Monday, May 9, 2011

Fraxis Primaris

I found this just now on my computer. I'd written it almost 4 years ago now after a 2v1 battle with Ben against John (the staff guy from yesteryear). It's probably not very good and it could be much more descriptive but its a story narrative of the battle we fought. Well part of the battle at least. Enjoy!

[21 seconds until impact] read the HUD. The cabin, if it could be called that, shook violently as the drop pod tore through the final few kilometres of atmosphere. Vipus had always felt the interior to be more akin to that of a coffin and on any one drop it could well prove to be his own. Streams of data scrolled past his eyes, informing him on the planet’s ‘new’ climate, enemy classifications and their strength, weapon readouts and the status on other units already deployed to the battle. Vipus let the text wash over him, absorbing it as it went with his eidetic memory, he checked the runes representing his fellow battle brothers; all were primed and ready for war.  
[10 seconds until impact]. The cabin became flooded with a deep red glow. It felt as though the red mist had descended upon Vipus in anticipation for the imminent bloodshed. His mind was clear, his breathing steady, it hadn’t changed since he had readied himself in the grav-harness just prior to launch. Both hearts seemed to beat a martial tattoo in his chest. His will was resolute, the Emperor's will be done; nothing would keep him from victory this day. He closed his eyes and then all hell broke lose. Tranquility came to an end.
“Focus fire on the lead carnifex” Sgt. Ferox shouted into his vox bead, “Priority Alpha”. Signals of affirmatives flashed up from the other tank commanders.
“Brother-sergeant Ferox, the Invigilus is reporting massed ranks of xenos advancing on the left flank. They’re requesting additional fire support” said brother Varus.
“Understood brother” Ferox said, opening a vox channel to the landraider. “Invigilus your situation is understood but as it stands I can’t spare a single razorback at this time, we’ve already had one immobilized and are taking to much fire here ourselves. You’re just going to have to do as best you can on your own. May the machine spirit be with you and let the Emperor guide your wrath.”
Veteran Sergeant Ferox stood in the command pulpit of his predator and surveyed the field in front of their position. The xeno scum were still a long way off but the gap was closing fast, too fast for his liking, but he had seen battle against this foe enough to know that time was a luxury you never had with these foul abominations.
“Direct fire on target epsilon” he ordered with a customary curt hand motion. The turret of the tank glided effortlessly to its new target and opened fire with a clean but deadly blast of las-fire. With each blast from the tanks the crimson sky was momentarily brilliantly illuminated, casting strange dancing shadows amongst the ruins.
This place; First Hope had apparently been a quiet mining settlement with a population of around 100 before the invasion. Now there was nothing left save for blasted earth and the skeletal fingers of buildings grasping at the boiling sky. Spores littered the landscape and great towers of organic material rose from the ground. First Hope, indeed the entire world of Fraxis Primaris was changing and would never be the same again. Whatever the outcome of this war, the planet was destined to become a blasted, barren rock either by tyranid design or Imperial hands.
Something large moved just beyond the remains of the ore processing plant. Ferox locked the target into the weapons system and relayed the fire order to the gunner. “Recalibrate all batteries on my mark” he ordered and the lascannons realigned again.

With a thunderous roar and the screaming of pressure seals being released the drop pod came down. The mighty blast doors fell away and crashed to the ground. Barbed spines peppered the hull of the drop pod and dug deep into the armour as Vipus, bolter immediately in hand, led his squad from the transport into deployment pattern gamma. More enemy fire came spitting at them from somewhere beyond the ruins ahead as a voice cut in across the vox-net.
“Glad you could join us brother” came the familiar tone of Captain Idaeus, “I hope it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience for you to leave the comfort of the Holy Deliverance
“My apologies for the late arrival” replied Vipus in good humour, “our drop pod must have taken a less direct route to the ground”. Growing up together and decades of hard fighting alongside each other had given rise to a strong bond of friendship between the two battle-brothers and while Vipus had yet to attain the rank of Captain, both knew that day would come soon enough.
Idaeus chuckled, “well it’s good to have you here at last brother”. There was a short squeal of static across the vox-net before Idaeus spoke again. “And now to business, the xeno are in full advance and will be upon our lines soon enough. Your squad must hold the right flank and provide support for our stricken razorback”. More static cut across the vox. “See to it that the flank holds brother, hold your ground and dig in. Courage and honour.”
“Courage and honour” replied Vipus as he set about relaying the commands to the rest of his squad.
He quickly scanned left and right, there was little or no cover to be found at all. To his right lay a shallow riverbed, to his left, some low stone walls and the razorback they had been tasked with protecting. To the front Vipus could see a stretch of open ground and then more ruins. Beyond that, the tyranids.
There was nothing for it, “Squad, hold. Pattern extremis” he ordered, “controlled fire at the lead elements of the xeno, direct your fire at the little ones, and let the tanks take the larger ones”.
Another drop pod slammed into the ground to Ferox’s left. “That was too close” he thought, “what the hell was tactical command doing sending the pods down directly on their position?” Ferox glanced momentarily at the sky, wondering perhaps if any more were inbound on their position. From the vox chatter that he was hearing across the command net there were drop pods landing up and down the line like this. Rather than press any further it had been deemed more prudent to strengthen the line and reinforce right on top of the existing squads. Close tactical support was one thing, but if that meant having one of those pods land on his predator, well that was something else again.
The closer the tyranids got the darker the sky seemed to become, Ferox’s tanks had been scoring hit after hit, yet still the tide of chittering snapping jaws and thundering lumbering beasts came pouring forward. At least now he had tactical support to protect his tanks. He could see brother-sergeant Vipus deploying on his right and the two veteran squads holding their ground in the centre just to his left. They fired their bolters with practiced regimen and with such precision that Ferox was always in awe at their skill. By the Emperor those hellfire rounds are inflicting bloody murder on these cursed things he thought.
“Left flank closing in”
“Contact front”
“Enemy visible and in range”
“Multiple targets in all sectors” came the voices from the other commanders across the vox. The storm was about to break.
“Say again brother Julius?” repeated Vipus, surely he hadn’t heard that correctly.
“Squad Solinus has been killed, there are none left, we are moving to intercept and cover, requesting your support brother” Julius said again into his vox. His five man squad had been sent down in the second wave along with squad Solinus to secure the western sector of the line. Solinus and his marines had moved into some ruins to gain a better firing point. No sooner had they begun firing than in the blink of an eye a hail of shredding barbs and corrosive acid had quite literally swept through them and left nothing but sliced and butchered pieces of flesh and armour. The ruins where they once stood were now awash with blood.
A roar of fury of anger and of anguish resounded across the vox net as Julius and his squad charged to avenge their fallen brethren and the same hatred rose in Vipus as they butchered the last of the tyranids assaulting their position. Carapaces cracked and gouts of acidic blood poured as xeno flesh was torn asunder by the massed ranks of bolter fire from squad Vipus. Only 2 runes blinked red on Vipus’s HUD, his battle-brothers were wounded badly but still alive. He glanced around and saw apothecary Venatio working quickly to save the life of Daceus, the narthecium whirring and cutting as he tended to the wounds.
“Will he live brother?” Vipus asked kneeling down next to the fallen marine.
“That he will, though he has suffered a grievous abdominal wound he will fight again” replied Venatio not looking up from his work.
He nodded and left the apothecary to his duties. Vipus' armour was scarred and eroded in numerous locations from the acidic spray the xeno emitted. His right eye lense was damaged and all he registered was static. He quickly removed his helmet and mag-locked it to his belt. Instantly his heightened physiology began working to compensate for the hostile environment around him. Noxious gases that would normally have killed a man inside of a few seconds merely registered a slight irritant to him.
“Brother Sergeant” came Idaeus’ voice again across the vox, this time more urgent and without the same humour as before, “you are to reposition to sector beta three five and strengthen brother Julius and his squad.”
“Understood Captain” Vipus acknowledged “we are en route”.
Without his helmet blocking out the surrounding noise, the battle roared in Vipus’s ears. The persistent crack and boom from the lascannons drowned out the hammering of bolters and the scream of the alien weaponry. From further down the line he could see but a handful of veteran marines holding the line against a seemingly endless tide of snapping writhing creatures. Squad Vipus ran past the debris of a wrecked razorback, a massive hole punched through the front armour plating, thick black smoke pouring from within.
As he past he glanced sidelong at another veteran, standing defiant, resolute and alone; power axe wielded in both hands, carving through ranks of xeno with an almost graceful fluid motion. Blood drenched the once blue armour of this mighty Ultramarine, his white helmet removed; the warrior was cutting a bloody swath with total perfection. Time seemed to stand still as Vipus ran by, images of a time long ago flashed through his mind, of a time when the Emperor himself had strode the battlefields of the galaxy, before the fall. Some unknown feeling seemed to fill Vipus’s soul at that moment, it wasn’t pride, though it could have been described as such, it was something more, something deeper than that, he couldn’t quite place it. Destiny perhaps…
Then time snapped back and flowed normally again, shouts of bestial ferocity filled the air and they were finally face to face with the xeno. Vipus thumbed the activation rune on his chainsword and felt his choler rise, it was time for them to pay in blood, time for the tyranids to know the full force of the Ultramarine’s might.

1 comment:

  1. that's pretty good! like the beginning. straight into action. very black library.

    'corrosive acid had quite literally swept through them' - quite literally, very alex!