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    Chapter Master Apologist's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Reigate, UK

    Re: The PCRC presents: Cold Feet on Frigia

    Close Encounters

    At this point in the war, reinforcement notices had reached several nearby planets. Some answered the call to repay old debts to the governor of Frigia, others to fulfill dreams of glory. Still, Frigia was a distant and unimportant entity; and many planetary governors preferred to keep their armies close at hand, to ward off potential Tau strikes of opportunity. The Brightsword Protectorate's expansionist plans were well-known, and most Governors in the sector had grown increasingly conservative and jittery about sending their forces afield.

    Nevertheless, enemy advances on Frigia had drawn in many forces, swelling the Penitent Crusade that hung in orbit. Mass Imperial Guard transports from the Richenbach and Hesiod systems were plighing their way through the turbulent warp to reinforce the embattled sysytem, and even some of the famed Clinth Commandos had been sighted.

    The Astartes, commonly the first to respond to Imperial distress, had provided a typically haughty and divided front. While strike forces of Space Wolves and Carcharadons had made planetfall early in the campaign, Chapter Master Kanatai of the Emperor's Hawks and First Brother Sarapis of the Sons of Spectra had given a negative response – the first citing his forces' deployment against rebels and orks across the Boten Cloud Nebula, the latter seeing no reason to explain to 'lesser men'. The Stars of Dorn and Emperor's Hammers, both from neighbouring sectors of space, had either declined to respond, or the astropathic messages they received had been lost or misinterpreted.

    It was pure chance that the Novamarines were nearby, and in a position to respond. Fresh from their successful defence of Throne in the Tonnabruggias system, Captain Mercian had begun a slow sweep towards the rimwards entrance of the Hyperion Warp Corridor, with the intent of returning to Honourum, far from the Antona Australis sector, when they received the distress message. Their small fleet drew into the system from the rim, and were horrified to find space cobwebbed with tyranid vessels, all seemingly searching for something. With hindsight, it is likely the tyranids of Hivefleet Dagon were attempting to recontact orphans of Splinterfleet Cerberus on the surface of Frigia. The presence of a bioform closely resembling the reports of the 'Old Growler' Prime Warrior from the surface was an especially worrying development. Had Dagon contacted Frigia already, and drawn up the information on this successful genotype?

    The Novamarines, all-too-aware of the threat posed by Dagon after the events on Macragge, immediately ordered boarding assaults against the Tyranids, aiming to disrupt their telepathic contact and slow reinforcements to the system.

    Close Encounters
    Splinterfleet Cerberus (Bob Hunk) vs. Novamarines 5th Company (Apologist)
    (Zona Mortalis expansion)

    A warm, spore-laden fog hung over the spongy surface of the cavern. Tiny flesh-beetles skittered over writhing digestion grubs. With a crackle of splitting resin, a pink sphincter-portal tightened spastically. Its meat turned grey, then split, weeping a blackened fluid as the meltacutter cut it open. Brother Ynnos, only newly advanced from the Scouts, pushed through the remaining burnt material warily, his feet light and his bolt pistol held up in front of him. The floor in the chasm spasmed and puckered softly around his boot, drawing back from the cool plasteel. The air was filled with buzzing and sonorous arrhythmic thumps.

    Even the vox seemed slowed and strange inside the vessel. The Astartes had fought in every manner of warzone, from chirping sweat-jungles to the sweetapple orchards of Throne. Nothing was like fighting the tyranids.

    Sergeant Nepoidon drew up alongside Ynnos, and placed a hand on his pauldron – though whether this was meant to steady Ynnos, or to derive some familiarity himself, wasn't clear to the battle brother.
    'Stinking tyranids,' the gnarled veteran began; and his casual disgust did more to reassure the shaken Ynnos than he liked to admit. 'Give me an honest fight against the greenskins any day.' He turned away, and used his power maul to indicate two gelid, muscular masses on the far side of the chamber.

    'More of these. Burn 'em.' The Space Marine boarding party had been destroying the fleshy pink lumps for perhaps half an hour as they pushed through the eerie vessel. In truth, no-one knew whether they served a vital purpose to the running of the craft, but with little else to go on, Captain Mercian had opted to destroy anything that stood out.

    Nepoidon watched as the four marines under his command fanned out; two priming krak charges while Ynnos and the other novitiate covered the remaining sphincter-portals. He bowed his head slightly to concentrate as a faint hissing came through on the command channel of the vox. He strained his Lyman's ear, squinting unconsciously. Were those faint words?

    He blinked in surprise as the line broke into a series of stuttering farts that Nepoidon realised was boltgun fire. He blink-clicked a locator rune to find the Captain, and began to walk back towards the tattered remains of the portal. Without turning his head, he toggled the squad vox. 'Follow me, Novamarines. Looks like this thing's got an immune system.'


    Novamarines emerge from the boarding torpedos.

    Tyranid bio-warriors emerge from their millennia-long slumber.

    Genestealer and spore mine organisms appear on the auspecies of the Astartes, who retrench and drive forward, capturing the first psychic node.

    Mercian warily advances towards the strange spore creatures, but they drift away from him.

    Sergeant Nepoidon orders his squad to dig in by the ventricles, training their weapons on the sphincter-door that the genestealers are lurking behind.

    The first node proves resistant to bolt pistol fire, so the veteran squad leader begins to prep krak charges.

    Genestealers burst through the door into a storm of boltgun fire from the well-drilled marines.

    To his horror, Mercian receives reports of a Carnifex bio-tank on the right flank, barrelling forward after the genestealers.

    Even as he gives his reinforcement orders, Tyranid warriors emerge into the large chamber to defend the second hive node.

    The genestealers and Novamarines engage in vicious close quarter fighting, hampered by the tight confines of the tyranid hiveship.
    Last edited by Apologist; 20-06-2013 at 09:24.
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