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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-21-13, 11:52 PM
Deus Mortis
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It hadn’t been long since the news of a Tyranid invasion had spread like wildfire through the ranks. Juliette had almost lost her nerve in those first few minutes. They had all heard the rumours, and the exaggerations of those rumours, and the hysterical soldiers who assumed they were about to die. In those moments Juliette had swallowed her own panic and back-handed the closest rambling soldier. That quickly shut him up. “Pack it in!” Her comparatively shrill voice sounded over the biting wind. “But ma’am…” the sound of the back of her open hand sounded even louder over than her voice. The man grabbed his face in shock and his comrades were instantly silent.
“I don’t care.” Her voice was lower this time, but cut to the heart of these scared boys. “Get back to work, or being fed to a pack of skates will be the least of your worries.” She saw the one she’d slapped gulp. *Good, swallow your fear.* She thought to herself as she felt herself do the same.
“Aye ma’am” Juliette narrowed her eyes and cocked her head to the side. In an instant her demeanour turned from stern to warm. If she pushed them too far, it would only deepen their despair. The man smiled. “Aye Jewels.” She nodded and the white caps got off to work.

She was walked over to a group of officers and set about ordering the placement of heavy weapons in front of the armoury. She could hear the rumbling of whatever army approached them but her voice kept barking out orders. Even as someone fired the first volley into the sky, she kept the white caps in line. As shiver ran up her spine and her teeth started to chatter. Normally anyone could attribute these things to the cold, for everyone was always cold on the surface of Geminar. It wasn’t that though, not really. Juliette was nervous and she couldn’t keep it hidden in every muscle, as much as she tried. The shivers and the chattering were the nerves. She just prayed to the God-Emperor that they held.

When the screech of pain came from the sky, only then did Juliette dare a glance upwards. A winged monstrosity dived from the sky and the rest happened in slow motion. Juliette saw the creature try to bank, but something stopped it. Something metal glinting in its face instants before a bloom of fire. Whatever course the creature had intended was worth nothing now as it spun massively off-course. She didn’t even hear the vox wide message to say that the Governor was sending the burst transmission. The creature smashed into the Governors tower with the force to level and entire city. Great blooms of icy dust vomited from the impact hole and with all the pace of an old man lying down for his final sleep, the tower collapsed. Somehow the burst transmission was away, Juliette caught over the vox, but the Governor and everyone in that building was surely dead. She turned to yell more commands at the white caps to hold the line, but her voice was drowned by the sound of tortured metal and alien death throes.

A moment later Juliette was thrown from her feet as a massive support beam struck the ground, sending ripples akin to those made when a stone strikes water. The squad of white caps underneath were reduced to nothing more than red paste on the ground. Incredibly, the beam bounced up and ploughed into the armoury, near cleaving the building in half. Juliette had no idea something that large even could bounce. Surely that wasn’t right. Everything was happening so slowly now as the adrenaline and the primal fear set in. Her body was pumping chemicals round her, trying to give her every chance to survive. An outcome which seemed less likely with every passing moment.

Juliette scrambled to her feet just as the screams of “Monster” went up from behind the clearing cloud of dust and frost which the falling beam had kicked up. As Juliette unslung her shotgun, her hands began to shake and the laboured dying gargles of more white caps did nothing to ease her fraying nerves. Then the thing emerged from behind the thinning cloud of dust, already missing one arm and another still holding the impaled body of a PDF soldier. A small bit of vomit rose in her mouth and she forced it back down. The thing looked formidable, even in its current state. Its fractured carapace seemed to shimmer and shift colours subtly as it moved, as if reflecting something. Juliette snarled, her fear morphing into a rage and a refusal to die.
Whatever this creature was, it wasn’t responding well to the harsh climate of Geminar. Its movements had far less of the speed and grace that its form would suggest as it reached for her. It took a moment after Juliette heard the bang of a shotgun for her to realised she had fired. The creature flinched as the pellets struck its side and its blood froze on contact with the air, but it kept coming. Juliette recoiled and kept firing. On the third shot, she hit the thing’s face, which seemed to stagger it seriously. In that moment of briefest respite while the creatures hands shielded its face instead of reach for her, she realised the white cap clutched a primed grenade. Juliette felt a hysterical giggle escape her lips as the thing turned its attentions back on her. It leapt at her and she fired on instinct again. This close she couldn’t miss.

Another shot to the face drove the creature back and it turned to its side, trying to shield its soft flesh with its splintering carapace. Taking quick aim she fired two more shots into the body of the white cap. The second one detonated the grenade. The explosion staggered her, and sent to beast sprawling. The whole left side of the creature’s body was a seared mess which the frost was quickly creeping over. Now Juliette walked forward and fired two shots into the creature’s over-sized cranium. The first one probably killed it, but the second left it nothing more than a bloody smear in the snow. Only when the thing was dead on the floor did Juliette realise she was panting. A convulsion which threatened to turn into a full blown sob rocked Juliette’s body before she forced herself to composure. There must be order of the defence would fail. “This is Jewels…” she spoke into the vox. “…A support beam has cleaved into the armoury, trapping unknown number of civies inside. Request immediate assistance.” With that she set off towards the armoury, confident she could find some of the remaining white caps and rally them. Her hope was that there was strength in numbers…

My contribution to the Renegades saga. Check it out

My growing IIIrd legion stuff:

17th Millenial (Homebrew Fluff) - "Children of the Emperor, death to his foes!" (Project Log)

Also my 30k tacticas, for those of you interested:

Crusade Army List tactica - Individual Legion tactica

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