Act 3 – Rise, Chapter 22

The ground underneath Aramën’s boots shook as a bright light lit up the sky in the east as the traps the Eldar had left behind were set off by the first wave of Tyrandis crashing onto the planet.  A cry of pain from the creatures caught in the blast soon followed, filling the air with a sombre and chilling mood – they had little time left to prepare.

Having placed the high and noble walls of the city to their backs, the colourful displays of Eldar warriors were now all very aware of their encroaching foes.  With the last of their number getting into position, the Eldar’s defending line was small, but profusely deadly.  Large gun emplacements were charging their power generators at the back whilst at the front, lines of Dire Avengers were tucked behind various makeshift barricades.  The entire force was as steady as a rock, their numerous weapons trained into the distance as they waited for the storm.

Aramën had positioned herself in the middle of the defence so that she could use her gifts of foresight and offensive physic powers to best aid her warriors.  She found herself amidst the countering wave of Howling Banshees, the sleek cream armour displaying their elegant female forms merely a mask for the dealers of death; their power swords humming with a lust for murder and sonic emitters on their helmets that could send enemies mad with fear.

Looking around the defences she found Hama stood at the forefront of their defences – his mastery of war would lead as an inspiring example from the front where all the warriors could see.

The dust now settling on the horizon, the silhouette of the giant Hive biomass could be seen stationary in orbit, a steady stream of ravenous life being shot from its enormous being into space and towards the planet.  The sky was starting to darken for real now as Hama looked up at the fast approaching invasion.

Using the optical enhancements in his helmet, he could start to make out the shapes of Tyranid spores hurtling towards the city.  With the Xamath overhead destroying them during their decent, he wouldn’t have to worry himself about, leaving him to deal with the foot slogging creatures landing in the distance.

As if on cue, the shadow of the Xamath appeared overhead and held its vector above the city, its various cannons and missiles launching into the sky to intercept the invaders in flashes of bright colours.

Turning his attention back to his own adversaries, he could see that whilst his forces had been a fluid motion of calm serenity, the incoming Tyranids were a blood red tsunami with a pale white surf rushing towards them.

As the heavy weapon platforms finished charging up their long ranged guns, Hama sensed something behind him.  Turning to look at the walls, he was greeted by the presence of hundreds of armed Humans lined across its battlements, guns trained at the incoming Tyranid horde as a battalion of fighter jets flew over, their crude jet engines screaming overhead as they flew towards the oncoming tide and releasing their payload, sending scores of Tyranids to their grave in an impressive display of fire.

Splitting off from their attack run, the largely unscathed group of fighters made their way quickly back to the city to resume their evacuation duties whilst Hama opened a communication channel to the weapons platform teams – their weapons humming with energy, raring to be released and find their marks.  “Now!” he said calmly, as a silent wave of projectile energy was launched over the defenders and into the disorganised waves of the Tyranids, further impeding their progress across the plains as they fought across the newly scorched craters and dismembered bodies of their kin.

Before they could pick up any decent pace, Hama send an order to the Xamath, asking its crew to release the few missiles it could spare into the gathering horde.

Streaking overhead, the deadly missiles quickly found their targets.  With another cry of pain, the Tyranids disappeared from view in a burst of light as their bodies were disintegrated, torn apart and broken in a cloud of dust.

With the hordes’ progress stunted, the Humans on the wall started jeering and mocking their foes.  Some started to chant crude, repetitive songs whilst others, who had been as pale as the light from a white dwarf star, were starting to realise that the invading Tyranids were simple life forms, albeit destructive and numerous, but not immortal.

Aramën admired the Humans sense of achievement, unwarranted as it was.  A Human’s moral was like a leaf on the wind, it could be tossed about and change direction with but a simple puff of wind.  This was most unlike that of the Eldar warriors, who had been trained only to fight, to not fear their enemies and to trust in their own skill as a warrior.  Closing out the noises from the Humans in her mind, she lifted her runes into the air around her as the conclave of Warlocks surrounding her followed suit.

Once more, tapping into the life force of the galaxy she turned her attention to the sky ahead.  Using her advanced knowledge of the way the world worked she started manipulating the air pressure, forming clouds where it had once been a clear sky until the area in front of her warriors was pitch dark.

In the distance as the dust settled once more.  Instead of the defenders being greeted by a pile of corpses, they could see a host of larger creatures ambling across the plain, stooping over and shielding the smaller ones with their thicker armour – the cheering from the Humans stopped.

Building the pressure to breaking point, Aramën waited for the slower advancing creatures to reach the shaded ground.  Using all of her strength combined with that of the Warlocks around her to hold onto the ever increasing pressure, she eventually subdued, allowing the clouds overhead to burst.

Hama could only watch as the huge physic storm was unleashed as a mixture of natural lightning and physic bolts rained down from the sky and struck the horde.  Its power instantly slayed the smaller creatures, despite their new protection, as a score of the larger beasts roasted inside their shell-like armour; their hulking forms now only making them a natural target for the lightning.

With their last trick now spent, the Eldar could only rely on the weapons they held in their hands as they waited for the Tyranids to regroup and rush into their lines.

“How much time do they need?” Hama asked the commander of the Xamath his confident tone hiding the dread he felt towards one of the answers that could come back.

“The last of the transports are setting off now for the docks.  They should return for you shortly.”

“Excellent work,” he replied, breathing a short sigh of relief.  There’s no way the Tyranids can send enough reinforcements to overpower us, a short skirmish with the surviving beasts and we can leave moderately unscathed, Hama thought to himself.

Before he could take a moment to relax and enjoy the moment, a green bolt of energy shot from the Hive and into the ground where thousands of Tyranid corpses were slain.  The defenders silent with confusion, Hama enhanced his vision to see thousands of corpses reassembling themselves, growing new limbs where they had been blasted apart and crying out with a new found lust for blood.

Their rushing numbers were now so densely populated from the kill zone that the Eldar had created, the tsunami was now a landslide and even the trained Aspect warriors of the Eldar forces were starting to become undone.

With their transports unavailable and their advantage of firepower about to be overwhelmed, Hama looked to Aramen to see if they should try and outrun them or fight.  He found her stood by his side.

“Excellent,” she said to no one in particular before turning to Hama, “Ready a charge.”

Both shocked at the order but trusting her inspiring presence as a commander, Hama acted against his own judgement and relayed Aramën’s message to their warriors, placing the lives of their warriors in her hands once more.

“Do not worry,” she telepathically said to the defenders, “They’re our allies for the foreseeable future,” as a burst of green lightning hit the ground infront of the Eldar line, a host of Necrons in its place poised and ready for battle left in its wake.

 

 

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