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Activating the thrusters on his XV-8 suit, Y’he Sha’is gracefully landed in cover on the opposite side of the city square. It was good to see the repairs he had enacted on his suit were performing up to his requirements. The repaired vectored thrusters worked, but were far too overpowered, and had a tendency of not shutting down. Too bad the enemy was not so conducive. There was nothing to report, nothing on his scanners, and there had been nothing for some time. Silence was the only sound heard on the comms. The fighting had continued unabated for so long, and now, only the memories of his lost brothers flitted though the windows of the ruins around him. His cadre was getting edgy, and to be honest, so was he. He needed time away, time to collect his thoughts. Launching himself into the sky again, he looked down at what was once his hometown.
It was ignorant to think that the enemy had been driven off. Rubble was everywhere, and they came pouring from the bowels of the city, scuttling en mass into his troops, and then faded back into the depths, dragging a few of his cadre with them. They were impossible to track because of their very nature. It was like a terrible dream from which he could not wake. They were innumerable teeth and razor-sharp claws, and moved through the city as if they flew through the rubble. The devilfish and hammerheads proved no protection from their attacks, as the small monsters simply dragged them to the ground with shear numbers, ripping open the armored hulls as if they were paper. The crisis suits proved no more effective, but at least were more easily repairable.
He heard some of his cadre speak of these terrors in hushed tones during the darkest part of the long night, referring to them as demons and spirits. This was not the thinking of a tau warrior, but of the guardsmen that were pushed from the planet early on. Their infectious cowardace had bled into his cadre. He now understood why Commander Farsight had fought so vehemently against the inclusion of any non-Tau into his cadre. The ethereals, however, were another story. This was not the first time Y’he Sha’is wished for an ethereal to be leading his cadre. Firewarriors simply did not think this way while in their presence.
Landing at the base of a former tau landing pad, Y’he Sha’is thought he saw movement to his left. “Nothing on the scanners,” he thought, “and it was just much too large to be one of them.” He wrote it off to more falling rubble. It seemed to be everywhere now. The whole planet was falling apart, just like his equipment, suits, and even his entire cadre.
Appropriately, it seemed, his men had named these creatures Y’he: death. It didn’t matter if it was their death or the planets death. They were one and the same. Unfortunately, his cadre changed their own name soon after to Y’he Sha’is: death bringers. The ethereals refused every request for aid they had made up to this point, and had cut off all communication with his cadre when they discovered the name they had adopted. That was the moment when he embraced his new name: the name of his cadre. Names aside, they simply could not win a battle against this enemy, especially not when he had no support from the rest of the Empire. The beasts cared nothing for their own lives, but lived only to feed on whatever they could. Only with the cold determination born from the populace of N’dras has kept them fighting for as long as they have.
The thinking had been the same when the ethereals announced that they were abandoning his birthplace. There were things on N’dras that they thought could not be beaten, and these enemies would destroy the Empire from the inside out if they stayed. So they fled back to the “safety” of their colonies, running like lapdogs when the ethereals commanded them. Only a few determined warriors, bonded brothers who really understood what the Greater Good meant, refused to leave. They, and many of their families, still fought at his side today. They were the best warriors of the Empire, and were fighting to protect their home. He would gladly sacrifice his life for any one of them, and he knew they would do the same for him. While many of his men had died, he was proud that he had not abandoned a single member of his cadre to their fate as the rest of the Empire had abandoned so many. They died fighting, as a true firewarrior should.
A red highlight appeared on his long-range scanners, pulling him from his dark revelry. The dot was quickly followed by a second, and a third, until the individual dots could not be distinguished from each other. They were pouring through the streets, heading right for the square were the few members of his recon force made their base.
Reversing direction, he quickly retraced his steps through the city, firing his thrusters to clear ruins, and running along the ground when it was clear. Smashing his suit through coils of rusty razor-wire, he sent out a cadre-wide warning: “I have detected a mass to the north: they are coming!”
Static was his only reply. “This is Shas’O Y’he Sha’is demanding a response from all available units. Report in!” The hissing from his comms only grew louder. Desperately, he raced on, calling to his troops after every jump, exactly as Shas’O Farsight had taught. So caught up in his worry for his cadre, he had minimized his visual scanning, and he never saw the building that he crashed directly into.
Bouncing hard off metal walls, he eventually slid to a stop amidst the rubble. Y’he Sha’is felt the stimulants injectors doing their job, as energy coursed into his damaged limbs. Ignoring the pain associated with the drugs, he immediately began to run diagnostics on his already damaged suit. All systems checked out except the shield generator, and he climbed the suit to its feet. The shield generator hung from a few wires at his left shoulder. Y’he Sha’is reached up and yanked the shield from its place: it could be fixed later. Looking in front of him, he saw the cause of his impressive deceleration: a Space Wolf Drop Pod. The situation just went from bad to worse: spent bolter casings were strewn about in the obvious path of a dreadnought; a path that led directly towards his already pressed cadre.
Y’he Sha’is again tried his comms, but instead of a cadre-wide warning, he sent a direct, high-powered call to his second in command: “Shas’el M’Yen Ka, we have a second force (imperial marine, unknown size and composition), heading towards your position from the south. My suit is damaged, but operational. Report.”
This time, he was rewarded with a response: “M’Yen Ka reporting. I read and understand. I am returning to base now. Scanners show upwards of 100 hostiles in their vicinity. No tau presence detected.”
“Understood, brother. Interference is hampering our scanners. Hurry back,” was his reply. Y’he Sha’is felt the thrusters press him into the back of his suit, launching him into the sky once more. He began his desperate journey back to what might remain of his cadre. Perhaps it was a mistake to send all of the XV-8s as far out as he had in a city wide sweep, but the suits needed to be tested and the new pilots needed the experience and flight time in them.
Erratic pulse fire was detected by his suit, aimed across the square in front of his base. At least his cadre was not completely destroyed. A few souls still fought on. The scanners showed a swirling red mass located mostly in the square slowly, but inexorably moving towards the base. Y’he Sha’is landed behind the last building before he would break into the city plaza, behind the enemy’s position. The rest of the trip would have to be on foot.
Running a final quick diagnostic, Y’he Sha’is launched his damaged suit into the air, charging his Ion Blaster and Plasma Rifle as he gained altitude. The situation looked desperate. Mobs of tyranids were systematically breaking cover and scuttling towards the tau emplacement. His firewarriors had only a few brief seconds to mark their targets and fire before they were lost amongst the rubble once more. Landing quietly behind the rearmost brood of tyranids, Y’he Sha’is quickly opened fire. Supercharged ions flew true, and every shot took the life of a monster, spraying their blood across the rubble of his world. Y’he Sha’is launched himself at what was left of this disgusting brood, smashing to the left and right with the enhanced strength of his arms. Their claws ripped and tore at his suit, and he could feel warm blood running down his arm. He smashed and crushed, firing at point blank range, watching as a beast was completely evaporated by his blaster. He aimed his plasma rifle at the face of the lone remaining tyranid monster, but no plasma erupted from the weapon. The ion blaster was similarly ineffective. Too late, warnings went off in his suit: he needed to recharge his weaponry! The tyranid, sensing his problem, launched itself at the Shas’O, claws extended to rip through the damaged armor of the suit. Y’he Sha’is neatly maneuvered his suit down and to the left, catching the lunging monster out of the air, using its momentum to slam it into the rubble at his feet. Placing his foot onto the chest of the beat, he stood up, popping the spent energy cell out of his ion blaster, and reaching for a new one as it was automatically discharged from the back of his suit. He could feel the beast’s claws dig and tear at the leg of his suit as he checked the weapons integrity.
Looking over the situation as the weapon charged, feeling the beast pinned below him losing strength, the glint of metal was the only warning before a Space Wolf dreadnought burst from the cover of a building across the square, its assault cannon spewing death to the tiny beasts surrounding it. From behind the beast poured space marines dressed in their archaic armor, firing their bolters at the beasts as they kept pace with the dreadnought. Crushing the beast below him with a thought, Y’he Sha’is launched himself backwards towards the far side of the square, as far from the new threat as possible. Pulse fire erupted from the tau emplacement, directed primarily at the dreadnought. Y’he Sha’is could just detect the faintest glimmer of a green dot on the surface of the dreadnought’s armor moments before it exploded it a great gout of fire, sending marines and tyranids alike flying. Apparently their lone XV-88 was operational once more.
Moving to his left, the Shas’O spotted a large group of marines headed directly towards his new position. Retreating from this threat, Y’he Sha’is turned to face a group of multi-armed tyranids racing through the rubble towards him. Both units spotted the damaged crisis suit, and seeing an easy target, opened fire. Bolt pistols fired, and forms whizzed by the Shas’O, narrowly missing the suit as Y’he Sha’is raced for cover, smashing through rock and metal in a desperate attempt to survive. These errant bolter shells did not miss completely, however, but found the flesh of the genestealers behind him. Enraged by this attack, the XV-8 was forgotten in favor of the flesh of humans. The blood claws redirected their pistol shots at the charging genestealers, and soon the ruin was a mess of hacking chainswords and slashing claws. Y’he Sha’is regained his composure, and recharged his plasma rifle as he patiently awaited the outcome of the combat. Too soon it seemed, a single genestealer was all that remained from either side, feeding on the remains of the bloodclaws, and sickeningly, on his own kind. Y’he Sha’is dispatched it with a fusillade of plasma shots.
Checking the integrity of his suit for what seemed like the hundredth time today, and finding warnings all over the suit, Y’he Sha’is once again launched himself into the city square, ready to finish off any remnants of the enemy. Repairs could be made once this was over. What he found made him wish he stayed with the genestealers. In the center of the square, surrounded by a swarm of drones, was the largest monster the Shas’O had seen in his entire life. Armed with 2 long cannons, and 4 huge talons, the beast was easily the size of the orca drop ship, and the tusked beast smashed aside drones as if they were flies. With a mighty roar, the beast crushed the last drone in its mouth, and, almost too quick to see, drew a bead on the remaining space marines. Shot after shot poured into their position, and soon the entire space marine army was entangled with what seemed like living vines and tendrils of the most unnatural color. Desperate cries filled his comms for the first time today as they finally came back online. As the surviving marines hacked their way free of the tendrils, they were torn apart as the beast charged into their midst. Horrible cries echoed through the square. When the beast was finished, it turned its head towards the remaining tau.
“Direct all fire towards that beast, now,” was the order from the Shas’O.
“All XV-88 weaponry is damaged. We need time to enact repairs,” came the terse reply.
“You’ll have it,” promised the Shas’O as he readied his suit for its final charge, checking its abilities once more. Bracing for impact, Y’he Sha’is pressed the suit for every last ounce of speed that it could get, and smashed into the armored side of the monster. “The drop pod was softer than this thing,” thought the commander, as he bounced off of its hide. He punched and kicked in a desperate attempt to steer the monster away from his cadre. The monster slashed and bit at the suit, but was always attacking where the suit had been a moment ago. Warning lights flashed across his field of vision. The suits telemetry and stabilization systems were overloaded, and now failing. Landing hard, the Shas’O had a brief moment to realize that a huge talon slashed towards his head. In a desperate attempt, Y’he Sha’is raised his arm to stop the beast’s attack. The claw sliced through the suits armor like it was made of paper, but the impact drove Y’he Sha’is to the ground, just below the razor sharp talon. With a roar of triumph, the carnifex stood above the downed crisis, and raised all four talons high into the air.
“Ready to fire,” came the report from his cadre.
“Fire away,” was the instantaneous reply. In a desperate attempt, he activated his retro thrusters. The crisis suit slid along the ground on its back, smashing aside boulders and bodies. The force of the thrusters was unbearable, and just before Y’he Sha’is blacked out, he saw the looming form of the carnifex explode in a shower of pulse fire and blood.
"Listen up you primitive screwheads ... see this ... this is my BOOM-stick!" - Ash
"I told you, it's not Pink! It's Light Red!" Donut on his new power-armor.
I didn't realize that it was that complicated? It's just a three way battle that was relatively boring on turn-by-turn, so I decided to dramatize it like the title said (i.e. make it read a bit more like a story).
I'm sorry if you didn't enjoy it, I thought it was a decent read, if a bit long.
"Listen up you primitive screwheads ... see this ... this is my BOOM-stick!" - Ash
"I told you, it's not Pink! It's Light Red!" Donut on his new power-armor.
that was pretty interesting, the story element stops you skipping around the report a bit (your other report i missed some of the middle). i take it you won, and you only had a squad of fire warriors left?
so your HQ died at the end there? allowing you to dispatch of the carni? with the firewarriors?
I like it! Keep up the good work. MORE!
"Tell me what you cherish most. Give me the pleasure of taking it away." Sephiroth, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
I'm a big fan of fluffy battle reports. My only advice is put a turn by turn account of what happened. That way people can read just the fluff, just the facts or both for the whole experience. Takes awhile to write up but it usually gets nice feedback.
Check my Blog for Battle Reports, useless ranting and more! Comments appreciated.
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woah woah man! no need to get insultive! no no i thought it was a great story, i just didnt know how the battle turned out, did th HQ live, what happened was what i was really looking for, like...a really simple battle report at the end of the great story.
i liked the way that you described the emotion and the pressures of battle and it's after effects, i enjoyed that, well done! (Y)