Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Raiding Iothas - Part 2

Reman tucked his bolter into its holster and sprinted with his squadron, making a beeline towards the heart of the battle, where Orks and Eldar and Chaos were converging.  Even sprinting as he was, Reman could see the Nurgle Bikers roaring past just to his left, the engines almost overpowering the crashing of the entire unit of Terminators moving full throttle, the solid tons of metal hurtling at otherwise impossible speeds.

These three units were to engage not only the Orks, but also the Traitor Guard and the incoming Eldar forces.  The remainder of the strike force still had the original task to accomplish; but now 3 units were to fight not just one army, but three.

The crashing of the Terminators through a stone wall brought Reman back to his own actions, and just in time to hurdle over that very same wall the Terminators had so willingly run straight through.  The bikes dashed through a gap further along and all 3 units found themselves face to face with an immense mob of Boyz already charging towards them.  Taken off guard, it was only the orders of squad champion Lormol that brought his bolter as well as the rest of the squadrons' up in an attempt to repel the horde.  The hail of bolter fire felled just enough of the Boyz to buy time for the Terminators to plow in front of Reman's squad straight into the enemy as well as the bikers to trample others under their vehicles.

Terminator Champion Ciaryn bellowed as he stampeded forward "No one touch the Big Mek!  He's a snotling if I've ever seen one and its time to end his misery".  He swung his shimmering power sword through several boyz in an effort to reach his opponent, but the Mek continually threw underlings behind him as he scrambled to get away, allowing the champion to waste his time mowing through them while the gutless Ork tried to make his getaway.

Reman and his squad did their best from where they could, providing what cover fire was possible but the swirling melee was constantly shifting, and even Terminator armor could be pierced accidentally by explosive bolter rounds.  Blood spewed everywhere around the combat as Bikers crushed Orks under their machines or flung for several dozen feet as Biker Champion Farnyl gave lessons on the use of power fists to the unfortunate Orks.

The Forsakers were relentless, and were slaughtering the mob of Orks when Reman was distracted by something out of the corner of his eye.  Glancing up into the sky he was confronted with a horrifying prophet of the Chaos Daemon Gods.  A monstrous flying Daemon Prince devoted to Nurgle soared hundreds of feet up, swooping down every now and then to grab Orks from farther down the battlefield and dropping them from fatal heights.  Reman wasn't sure whether he was imagining things when he though he could hear the thuds as the poor creatures landed from the sky.  He wasn't able to see the aberration for long however, but even over the roar of the clash not 20 feet from where he stood he could hear its… its terrible presence.  Not just hear it either, there was a sort of malicious feeling, something about the air itself that felt rotten.  Even through his helmet's filters his breathing felt… wrong.

Perhaps he was just inventing it all, maybe dealing with the Nurgle bikers and Terminators was getting to him.  Stranger things had happened in the presence of those cursed by Chaos.  But all the same… he just couldn’t shake the horror he had felt in seeing it.  And perhaps he could hear its deadly bellowing in the distance, and the terrified screaming of Orks.  Those weren't just Orks though, those were Nobz.  And just maybe, the sound of a Boss.  At least, it was deeper than any of the other voices he heard yelling, even its scream more high pitched.  No, it couldn't be.  Such a creature couldn't have come to this planet, there are very few factions among the human followers of Chaos that could ever garner enough favor for such a powerful ally, and those were all off in combats at least 7 systems away and farther in most cases.

Tortured cries brought Reman out of his terrified trance, and suddenly 4 of the Terminators dropped, and 2 of the bikers.  What could have so easily incapacitated these devoted to Nurgle?  The movement to his left was all the warning he had, just enough to throw himself to the ground in desperate search for cover.  One of the eldar pirate vessels glided into position and swung its mighty guns in their direction, away from the melee it had so brutally affected and the Ravager fired every one of its Disintegrator Cannons their direction, barely missing the squad as they instinctively used the ruinous craters for cover from it.  Pinned as he was, he could only watch as the remaining 3 Forsakers faced the remainder of the Ork Mob, still with 14 Boyz or so.

The Orks needed more than that however, for the Virtue Forsakers had faced worse odds before and the fear of death had been drilled out of them long ago, long before they had even abandoned the tyrannical Imperium.  Fighting with every ounce of strength they had left in their gene enhanced bodies they tore through those remaining Boyz and their Mek, cutting them down even as they turned to run.  Terminator Estir was overwhelmed by the mass of bodies flung at him, but his heroism allowed for both Champions Ciaryn and Farnyl to emerge unscathed.  They had only moments to rest however.

Past where they had been fighting the vicious melee now Reman could see the enemy Chaos army advancing on their position, as well as Ork gunners setting up their heavy weapons in preparation to gun them down.

Reman knew he would never forget the undaunted courage these two Champions possessed, who only needed to nod to each other to show they were ready.  They calmly reached up and unstrapped their helmets, tossing them to their sides.  If they were going to die, they would let the enemy see their faces and they would spit in their eyes, show them their unmatched fury.  Snarling they rose as titans, facing certain death and the damnation of the warp.

Gunning his precious motorcycle, Biker Champion Farnyl wordlessly screamed his rage and flew at the Chaos army, straight as an arrow, crying his defiance at their las-guns, their auto-guns, their krak grenades, their bolters, everything they had they threw at him.  Mere inches away from them the storm of fire finally overwhelmed him, his bike crashed on its side and he flew off of it, the impact of his body hitting the wreck of a nearby Chimera forcing it several feet further.  The flaming vehicle would be a tomb devoted to his fearlessness even against such odds.

Roaring mightily, his voice unmatched even by the Ork Boss Terminator Champion Ciaryn dug his feet into the earth, kicking up concrete and leaping over debris, firing his bolter into the air.  Ferocity incarnate, his unshakeable charge brought terror into the eyes of the Ork Lootas, and they unloaded every round they had on him, a veritable wall of gunfire against this one man.  Ciaryn was so much more than a Terminator now though, his soul had been devoted to Nurgle, and even more than that he was a Virtue Forsaker and he fought against it, fighting every step of the way.  He reached the open faced building the greenskins were cowering in and he started to lift himself up to the second floor.  By sheer force of will he pushed through their gunfire, only to be stopped at the last moment when one of the shots managed to ricochet and find a weak spot between his shoulder blades.  Arching his back, with one last convulsion, the great Terminator Champion fell with a thud to the ground, the snarl in his face never fading.

Such was the fate of the Champions Ciaryn and Farnyl, witnessed even while taking cover.  Reman, a standard Marine of the Virtue Forsakers, regained his resolve and shed two tears for his comrades.  They were the only tears he had time for.  Now his own harsh battle for survival would begin.

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