Chapta' 6 - Aquishin' dem bugz
Digging up a mere part of Tartaro's massive tombship took the defenders several hours. And it would probably take much more. Down at dig-level, five heroes stood. Rakul, Nagosh, Gobroz,
“Yes, Rakul Manek?”
“You can just call me Rakul. Also... why exactly can't the damned thing just fly upwards? I thought Necron technology always worked!”
“Well, yeaaah. But this one was pretty much deaaactivated by the Void Dragon itself. So, we pretty much have to maaanuaaaly turn it back on.”
They stood there silently for a few more minutes. But then, one of them, the biggest ork, got tired of all the waiting.
“Let me frough!”
“Whaaat aaare you...?”
The diggers listened to the ork and moved away. Nagosh made his way to the dug up part, threw away his axe, grabbed it... and started lifting. First a foot, then a yard. After that, a mountain near them started collapsing, revealing the ship's pyramid-like accessory. Tartaro's lower jaw broke off and fell to the ground.
“Unholy power sword in Tzeentch's backside!”
“May the Ethereals protect us...”
The large ork then bashed the craft's plating and it somehow reactivated, flying a mile above ground.
“Dat'z 'ow ya fix fingz da orky way!”
In another couple of hours, all space crafts were grouped above the planet's surface, ready to stall the hive fleet for as long as possible. After a brief card game, the commanders on ground level decided the the Thousand Sons' cruiser, 'Magic Pwns', would be designated as the newly-made fleet's flagship. Tartaro was almost certain Rakul had cheated.
On ground level, parts of the Necron army had been relocated to assist in the defence of strategic locations, including cities, military outposts, shrines, comm arays and McEmperor's chains. With them were squads of troops and vehicles. From guardsmen to Fire Warriors. From Basilisks to Hammerhead gunships.
The least defended point was Eagle hill. The whole location was simply a large bottleneck, where Tyranid forces could be easily grouped together and destroyed. Still, it was undermanned, so the commanders had made their main base of operations there, providing a morale boost and some extra heavy firepower. Except for Ulix and Teivos, who had stayed behind to organise the defence of their respective halves of the planet. That left three orks, a squig, a Necron lord and four servants of four gods to defend the hill. Oh, Eimmoc, too.
Nagosh and Gobroz stood together, watching the forces below. Muskit and Ugu playing tag, Rakul, Sangus, Mortus and Carito just chatting with their troops. Eimmoc polishing his pulse rifle.
Fire Warriors laughing at guardsmen testing their flashlights, the shots of which made a rat scratch its back. An almost tranquil sight. But Gobroz still seemed sad.
“Don'tcha worry, flashgit Gobroz! I'z sure Darug can fix yer shooty fing.”
“Yeh, boss... woteva'.”
Many miles away, Darug kicked down the armoury's doors, startling nearby Fire Warriors. After learning what was going on, he immediately set course for Eagle hill. This was one surprise Gobroz would like.
In orbit, Akitol was in control of the entire fleet. And he was a bit nervous. Nonetheless, when a massive rift in space and time appeared before them, his commands came with uncanny speed:
“Okay, this is it! Destroy as many of the damned ships as possible!”
A hundred approvals and acknowledgments could be heard throughout the communications network.
As the first signs of the Tyranid bioships came, the fleet moved into attack positions, with the massive tombship at the head of the assault. More and more of the monstrous crafts appeared from the swirling warpal vortex. And the countless ships exchanged fire with the defenders. Spores, missiles, massive spikes, beams of uncountable colours and many others flew through the void of space.
The defenders did their best, but Akitol was forced to signal a tactical retreat. Otherwise known as the 'OH MY GOD, THEY'RE TOO MANY AND WE'RE GONNA' GET OUR ARSES RIPPED IN HALF IF WE DON'T RUN' command.
The ships remained at the edge of 'Nid space, occasionally making small runs against the bioships. But they could not stop the inevitable invasion.
Unspeakable hordes of bugs were sent to the surface. Every point of the planet was facing countless of the Devourer's creatures. And unbeknowst to our heroes, the largest batch was moving towards Eagle hill.
- - -
The legion was coming, their carapace blood red, their skin dark blue. Countless maws were opened, countless talons ready to sink into flesh. And over half a mile in front of the defensive positions, stood Ugu and Muskit, with the greatest plan ever.
“Okay. Go, Ugu!”
The little squig ran further towards the approaching horde. A Warrior in the front sent a psychic signal to the rest of the horde, saying 'STOP!'. The thousands of creatures stopped right there. And Ugu roared at them. Another Warrior came to the front and the pair of synapse creatures looked at each other. And their jaws produced a sort of cackling sound. Soon, the small gaunts joined in, producing a sort of cacophony.
Ugu was not pleased. His tiny legs bent and he leaped into the air, teeth ready. He flew over the pair of Warriors, who stared upwards, utterly amazed, and landed on a Carnifex several feet behind them. On its head, to be precise, teeth first.
The massive beast went into a pain-filled frenzy, stomping on smaller creatures and slashing in every direction with its blades, beheading both of the Warriors with a single such attack. The small gaunts below were thrown into chaos and started clawing and shooting each other. Ugu let go of the monster's head and the 'Fex crashed into a large pile of rocks. The little squig then used the small 'Nids below as trampolines and hopped towards Muskit.
The slugga boy caught the little guy and immediately started running in the opposite direction.
“Gud work, squiggy! Youz gonna' get extra meaty bitz tonight.”
A licking of a green cheek showed the squig's joy.
After the brief show of chaos, five more Warriors restored order. And the horde continued onward, seemingly unstoppable.
Rakul stood behind the first defensive line, ready to fire a doombolt.
“Okay. Remember, kill the big ones and we gain a few seconds for breathing! Let none pass!”
“We'z won't! WAAAAAAAGHHHHHHH!!!!”
Soldiers of four factions unleashed volleys of fire against the approaching hordes. The battle would surely be epic.
Gobroz sat behind the last line, since he had no weapon to attack with. And fighting those things in hand-to-hand combat hardly seemed ideal. And his thoughts drifted into the distant past, to the times when he had gotten the first version of his favorite shoota'.
- - - - -
It was a sunny day in the ork fort... camp... thing. And a fine day for orky school, where the youngest of the orkies could learn the basics of battlefield stompin'. Classes included Smashin', Choppin', Stompin', Screamin', Shootin' and many others.
And while Nagosh attended most of the aforementioned classes, Gobroz only needed one, since he was already more cunning and smarter than everyone else. And that class was Shootin'.
The relatively small group of sixteen orks sat on small piles of scrap metal, which had been given to the school by mek Dargod, who had already found a technical rival in a young ork named Darug.
In front of the small group were many blackboards with all sorts of drawings. And their teacher, Hagrun Gunkilla', a former Deathskull and expert Loota'.
“Okay, kiddoz. Today, we'z gunna' talk about gun-typez. Now, before we getz to da true, orky gunz, I'z gunna' talk 'bout gunz da oda' raceez use. Any questunz?” one hand was raised, “yeh, Logzob?”
“Can Iz 'ave mah pen bit back?”
“Wot pen bit? Da one Iz 'ave 'az been mine fer yeerz! Anywayz, let'z get started!” the teacher moved to the leftmost blackboard, a small metallic stick in hand, “now, first, come da 'umie gunz.” the board was completely filled with drawings of bolters, shotguns, sniper rifles etcetera, “da 'umiez is stoopid, 'cuz deyz 'ave all dese gunz. An' dey neva' know which ta use when, so deyz always muckin' about. And we shoot 'em when deyz muckin' about. Simple as dat. Got dat?”
“Yeh, teech!” said the whole class.
“Gud!” he moved to another board, “now come da gitz wif dem pointy eerz. Wot dey called?”
“Oh, yeh! Dat'z right! Fankz, Gobroz! Well, deyz all use some hot thingyz in deir gunz, or deyz shoot beamy stuff. Or rokkitz. Da darky Eldurz are more fun ta fight, dough. Anyway, dat'z dat. Kay?”
“Kay! Now come da skeletun boyz. Dose only 'ave one gun, so deyz never muckin' about. And deyz fun ta fight. Also, da gun is pretty an' green, so skeletun boyz are cool.” the whole class stared at the badly drawn gauss flayer. It seemed quite deadly, “Hmmm... wot next? Chaos boyz use da same as oda' 'umiez, but deyz 'ave daemunz, so deyz funner ta fight! Uhhh... bug boyz use icky stuff. Oh, woteva', let'z get ta our gunz already!”
“Now, unlike most 'umiez fink, we'z use only five typez a' gunz. Dese are easy ta unda'stand, so wez can fight anywhere, anytime.”
“Mah wordz exactley! Now,” the stick moved onto a shoota'-picture, “da smallist typez a' gunz are shooty gunz. Deyz only gud egenst squishy bitz,” he now pointed at images of an imperial guardsman and a tyranid gaunt, “sluggaz and shootaz are fine exampulz of shooty gunz. Da secod categorey are bigga' shooty gunz,” the drawing looked like a big shoota', if one would use their imagination, “yeh, gunz like dat are 'eavy shootaz. Deyz gud fer killin' squishy bitz, but can also kill da mahreeneyz and can make dentz in tankz and metal bawxez,” the stick pointed at a space marine, a Leman Russ tank and then a Rhino transport, ”den come rokkit gunz.” the image just showed a big rocket, “yeh, dese are gud egenst tankz and metal bawxez, but youz can;t take dat much ammo bitz wif ya, so it ain't so gud fer killin' squishy bitz.”
“Yehyehyehyeheyeheyeh!” they shouted while nodding.
“Excellent! Now come me favorite gunz. Beamy gunz!” above a thick yellow line, letters said 'Beamy bit', “dese are da best gunz. Deyz kill squishy bitz, deyz kill mahreeneyz, deyz kill tankz an' metal bawxez. And youz neva' ru outta' ammo bitz.”
“Well, Snagron, youz just hafta' let da fingy in da gun recharge. Afta' dat, youz can shoot egen. Dough, deyz a bit slow ta shoot. Hmmm? Yes, Gobroz?”
“An' wot'z da last type?”
“Oh, right. Da last type a' gunz, are Dakka gunz.” the image was so big, it almost couldn't fit on the blackboard, “well, deyz kill anyfin', too. An' make great noise while doin' dat. Hmmm... if dey didn't need reloadin', I'd get one, in fact. Anyway, Loota deffgunz, da kustom shootaz flashgitz 'ave, dose are Dakka gunz. Now, Iz 'ave a surprise fer ya.”
“Surpise quizy bit!” the class was full of horror... except for Gobroz, “an' da one who does best,” everyone I the room looked at the future flashgit, “will get a specul sumthin'! Now, let'z get dese papa'z to ya...”
The papers were given. All of the orks moved their pen-holding hands rapidly, trying to be first. But Gobroz had finished in five minutes. This time included trying to make his pen write. And when the tests were assembled, Hagrun went straight for Gobroz's test. And his eyes went wide.
“Wot'z da matta'? Gobroz made a mistakey bit?!”
There was utter silence.
“Nah. In facty, he corrected one a' me questunz... I guess he winz! Dismissed!”
When the other orks left, tears still in their eyes, Hagrun took out the prize. Gobroz was left speechless. A huge, shiny, silver kustom shoota'.
“Yeh! Dis is your rewardy bit! Take care of it! An' between da two of us, I just needed ta get rid of it.”
“Its owna' ain't happy.”
“Oh, well... see ya lata', teach!”
Gobroz ran out of the classroom and almost immediately met Nagosh and Muskit, coming out of the Smashin' classroom.
“Oy! Gobroz! Fine gun ya 'ave dere!”
“Fankz, Muskit! Teach gave it ta me! Flasgit Dakka gun!”
“So, youz a flashgit now?”
“I suppose, Nagosh.”
The largest ork of the trio grinned.
“Flashgit Gobroz... heh, dat soundz gud.”
“Yeh. Let'z go get sum squig pie!”
And the three ran off, ready to bury their teeth into a delicious meal.
And so, the shootaless flashgit sat there, sat. And suddenly, an armoured boot appeared in his field of vision. He looked up to see Darug... carrying an item only too dear to Gobroz. But it looked quite different, in a very good way.
“Darug! Is dat...?!”
“Yeh! Dis is yer shoota'! Iz upgreded it a bit, dough.”
A bit was an understatement. The base of the gun looked like a gattling cannon, with bits added from Tau pulse rifles. On that, there was something which looked like a flamethrower, but with some kind of added firing chamber or whatnot. And a large, second barrel could also be found.
“Yeh. Youz can shoot da pulsey stuff, but also 'ave two more weaponz. Da firespitta', as I called it, which can spit flamey stuff for up to a hundred yardzez. And dis oda' fing, is a beamy gun.”
“How'd ya get da beamy stuff?”
Darug thought about telling he he just miniaturized a Tau Hammerhead's weapon... while turning the rest of the hovertank into scrap metal, but decided not to.
“Secwet. Now, I'z gonna stand 'ere. Show me wot dis gun can do!”
Gobroz ran off and soon made his way to the first defense line. Everyone stared at his shoota' in awe. When Rakul and Nagosh spotted the gun, they were more than in awe.
“Flashgit Gobroz... dat'z one big gun!”
“Yeah... get it over here and start shooting!”
Gobroz put the gun down on some sandbags. A few gaunts before the defense line froze in place. And with a single pull of a trigger, Hell was unleashed. Uncoutable pulse rounds tore into the horde, mercilessly destroying anything in their path. Gobroz then clicked a secod button and a ball of flame was shot.
The fireball flew over the main horde and hit a certain, now-blind Carnifex in the face. The whole beast was set aflame and proceeded to go into a rampage, again. It even stepped on a Zoanthrope.
And with a third click, a red beam, which was faster than any other beam, because, you know, it was red, so it was actually faster than light (take that, science!), shot from the weapon and annihilated a Warrior's head.
“Dat gun is dead killy!”
“Yeh, boss! Hahahaaaaaah! DAKKA DAKKA DAKKAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!”
“He is losing it.”
But the Hive Mind recognized this new threat. And concentrated its forces into the heroes' area, while still leaving enough other creatures to keep the rest of the defensive positions busy.
And unbeknowst to even the Hive Mind, reinforcements were coming.
Several Biel-Tan strike craft remained cloaked above the planet's surface, merely watching the hive fleet unload its massive cargo against the defenders, while the considerably smaller fleet was doing hit and run attacks. But overall, the Tyranids appeared to be winning.
On the strike fleet's command cruiser, Farseer Macha watched the situation, along with a couple of Warlocks and several hand-picked Exarchs. The Farseer gripped her Singing Spear and asked:
“Ash'nu, have we been able to contact them through one of their communication devices?”
“We have picked up a signal from one device. One that is close to the most plentiful Tyranid horde. But it seems, that the battle is too fierce for anyone to respond.”
“Can we at least get a visual?”
The screen flickered to life... and showed a golden Necron lord, casually stabbing a Ravener in the head.
“Stupid things... maaaybe this is why they waaanted the universe free of life. No, waaait, they were just hungry.”
“A talking Necron?!” Screamed or thought all in the room.
The skeleton's head then looked at the screen, noticing small flashing lights.
“Uhhhh... I wonder whaaat thaaat means. Hey, Rakul!”
The sorcerer was in the background, showering gaunts with doombolts.
“But... this thingy is flaaashing.”
“Why didn't ya say so?”
Macha was surprised, as well as the other Eldar.
“That is the voice, which asked for aid.”
“Hmmm... the sorcerer from Akhalam. What does this mean?” the Thousand Son came closer and clicked a button. But there was no surprised reaction, “was he expecting us?”
The truth was quite different.
“Sangus! Throw me something sharp and pointy, this damned thing ain't working!”
A claw, which had previously belonged to a Ravener, neatly flew into Rakul's hand and the sorcerer pierced some piece of machinery. Tartaro was intrigued.
“Whaaat aaare you doing?”
“It's called field repairs! Now I just have to...” a single kick and the pierced machine lit up, along with the screen on their side, “that's bette... woah! Eldar!”
“Most interesting. Now, I'm going to hunt more of those snaaake things. Their body can bend in the most peculiaaar aaangles.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Okay... uhhh. Could you send a guardian or two, I'm sure...” suddenly, a small Termagant leaped at him from the side, trying to sink its claws into him, “why you little piece of!” the critter was grabbed, charged with warp energy and then thrown like a grenade, exploding in the midst of the horde, “owned! Now, where were we... wait... I've seen you somewhere, Warlock.”
“That is a possibility, sorcerer.”
“Yeah... you kicked my arse back on Akhalam, right?”
“Perhaps. But how did you...?”
“Cool. Listen. Help us!”
“Why should we, servant of Chaos?”
“Oh, for crying out... Nagosh!”
As that name was said, the Warlock and three Exarchs became a bit more worried about the situation down there. A huge ork suddenly came into, carrying a Carnifex.
“Wot is it?”
“These are your acquaintances, right?”
“Lemme' see!” the warboss threw the Carnifex, which rolled on the ground for over fifty yards, crushing all in its path, and then came to the screen, “oy! Pointy 'elmetz! Ash'nu!”
“How do you know it's me?”
“You'z got dat weird 'orn on yer pointy 'elmet. Iz haven't seen any oda' pointy 'elmet wif it.”
“I guess that makes sense...”
Suddenly, a scream could be heard:
“Uh oh... Iz fink flashgit Gobroz has lost it.”
“Brilliant deductive mind, warboss. So, will ya help us?”
Before an answer could come, Muskit's voice came:
“Boss! Icky bit, comin' yer way!”
The transmission was suddenly cancelled.
The Warlock stood there for a while.
“I'm going down there.”
Macha immediately looked at the Warlock.
“For whom? A band of orks?”
“That band of orks was probably the reason we won on Akhalam. And I'm going to help them. Who else is with me?”
A brief silence Then, three Exarchs stepped from the group. A Howling Banshee, a Warp Spider and a Swooping Hawk.
“We'll go!” they said in unison.
“I wanna' see Ugu again!”
“Old friends need helping.”
And the spider just nodded. Macha was, somehow, surprised. Why hadn't she seen this coming?
“Fine, then. You three, take squads of your respective warrior shrines. Ash'nu, you take two more Dire Avenger squads. I shall join you, as well.”
“Join us, Farseer?”
“Something about that sorcerer is strange. I shall observe him closely.”
“Understood. Move out!”
And so, the Eldar entered the fray, bringing their sneeze-destroyable tanks and psychic powers to bear on the enemy.
An ancient Webway gate near Eagle hill suddenly came to life, sending forth a small host of Eldar. Macha watched the battlefield below, her wraithbone armour shining, while Ash'nu devised a battle plan.
“Okay, me, the Farseer and the Dire Avengers will make our way down this path. Banshees, go ahead of us and clear any opposition. Hawks and Spiders, strike fast and hard.”
The Hawks flew into the air and rained death at the bugs below, while the Spiders warped just behind the first defence line, startling defenders and bolstering defences.
Gobroz was busy being insane and showering enemy troops, until a certain Spider Exarch came close and slapped him.
“Ow! Wot was dat for?!”
“To snap you out of it. Long time no see.”
“Lokan! Youz talkin'!”
“Only occasionally. Now, let's get back to shooting, shall we?”
Muskit was clobbering a group of gaunts, while Ugu kept jumping on Warriors' heads. But then, the little squig noticed a familiar entity. Somehow, through her armour, even through the chaos of battle, he noticed Kilina. And the black ball with legs ran, jumped on heads and bit any foe. And so, he stood there, upon a warrior's corpse.
The Banshee Exarch immediately squealed:
“UGU! C'mere you little bugger!”
The squig jumped right into her arms and started licking her helmet. This made the other banshees form a circle of 'HOW CUTE!' at the most inopportune time, leaving the defending forces, and Altian, to defend them.
“Ladies! Fight first, then admire the black skinball!” the Hawk shouted, fending off a Ravener at the same time.
“Oh, sorry, you flying rescuer, you. Ugu, bite!”
The sharpest teeth this side of the galaxy were shown to the snake beast, which promptly started digging a tunnel out of fear. But it was too slow.
- - - - -
Now, let us have a minute of silence for this poor Ravener, which had been turned into a new chew toy.
There, that should suffice.
- - - - -
Nagosh shot a few rounds from his cannon-arm, tearing man-sized holes in a Carnifex. Then, a spear stabbed a Warrior to his left.
“Hello there, Nagosh!”
“Oy! 'ullo, Ash'nu! Wot ya doin'?”
“Killing Tyranids at your side. You?”
“Findin' a Karnifexo ta lift. Deyz pretty stupid, too.”
As the Dire Avengers filled critical gaps in the defence lines, the Farseer moved to the first line, straight to a certain sorcerer. The psyker in question was busy shooting Doombolts at a Zoanthrope, scoring a direct hit and destroying the foul beast. And then screaming 'Owned!'.
She approached slowly, then spoke:
“Hmm?” he turned towards the voice and saw the female figure. Quite some curves, she had, “Farseer, I presume?”
“Rakul. Rakul Manek. Now, if you'd be so nice to give me a little help with blasting these damned things, I'd be indebted to ya.”
“Very well. Die, wretched spawn of the Devourer!”
A vortex of psychic energies formed in the middle of the horde and soon released lightning into the area and fried any bug too slow to leave. She stood there, a bit proud of her work.
“Not bad at all.” he suddenly caught a gaunt which almost munched on her helmet, “but you have to remember to always be aware of what's jumping onto you.”
Like before, he charged the critter with Warp energies and threw it into the horde.
And the battle was just beginning.
Last edited by Tau22; 02-07-10 at 03:26 PM.