The Dark Angel Scout Company
The Dark ANgels chapter in general follow most of the directions laid down in the Codex Astartes, except in a few specific instances. As such, they have a standard structure for their tenth company, which consists of scouts and their supervisors. The scout company differs from the battle and reserve companies in that its strength, composition and make up varies depending on numerous factors. These include successful recruitment, recent losses, rate of progression to full fledged marines amongst others. Due to the vagaries of recruitment and the constant conflict in the universe the scout company does not maintain a standard rigid structure of squads.
Scout squads are put together during the induction of their most recent recruits. The size of these squads will vary depending on initial recruitment but gradually dwindle as the rigorous training to become a spacemarine removes those wh are less fit. Each new squad is assigned a trainer in the form of their scout sergeant. These are later replaced by veteran scout sergeants as the squads progress in their experience and move towards battlefield deployment. The sergeants and veteran sergeants are those who have voluntarily given up the chance to advance in to the battle companies and dedicate themselves to the training and indoctrination of the new blood.
Therefore at any one time the chapter will have at its disposal many scout squads of varying strengths and experience who may be deployed in many roles in the battle field. The strength of the scout forces deployed also depend on the strike force commander who will generally requisition scouts just as he would do armoured behicles from the armoury and squads from the reserve companies.
Piscina system and the Dark Angels
In the early days after the terrible days of the heresy, as the Dark Angel legion split in to chapters and the first chapter began to consolidate themselves, they had no home world to recruit from. As the Tower of Angels wa strengthened and built up it was obvious that its mobility would require much work and a long time. In the time that the massive warp engines were fitted to the Tower of Angels, the chapter maintained recruitment from nearby planetary systems. The Piscina system was one such system. Once the "Rock" was fully mobile the chapter maintained the tradition of returning to each system every few centuries to look for more recruits.
The Piscina system consists of a single sun and eight planets. Two gas giants and four asteroid like planets are all uninhabitable while the last two, Piscina IV and V had been previously colonized prior to the age of strife. With the loss of technology and eco systems Piscina V became a feral world from which the chapter continues to recruit. Piscina IV remained civilized with vast oceanic harvesters and mineral mining operations. The massive volcanoes and underground lava flow was utilized by ancient geothermal vents which provide the energy requirements for the planet. The Dark Angel chapter has a permanent recruitment station on this planet in the form of a Basilica in the main city of Kadillus Harbour.
Naaman in Piscina
Veteran Sergeant Naaman was an extremely experienced scout sergeant who had arrived in Kadillus with the entire third battle company of the Dark Angels chapter and its attached units. He had under his command a large contingent of scouts of varying experiences. They were there for advanced jungle infiltration exercises through the inhospitable terrain of Piscina IV and V. Numbered amongst these scouts were also a core of extremely experienced men who were on the verge of being inducted as full battle brothers, their black carapace almost fully mature. These men, led personally by Naaman were experts at silent death using a variety of weapons including combat knives as well as silenced bolt pistols.
Storm of Vengeance breaks
The Ork Warlord Ghazhkull Thraka had allied with the very wealthy Nazdreg urdgrub and had arrived in-system in their spacehulk "Scylla" Using newly developed ork-technology which Ghazhkull was testing out as a prelude to the subsequent invasion of Armageddon, he landed a large force of orks, rots and light vehicles without being detected. Personally leading the initial assault force Ghazhkull first captured an imperial powerplant and then breaks through to the Kadillus harbour in search of another. The ork needed significant energy beamed back to the "Scylla" for the teleporters to bring in the heavy weapons and gargants. Imperial forces under Master Belial move rapidly to contain the orks in Kadillus harbour as well as cut off their communications by taking up position on Koth ridge. Early attempts at recce towards to east to identify the enemy's strength and mode of arrival run in to the second force led by Nazdreg himself and a furious battle rages along Koth ridge.
It was at this moment that Naaman dispatched small squads to infiltrate the enemy lines to ascertain their mode of reiforcement. Many such squads were discovered and overwhelmed by the mass of green tide constatntly pouring towards Koth ridge. Naaman himslef personally led his team of infiltrators to discover the ork teleporter landing site. Distant visual reconnaissance was adequate to impart the importance of this site and the sight of constant ork reinforcements being teleported in underscored the urgency. Naaman communicated directly with Master Belial and formulated a battle plan. Having remained undiscovered for almost 24 hours in ork held territory, Naaman's scout band prepared to sell their lives dearly.
As darkness fell again, the veteran scouts moved out, quietly silencing the gretchin sentries, slitting their throats, blowing their brains with silenced bolt pistols or occasionally removin a distant threat by silenced sniper rifles. They had split in to small squads and spread out and waited. Then at a pre arranged time all hell broke loose as the scouts began diversionaly fire using everything at their disposal, including heavy bolters and missile launchers while Naaman and a select group continued to advance towards one of the teleporters.
Up in space imperial teleporters whirred in to action aboard the Dark Angel battle barge "Unrelenting Fury" as belial led a Deathwing terminator force directly down on to the ork teleporters, homing in on the beacons set up by Naaman. As the ork reiforcements were disrupted the fighting became furious on the landing ground, with the scouts providing covering fire for the terminators arrival. Despite their best efforts the assault force was unable to destry the teleporter, but managed to remove vital components rendering it useless temporarily. As the terminators prepared to beam back with their important captured equioment, the scout force, now less than half its original size continued their support fire.
Blaze of Glory
As the imperial telepoters whirled in to action a force of ork dreadnoughts were attempting to charge the terminators. The scouts rose to the occasion, charging in from the flanks of the dreadnoughts with bolt pistols and melta bombs. The agile scouts moved fast around the cumbersome ork machines shooting at contact cables to stop their arms working or simply blowing the faces of their inhabitants as they raised their lids. Melta bombs began to reduce the massive ork warmachines to slag as the blue white light encompasssed the Deathwing squad teleporting out. The last known visual image of Naaman was one the brave sergeant attaching a melta bomb to the last ork dreadnought followed by a massive explasion.
None of Naaman's scouts survived to tell the tale of the heady exploits, their gene seed lay un attended for days until recovered by the victorious imperial forces. The battle at the teleporter site gave the vital information to Master Belial to correctly deduce the strengths and weakness of his adversary and in the nd defeat him in detail, perhaps post posning the invasion of Armageddon by many years.
The whereabouts of Naaman remains a mystery, his body being never discovered. It was assumed that the explosion that engulfed the dreadnought may have completely vapourized the brave scout sergeants body. A monumnet was built within the blood stained basilica at Kadillus to remember the crucial role of the marine scouts in that battle, without which ghazhkull would likely have overwhelmed the system.
Reference: Storm of Vengeance Campaign Book, GW 1997.