment visible on the outside of the Rhino allow this unit to serve as a stand-in for a Damocles Command Rhino. I should be able to make contact with Wolf Lord Redmaw's ship."

Haldis straightens, his ears perking. "You really think that cobbled setup of wires and antennae can get us contact with the Fleet in orbit?"

"I am purposefully ignoring your choice of words and suggest a very high likelihood that we can."

"Good. Make contact with the Fleet as soon as possible. Brothers Goldmane and Icecutter will remain here if you need additional assistance. Contact me as soon as you make any headway."

"Understood Brother Starblade. Iron Priest Steelarm out."

Haldis closes his Vox and turns to his Routs. "Keep a close watch on our Iron Priests. I want communication established as soon as possible, if it can be done. Understood?"

The two nod. "Understood Brother Pack Leader."

With a nod in reply, Haldis strolls through the open Hanger Bay door into another bout of wind and snow. Peering down the cramped row of buildings, the Pack Leader flips his Vox open once again. "Brother Stonegaze, what is your report on the status of the Barracks?"

"Same as the first outpost Brother Pack Leader. Anything that might be of value has been taken, but the overall structures and furnishings remain fully intact."

"Good to know. Let me know of anything out of the ordinary. Brother Ironmaw, how is the Communications Array looking?"

"-told you, it's going to be all the same! There seems to be a potential malfunction with the consoles in here Brother Pack Leader. Either that or someone's deleted some passages. No, I don't know why someone would do that. Look Torvald, if you think something is being covered up around here then go out and-"

Haldis bites his lip as Rolf cuts out. Perhaps someone is trying to obscure information. "Brother Rockaxe, do you read me?"

"I read you Brother Starblade. If this is about establishing communication I'll have you know Brother Steelarm is-"

"It's not about that. Well, it is, but not all of it. I was curious if there is any way of retrieving deleted data from any of the consoles."

"I'm already ahead of you on that. Brothers Goldmane and Icecutter are assisting me on attempting to do just that. However, if the Adeptus Mechanicus are responsible for the purging of the data, our chances of finding it will be close to zero."

"Understood. Brother Steelarm, if you do manage to make contact with the Fleet in orbit, request to have any information on Adeptus Mechanicus activity on this moon transered as soon as possible. Do you copy?"

"I copy you Brother Starblade, and will make that request. Do not expect a quick response though. Will there be anything else?"

"Not at this time. Pack Leader Starblade out."

* * *

"Lemme seez if I get dis strait. Youz telling me youz all got krumped by da same group of deze 'Furry Marines'?"

The three Nobs look between each other until finally Flashjaw pipes up. "But Kaptin, deyz a lot krumpier den you might be finkin."

"WAAAG! Don't youz be telling me howz to be finkin! Iz da Kaptin, soz I be doing da rite finkin around here. And I be finkin youz all just a bunch of snivvlin Grots fer lettin' some 'Furry Marines' get da drop on youz all."

Firekrumper pushes Flashjaw out of the way of the kommunikator mikrofone. "But Kaptin-"

"Don't you 'But Kaptin' me! Nowz if you fink deze 'Furry Marines' of yerz are such a big problem for our lootin' operashun, den youz all best hurry up and get dem krumped. Do I make myself klear?"

"Yes Kaptin!" The three Nobs bellowed in unison.

"Good. Now go get krumpin!" The kommunikator roars with static before falling dead.

The three Nobs exchange wary looks. "So, wat do wez do now?" Flashjaw asks, rubbing his recently reattached Klaw and arm.

Firekrimper cuffs Flashjaw on the head. "Youz heard Kaptin Sluggatoof. Wez need ta find doze Furry Marines and krump dem good."

"But Firekrumper, wez all tried to attak dem Furry Marines head on, and look wat it gotz us fer our troublez." Bludmouf gestures around their base, noting the smaller number of Boyz then when they started.

Firekrumper cuffs Bludmouf for good measure. "Dem wez need to be more finky about dis! Youz go take some of our Boyz and see what doze Furry Marines are tryin ta do. Dem wez go plan somefing around dat to krump dem up."

"But why do I haft ta be da one to sneak around an'-" Furekrumper cuts off Bludmouf with a smack from his Power Klaw, knocking the Nob off his feet.

"Cauze I'm da one leadin' dis operashun, so dat meanz I make da kalls. Soz I sez youz go sneak around dem Furry Marines and figure out wat deyz  up to! Now get goin!"

Bludmouf shambles to his feet, a Mob of five Boyz close on his heels. He cuffs a Runtherd on the head as he passes by. "Oi! Squiggrabber! Get our Grots ready ta move out! Wez gonna need dem if wez gonna figure out wat deze Furry Marines are up ta."
Moon Fangs: Securing Snowbear Pass-05
On a snow-swept moon above a war-torn planet, a pack of Space Wolves embark on a simple and routine mission. Yet this simple reconnaissance mission will prove more dangerous than expected, and have  far-reaching consequences for those both on the moon and the planet below...

Part Five of Moon Fangs Mission I- Securing Snowbear Pass.

Warhammer 40,000 belongs to (c) Games Workshop.
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(Contains: violence/gore)
Firestar

Dawn had not yet come. The planet, red with the fires of war, wanes beneath the crests of snow banks and glaciers to the west. The starless sky glows purple, sings of the day yet to come. Optics turn from the horizon to the long knife bearing ancient glyphs; the same ones Haldis bears on his shoulder pad. Slowly, he traces the chisel-etched runes, forged in the flames of Fenris; his home.

* * *

"What is this for?" Haldis looked up at his fellow Wolf-Guard, standing over the fledgling Rout as he scrutinized the holo-projection of the pass he was to cleanse.

"Just a good-luck token from the rest of Bran's pack." The silver-maned Guard sat down next to Haldis, gold eyes warm in his optics. "Sounds like the job ahead of you is an important one, and a bit of luck might help."

"Then why aren't one of you going?" Haldis slams his gauntlets on the control panel, the holo-projection fading briefly. "If the mission is so important why is our Wolf Lord sending some runt who's yet to even wear a suit of terminator armor instead of a seasoned veteran?"

"Don't talk like that Haldis; you're as much a Wolf Guard as any of us."

"Wolf Guard or no, I'm still at least five decades less experienced than the rest of Bran's pack." Haldis grits his teeth. "Besides, we both know it was the meteor that did that Helbrute in; I just got lucky with my broken-"

A blow to Haldis' helmet knocked the Guard from his seat. Haldis turned to his fellow. "What in The Allfather's name was that for Duskeye?"

Duskeye snarled. "Stop being so hard on yourself; it was Bran's decision to promote you to his pack."

The Guard knelt down and offered a hand to his comrade. "Remember Haldis, we're not Ultramarines. We aren't given promotions to fill a spot in a squad; we earn what is given to us"
The two Guard rose to their feet, each smiling. "Regardless of what the meteor did, it was you who climbed up on that Helbrute and put your broken blade through the opening in the behemoth's sarcophagus. You took down that treacherous abomination, not the meteor."

Duskeye pat Haldis on the shoulder. "Trust in your skill Haldis, you've far more of it than you give yourself credit for."


* * *

"A quiet night Brother Pack Leader?"

Haldis turns as Soren sits next to him before looking to the sky again. "As quiet as it can be with our Iron Priests working. By the sounds of it, we still don't have reliable communications. Are our Hunters roused and ready to move out?"

"Almost Brother Pack Leader. Brother Ironmaw insisted on finding a few Ork teeth to add to his belt. I suspect he won't be back until dawn."

Haldis rolls his eyes. "Oh how wonderful. I suspect he's alone as well?"

"He was, but I made Brother Wolfbreath go with him."

"I suppose that's the best I can hope for now." Haldis grabs a window sill and pulls himself to his feet. "Go get the rest of our Pack out here. I want to be heading out as soon as Brother Ironmaw and Wolfbreath have returned from their search."

Without another word, Soren bows his head and makes his way to the command tower.

* * *

Gunnar holds up a hand, fingers tracing the tendrils of pink light preceding the arrival of dawn. "Have you ever seen such a sky before Rolf? Sure, the stars above the Aett are lovely; but this, this is just..."

"Yes, yes, it's a very lovely sky." Rolf picks up a severed arm, rapping the bulbous mossy hide with a knuckle before tossing the appendage aside. "How is it we managed to fully ruin half a mob of Greenskins? I can barely find three teeth worth threading."

Gunnar scoffs at his pack mate. "You can't honestly tell me that is all you worry about. There will be plenty of stories and songs of what transpires here to satisfy even your boated tastes for glory."

"First, I'll have you know my tastes for glory are no more bloated than your tastes for open spaces. Second, I intend to have something to show alongside those stories and songs. Good luck bringing that-" Rolf wildly gestures at the sky with his arm, "-back with you."

"The image in my mind will suffice me enough once we leave-" Gunnar trails off, his eyes catching the faintest glimmers of movement. "Rolf, do you see that? I think something's out there."
Rolf squints, tilting his head. "I don't see a thing."

"Do you think I'm imagining it?"

"I don't know, you tell me." Rolf snaps, "You have the best eyes of us here."

Gritting his teeth, Gunnar concentrates on the horizon. Through the mixing purple and blues of the sky, the Hunter makes out eleven lumbering shapes. Their pace is slow, even for their size, but as the faintest hints of pink and golden yellow creep up from behind the snowbanks, the silhouettes of the figures become unmistakable just as a familiar scent hits Gunnar's nose.

"Orks! Another small mob of them are heading our way!"

Rolf jumps to his feet. "Are you sure?"

"Definitely. Looks to be a Nob and ten Boyz."

"Wonderful! Maybe I can get a decent looking finger off of one of them."

Gunnar glares at Rolf. "Rolf Ironmaw, of all the things to be concerned about, that has to be..." He growls and slams his helmet over his head, flipping his Vox open. "Brother Pack Leader, this is Brother Wolfbreath; do you read?"

Silence greets Gunnar, before Hadis' voice crosses the channel. "I read you Brother Wolfbreath. What is the nature of your communication?"

"Report: enemy Greenskin movement on our position sighted. A small group; appears to be traveling on foot. Orders Brother Pack Leader?"

More silence. Gunnar watches the approaching Orks, seconds dragging until finally, "Return to the outpost immediately; whatever you've seen we face as a group. Understood?"

Gunnar nods vigorously, though Haldis would not see it. "Understood Brother Pack Leader. Brother Ironmaw and I are on our way back. Brother Wolfbreath out." Closing the Vox, he rips his helmet off. "Rolf, we need to head back to the outpost."

"But I'm not done looking for something to go with the teeth I've-"

Gunnar cuffs Rolf on the backpack with his helmet. "That's an order from our Pack Leader. You're certainly still in hot water with him from our first battle; do you really want to add insubordination to that?"

Rolf whirls around, glaring at Gunnar. The two sneer at each other until, reluctantly, Rolf storms off towards the outpost in fierce silence.

* * *

Haldis and his pack stand shoulder to shoulder. Occulobes adjust for the glare of the risen sun, each Rout tense at the matched row of Orks in front of them. The largest of the group, bearing a skull banner on his back and a red metal jawplate across his face steps forward. Thrusting a massive Power Klaw out at the Moon Fangs, the Nob bellows. "Oy! Iz you da one dey keep kallin da 'Boss Furry'?"

Haldis looks to each side; Soren and Havard each nod. Setting his jaw, Haldis takes a few steps forward. "I am the leader of thme Moon Fangs Pack. Who are you to call me out?"

Teef glimmer from the Nob's sneer, followed by a soft chuckle. As the chuckle turns into a full-blown laugh, the Boyz accompanying the Nob join in with their Boss.

"So deze are da onez dat krumped up Bludmouf and Flashjaw? Deyz hardly seem gud enuf ta krup up some Grotz!"

Haldis sneers, mimicking his helmet. Raising his power sword Brutecutter up, he takes a single step forward. "I will not stand by and let you mock me or my pack. If it's a fight you are looking for we will oblige with the duties bestowed on us by Russ and the Emperor."

Grinning mad, the Nob crouches down. "Den youz be fasin da full fury of Firekrumper." With a howling 'WAAAG!', Firekrumper charges Haldis, his shoota spraying slugs through the air.
Haldis crouches down, allowing the hulking Greenskin to overtake him. Springing up, he swipes Brutecutter across the Nob's arm. Firekrumper howls in pain, crimson blood flying from the gash before bringing the Klaw down across Haldis' chest.

The Guard stumbles back, but kicks a foot up at the Nob's chest. Firekrumper swings at the foot with his Shoota, knocking the Rout's attack away before squeezing off a few slugs.
Haldis drops to the ground, rolling away from the shots. He swings his blade at the Greenskin's exposed back; another gash sends more blood spraying.

With a roar of pain and anger. Firekrumper swings his Kalw down at Haldis. The Guard rolls aside, Klaw slamming into frozen earth and kicking up fresh snow. Haldis swings his sword at the Ork's leg; the Kalw knocks the attack aside.

Firekrumper levels his Shoota at Haldis, firing off a few more slugs. Rolling to the side, Haldis
swings his blade at the Nob's leg again; the Nob shifts as the blade misses by centimeters.

Firekrumper swings his Klaw again in a massive arc. Continuing his roll, Haldis ends up on his back, Klaw slamming into the ground right next to the Rout's arm. Lifting a leg, Haldis rears up to kick the Nob in the knee. Yet out of the corner of his eye, he catches the sight of movement too late; the Nob grab's Haldis' leg with his Shoota hand, hefting the Pack leader into the air like a trophy.

"So, iz dat da best ya got?" Firekrumper shakes Haldis violently, laughing at his victory. Spotting an opening, Haldis unsheathes his knife and jabs it into the Nob's neck. With a gurgling roar, Firekrumper throws Haldis to the ground and turns to his Orks.

"DATZ IT! KRUMP 'EM ALL UP BOYZ!"

A wave of 'WAAAG!' echos in the morning air as the Orks charge the line of Wolves. The Routs hastily raise their guns, though a wall of slugs slam through the rank before they can squeeze their triggers. Soren stumbles back, rounds cutting his neck and legs. Steadying his stance, he turns to his pack mates. "Forward! We need to get to our Pack Leader!"

With a roar, the line of Moon Fangs charges the lumbering Greenskins. Bolts thunder through the air, the line of Boyz undaunted by the relentless fire. One by one, shells find their marks and the charging Greenskins thin; collapsing from injuries or succumbing to the explosive hail of fire.

*

Holding his Klaw high, Firekrumper charges the sprawled Wolf Guard. Fumbling in the snow, Haldis grabs his Storm Bolter and fires off a wild spray of Bolts. Rounds graze the hulking Nob's frame, detonating harmlessly along skin and metal strips. Haldis swings Brutecutter at the Nob's leg just as Firekrumper's Klaw strikes his side, the Wolf tumbling into a snowbank.

"So datz all ya gotz fer ol' Firekrumper? Iz don't see how youz coulda krumped up Bludmouf and Flashjaw so badly." Firekrumper sneers, leveling his Shoota at Haldis.

Haldis fumbles to his knees, sword in hand. In a flash, he charges through the burst of slugs and slashes Firekrumper's Shoota arm clean off. Before the Nob can react, Haldis slams his elbow into his knife still embedded in the Greenskin's neck; the knife pierces through, taking a large chunk of skin with it. Gasping, Firekrumper reels back and collapses in a heap on the snow.

*

The few remaining Orks snap their attention to the thud of their fallen Nob. Exchanging a look between them, the three let out a 'WAAAG!' before turning their Shootas Haldis; Orkish blood-lust in their crimson eyes. Emptying what few slugs remained in their Shootas, the Boyz toss aside their empty weapons, heft their Choppas high and charge the off-guard Pack Leader. Rounds thud into the maddened Greenskins; a kneecap shatters and the wounded Boy falls.

*

Soren squeezes off another few rounds at the charging Orks as the rest of the Moon Fangs rush to catch up. He pulls out the now empty magazine from his Bolter as the two remaining Orks overtake Haldis' position.
Brutecutter tight in his grip, Haldis lunges the snarling Orks. He manages a slash at each of their legs before collapsing on his stomach. He rolls onto his back just in time to see the two Boyz stumble to a halt. Looking between the two of them, then at the Moon Fangs, the Orks cry out "Fall back!" as they turn in retreat. The line of Routs unload a flurry of Bolts at the fleeing enemy, tearing the unfortunate Greenskins to ribbons.

*

"Brother Pack Leader, are you alright?" Soren crouches down and holds an arm out. He grabs Hadis' wrist tightly when the Guard offers his own arm up and hefts the woozy marine; Orn and Gunnar rush to keep the Moon Fang leader on his feet.

"I'm fine, thank you." Haldis nods, holding onto the two Routs at either side for support. "The Nob may have gotten a few good knocks on me, but nothing worse for wear."

"Do you wish to rest? We could wait for the Astra Millitarium to get settled into the base."

Haldis shakes his head, taking a few tentative steps on his own. "That won't be necessary Brother Goldmane; there's time enough to rest in Snowhammer. Besides, I want to keep ahead of the Guard; their numbers here are small enough without them getting caught in one of our firefights."

"Understood Brother Pack Leader." Soren turns to the gathered Hunters. "You heard the Leader you Routs, get back to the Land Raider and prepare to move out!"
Moon Fangs: Securing Snowbear Pass- 04
On a snow-swept moon above a war-torn planet, a pack of Space Wolves embark on a simple and routine mission. Yet this simple reconnaissance mission will prove more dangerous than expected, and have  far-reaching consequences for those both on the moon and the planet below...

Part Four of Moon Fangs Mission I- Securing Snowbear Pass.

Warhammer 40,000 belongs to (c) Games Workshop.
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A Surprise Attack

"Brother Starblade, we have arrived at the first outpost."

Haldis hefts himself to his feet, servos of his armor compensating for the slowing Land Raider. "You heard Brother Rockaxe; it's time to do the job our Wolf Lord sent us her to accomplish."

The Moon Fangs clamber to their feet, stretching strained muscles and rubbing healing wounds before clicking their first magazine into their Bolters and Bolt Pistols. The Assault Ramp of the Land Raider slams open, a blast of frigid air and snow blustering inside.

Drab olive bunkers dot the whitewashed ravine. Snow piles up along partially opened doors and haphazard defensive walls. A few spires of communication towers jut out from the icy ground, lined with the familiar antenna of Guardsman Vox casters. The snow is prisine; the ground uncluttered. No signs of a fight or struggle or even a hasty retreat. The outpost sits frozen in time within the frozen landscape

"Seems the wind has picked up down here." Haldis steps out on the ramp of the Land Raider. "Moon Fangs; I want helmets on and Voxes opened." Despite a few murmurs of protest, the Hunters comply with their Pack Leader. After a quick Vox check, Haldis divides his Routes into groups of two. "Our mission is simple; make sure each of these buildings is free of enemies; the Astra Militarium wants these outposts intact, so no grenades or heavy fire inside. Report any unusual findings immediately. Understood Brothers?"

"Understood Brother Pack Leader!"

Haldis smiles. "Good. Happy searching Brothers."

* * *

Haldis jabs his fingers into the crack between the two sliding doors, Havard and Langer on either side. "Ready; one, two, three, pull!" With a roar, the three Routs force the sliding doors apart, olive metal shrieking against unpowered rails. "Again. One, two, three, pull!" Another roar, and the doors give way just enough for Langer to squeeze through. Haldis peers through the opening, his back banner too wide and too tall for the Pack Leader to fit through himself. "How does the equipment look Brother Blazeheart?"

Langer crosses the mostly empty room, up righting a desk as he approaches a large cabinet-shaped machine. He runs a finger along the largest of five screens, and taps a few keys beneath it. "Unresponsive Brother Pack Leader. I fear the equipment may not have remained intact during the evacuation."

Haldis mutters softly to himself. "I suppose finding the main command panel in working order was too much to hope for. I'll see if Brother Rockaxe or Steelarm can have a look at it before the Astra Militarium forces-"

"Try hitting it. Works with Blood Claws, and they're harder to get to follow your order than any machine I've seen."

Haldis whirls around and clips Havard on the earpiece. "Brother Langer will do no such thing. That 'machine' is likely far older and has seen more conflict than all of us present on this base combined. The idea of hitting it to make the panel work is utter insanity. If anything it would likely lead to irreparable-"

WHAM!

The two Routs snap their attention into the room; the Command Panel flickers, hums, then lights up as the primary screen displays a long readout of status reports.

"Brother Pack Leader, I believe Brother Havard's suggestion worked! For all appearances, the Main Command Panel is in operable order."

Haldis leans into Havard, his helmet's nose butting up against the Hunter's mouth grill. "If word gets out about what just transpired in that room to reactivate the Main Command Panel, I swear on Bjorn's gilded sarcophagus I will have your hide before our Iron Priests get a chance at mine."

* * *

"Blasted reports; not a single sentence of useful information in the whole thing." Haldis scrolls through the evacuation report for a third time.  "I keep expecting to see the Inquisitor sigil plastered between each paragraph. Brother Sunchanter, any new word back from Brothers Stonegze and Doomweaver on the status of the Barracks?"

"Nothing yet Brother Pack Leader. Both seem to believe the storehouses were ransacked by the fleeing Guardsmen, but the structure and basic amenities appear to be intact."

"I guess that's the best the Miliarium can ever hope for. How about Brothers Ironmaw and Forgecaster on the status of the Communications Array?"

"No word yet Brother Pack leader."

Haldis taps a finger against the screen, turning it off. "I'm conflicted on whether that should surprise me or not. Brother Blazeheart, how goes the repairs to the Vehicle Hanger?"

"Slower than anticipated Brother Pack Leader; Iron Priests Rockaxe and Stonearm are still conducting repairs to Snowhammer's targeting and communications equipment, so have been unable to assist in any way beyond verbal directions. However, Brothers Bloodrune and Wolfbreath have completed their sweep of the armory and are aiding in the Vehicle Hanger repairs. Brothers Goldmane and Icecutter plan to assist as well once their patrol of the perimeter defenses is complete."

"Good. After the Communications Array, the Vehicle Hanger is top priority. See if you can get an ETA from our Iron Priests on the completion of their-"

The three Routs grab at their earpieces as a bout of static rips through their Voxes.

"XZXZXZ- approaching at rapid speed. I repeat, Snowhammer's sensors have picked up two large objects 40 degrees east of the base approaching at rapid speed. Brother Starblade, do you-"

Haldis rushes to a window, peering through the wind-whipped snow. "Brother Rockaxe, your communication is breaking up. Relay message again, I repeat, relay message again. Brother Rockaxe, are you there?"

"Brother Pack Leader, this is Brother Wolfbreath. I believe I know what our Iron Priests are trying to warn us about."

* * *

Haldis flips through his HUD's scanners, auspex seeking visual traces of the lumbering vehicles he hears thundering towards his warriors. "Brother Wolfbreath, do your eyes see anything yet?"

Gunnar peers through the flurries of wind-whipped snow. "Nothing yet, Brother Pack Leader, though it sounds as if the Truks are slowing down; I suspect the Greenskins are disembarking; likely armed with longer-ranged Shootas."

Haldis shuts off his helmet's extended scanners and opens a Vox channel. "Brother Steelarm, any luck on getting the targeting systems up?"

"No better than they were before, Brother Starblade. I require coordinates to be able to apply any suitable cover fire."

Haldis nods reluctantly. "Very well; be prepared for my firing commands. As for the rest of you, keep your feet firm; I don't want any glory rushes into Ork fire. I suspect the objects picked up by our scanners are Ork Truks; Torvald, your job is to eliminate those vehicles as quickly as possible. Any advantage the Orks may have with those vehicles is an advantage I want gone. The rest of you provide cover fire for Torvald's advance. Understood?"

"Understood Brother Pack-"

Metal slugs rip through the air, cutting into the Routs. Rounds plink off armor and weapons, drowning out the 'WAAAG!' that rises above the whistling wind. Gunnar grabs his leg, stumbling from his feet into a snow bank.

"Moon Fangs! Return fire! Focus on the Truk closest to the Communications Array!"

The Grey Hunters frantically lift their weapons, bolts firing wildly towards the charging Greenskins. Shells rip through arms and legs, moss and blood flying wide on gusts. Yet the Ork charge remains undeterred until a lucky shot brings the charging Boyz down one by one.

"For now the sun and moon do rise, with deadly force and strength arise!" Flashes of plasma cut through the whitened horizon, mowing down Orks bolts failed to drop, thinning the small mob out from in front of the Truk.

Fire burns within Torvald's chest, a wicked grin gritting teeth as his finger moves to his Meltagun's trigger. The foggy shape of the Ork Truk grows clearer with each step, his target revealing weakened armor ramshackle and patched with an assortment of metals. Torvald's eyes set on a belch of smoke from directly above the front axel. Raising his weapon, Torvald sneers and pulls the trigger. The air hisses loudly, a soft gust bellowing from the beam of heat that streaks down the battlefield. Metal sunders and melts under the intense beam. The Truk shudders and coughs before a blast of fire and metal erupts from the Truk chassis. Those Orks unfortunate enough to be next to the vehicle are shredded with flaming shrapnel.

"Excelent work Moon Fangs! That takes care of half our troubles. Same as before, clear the path! Brother Rockaxe, your firing coordinates are three-thirty point minus-zero-eight point one-fifty."

Snowhammer's turret groans to life, rotating its heavy bolters in line with the few Gretchen who survived the previous encounter. Fire erupts from the massive barrels as shells far bigger than even the great Bolts of the blessed Bolter tear through the sky; ripping through the scrawny Grot bodies before exploding on the other side.

*

"Oy! Dat Furry Marine wit da Hissy Shoota slaged our Truk! Krump him up before he gets to da udder one!"

"But Boss, dey haz a Truk wit sum bigga shootas dey didn't when Flashjaw fought 'em! Dey just mashed up doze Grots! If dey start shoota at us we's gunna-"

Blufmouf grabs a nearby severed Ork arm and heaves it at the questioning Boy, knocking the offender off his feet. "I sayz we gotta krump dat Furry Marine wit da Hissy Shoota! Now get krumpin! WAAAG!"

The Boyz level their shootas on Torvald, squeezing off a flurry of wild fire at the Hunter. Slugs pling off his armor, rochochet shots cutting at his underarmor. He staggers back, and with a roar, charges ahead towards the truck.

*

"Cover fire Moon Fangs! Take out those Orks and clear the path!"

Bolters shudder, rounds shrieking towards the shambling Orks and Gretchin. The bolts thud into thick hides, slowing the charge but failing to clear most of the Boyz out;

Havard hefts his Plasma Gun up. "The storms and wind did cast away, and forth the wolves-" The Plasma Gun flashes, and a plume of superheated gas consumes Havard's face and arm.

"Havard!" Haldis grits his teeth. "Blasted temperamental technology; warp curse it all... Rockaxe, adjust aim; Seventeen point minus-three point eighty-six!"

Gears grind as Stormhammer levels its Heavy Bolters out. Rounds thud from the massive guns, tearing down the remaining Grots the Moon Fangs' previous attack thinned out.

Howling at the top of his lungs, Torvald charges the lumbering Truk. Raising his Metagun with his good arm, he squeezes off a blast of heated gas. The stream hisses towards the Truk, barely clearing between the oversized tires. Torvald curses and adjusts his aim, but a stray round strikes his helmet. Torvald's HUD turns to static and the Hunter stumbles to the ground.

*

"Oy! Boss! Dat Furry Marine wif da Hissy Shoota got krumped up gud dere!"

"And it looks dat da one wif da Flashy Shoota krumped himself!"

Blufmouf grins with wicked excitement. "Good. Dat Flashy one got what 'e 'ad commin fer krumpin' Flashjaw up. Dat only leaves da Boss Furry ta deal wif!" The Nob hefts a stump in Snowhammer's direction. "Go do wat you Squigs do best! Krump dem all! WAAAG!"

*

"Brother Forgecaster, what is your status? Do you read?" Haldis taps his Vox caster, with only static on the channel. Eyeing the crumpled form of Havard, he turns just in time to see a hail of shots fire from the ever encroaching Truks. Ducking down, slugs bounce off his armor, rattling the Guard. He turns to his Routs, hand in front of his helmet. "Everyone, Krak grenades at the ready. I said we weren't going to have any charges but conditions have changed. Snowhammer will provide your cover fire. With any luck, at least one of you will get through and-"

A flash of blue light streaks down the battlefield. Eyes snap to the Truk as the light pierces through the vehicle moments before the engine ruptures with a tundering BOOM. Boyz jump to the ground, avoiding the storm of metal and fire erupting from their ruined carrier.

"-And forth the wolves did win the day!"

Haldis whirls around and to his feet. "Havard! You're alright! I thought that you had..."

Havard bellows a laugh, patting his Plasma Gun lovingly. "Dawnpaw here may be fickle from time to time, but she always gets the job done. Speaking of, I believe we have some Orks to finish off."

Grinning, Haldis nods. "Havard is right. All guns, fire at will! Take these Greenskins out!"

The Moon Fangs level their guns on the Orks as they climb back to their feet. Squeezing triggers, a wall of bolts slam into the Boyz. Skin shreads and bodies contort under the relentless stream of rounds slamming into the Greenskins. Fleeing Orks are cut down, limbs blown apart.

With a final 'WAAG!', Blufmouf charges through the fire, eyes red with rage set upon Haldis. A single shot thuds out, catching the Nob in the throat. The Nob stumbles over himself, inertia keeping his charge going until the lumbering Greenskin tumbles into the snow. Soren grins and nods. "And that finishes that."

* * *

"Well done Moon Fangs. I'd say this base is safe until the Astra Militarium arrive to claim it. Speaking of..." Haldis opens his Vox. "Brother Steelarm, do we have any idea on when the Guardsmen should be arriving at our location?"

"Based on the information given to me before our arrival on the moon, coupled with the fact that sensors have not detected any Imperial vehicles, my guess is they will not arrive until morning."

"Any hopes of them having supplies to fix our Land Raider's temperamental systems?"

"Brother Starblade, I cannot condone you speaking so ill of Snowhammer or her systems. The simple fact that we are having such issues is a minor incon- XZXZXZXZ"

Haldis snickers as static consumes the Vox channel. "I suppose there is my vindication, condone or no." He turns to his pack. "Alright Routs, report to Iron Priest Rockaxe to have your equipment looked over; I don't want any more gear malfunctioning on us. After that, report to the Command Tower for reprieve. I'll be taking Watch tonight; you've all earned your rest."

"Understood Brother Pack Leader!" As the Hunters shuffle off to Snowhammer, Haldis looks to the sky. In the waning light of dusk, the planet below begins to overtake the horizon. Haldis sighs softly. "I wonder if the fight up here will be as chaotic as it is down there. I can't imagine this mission will entail anything out of the ordinary."

* * *

"So, wat do yaz have ta say fer yerselves?"

Blufmouf and Flashjaw exchange wary looks before the freshly battered Nob steps forward. "Lisen Firekrumper, doze Furry Marines ain't like any udder Marine Boyz we fased. Dey's gud at krumpin; gud as our Boyz, mebbe even-"

Firekrumper knocks Blufmouf off his feet before he can finish. "Ye snivvlin' Grots. Derez no bedder krumpers out dere den us. An' tamorrow I'z gonna show yaz all how ta krump somefing up gud." Flashjaw rushes over to help Blufmouf up as Firekrumper storms off towards the shambling mess of metal the Greenskins were calling their base at the moment.

"Hey Flashjaw, do ya fink..."

"I don't know Blufmouf...we'z gonna see, dat's fer sure..."
Moon Fangs: Securing Snowbear Pass-03
On a snow-swept moon above a war-torn planet, a pack of Space Wolves embark on a simple and routine mission. Yet this simple reconnaissance mission will prove more dangerous than expected, and have  far-reaching consequences for those both on the moon and the planet below...

Part Three of Moon Fangs Mission I- Securing Snowbear Pass.

Warhammer 40,000 belongs to (c) Games Workshop.
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The First Hunt

"Brother Pack Leader, I've spotted something."

Haldis swiftly approaches Gunnar, peering in the direction the Hunter points. "What do you see Brother Wolfbreath?"

"Two mobs of Greenskins; one Ork and one Gretchin, heading westward at a slowed pace. The Orks appear to be carrying bundles on their backs; supplies raided from an Imperial outpost by my guess."

Arvid tracks the Ork caravan's path eastward. "Do you think they are the vanguard group?"

Haldis shakes his head. "Doubtful. With the Warboss dead on the Planet's surface, the Mobs have turned on each other with each Nob trying to secure his position. I've received no word that any Nob has gained a large following here in Snowbear Pass. A Mob or two is likely all we'll face."

Torvald scoffs. "Hardly seems like a challenge."

"Challenge or no, our mission remains: We need to clear out as many Orks as we can from this Pass so the Astra Militarum can retake the abandoned Imperial bases."

Gier grins a toothy grin, a hungry look in his eyes. "Then what are we waiting for? Call the attack Pack Leader. My sword craves Ork blood."

Orn shakes his head. "We should take to the hillside, where our superior aim will give us the advantage over the Orks' ramshackle firing style."

Haldis looks at the snow-capped hill and nods. "Orn makes a good point. A charge would likely be-" He pauses, and in time to see Torvald, Geir and Rolf barrel down the hillside; howling and hollering.

"Oh for Russ' sake..."

* * *

"Keep up da pace ya snivvlin' Squigs!" The Nob cuffs the Ork closest to him with his Klaw, "Da Kaptin is gonna be mad if dese spoils aren't delivered soon. An' if da Kaptin is mad at me, den yous the ones ta feel da-" The Nob cuts himself off as he hears far off howls getting closer. He squints over the top of his metal jaw and spots three large figures charging his Mob's position. The Nob grits his teef in a menacing grin.

"Oy! Deres some Marine Boyz chargin at us! Krump 'em good Boyz! WAAAAG!"

Boots slosh in the wet show amongst a growing chorus of 'WAAAG!' cutting through the frozen air like a rusty chainsword. Gretchin shriek and sniffle as shocks of electricity prod them into the frenzied green mass.

*

Rolf splits away from his fellows, licking his metal maw at the thought of taking the Nob's head. His hearts pump as he sprints across snow and slush, chainsword roaring alongside its master; a flaming tongue hiding hungry teeth of steel.

Thirty paces away, the rest of the Moon Fangs breach the hill that was to serve as their vantage point. Haldis points his sword at the Mob of Greenskins. "Sunchanter, take out one of the leading Gretchin. If the herder falls, the sheep should be too cowardly to attack. The rest of you, take out as many Orks as you can."

"And so the wolves the fights adore where wind should bite and sun should roar!" Havard's song rises above the howls of his comrades as his Plasma Gun sparks to life; sunlight bolts screaming down the battlefield towards the Runtherd prodding the squeamish Grots into battle. One plasma bolt strikes the Runtherd in the shoulder, knocking the Greenskin off his feet. The rest of the Moon Fangs raise their bolters and let off a volley over the heads of the Gretchen into the mob of Orks. Bolts rip through the mossy hides and threadbare shirts, detonating deep inside muscle and bone. The assault drops nearly have the charging mass, yet the rest remain undeterred.

The Gretchin mob falls to the ground, covering their heads as the mass of bolts shriek above them. A few turn to try and flee, yet the encroaching Orks mere meters behind them cut off any chance of running. With no hope of escape, the sniveling Grots fire wildly at the approaching Marines; perhaps to have better luck against them than their so-called allies. The massive slugs of metal cruple and bounce off the sturdy Power Armor of the Grey Hunters, yet a few lucky shots pierce the rubbery underarmor.

Rolf turns his head just in time to see a volley broadside him. A zing of pain shoots up his neck and down his spine; he falls to the ground, tumbling until a slain Greenskin pins him down. Gunnar spots his advance and moves to help his fallen friend, but is stopped when a Grot slug catches him in the leg.

*

The thundering 'WAAAG' is soon joined by the chatter of Ork Shootas spitting slugs every which way. One Ork aims a crude yellow-tipped rokkit on the end of a long shaft, loosing it towards the charging Hunters with a cough of jet black smoke and a scream. Two of the rokkit's fins snap under the sheer wind, spiraling off to the right.

The wall of slugs slam into the Moon Fangs. The Hunters brace themselves, an arm over their helmets as the metal pings and clangs against their armor. Orn gasps as slugs tear through his knees, forcing him to the ground.

"Orn!" Haldis takes a step forward, but Orn waves him off.

"Forget about me! The mission is more important than any of us!"

Haltis falters, looks to Orn, but sets his jaw and eyes upon the Ork Nob. "Moon Fangs, all Bolter fire on the Nob! Take him down!"

"With Blood and Fur the fight rejoice, as claws should rend with howling voice!" Plasma streaks down the field alongside the thud of Bolter shells. The Nob continues his charge, shots spraying towards the Hunters. A blast of plasma sears through the Nob's arm, severing tendons. His Power Klaw falls to the groud, tearing off what remains of the Greenskin's appendage. Throwing aside his gun, the Nob grabs the first warm body he can find and holds it in front of him. The captured Gretchin shrieks with fear until its body pops Haldis' Storm Bolter fire. The Nob bellows with rage; a shot to the neck cuts the roar short. Gurgling and stuttering, the Nob falls to his knees and crumples into a heap of blood, moss and leather.

*

Torvald raises his Meltagun up in line with his head. A blast of heat erupts out of the barrel, the fridged air hissing and squealing. The Orks halt their advance, a few ducking to the ground.  Geir kicks one of the Orks in the head, flipping the Greenskin over before placing a few Bolts from his bolt pistol into the Ork's chest. The Mob clamors to their feet, snarling at Geir until a cry echos across the battlefield.

"Dat Fancy Marine Boy did our Boss in! Krump 'em good!"

Geir grabs one of the Orks away from the Mob, throwing the Boy to the ground. The Ork swings his Choppa at the Hunter, only for Geir's chainsword to rip through the Greenshik's wrist. Rolling to his stomach, the Boy crawls away on his elbows, but falls dead as a single shot obliterates part of the Ork's head.

Nearby Torvald blasts the Orks again, the heat finding its mark this time. The blast melts away bone and flesh, the arm of the unlucky Ork fizzling away. The Ork turns to level his own Shoota at the Hunter until another searing blast melts away the Greenskin's head.

*

The Boyz bellows a 'WAAAG!' as their Shootas turn on Haldis. Slugs streak towards the Pack Leader as the Greenskins overrun the front line of Grots; each taken to burrowing himself as deep in the snow as his stubby fingers can get. Haldis turns his shoulder, the pings of slugs ricocheting off his armor echoing in the Pack Leader's helm. Only when his pack returns fire does he dare turn around and engage with his Storm Bolter. Shots slam into the dwindled ranks of the Boys, Bolts blasting chunks of flesh and moss out of each. The cry of WAAAG falls silent as Orks are cut to pieces.
"Retreat!"

Grot heads pop up from within mounds of snow. Instincts surge through their tiny bodies as they scramble fast as they can away from the attacking Marines. Those Orks still left alive grab the battered body of their injured Nob and drag themselves to safety.

*

"The Battle is won! Huzzah to the Pack Leader for a glorious victory!"

Haldis puts a guarded hand on Lagnar's shoulder. "Victory perhaps, but hardly glorious. Part of my pack ran off refusing to listen to orders, and we still sustained injury."

"Injury will always happen." Soren smiles at Haldis. "It is the risk we all take. None fell under your watch. As for the eager wolves..." The Hunter saunters over to Gier and Torvald as they help Rolf to his feet and gives a cuff on the ears of the three. "A week each of Watch should temper the spirits to heel."

Haldis nods. "A fine suggestion Soren." He turns to his Pack. "Lick your wounds fast; we still have a distance to travel."

On cue, the ground trembles as the familiar roar of an engine looms in the air. The Moon Fangs turn as one to see a Land Raider crest a snow bank and rumble to a stop before them.  The assault hatch slams open as a Marine carrying a large hammer walks towards the group.

"Ah, I see the signs of a fight; it seems our works delayed us too long." The Marine bows, his machindrites retracting to his back. "You have my apologies."

"No apologies needed Brother Iron Wolf." Haldis walks up to the behemoth machine and caresses a tred. "I take it this is the Land Raider promised to us by the Wolf Lord?"

The Iron Priest walks back inside the main compartment of the carrier. "It is. Snowhammer is ready to ferry you and your pack into the Pass so you may complete your mission. Along with him shall I and my companion Iron Priest Steelarm aid you as we can." The Iron Priest bows again. "Iron Priest Hakan Rockaxe, Brother Starblade."

Haldis firmly pats Hakan on the arm. "It is good you are here."

"Brother Pack Leader." Arvid points at the abandoned Ork parcels. "What of the supplies left by the Orks?"

Haldis turns to Orn. "Take Havard and Magnar with you; sift through the remains. Anything that can be used load up into Snowhammer. Burn the rest." He turns to the rest of his pack. "For the rest of you, take heart; our walking is over. For now, let us ride and rest until it is time again for battle."

* * *

"WAAAT!?" The Nob shoves aside a wounded Ork and approaches his wounded fellow. "Whadaya mean ya got krumped by a bunch of Marine Boyz?"

"It's true Bludmouf. Dose Furry Marines gud at Krumpin. Lookie wat dey did to mah Klaw arm!" The wounded Nob gestures at the stump where his arm used to be.

Bludmouf shoves the wounded Nob into the snow. "Yer just finking fings wrong Flashjaw. Dey just got a few lukky shots in on ya, dat's all." The Nob sneers over the red metal maw he bears. "Oy! Lissen up ya Squigs! Dere's some Furry Marines dat krumped up Flashjaw and his Boyz. So it seems we godda show dem how we does fings! Mount up and get going!"

The 'WAAAG!' of the Orks roars in unision with the thundering of massive engines awakening.
Moon Fangs: Securing Snowbear Pass-02
On a snow-swept moon above a war-torn planet, a pack of Space Wolves embark on a simple and routine mission. Yet this simple reconnaissance mission will prove more dangerous than expected, and have  far-reaching consequences for those both on the moon and the planet below...

Part Two of Moon Fangs Mission I- Securing Snowbear Pass.

Warhammer 40,000 belongs to (c) Games Workshop.
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:iconjwiesner:
JWiesner Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013
Thank you very much for the +Watch!! :)
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:icongrievousfan:
grievousfan Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Student General Artist
:iconflutterdanceplz:
Thanks for the +watch!
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:iconhalfdeathshadow:
HalfDeathShadow Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
I would like to thank You for watching, now I`m working on another Ponysing-series project (Rainbow Dash as Seras) and soon I will submit it. One more time THX4 Watching
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