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Old 27 Aug 2008, 21:09   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 9,807
Default Entry F - The Battle for Durin IV

Swirling madness assaulted the psyker’s senses, the warps power coursing through his veins. Quickly he constructed a mental shield, clearing his thoughts as the first of what would be many daemons probed the edge of his mind. But as suddenly as it had came the daemon vanished. Everything was peaceful for a moment, the warps power growing steadily in him. Then from nowhere a black cloud punctured his mind, throwing his conscious thought into turmoil, before crushing every last spec of resistance. A gasp of fear never left the psyker’s mouth.

Solaris watched the astronavigator collapse to the ground in surreal amazement, as his mind was destroyed. Seconds later the cause became apparent, a black shroud puncturing his formidable shield and went for the kill, attacking his mind. Solaris reacted quickly dropping out of the warp and restrained his powers, shutting off his psychic hood. As he did this he fell from his meditation position a metre above the ground onto the tiles, shattering them, before gingerly picking himself up, his massive blue camouflaged power armour humming in the silent room. Thirty other psykers were scattered all over the floor, their minds destroyed. They had all been crushed by the black cloud, and if the cause was what Solaris thought, they were probably better off then the survivors. The devourer was coming.

Solaris scanned out form the Chapel-Barracks at the second company assembled in front of him. 100 Marines. That would be enough to take an entire sector in normal conditions. They would be lucky to survive the Tyranids however. The second company had been tasked with retrieving the geneseed and holding it against all costs against the Tyranids. Solaris activated his communications array.
‘Marines, we have been charged with evacuating the chapter’s geneseed. We leave in half an hour, ready your weapons and collect as many rounds as you can. We are soon leaving.’
He shut it off quickly and turned to the Captain of the second company, wielding a gleaming sword – crackling with unreal energy and a drum magazine bolter. Captain Causen.
‘How do you propose we protect the geneseed? We can’t hold off for ever against the Tyranids and we can’t use warpspace. What options do we have?’ he asked.
‘I will address them when the time comes,’ Solaris replied, deep in thought, ‘Now we must move out. Prepare the Rhinos’

With a crash the Rhino entered the clearing, to behold a tremendous bunker, 8 heavy bolter emplacements covering the front arc. Laser defences stood magnificently on top, guarding against the sky. The undergrowth had doubled size since they set out from the barracks and was still growing – the first sign of a Tyranid assault. More biomass for harvesting. It also had another use however; it would prevent the station from being defended effectively. Solaris turned to Causen, his scarred cheek glowing in the blue hue from the controls.
‘Would you happen to have any pyro-bombs?’ he asked, a grim smile playing across his face.
‘I think we could spare a few…’ a humoured reply snapped back.

Minutes later Solaris sat within the control room watching the forest burn away, leaving a barren, lifeless plateau in its wake. Spot fires burned brightly against the black charcoal, the flames flickering gleefully in the wind. He turned to the tactical-map of the station and scanned it for any easily defendable positions.
The station was divided into four levels, the middle two split into two halves. One other factor that interested Solaris however was the fact that there were two Shadow Guard companies on station. They would be very useful if everything worked out as planned. However the sheer size of the station took him by surprise, each level having at least a kilometre of ground space, with several side rooms and facilities for anything. The perfect set up to defend against large numbers. However no-one had stood against the Tyranids in the past. It would have to do. He turned to the communications officer sitting at the nearby desk and addressed him.
‘Officer Revues, can you activate a satellite link to Chapter Master Orion?’
‘Yes, sir,’ came the quick, crisp, military disciplined reply.
After several seconds, Solaris communications array burst to life.
‘Solaris. I take it you have reached the bunker safely?’ Orion’s growl of a voice burst over the line.
‘Yes sir. Have you prepared the polar fortress for the defence?’
‘Yes, it is ready and every avenue has been accounted for – except for when we run out of ammunition. Do you think you can hold the Tyranids off?’
‘If it can be done anywhere it is here. However, I think we too will run out of ammunition. I have however assessed a few methods for saving the geneseed. I could shunt it into the earth – protecting it from them – or find a way to launch it into space with a homing beacon.’
‘Both sound risky – I would rather another approach.’
‘I am still working on it,’ Solaris replied, deep in thought.
He had managed to perform something amazing with his psychic powers once, but it had almost cost him his life. He could only consider it if all other options had been exhausted.
‘Well good luck,’ Orion ventured.
‘What are you talking about? I make my own luck.’ Solaris replied, defiantly.

Solaris disconnected his comms, a smile crossing his lips.
‘Commander Ford, your Guardsmen will cover the east wing, prepare for them at level 2, and stock as much ammunition as you can. I will send Marines to assist you.’
Quickly he probed the warp, for the shadow which had hung there earlier. It had ceased to exist, passed over them like a wavefront. This could mean only one thing. The devourer would be upon them shortly. The Tyranids needed to lift the shadow for their hive mind to work uncorrupted. It was not however a wave front, but the eye of the storm. There was less time left than he had expected. Quickly he pushed into the warp further and drew its power, looking into the feature.

A creature stormed down the grey, seamless corridor, its black and purple chitinous armour shining malignantly, clashing with its bone white teeth. An organically shaped device had grown out of the end of its hand. Suddenly it let out a hiss, as it saw its prey at the end of the corridor; a hulking figure crouched with a strange device in its arms. A flash of bright light erupted from the device and the creature collapsed; half of its reptilian torso missing. The battle had begun.

‘Fire!’ Solaris called out and the four marines surrounding him braced themselves before jamming down the triggers on their heavy bolters.
A hailstorm of bolts left the weapons muzzles, kicking back in recoil, but the superhumans held their guns steady. The Tyranids paid for each inch of ground gained, blood running slick across the floor. But they were gaining ground, inch by inch as the corpses piled high. Then one of the bolters jammed, a shell failing to enter the chamber. The steady rhythm fell out of time. The reptiles took the chance given to them, charging forward with renewed vigour. They gained ground quickly now, and it would take only seconds for the position to become compromised. Solaris drew on the warp, probing the inside of the bolter with air particles. Quickly he met resistance and used the same force to dislodge the blockage, causing the bolter to spring back to life. A cataclysmic roar echoed in the distance, shaking the grenades on his belt.
'Not good...' Solaris muttered, as the steady, rather than rapid advance began again, the shrieks of wounded Tyranids drowning out his voice.
Something hadn't liked him using the warp. Something big. He smiled, time to cause some havoc. So he tapped into the warp again, drawing a ball of flames from nothing. His shields crackled from the heat as the inferno grew, becoming brighter. The blue paint blistered and blackened bubbling in the heat as his visor adjusted to compensate for the brightness. But nothing challenged his reign over the warp energy, the daemons held back by the shadow. Soon it would be too large to sustain.
The Tyranids were stunned for a second, not expecting such a light. The hive mind however urged them on, charging up the corridor at an increasing speed. Quickly he hurled the fire ball down the corridor, which expanded in the rich oxygen. It engulfed everything in an inferno of warp energy. As the haze cleared nothing but charred remains were revealed in its wake, charcoaled ichor now covering the floor. Nothing stirred throughout the 100m long corridor. Nothing was left to stir.
Suddenly, another bone shaking roar echoed throughout the corridor before a swarm of upright reptiles entered. Each of the eight foot tall, chitinous reptilians charged forwards, all four limbs posed threateningly. The heavy bolters began to blaze away again, the shells detonating on their armour, bringing the beasts down. But the Warriors waded through the lethal haze and quickly advanced on the five Space Marines. Within seconds they had closed to within range.
‘Swords!’ Solaris yelled, hefting his sword-staff into the air.
Blue fire coursed along its length, sparking in the air. A force weapon, linked psychically with Solaris. It was capable of filling the victim’s body with warp energy – with deadly consequences. Simultaneously the other four Marines drew chainswords and bolt pistols. Then in the half a second before the Tyranids struck, Solaris tapped into the warp, heightening his senses.
He leapt out of the Marines at an unimaginable speed, his blade embedding itself in the first Warrior’s chest plate, throwing it to the ground. As he recovered the blade swung in a circular arc, the heads of two more Warriors falling to the floor. He continued his fluid motion swiping out at the next warrior, which succeeded in blocking him with one of its blades. It roared in savage fury for a second before a great arc of lightning exited Solaris’s hand, slaying the beast. The remainder Warriors approached more carefully, methodically, trying to flank him in the narrow corridor. Their caution was rewarded with a bolter shell in the skull each, fired by the vanguard Marines. Suddenly the crowd of remaining Warriors charged towards the exit and the endlessly milling throng outside the fortress. It seemed the hive had taken a new strategy. A second later, this plan became all too apparent. A huge reptilian the size of a tank, with four blades each the size of a battle cannon entered the corridor. Its skull was long and reptilian, sharp teeth protruding from its open mouth, and its acidic saliva dropped to the floor, sizzling on the metal. It stood ominously, silhouetted in the light for a moment before leaping forward at an incredible speed.
‘Charges!’ Solaris called out, taking a defensive pose with his blade out, readied like a war pike.
But the charge ended suddenly. The entire middle portion of the corridor collapsed, blocking the entrance. Solaris turned back to the Marines and signalled to regroup.

A circle etched on a metal floor, strange runes highlighted along its edges. A chanting voice filled his ears.
‘Mois retas raqem ies. Mois retas raqem ies.’

Solaris’s eyes widened. It was an ancient dialect, one of which he had once known. The meaning slipped through his fingers however, like grains of sand falling through a grate. The voice was familiar – he had heard it before. It could have been anyone – or anything. Quickly he probed the warp again. The Tyranids would be through in only minutes. But they would be facing more Marines this time. Many more.

Solaris stood, waiting. The Tyranids would be upon them within a minute. The room provided the perfect place to slaughter the xenos. Big and square with doorways on opposite ends. They would rush out of the door, into the crosshairs of over 30 bolters, in addition to the original four heavy bolters. Nothing but the strongest of creatures could wade through that amount of fire. Seconds later a ripple coursed through the warp followed by the sound of scattering rubble. Something big had broken through the rubble – and it would probably tear through the Guardsmen lines. Solaris made his decision, leaping from the safety of the gun line.
‘Solaris! What are you doing?’
‘Saving our brothers!’
He replied, before entering the doorway and rounding the next corner. A huge beast like the one before was waiting for him, and immediately a huge talon slammed into the wall near his skull. The thing must have been 10 feet tall, struggling to fit in the corridor. Solaris drew his swordstaff, ramming it into the creature’s chitinous chest, the blade sinking into the rock-hard material. The creature, a Carnifex, stared back into his eyes with a surreal intelligence and pulled backwards. The blade was torn from his grip, before it scythed forward with one of its talons. Solaris ducked the blow, as it slammed into the wall behind him with a resounding thud, and while in an alert state of awareness, leapt onto the beast’s shoulder. He drew a bolt pistol with his free hand, a quick succession of blasts assured. They did nothing but enrage the beast, detonating uselessly on its shell. It flailed wildly at Solaris, before bucking him off. Solaris hit the ground hard, before sliding between the beast’s legs, letting off yet more shells into its abdomen, failing to cause any lasting injury. It fulfilled its purpose however, the beast stepping backwards which revealed Solaris’s staff within arms length which he grasped, sending a current of warp energy through Carnifex’s body. This over powered its mind, crushing any mental resistance which was offered and the Carnifex collapsed to the ground, limp. Quickly Solaris retrieved his blade, and turned towards the oncoming horde, realising his folly. A Gaunt was already soaring through the air towards him. It detonated, spraying purple ichor over his battle scarred armour. Solaris quickly spun again, spotting Causen in the distance, bolt pistol raised, still smoking from its previous shot.
‘Nice theatrics, now if you wouldn’t mind returning to the relative safety of our gun line.’ Causen stated, his bolt pistol bucking again.
‘Sure…’ Solaris snapped back, leaping along the corridor his usual witty remark having fled his mind.
Solaris rounded the corner and back through the doorway, the rhythmic beat of Gaunts scurrying behind him intensifying.
‘Hit the ground!’ Causen called out, and Solaris leapt forward, flattening himself to the ground.
The amassed bolters blazed to life as one, the rounds tearing down the emerging Gaunts in a flurry of bolts. Quickly, Solaris picked himself up and drew his bolt pistol, crouching at the front of the gun-line. He waited, the Marines more than a match for the number of Gaunts that could fit through the doorway in a second. Numbers meant nothing in a tight space… except when you ran out of ammunition. Quickly the bodies piled up, creating makeshift barricades. The gun-line began to move back as the Tyranids were protected more from the bolts. But it would not assist for long. Suddenly, the tide of Gaunts became a tide of Warriors, which continued to wade through the bolter fire – taking considerably more shells to bring down. Solaris scanned the enemy force his bolt pistol on single shot, placing shell after shell into the xenos heads, guided by his enhanced warp senses. But the horde continued to gain ground on them and the gun line continued to move back taking an enormous toll on the enemy.
‘Sergeant Garrous, how is your defence proceeding?’
Causens voice spoke over the command frequency
‘The Guard have a circular gun line set up, and held the Gaunts back effectively, but we have been relying on heavy weapons since the Warriors began to push us back.’
‘Estimated casualties, Garrous?’
‘40 Guardsmen lost to the Gaunts, I think it was the fleshborers…’
A shout echoed in the background before Garrous spoke rapidly into his comms.
‘Causen, a Carnifex just hit our front line. I have to break communications.’
Solaris looked up just as another tank-like reptilian entered the room, straightening up to its full height. Its two predominant limbs hefted mighty claws, quite capable of crushing a tank, and the bottom two once again were huge blade shaped talons. It let out an ear-splitting screech before charging at the line of Shadow Hunters. It reached them at an amazing speed, backhanding the first Marine, cracking its adamantine chest plate and hurling it into the wall. The Marines retaliated – drawing knifes and leapt at the beast, slashing at its carapace. The Carnifex ignored the assault, lashing out at three of the marines with three different limbs, puncturing armour, flesh and bone. Their attack was hopeless. Solaris struck out with the warp, knocking the marines away from the beast while drawing his blade.
‘Retreat into the next room Marines!’ Causen’s voice boomed over the intercom.
Solaris lashed out with the blade, slicing clean through one of the creature’s limbs, a huge claw clattering to the floor. It screamed in pain, its tail whipping around at an amazing speed, hurling Solaris through the air and into the wall with a resounding thud. His swordstaff clattered to the ground and his vision blurred, as he felt the cut in his stomach clotting immediately. But in seconds the Carnifex was bearing down on him, talons raised, poised for the kill. Solaris drew all the power he could muster and sent a concussive shockwave at the beast, which shrugged it off. The blade came down quickly. Solaris drew his terminal breath.
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