Sunday, August 21, 2011

Nemesis Vanguard reaches Alphe

With the loss of the Peraph asteroid base in 07.011M42 Imperial commander General Percival readied his defence of Alphe. Coming only months after the withdrawal of chaos forces from the planet the news that Tyranids were encroaching on the Alphe system came as a bitter blow, and the news was kept secret from the general populace, even from the governor, Albers Torak. Percival had Imperial Guard regiments readied and the PDF re-mobilised under the pretext that chaos forces had still not left the system. A lie, but one which kept the system on a state of alert. Forces from the Salamanders, Lamenters and Blood Martyrs chapters arrived by early 08.011M42, and Percival pursuaded them to make themselves visible to the troops on the ground, thereby increasing morale. The Imperium braced itself for the inevitable onslaught, which then failed to arrive.

For much of 08.011M42 augurs searched the void of space and the warp for indications of the hive fleet arriving en masse, but nothing appeared. Admiral Jellicoe kept his fleet on alert at Caitlen station, but continued his usual fleet duties. Where were the Tyranids? Then, on 1508.011M42 worrying news reached General Percival. Since the 8th, there had been reports of general disorder, rioting and "beast attacks" from the Island settlement of Linshore, which had been devastated in the chaos invasions of 09-10M42. These were shrugged off at first, there were still outbreaks of mutation and even daemonic possession across the world, and the local adeptus arbites forces had become well used to handling such outbreaks, usually brutally.

On 11008.011M42 contact with Linshore was lost, something unremarkable on a world where so much infrastructure had been ravaged by war. However, when contact hadn't been re-established by the 15th, Percival sensed something was wrong. The Salamanders agreed to investigate, landing near the city of Linshore on 1908.011M42. At first they found nothing, then as they investigated the city itself, this very discovery became alarming. The entire population of over one million had disappeared without a trace, and the city, ruined by shelling, had almost disappeared amongst creeping vines and floral overgrowth. Very quickly the Salamanders realised what this meant, and hastily withdrew, signalling to Percival that the tyranids had indeed arrived. Then the monsters appeared.

The Tyranids had arrived on Alphe apparently by stealth, something which was not in keeping with their usual mode of operation. Nemesis, Imperial intelligence realised, was different, employing a breadth of strategy not usually encountered in the extragalactic menace. The Salamanders fought bravely, but the forces of Nemesis had taken the by surprise, cutting their forces off from their Thunderhawks. Within a day, contact was lost with the Astartes company.

The Lamenters immediately declared their intention to rescue their battle brothers from the alien hordes, despite the objections of Percival, who desperately wanted to keep the marines from hot-headed action. He managed to pursaude the Blood Martyrs from throwing in their lot with the Lamenters and began the process of quarantining Redkeep Island. on 2108.011M42 Inquisitor Darell Yintard arrived with instructions from his mentor and overseer, Inquistor Hathek. Yintard was to restart Hathek's investigations into Nemesis while Hathek dealt with the rogue Xanthus in the Perseus Deeps. Meanwhile the Lamenters went ahead with their rescue mission, and met ferocious resistance from the aliens. Few of the battle brother survived the assault, much as Percival had predicted.

No comments: