Major general Foch stood atop his personal centaur, taking him straight to the frontlines. He watched as the flashes of explosions went off all around him, the fruits of his mens labours made bare. The engineer teams detonated their wired charges – all bridges around the city crumbling from the explosive power, save one. Now only the Bridge of Heroes remained. To his front, the shatter of cannons. Earthshakers had begun to pound the enemies positions.
“Major we have begun primary bombardment. Our stores have sufficient munitions for 3 months of continuous fire.” One of the Generals siege masters spoke.
General Joffre responded swiftly. “We won’t need 3 months. we will break the siege today. The Gorgons are moving up, with the support of the other battalions. The Elysians will drop behind the enemy’s lines, and we will break through the front. They will be the anvil, we will be the hammer. Macher’s own will be joining us, and with them we cannot fail.”
Shells streamed overhead as the Gorgons pushed through the ruins towards the front lines. Elysian flyers roared overhead, accompanied by the Astartes own gunships, banking low through the shattered buildings. A shrill cry rose through the air, a war horn born by no loyal man of the Emperor.
“Major General, god-machines walk against us. What are your orders?”
Foch looked to his gunnery crew. “Get me range on these abominations men!”
“Sir, range is 6.8 klicks out from the bridges sir!” The response snapped.
Foch grinned but his men would never see it behind his respirator. “All guns load armour piercing. On my order, deliver the Emperors wrath.”
A few moments passed as Foch waited for the right moment. A wall of smoke came over the horizon, his spotters unable to see the titan anymore. “All guns fire on grid S6-8W!”
There was a massive boom, the thunderous guns letting fly with a chorus of death and destruction. Fired in a staggered pattern, the first was loaded once more when the last gun fired. Before even the final guns could could sing their song however, the smokey horizon became flooded by a bright white light followed by a roaring red flame.
“Enemy titan down! You have my thanks Foch.” Lukas cracked over the radio, his panting breath obvious through the vox-net. Foch knew that he would suffer hard trying to race to the enemies front, but the grand strategy required a bit of cardio exercise.
“This is General Joffre to all loyal Imperials. The bridges have been secured. Pull back across Vanguard forces, we will cover your retreat.”
The General swapped from the open net to his own closed channels.
“Major General Foch, have your men pound the forward enemy lines. Bury them with the power of your guns.” As the General ordered his Earthshakers, Kreigsmen from the 412th and 72nd rushed from their Gorgons into firing lines, cutting down any traitors or Xenos unlucky enough to have reached the bridges. Knight titans sounded war horns as they blasted monsters and tanks with their impressive firepower. The comforting booms of their thunderous weapons could still be heard from behind the lines as Foch continued his long range bombardment of the enemy.
Cracks in the enemy lines be seen, first a traitor, then a Xenos. They turned the other way to run, followed soon by their fellows in terror. Joffre knew what a rout looked like. Shortly, the enemy line broke and ran for cover. The enemy had lost today. The first push had been beaten back, but at great cost, and he knew it would not be the end of the war. The siege would remain, guns would sound day and night, war drums beating and great horns blaring in the weeks to come. But now they had a place to bring reinforcements. The Imperial call had been heard, and as the crusade forces began the trip home, they would join their allies and break the bloody siege.