D+45, 15 days after the Imperial Guard got to the Vorn River, Operation Cleaver went into action. Lord General Van Graff had to be sure reinforcing regiments could land, and supplies could be brought up. Tallarn troops and Elysian troops had made landfall, and would make their presence known shortly. The Elysian 7th Heavy Air Cavalry would lead the assault on Poshlost Farm, with Cadian Kasrkin, Harakoni Warhawks and Betic Lions.
Poshlost Farm was a forward command position for the PDF, and an artillery battery was stationed there with range on the intended bridge position. The main goal, however, was to divert enemy attention from the opposite flank. The men geared up, and awaited orders to board the awaiting birds, dozens of Valkyries, Vendettas, Sky Talons, and Vulture gunships performed pre-flight checks in the near dark of dawn. Van Graff himself, watched the proceedings with a passive gaze. All at once, the troops ran to board their designated craft, 0 hour had come.
At 0400 hrs the Valkyries lifted off, and flew low and fast over the plains of the Securas peninsula. The men were silent, radio chatter to a minimum. As they crossed the river, the PDF troops spotted them and what little AA weapons they had opened fire in the early light of dawn. The Air Wing pushed on, and made it to their target, the PDF waiting for them.
The PDF troops took their positions, and readied their weapons. The farm had been fortified with sandbags and breastworks for just such an assault. The officers in the mansion let command know of the situation, and requested reinforcements immediately. Perfect for what the Imperials wanted, the Valkyries screamed in overhead.
“All wings, let fly!” The Valkyries and the Vulture Gunship let rip, and fired their guns to full effect. Shells rained from the sky as the Vulture Gunship’s Punisher Gatling cannons fired, and a dozen PDF troops fell in a hail of bullets. The Elysian Valkyrie fired her Rocket pods on the squad in the small bunker, and the Cadian Valkyrie fired one of her rockets at a squad of Belacanians on the left flank. The PDF ducked and dove for cover, they had no answer to this volume of fire but to get down.
“Condor one, get your troops on the deck. Vulture one, lay down suppressing fire!”
Condor one, the Elysian’s Valkyrie, launched a set of smoke launchers, and the rear ramp let down. The Elysians engaged their grav-chutes and leaped out of the craft. They landed without incident, and under the smoke cover composed themselves and prepared for their assault.
The PDF tried to reposition and meet the enemy attack, and a squad moved through the open courtyard of the mansion toward the fighting. Vulture one’s pilot turned the aircraft, and the gunner flipped the switch on his stick, and the Punisher cannons roared to life. The twin cannons spun up, and shells streamed out onto the ground as the cannons spat shells out. The PDF squad was literally torn apart and the courtyard became a slaughter, spraying the gray stone solid red.
“Eagle one, get the Kasrkin on the deck!”
Captain Lukas ordered one of the men to hit the button, and lowered the rear ramp.
“Right, let’s hit ’em hard! Go, go, go,!” The Kasrkin ran out the rear ramp, firing their grav-chutes just before landing. Once on the ground, they diched the packs, and took cover behind a rusting pickup. The troops came under fire from the Belacanians across the road, and tried to return fire as best they could through the smoke.
The Elysian squad moved forward, firing on the bunker. The PDF troops inside returned fire, felling one of the Elysians. The squad’s Sergeant aimed his under barrel grenade launcher, and fired a grenade into the bunker. The blast killed two of the men inside, and the two survivors ran from the bunker across the road to join another squad. The Elysians moved forward and took cover behind the bunker to take cover from the torrent of rifle fire from across the road.
Captain Lukas orders Kasrkin squad 005 over the rusted truck, and lays down fire on the surviving Belacanian troops.
“Purge these heretics of their worthless lives! ” He cried
The Belacanians duck and blind fire their weapons, taking cover from the fire from the Valkyries and the Kasrkin’s Hellguns. The torrent of fire from all directions proves too much, and they are decimated outright.
Valkyrie Sky Talons swooped down, carrying a pair of Taurox primes. The two fired their chin mounted heavy bolters to lend their firepower to the devastation. Once on the ground, they released their mooring clamps, and lifted off to fly back for more vehicles. The Betic Lions had arrived, and immediately the Tauroxes opened fire with their battlecannons and storm bolters.
Another Valkyrie soared high over the battlefield, and Harakoni squad number four prepared for their deployment. The men checked their weapons, put on their helmets, and checked each others grav-chutes. The rear ramp dropped down, the men jumped and dove through the air. They fired their grav-chutes, and landed firing their hot-shot lasguns. The squad of PDF troops in the rear of the Mansion were taken completely by surprise, and several of them were gunned down by the Warhawks. The survivors ran to the relative safety of the Mansion interior, the Warhawks hot on their heels.
The assault was going much better than anyone predicted, in only twenty minutes the troops had secured a foothold and prepared to finish off the remaining PDF. The Valkyries and the Vultures continued to lay down fire and pin the enemy down, the Imperials were outnumbered, but were certainly not outgunned. The Valkyries and Vulture returned to base as they were running low on fuel and munitions; enemy troops would return soon so they would need to return with reinforcements and to lend fire support if needed.
The Betic Lions and the Kasrkin move forward, under rifle fire from the Mansion, and sporadic machinegun fire from a set of breastworks. The Betic Lions moved behind their Taurox, using it to shield their advance, while the Kasrkin took position behind the berm along the road.
“Hold fast, we can’t afford to storm the mansion. We take them alive!” Captain Lukas called over the vox, much to the chagrin of the Betic Lions. As ranking officer on the ground though, it was his call.
On the right flank, the PDF troops wave a white flag on the end of a rifle.
“Sir, look, I think they want to surrender.”
“Grox-shit, alright, keep your guns trained on them. Ill go out. You shoot the minute they try anything!”
The Sgt. went out first, when the surviving PDF troops tossed their guns and stood up, the rest of the Elysians came out across the road, and took the men prisoner.
As well as the PDF troops on the right, the artillery crews also surrender. Leaving only the troops inside the Mansion as the sole remaining resistance. Fire continued coming from the Mansion windows, and so the Imperials moved to surround the Mansion.
The troops traded blows in the firefight for a while, and Lukas nearly ordered the Tauroxes to level the building. However, the officers inside and their maps or other documents inside could be invaluable to command. Finally, through the haze of dawn and smoke, the front door cracked open and a white flag peeked out.
“Hold fire! Hold fire!”
All the firing stopped, and the PDF officers and soldiers stepped out, hands up. The Kasrkin and Betic Lions moved in guns ready, and took the enemy prisoner.
“Right, let’s do the job we came here for, take out those guns!”
The Harakoni used their meltaguns and destroyed the PDF guns along with much of their other supplies. The Imperials then herded the prisoners together to await the return of the Valkyries. Over 30 prisoners including a Captain, a Colonel, and three Lieutenants. Much of the office had been burned, so no files or maps were recovered.
Captain Lukas set about the task of readying for a defense against the inevitable counter-attack. He would need all the Emperor’s guidance to hold the farm, especially if the enemy came with any armor as the only weapons they had were the Taurox battlecannons. If he got lucky, Elysian and Navy aircraft would be able to provide support and they could hold out until the relieve force came from across the River.