Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fiction - The Siege of Vardash III

It seemed like years since the occupation had begun. At first it seemed like a few malcontents dissatisfied with Imperial rule, then some spoke out, later, it was government edicts that didn't make any sense. Now, huddled in the basement of a ruined building, things looked dire. And very real. Slowly, Port Munio had become haven to heretics or mutants or ... something. Last week when the first of them emerged from the sewers and dark places, all hunched and some sporting a third arm, almost all of them with talons and beady eyes, that's when the riots began. They seemed to be in charge, and the towns people followed them almost robotically, even those in government were no better than the lowliest worker. Those not under this mind control or whatever it was, were in hiding, in places like this. It's possible this was the last packet of survivors. In the last few hours, packs of ... things, six limbed creatures with slavering jaws had been wandering the streets, helping to hunt down people who had not been placed under control.
There were perhaps 60 or 70 people in the basement, the door barricaded which resounded with a rythmic thumping as forces outside pounded at it with some random deritus. One man sat at a small table in the corner with a transmitter of some sort, futilly calling for help that wasn't coming. Another man sat, his child held close in one hand, hugging a makeshift grenade in the other. Whether he meant it for himself or the enemy was unknown. Men, women and childen wept openly, some tried to hide it, as if there were some dignity left for them here. Maybe a half dozen people had second hand lasguns, for what good they would do. There was a sound of distant scrabbling, as if something were burrowing. They didn't know where it came from, and had found it was near impossible to acertain with so many people in such a small space. They all knew the end was near, hope had left Vardash III long ago.
Far above in space floated two Imperial vessels. One, the Hammerhand, carried a compliment of Imperial Fist marines, the other, Voice of Redemption and it's accompanying smaller vessels home to an Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus. Onboard both ships, preparations were underway to take to the planets' surface. The subject of a 4 day search had just been located. A shuttle known to have been carrying a Chaos Lord, his retinue and some device that xenos notes had revealed to be "devestating on a planetary scale". Nearly too late, sensors picked up a large mass moving towards the planet. Too slow to be a meteor, it was to large to be something constructed, deeper scans confrimed biomass, it was a Tyranid ship. Moving to intercept, both battleships spat fire into the bio-ship, which didn't fight back. The combined fire made quick work of the bloated ship and it ruptured and seemed to be bleeding droplets of ichor into space. Larger drops turned out to be mycetic spores spilling from the ship and entering the upper atmosphere of the planet. They continued downward until they were no longer reachable by scan. Attempts to fire upon the pods were mostly ineffectual. The ships reoriented themselves to their original orbit and began launching landing craft and drop pods. They would bring hope back to Vardash III.

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