Thursday, March 25, 2010

Disaster on Betor

After the loss of Hauzenberg in early 03.010M42 worse was to follow on Betor. The Tyranids now infested much of the far eastern coast of the main Betor continent and threatened to cut off a large force of Imperial troops north of the Beileigend Sea. General Dempsey, in overall military command, ordered the Corellian Storm Guard stationed towards the northern steppes to push immediately eastward to relieve the 141st Librian regiment and Betor PDF defending the coastal settlements around Schenebruck.

Once again however the Tyranid menace outwitted the human defenders. En route to relieve their comrades the Corellians met a substantial force of Tyranids. Despite their best efforts the Corellians were unable to breakthrough and to the fury of Dempsey withdrew south east. This left the Librians and PDF units vulnerable. Hemmed in on all sides the Librians lost contact with the PDF guarding Schenebruck as tyranid creatures broke out of the landscape all around them. What followed was utter carnage. The Librian 141st was wiped out to a man, and the PDF in the coastal townships fared no better. By 1603.010M42 contact was lost with Schenebruck.

Thousands of refuges fled across the Achen straits to the Island town of Achenheim, but if they thought that meant excape from the alien menace two days later they realised their error. From tunnels underground and from spores raining from the sky the Tyranids came on, slaughtering and consuming the population of Achenheim. General Dempsey implored the Astartes to intervene but there were none available. Inquisitor Huron urgently requested aid from high command. Betor was being consumed rapidly.

In the southern sector of the Betor war the Porphyrians were also facing a renewed Tyranid offensive. There was little they could do to prevent the fall of Lindesberg, its defenders cut off from all aid. An Imperial Navy airdrop was attempted but of the 100 aircraft which took to the sky only two returned, the rest succumbing to Tyranid ariel spore mines. Worse still, on landing, one of the aircraft proved to be infested with tiny tyranid creatures. In panic the crew of the second craft were slain by their comrades and the airfield at Renestein was out of action when the Tyranids attacked again.

Coming from the south in waves the alien creatures fell upon the Porphyrians defending Renestein. Despite valiant resistance the Porphyrian regiments were unable to halt their enemy, falling back or being slaughtered in their positions. Renestein fell on 1803.010M42 and the Mittel plain was reached for the first time.

By now General Dempsey was becoming desperate and threw in his reserves. The veteran 33rd Librian regiment was deployed around Langenhofen and ordered to hold the line against the hordes of creatures now pushing south from the northern zone. If Dempesy could hold the line then maybe Inquisitor Hathek would be able to summon more reinforcements as he had done in the first Tyranid infestation in 009M42.

The Librians held their position around Langenhofen for seven days, facing wave upon wave of tyranid attacks. The aliens were slaughtered by the thousand, but gradually the overwhelming numbers began to tell. Despite heroic resistance it became obvious to Dempsey on 2603.010M42 that the Librians, though holding their ground stoically, would be lost entirely if they were not ordered to immediately withdraw. Realising that he could not afford to lose any more troops, Dempsey ordered the Librians to retreat. There was dismay on the ground as the Librians gave up the territory so many of their comrades had died protecting. In vain though it was their struggle had been heroic, and the defence of Langenhofen went down in the Betor campaign, and librian legend. With the Imperium in full retreat in the north and the south, many wondered how long before the defence of Betor would have to be given up entirely. Only the elite forces of the Adeptus Astartes could now halt the tide of loss.

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