View Full Version : Vespid Story

11-10-2005, 03:40
Don't suppose we could get any confirmation (or denials, please the denials) one this?

Transmission Received
Recipient: Inquisitor General Meglos
Authorization: Approved
Thought for the Day: The best diplomacy is eradication.

Inquisitor General Meglos

Following your orders the raid against the Tau outpost was successful. All mission objectives were achieved. You were right about the Tau warrior caste preparing a new weapon for use against the servants of the Emperor. However no new technology or grand engineering projects were found. Instead what was discovered was another blasphemous slave species that the upstart Tau were vetting in combat trials.

The Letum Vigilo cruiser Venetor Fidelea entered the system designated by the Tau as Ie’zuf undetected. Indeed, this far into the Ambitus Orientaleas the Tau did seem to expect attack. As our forces approached the seventh moon of the forth gas giant our augars detected the only significant threats to be days away performing sun skimming exercises.

The Xenos damper fields attached to the Venetor Fidelea meant that our approach went undetected for the three days it took to reach the target moon. The moon itself was sparsely populated, appearing to house nothing more than a few farming settlements. Three separate installations with probable military function were identified, including one that matched the description provided in your orders.

Once in orbit however the Tau on the surface began frenetic efforts to communicate with us, sniveling their usual drivel about how they are a peaceful species and would like to communicate to us their message about serving the greater good. Captain Tugeruf replied by locating the source of the transmission and letting the barrage cannon silence it.

I left the heart of the Venetor Fidelea on one of three tempestas autours. Each contained a cohort of thirty faithful Letum Vigilo Adepts. Each cohort was given the designation of Velox, Celer, and Pennipes. Cohorts Velox and Celer were to scour the other possible military targets after orbital bombardment and exterminate any xenos survivors. This distraction provided I led cohort Pennipes to our target.

As the Tau favor bodies with lighter gravity, the atmosphere was thin and insertion to the target sight was smooth and uneventful. As the target site, specified as objective Attero, was approached I could see many shallow trenches carved into the landscape. Each trench was approximately ten meters wide and three to four meters deep. After brief discussion with the Adept piloting the tempestas autour a landing site was selected in the lee of a trench 200 meters of our target. The thinking was that it would be difficult for the dropship to be targeted by whatever indirect fire the enemy might have. A short distance from the landing site another trench intersected the first and led directly to the target.

Ten Adepts spread out on touch down to secure the dropsite. The other twenty followed me to the intersection. Upon turning the corner I met a site that is still giving me nightmares. Four abominations faced me, each slightly taller than an Adept in armor, with three pairs of golden eyes gleaming in the bright sun. A whirring sound not unlike a chain sword originated behind the leader as he approached with open two clawed paws. An incandescent cloud would coalesce into wings momentarily, each time leading to a cessation of the whirring, before starting up again. This horrible lumpy chitinus thing approached slowly, it’s unclosing maw leaking some sort of gooey viscera onto its blue white mottled torso.

I did the only thing any true servant of the Emperor could do. I filled its overly broad torso with the might of the Imperium. I was so startled and disgusted I foolishly emptied the entire clip of my bolt pistol into the hideous thing. I brought my sword up, switching the power on as I did so, to deflect the assault of the thing’s still living companions.

What happened instead was unexpected as it was disgusting. The thing to the left immediately lept upon the recently deceased and straddled it. The thing to the right leapt upon the first, tackling it to the ground. The third beast replaced the first and proceeded to insert a large stinger from the base of its abdomen into the still smoking corpse of the abomination I had dispatched. As it did so it stared at me with evil intent with all six of its shining yellow eyes.

I caught a glimpse of brother sergeant Validus, this hardened xeno killer of the Letum Vigilo was standing next to me mouth agape at the horror he was witnessing. I can only imagine that his brothers standing near him, their faces hidden by the helmets of their auctorias loricum, were the same. I turned back in time to see the creature that had straddled the corpse leap at me.

With power provided by its furious wings the thing knocked me the ground. My chain sword chewed harmlessly at its hardened carapace. Discovering my armor to be to much for its claws the thing began reaching for my face. However this massive beast was weak! Comically so! I easily forced it back. Brother sergeant Validus then ripped the thing’s head clean of its shoulders. I was doused in the stinking white pus like blood of the beast.

As I stood up with the help of Validus rest of the cohort opened fire at the remaining two creatures, they vanished in a cloud of flying chitin and white effluvia. Almost at once the first shot came from the ridgeline above us. Five brothers flew to the ridge line on the screaming thrust of their jetpacks. Before they reached their destination they were met in mid air by more of the hideous beasts. However ugly these beasts were, they were no match for the mighty brethren of the Adeptus Astares. Dead beasts rained down upon us as we approached target Attero.

Less than fifty meters from a large door in the structure we encountered the first of the Tau warrior caste. There were only five. The brothers quickly delivered the wrath of the Emperor to them. A brother ran to the door and attached a melta bomb. As he withdrew he was struck down by a storm of fire coming from the roof of the structure. As an Apothecary quickly moved to retrieve the gene seed the other brothers threw grenades to the roof in response. This silenced the Tau warriors who had taken position there.

As is typical of Tau structures I have seen, several steps descended into the hallway. Of the fighting in the building I don’t remember much, only the faces of the Tau workers
I came upon before I dispensed the will of the Emperor into them. Needless to say, the Tau warriors were no contest for the brothers of the Letum Vigilo in such close quarters.

The directions you provided with the orders for this mission were flawless. I quickly found my way to the xeno’s librarium. The strange device you provided worked as promised, draining the librarium of its contents in minutes. The data secured I issued the order to withdraw.

As we left the facility we again came under fire from the roof. Several of the winged beasts had taken position there and were firing Tau weapons adapted to their claws at us. When the brothers threw there grenades the beasts sped off the roof at us on their wings. What ensued was a desperate melee. Every beast slain was quickly replaced with more who flew in from the surrounding trenches. The fight would have been lost had the beasts not been more interested in stinging their fallen comrades than fighting us. Indeed, just wounding one of these fell creatures was enough to set its comrades upon it. Once stung in this manner the fallen did not move again.

Still there were hundreds of them all around. I was saving a xenos explosive device I collected during the exaction of ancient ruins on Hanat for when there was finally no hope. I was going to take as many of the loathsome things with me as I could. Fortunately that was not to be.

The drop ship roared into view with guns blazing. Its appearance startled our attackers who withdrew with haste. The battle cannon of the tempestas autour proved its worth, reducing large sections of the withdrawing horde to white paste. Our rescue assured the drop ship screamed skyward, but not before covering the area with a toxic nerve agent that the Tau are known to be especially venerable to. My only hope is that the winged beasts I have dubbed Vespids are also affected by it. Either way, I had captain Tugeruf obliterate the site from orbit before we departed.

The Venetor Fidelea had come under heavier attack than expected. While the main spaceport had been destroyed in the initial barrage, there were secondary subterranean hangers scattered around the main port for use by Vespid pilots. The Venetor Fidelea suffered superficial damage when a Vespid piloted interceptor impacted a defense turret after receiving damage. Unfortunately the crew of this gun was lost resulting in three casualties. Captain Tugeruf seems disappointed that the xenos Tau were scattered about the surface in small agricultural settlements. This resulted in only ten to twenty thousand xenos slain in orbital bombardment actions during our stay in orbit.

11-10-2005, 03:40
Of the three cohorts sent to the surface only two returned. Apparently cohort Velox, sent to the spaceport had its drop ship destroyed on the ground by the surprise appearance of the before mentioned interceptors. Fortunately our attack was so swift that no interceptors were dispatched to the other target sites. A recovery mission was able to retrieve four survivors and eighteen gene seeds for the loss of two more Adepts. It is estimated that over a thousand xenos perished during these two operations.

Cohort Celer suffered one wounded from a misfiring ictus suboles. The possible military structure turned out to be a large factory for the manufacture of agricultural machines. The factory was had only unarmed Vespid workers with Tau worker caste supervisors. The Brother Sergeant in command of that cohort reported over a thousand xenos eradicated.

My own mission suffered nine brothers fallen with five gene seeds recovered. Only one member of the jetpack equipped team returned wounded to the drop site. They had, like us, been overwhelmed with large numbers of Vespid warriors. The drop site itself was under constant attack almost from the start. Turns out the trench system was there barracks, they live in holes on the ridgeline. Luckily the Vespid warriors were only equipped with pulse carbines and so were driven off repeatedly by the heavy weapons mounted to the tempestas autour class assault drop ship. Enemy dead are estimated near three hundred. After analyzing the data retrieved from the Tau librarium I have started to call these horrible creatures Vespids. This is due to the terrible reproductive cycle these creatures have. Instead of carrying young internally or laying eggs these creatures inject each other with a fatal virus. This virus causes the host’s body to break down and form Vespid larva. A living host so injected can produce up to fifty larva. After being stung a living host will quickly loss consciousness as its body transmutes into a writhing mass of maggot like larva. A host that has been dead for as long as three days can still produce a viable larva when mated with. Both parents contribute genetic material to the larva, all dominate traits come from the Father that implants his virus with a sting. Adult Vespids wait to collect the larva as they emerge from a host’s body.

If a Vespid suffers an injury serious enough to breach it tough armor its own comrades will begin to fight for the right to sting the wounded Vespid. This behavior is manic and stems from the smell of another Vespids blood. Aside from this, every Vespid apparently seeks the opportunity to mate with it brethren. Assassination is a fact of life for this species. Indeed it’s vital for the continuation of the species.

This mating behavior has given indigenous Vespid society a level of disunity almost never seen in an intelligent species before. The Tau themselves theorize intelligence evolved in the Vespids to handle the complex and constantly changing social order that this behavior brings. Vespids naturally only ever collect into small nests, rarely exceeding twenty in number. These nests are constantly engaged in skirmishes with neighboring nests. Occasionally indigenous Vespid will come together in larger groups, but these alliances quickly breakdown into warfare.

The Tau discovered the Vespid in a system designated Uk’net, which translates into little treasure. Uk’net holds the remains of an ancient nova, its red dwarf star orbited by thick gas clouds, asteriodal debris, and a single planet. The Tau believe this planet to have been an extra solar body that was captured by the gravity of the dwarf star. They further speculated that the planetoid was itself once a moon in another system before being ejected into the void.

The Vespid have been shaped by this system. While the system they inhabit is rich in minerals, their home world itself is deficient in mineral wealth. All metals used by the indigenous Vespid come from meteor impacts. The home world is incredibly close to its primary, resulting in massive tidal forces affecting the small body. This leads to a very active geological lithosphere with earthquakes and volcanoes common. There is very little standing water, the largest being a couple of large lakes near the magnetic north. The atmosphere is so thin even at the median surface level that no species found on this world, including the Vespid, have evolved a sense of hearing.

A Vespid has eight eyes. Six eyes face forward and two cover the rear arc. The rear eyes are necessary to make up for the lack of hearing. The Vespid communicate using wing beat patterns. Their excellent vision allowing them to follow up to two thousand separate beats per minute, meaning the Vespid are at no disadvantage when it comes to communication when compared with species that have hearing. Even while flying Vespid can communicate important ideas by measured pauses in wing beats.

While capable of full flight on their home world, Vespid can only control guide on worlds with heavier gravity. This is aided by the addition of helium. Helium is present not only from the dust cloud surrounding the Uk’net star, but is constantly renewed by the fusion occurring on the dying primary. Vespid bone and carapace structure incorporate uncountable small pockets of this gas. On Uk’net helium is acquired by breathing. On other worlds the Tau have had to provide special helium chambers for larval Vespid so that they develop with the right proportion of helium in their bodies.

The large torso of a Vespid holds a unique lung system. While air is taken through the mouth, it moves though the primary lung, then to a secondary lung to extract as much oxygen as possible. The secondary lung forces the air out of vents on the back. This air flows over the wings. On their home world this lets the Vespid fly higher than ambient air pressure would sometimes allow. When excited or threatened the mouth of a Vespid locks open so as to procure a constant airflow through the respiratory system. A side effect of this is that in a denser atmosphere Vespid will become over oxygenated, leading to a furious level of almost drunken activity. A Vespid under these conditions can be brave to the point of suicidal actions in combat.

The thick hard carapace that covers each Vespid is composed mostly of silicon. This material is readily available from their diet of plant material. The Vespid are almost entirely herbivorous, able to consume huge amounts of any plant material presented with. Indeed, due to the low nutritional value Vespid almost constantly eats. Insects consumed with forage are a welcome source of protein. The Vespid digestive system is incredibly complicated, the goal being to extract as much useful material from their resource poor diet as possible.

The Tau came to Uk’net searching for an abundance of easily obtained mineral ore. As a bonus they discovered the Vespid. The Tau themselves refer to the Vespid as the cursed, or in their own tongue I’et. Despite their treacherous nature to their own kind the Vespid have embraced the greater good wholeheartedly. The violent behavior a Vespid uses in its own culture to secure its safety and breeding rights are not needed with the Tau. Within years of the first encounter with Tau individual Vespid were begging to join the Adat’upni. Since then Vespid have become integrated on a number of colony worlds as members of the worker caste.

The Tau have had fantastic success using the Vespid as factory workers. With small cubicles with locked doors serving as living quarters that allow security from their fellow workers individual Vespid can be guaranteed a level of personnel safety unknown to their forebears. Working conditions are similarly isolated, the workers only connection to each other being the assembly line. Encouragement to work hard is simple breeding rights. The hardest working Vespid for a given year gets to mate with the worker who performs the worst. Even with almost non-existent salaries by Tau standards, Vespid voluntarily left Uk’net in droves to work in these conditions. Little more than a steady supply of forage all that need be provided.

Vespid have also become valuable servants to those of the working caste that can afford them. A Vespid becomes a welcome friend and guest to a family that has no interest in killing them.

The installation I attacked on your orders was one of many working towards integrating the Vespid into the Tau warrior caste. This is a bigger danger than any data I’ve provided so far would leave you to believe. This is because of Vespid intelligence. [/quote]

11-10-2005, 03:42
The Tau are not impressed by an adult Vespid’s intelligence. What impressed them and frightens me is the way a Vespid learns about its world. When an adult adopts a larval Vespid the larva is fed a diet of regurgitated plant material. Memories are transferred by way of a saliva secretion during these meals. So much so that upon metamorphosing the new adult has all the memories of its caretaker.

Train one Vespid to fight, then let it care for fifty larva. A well-fed larva will enter a chrysalis two years after birth. Emerging a mere six months later as an adult. Within five years you have an army twenty five hundred strong that is well trained and ready to fight.

The Tau space caste is also trying to incorporate these awful xenos into their forces. Apparently the Vespid have excelled in trials as interceptor pilots. Their natural understanding of three-dimensional tactics has given them the advantage in mock combats with comparably trained Tau pilots. It is also my understanding that interceptor duty is one of the most dangerous in any space fleet. By keeping succeeding generations in the role of interceptor pilot the Tau could cut down on training costs considerably.

I believe the Tau were attempting to withhold this addition to their forces from us. Now that their secret is out I would expect to see them vet these new additions to the warrior caste in raids against the Imperium.

As always your humble servant,
Inquisitor Apprentice Ordo Xenos Consilius Klien
From Tau-online (from 40K online from dakka), hopefully to be taken with major salt, if not vinegar

11-10-2005, 03:56
Thats very interesting. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the whole assassination thing, though I'm not entirely sure why. damn I wish it was March/April.

11-10-2005, 04:41
That sounds very cool. Though the Vespids weilding Pulse carbines seem a bit strange to me. Also them being brought as servants as well as mention of Tau getting wages seems very strange to me since it's never been mentioned before.

11-10-2005, 07:31
Tastyfish; where'd y'get it?

11-10-2005, 07:43
Actually, this sounds fairly accurate, at least it explains a few things:

Adult Vespids wait to collect the larva as they emerge from a hostís body.

Is that what the growth-like things on the Vespid models we speculated might be some form of organic-grenade actually are, Vespid larva...?

In fact, this might explain the 'strain leader' we hear, perhaps the Vespids come in various strains depending upon what they've mated with?

The Vespid communicate using wing beat patterns. Their excellent vision allowing them to follow up to two thousand separate beats per minute, meaning the Vespid are at no disadvantage when it comes to communication when compared with species that have hearing. Even while flying Vespid can communicate important ideas by measured pauses in wing beats.

This would explain the mask on the 'Strain-leader': since it covers their antenna-like bits, it might create the correct vibration to allow him to understand the orders from Tau he cannot see, then pass it on to the squad.

Most interesting, all of this.

Although the Tau have to be asking themselves: why can't we meet nice, normal races? They either eat the dead, or breed with the dead/wounded, etc... ;)

11-10-2005, 07:50
And the Tau go, "Uh. You.. go.. right on ahead, guys. Just.. keep doin' it. Have fun, okay? Just, y'know, let's.. uh. Regulate your breeding, mmkay? A competition. That's what it is. Most productive worker gets the mating rights! Now off into the factories you go, little guys.."

11-10-2005, 07:52
Okay, that fiction is not real. It's listed in the "Short Story" section of DakkaDakka, and the author states he just made it up. Just a heads up

11-10-2005, 08:05
Still I liked the wasp reproduction idea of injecting into hosts. Maybe something GW could maintain.

11-10-2005, 08:35
Interesting, then, but.. uh. I'm not missing it too much -- if only because it'd imply some sad, sad rule about the squad being auto-pinned if it takes a casualty or someat. Anyway!

11-10-2005, 09:21
The hardest working Vespid for a given year gets to mate with the worker who performs the worst...i'd work under those conditions...