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Author Topic: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - Arc Finished!  (Read 13355 times)

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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 9th April
« Reply #40 on: April 9, 2011, 10:04:28 PM »
Cheers for the advice, and thanks for reading :D

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 9th April
« Reply #41 on: April 9, 2011, 11:36:22 PM »
It's a nice add on.  I like the play out between the different human factions.  Only one thing.  I didn't feel the Tau were truly threatened by the PDF.  They were just there to be brushed aside.  The Imperials just didn't feel like a real adversary.  They were simply running around holding the Idiot Ball.
« Last Edit: April 9, 2011, 11:38:46 PM by Gornon »
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 9th April
« Reply #42 on: April 9, 2011, 11:42:46 PM »
It's a nice add on.  I like the play out between the different human factions.  Only one thing.  I didn't feel the Tau were truly threatened by the PDF.  They were just there to be brushed aside.  The Imperials just didn't feel like a real adversary.  They were simply running around holding the Idiot Ball.

That was sorta the idea...
An army that fights against the Tau using columned troops is going to get owned: Fact.

It'll become clear in the next part why this sequence took place.

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 9th April
« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2011, 12:21:23 AM »
Quote
It'll become clear in the next part why this sequence took place.

Ok, fair enough. I can wait.  As it is now, I just didn't feel 'invested', so to speak, in the battle.  I felt the PDF were just there so the Tau could look good by killing them.  Thus, there was little dramatic tension.  It does, however, look like the rest of the Guard know what they are doing when facing Tau, so I will assume that this fight is not only to make the Tau look good, but the I.G. as well.
"Lift not my head from bloody ground,
Bear not my body home,
For all the earth is Roman earth
And I shall die in Rome."
-G.K. Chesterton, The Ballad Of The White Horse

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian Military Theorist

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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 9th April
« Reply #44 on: April 13, 2011, 07:51:25 PM »
Prelate-Colonel Jerwalt was showing Talan his number one grim face, in an attempt to get the Inquisitor to see reason and realise that he was outmatched. He knew the Eccleisarchy and the Hereticus purists would protect him from the Inquisitor's wrath, so it was just a matter of talking the man down before the meltagun went off.

"Inquisitor, we will defeat the enemy," Jerwalt said, "And you will see that cowardice before the enemy bears no fruit for the Emperor's cause."
"Cowardice?" Talan chuckled, "I wonder why you aren't out there with your troops?"
"I am charged with the defence of the entire planet," Jerwalt growled, "I have to coordinate all our forces."
"No, you're charged with heresy," Mieza interrupted, "You're pointing a weapon at the head of an Inquisitor!"
"And you're pointing a weapon at the head of a warmaster," Jerwalt replied coldly, "What of your heresy?"

The room went silent for a brief moment, the air pregnant with enough tension to make the air seem as if it was solid. A Mordian aide, his hands shaking, could contain himself no longer, and shot a single lasbolt into the Berdamian nearest to him. The man fell down as if in slow motion, the eyes of the entire room focused on the spot for a split second. It was the spark that set the promethium on fire.

Colonel Mieza, enraged at the death of her comrade, shot Jerwalt with her bolt pistol, screaming insults. The bolts hit him, one in the side, one in the right arm that had been beside the comms link and another in the wrist of the hand that was holding the laspistol. The Prelate-Colonel collapsed on himself as if his legs had been pulled out from under him. The general firefight began as his body thumped onto the floor.

Mieza's compatriots dealt death to the rest of the Prelate-Colonel's staff, who having lost their officers, were in a state of shock. Many shot wildly however, causing casualties on the more composed Berdamians, who were in a state of cold vengeance-seeking as each person who hadn't been hit already dived for cover.

Talan, spinning on his feet, slammed his mace into the side of a Mordian lieutenant's face before bringing his meltagun to bear on two more. An aide, armed with a shotgun and about the only person left who seemed calm aside from the Inquisitor, shot him in the chest. Falling on his back, but saved by his carapace armour, Talan's eyes opened to the sight of the shotgun barrel. The aide, seeming unperturbed by the carnage around him, smiled. It was a smile that remained on his face when Mieza, hopping over the holoprojector, sliced the top of his head clean off with her chainsword. While it saved the Inquisitor's life, the shotgun drifted and went off, emptying its shrapnel shot into Talan's shoulder. At point blank range, the carapace armour couldn't stop the force entirely.

"Frak me!" Talan shouted, putting a hand to his shoulder as it started bleeding.
"We need to get out of here!" Mieza said, offering her hand while firing at the nearest Mordian.
"No, we don't," replied Talan, taking the hand and getting to his feet, giving the corpse of the dead aide a kick for good measure.

"CEASE FIRE!" the Inquisitor roared, waving his meltagun around, "CEASE FIRE IN THE NAME OF THE EMPEROR!"

The shooting took about ten seconds to die down, but every head was soon cautiously peeking out to look at Talan.

"By order of the Inquisition, the system of Falasten is now under martial law," Talan shouted, "Anyone who wants to live, put down your arms and stand up."

With a few seconds of consideration, all complied. After all, who wouldn't comply with an Inquisitor without backing from above? With a few minutes, the Mordians were escorted to a holding cell and the command centre returned to operation. They were too untrustworthy to be involved any longer. However, it took another half an hour to get the comms and holoprojector working again, and the picture they painted was just as Talan expected. The Tau had won by exploiting their airpower, and hadn't even committed their heavy weapons on the ground.

It was time for the counterattack.

"Colonel, does your regiment have anti-aircraft weaponry?" Talan asked.
"Some, not much," Mieza replied, but grinning as she got the idea immediately, "But we can requisition the PDF's Hydras from the spaceport."
"Excellent," Talan said, "Do it."

Mieza saluted, then left.

Talan then turned his commbead to the Inquisitorial channel.
"Roxana, are you in position?"

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ______________

Roxana and Aelian sat by a window on the top floor of a Mechanicus shrine on the outskirts of Ramlas, overlooking the battlefield about a kilometre away.

"We're ready," replied Roxana, hefting her Exitus rifle into position.
"You know what to do," Talan stated.

"You think this'll work?" Aelian asked, loading a krak missile into a launcher.
"Yep," replied Roxana, "Ferenz's plans always work."
"For you, maybe," Aelian replied, getting into position himself.

In front of them, the xenoists were regrouping after the battle. The troops below were hugging, shouting to each other, waving flags and singing.
It wouldn't be long before the target arrived.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ __________

I have taken great pains not to laugh at the actions of aliens,
nor to weep at them or to hate them, but to understand them.
- Aun'el Vior'la Shi 


Mesme landed her battlesuit, to the cheers of the gue'vesa'la around her, with Kaishi on the outer limits of Ramlas. The entire street was alive with celebration.

"See how they congratulate us?" Kaishi said, half-laughing, "We must truly have liberated them if this is our welcome."
"I was under the impression that every planet we landed on was liberated for the Greater Good," said Mesme, pretending to not be pleased but not fooling her friend for a second.

"That aside, we've achieved a great victory," Kaishi continued, "Not that anyone will ever hear about it."
"Well, the Shas'O from Dal'yth is en route now," Mesme replied, "Our glory will be displayed when this system is added to the Empire."

"That's..." started Kaishi, but stopped when he heard the shot.

Something had hit Mesme's battlesuit, and her shield generator was overloading.
"Kaishi, order everyone away now!" Mesme said, just as her friend spotted Aelian pop over the parapet of the Mechanicus shrine.
By the time he brought his weapons to bear, it was too late. A krak missile swung down, striking Mesme's suit on the shoulder, cracking the armour and sending it crashing down to the ground. The crowds dispersed, firing at any windows incoherantly and generally moving into cover.

Kaishi immediately activated his suit jetpack, and jumped to the top of the shrine, only to see the attacker slide down a pole to the bottom.
Jumping back down, he fired his missile pods into the building's support beams. The structure lurched and groaned, crashing down upon itself, the symbol of the Adeptus Mechanicus making a massive racket as it clattered onto concrete. His wish for revenge satisfied, the Shas'vre returned to his commander's side.

"Kaishi," she said weakly, her comms evidentally still working.
Kaishi's heart nearly leapt out of his chest, so glad he was that she was still alive.
However, he couldn't guarantee it would stay that way, and so called for help immediately.

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 14th April
« Reply #45 on: April 16, 2011, 10:56:51 PM »
I'll have to take a break on this for about a month, RL stuff happens I'm afraid.

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 14th April
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2011, 03:05:23 AM »
Reality can be a pain, I know.  Too bad, though.  I like the way you have all the different characters bouncing off of each other in the command center.  It's very good and as always, you make Talan an interesting character to follow.
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Bear not my body home,
For all the earth is Roman earth
And I shall die in Rome."
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 14th April
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2011, 05:07:12 AM »
I'm already finding this break very hard to deal with  ;D ;D

Might update it after all, as I have ideas on how to develop the two characters independently once this arc finishes :P

Offline Daken

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 14th April
« Reply #48 on: April 24, 2011, 11:42:11 PM »
Whew! Just got finished reading that. Impressive story so far! I've never seen so many different viewpoints in one story. The Inquisitor is certainly an interesting man...and very lucky indeed.
"Eldar, Tau, Orks...our work is clear. It is so sad, I rather enjoy the dances of the Harlequin." --a sarcastic Pentinence Bale, Inquisitor of Ordo Xenos

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 14th April
« Reply #49 on: May 29, 2011, 04:35:09 AM »
Small update

The tunnel was filled with dust and smoke, the entire environment seeming as if underwater in a swamp, as the green light from the service luminators reflected off the particles in the air. Metal beams, having crashed through the roof, pierced the floor, blocking the exit route. Rats scurried away, recovering from the shock of not only their homes being nearly crushed by the collapse of the building above, but of the sudden presence of intruders.

Roxana coughed and spluttered, swearing in a most unladylike manner, getting herself up from the floor by grabbing onto the rusty railing along the wall, visible only by the black line of its shadow in the midst of green. Aelian had apparently landed on his feet, though was also wretching because of the dust, as he stood leaning against a service box of some kind or another.

"You alright?" Roxana asked, pulling the top of her fatigues over her mouth, "That bodyguard was quick."
"Bodyguards are usually the close kin of the commander," Aelian explained, dusting himself off, "At least that's what Talan once told me."
"Great," replied Roxana, "We just ended the xenos' brother."
"Or sister," grinned Aelian, discarding the missile launcher and unslinging his lasrifle.

The pair inspected the rubble blocking their way out, finding the metal beams far too deeply stuck to move and the spaces inbetween them either too small or filled with concrete slabs and broken equipment. Wordlessly, they turned and headed in the opposite direction; they both knew that they would need to go around.

At the first junction they reached, they opened a manhole enough to allow a transmission.

"This is Roxana, can you hear me Ferenz?"
"Somewhat, you're a little fuzzy," came the reply, "I presume the mission was successful?"
"There's been a complication in terms of our escape, but the deed is done," Aelian stated, "We're going to need a pickup."
"Not possible, the Tau have domination of the airspace around Ramlas, we could get a ship in but not out," Talan said after a pause, "You're walking it."

The sound of heavy footfalls started to echo through the tunnels joining the junction, which was far from a good sign.
"I think the Tau are monitoring this channel, we've got heretics closing in," Roxana said.
A buzzing noise started blaring through their earpieces for a moment, then silence for another.

"This is Shas'el'Ka of the Tau Empire, in the name of the Greater Good, surrender and you shall not be harmed," stated the Tau,
"Resist and you will be neutralised with the utmost efficiency."

"Dump the commbeads, get to the rallypoint and I'll meet you there, Talan out!" said the Inquisitor.
As the acolytes pulled the communications equipment out of their ears, the muzzle flashes of pulserifles filled the room with light, followed by the strobing of the pulse bursts themselves detonating against the floor and walls.

The xenoists had found the Inquisitor's servants.

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 14th April
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2014, 09:30:45 AM »
So, nearly three years later I return to this. Why not sure! Reckon I'd finish off the arc before I got stuck into a separate arc for Mesme and a separation fiction for Talan. Or vice versa.

Quote

Inquisitorial Reference Collective Archive: Ordo Xenos, Ultima Segmentum, Damocles Sector

File Reference: Case M732 Summary: Tau Fire Caste Commander Shas'O Tau'n Mesme ("mezz-may" translation: combination)

Personal Record: Birthdate unknown, exact age likely greater than biological age due to Tau cyro-freezing process for transportation over long distances, unlikely to be older than 25 Terran years old (note: Tau life expectancy is lower on average than humans by about 33%, even with juvenat treatments, making the commander relatively older to a similarly aged human - Talan). "Bonded" with another, name unknown: designated M-BG1732, another Fire Caste high command figure. Small in stature. Less stoic than other encountered xenos of her species and caste, subject to unusual behaviour.

Known Military Record:
Inferred experience of extensive combat against Imperial forces from 970.M41 onwards, evidenced by extreme familiarity with Guard and Astartes tactica. Commands highly specialised Tau military formation, involved in deep incursions into Imperial space as well as border skirmishes in the northern subsector of Sector Damocles. First confirmed command against Imperial forces in Hephaestion Incident. Subsequent encounters highly damaging to Imperial interests.

Recommended Course of Action:
Capture for interrogation not recommended: subject likely to be conditioned against torture.
Elimination with extreme prejudice not recommended: subject will insure greatest possible collatoral damage
Degradation of accompanying military formation recommended: subject personally formidable, but not impossible to eliminate once her accompanying unit is degraded sufficiently.

Recommend Astartes Request Intervention Level SIGMA if subject is encountered.

The engines of the Aquila shuttle droned loudly, their vibrations transmitted through the armour of the hull, giving Talan a numb sensation throughout his body. Rubbing his hands together for a moment to attempt to regain sensation, the Inquisitor checked his weapons while he waited. He had ditched his melta and powermace for equipment that wouldn't immediately mark him out as an Imperial: A Tau pulse carbine, an autopistol, a blacksun filter he got his hands via Roxana's contacts, a bag of varied grenades, and a large dirk. Satisfied that these things would suffice, he activated his vox.

"This is Talan, how is progress?" he said, keeping details to a minimum in case the Tau were intercepting the relayed transmission.
"We're on the move," replied Colonel Mieza, raising her voice over the sound of her own engine noise, "Should be in position by dawn." The Inquisitor nodded in approval, despite no one being around to see it. "Excellent," he stated as a beep in his ear indicated another comms request, "See you on the other side."

Switching channels, Talan knew what the new message was. "Two minutes," the PDF pilot said clearly, "The Tau have spotted us on auspex, we have a bogey on an intercept course, but they shouldn't be in weapons range in time."
"Pedal faster," Talan joked to the man nervously. What he was about to do was a duty, not a pleasure.

The Inquisitor secured his equipment, put on the blacksun filter and needlessly checked his pulse carbine again.
"One minute."

The Aquila's engine tone changed as the aircraft started its hover sequence, and its noise was soon joined by the loud whine of the exit ramp descending. The cold night air flooded into the inside of the shuttle, causing the occupant to shudder for a moment.

"I really don't like this bit," Talan muttered to himself, before jumping out of the plane, hoping to the Emperor that his grav-chute would work.
___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ________________

Roxana and Aelian ran along through the undercity, as they had been for hours now, choking down the stale air, making good time towards the rallypoint. They had been discovered a number of times, first immediately after assassinating the Tau commander, the second time in the street as they abandoned the tunnels, and lastly by a xeno drone that they managed to dispatch quickly. They had quickly made their way back underground as it became apparent that the Tau would find them if they stayed on the streets.

"Do you think the safehouse is still safe?" Roxana gasped as they stopped for a moment, leaning against a pipe.
"I don't think they ID'ed us," Aelian replied, "So they shouldn't have found it. They would need to check colonial records to find it properly anyway, and that's a week's worth of work."
"How far now?" Roxana asked, "We're going to be found out if we stick around."
"We're close now," the agent replied, "But I failed to mention something."
"We can't get in from down here..." guessed Roxana, accurately.

Wordlessly, the two slapped fresh clips into their respective weapons. After some searching, they found an access stairwell to a masonry building. The door at the top was locked, but Roxana solved that problem with a bark of her bolt pistol. Aelian grimaced at the noise, afraid to draw attention, but he soon realised that they had little time to fuss. Thankfully, the front door of the building wasn't locked, and they quietly made their way onto the deserted street.

"This looks familiar," said Roxana looking around, "We're near the bar. Reckon we could get a drink?"
"Are you mad?" Aelian growled, "It's probably swarming with them."
"I'm not mad, I'm thirsty," she replied, "Besides, staying around here seems like a bad idea."

As if to place emphasis on this point, a squad of human janissaries rounded the corner seconds later, and called out to the pair of them. Roxana didn't hesitate, swinging around and emptying her bolt pistol in the direction of the enemy, causing her targets to scatter. Aelian then dragged her behind a groundcar before snapping off shots with his lasgun.

"Did I get any?" Roxana asked, reloading and preparing a frag grenade.
"Not a single one!" Aelian roared, shooting at a group of two that was attempting to move along the other side of the street, "Why didn't you aim?"
"I wanted them to run," she replied, tossing the frag grenade over the car in the direction of a cluster of opponents, "I'm fairly sure I hit at least one."
"We're going to get boxed in here, and they want us alive," Aelian said ducking down again, as the grenade exploded and blew up another groundcar, "Call the good Inquisitor."

Before Roxana could do so, several loud flashes erupted in the street. The two acolytes were in immediate pain, their eyes blinded by the contrast from the flashes and their ears ringing from the noise. There was only one explanation.
___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________

Talan rushed into the street, knowing that he had very little time to act. He had counted ten human traitors left, but luckily he had used the photon grenade launcher while they were all wearing blacksun filters. The Inquisitor knew from experience that the filters amplified the effect of the grenade tenfold. Pulling his own filter over his eyes, he quickly went to make havoc.

The two traitors closest to him, he stabbed quickly with his dirk. The next three, he shot with his autopistol, walking among them as they were trying to recover. He quickly switched to the pulse carbine when the next managed to get off a shot of his own that was too close for comfort, and he plastered three more in plasma fire from beside a broken lamppost. The last man rushed him, pushing him to the ground. They wrestled on the ground, trading blows, but Talan managed to get to his dirk and put out the man's eye with a clean strike.

The much relieved Inquisitor pushed the man's body off of him, and was about to get up when he saw two familiar figures standing over him.

"Couldn't have given us a warning?" Roxana said rather loudly, rubbing her ear, "I can still hear ringing."
"I needed the full element of surprise," said Talan, making an excuse, "Besides, I'm not sure if the Tau can intercept our vox yet."
"Here." Aelian said, holding out his hand to help the Inquisitor up, which he gladly accepted.
"By the Emperor, Ferenz," exclaimed Roxana, rolling over a dead janissary with her foot, "You really did a number on this lot."
"Yes, well, there's more of that to do," he replied, throwing Roxana a florn cake, "Here, I've already been to the safehouse."

"So, no rest for the weary servants of the Emperor tonight?" Aelian asked rhetorically, taking a small bag of food.
"No rest," Talan replied, "An all-night hike."
« Last Edit: February 11, 2014, 01:01:37 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline Sheepz

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 11th Feb
« Reply #51 on: February 25, 2014, 03:52:52 PM »
So glad you restarted this! Welcome back. I'ma read it again, but your characterisation looks very promising from what's posted on this page. It's engaging. Stay with it and get it done.

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 11th Feb
« Reply #52 on: March 24, 2014, 10:23:14 PM »
Part 1 of this update! I can't seem to post the entire update due to both character limits and this forum's seemingly absolute prohibition on posting more than once on the same thread without a reply in between. So, if someone would kindly reply quickly so I can post the rest, it would be appreciated  ;D

Quote
The Emperor points, and we obey,
Through the warp and far away!

- Chorus, Traditional Imperial Guard warrior song

Mieza sat atop her tank, legs crossed with a cup of recaff, watching the scene before her with grim satisfaction. Columns of Leman Russ battle tanks and Chimeras were warming up their engines. Whines and shouting erupted together across the farmland behind the colonial buffer wall, as the last checks were made. The Colonel breathed in the smell of promethium, which mixed with the smell of her beverage, as she reflected on the battle to come. Once upon a time, her guts would have been tied with apprehension, but she had served on enough campaigns by now. The madness of the Orks, the corruptions of the Ruinous Powers, the sadism of the piratical Eldar, the technosorcery of the Tau, she had faced all of these and won. She commanded one of the Emperor's own mailed fists, and was satisfied to unleash yet another vicious punch upon the enemies of Humanity.

Such reflections always allowed her to put aside her fear with ease, along with a quiet prayer to the Emperor. Such is how a humble Berdamian prepared for battle.

The grey and green mountains of metal were almost ready, as the support company's guardsmen began to give their superiors thumbs up along the column. A night's advance across the continent had sapped the troops as well as the vehicles, and so Mieza had ordered a four hour halt for rest at the colonial barrier wall, that also gave the opportunity for reconaissance. The Tau fought far more effectively at night, due to their technosorcerous optics, and the colonel had no intention of finding out about it personally. Those who had slept were only now waking, as the machine spirits of the tanks and troop carriers were placated for the coming battle.

A knocking came from the armour below her, and the colonel looked to find her support company commander, Captain Sinon Girad, standing with his aide, Lieutenant McCuan. The former's uniform was disordered, as more so than usual, while his subordinate's was less prim and proper than her ordinary attention to detail should have allowed. Clearly, they had been hard at work for hours.

"Sinon," she yawned, unable to suppress the urge, "I presume we're ready to go?"
"All 129 Leman Russes and 20 Demolishers prepped for combat, all 50 Hydras including PDF compliment ready, all 40 Chimeras with weapons teams ready," stated the lieutenant before her captain could answer, "The entire ground force capability is ready for combat deployment."

"What she said," added Sinon, poaching his amasec flash out of his pocket, "Never let it be said that I was poor at my job."
Mieza nodded, satisfied with the efficiency of her quartermaster as the man in question took a quick sip.
"What about the Air Assault Company?" she asked.

"Major Kasky voxed that he would be ready when we were, and asked would we please drive faster," Sinon said, rolling his eyes, "You know how he is, always eager to die in a new and interesting manner." Mieza grinned back, her second in command's thrillseeking was legendary in the regiment to the point where betting on his actions was commonplace. Attempts by the commissars to suppress such activity were unsuccessful, and thankfully none of the attached political officers were zealous enough to execute people for such behaviour.

"Any word from the Inquisitor?" Mieza asked.
"None," replied Sinon after a glance to his lieutenant. The Colonel frowned at the glance. She was fast becoming legendary in the regiment for an entirely different reason to the Major. There seemed to be both an increase in admiration and something akin to fear once word had spread about her liasons with Talan. Sinon's assumption that the question was of a personal nature was another symptom of an annoying trend. Finally, she took a deep gulp of recaff to rid herself of the annoyance, and then dumped the rest over the side of her tank onto the ground, perilously close to Sinon's feet.

"We're ready, let's go kill the Emperor's enemies," Mieza commanded, putting on her tank helmet emblazoned with the Imperial Aquila, "All columns advance, inform the Major to begin combat operations and the SDF to put all their fighters in the air as agreed."

"Yes, Colonel!" the support commanders replied, standing to attention and saluting as they did so, before running off.

"Alright Alica, start it up," Mieza said with enthusiasm into the vox attached to her helmet, and was obeyed immediately. The tank thundered to life, shuddering with the first exertion of the engine. The colonel patted the side of the turret, fond of her personal machine. She looked out at her regiment. The roar from her tank was joined by more than three hundred more. She switched her vox to the regiment-wide channel.

"Scythes of Berdam, FORWARD!" she shouted. The colonial barrier wall, which had stood for a century, detonated along a mile wide section. The concrete slabs oliberated, the path to Ramlas lay open.

The loudspeakers on each tank then joined the din of tracks and roar of engines, and the march song of the 16th Berdam Armoured cried out into the damp air of Falasten. Mieza's tank lurched forward, joining her column as the air assault company finally appeared overhead.

And so, Colonel Artemis Mieza set out on her mission, having every reason to believe that Death herself was coming for the heretic and alien alike.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ _______

Quote
Even when broken, a sword may still cut. - Aun'ko'vash to La'Kais on Dolumar IV

Mesme woke up in the medical bay of the Serra, aches all over her body causing her to wince immediately upon regaining consciousness. She sat up to look at her surroundings. Her bed was walled off with floating dividers of clouded glass, the monitoring equipment was flashing, and the sanitised smell was overwhelming.

Karra crunched into her purple apple, watching her commander intently and putting down the data-tablet she had with her.
"Welcome back," she said.

"How long was I out?" Mesme asked, putting her hand on her head as she tried to provoke her headache into leaving.
"You almost didn't make it," Karra replied, "The nanites are working well though."
"Nanites?" Mesme inquired, "What do you mean?"
"Your injuries were extremely severe," Karra stated, taking another bite of her apple, "Without my nanites, you would have taken months to recover. I had to reprogramme them from ones I designed to repair microfractures in battlesuit armour, but luckily for you, I was bored during our transit here and so was the head surgeon. Biology isn't really my..."

"Answer the question," Mesme commanded, interrupting the explanation, not particularly caring about the exact process of her recovery.

"Perhaps a day," Karra said, beginning to sulk, "Which is work bordering on miraculous if I do say so myself."
Mesme's eyes opened wide in surprise. She had thought she was dying back in the city, but she seemed very much intact now, barring the throbbing pains throughout her side. The entirety of the left side of her body looked like it had been sliced in a thousand places by a shallow knife, but there appeared to be no lasting damage.

At that point, Kaishi burst into the room. He looked positively joyous, deciding to run across the room as fast as he could and immediately embraced his bondmate.
"I thought you were dead," he said, regaining his composure and standing up from the bed quickly.
"Not yet, apparently," Mesme replied, very happy to see him.

The bodyguard turned to Karra. "Thank you," he said warmly.
"You're welcome," Karra grinned back, "See, he knows who to give credit to."
"What are things like down there," Mesme asked, wanting to get back to the business of winning the system for the Tau'va as soon as possible.

"Under control," Kaishi replied, "The gue'la are moving on Ral'a again in force, this time with tanks."

He continued more forcefully; "El'Ka has deployed all of our own tanks and the pathfinders, the aliens will die in droves." The last sentence was said with particular emphasis. "They may die," Mesme said carefully, "But they shouldn't die simply because they tried to kill me, they should die because they oppose the Greater Good." Mesme took his hand, and he calmed down. "Apologies," he said finally, "Revenge isn't a good motive."
"No apology necessary," she said, "You understand."

Karra crunched into her apple for the third time, causing both of them to look her way in bemusement.
"You'll be combat capable in about two days," Karra said to divert the looks, "By then you'll be able to do plenty of smiting yourself." The Earth Caste scientist stood up, throwing her apple in the air and catching it as she did so. "In the mean time, let that old tau El'ka do the fighting while you rest."

"Agreed," Mesme said with some reluctance, "But can you fetch a data-tab, I'd like to follow the progress of the campaign myself." Karra smiled and handed her the slate from her chair, as a holo-drone glided quietly into the room.

"I knew you would ask."
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 10:39:00 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline The GrimSqueaker

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 11th Feb
« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2014, 10:55:58 PM »
Part 1 of this update! I can't seem to post the entire update due to both character limits and this forum's seemingly absolute prohibition on posting more than once on the same thread without a reply in between. So, if someone would kindly reply quickly so I can post the rest, it would be appreciated  ;D

If you hit the character limit and it won't let you post, make a new thread with the second part and hit report to moderator for your own (2nd) thread. We'll come in (often quickly) and merge it for you into the original thread so you don't lose time waiting for others.
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 24th March
« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2014, 11:08:54 PM »
Well, here's the rest of the update, if you can merge it?
Or maybe just delete your own post haha

Part 2 of this update, Part 1 above

Quote
Death is the servant of the righteous. - Thought for the Day

The Inquisitor's party was fatigued and dirty; almost ready to keel over and quit. The exhaustive trip through the tunnels and streets of Ramlas, avoiding Tau patrols as well as their human sympathisers, had drained much of the spirit of his companions. Talan however, remained utterly determined to accomplish his objective, if only to see the Berdamian Colonel again. Fulfilling his duty was becoming increasingly difficult however.

Drones had flooded much of the tunnel network at dawn, forcing them onto the surface. Progress had been very slow and mind-wrecking since then, but they had finally made it out of Ramlas and into the farmlands. A low morning mist hovered over the ground, covering their escape.

Roxana, clearly feeling the need for silence had passed for the moment, asked the inevitable question, "Where are we going and what are we going to do?"

Talan looked around for a moment, glanced at Roxana, and then turned towards her.
"Artemis is coming to frak up the xenos' day, in force," Talan said, "With everything she has."
"And we're walking to meet her?" Aelian asked, "No offence Ferenz, but that sounds like a terrible plan."
"The goal isn't to reach her unit," Talan replied, "But rather to support her advance."

The two acolytes looked at each other.
"How?" Roxana asked, "We dumped our heavy weapons."
"Well, for starters, we do have the demo charges," Talan replied, patting his bag, "But more importantly, we need to disrupt the enemy artillery spotters or else the Berdamians are going to be ripped to shreds."
"Except we don't know where they are!" Aelian complained as Talan began walking.

"It's alright, I know where they are," the Inquisitor replied with some cheer, "They'll never see us coming."
Rolling her eyes, Roxana fell into line behind Talan, leaving Aelian to plod along at the back.

Fifteen to twenty minutes later, they were making good time towards wherever Talan thought the Tau pathfinders would be stationed, across fallow fields and ploughed mud-grounds. The planet seemed able to support a population far higher than was present, at least in Talan's mind. There would have to be a reckoning in the Eccleisarchy after this was all over, he decided, for giving the Tau an opportunity to take the planet by stirring pointless conflict. He was distracting himself happily with the thought of having the Cardinal responsible assassinated, when Roxana froze.

"Do you hear that?" she said, cocking her pulse carbine in the direction of the noise to her left, "Scratching or something?"
"Tyranids?" Aelian said, "I've heard something like that noise before."
"We're getting close," Talan replied, his face turning grave, "Look."

The mist was beginning to break up, and in the field beside them were bodies. Thousands of bodies. The remains of the PDF forces and their Mordian mentors, stripped of weapons but left to rot in the morning sun. Or rather, would have been left to rot, if it weren't for the locals. Thousands of carrion birds of some local peculiarity were feasting on the corpses, not making a sound save for the ripping of flesh and knocking of bone. Disgust swept into the minds and faces of the group, as a number of the scavengers became fixated on them, afraid of losing their meals.

"Slaughtered without a chance," Roxana said finally, taking the ident-tags of the closest corpse, "If only we could have saved them."
"The Emperor asks only that you hate," Aelian quoted, visibly angry at the scene before them.
"Wrong my friend," Talan replied, "The Emperor asks only that you obey. We must keep moving to prevent another massacre."
The Inquisitor got his acolytes moving again, and fatigue was replaced with a burning hatred for the aliens that pushed the group on without complaint as the pseudovultures stared on.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ __________

Another hour of marching, and Talan found the position he was looking for: Exactly where he would have put an observation team against an armoured enemy, had he been the commander of the defence. Sure enough, the Tau pathfinders were diligently if not obsessively observing the pass in front of their post, paying no heed to their rear. The group had almost blundered into them, due to their camo-cloak equivalents, but thankfully one was asleep and had snorred loudly. Talan put a contagious and deathly smile on his face, which his companions soon caught themselves.

The Tau were perfectly positioned to stop the column advancing through a two mile gap in some rather marshy terrain that bordered the farmlands. No doubt there were other teams in the area, but Talan had an idea.

The Inquisitor strutted straight out of the hiding place he had been observing the group from, and towards the enemy, without warning either Roxana or Aelian. Stunned, the two looked at each other and simply copied him, placing their faith in the man's momentary bravado. Talan flashed his smile back at them once more, and they got the jist of his plan.

The aliens turned out not to be alien at all, as became apparently when they stood up; feet rather than the hoove-like ones of the Tau, and five fingers.

It took all of Talan's discipline to remain calm. First of all, the open presentation of heretics in front of him in light of his discovery further back towards Ramlas was breaking him inside with rage. Secondly, this was the first time he had ever encountered or heard of human auxiliaries being given such strategically important roles in the Tau military, to the point where the Inquisitorial command would have to be informed of the development immediately. And lastly, he wasn't sure whether they'd just shoot him for presenting himself or not.

The sergeant of the group approached, and spoke in heavily accented but grammatically perfect Low Gothic: "I don't recall ordering any auxiliaries to this part of the killzone, please return to your rallypoint."

"Our homes are that way," Talan lied, "We're concerned about our families, please let us through."
"I'm afraid I can't," the sergeant stated loudly, clearly losing patience, "Now back to your rallypoint!"

"Screw this," Roxana said, losing her own far more delicate patience, "Die, heretic."
She leveled her pulse carbine off her hip and sprayed the man down with plasma. He collapsed in a smoking heap of holes. The other heretics, some half-asleep, others looking around from the wrong direction, were stunned.

"And the rest of you," said Talan levelling his own weapon at his shoulder. The small enemy squad had no time to respond, as he joined his acolyte in firing. Most of them died without even being able to get a few shots off. Aelian didn't either, as Talan and Roxana slaughtered them mercilessly, pumping pulse after pulse into the Pathfinders.

When it was over, the smell of burned flesh was very pungent indeed.

"Guess we won't be needing these anymore," Roxana said, ripping off her xenoist sympathiser symbols from her stolen uniform. Talan did the same, albeit slowly, and dumped them onto the nearest body as he placed his Inquisitorial seal around his neck openly.

"Feel better?" Aelian asked, inspecting the scene.
"Much," Roxana answered, before Talan could get a word in, "Can we get on with the 'saving the Guard' plan now?"
"Look around for anything that looks like a dataslate, comms device or optics equipment," Talan said, rolling over a corpse with his foot.

The search turned up a number of such devices, which they all piled up in the middle of the rocky outcrop.

"This one appears to be a vox booster, while this one is a long range optics device and blacksun filter," Talan thought aloud, "I'm not sure I can use any of those to help us though, let me think..." The Inquisitor began fiddling with the bino equipment, flicking buttons and switches, while Aelian messed around with the vox and Roxana picked through the dead for ammunition.

This went on for a few minutes of complaining, when the sound of music could be heard. The Berdamians were closing in, and the ambush would soon strike them. As Talan and Aelian looked down the valley, as the first of the tank column swung into view a few miles down the road, Roxana picked up one of the Pathfinder's carbines, accidentally activating the markerlight laser, flashing across the Inquisitor's chest.

He looked at her, at the gun, and then back at the column.
"Right, I have it!" Talan said excitedly, "Give me that."
The rogue trader handed him the carbine, cocking one eyebrow above the other in confusion.

Aiming down the sights, Talan scanned areas from where someone or something could see the pass clearly while remaining unseen themselves, and sure enough, Tau glyphs appeared on the sighting equipment of the carbine. Count on the Tau to have a safeguard against friendly fire, Talan thought to himself with great satisfaction as he completed his scan.

"I have their positions," Talan said finally, with great relief, "We're breaking vox silence."


___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ______________

Quote
"In the Eastern Fringe, contrary to the rest of the Imperium, mixed gender and all-female regiments and formations have been increasingly commonplace for a number of decades. The reason for this is due to the heavy tithing on the systems dating from the emergence of the Tyranids, but continuing on an uninterrupted basis due to the rise of the Tau Empire, the emergence of Hive Fleet Kraken, the stripping of eastern defences in favour of defences around the Maelstrom and the Eye of Terror, among other manpower needs. Immediate manpower needs in the Fringe are massive compared to the available pool, yet priority for sectors like Damocles and Eastern sectors beyond Ultramar is now trumped by other concerns except where a situation devolves into an utter crisis. Governors and PDF high commands alike have had to be adaptive in their approach to recruitment, and as such, ignoring half the populace when said persons are perfectly capable of combat duties seems like stupidity to them, no matter how many times the Administratum urges the opposite policy for reasons it laid out millenia ago. Considering that being able to pull the trigger on a lasgun is the basic requirement for service, something that Cadian four year olds do on a regular basis, it may be wise to remind our Administratum colleagues of their folly in this regard. Doing so now may force a change of policy on an Imperium-wide basis within a century, slowly relieving the burden on our own sectors." - Extract from 'Inquiry into the Military Disposition of the Imperium in the Eastern Fringe Sectors': 995.M41, Ordo Xenos Report, Ultima Segmentum, Damocles Sector

The march music droned on over the rumble of the engines, the columns advanced in good order, as Mieza expected and demanded that they would. The Leman Russes were in front, both twin-linked lascannons and battlecannons ready to engage the enemy armour. The Chimeras and Hydras behind were keeping pace with ease, and the skies remained empty. The Colonel wondered why no aerial attack had yet been made on them, as the PDF screen could not have possibly held the attention of the entire Tau air contingent. The Salamanders had not seen anything up until the pass near Ramlas, and the Valkyries, Vendettas and Vulture gunships holding in a protection formation above had reported no enemy activity either.

Over the music and tanks, a series of explosions boomed.
"Forward column, report!" Mieza ordered, fearing the worst.

"We're taking fire, unable to find the enemy," the platoon lieutenant reported, "Two tanks tracked and immobilised, another's lost their main weapon."
The colonel had heard of this favourite tactic of the Tau, and responded accordingly.
"All columns, halt advance, spread out into a firing line and shoot anything that looks suspicious," she said into her vox, "Major Kasky, take your birds forward and find the enemy."

"It would be my pleasure," Kasky said, as another three missiles slammed into tanks in front. The air assault company, finally unleashed, screeched forwards from their position behind the advance, and made their way deafeningly towards the pass. Missiles continued to hit the tanks with alarming regularity, and a few even streaked towards the Vultures.

The vox crackled, as a new set joined the frequency.
"This is Inquisitor Talan, Colonel, can you hear me?" said Talan from his position behind the enemy line.
"Yes, we can," Mieza replied, very happy to hear from him, "We thought you were stuck in the city."
"Not quite," Talan said, equally pleased to hear her voice, "I've found the enemy spotters, relaying the coordinates now."
About five sets of map coordinates soon appeared in the advanced vox screen of the tank.

"Kasky, are you getting these?" Mieza said quickly.
"Yes, sir," the Major replied, "Vectoring onto targets now."
"Mop them up so we can go do our job," she replied, "Happy hunting."

The low grumble of assault cannons started punctuating the continuous engine noise, as the Vultures and Vendettas made short work of the Tau forward positions.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ____________

Talan, Roxana and Aelian watched with satisfaction as two Vultures turned onto the nearest Tau Pathfinder position, and tore it to shreds with repeated attack runs. They cheered as a Valkyrie joined in the fun, sending a Hellstrike missile into the skimmer transport attempting to flee the area, which burst into flame but somehow remained afloat as a burning wreck.

"Alright, we've done our part for now," Talan said, "Time to get out of here."
"Agreed," Aelian said with considerable enthusiasm, "I don't want to be mistaken for a Tau pathfinder."

"I don't think there's any danger of that, gue'la..." came a voice from behind; accented, filtered through a speaker and hostile.

The group turned, raising their weapons, but upon seeing their opponent, they lowered them quickly.

Instead of human auxiliaries, which they might have expected, stealth battlesuits were decloaking around Talan and his acolytes, burst cannons leveled at the Inquisitor in particular. There were six, and the closest was clearly the leader, the fact made obvious by the knife icon painted on his armour.

"Consider yourself a prisoner of the Tau Empire," the shas'vre stated, clearly unamused at the humans' handiwork, which was obvious despite the fact his face was hidden behind armoured plate and a sensor array.
"Emperor's bowels, not again," Talan replied, as a Devilfish came into view, racing to the scene to take them away.


___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ____________
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 11:12:28 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 24th March
« Reply #55 on: April 14, 2014, 08:24:17 PM »
Right, update for all those who are interested.

1. I'm half way to completing the last update for this arc. Have another 5-6 thousand words complete, and I'm not finished by any stretch of the imagination. I don't want to put it up until I'm entirely done.

2. Once this arc is done, I have two planned.

One will be Mesme's origin story; how she came to be who she is in these stories, how her unit formed, its purpose and the first time it went into combat. It involves Chaos, but another faction will feature heavily as well. These arcs have been mostly about Talan, with Mesme acting as his foil. I don't think I can develop her properly if I continue with the format I have been using, I could almost have written her out of the story and it would still work (almost, showing the Tau mindset was important I think). So, the new arc will look at her, and the Tau attitude to Chaos.

Obviously, the other story will be about Talan, Mieza and the 16th Berdam Armoured. The Tau won't feature in it at all. It will follow on directly from this story, and it'll explore Talan and Mieza's characters in greater detail. I've used this story to introduce some of the characters from that story (Roxana, Major Kasky, Captain Girad and his lieutenant) as well.

I have the beginning, middle, and end of both of these planned. If enough people respond, I could give a "blurb" of sorts for both, but I'll resolve to play my cards close to my chest for the moment. Whether or not I'll post these in a thread or simply put them up in some other way and then link it here isn't something I've decided upon yet, because I plan to make these stories much more lengthy than the two previous.

3. As Orwell said, the first reason writers do what they do is egotism. I agree with that assessment. So....

If you like my fiction, or just like watching this Irish lad embarrass himself, COMMENT. I know people are reading it because the view count ticks ever upwards. I also do this to improve my writing overall, and feedback is generally a good thing. I'll probably start putting this fiction up in more places once I'm done with it (and have edited it) for that reason, but this site is near and dear, so it would be good to get community feedback!

That's all folks.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 09:51:20 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 24th March
« Reply #56 on: May 10, 2014, 11:04:42 AM »
Part 1 of this update.

Quote
We don't want the Governor condemned...we want him dead! -  Marshal General of Berdam Eamon de Danton, speaking to a gathering of generals, colonels and Sororitas during the Berdamian Reclamation 868.M41

With the enemy spotters eliminated, Colonel Mieza was finally able to order her tanks forward once again. As she watched the first tank section of fifty tanks follow their smaller cousins of the recon company pass by, the loudspeakers blared the venerable battle song "Storm's Wind" as her own tank advanced with the column. Her heart fluttered with a certain sense of pride as the lyrics continued, although she had heard it many times over the years, so she took a deep breath of the damp atmosphere to regain her concentration. There would be time for pride later.

Mieza opened the recon channel with a stab of her finger on the vox panel near her waist. "Lieutenant Magnini, recon report," she said quickly, adjusting the microphone on her tanker helmet as she did so.

"Nothing so far," came the reply, "Stand by."
Some shuffling could be heard through the vox, followed by a groan.
"The third recon squadron has just gone silent," the lieutenant finally said, in a tone that made it obvious what he thought the fate of the men and women in the Salamanders ahead was, "Relaying their last known coordinates."

The coordinates soon were sent from the command-Chimera to the data-sscreen in front of the colonel. The outskirts of Ramlas, the centre of rebel resistance, glowed with a contact icon on an orbital-pict map of the area. The recon team had obviously blundered into the main Tau force to have been eliminated so quickly without being able to so much as scream a warning.

“First and second sections, enemy force identified,” Mieza said, sending the information on, “Engage at maximum range.” A chorus of affirmatives from the platoon lieutenants came through the vox. The xenos had caught the lightly armoured scouts by surprise, but Mieza was sure she could overwhelm them with recon-in-force. If the Tau were going to skulk about in the buildings of the city, she would see they paid for that choice of tactic.

The tank rumbled forwards, roughly in the middle of the formation, as the city finally came into view over the crest of a hill. Sprawling rather than rising, the urban area seemed to squat in its valley as if it were a creature at rest. The colonel observed this for a moment, as the sun illuminated it through the broken cloud cover, and thought it would be a decent place to visit. She grinned to herself, remembering that she was visiting it; to kill heretics.

The grin was wiped away as the air ignited in a straight line, a hyper-velocity slug booming past missing the tank seemingly by inches. The colonel felt her heart jump out of her chest, and she quickly buttoned up in her tank, shutting the hatch quickly before asking where the railgun shot had come from via her vox. The platoon directly in front responded, “Behind the buildings, but we can't make out much from here.”

“They're probably using some disruption technosorcery,” Mieza muttered to herself, thinking of a countermeasure, “Alright, advance until you're in range of the buildings and level them, roll your fire forward so there isn't anywhere to hide.” Another chorus of approval answered the order, as more incoming fire started.

“Alica, take us forward,” the colonel said, “We need to get our platoon into the game.”
“Yes madame,” replied her driver, as a burst of acceleration started which was answer enough by itself. Mieza steadied herself in her seat, and began watching through the observation port.

The tau were beginning to reap a rich crop of hits on the Imperials. As Mieza's platoon advanced to join the fight, the platoon in front was shaken by no less than three explosions, as the ammunition of three battle-cannon bearing tanks exploded thanks to well placed shots. The colonel swore profusely, recognising that the aliens had already figured out her countermeasure to their camouflage. The tanks with twin-lascannons were being largely left alone, as they were unable to destroy the covered positions from which the enemy was firing.

However, to the relief of the Imperials, the fight wasn't going all the xenos' way. The colonel's platoon soon laid low one of the gravtanks designated “hammerheads” with a lucky lascannon shot, the camo-sorcery flickering as the victim spun in the air before crashing into the rubbled remains of a manufactorum it was hiding in. Her own tank fired at the target just beside it.

“Frakking warp Greta, you missed!” Mieza shouted, just after the shell burst through the wall of a building just to the left of the target. Her gunner grumbled back something about shooting at mirages and bloody aliens. “Try again,” the colonel ordered.

The next shot from the Vanquisher cannon was dead on, as the enemy gravtank in question popped into visual clarity for the briefest of moments before exploding spectacularly, debris flying skyward like a volcano erupting.

“Much better,” Mieza stated after a short laugh.
“Was just getting my bearings, ma'am,” Greta replied.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The initiative was definitely on the Imperial side as the battle continued. The second tank section soon moved up behind the first to support the slugging match, with the Tau increasingly unable to hide. The determination to hold ground was unusual for these particular aliens. Mieza voxed her immediate subordinate to discuss the next move, as he held his air assault company back in reserve.

“There doesn't seem to be many of them,” Major Kasky said quickly after being asked for an assessment of enemy numbers, “We're hanging back in case they have more spotters, but it seems like there can't be more than twenty gravtanks left.”

Mieza frowned while the tank fired again, Greta putting another round downrange with appropriate zeal. What were the Tau playing at, she wondered, when they could have lured her forces into the urban sprawl, where they could use their infantry effectively. Were they delaying to evacuate their followers? Or did they have something else in mind?

Not wanting to find out, and her next move practically dictated to her by all the correct rules of war, she ordered the first section to close with the enemy. If the estimate of enemy numbers were correct, her eighty-something tanks would overwhelm the enemy with ease. The order went out and was received with some enthusiasm.

The platoons made directly for the city in a great wave of steel, while Mieza continued to watch from the safety of the fields. The Tau stopped firing almost immediately, and Mieza grinned once more. She had struck fear into them, now all that was left was to corner and kill them. Her tanks were in the middle of crippling a number of the enemy, when Major Kasky voxed her.

“Colonel, I hope we have the Hydras to the rear,” he said with clear urgency in his voice, “The enemy flyers are inbound.” Mieza turned her attention to the sky, searching for the enemy on the horizon behind her position, and sure enough, the small silhouettes of fighters and bombers could be seen. The Tau plan was revealed.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Quote
“Here, you have it” - Inquisitor Talan to Ork Warboss Skamork the Bigga (referring to his overloading plasma rifle)

The Devilfish brought Talan, Roxana and Aelian to the Ramlas shuttleport, and the group was manhandled onto an Orca transport for the trip into orbit, accompanied by a full troop of human janissaries. As the flight into space continued, the Inquisitor's companions were not taking the presence of their travelling partners in stride.

“Look at these ones,” Aelian said loudly to Roxana, as if the rest of the transport couldn't hear, “Traitors and slaves playing dress up as soldiers.”
“I wonder how much boot-licking they had to do to get this cushy escort mission?” Roxana said equally as loudly, “Or worse.”

The conversation went on like that for some time, and while surprisingly few of the traitors reacted, those that did were not pleased. Talan guessed it was because the majority of them did not speak Gothic, given the number of barely perceptible scars present on most of their throats. His suspicion was further boosted when a number of them began a conversation of their own in what he could only describe as perfect flowing Tau, while his own companions continued their attempts to rattle their guards.

Finally, the shas'ui stood up, striking an impressive figure as he did so, being nearly two metres tall by Talan's estimation. He first reprimanded his squad, ending their babbling immediately, and then spoke up in Gothic.
“Gue'la, we were not born under the rule of your Emperor,” he asked Aelian, “How can one be a traitor to a cause we have never known?”

Aelian looked somewhat flabbergasted at this point, not knowing what to say to that. Roxana, by contrast and to her credit, contrived to look even more defiant than before.

“That makes it worse,” Roxana replied with a certain growling viciousness in her tone, “It means you're the same as the aliens who are your masters. Better to be dead than to be chained.”
“So says the slave to the free man,” replied the shas'ui, sitting down once again, “We are part of something greater than the empire of a tyrant.” Roxana made some noise in response, but the man simply ignored her while Talan brooded. Roxana was right of course, but he wondered if hostility was the best approach to get them out of this situation. He didn't have much more time to think on it however, as the vox-speakers announced in tau that the Orca was entering the landing bay of a ship.

A soft thump confirmed what the vox had presaged, and the traitors dragged the Inquisitor to his feet with his acolytes as the ramp descended. The huge dock of a Tau carrier loomed over them as they walked rows of sleek black Orcas sitting on elegant lifts being worked on by drones and techpriests (or the tau equivalent), and a number of battlesuits clearly ready for deployment. A quick shove of the butt of a pulse rifle however, and the group was marching at a good pace away from these sights, and into the equally elegant corridors.

Talan looked, but could find no identifying marker for what sept the ship was from, and the human auxiliaries offered no clue on that either. The group soon entered what could only be described as a brig, and with yet another judicious use of pulse rifle-butt, they were deposited in the main cell and sealed in by armourcrys. Roxana immediately kicked the transparent barrier as hard as she could, obviously hoping it was mere glass. The guards looked on in amusement as she continued to try it for another minute or so. Not so much as a dent was put in it, and she finally gave up.

“Can't blame a girl for trying,” Roxana said shrugging. The beautiful acolyte quickly made an obscene gesture to the audience, and then made her way to lie down on the bedding. Both Aelian and Talan couldn't help but laugh, as if infected by some madness. At least the trip to the re-education camp wouldn't be boring.[/font]

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 10th May
« Reply #57 on: August 5, 2014, 04:07:15 AM »
Quote
What I cannot crush with words I will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard! - Lord Commander Solar Macharius


The Hydra squadrons spat flak rounds into the sky towards the circling birds of prey, as the tanks formed into a defensive ring, themselves adding to the exchange with their heavy stubbers. The flyers were giving as good as they got however, with fusion bombs, ion cannons and missiles hitting home at an alarming rate.

Mieza had just enough time to disembark the infantry from both the mechanised company and the air assault company before the flyers arrived, and these were now pushing into the city in support of the first tank section that had attacked originally. Major Kasky had then ordered his own flyers to escape, which they had done without difficulty as the enemy seemed far more concerned by the concentration of armour.

As she watched the Hydras rip into an enemy formation, Mieza listened to their crews sounding off targets on their auspexes and also to the reports of damage. The xenos were targeting only the tanks, not the anti-aircraft weapons. Mieza frowned, thinking aloud that the Tau weren't done with their tricks yet. She wasn't wrong.

Inexplicably, three of the Hydras covering the combined armoured-infantry assault towards the city proper exploded. Mieza demanded a report from the AA battery in question, and the spooked lieutenant replied that they weren't under fire. “Enemy infiltration teams,” Mieza replied sternly, “Major, deploy the Stormtroopers to Hydra Battery Omega, we have enemy stealth teams moving in our formation.”

“Yes ma'am,” Kasky said, as Mieza ordered her own tank platoon to the scene.

Her unit soon arrived, and encircled the remaining Hydras as best they could as the autocannons  continued firing into the sky. “Check your auspexes, fire at anything that isn't ours,” Mieza ordered, “Glitches, ghosts, shadows, anything.” Deciding to take her own advice, she quickly checked her own equipment, and almost had a heart attack once she comprehended what she saw. A collection of at least twelve weak contacts were directly in front of her tank.

“Contact front!” Mieza shouted to her crew, “Fire!”
It was too late.

As she returned her gaze to the observation slit from the auspex, the blinding flash of multiple meltas lanced out from in front of them, turning the Vanquisher cannon to molten slag along with both of her tracks. “Request assistance, enemy infiltrators directly in front of my position,” Mieza said into her vox, taking a breath between sentences. Alica immediately opened up with her heavy bolter, and scored a hit on one of the enemy, which flickered into clear sight much like the enemy tanks had before when downed. The bulky suit of xenos power armour fell to the ground with a light thud. In response, another round of melta shots erupted from the vicinity of the corpse, turning the front armour of the tank into candle wax running in drips to the ground, the bolter along with it.

“Bail out!” Mieza shouted to her crew, preparing her lascarbine as the vox buzzed with reports of more infiltrators.

“No need to tell me!” Greta replied, scrambling out of the ammunition door, obviously hoping the remains of the turret would protect her from incoming fire. Thinking that a good idea, Mieza watched her gunner's backside disappear out of the tank and followed it, as Alica and Fran, the loader, bailed out of the right side of the tank, where there was also some protection from the infiltrators.

Plasma fire began bouncing off the tank, as the crew regrouped behind it. “Hydra 32, cease fire on aerial targets, and target enemy infiltrators in front of the wreck of the command tank.”
“Yes ma'am,” came the gruff reply, as the Hydra that had been behind Mieza's tank began moving its guns towards the stealth suits.

Greta slapped a powercell into her lascarbine with a little too much force, and turned to her commander. “Artemis, they're going to close with us,” she said. Mieza nodded, and ordered the others to get ready as the quad-autocannons began firing. The plasma shots hissing into the armour plate around them halted, and a curious mix of buzzing and wooshing started.

Mieza had just attached her bayonet, when with a soft wet thud, a visitor landed in front of them, facing towards the Hydra. The battlesuit could be seen relatively clearly now despite its transparency, light seeming to bend around its details. The rounded carapace of the helmet, its jump-pack and the blocky weapon it carried were visible only as a distortion of sight, but that was enough.

The tank crew and their leader immediately sprayed the alien with lasbolts on full auto in a panic, causing the suit's stealth field to flicker, the sharp cracks of ionised air filling their ears as a veritable rash of holes and dents were punched in the back of the hulking form. The thing staggered, as if it was attempting to turn on them.

“Chin the be-atch!” shouted Mieza in the proto-Gothic dialect of Berdam, and her crew responded immediately. Shoving the stunned alien over with some difficulty, they fell upon it with bayonets, stabbing any part that looked vulnerable and smashing the sensor cluster where the eyes of the thing would have been. The alien struggled, swiping at the women with a strength of powered armour that could have folded their bodies in two with ease. Finally, Greta hopped on top of the thing, drove her bayonet into a lasbolt hole on the armoured head of the thing, and put her full weight on it. With a screech, the bayonet drove home all the way to the hilt and barrel.

The battlesuit finally stopped moving, but the retaliation came. When the group stood up, Fran was riddled instantly by a barrage of plasma bolts. Mieza received a nasty burn on her left arm from a shot that came too close, as she staggered to the other side of the tank for cover with Greta and Alica. Plasma blots chased them as they went, as another melta shot slammed into the Hydra beside the scene, which had been unable to provide support due to the proximity of the colonel and her crew. The tank stopped firing, clearly knocked out, as two battlesuits decloaked in front of Mieza. The long multi-barrel burst cannons caught Mieza's attention first.

“Surrender, gue'la,” ordered a vox-filtered voice, in accented Gothic, from the battlesuit nearest. Mieza immediately slapped down Greta's lascarbine as she was bringing it to bear, and shook her head at her subordinate. Her heart was in overdrive now, pumping blood into her head so hard she could feel each beat distinctly. She took a breath to steady herself, and ordered her crew to drop their weapons. As they did so, she slowly raised her hands.

A grunt of satisfaction came from the aliens, as the rest of the crew stepped forward into line with their commander. The alien's satisfaction was cut short, however.

No sooner than the tau had finished his grunt, thick lasbolts detonated all along the side of his suit and that of his comrade. They both fell, quite obviously dead or incapacitated, as a group of stormtroopers charged around from the front of the wrecked tank, hellguns levelled. The rest of the stealth suits scattered, their exact positions revealed only by the force of their jets brushing the ground and grass. The stormtroopers chased the tell of each armoured warrior with a flurry of hellgun shots, but the enemy largely got away. The stormtroopers soon put a couple of bursts into the wrecked shells of the enemy for good measure, Greta joining in on that particular action with her own lascarbine. A few moments of searching later, and it was clear that the aliens had fled, as no plasmafire had appeared again.

“We heard you were in need of assistance ma'am,” he said loudly over the continuing sound of autocannon and stubber fire, without a trace of amusement.
“Thank you Matthias,” Mieza replied, straightening her uniform, “Your timely response is much appreciated.”

“You require some medical assistance ma'am, we will escort you to the command Chimera,” he said, saluting once more before holding his arm out, “After you.” Mieza nodded, and ordered her crew to see to the remains of Fran before returning behind the lines. There wasn't much left, but Mieza felt it unfitting to leave the half-destroyed corpse in the open like that. “We'll do our best,” Greta said grimly, and both her and Alica saluted wearily.

Mieza made her way into the middle of the tank formation quickly with her escort around her, and soon arrived at the Command Chimera where medicae were waiting. She dismissed the stormtroopers and thanked them again, ordering them to return to the city fight. As they trotted away, a medicae from the PDF fussed over her arm, rubbing some salve onto it before wrapping it in bandage and putting it in a sling. After taking some painkillers, the colonel dismissed them and climbed into the IFV with its sprouting antennae.

Mieza turned her attention to the auspex and tactical data, and was pleasantly surprised.

“The xenos appear to be retreating!” Major Kasky proclaimed over the vox, and sure enough, the enemy flyers who had survived the beating doled out by the Hydras began to move away from the area. The enemy forces in the city suburbs were also moving off, and the mechanised units requesting to push further in. The entirety of the Tau armoured force had been eliminated, along with some grav-speeders being shot to pieces before they could get into the open. The cost was dear however, as a third of the armoured company's tanks had been shattered or slagged, though much of the personnel had survived.

“Major, get the air assault troops back in their transports,” Mieza ordered, “And halt the advance into the city.”
“Ma'am?” said Kasky, somewhat confused, “We've got the initiative.”
“It's a trap,” replied Mieza, “They want us to advance quickly into the city in our weakened state.”
“What are your orders?” Kasky asked.

“Pull all units out of the city, and bring up the Demolisher platoons,” the Colonel replied, “We're going to level the city block by block.”

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 5th August
« Reply #58 on: August 7, 2014, 08:55:28 AM »
Quote
Every soldier of the Tau Empire is prepared for death, but as an intelligence officer I was ordered to conduct covert warfare and not to die. I was a Fire Warrior and I received an order. - Fireblade Shas'el On'da, Memoirs, referring to many tau'cyr spent behind Imperial lines conducting sabotage operations in the jungle, after the moon he was on was reclaimed by the Tau Empire after thirty Terran years.

Many hours had passed since they were put in the cell, and with little to do, the Inquisitor's group finally fell to their fatigue. They all collapsed onto the seemingly floating beds, utterly exhausted. Talan groaned with pleasure as he hit the mattress made of a strange substance that deformed itself to fit the shape of his body. “Holy Throne, I haven't felt something as comfortable outside an aristocratic palace,” he thought aloud, remembering the examples fondly and omitting the tyranids and orks from the memories. Aelian exhaled as he landed on his own bed, “Bit too soft for me.”
“A plasteel bulkhead is too soft for you,” muttered Roxana, “And you'd sleep on one like a baby.”

“Not true,” Aelian said immediately, “I've tried before.”
“What, like on Sherbrooke?” said Roxana in reply, and began a speech on how her counterpart needed to lighten up.

Talan rolled back towards the cell wall, trying to listen to the conversation but failing. He lost consciousness very quickly.

Soon, he was fighting desperately for his own life with Lord Inquisitor Bukulov in his schola once again, as eldar slavers attempted to overrun it, the rest of the planet facing similar circumstances. It was an old and repeated dream, a reminder. It seemed never ending, just as the fighting had when he had experienced it in reality. The aliens had appeared very close to the schola's grounds, where Talan had been training as an Arbites cadet, and the Inquisitor had been investigating the possibility of a webway gate in the area. The attack came swiftly, with many being carried off unconscious before a defence could be mounted. It was a furious fight. Every swing of his stun baton, every bark of his bolt pistol, every cry of pain and every movement playing in slow motion. Just as he had entered the courtyard, the moment of his escape. The rest of his mentor's entourage were rippled with splinter weapons. As Talan and the Lord Inquisitor attempted to board the shuttle to escape, he was shaken gently.

Talan opened his eyes slightly, the flow of the dream utterly broken. Roxana was standing over him, and as she moved away, the light screeched into his retinas, hurting badly. He sat up, and blinked.

“How long was I out?” he asked.
“We were all out about twelve hours,” Aelian said, somewhat reluctantly.
“Twelve hours?!” Talan said, sitting up quickly and rubbing his temples as a headache erupted.
“We were drugged!”

“I guess they reckon that being awake is a negative trait in prisoners” Roxana said, clearly annoyed at the prospect of being unconscious all the way to brainwashing camp, “But at least they don't seem to want to spill our guts.”

“Maybe the xeno in charge is smarter than that,” Aelian said quietly, glancing to the Inquisitor.

“Something's up,” said Talan quickly, taking Aelian's meaning and looking out the armourcrys wall to the brig's security detail.

“Huh,” said Roxana, noticing what the Inquisitor had, “There are a lot more guards now.”

The large round doors swivelled into the walls, and in the opening, two tau appeared, both in flowing robes. The taller but thinner one wore restrained blue, while the more stout sported a green gilded set. Talan immediately knew which one was in charge; the short one had the crest of an Ethereal.

“When this alien talks to us,” Talan growled, “You may find yourself agreeing with him despite yourself. How each person is affected seems to vary, so regard anything out of his mouth as about as reliable as a heretic's oath, and let me do the talking.”

The Ethereal continued talking to what was presumably a Water Caste diplomat, and stepped into the room abruptly. The other civilian left, in a hurry as he paced the room talking to the guards. Talan made his way to the sink, filling it up as the xenos approached the cell. The guards, human and tau, looked somewhat uneasy as their leader strolled up to the transparent barrier. He stared at the group for a moment, and the glass barrier slid into the ceiling.

Roxana immediately rushed the nearest guard, grabbing at a pulse carbine, but it appears the xenos had planned for it. As the acolyte brought her stolen weapon to bear on the next guard, Aelian began to move as well but froze at a half step. Roxana's weapon had clicked, and nothing happened. The intended target produced a pulse pistol and made it clear that it was loaded. Wry amusement seemed to fill the faces of the others, while the alien leader seemed to be calmly ignoring the situation as the pair of prisoners stepped back into the cell.

“I am Aun'el Run'a Dal'yth,” the Ethereal stated calmly in excellent Gothic, “Leader of this coalition to relieve the Falasten system.”

Talan splashed his face with water, as the Ethereal waited patiently. Drying it with a towel as equally luxurious as the bedding of the cell, he strolled casually to a point directly across from the alien. He held up his Inquisitorial seal in his left hand, and held his right palm up at shoulder height, flashing his electoo as he did so.

“Ferenz Talan, his Imperial Majesty's Holy Inquisition,” Talan stated clearly, “Your presence here is a violation of several treaties, I must demand that you release me and leave the system immediately.”

“Our forward monitoring fleet reported this world was in turmoil, under attack from the greenskins and suffering from serious civil unrest,” the alien said with quiet confidence evident in his voice, “It would take far too long for you to respond to the crisis, and we cannot tolerate such a situation on our borders.”

Talan almost groaned at the inevitability of the response. The Tau regarded the breakdown of law and order in the same way a human might regard a daemonic incursion; with utter horror. The invasion wasn't surprising in that context, and the fact they planned the whole thing made little difference in their mindset. A world riddled with a serious civil conflict on the edge of their space was a threat.

“Our newly arrived forces have the situation well in hand,” the Ethereal stated, “I would like you to use your authority to order all those who would interfere in the restoration of good government to withdraw from the planet, for the Greater Good. We wish for no further bloodshed.”

“You mean anyone with even a remotely loyal point of view,” Talan said, resisting an impulse to agree with the xeno with a little difficulty. “What do you mean newly arrived forces?” he continued, deflecting away from the request to betray humanity.

“The forces you were fighting until now were merely a deep space reconnaissance fleet and its Fire caste contingent,” the Ethereal said flatly, “A coalition from my own sept has arrived to relieve them.”

Talan glared, annoyed at the open confirmation that the whole thing had to have been planned, as the Tau fleet would have had to set out before the crisis in order to arrive by now.

“I cannot simply order the Emperor's forces to leave,” Talan stated flatly, tired of the conversation, “Our own relief forces are on the way.”

The Ethereal opened his mouth to speak, but to Talan's gratification, was interrupted by a commotion at the door. A number of tau had entered, seemingly with a purpose. The diplomat who was talking with the Ethereal when he had entered was now back, with an engineer or techpriest of some sort in the equivalent of a white labcoat, and the most interesting newcomer of all: a familiar if unwelcome face.

Mesme walked slowly through the room, her companions in tow, directly towards the Inquisitor's cell. The Ethereal seemed genuinely confused, and as the group arrived beside him, the water caste representative handed him the equivalent of a data-slate. Grabbing it, he walked through the newcomers whom made way cleanly as he did, back turned to the cell, inspecting what was given to him with an air of outrage.

Roxana nudged Talan, and mouthed the question “What's going on?”, to which he just shrugged and returned his attention to the scene before them. He was glad he did. The Ethereal turned around, and stared at Mesme. His face painted a picture somewhere equally between disgust and anger, as far as any of the humans could tell. How intriguing, thought Talan. What could cause such a reaction? It went far beyond a mere clash of authority. Many more questions rushed through his head, but he was interrupted.

“I'll leave you to your duty then,” the Ethereal said finally in Tau, “For the Tau'va”
“For the Greater Good,” Mesme replied in Gothic, turning quickly to Talan and his acolytes as the Ethereal marched out of the brig swiftly with his entourage of guards.

“What are you?” Talan asked, sticking to Gothic himself.
The diplomat mumbled something, but Mesme held her hand up to silence him, and he complied.

The two stood watching each other, a staring match as they sized each other up once again.
“It's not very polite to stare,” Talan said with a smile, hoping to disconcert her into revealing more.

“Neither is an assassination,” Mesme said in a tone that clearly demonstrated that she didn't care to be polite, “Though you failed at that, gue'la.”

“Failed, did I?” Talan said, turning to Roxana and Aelian for a moment.
“Don't look at me, we hit their commander with a krak round,” Roxana protested, “She should be dead.”

“I had no idea you were in command here,” Talan said as if it would have made a difference, “I presume you're not just going to release us, as you did at our last encounter?”
“No, I'm no longer in control,” Mesme replied, flowing into tau now as she paced the perimeter of the cell, “The Aun seems quite determined to have you order the remaining Imperials out of the system.”

Talan grimaced at the thought of having to do so, as Roxana stared at Karra, who paid little heed. Aelian by contrast, sat back down on his bedding.

“Does he now?” Talan replied, “I'm afraid I can't oblige.”
“I wanted to simply eliminate your forces, and as your shattered first attempt to stop me shows, I came close,” said Mesme, stopping her pacing for the moment, “It seems that Ru'na is playing it safe.”

“Hardly a safe option,” Talan said, raising an eyebrow, “I have no intention of ordering loyal subjects of the Emperor to leave while we have strength to fight, your superior should know that.”

“Yes, well, after the utter mauling your tanks gave us, he's going to force your hand another way,” Mesme said, clearly unhappy, “Ingloriously.”

Talan looked at his companions worriedly, wondering what the damned alien meant by that.

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 7th August
« Reply #59 on: August 9, 2014, 06:37:45 PM »
Quote
All roads lead to Terra, but our antagonists think we should choose different paths. - Eccleisarch Fontaine, Against the Heretics Volume I, Chapter I.

The tanks of the 16th Berdam Armoured rolled into the city centre, subdued civilians carrying belongings looking on as the vox-speakers screamed the venerable victory song Lake of Fire into the twilight air. Resistance from infantry ambushes had been near constant all day, but Demolisher cannons splitting buildings apart and flamers following up on any resistance after that tended to put to bed any notions of the advance stopping. However, sniping with miniature railguns and drone swarms had caused serious delays.

The Tau, understanding that they were outmatched, began pulling out their troops and the armed human auxiliaries in shuttles and gravtanks as evening set in, collapsing buildings into the streets in such a way as to stop a swift attack to prevent their escape. The auspex readings seemed to suggest they were evacuated to a smaller continent to the south, which was a strange place to choose considering it was still swarming with Orks.

The enemy may have gotten away, but they had paid an extremely heavy price for their interference on a world of the God-Emperor. Colonel Mieza was pleased, particularly that she had been the one to kick the damn aliens out and not the Mordians. The Imperial Aquila was raised over the city, and order restored.

As she left Captain Girad to set up the headquarters, Mieza made her way to a standing chapel of the Emperor to give a quiet thanks for her success, before finally going to meet her staff to plan the defence. Having won the city, the colonel wanted to set about preparing to defend it until reinforcements arrived.

A Salamander brought her to the newly established command building, seemingly positioned inside a bar. As she stepped down off the scout vehicle, she chuckled, startling the guards. “At ease, gentlemen,” she said quickly, realising they didn't quite know the logistics captain as well as she did. The women dropped their tension as quickly as they gained it, and stood in crisp parade order as their colonel entered the building.

She pushed through the doors, and found the equipment well established along the wall, where presumably the booths had stood before the arrival of Girad and his efficient lieutenant. The support company troopers seemed to be working diligently at them as well. The tactical holo-map floated in the middle of the room, shaking as usual as a tech-priest attended to it.

Mieza finally entered, the room stood to attention, saluted and then cheered her. She took it with good grace, and simply waved it off, before walking towards her staff whom had chosen to line themselves along the bar on the stools in front of the map.

Major Kasky, her second in command, and Captain Girad, the support company officer, were sat together with a glass of amasec each, looking rather miserable. The mechanised company commander Captain Machel was talking quietly with her lieutenant.

“You better not let the commissars see you doing that,” Mieza said quietly, indicating to both Kasky and Girad, “They might frown upon drinking on duty.”

“Which is why I requested they go see to all the boys and girls,” Kasky replied, taking a sip, “Not that it's necessary given their confidence in you, but the new information might send a few people into despair.”

“The Inquisitor's ship was kind enough to send us warning,” Machel said, pointing to the holo-map flickering, “We're trying to get the display working now.”

Mieza turned to the techpriest fiddling with the controls. “Have you tried this?” she asked, before smacking the instrument with the flat of her chainsword rather violently two or three times. The machine spirit of the thing must have understood she meant business, because it steadied the image immediately and the holo-pict changed from a two dimensional map of the city and its environs to a three dimensional representation of the planetary system. “Colonel, it appears you know much of the Omnissiah's bounty,” droned the techpriest without the slightest hint of sarcasm. “The Enperor protects,” she replied by rote.

Mieza looked up at the image. The ball representing the planet was there, as was its moon. Around them, a rash of contact icons with the standard rune for the Tau hung ominously.

“Another Tau fleet arrived in orbit,” Girad said, gulping his own drink down, “Much larger than the one we had on our plate before. The enemy now have significant reinforcements.”

“Are they deploying troops?” Mieza asked, taking a barstool herself.
“No, they seem content to sit up there,” said Kasky, “Flashing their blue arses at us where we can see them but do nothing about it.”
“And the PDF have no silo-based anti-ship missiles...” Mieza said, putting her palm on her forehead, “Looks like we'll be in for hell of a fight.”

“And sooner rather than later,” Machel said, before pointing to the holo-map.

Smaller contact icons were spawning from the belly of a couple of the larger ones, and were making their way to lower orbit.

“What are they?” Mieza asked.
A corporal piped up from the comms lectern.
“Incoming transmission from the Inquisitor's ship, standby,” he replied, across the holo-map to the officers, fiddling with controls as he did so, “Enemy titan-landers and transports deploying, trajectories places them on a course to your position. None heading for planetary capital. Message ends.”

“Well then, let's get cracking,” Mieza said, turning to her officers, “And someone find me the damn Inquisitor!”
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 05:08:33 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

 


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