Monday, October 20, 2014

Short story submission for local tournament competition

10 seconds...
Upper stratosphere cleared, wind sheer effect on pod increased to .75fps. Trajectory altered, recalculated route will result in minor impact with ground structure. Hazard level: minimal.
9 seconds...
Squad status: green light ten by ten. Armour machine spirits at maximum efficiency and responsiveness. Deltrian shows minor heightened state in the amygdala, standard drop response for him, he is restless for battle.
8 seconds...
Environmental threat level increased to category alpha 5, xenos pollutants now fully altering biological makeup of planet's surface. Increased levels of acidity, increased airborne spore count by ten billion parts per cubic inch, decreased visibility by 63.2% from baseline. Adjust accordingly.
7 seconds...
Topographic layout of drop-site, magnification at 2x, increase magnification to 8x. Enemy formations are shifting, scattering, aware of incoming threat. Lesser organisms swarming closer around synaptic lynch-pins. Forming defensive cordons, as expected. Primary target 5.5m closer from original target location.
6 seconds...
Biological data-file on lesser tyranid organism designated genus: Gauntii Virago. 6 meters long nose to tail, 6 limbs four hoofed two clawed, multi-lung system enclosed in hardened carapace, single heart located center mass. Weapon mutation designated fleshborer. Weak points: center face, limbs and neck. Threat level: minimal.
5 seconds...
Biological data-file on primary target designated genus: Tyranicus Gladius Subterranius. 40 meters long nose to tail, 6 limbs all bladed. Multi-lung redundant systems enclosed in bonded exoskeleton, multi-heart center and lower mass. Weapon mutation bio-electric. Weak points: lower abdomen, limb joints, underside tail section and underside jaw. Threat level: extremis.
4 seconds...
Ammunition recheck, full compliment. Squad ammunition recheck, full compliment. Squad heavy weapon lascannon charge maximum.
3 seconds...

Powerfist charging cycle initiated. Deployment pattern epsilon confirmed.
2 seconds...
Low-light infrared spectrum activated. Impact with ground structure registered. Slight decrease in pod stability.
1 second...
Anti-grav suspensors ignite. Retro boosters fire. "Courage and honour!" roars squad Aurelian.

The drop pod of squad Aurelian  tears out of the heavens like a twenty ton adamantium meteor leaving a dirty smear of exhaust trailing in its wake. In its final seconds before impact it hammers through the upper fifteen floors of a ruined manufactorum installation. Obliterating each level, support beams groan and give way bringing the innards of the entire structure crashing down around the pod in a shower of fine debris and bilious dust.

[Mark 00:01]
Explosive bolts fire from the drop pods doors, slamming them down instantly. Ten grav harnesses disengage, ten motionless ceramite statues instantly spring to life, ten weapons are instantly drawn and firing. The dust of impact boils away in a tidal wave as squad Aurelian disembarks and the bolt rounds begin to fly. The mission clock has started.

[Mark 00:02]
"Heavy concentration to your 3 o'clock Gaius" booms Aurelian to his battle-brother. Immediately Gaius checks his aim and puts a double burst of rounds into the knot of termagants, each bolt finding a mark. It's hard to miss the enemy are so tightly packed together.
"12 o'clock high" calls out Cicero as a surge of termagants pour out from an upper level of the ruins around them. He deals with them almost as fast as he calls the danger out.

[Mark 00:03]
"Watch your left Deltrian" warns Idaeus, "left side, pillar, in 2 seconds". As predicted in moments a fresh wave of termagants come racing around a support column in vain attempt to overwhelm Deltrian. "Confirmed" nods Deltrian as he switches from single shot to full auto and pulps them in an explosion of gore and viscera.
On all sides of the drop pod the same scene plays out in a matter of heartbeats, the immediate vicinity is laid to waste in a barrage of bolter fire, a hail of metal that culls every xenos beast for 30 meters.

[Mark 00:06]
"Beta formation on me" orders Aurelian across the vox and squad instantly responds, the flanks folding around to form an arrowhead around their sergeant. The tyranids are reeling from the initial shock of the assault but they recover just as quickly. Here and there a tendril of the lesser xenos still surge forward, probing, testing the resolve of the space marines. With metronomic regularity and with clinical precision they are brought down. It is time to move before the initiative is lost.

[Mark 00:08]
"Primary target closing, 17.8 meters on the other side of that wall", Aurelian points with his outstretched powerfist "bring it down Vipus".
With a nod of confirmation Vipus takes a knee, in one fluid motion he brings his lascannon to bear on the manufactorum's outer wall. But before he can fire there is a titanic roar of bestial ferocity and the entire facade explodes inwards. Ten armoured ceramite statues do not even flinch, they weather the onslaught of flying debris without moving, stone chips ricocheting from their armour, their weapons held ready.
"Contact front, primary target confirmed!" bellows Aurelian as their quarry is revealed. Tyranicus Gladius Subterranius, a trygon prime. It charges.

[Mark 00:10]
Without even an order being required they open fire simultaneously, bolt guns kick and rage on full auto. Vipus already braced for firing his lascannon checks his aim and targets one of the main bladed limbs of the beast. He pulls the trigger. A lance of pure energy spears the trygon cutting through flesh and bone and sinew before punching through the other side. The trygon brays in pain as the limb is severed but it does not slow. If anything it comes at them faster and with renewed hatred. If hatred from such an alien monstrosity is even possible.

[Mark 00:12]
The other bladed limbs lash out, their reach frightening. Cicero is hit across the chest, he dies instantly as he comes apart from the force of the blow. Another limb catches Themis on the right pauldron, it cuts through the armour as if it were paper and tears his arm clean off. Trajan is almost decapitated by another but he rolls away at the last moment.

[Mark 00:14]
"Spread out, dispersal pattern delta" orders Aurelian calmly dispite the chaos caused by the trygon and dispite watching Cicero slaughtered moments before. Quintillus and Trajan drop back behind some ancient machinery, Numerian continues his sprint and rolls beneath another scything blade limb before sliding into cover behind a burned out vehicle chassis. Idaeus and Gaius back up a few paces still firing controlled bursts at highlighted weak points on the trygon's torso. Vipus, the furthest away and closest to the drop pod still remains on bended knee and is already lining up another shot with his lascannon as the charge builds.

[Mark 00:17]
In a lightning fast flurry of motion the trygon pounces left at Numerian as he goes past. The quick motion throws off Vipus' aim and the lascannon beam glances off the tyranid's carapace, scorching it but not wounding. Vipus curses, he will atone for that lapse in concentration later. The vehicle Numerian was using for cover is shouldered aside by the trygon, the impact sends him sprawling. Numerian is on his back, his bolter firing up at the monster taking fist sized chunks from its chest but seemingly having little or no effect. Black ichor pumps from the multiple wounds as the trygon roars once before tearing at Numerian with its fang filled maw. One cry of frustrated rage is all that is heard from Numerian across the vox before he too is gone.

[Mark 00:21]
The squads bolters continue to fire, now scattered around the interior of the structure but the rate of attrition is too high. It is only moments into the engagement but it feels like a lifetime. The space marines are doing their job, Aurelian can see the damage being inflicted on the trygon is slow but steady. The data feed in his helm tells him the trygon won't survive the punishment much longer. But it will be long enough for it to kill more of his battle-brothers. That is unacceptable, this needs to be ended now. "Quintillus. Trajan. Intensify fire on it's right flank now" orders Aurelian as he holsters his pistol and unclamps the melta bomb at his waist.

[Mark 00:24]
Crouched low behind a chunk of masonry Aurelian grips the heavy melta charge in his fist and primes it, he has 10 seconds. Deltrian is up and firing, covering his squad leader. Aurelian takes one breath, the trygon roars again and turns to face the barrage of bolter fire now blazing from brothers Quintillus and Trajan. It is the window Aurelian needs. In a flash he is up and over the block of stone, momentarily weightless as he vaults the barricade then his boots hit the ground again and he is sprinting. 6.5 meters is all he has to cross, if the trygon spots him now he is finished. But his battle-brothers have distracted it well. Trajan's status rune flashes red then winks out. Almost as quickly Quintillus shows up as critical amber. Aurelian briefly registers this fresh information but it is irrelevant. 2 meters away, Aurelian plants a boot and launches himself into the air, his enhanced trans-human physique combined with his armours servos make it effortless. He brings his powerfist back ready to strike.

[Mark 00:26]
At the last moment the trygon must catch a glimpse of Aurelian as it begins to snap its head around. But its too late, Aurelian slams into the beast's neck with the force of a meteor. The powerfist pistons once as he hits, it lands a devastating blow that pulverizes the weaker flesh of the trygons physiology. The displacement field of the powerfist obliterating muscle and sinew while the force of the impact itself tears through the meat. The trygon whirls around madly, desperately trying to shake the space marine sergeant from it but Aurelian has a vice like hold and is not letting go.

[Mark 00:27]
7 seconds until melta detonation. With his other hand Aurelian swings the melta charge around in a wide arc. The trygon thrashes and rages but Aurelian is unshakable. He brings the demolition charge round and aims for the maw of serrated blades that had moments ago devoured Numerian. He releases his grip, the bomb leaves his gauntlet and drops into the blackness of the trygon's throat. In the same instant Aurelian releases his hold on the xenos monstrosity and launches himself backwards.

[Mark 00:29]
He sails backwards through the air watching the trygon spin towards him, a bladed limb already whirling around to eviscerate him. But then an incandescent beam of energy lances out from somewhere behind him and the limb is severed. Vipus has excelled himself with that shot thinks Aurelian.

[Mark 00:31]
The sergeant hits the ground on his back, inertial dampers take the shock out of the impact and in the same motion he rolls and is up on his feet still sliding backwards. The trygon rears up still enraged from the loss of another limb, it roars again, this time more in pain and defiance than anything else. Aurelian does not hesitate, he spins and launches himself back over the block of masonry were Deltrian covers his retreat.

[Mark 00:33]
"Take cover!" yells Aurelian and the rest of his squad drop down and shield themselves from the imminent blast. There is an agonizingly long pause. The trygon takes begins to advance again. For a moment Aurelian considers a firing mechanism malfunction with the melta bomb. Already he is starting to plan for such an eventuality and is about to issue fresh orders when a miniature sun is momentarily created within the heart of the creature. The trygon's chest glows white hot for a fraction of a second before coming apart. Tissue and bone becomes molten before being engulfed in a fireball of total destruction. One moment the living incarnation of mankind's destruction stands horrifyingly before them, the next there is a detonation of gore. Not so much as chunks of the tyranid remain, as most is vaporized in an instant.

[Mark 00:35]
"Primary target destroyed" confirms Aurelian rising from cover. "Squad, alpha formation on my postion. Moving on to secondary objectives". Six runes blink affirmative.


  1. Dang - that was awesome writing mate! Although I'm hesitant to think a 10-man tactical squad can actually take down a Trygon Prime in the game, even with two rounds of shooting followed by close combat.

    Whatever! Still a great piece to read. Good job!