"Squad Bravo, come in, over."
"This is squad Bravo, over."
"Brothers, the Alien have reached our position. Get the Captain to the Thunderhawk. It does not take a genius to establish we have failed The Emporer this day."
"Understood, brother. Emperor be with you."
The sky was a shroud of grey and blue with the occasional beam of almost-holy sunlight bathed the bloodied ground littered with amber-clad Tau soldiers somewhere deep in the jungles, along with the unpreserved bodies of fallen Blood Ravens. The Alien forces of the Tau Empire had destroyed most of our Orbital Beacons, levelled our Land Speeder production facility on the western side of the jungle, and Rhino Transport factory to the east of our stronghold.
"Brothers, stand your ground! The Alien scum approaches!" I ordered, pulling the enormous cocking handle back on my .75 caliber Bolter with a heavy clunk. The sounds of readying weapons behind me as two squads of Blood Ravens took cover behind sandbag emplacements and scorched fortress walls. I looked back at my battle-brothers to assess what firepower we had. We had a heavy bolter, a missile launcher and a vehicle-mounted Lascannon, which a Brother had removed from a busted Predator tank. He had extracted the enormous battery from the bay of the vehicle and had magnetically strapped it to his power pack.
"Brother Magnus!" I called to the Marine holding the Heavy Bolter "I want your field of fire covering the western approach. Brother Thanius, take the Missile Launcher to the Eastern appraoch. Brother Cailan, stay in the centre of this fortification and provide overwatch with the Lascannon."
"Yes Brother-sergeant!" they replied, moving to their positions. The remaining Blood Ravens bunkered down in their improvised covers and waited for the Alien to approach.
"Brother Sergeant, the Alien have almost overrun our position *static*---et ready Broth-agh!!"
"Brothers, the Alien approach! They have mercilessly slaughtered our Brothers. Do not let their deaths be in vain!" I roared, reciting the litanies of the Codex Astartes through my mind, channeling the fury of my fallen Brothers into the chamber of my Bolter, the very rounds I will fire at the enemy's hearts. As the fires of war raged within me, amber-clad troops cautiously crept along the western approach, their rifles shouldered and pointing at every shadow and large rock.
"On my mark, Brothers." I whispered down the comm link, lining my bolter up at the white-helmetted Alien soldier, their squad leader. They drew closer, more and more of them coming into view. The first Alien warrior spotted my deep green visual lenses, he slid across the damp soil in an effort to stop
"Fire, Brothers!!" I roared, rising out of cover and firing off several Bolter rounds, their white smoke trails ripping through the humid air and plunging straight through the Alien's amber abdominal armour, splattering purple blood across the troops behind him. The white-helmetted soldier took the next round in the face, caving it in like a black hole right before imploding into a hail of polymer and skull fragments. A thunderous volley of Bolter-fire erupted from behind me at the advancing troops, tearing them down with merciless efficiency. As all the amber-clad soldiers fell, I felt a sense of satisfaction. Their blood stained a warning to every Alien planning to attack from that direction. Lowering my bolter, I heard a discreet shuffling; a single Alien, covered in his comrade's blood and his legs shattered from Bolter fire, began to crawl with unbearable agony back down the western approach. A single crack of sniper fire rang out, and flipped him over as the round split his head apart.
"Brother-Sergeant, this is Scout team four. We manage to evade the Alien forces and have taken position in the upper walls of the stronghold. We shall provide sniper cover for as long as we can, over" a husky voice reported across our comms
"Good to have you with us, Brothers." I replied, looking up at the sniper's position; two cloaked Scouts in the tallest spire of the fortress. It offered a magnificent vantage point, and could cover an extremely large area of land.
"Warriors of the Emperor - Space Marines! Surrender now, and join our cause, for the Greater Good!" an aged, alien-accented loud-speaker boomed from behind the thick growth of trees, most likely from the Commander himself. I turned to the Marines behind me, and pressed a finger to my helmet's comm link.
"Never, the 'Greater Good' will be coming from our Bolters, Alien!" I roared back, my voice echoing from the stronghold's own load-speaker systems.
"Human! See reason! You are completely surrounded. If you surrrender now, we will respect your beliefs, but you must pursue the Greater Good. We wish for no more bloodshed!" the Tau Commander pleaded.
"Then it's a good thing us Space Marines are born and crafted to cause bloodshed. We will never surrender to your cause, Alien. To bow to an Alien is heresy! We would rather die in the Emperor's honour, Xeno!" I replied, my battle-brothers rallying and preparing their weapons.
"Do the deaths of your men, -your Brothers- mean so little to you?! Are you that mad?!" the Tau Commander shouted, clearly agitated at the willingness of our ready-sacrifice.
"Do the deaths of your soldiers mean so much to you?! Are you that weak!?"
"Then you only follow the path....the path to your own destruction."
Raising my Bolter, I readied myself for the entire Tau Strike Force that layed in wait behind the dense forest line. In the distance, I could hear the roars of the thrusters on the Alien's armoured vehicles, their sounds drawing closer and closer. Their alien armours would be met by steel and fire, they were not getting past us as long as one brother-Marine was able to fight. There was an uncomfortable silence as a thick mist descended upon our position. My thermal scanners swept left to right with aprehension; there was bound to be something out there, and it was going to come down on us with tremendous force.
"Brothers! Enemy signals incoming!" a brother-Marine called out from the western flank. Seconds later, a choir of high-pitched squawks filled the air as the thin, vile-looking Kroot auxiliaries leapt over the western barricades and into our lines. Every Marine turned to the Kroot group and fired at them, but they moved with such speed that it became difficult to get a precise lock on them. Mercilessly, they tore the armour off my brothers and ripped at the flesh underneath, all the while receiving powerful punches from the marines underneath. Every time one filthy Kroot fell, two more joined their ranks and engaged more brother-Marines. A bolt of luminous plasma zapped past my head, startling me as I turned to its original location. I was met with scores of alien Fire Warriors, firing volley after volley of accurate plasma bolts at us.
"Fall back to the Monastary, Brothers! To a better position!" I ordered, firing off the last of my magazine's bolter rounds before turning heel and running towards the steep, muddy incline leading to the Monastary. Only a handful of Brother Marines were able to break free from the alien's brutal melee, but thankfully, our brother-Terminator was able to fight his way out, firing back at the alien horde with ruthless efficiency.
We rallied upon the Monastary's foundation, and turned to face the Alien invaders. Bolters raised, we fired upon the incoming Kroot, and the Fire Warriors backing them. Plasma bolts flashed past us, some catching clancing blows on our armour. The marine to my right's helmet exploded into a mess of crimson as plasma sliced through the carapace with deadly ease. We slowly began to pace back, smoking magazines dropping from our bolters were quickly replaced with fresh replacements. More and more plasma bolts began to hit us, and the Brother-Terminator was knocked to his knee as a volley of bolts crashed into his armour. He let out an agonised gasp as he recoiled, and wearily composed himself
"Brothers...Get to the Monastary... I will hold them here!" he ordered, firing his Storm Bolter at the wave of invaders with deadly efficiency.
"The Emperor protects." I replied as the rest of us headed toward the Monastary. As we moved, I looked back at the Brother-Terminator engage melee with the foul creatures. He seized one beaked creature by the face and crushed it like an eggshell as he fired into the jaws of another. More and more of the wirey creatures jumped on him, and reduced him to bloodied carapace in mere seconds
"I am honoured to of witnessed your courage, Brother." I radioed to him, unsure if he acknowledged. The invaders began to swarm up to the Monastary steps, their foul xeno bolts scorching the blessed walls of the Monastary. The Apothecary came from the large metal doors, firing his bolter at the foul Kroot
"We need to get Captain Thule to the Thunderhawk!" he informed me, "It is at the landing pad right now."
"Take the Captain and go! We will cover you, Brother." I replied, as another Brother-Marine fell to the Tau fire. He simply nodded "The Chapter will honour your names, Brother."
"There is no honour to be had in defeat, but someone must hold the Xeno back." I replied. The Apothecary turned and headed back inside the great hall, sealing the enormous metal doors behind him. Moments later, the thunderous sound of the Thunderhawk's engines drowned out every other sound as it took off and headed towards the atmosphere, blue streaks trying to intercept the ship, but their efforts were in vain. I looked back at the xeno horde, and resumed firing. One by one, my Brother-Marines fell to Tau plasma fire, their armour adorned with smouldering holes, streams of steam and smoke flowing from the freshly-blasted wounds. The sickly Kroot warriors pounced on me, pinning me to the steps of the Monastary. They began to scratch and tear at my armour, only to recieve blow after blow from my combat knife for their efforts. After what seemed like minutes of melee, they broke through my armour and began to tear at my flesh. While I still lived, they consumed the very flesh the Emperor had blessed me with. My world faded to black as I recited litanies in my head.
The Emperor protects.