Approx. 1400 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
written by SJ
Once Lana Lyu LaFong had returned from Terra Aurigae, as always, she was happy to get back to Camp Cheyenne, where two big friendly bozos, Bull and Gannon, stood on the tarmac to greet her. They also informed her that the Colonel was now training the Space Marines to fight Tyranids, a major refresher course, since it was something they hadn’t done for a while.
Fighting Tyranids had a whole new set of problems from fighting Orks or Chaos. For one thing, everything the Tyranids used were designed as a living organisms. They were master bioengineers, doing so at the genetic level. Once their Hive was exposed to a new environment, they used Mycetic spores to gather information about the native flora and fauna, using that data to quickly adapt, or, if necessary, change it to adapt to them. They were also able to use this information to fight an enemy, breeding attack broods in large numbers using armor and weapons that could change quickly to counter their enemy’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses.
The Terrans had learned quickly, when the Tyranids attacked, they attacked in hordes; only by destroying their Hive structures could they be stopped.
The last time the Terrans fought the Tyranids was in the Sol8 2Thanatephoris solar system more than a decade earlier. The Cheyenne Rangers were called there along with some Imperial Guards troops to defend a thriving, new, colony on Thanatephoris-2, a nice garden world.
The Terrans had known there were Tyranids on the planet ever since they began colonizing Thanatephoris-2, thinking, at that time, they were just an innocuous native life form, neither side bothering each other and staying their distance. However, as time passed, there was conflict, something that seemed to happen purely out of ignorance.
By the time all out hostilities had broken out between the colonists and the Tyranids, they knew they were going to have to call for help. When the Space Marines and Imperial Guard arrived, they were successful; they defeated the Tyranids, and afterwards, believed at that time, the conflict was over. But, soon the Tyranids renewed their offensive. Then, under a relentless, overwhelming, assault, the Space Marines and Imperial Guard defended the colonists until they could be evacuated. It was shortly afterwards, the Terrans found the Tyranid Hive World located 35.7 light years away. That’s when they knew the Tyranids were not just animals, but an intelligent, space faring race.
Shortly after the discovery of the Hive World, the Terrans were afraid they might’ve started a war with the Tyranids; they tried many different ways to try and communicate with them so they could explain what had happened, eventually giving up. As time passed, no other solar systems had any encounters with the Tyranids, and when the Terrans returned to Thanatephoris-2, they found the Tyranids were gone. Since that time, the Terrans have not returned to the solar system and, apparently, neither have the Tyranids; the only thing that remains there are a couple spy satellites.
The Terrans ended up naming the Tyranid Hive World, Leviathan. As time passed, they found a second Hive World and named it, Behemoth, quickly realizing it was located 34.4 light years away from Sol8 1Thanatephoris, where there was a small Terran colony occupying a garden world in orbit around an M class sun by the name of Phalanx. It was also 47.6 light years away from the Terran’s most distant colony, Sol7 Thanatos. After the trouble in the Sol8 2Thanatephoris system, they had expected Phalanx to be next, assuming it would be the next one evacuated. But, nothing ever happened.
Much more recently, the Tyranids had occupied Thanatos-5, a cold desert world with very little native life, located .23 A.U.’s from Thanatos-4. However, since then, the Tyranids seemed to leave the Terrans in peace. After LaFong had had her talk with Ar’sharel of the Eldar Alaitoc Farseer Counsel, the Terrans learned that Tyranid communication was telepathic, and that the Tyranids had been trying to communicate with them, only to no avail.
Now, with the Tyranids landing on Thanatos-4 and setting up a Hive on an island, the Terrans were afraid there might be a repeat of what happened on Thanatephoris-2, only in this case, the colonist knew they were in the right, the first ones to occupy the planet; they were determined to stay. Phalanx was also just as determined to support them; they had one second class destroyer, which had already been sent and was currently in orbit.
On Thanatephoris-2 the Terrans had learned that once a Tyranid Hive became hostile, it would begin to spew Mycetic spores, something that would start corrupting the native environment; then, through the Hive’s capillary towers, they would gather information quickly so they could create deadly attack broods. On Thanatos-4, none of that had happened, leading the colonists, in this case, to believe, to HOPE, the Tyranids were here in peace. But, they had no way of knowing for sure. They needed some way to communicate. They needed Officer LaFong (now Lieutenant LaFong) to talk to the Eldar.
The destroyer from Phalanx, along with weapons and equipment, and a some Guardsmen, had brought two Vendetta gunships with them to Thanatos-4. The General sent four more gunships, which would give the colony a total of six. The one thing they had learned from the previous battles with the Tyranids was that aircraft, bombing attacks, worked best in wiping out massed numbers of attack broods. But, they were hoping they didn’t have to use them.
Back at Camp Cheyenne, LaFong had already said goodby to her team, Bull and Gannon sorry to see her go, her team sorry they were not going with her. The General had sent a fast Federal Yacht to pick her up, wanting, with all speed, to get her to Thanatos-4 as soon as possible--if not sooner.
She was taking very little gear with her this time: her two 9.1s, her two short swords, and her VSS sniper rifle. She was not expected to use any of them. At the last moment, the pilot got a call, then told her they were going to stop at Warhammer 40k Headquarters to pick up Officer Dakota, but as yet, didn’t say why.
Once the Federal Yacht had docked at Warhammer 40K HQ, Lana was told to remain inside; Jennifer was ready and waiting to board, doing so as soon as the doors opened, bringing with her one suitcase.
As far as Lana knew, the General didn’t want Jennifer to go anyplace without the presence, or the chance of the presence, of demons. Before she was asked, and as the Yacht prepared to leave the docking bay, Jennifer began to explain. “Marcellus wants me to checkout that area inside where the planetary gun was located. Remember...where you encountered the Possessed Chaos Marines.”
Lana thought a second. “Oh, yeah, I remember...it's near where I was taken to meet the Eldar. They’re hoping I can meet them there again...ask them about what’s happening on Thanatos-4 with the Tyranids.”
“I’ve been busy with Marcellus working on the information I obtained from Terra Aurigae, so I haven’t been informed too much about what’s going on elsewhere.” Jennifer changed to Lana’s subject. “From what little I’ve heard, they’re having some problems with Tyranids?”
Lana nodded. “Yeah...that’s why they want me to talk to Ar’sharel.” She quickly informed Jennifer in more detail about the situation on Thanatos-4 and what she was supposed to do, then waited for the Librarian to continue.
“I hope you’re able to do something.” Jennifer understood, then explained her task. “Remember that opening in the WARP we found on Terra Aurigae. They think there might a similar opening in that cave near the planetary gun.”
Lana understood, now. “Tzeentch must’ve been trying to get another WARP object...but, we stopped them. ”
“But, Khorne came along later and got it.” Jennifer finished up. “That’s why I’m coming with you to Thanatos-4...to check it out and see if the opening is still there,” she sighed, “even though I’m not eager to peer into the WARP again. But, it might help us if I can see what structure was there and what object was taken.”
Lana smiled. “Well, whatever reason you’re coming, I’m happy to have the company.”