City of Death
UMRIELYTH WAS a paradise… until the Mon-keigh came.
Vulre Estalar could still remember what it looked like, the pure perfection of its being… a new world. A world that belonged to the Children of the Stars.
Then they came in their grotesque craft, belching pollution and death, and the vision of beauty had gone, to be replaced by the Dominion of the Man and their corpse-God.
Estalar and his kin were the first to arrive and discovered the desecration. Now all of the Yr-Arth Craftword Rangers were here and an entire Warhost was battling the Mon-keigh plague.
At first it was straightforward. The Mon-keigh soldiers were easy to kill. They were clumsy and slow and their archaic weapons were no match for Eldar perfection. Even the terror-troops of the secretive robed Mon-keigh, who were more machine than Hu-man, died by the blade and the disc. Their machines were smashed and their ships ravaged and broken.
Then the armoured giants appeared in their thick armour with their insane bravery and brute force.
They call them Space Marines, the Corpse-God’s finest. They would die like the rest, it was just a matter of time.
Estalar had never fought them before though he had heard of their rumour, had heard the tales. These Marines wore armour of the deepest black.
They were harder to kill… much harder.
Estalar had been stalking one of them for days through the ribs of one of their great ships which had been brought down by fighters of the Yr-Arth. The colossus was buried nose first into a hillside, with its back broken and its innards exposed. It looked like some ancient beast from antiquity and Estalar wondered how such a beast could actually fly.
+ Vulre. I see you + Came the voice of Evindal over his Comm link. Estalar was brought abruptly back to reality.
+ Evindal. The Mon-keigh has gone to ground behind that large domed appendage. Can you see it from where you are? +
I see it but beware, it is a cunning foe. It has killed Aravie and wounded Almon. Aravie was to be my mate. I curse the filth that dare +
+ Stay focussed Evindal. Wait.. it is on the move +
Estalar saw the helmet of one of the Mon-keigh pass between two metallic spars before dropping down behind more of the superstructure. Estalar moved the barrel of his Longrifle to a position where he believed the head would appear further along.
+ Estalar, I am moving around to your right. I see your target. It is crouched down. It appears to be cupping its ear +
It is listening
, thought Estalar, but it cannot hear us
I yearn The Path of Damnation. I am the Outcast.
The Mon-keigh had not appeared where Estalar thought it would.
Patience is my discipline. I am the shadow, the creeping death in the night.
Slight movement, nothing to the normal eye, but to an Eldar ranger it was all that he needed. He could see the Mon-keighs helmet now, even down to the green eye lenses that stared back with a deep malevolence.
He squeezed the trigger. I tiny movement.
An energy bolt struck the helmet shattering the lens and punched it backwards. Estalar saw a hand raised and then the main body mass fall down into the wreckage.
+ Kill +
+ Estalar, I see it. It is still sitting there. You did not hit it +
Estalar saw the flash to his right and watched the fall of shot from his kinsman hidden further along the ridge. The bolt struck the Mon-keigh dead centre, punching a large hole through its breast plate.
+ Kill +
Estalar watched the body slump forward, its hand still up to its ear.
It was a perfect shot, but the Mon-keigh marine died too easily.
IT was not the same…
+ Evindal, there are two of them +
He tried not to sound too alarmed. That was not the way of the Ranger.
He rolled backwards over the ridge and then once clear he ran to the left, bent double at the hip. He cradled his Longrifle like it was an Eldar child and not the deadly killing machine it was.
Estalar found the remains of an armoured vehicle, designation Rhino by its shape, and he pushed inside. From this position he had a good view of the killing site.
He could see the dead marine.
He felt a doubt, a fear. It did not look right. The Mon-keigh was too pale, too wretched. It was a corpse, cold and long dead. His blood froze.
He was being stalked.
He dared to go on the comm-link once more.
+ Evindal +
A series of loud reports brought him up. A heavy weapon was hammering to the left.
He knew the sound. It was the brute weapon the Mon-keigh used. A weapon not designed for subtlety.
+ Evindal? +
Estalar found the escape hatch on the deck of the vehicle and dropped down to the earth below. He rolled to the left and pushed up against the wheels of the Rhino. He dared scope over to the left but could see nothing amongst the wreckage. Almost subconsciously, he pulled his camouflaged cloak up over his head. To all but his kin he was now invisible.
He clicked the comms button twice but nothing came back. Either Evindal was hunting… or he was dead.
He cursed the Mon-keigh.
The heavy weapon coughed again and this time Estalar saw the flash and smoke from its barrel. The Mon-keigh was moving around to his left. He moved in turn, slowly like the ancient feline, bringing his barrel around.
The helmet again. He saw it very briefly. This was red in colour which signified a higher rank.
This would be a worthy kill.
My mission is before me, the enemy is around me, my mission is death…
His finger curled on the trigger, a slight recoil and the round smashed against the helmet and then ricocheted off to the right.
He reloaded, aimed, fired again.
Dead centre. A kill.
Estalar shuffled backwards and out from under the vehicle. He would use it as cover and move around to the right.
A noise, faint.
Estalar fell forward dropping his Longrifle. He was confused, scared. He rolled onto his back and saw the exit wound in his abdomen. The round had severed his spine.
The Mon-keigh stood up and waved the red helmeted one over.
He was smiling.
Estalar could do nothing but watch and hear their foul speech as they pointed at him and pointed at his wound.
They mocked him.