Friday, July 20, 2012

Operation Iron Defense: Conclusion

Enemies are closing in on both sides, casualties are high.  Is there any way for the Tau to triumph?
Vyk'tos was devastated by the hole that had just erupted into her life.  One of her oldest and best friends had just thrown himself into hand to hand combat, not only ignoring the Tau mantra of ranged combat only but also committing veritable suicide.  What was she to do without him?  Who would she confide in, joke with, talk to?  Who else could fill the void that now existed where once Mar'tel had been?

One thing was clear in her mind.  Those Orks were going to PAY.  EVERY.  LAST.  ONE.  Switching her rifle onto Auto she turned her sights upon the Nobz coming down the canyon and unleashed her fury, expending the entire clip in ten seconds of sustained fire, the sizzling blue bolts of energy flying into the ranks of the Nobz and killing several as her squad stood dumbfounded at her fury.  The Nobz were shocked by the sudden onslaught and nearly tripped over themselves before they roared their anger and dived towards her position.  The Veteran fire warriors rose to stand in front of them… And then were almost all blown away by a tremendous explosion.  One of the loudest boom's she had ever heard echoed throughout the landscape, shaking the earth and sending rocks tumbling from the cliff tops.  The Battle Wagon had fired.

Shakily the Fire Warriors and their drones stood up.  Only four of the twelve had survived, plus the Ethereal.  Encouraged by the murder that had just been inflicted upon these veteran warriors the Nobz charged into their ranks, shaking off the hesitant fire as the Fire Warriors regrouped.  Just as they were upon them a fusillade of shots erupted into their midst, slaughtering all of them but the Warboss and a painboy who was bleeding badly, kept together only by the random needles he continually was jabbing into himself and some bandages torn from his already rudimentary armor.  The Warboss continued on alone as the Pain boy fled back towards the canyon.

Her rage stymied slightly by the fruits of her labors, she turned back towards the storm boyz, ready to bring her gun to bear as another clip was slammed in place.  Shockingly she could see Mar'tel limping away from them as fast as he could.  Only three of the five storm boyz were alive, but they were roaring for a fight and they ignited their jump packs and flew right next to her position, where she shot them all to oblivion with three two round bursts of medium power.  Holes appeared in their chests and head, green ichor seeping out of the entrance and exit wounds as they sunk to the ground lifeless.  And then the worst happened.

The fleeing painboy had assaulted into Mar'tel.  Unaware of the pain boy, he had his back turned to it and was making his way back towards the ridge he had been positioned upon originally in an effort to put himself back into use and placing markerlights everywhere.

Vyk'tos felt helpless as she watched, her ability to stop the pain boy nonexistent as her gun needed two more seconds to cool down from the bursts that had been fired.  So she shouted to him.

She shouted her rage, her hopes, her fears, her need for Mar'tel, her very being in one quick wordless noise.  Turning he had just a second of realization before the painboy slid a knife coated in poison into his chest.

Vyk'tos sank to her knees helplessly.  After everything that he had just survived, everything that they had gone through… she entered a state of shock, an abyss of blackness that she couldn't climb out of.  She was told later of what happened on the other side of the battle and after she slipped into unconsciousness: the anti-tank specialist had arrived from the skies just after Mar'tel being stabbed by the Pain boy and had exploded the Battle wagon in a great volcano of fire, the explosion deafening the Tau for several minutes and obliterating chunks of the landscape and those Orks that had occupied that space before; the pathfinders had arrived and did a suicide run into the flank of the imperial forces with their tank, driving off several teams of lascannons and even some of the fabled ultramarines before they themselves had been obliterated as the entirety of the army turned upon them for revenge, a sacrifice made for the Greater Good.  The Hammerhead had been operated valiantly and fearlessly, withstanding round after round of anti-tank fire from nearly all of the imperial force from the very start before finally being forced to resort to tank shocking due to its weapons being torn off by a lucky las cannon shot.  A unit of terminators had deployed and was constantly hampered by two squads of battlesuits before finally being destroyed just before they reached the Tau lines.  At that point the imperial guard fled the battle field as they had already suffered a great deal of losses, even their Leman Russ Vanquisher had been obliterated.  The rest of the marines were then swept up for without the support of the guard they did not have the fire power to deal with the Tau who had just the specialized weaponry necessary to bring about their end.

The Orks too had been turned back.  The numerous Boyz and Nobz charging straight towards them had slowly been dealt with, one group by a time.  The lone warboss that had inspired such fear in Vyk'tos had taken one railgun shot and that had been the end of him.  A deff dread that had rushed into another unsuspecting battlesuit squad had taken another railgun.  The warboss that had charged the veterans had dispatched all of them and then found an honour blade driven through his chest as the Ethereal slew him in the act.

This was a victory for the tau, but one at a great price.  6 battlesuits had been destroyed, 5 of their operators killed, 2 gravely injured.  Kroot had thrown themselves into the enemy to protect the Tau but found themselves faltering in the fury of the green menace despite their own prowess with their knives and claws.  And Mar'tel… she mourned him still, for all that he had stood for and done.  If only there was some way that she could grace his memory with some act of her own…

She received a notification through a personal channel telling her to meet a friend, Gilc'yre, near the mess hall.  She arrived and he took her by the hand and began to lead her through the halls.

"Where are we going?"
"Just wait"

They continued in silence for several minutes through the winding grey halls of the ship in orbit she had gone back to with her squad.  Finally they arrived at the infirmary.

"Hey there.  Did you miss me?"

Mar'tel asked her weakly from his bed.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff! Very well written and I liked the cliffhangers at the end of each one.