Read this first …
Leaping out of the shadows, skittering across the floor in rapid movements, large creatures descended on the squad. There was no real time for thought, only firing. The speed in which they attacked matched the response. Silence was shattered by the sound of bolter-fire; shouts of surprise filled the air. Conucifer aimed his bolter at the nearest one, blasting through a front limb. These aliens had six legs, the front ones raised and armed with vicious claws.
The limb exploded in a shower of green viscera. It did not stop the creature, now squealing from its beaked mouth. Clicks filled the air as the creature lunged forward, the remaining claw raised. Aiming the bolter again, he shot at the head, blowing it off. Instead of falling to the ground as expected, it kept coming. He blinked, dropping the bolter. Thumbing the activation on the chainsword, the machine whirred to life. He cut through the carapace, a shower of entrails spilling from the wound. Finally, the creature fell still.
A scream snapped his head up. Helpless, he watched as a headless thing skewered both claws through the chest of Lurvus, “Through the chests!” he yelled, needing the others to know how to kill the xeno scum. Not waiting, Conucifer brought his bolter to bear and destroyed the thing that had harmed his brother. Carnok, the apothecary was at Lurvus’s side in moments, making sure he was alright. He turned away and looked for the next target.
The sound of bolter fire echoed over the ridge, the clicks of the alien a subtle undertone. A quick scan of the ridge said his shout had been registered and orders followed, the mounting bodies of dead aliens evidence of that. The ground shuddered, something large was moving about in the cave. Looking up, Conucifer saw something that turned his stomach. Skin glistened; slick wet leather covered a bony body twice the size of him. Claws as long as his arms reached out but the worst thing was the stench. Death followed this creature; the smell of putrid flesh followed as it exited the cave, making his gorge rise. He knew what he had to do!
“MORTIFERUS!” he yelled, the answering cries of his battle-brothers spurring him forwards. He charged into the mass of it; the large claws rose in greeting as his chain-sword swung down, cutting into one of the thick limbs. Green blood spurted from the wound but the fight was far from over. Dodging left, he blocked a blow with a ceramite vambrace, cutting low. The blow found purchase, the chain cutting into flesh. Squeals erupted from the hideous mouth of the monster, It pushed forward. Not one to neglect a challenge, Conuficer refused to be moved. He ducked, repeating the blow to the other limb; this time the creature did not miss him.
A huge claw punctured his left shoulder, the blow sending him reeling. Vivid red flooded down his blue armour; the raw pain flooded through him before the power armour could inject the stims into his blood, damping it. Seconds later, he was being pressed back, the alien not giving him a moment to register the wound.
The sound of parried blows echoed as the beast drove him further back into the cave. The light dimmed, the stench intensified. Pressing the advantage, a flurry of blows sent his bolter flying, his chainsword span out of his grip. A low blow from the claw toppled Conicifer, sending him sprawling onto his back.
Vile stench surrounded him, the creature loomed over, it’s fiendish maw dripping with green ooze. Hearts thudding in his ears, he did not wait for death. If he was going to be claimed by this evil hissing thing, he was going to make sure it came with him! Two claws descended; he caught them in gloved hands, refusing to give in. The sharp blades of the alien’s primary weapon cut through his armoured hands.
Watching the claws come closer, despite his grip he knew the end was close. There was so much he had left to do, so many tasks yet to complete in the name of the Emperor. Feeling the claw slip through his grasp, he refused to believe this was how it ended. His grip tightened on the sharp appendages, blood flowed from his lacerated hands. He twisted his wrists around instead. At an agonising pace, the rigid claws were twisted with them.
First there was a creaking, rapidly followed by a snapping and a spray of green covered his helmet. Screaming once more filled the air; the creature recoiled. A glance to his left, then his right. There! As the beast snapped back, he reached out a hand. Still on his back, he gripped the chainsword and rammed it home, burying the whirring blade into its soft underside. Chunks of meat and bone fell onto the dusty ground. Raising a boot, he kicked the dying creature away. The next moment he was on his feet, dismissed it and looked for the rest of his companions.
What he saw was a brutal display of their killing power. Fragments of alien lay strewn over the battlefield, discarded and useless as rotten flesh. The only movement came from his warriors. Even Lurvus was on his feet, his armour now more green than red. “Think it’s safe to say this is a hostile world,” Thelis muttered as he walked over.
“There is only one course of action here,” Coniferus nodded, flicking gunk from his chainsword and sheathing it once again. Although he couldn’t see it, he knew his friend was smiling inside his helmet as he nodded. Coniferus was smiling himself; the war here was going to be short and bloody; just how they liked it.