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  1. #1
    Senior Member hardcastle's Avatar
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    This short story was written by Gojiratoho

    “I don’t like this one bit McCormack. This isn’t just crazy, this is suicide. This is *****ing ‘finalize your will before you leave’ suicide.? Lieutenant Jennson crept behind Lieutenant McCormack through the underbrush of the woods. The night sky above was black, no stars visible nor moons to light their way. Behind them, the rest of the kill team waited silently for their findings.

    “Then why the hell did you sign up for it Jennson? We both know damn well this was a voluntary mission. You’re here same as the rest of us, 4 years off our service contract and a fat *****in’ paycheck at the end of this.? Lt. McCormack was older than Jennson. He bore the scars of many missions, his face a roadmap of campaigns gone by. Jennson, on the other hand, was young but not inexperienced. Both were veterans of the Tyrannic Wars, which was one of the reasons they both volunteered. Their issue was far from standard, as both men carried a flamer and wore stripped down flak armor. While it would provide little protection, it allowed for much more movement in the thick foliage. Jennson’s argument soundly defeated by his companion, he continued on in silence.

    As the pair crested a mound that over looked a ravine, they spotted their first sign of the enemy. 3 Gaunts milled about on the vine strewn ground below them. Their long, bone claws scrapped along the forest floor. Jennson and McCormack froze and watched. As the beasts swept the area, movement in the brush caught their attention and all 3 were gone before the two Lt.s could blink. Within seconds the Gaunts were back, some small, unidentifiable woodland creature clutched in one’s mouth. Jennson turned back, and motioned to the blackness behind them. He signaled there were 3 fast moving bogies ahead, and to course correct half a kilometer west. Almost silently, he whispered under his breath to McCormack. “You sure that Ratling is gonna see those signs??

    “Clearly, you’ve never worked with the doctor before. Now move.? McCormack replied just as quietly.


    “3 Gaunts Captain. Fast ones, Hormagaunts. Jennson and McCormack are circling half a klik west to circumvent.? The Ratling sniper codenamed ‘Doctor’ relayed Jennson’s signals back to Captain Hawthorne, his bionic eye easily picking out the man’s movement in the distance.

    “Excellent. That means we’ve reached their secondary perimeter. Our target should be close by.? Captain Hawthorne was not as well aged as Lt. McCormack. Under his flak jacket, rebreather bionics forced his lungs to draw air. A face mask filtered any particles from reaching his scarred lungs. At his side hung a bolter, normally reserved for issue to the Emperor’s Space Marines. Like his Lt.s, his other gear was stripped to bare bones essentials, though on his hip was a pistol of some sort. The two men with him weren’t men at all, but submen. The sniper at the lead, ‘Doctor’, was a Ratling who stood only as high as the Captain’s waist. He carried a long-barreled rifle and wore a gully suit which matched the terrain. Behind them both, a huge Ogryn lumbered in silence. His face and hands were sullied with powder and grime, and a thick scar went across his throat. He wore a bandolier of explosive charges and carried two weapons. One was a heavy bolter, normally reserved for vehicle mounts. The other looked like a chunk of armor from whatever vehicle the bolter had come from. The armor panel had been sharpened and mounted on a handle, and greatly resembled an axe. If it didn’t have the mounting half of a door hinge on it, a casual observer might mistake it as that.

    The three moved almost as silently as their forward scouts through the woods. They moved forward warily, as if expecting attacks at any minute. Doctor raised his hand sharply, indicating the other two stop moving.

    “What is it?? Hawthorne hissed at his sniper.

    “Don’t know Captain. They’ve motioned a halt, no other signal yet.? The Ratling never turned back to face his commander, his eyes trained on the inky blackness ahead of them.
    A full five minutes went by and still no word from the scouts. Captain Hawthorne grew impatient.

    “Doctor, head up there and find out if those two are still alive.?

    Doctor didn’t even respond; he was gone as soon as the command was given.




    Jennson and McCormack didn’t even hear the sniper until he was right up next to them in the brush. Jennson barely stifled a scream while McCormack seemed unphased.

    “What the hell is the problem, gentlemen? The Captain is about ready to have kittens?? Doctor looked from one to the other, waiting for a response. McCormack didn’t say a word; he just *****ed his thumb over his shoulder towards the clearing below. Doctor peered around the trees. The three were on top of a small embankment that ringed a clearing. Below them, 10 of the Tyranid beasts scoured the area. They seemed to be alerted to something and were circling closer.

    “We can’t move other wise they’ll definitely spot us. Jennson was supposed to signal you.? McCormack checked the lighter on the end of his flamer, preparing for an assault.

    “Screw you old man. I’m not taking my eyes off those things. You know how fast they move. You kept telling me the sniper had such good eyes, why the hell didn’t he see us holed up here?? Jennson indeed was not looking at anything but the Gaunts below, his flamer primed and ready.

    Doctor moved between them, unlimbering his rifle and pulling out a red magazine, slapping it in. “I did see you jackass, but I can’t tell what’s going on without signals.? As he spoke, he laid himself down and took aim across the open field. “And? he added “I was too far away to smell if you’d dirt yourself.?

    “***** you, you little…? Jennson was cut off as Doctor fired across the clearing. All of the Gaunts immediately perked up. “…oh dirt oh dirt oh dirt.?

    Instead of charging up the hill towards them, they all took off in the same direction that Doctor fired into. “Wh..what the hell did you do?? Jennson stammered out as Doctor and McCormack got up and started moving.

    “I killed one of the scout Gaunts in the distance. It’s cleared this area, but not for long. Signal the Captain, we need to move now!? With that, both he and McCormack ran into the clearing. Jennson quickly signaled back and followed his teammates.


    Hawthorne and Urgoth both saw the signal flash from Jennson’s light and quickly moved forward. The Captain was able to spot the markers Doctor left, and soon all five were reunited at the edge of a rocky outcropping. Just ahead of them, in the midst of old stone ruins, a large spore pod sat. It was half buried into the earth, and several of the stone buildings had been torn from the ground due to its path of decent.

    “That is the target boys.? Captain Hawthorne said as he peered over a stone block. “Mission parameters dictate we need to infiltrate that pod and see if there is anything Order Xenos can use for study. The standard strains are useless, since they have more than they can use for study. Barring that, destroy the target and evac the area.?

    “Captain, are them Xenos boys looking for something specific? Seems a waste of resources to send us in if they just want it destroyed. They can do that from orbit.? McCormack asked.

    Hawthorne looked at his Lieutenant. They’d served together several times before, and not much slipped by him. How he hadn’t been promoted past Lt, Hawthorne couldn’t fathom. “They are. They want confirmation that there is nothing of value in that thing before they cleanse it. That’s all we need to know. We have our orders, move out. Doc, find yourself a good vantage and make sure nothing crawls up our ass.?

    Again, the diminutive sniper was gone as soon as the order was given. The others checked ammo and barrels and moved out. Hawthorne took point, his Lts followed on the flanks, while Urgoth took up the rear. They moved quickly and quietly between the stone walls of the ruins. Thus far, no sign of any Gaunts or other Tyranids were visible. The giant spore loomed ahead of them. The pod was roughly twice the size of a mighty Land Raider, and probably just as thickly armored. Jennson was glad of the lack of defenders, but Hawthorne and McCormack were on edge. Urgoth was silent, as always.

    The four reached the pod and began to scout the perimeter of it. Jennson spotted a vent on it and the squad was able to gain access to the interior. “Emperor’s ball sac….? Jennson’s amazement was mirrored on the faces of his comrades. Inside of the pod, there were several hallways and what looked like doorways. Along the hallway were several pod chambers, all empty with dried mucous near the bottom and on the floor. The ceiling and walls gave off a soft iridescent glow.

    “Looks like there are about 20 of those Gaunts out there, sir.? McCormack did a quick count of the empty chambers. “as well as 2 larger targets.? indicating the last two chambers at the end of the hallway.

    “Nothing for it boys, we’ll have to deal with whatever it is when it pops up. I want a sweep of the area and I want it yesterday. 2x2? Hawthorne barked out his order and paired up with McCormack. Jennson and Urgoth went to the first chamber. The Captain checked room after room of the large structure, finding nothing of any interest except eggs, hibernating rippers, and in one room, a spore chimney. It was a standard infiltration pod. There were probably hundreds of others scattered throughout the planet. They would germinate and Tyranids would grow from the egg sacs as needed until they could get a foot hold and start collecting biomass for more troops. Hawthorne hated them, with every fiber of his being. But the bugs had picked the wrong planet this time. This Agro world was needed by the Guard, being their primary food producer for this sector. It would be heavily defended. “I’ve seen enough McCormack, let’s meet back with the others, set charges, and get the hell home.?

    “Agreed sir.? The two old soldiers headed out. Jennson and Urgoth were already waiting for them in the main hallway. “Report? was Hawthorne’s only greeting.

    “Well sir, just a lot of bug eggs and part of a spore chimney. Oh, and there were some rippers up and about, but a quick bath in fire and they weren’t a problem anymore. Urgoth laid charges at all the major supports we found, and a few inferno rounds in the rooms with eggs and rippers.? Urgoth gave a grunt of acknowledgement as Jennson rattled off their findings.

    “Excellent work! Specialist Urgoth, finish laying out charges and met us back here. As soon as you’re done, we blow this nest and get the hell out.? Urgoth saluted the Captain and ran off down the hall to where McCormack and Hawthorne had been searching. He was back in less than 2 minutes.

    “Alright men, move o…? Hawthorne’s voice left him as he turned towards the entrance. 2 Genestealers came in just as he was giving his command. An eternity passed while both sides waited for the other to attack, and then the Genestealers were a flurry of movement. One disappeared instantly, but the Captain didn’t notice as the other one was charging right at him. He went to draw his pistol and found himself flying through the air. By the time he landed, the Genestealer was impaled into the floor by Urgoth’s axe, and the Ogryn was bleeding from many open wounds in his chest. While most were superficial, one wound in his upper chest was pumping dark blood out at an alarming rate.

    “Men,? the commanding officer coughed out, “see to his wounds.? The two Lts immediately clamped down on the gaping wound. McCormack poured a powder into it, and the smell of burning meat filled the air. Urgoth looked dazed, but was unaffected by the smell or whatever the powder was doing to his flesh.

    “dirt!? Jennson pulled a leaking syringe from the Ogryn’s pocket. “That thing got his meds. McCormack, what’s the dose for an Ogryn.?

    “3 times normal.? McCormack started wrapping the wound, the bleeding all but stopped. “Take mine.? Jennson policed up both McCormack’s and Hawthorne’s drug kit. Including his own, he jammed all three into Urgoth’s arm. The demolitions specialist snapped awake like he was just doused with cold water. He gave a thumbs up, retrieved his axe, and headed for the door. The other three followed.



    When they got outside, day was just starting to break, and all hell was starting to break loose. The Gaunts were surging from the tree line towards their position, Hawthorne picked out what he thought were two more Genestealers darting between stone. He saw one fall to the ground dead and knew Doctor was still alive. Something else knew as well, as several Gaunts veered off from the main group towards where the shot came from. Hawthorne saw at least 2 drop before they disappeared into the tree line. He had more pressing matters anyway, as the Gaunts had closed the distance to their position very quickly. Jennson and McCormack stood at the ready with their flamers, while he and Urgoth opened fire with the bolters. Huge gouts of earth shot up from under the Gaunts, and several were blown to pieces as the shells impacted, but far too many were surviving.
    Just as the swarm was upon them, the lieutenants let fly their weapons. Gouts of flame disintegrated the first few Gaunts, and several of the ones behind were routed left or right, their bodies on fire. Urgoth stepped in front of his commander again as the Gaunts swarmed up at them. Jennson and McCormack were overtaken and could not get off any further shots. ‘Why are they still fighting, there isn’t anything here that could keep driving them?’ Hawthorne’s mind raced as he drew a sword and joined the melee.

    And then he saw it. The reason the Gaunts were fighting so hard. A Zoanthrope floated from behind a stone support beam, its tail whipping through the air as it surveyed the battle. Hawthorne tossed his bolter down and drew his pistol. Plasma coils began to charge as he ran around the combat towards the beast. His first shot went wide but his second struck home, melting the carapace where it struck. The wound was not enough to put the beast down, and it charged toward Hawthorne. Behind him, he heard screams as someone was torn from their feet. Another soon followed. He knew there wasn’t much time left. He managed to grasp his remote detonator just as the first Gaunt sliced through his armor into his back. The last thing he felt was heat as he activated the device and the spore pod erupted in a gout of fire.


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  3. #2
    Senior Member Pyre's Avatar
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    Okie.

  4. #3
    Senior Member hardcastle's Avatar
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    AND THE WINNER IS!!!! [U]Gojiratoho

    Goj was the only one to actually do a short story.... im disapointed to say the least but what can you do. a BIG thanks to Goj for taking the time out of his weekend to win some FREE bitz!!!

    u can pm me with your address and we can working out the shipping costs.

  5. #4
    Son of LO Uzi-99's Avatar
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    (Y)

    Very nice, bitz well earned!
    "The meat things seek to destroy ourselves. They hunt us as we hunt them but they are weak and uncertain. The inferior flesh will be entirely destroyed, all biomatter consumed. Ourselves will fight to the last, all weak flesh must be devoured."

  6. #5
    Senior Member Frankendoodle65's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hardcastle+Dec 13 2004, 20:54--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(hardcastle &#064; Dec 13 2004, 20:54)</div><div class='quotemain'>AND THE WINNER IS&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; [U]Gojiratoho

    Goj was the only one to actually do a short story.... im disapointed to say the least but what can you do. a BIG thanks to Goj for taking the time out of his weekend to win some FREE bitz&#33;&#33;&#33;

    u can pm me with your address and we can working out the shipping costs.
    [snapback]274489[/snapback]
    [/b]


    heehee, i WAS going to enter, but then i realised how bad my entry was and so didn&#39;t enter it&#33;
    <!--QuoteBegin-Uzi&#045;99
    @Dec 13 2004, 21:16
    (Y)

    Very nice, bitz well earned&#33;
    [snapback]274510[/snapback]
    [/quote]agreed, &#39;t&#39;is a good story, took a while to read, but hey&#33;

    just out of interest, what are the bits Goj has won?
    if you are reading this signature, then you are wasting you're time, and i am wasting my time by writing it, so run along now, jimmy, run along.

  7. #6
    hotspike18
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    Very nice stroy Goji&#33;

  8. #7
    Son of LO Uzi-99's Avatar
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    Tomato-99, for Your convenience:

    Originally posted by hardcastle@ Dec 9 2004, 03:46
    Tons o biomorphs
    Tons o spine
    tones o fleshborers
    tons o devoure
    lots of barbed strangler
    lots of deathspitter
    about 4+ venom cannons
    i think 3-4 pairs of scything talons
    warrior heads ( good for hive nodes )
    flesh hooks
    37 rippers
    some stands also
    "The meat things seek to destroy ourselves. They hunt us as we hunt them but they are weak and uncertain. The inferior flesh will be entirely destroyed, all biomatter consumed. Ourselves will fight to the last, all weak flesh must be devoured."

  9. #8
    Senior Member hardcastle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Uzi&#045;99@Dec 14 2004, 14:58
    Tomato-99, for Your convenience:
    [snapback]275567[/snapback]
    ^^

  10. #9
    Member
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    good story, i didn&#39;t even know there was a contest.
    Win/Draw/Loss
    Seeding Swarm Deathbringer: 16/5/13
    Witch Hunters: Currently in development.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Frankendoodle65's Avatar
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    cheers uzi, but that didn&#39;t sound like much anyway, nothing i want or need, so i don&#39;t regret not entering.
    if you are reading this signature, then you are wasting you're time, and i am wasting my time by writing it, so run along now, jimmy, run along.

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