Sunday, March 27, 2011

From Superstition to Reality

      Word spread about the death of Inquisitor Maltrix and his detachment of Daemon Hunters to Colonel Bruismere of the 32nd Iaxian Regiment. The Colonel was pleased to find an opportunity to show up the Inquisition, though he would never admit that out loud. Iax, though it had a large Imperial Guard population, was a training planet for harsh jungles and urban warfare. Other than the training grounds most of it was Ultramarine farming for the population of Space marines living on nearby Maccrage. There was limited to none natural human population living on the planet.
      Many of the new recruits came from other planets, and all but few of the command had never seen combat other than a drunken brawl here and there. Those who had seen combat saw very little. Even Colonel Bruismere, who was the most battle hearty of them, had only been in one war which comprised itself of four battles and was against rebels on a separate planet. Throughout his career Bruismere had hoped to see a full scale war. When he was deployed to Iax to train regiments of Guardsmen he thought his career to be over, forever to sit at a desk and wipe the noses of young men as they learned the true meaning of physical labor. He had known of the rumors that ran through the ranks of the creatures that lived deep in the jungle. He even thought it was just a trick to scare some of the younger soldiers; he dismissed any notion that the rumors could be true. Even deaths and disappearances were proclaimed "accident durring a training exercise" or "awall slackers". He believed that until three squads of ten guardsmen were sent to train in the jungle overnight and were found three weeks later in pieces. The images disturbed Bruismere, and he was convinced that something lurking was possible. However, when reports were found on a lone assassin deployed to observe the creatures in action Colonel Bruismere's reaction was exactly, "Just Tyranids! By the Emperor we have ourselves some real training! Boys, let's go get us some bugs!".
     A week after Iquisitor Maltrix forces were found, Colonel Bruismere deployed the newest graduates into the jungle to find the main infestation of the Tyranids. Equipment was limited, Chimeras were only allowed for the few officers and those that were the top of their class and the rest had to walk. Two vendettas were sent along just to get an aerial view. Slowly, they raked the jungle meter by muddy meter until they reached Training Ground A314-V, a small city that had been made for urban training.
      As the vendettas reached the fake city a large winged creature was seen in the city center devouring the remains of an animal, they quickly identified it as a Hive Tyrant and relayed the "easy kill" back to the rest of the detachment. As they were positioning themselves a large crash came, "What was that?! Their must be more, come in Vend 2, come in...Vend 2, come it....arrggg". Pods had crashed into each and the bugs that were in each emerged unscathed in front of the masses of new Guardsmen.
     Shots rang as several infantrymen fell. The command chimera called to the other chimeras, but there was no answer. Quickly thinking Lieutenant Peterson called to charge the beasts, a bold and rash decision. The guardsmen didn't think about personal safety they thought of the pleasure of combat. They rushed the Hive Tyrant, the pods, and the other beasts. Surprising they overwhelmed the bugs. Like a swarm of piranha they swung each attack like a small bite taking chunk by chunk out of the alien creatures. Even the beams of energy were not enough to blast holes in the moral of the guardsmen. The infested pods were quickly taken. They were winning and they had found large mounds like that of an ant hill inside the buildings as they fought. They were successful in their mission. But they would never get the chance to relay their findings to Colonel Bruismere.
      Out of the jungle edge hundreds of swarming smaller beasts came and took the infantry by surprise. Shooting thousands of green ooze, they quickly killed all of the Guardsmen on foot. Only the command Chimera harboring Lt. Peterson and a couple of others got away into the jungle and have yet to be heard from. Several days later Colonel Bruismere would call for all the forces the planet could muster claiming that a war that would rival Maccrage was soon to begin.

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