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Exterminatus Fenris

In my wildest dreams I could never have imagined the day when Fenris died. We have stood against the attacks of Chaos. We have stood against the Inquisition. We have stood against the cold and the ice and the creatures of the warp. We have stood against the misunderstandings of the Emperium. We have even stood against each other. But the day when the Great Devourer descended upon us, we died. No, not all of us died. That is true, otherwise I would not be telling this grave history nor would you, my brothers, be hearing it. But Fenris died all the same, for we were forced to retreat! We were forced to run for our lives! We were forced to descend into the depths of the Fang and hide like children in the folds of their mother’s skirts. To our shame we could not defeat them, for there were too many. They blotted out the sky. They swarmed the earth. They consumed everything leaving nothing alive in their passing. They were the death that none of us could see coming. We were shamed that day for the hope of Fenris fled. I am Hagras Blood Stalker. I bear witness of our death. I bear witness of the destruction of Fenris and all that we have sworn to protect. I bear witness of our shame.

The satellites and sweepers around Fenris could detect a chunk of metal in space five years away. They could detect incoming danger or foretell the arrival of allies. We depended upon them too much, so much so that when the clouds in space entered our system we thought nothing of it. Yes, we saw the clouds in space, but believed it to be nothing more than dust or debris from a broken world that had drifted into our line of sight. When the clouds changed course we took notice. When the clouds gained speed we noticed. When our ships in orbit died, we noticed. When our space docks ceased to exist, we noticed. At the first sign of attack, when our mighty war vessels became entrenched with blood and weapons discharge we added to it with everything we had from the ground and from our orbital platforms. Even with the combined force of weapons, detonations and explosions from warheads that could level continents we could see that death had come for us. Even with all of our firepower it was like throwing rocks into the ocean depths. Mighty splashes here. Great splashes there. Endless holes opened up in an endless sea.

We heard the screams of our battle brothers and knew that we could not save them. Ragnor ordered our ships to retreat from the clouds, but by then it was too late. Death had come for them. For hours we were forced to listen to the chatter of our heroes, those we had fought beside for millennia as they screamed for mercy, as they begged for salvation, as they wept in tombs of iron in the coldness and black of space. Through the pict feeds we could see the swarms tearing through the hulls of our ships and gaining entry with nothing more than their claws and teeth. From a large cluster deep in the depths of the clouds we saw a black orb excreted from the mouth of a great beast. The orb slammed through lesser creatures without slowing. We watched as the orb slammed into the Pride of Wolves. We watched as the Pride of Wolves began to melt. We heard the crew’s screams as the acid flooded the great halls and corridors. Through what picts were left we saw men melt starting with their feet and ending as their bodies, unable to stand collapsed into the muck. In a matter of moments the mighty vessel has been reduced into nothing more than sludge.

The war ships could not stand and fight, nor could they flee. Many of our brothers chose to self destruct their ships rather than submit to defeat and death to the creatures gnawing upon their flesh. From the ground, upon the ice of Fenris, we saw the light of their destruction. Great firestorms that lasted only for moments. I remember weeping for our brothers as well as being angry. I remember the great wolf weeping from the throne. Many of us had fallen to the floor as they lost themselves to their grief. I was among them. I was among them. From the Fang or rockets and lasers blotted out the sky. We fired everything we had until our reserves ran dry and yet they came. Though we killed millions of them there were millions more. Though we struck at their heart we could not find it. Though we howled in rage and fought from afar with weapons that could decimate worlds they came; an endless sea of death.

Nightfall descended upon Fenris and with it the first of the pods. In an hour’s time there were too many of the creatures to even begin to count. Every island and shoal, every canyon and mountain, every part of every wasteland covered in an endless swarm of claws and teeth. The great ocean was filled with the creatures. Everything died in the depths. Nothing survived the arrival of the Tyranids.

The fang was besieged. Though locked tight behind rock and steel, we knew in our hearts that nothing could stop them. Our cannons fired down into the swarms killing thousands of them but the holes were filled again within minutes. There was nothing more that we could do but wait in the darkness of our mountain with bolter and sword. ‘For Russ and the All Father!’ we roared. Our priests sent lightning down into the swarms and caused earthquakes to shake the earth. They ignited the volcanoes and sent lava flooding the land. They opened the heavens and rained fire down upon the creatures, but still they came, still they devoured the land and everything living upon it. Never before had we fought such a foe. Not one time in all of our history had we fought a foe that could destroy us in a single day. Yes, we had fought Tyranids before, upon other worlds and in much smaller numbers. We defeated them then. We were victorious then and we had reveled in their blood.

At last they were at the great doors of the fang. Great destroyers hammered at the gates. Mighty beast with hooves the size of land raiders beat upon the forged steel until small openings could be seen. At first it was as a trickle of water seeping in as the smallest of them began to push through the openings. The spores entered first. They entered in and floated in the inner atmosphere of the Fang. We shot them down but when punched by bolter shells they exploded sending acid and bone as hard as steel raining down upon our ranks. The acid melted our armor and the bone pierced our ceramite rending our flesh and severing our limbs. But still we fought. Still we howled. Still we hunted with every bit of strength we had. We would never give up/ even when the great doors opened up and the flood entered in, we fought and killed shedding blood with all the skill we had ever known.

Genesrealers and rippers entered in first followed by Hormagaunts and Termagants. Their exoskeletons were hard as iron and red as blood. We fired into their ranks and killed them even as they broke into ours. With scything claws they tore our armor aside like paper from a notebook. But still we fought. We met claw with chainsword and exploding needles with bolter fire. We fought them like rocks fight the current of the river. Tiranid Warriors with great claws the length of long branches burst through the lesser creatures and hacked Wolves apart with bellows of victory. Creatures with acid glands belched rivers of acid onto the floors that melted men’s feet and consumed their flesh. Finally the gates had been knocked flat and ripped aside allowing the monsters, the true giants to enter. Some screamed so loud it caused some of us to go deaf while many of us fell to our knees in agony while others stomped upon their own to get to us. I saw warriors that I had known since birth torn to pieces and consumed. I saw friends that had waged war against the Chaos invasions scream in terror as their flesh was consumed by Biovores. Carnifex hammered us aside as if we were nothing, until we were finally forced to retreat into the depths of the Fang. To our shame we ran. To our deaths we fled. The Great Devourer gave chase and we could do nothing about it but collapse the walls and ceilings behind us.

‘Order Exterminatus.’ The Great Wolf had spoken the words. Exterminatus was the last line of defense. It was the last resort. Exterminatus is a planet killer. The thought of using it upon our own world was beyond imagination. It was beyond all expectation. We were defeated and Exterminatus was the last resort. Those of us who survived. Those of us who still breathed. Those of us who could still think and were not lost to battle lust froze at the words. Some fell to their knees and wept. Some fell on their faces and howled. All of us understood. With the command given Exterminatus was released. The bunker opened at the base of a deep canyon. Thousands of the creatures fell into the crater that opened under them. The rocket launched and the flames of its ignition killed thousands of the creatures.

The death bringer hammered through the atmosphere until it had reached altitude where it simply stopped for a split second before returning slowly back to Fenris. Death met death that day. Some say we won, but we know in our hearts that we did not win. No! We did not defeat our enemy even though many of them had died. No! And again I say no! We did not win! In order to survive, we killed our own world. Having nothing more to consume and now finding the world dead, the cloud of death simply left. The cloud was smaller now, merely a fragment of what it was upon entering our system, but it was not dead. It simply moved on looking for the next world. Seeking only to consume and devour, while we are here upon a broken world to bury our dead and sing of their deaths. We are the Wolves of Fenris. Today we have died even though we still walk among the living. We are the Wolves of Fenris and we shall know no fear.
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