The final attack was a close run thing. Hordes of genestealers, hormagaunts, termagants and warriors driven by the floating brains of two zoanthropes emerged from the venomthrope’s vapour cloud and threw themselves at the imperial defences. Yet, the Imperial firepower prevailed. The disciplined Vostroyan troops held their ground and poured continuous lasgun fire onto the charging aliens. The small squad of Death Watch Marines added the explosive rounds of their boltguns and heavy bolters, shredding the screaming Tyranid warriors as they charged. Not a single alien breached the walls of the hastily constructed fort.
As the smoke cleared, the last of the Tyranids were observed slinking back behind the hills and woods surrounding the fort. Beneath the walls dozens of chitinous shells lay lifeless, oozing ichor and acidic blood. The men of the Vostroyan 902nd took a breath and thanked the Emperor for their delivery. Although many of them suffered minor wounds, only three men lay dead. Major Volkhov called for reports and the sergeants began to redistribute ammunition and commence weapon checks.
Inquisitor Izenfard surveyed the situation. It seemed too easy. Certainly the presence of his small retinue and the Death Watch had added welcome additional firepower, but the Aliens seemed less determined than he would have expected.
His mission had, however, been a partial success. He was certain that he had spotted the Broodlord and a small coven of cloaked cultists watching proceedings from the protection of a nearby hill. Now he knew for certain that the planet had been infected by a genestealer cult. He must make a report and take steps to purge this disease.
The men moved about the fort, slowly collecting ammunition, repairing the sandbagged walls and congratulating one another. The wounded were tended and the bodies were carried to the rear for evac.
Similar scenes were occurring all over the planet. Small groups of Imperial Guard, Planetary Militia and various other armed groups occupying isolated defensive positions had held back swarms of aliens. It was an herculean effort and many felt they had saved the planet.
Humans will never grasp the subtlety of the hive mind.
As the Vostroyans began to distribute food packs and clean their weapons, the lookouts shouted “they’re back”.
From all sides, large, lumbering gun beasts crested the hills and pointed their symbiotic weapons at the emplacements. The alien plan had worked. The humans were now concentrated in small pockets that could be surrounded and picked off at will by the living ‘tanks’ of the aliens. Men rushed for cover and the heavy weapons were cleared for action.
At some undetectable signal, the aliens opened fire. Jets of acidic liquid, explosive spores and various living projectiles were hurled towards the men now huddled behind barricades. Stage two had begun.