Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Operation Iron Defense: Unexpected Guests

The Tau receive an unexpected and unwanted set of visitors...
Just as Mar'tel and his unit turned towards the canyon Vyk'tos's headset became overrun with numerous reports giving all sorts of mangled information.  After some twenty seconds of audio chaos some clear messages came through.  Vyk'tos gasped at what she heard, almost falling in shock as she leaned against the dusty walls of the ruins she was camped in.  She looked at Mar'tel and asked him one question.  He nodded.

"Repeat, a large contingency of Imperial Guard and Ultramarines are on the move to our north west and headed straight for us.  They have proved to be beligerent and must be dealt with cautiously but violently.  Use all necessary force.  Again, the Adeptus Astartes have made planet fall and are coming towards your position.  Be advised, the Ultramarines are highly dangerous and may be accompanied by several Leman Russ tanks and Terminators"

This was the worst news that could possibly have arrived.  The Orks would probably be coming through the canyon to the east any minute now, and the forces of the Imperium had just arrived.  The Tau had come expecting to fight only one foe, they did not have nearly the numbers to deal with both at once.  True reinforcements were on their way.  Displays upon her helmet's visual feed projected the estimated time of arrival for a nearby lieutenant of My'lok and his bodyguard, a piranha, additional fire warriors, and a devilfish.  Other Kroot and Pathfinders on scouting missions elsewhere were making all haste towards their flanks in an effort to help from their position.  Even a specialized battlesuit designed to take out the most well armored tanks would be arriving shortly.  But all of that might not prove enough.  Even with them they were barely equal to one of the armies heading for them.

Vyk'tos realized that she was panicking.  There was nothing she could do about the situation.  If they failed here, all of the Tau upon the planet would be doomed as the Orks or the Imperium  would dive right into the rest of the army and sweep them away.  The only option was to hold here.  Retreat was not an option.  For the Greater Good they would make a stand here.  Although the Tau rarely fought to protect ground against overwhelming odds (if Vyk'tos was remembering her tactical education correctly) there were no other suitable options that would provide any chance for success in the near future.  So it was that the Tau would dig in.  And they would pay dearly for their lives with the blood of the enemies that could not accept the Greater Good.

Taking a deep breath she opened up a channel with her fire warriors.  Stick to the plan.  Deal with the Orks that came through the canyon and pray that the battlesuits that had originally been posted upon the upper levels of the ruins could hold off the Imperial forces.  Suddenly she could hear a voice with power and wisdom, a voice that spoke softly and clearly to her.  She knew he was talking to her.

An Ethereal strode next to her position, flanked by a unit of veteran Fire Warriors given the task of protecting the Ethereal no matter the cost.  They would give their own lives for him, as any Tau would in the presence of one.  As the Ethereal spoke, Vyk'tos felt herself being filled with a new purpose.  They could hold back both of those armies, they were the Tau!  They had won countless victories despite overwhelming odds before against all sorts of foes!  The Adeptus Astartes were terrible to behold, but they were not unstoppable.  With railgun, and plasma rifle, and pulse rifle they could be brought down.  The Damocles  Crusade had proven that.  Several chapters of Space Marines had been involved in that conflict, and none of them had succeeded.  This was a test of the Tau, a chance to prove the worth of the Greater Good.  And they were going to surpass the expectations that high Command had given them and would repel everything thrown their way.

With renewed vigor and strength, Vyk'tos and her Fire Warriors positioned themselves upon the walls, holding their weapons with strength and fortitude that had not existed even when they were fully rested and newly deployed.  Taking her place at a former window, the glass upon the floor having lost its sheen from months of dust and almost entirely buried, she watched through the narrow hole for any movement.  Already she could hear the sound of plasma and missile fire as battlesuits engaged forces to the west.  The loud crack and boom of railguns being fired resounded through her ear slits, even through the noise dampening helmet.  She swung her head around at a particularly loud crack and noticed a Hammerhead gliding along and firing into a foe blocked from view because of a cliff, blocking the Imperial forces from a direct route to the Tau position.  Another choke point existed, there was hope yet for the Tau.

Explosions were audible to the west as some vehicle's fuel line ignited and the screams of human's rang through the air until they were abruptly silenced seconds later, accompanied with the sounds of gun shots.  That would be the Imperial Guard officers disciplining the men that would not be quiet.  Then another explosion could be heard to the east.  There were no sounds of screaming this time, only the loud roaring of angry, guttural voices invading the ears of the Tau.  The Orks were coming, en masse.

Mar'tel gave a quick pic-feed for the rest of the army to view for what was coming.  A looted wagon had just exploded, thanks to the battlesuit squad on the same ridge as them, on the other side of it, protected from view of the green skins until they were ready to fire.  Three trukks were roaring towards the Tau, followed by several mobs of Ork Boyz.  Two Kannons manned by dwarfish grots were also visible upon another looming cliff.  Deff koptas and storm boyz were also charging towards them, taking a more direct path and diving towards the tau and ignoring the intervening cliffs.

So much for that choke point.  Lets hope the Orks can be dealt with before the humans get to us.  This isn't going to be pretty.

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