Prvt. Thomson couldn't believe his eyes. He couldn't accept what he had just saw. He thought it was just a trick, an illusions, Casters can do that. But it had happened. And now they were here.
He had been with his company, working their way through the streets. They had been tasked to clean out a coven of Shadow Cultists. A minor job, a routine duty. Nothing the Empire Troopers couldn't handle. But they hadn't counted on them having a caster. And THEY hadn't counted on the caster misfiring.
Thomson looked over his cover again. Where once there had been a crazed man, there was now a tare in real-space. It's opening sounded like shattered glass, and the bits of scattered broken real-space just added to that effect. He could look into it, they said not to(but people never listened), and it was predominantly a bright shade of blue with random swirls of purple and a thousand other bright colors for which there were no names. This was a tare in the fabric of Real-space, a portal to the Nightmare Realm: Hyperspace. And its inhabitants were oh so glad for it.
Poring out of the portal with the Daemons of the Night, the Werenaughts. Some of them looked like wolves, others like twisted angles, more like spiders, a few like a child's toy with stitches and iron plates, all of them looked like living nightmares. They treated their loyal cultist with the same respect we would a rat after we hadn't eaten for a week. Luckily, that meant they focused on them first
"Rally to me", shouted the Marshall, not a hint of fear in his voice.
Not having other options, the Relik Company 17-3-6 went to him. In the time it took, a thousand of those cultists had been slaughtered, not nearly enough for the living shadows. They turned their attention to the Troopers who had formed a living hedge, for the same reason an armadillo does to an T-model or tank.
"Open fire!" someone shouted.
A hundred bolts instantly burst into the Werenaughts' ranks, causing as much damage as it would to an ocean. On they came, some exploiting their immateriality to have claws reach up from a man's shadow and rip him to shreds. One of the toy-like ones inflated itself like a frog, then belched out a rolling orb of pure hyperspace. Less then half the company got out of its radius in time.
Thomson had been one of them, and had landed in a pile of some unfortunate victim. Scattered like they were, any effect the Troopers could have had was lost as individual pockets were over run in a matter of seconds. The horde had turned its sole attention to Thomson, who had accepted he was going to die. He fired his rifle as fast as the action would allow, but if he had fired blanks, the difference would have been the same. When the horde was within bayonet range, Thomson knew he would die.
Then the universe exploded.
That was the feeling Thomson had, and it was shared by his shadow enemies. Another portal in Real-space had open, this one was the color of sand and dry grass, and was shaped in a near perfect semi-oval. Instead of more Werenaughts out pored a different type of Alien: Orineth. They were about the size of a human and had one head two arms, and two legs, but their the similarities ended. They had stick like limbs ending in talons, were covered in feathers, had knees and elbows in revers of all other races (except the Marrow), and had wickedly sharp beaks.
Their disdain for technology manifest in stone clubs, crystal tipped arrows and quarrels, and massive war-beasts. The effect it had on their fighting was as minimal as if he had been given a machine bolter. They tore through the Werenaught horde, smashing heads, exploding chests, and trampling bodies where ever they met. Their Shamans summoned forbidden energy and reduced scores of Wherenaughts into the shadows they were. But the Werenaughts weren't done yet.
They fought with all the cunning their race had. They teleport into their shadows and rip them a new one, they belch forth pure energy obliterating dozens of them, or simply overpower them through sheer ferocity. Both sides still had their portals open and both knew that they had to close the other's to win. They fought for hours on end, neither side inching or breaking, both sides poring in more and more of their own. However, Thomson didn't see any of this, their mutual disdain for the Empire finished him off long ago.