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Battle of Pluto

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Battle of Pluto
PraetorianBattle.jpg
Alpharius and Rogal Dorn battle on Hydra
Conflict Solar War/Horus Heresy
Date ~010.M31
Location Pluto, Sol System
Outcome Loyalist Victory
Combatants
Imperium Traitors
Commanders
Primarch Rogal Dorn
Captain Archamus (KIA)
Captain Sigismund
Captain Koro(KIA)
Primarch Alpharius (KIA)
Captain Kel Silonius
Captain Ingo Pech
Captain Mathias Herzog
Strength
Initially ~30 Imperial Fists ships, Inferallti Hussars Regiments, and Black Sentinels
Later large Imperial Fists and Imperial Armada fleet led by the Phalanx
~200 Alpha Legion warships
Losses/Survivors
Heavy Unknown but likely heavy


The Battle of Pluto was a battle during the Horus Heresy. It was the earliest major engagement of the Solar War.

Overview

As part of Horus' drive towards Terra, the traitorous Alpha Legion was charged by the Warmaster with plunging the Sol System into chaos in preparation for his arrival. The system was heavily defended by the Imperial Fists Legion led by Rogal Dorn himself, and was on high alert due to the continuing blockade of Mars in the aftermath of the Mechanicum Civil War. Nonetheless the Primarch of the Alpha Legion, Alpharius, set his fleet led by the Battle Barge Alpha on a course for Sol. To infiltrate the Sol System, Alpharius put himself and the entire crew of the fleet into stasis while powering down his ships to minimize heat signature. Thus for the next year the Alpha Legion fleet drifted towards Sol, successfully reaching its outskirts undetected in a way that Warp travel would not have allowed.[1a]

Meanwhile, Alpha Legion Operative teams were activated across the Sol System. These sleeper cells had been planted years before the Heresy, and upon activation wreaked a series of devastating but distractionary terrorist acts. A freighter was detonated over Terra, raining death across the world and killing millions. At the Damocles Starport, the Alpha Legion was able to use rebel cells to devastate the facility. A rebellion was also instigated on Triton. Human Operatives led by the Headhunter Kel Silonius infiltrated Terra and activated a cell of Legionaries that had been hidden in stasis on the world many years earlier, coming into conflict with Rogal Dorn and his Huscarls. However all of these acts were distractions for Alpharius' true objective: Pluto, linchpin of the loyalist surveillance network over Sol. As the Imperial Fists led by Archamus attempted to hunt down Alpha Legion cells and intentions, Alpharius' fleet finally reached Terra. The infiltration of the Legion into the System was completed thanks to sabotage by Silonius' team and the cooperation of anti-Imperial scavenger clans led by Sork.[1a]

As Dorn was distracted by Alpha Legion machinations across the system, the Legion's fleet of over 200 ships led by the Alpha itself struck at Pluto and its moons Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. As the fleet arrived, further uprisings, this time led by Alpha Legion teams, erupted across the Sol System. Ariel and space platforms above Jupiter and Saturn were overrun. Silonius' Headhunter team was revealed to led by Alpharius himself, he had seemingly switched minds with Silonius before wiping his own memories, only for them to be reactivated at the right time by psychic trigger. The real Silonius was aboard the Alpha, leading the attack alongside Ingo Pech and Mathias Herzog. The Alpha Legion's primary target was Pluto's moon of Hydra, home to a Astropathic monitoring station. If the communications station were to be captured, the rest of Pluto's moons would fall and Terra would be none the wiser. Alpharius led his team on the moon, releasing disabling gas across its filtration stations to try and disable the Astropaths and their Black Sentinels guards. Meanwhile, the fortress-moon of Kerberos was captured from Imperial Army troops by Alpha Legionaries, who turned the guns of the stations on the loyalists.[1b]

The Imperial Fists had just 30 ships led by Sigismund to defend Pluto. Faced with the suddenness of the attack and severely outnumbered, the loyalist fleet was badly mauled. The Alpha Legion used Fire Ships hidden among their own fleet to wreak havoc on the defenders as the captured fortress moon of Kerberos showered Nix, Styx, and Charon with heavy fire. Silonius, aboard the Alpha, split his fleet into three parts. One moved around the Imperial Fists and clawed back into Pluto's orbit, while another served as a distraction to draw the Fists fire. Another led by the Alpha itself swept past Hydra to troop reinforcements including elite Lernaean Terminators. However the Imperial Fists fought on, maintaining a stubborn defense in the face of overwhelming odds.[1b]

Archamus led a Huscarl contingent on Hydra after correctly discerning the Alpha Legion's true intent. However the Praetorian of Dorn was struck down by Alpharius himself and the battle seemed won for the traitors. It was at this moment that the Phalanx itself arrived over Pluto, leading a massive fleet of Imperial Fists and Imperial Armada reinforcements. The fleet had managed to arrive quickly by slingshotting around the Solar System's competing gravity wells. The Fists fleet was able to pacify Kerberos' guns as Rogal Dorn himself led a landing on Hydra. Dorn teleported directly before Alpharius with Archamus at his feet, and the two Primarchs clashed. Alpharius maintained that he was not doing this for Horus, but instead for the future, and urged Dorn to help him in achieving true victory. But the Fists Primarch ignored his brother and brutally assaulted him. Alpharius was about to impale Dorn with his spear, but the dying Archamus was able to grab the hilt of the weapon and deflect it into Dorn's chest. This gave Dorn the opening he needed to strike down the traitorous Primarch. Dorn then grabbed the spear and using Storm's Teeth sliced Alpharius's hands from his wrists before he slashed Alpharius across the chest, stabbed him with his own spear, and finished by cutting through Alpharius's skull with his mighty chainsword, Storm's Teeth After Alpharius died, Kel Silonius ordered the rest of the Alpha Legion fleet retreat from Pluto. Silonius himself seemed unconcerned with Alpharius' death, stating all in the Legion are one.[1b]

In the aftermath of the loyalist victory, the Imperial Fists oversaw a massive purge of suspected Alpha Legion assets across the Sol System. Meanwhile, Omegon effectively took on the role of Alpharius.[1c]

See Also

Sources