Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Battle of Manon Darr

I opened my eyes the instant my feet hit the ground and surveyed the scene. As far as drops go I’d say it’s roughly the worst I’d ever seen.

At my reckoning at least half of the units had fallen to the hail of fire we’d received on the way down. My entire unit had fallen, save our captain who was alive, but only support by the large steel beam from our pod that was sticking through him. It would not be long before he’d be with the Emperor. Squatting just outside the cover we’d landed in were the bulk of the Dark Eldar army, I could even see the massive cannons that had done so much damage to our force. But I could see the success of their ambush could not last; my brothers were rising up from the carnage, far more than I could have hoped for, even the ancient dreadnought was rising up out of its tangled wreckage and focusing its massive firepower on the Dark squads in front of him.

I turned my eyes from the carnage in time to see the light fade from my captain’s eyes and a squad of the vile creatures who had killed him sprint toward me over the rocks. I felt the blood lust of vengeance rise up in me and, grabbing the captain’s glowing frost blade, charged head first at my enemies, shredding two with my bolter fire before they even realised I was coming.

My foes fell back at the ferocity of my charge, apparently they haven’t heard of the damage a lone and corned wolf can do. Exploiting their shock, I grabbed the initiative and dived into combat, decapitating the closest elder and blasting the chest of the next to pieces with my bolter. The squad of ten was down now to six and their panic was increasing, clearly escape was on their minds. But the last thing I’d do is let enemies of the emperor run free, so when they turned on their heels and ran, I was ready and skewered two with my frost blade. The final four were out of the range of my sword but met their doom at the hand of my bolter, which made short work of the pitiful armour.

I turned back to the battlefield, which was looking considerably better than the last time I checked. Some of the youthful blood claws had charged in and were making short work of the forward units and I could see the surviving grey hunters and long fangs had set up a steady barrage of fire that was tearing the enemy to pieces. But our numbers are too few and the outcome is far from certain. Excellent, I look forward finding the beast that can kill me, and teaching him to fear the Emperors wrath. I go to make my contribution to this battle.

As I began the march toward the enemy lines, my bolter blazing and my enemies falling, I muttered a prayer; to the Emperor, to Russ, and to Fenris.

Many of the guardsmen I have met have told me tails of these Dark Eldar quivering with fear at the very telling of the story. But the guards are weak and hopeless when without their tanks, so I expected a certain level of exaggeration in their tales. But I did not expect such a great embellishment on the Guards part. These Eldar that I faced were cowards, fleeing from the charge and fire power of just one man, and dieing in their terror, perishing at the holy rounds of my most sacred bolter.

But I see that it is not just from me they flee. Some alien, darker and taller than the rest is coming toward me, the creatures around him flying as quick from him as they are from me. Not an easy win I think. I wonder what he will do, hopefully something interesting, these puny aliens are hopeless for a good fight.

He dances! In a twisting and vile way the creature is beginning to dance, disgusting, but not pointless I see. In time to his dance, four disgusting creatures rise from the ground. The creatures are strange and distorted, containing far too many claws and teeth than should be possible. With luck these four may even scratch my armour.

Now it is my turn to dance, but mine is a dance of sword, gun, and death. When I stop either I shall fall or none of those who oppose me shall live. Into combat I dived, tearing at the creatures as the sprung toward me, ducking their claws and slashing and blasting at everything I could. The first monster died fast, a frost blade in the gut and a bolter round in the head. The second put up more of a fight, slicing a huge rent through my shoulder guard, but losing a head and several arms in the process. The next two charged at me together, tearing great gashes in my armour none of which reached the flesh, thank Russ. I could soon see that we would fight to a standstill if we continued to fight sword and claw. To shorten a long and tiresome fight somewhat I punched a frag grenade down the throat of one and, leaving him to die as the bomb shredded his insides, turned my full attention on the only remaining demon, who soon fell to the bite of my blade.

But my dance was anything but over, and the demon’s master still stood, seething with anger and frozen with shock. Once again disappointed with the weaknesses this army were displaying a lunged forward and punched the oh so fearful alien’s face, sending him flying. It was clear I had angered him enough to get a reasonable response out of him and so prepared for his charge. From his hands extended long and glowing claws, and he took an extremely feline stance before darting forward.

His speed was far greater than anything I had anticipated and I only just managed to avoid him, his claws tearing through my bolter. The cat like way in which he fights is both shocking and deadly in its speed, but though he may be a cat, there is no way he can defeat a wolf. I drew first blood, slicing across his chest and all but destroying the pitiful armour he was wearing. But the next wound is mine. His claws stabbed deep into my armour and ripping up my organs. It seems that my grave too shall be upon this field of death.

Annoyed that I could not last long enough to enjoy the slaughter of the rest of these creatures, I determined to at least destroy this thing that had injured me so. I lunged forward in a slow attack that the alien easily blocked, or would have if he had judged the strength of the attack correctly. My sword sheared through both his blades and down through his head to his heart, the victory was mine.

As my eyes faded I saw that the Dark Eldar were in full flight, it seems that the one I killed was their lord. Pathetic. I could see a group some way away holding their ground and charged determining that they should pay dearly for their bravery.

I muttered to myself the death rights as I charged, knowing my death was inevitable:
“For the glory of the Emperor I Die…”


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