Doom of Many, Doom of One
+++ Transmission received and recorded at monitor post Alpha 68.+++
+++Source unknown. Date stamp of origination unreliable.+++
They don’t just kill you. (And they are masters at killing.) Once you are dead, they kill your world too. And consume it all. Every scrap of biomass is taken into the fleet as nourishment for the void. As fuel and material to push the hive to a new world and build the army that will consume it.
How do I know this? Because it happened to me.
I was there when they came. I avoided them for days and days. The brave PDF fought a valiant yet hopeless battle. There were simply too many of them. Far too many. For every bug that fell ten more would stalk out of the sticky rain. And behind those came a wave of biting, chewing things.
Gorgers, I named them. Gorgers because they would gorge on any biomass they could find. When they were full they would deliver that biomass to the rendering pools. Everything ended up in the rendering pools. Everything.
I did. Seventeen days, six hours, twenty-three minutes after the first bug burst from its spore I was delivered to a rendering pool. I hadn’t even been consumed yet. Some beast of a species not yet in Imperial taxonomy stung me with some venom that left me limp as a bonefish. It happened so quick I barely felt the sting. The venom raced through my system shutting everything down, but not ending my life.
Terror. So much terror. Did venom freeze my body or was abject terror holding me tight?
Either way I was fully aware that a Tyranid beast carried my unresponsive corpse to a pit filled with digestive fluids. Carried me to the pit and unceremoniously tossed me in. Unfortunately the venom did not free me from pain.
And pain I felt.
Burning, searing pain. Consuming fire. I was hyperaware in that pit of fluid. I could feel my skin dissolve, my muscles slough off.
Tyranids. No other name in the Imperian can cause such abject terror and despair. Even the threat of the damned legions didn’t carry the same hopelessness. The Legions could be fought by the Astartes man to superhuman man. The traitors were no match for the might of the Imperium. Orks are a plague, but a manageable plague. The necrontyr were such a new threat and so scattered the populace really had no comprehension of they are a threat. Even the Eldar and their dark kin were warring races too finite in numbers to be a real and total threat. But the Tyranids, they were the worst of the worst.
Tyranids. ‘Nids. Bugs. Hive fleets. The Great Devourer. Whatever they were called the fear was the same. Even though most of the Imperium had never faced the Tyranid threat, or even seen the effects of a Tyranid invasion, the threat was enough to bring insanity and hysteria.
There was no warning when that horrific doom arrived. No warning at all. At least no warning for the common citizen. Now I know that the warp shadow had given a significant warning. Enough time to lift thirty regiments of Guard troops off world. Enough time for the wealthy to escape with their lives and their wealth. Enough time to rescue the Titan legion that called Danuvius home. Enough time to clear void space for hundreds of thousands of kilometers. Enough time to save all those that wanted to and doom all those they choose to leave.
I was left.
No one even had the courtesy to tell us we were doomed. Life proceeded as normal until they came. Until they rained down on Danuvius in wave after vile wave. I now know that all I knew about the Tyranids was not horrifying enough. Not even close.
It is one thing to fight and die when facing an enemy. That’s it. You are dead. The Tyranids take it to the extreme.
My organs liquefied. Then my bones turned to ooze. And still I was aware. Aware of my demise, aware of my doom, aware that I was no more.
But still aware.
Was it my will? My mind that was one in a hundred billion? Who could tell?
From that pit my essence was funneled into the void through a towering construct of chitin and bug flesh. From surface to vessel the trip only took a few hours. From a pit to a sack, or so it seemed to me.
I lost all track of time in that sack. Eventually I realized I was no longer in the sack. I was in a bug. In it. Part of it. Absorbed as nourishment.
But still aware.
I was losing what was me though. I didn’t begin to dream bug dreams like I feared in the beginning. I didn’t sympathize with the thing I was part of. My essence was strictly me. Yet I was less of me day by day.
At some point the thing I was in ended up in a pit. Another pit filled with those same vile fluids. Into the fluid, back into the sack, into another thing.
Three more times I repeated the cycle. Each time I lost a little more of the essence of me.
For a time I tried to count the cells that were still me. My mind was still strong enough to do it but when the total was less than a thousand the shock nearly wiped out what was left of me.
And then I was but one cell. Channeling all that was left of my will I sent this accounting of doom by Tyranid.
Word Count: 956 not counting title