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Old 02 May 2010, 00:49   #3 (permalink)
Colonel Marksman
Shas'Vre
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Eastern Fringe
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Default Re: Alliance by a Thread

CHAPTER TWO

At the urging of the fellow Elati warriors, the Alaitoc Pathfinders were left to guard the stone tablets from the Mon’Keigh in the shadows of the ruins. It was determined that they would be left alone while the Elati put up a distraction against the rest of the enemy.

Alas, as soon as the Elati finished preparation for the surprise assault, the Imperial Fists charged head-strong towards the stolen Eldar runes required. There was little anyone could do. A decision had to be made.

“We could go back and save them,” the younger Farseer suggested.

The ten Dire Avengers with him looked to Farseer Sevurak for the judging word. Sevurak scoured the future for possibilities, blocking out the painful battle and scenes of death. Blood was everywhere, and slaughter was great in a rescue attempt.

“We can slow their advance later,” Sevurak noted quietly. “Right now,” he looked on to the direction north inside the Wave Serpent, “the casket that was left behind can be retrieved.”

No one dared question his word. It was final. The other Farseer looked out towards the direction of the Pathfinders. This did not seem right. Was it really the way to be? He swallowed his question about stolen tablets.



The Pathfinders hunkered beneath the dust of the snow-covered ruins, their chilled breath hidden under their heavy, white cloaks. Assured long-range bombardments were not enough; the Imperial Fists plunged straight for the Pathfinders. Bringing to bear on them was Lysander and a bodyguard of five Terminators inside a Land Raider Redeemer. On the flanks of the mighty and ancient vehicle were three Vindicators and behind them three Rhinos with tactical Marines.

The Space Marines did not even stop to shoot. Dozer blades shoved trees and shrubs aside heaving snow to the sides as they hammered through what was believed to be a defensive back-up plan. Nothing held back save a single combat squad to guard the casket.

The Pathfinders knew that even if they could lift the multi-ton stone tablets, they would not get far in running, and held their ground, attempting to gun down the two Land Speeders accompanying the force.

But to the horror of the Alaitoc Pathfinders, the Elati vehicles were not coming to their aid. Neither did they respond through long-range communications or establish a psychic link. They were moving away from the Pathfinders on a wide flank, and the Imperial Fists cared not.

On death ground, they held in for a fight of life and death. The Terminators came. The Flamestorm cannon grazed them, and Lysander jumped into the rubble to find the camouflaged enemies.

The second group watched from behind, resisting the temptation to flee or move into the fight as the kin of the first wave leapt upon the Terminators. One brave soul jumped on the back of one and fired his rifle directly into his eyepiece, blasting his head into shattered bone and sloppy flesh. But it was not enough to stop the onslaught of the Terminators. The few that remained retreated.

Lysander moved his men deeper into the rubble. “Watch for the flashes of weapons and the sounds of gunfire!”

As if on cue, the second group of Pathfinders fired into the Terminators, but only fell one and wounded Lysander. As the hero instinctively gripped his leg, he caught motion in his peripheral vision. He turned to his left to see a Falcon screaming towards them. Lysander lifted himself on the ruins of the frozen building and tried to attack the Falcon as it came in.

The Fire Dragons exited, rapidly running through the snow, but they were too late. The Terminators that remained slaughtered their way through the second group of Pathfinders. Feeling betrayed, the seven remaining Pathfinders did not stay and fled the battle.

The Fire Dragons glared at Lysander, charged up their weapons and in unison with the Falcon’s Missile Launcher, Shuriken Cannon, and Pulse Laser, hammered deathly blows into Lysander. His head blasted open. His chest burst. And the mighty Fist of Dorn clattered to the ground as his arm went limp.

The Imperial Fists, now driven by intense anger, turned on the group and concentrated their attack into them to save the hero. But little could be done. The Harlequins that appeared in the battle had slowed the advance of the Imperial Fists in a desperate attempt to keep the stone tablets out of their hands.

But it was all for naught. All heroes that engaged in a distraction were slain.


“Was this your prediction and idea?” The Farseer finally asked.

Sevurak looked across the way at the second Farseer.

“To sacrifice the Pathfinders and Harlequins so that we can secure the casket? Alaitoc will not…” he looked at the elder leader.

Sevurak glared.

“It was in the best interest,” he finished.


The Fire Dragons and their Falcon, spearheading the assault, vaporized the combat squad guarding the casket. Now attacking from behind, the Imperial Fists struggled to redirect the force of their attack, splitting up in a chaotic, uncoordinated counter-attack against their own lines.

A full squad of Space Marines came to protect the casket, attacking the Fire Dragons and the Falcon. In a twist of events, the Falcon pushed the Marines who misjudged the daring swiftness of the pilot in the ruins of their defensive position. They left the battlefield, unwilling to contest with it and unwilling to face a battle going against Lysander’s original plans.

Leaving the security of the stone tablets to the combat squad and Terminators, the Space Marines turned around and pressed hard to defend the casket. The swift Eldar vehicles formed an impenetrable blockade. Few remaining Fire Dragons fired upon one of the Vindicators as they fled the field, melting the barrel and damaging the targeting system before they were gunned down by a surprise attack from the Land Raider’s Flamestorm Cannon.

The Land Raider made way for the blockade, but could not push through the ruins hard enough.


The two Farseers exited the Wave Serpent now hovering over the casket. The Dire Avengers moved quickly to load it in. The Farseers, guided and fortuned, attacked a Vindicator coming it view behind the high ruins. Just as it fired a shell, a Singing Spear slashed into it, prematurely detonating the projectile and wrecking the Vindicator.

Sevurak made way into the side of the second Rhino as the younger Farseer bravely attack the front, and together, managed to stop its advance.


The Marines were closing in, but they were too late. As the ramp was closing on the Wave Serpent, the Farseers climbed up the Rhino as one of the Falcons passed by and jumped in. They were able to make their escape. To prevent the Mon’Keigh from obtaining the stone tablets, the second Falcon shot its missiles and Shuriken Cannon into them as the Pulse Laser was smashed by a hit from the third Vindicator.

The Imperial Fists were robbed of their revenge and of any consolation prize. The Elati were victorious, winning the battle in the name of Alaitoc—but what can be said of their fallen, allied kin?
__________________
If the Eldar see battle as a symphony,
Then the Elati have mastered a solo piece,
Of every instrument.


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