FEar the alien. It had some pretty good (different) stories this time around. The Eldar one was weird, but the people who like weird things would probably enjoy that for its bizarre or even grotesque aspects.. it was like.. 'eldar myth from a human POV, with horror thrown in'. Can't say I quite grasped it all, but I am quite consistently lowbrow in my tastes
The other good bit wsa one of those rare Ork stories from the Ork POV and it had a bit of hilarity to it (red boots lol). And the Magos Drusher story, I always like those. Abnett should write more of that.
Also a tau-centric one about why the Kroot eat meat.
Anyhow last anthology up and then I'm done for awhile. Enjoy!
The man looked at his data-slate again. “According to Central Records, you are employed by the Administratum to teach Natural History at the local scholam.”
“That’s correct. My papers are in order.”
“But you’re a magos biologis, not a teacher.”
“The Administratum pays me a stipend for my services, along with certain ration benefits as per the Martial Order. This is of course contingent on me not… on me not supplementing my earnings.”
Ah another Magos Drusher story. He's still on the same planet. He also thinks he's in trouble with the local enforcers. It makes you really wonder how he can be a Magos, since a.) he's not decked out in augmetics and b.) he's never mentioned alongside the AdMech and if he was a biologis he would be immune from most local prosecution.
I have to say despite some of the silliness in this I like these stories.
The front of his face, and most of his throat, had been bitten away. Parts of the skull structure had gone along with the soft tissue. Cleanly severed, like industrial shears had…
“It’s too clean. I’d say you were looking for a man with a chainsword.”
This implies chainswords sever things rather neatly. Not sure I would have expected this from a chainsaw weapon - maybe it's due to the sharp edges they use.
“Carnodon. From Gudrun. Throne, there shouldn’t have been one in captivity here. They’re virtually extinct, and listed on the Administratum’s prohibition order. It’s a felid too, but big, and from temperate habitats.”
“Five or six metres, maybe eight hundred kilos. Quite capable of biting off a man’s face.”
Ah, the good old Carnodon. WE last saw those in Eisenhorn.
Drusher wouldn’t have been able to tell that the building before him was the Commission of Works. Penetrator shells had caved in the facade and chewed curiously geometric shapes out of the roof. The rear of the building was a dark cave-system of intact rooms.
Penetrator shells. Not sure if the "curiously geometric shapes" means anything.
An apex predator. Drusher smiled sadly as he thought of the phrase. A big specimen too, maybe five and a half metres body length, nine hundred kilos healthy body weight. But at the time of its miserable, hunted death, it had been less than six hundred kilos, emaciated, its ribs poking out like tent braces.
“The Commission of Works.”
“It was the main building of the Administratum here in Tycho. Before the tank shells levelled it.”
The penetrator shells were tank shells.
Drusher pulled the trigger and kept it pulled. Eight, nine, ten rounds, the full clip boomed out of Macks’ borrowed sidearm and hit the killer head-on.
It fell, burst open, broken, puffed pink intestines spilling from its punctured torso. A man, but not a man. A product of the civil war. Augmetically strengthened, augmetically wired, its eyes a black visor, wires stapled into its flesh, its palsied hands curled over to expose the whirring chainblades sewn into its wrists.
The chainblades whined as they came together. Despite the rounds he had put into it, it got back up. And leapt at Drusher’s face.
His gun clicked, dry.
From behind him, Macks fired her riot-gun and the killer’s head burst like a tomato. The impact knocked it sideways. When it landed, its chainblades were still whirring involuntarily.
10 shot handgun + riot gun puts down what amounts to an Arco-flagellant.
Catmos felt the weight of the modified long-barrelled bolter in his hands, the cold ring of its magnification scope just touching his eyelid.
long barreled bolter serving as a sniper rifle. In an IG regiment basically.
Turning, he saw a Guardsman in the room opposite, shoving lasgun powerpacks into the recharging rack. The man’s hands were shaking. He dropped a pack and swore as he bent to retrieve it.
“Not that one.” Catmos stepped forwards to take it. “The casing’s cracked.”
The last thing they needed was men injured by their own weapons exploding.
Power pack recharging rack. Cracked casings on a powerpack will explode it. Rather odd that in such a durable weapon droppping the power pack would crack it like that.
Until they had been overrun, their ammunition exhausted. Because the tyranids could spare a hundred spawn to kill a single Guardsman.
Implies the Nids can sacrifice a hundred lesser nids for a Guardsmen. Considering they can throw billions typically in opening wayves against millions of troops.. unsurprising.
..slicing open suppurating channels drilled by the beetles, trying to pierce them with his electroscalpel before they shredded some vital organ. He had been too slow. There had been too many.
“Borer beetles!” Commissar Thirzat rounded on the wide-eyed cadets. “Flesh worms that burrow through your nerve-fibres to consume your brain. Deathspitter maggots melting your armour. Strangler seeds, growing thorns to rip a man to pieces before he takes two steps. "
This is both a description of Tyranid ammo and the Inspirational quality of your typical Commissar
“Tyranids will slaughter every man, woman, child and animal, down to skippermice hiding in ditches. They are fearless, merciless, unrelenting. Their sucking weeds will wither every tree, every shrub, every blade of grass. They won’t stop till every last scrap of bio-mass is rendered down in pools of living acid. "
Yet more Commissrial inspiration. Ciaphas Cain, he is not.
Kicking aside an acid-etched flak-armour breastplate, he strode towards the stairs.
Flak armour "breastplate"
Catmos checked the coloured telltales on the sensor-blanket’s corner. The wounded man’s heart rate, blood-oxygen and pressure were satisfactory.
Rather useful bit of IG gear - Sensor blanket.
A Guardsman sprayed promethium over the corpses and ignited it with a flamer burst. Catmos’ throat tightened, but it was the only way to stay free of insidious tyranid organisms.
“Would letting the lads watch their dead pals twitching, splitting open to spill poison-maggots into the soil?”
Importance of cremating the corpses. Same as dealing with Orks really.
Catmos saw Lieutenant Jepthad raise a hand to his ear, intent on his micro-bead.
These Guardsmen have micro beads it seems.
The lascannons ringing the tower’s upper levels burst into life. The alien exploded in a reeking shower of bony fragments and cauterised gobbets of flesh. The same laser blast blew apart the handful following the trailblazer. The air rang with deafening shrieks as beam after beam of brilliant death cut a swathe through the chittering hordes.
Lascannons firing on Hormagaunts. A single "blast" takes out a number of them (at least 3 or so) blowing them apart and reducing them to cauterized chunks. Several MW per Gaunt (say 4-6 at least I'd bet.) Single or double digit MW total (minimum) for the lascannon shot, although double-triple is quite possible by volume (For example, assume boiling every kg of gaunt flesh.. IA4 gives a hormagaunt 200 kg - which would be 160 MJ to boil 3)
The close-packed Guardsmen on the battlements were firing their lasguns. Pinpoint beams severed limbs and gouged deep into those swollen heads. They blinded noxious eyes and slashed flickering tongues clean through.
Lasgun shots punching narrow holes and amputating limbs (presumably cutting beams, although it isn't clear how they severer. One possibility is they're firing a stream of lower power, highly focused shots at such a high rate of fire that as the automatic fire is raked it cuts trhough the target (Effectivley)
Lascannons burned through the warm air. The flying tyranids caught in their crosshairs disintegrated. Any of the vermin too close to those initial casualties fell too, wings shredded by razor shards of shattered chitin.
Lascannon shots exploding Gargoyles.. again abit on the same benchmark of taking out hormagautns - at least a good half dozen MJ or so (to burn, to explode, and to account for several times mass difference between people)
Those monstrosities still aloft vomited lurid gobs of bio-plasma. Catmos saw one spatter a grey-haired Guardsman. Clinging green fire ignited his flak-armour, his hair.
The merciful ignition of his lasgun’s powerpack freed him from his torment..
Plasma behaving like flames. bio plasma also manages to somehow set off lasgun powepacks. First dropping them on the floor then extreme heat. Considering you're supposed to be able to throw them in fires, this means bio plasma is hotter than that.
The massive tyranid warrior rounded on Thirzat with a roar, as soldiers, mortar crews and medicae were all turning their lasguns on the tyranids in the compound. The alien vermin shrieked and died as their armoured exoskeletons fractured under ceaseless las-fire.
Lasgun fire "fracturing" skeletons, although ohw many shots and how much fracturing vs how many Nids.. who the fuck knows.
A cut to the thigh, bright with arterial blood. He pressed a suction-dressing down hard. A hand half-cut, half-tom from its wrist. A styptic-bandage and some tranquillium and that could wait.
More IG issue healing gear.
On the mattresses, sensor blankets gleamed with fresh counterseptic, telltales blinking in readiness. Thermosealed trays of servoclamps and electroscalpels were stacked high. Etrick and Tind were ready at their operating tables and the blood recycler hummed. The resuscitrex diodes indicated it was fully charged.
More on the sensor blankets and other high end IG medical gear.
He held out a power claw. A bear’s mask snarled above the three shimmering blades.
All the wounded shouted agreement. Several brandished the brass bear claws favoured by the rank and file: knuckledusters adorned with talons.
A rather interesting sort of powerclaw.
He had a tube-charge in his other hand. Letting his lasgun hang loose on its sling for an instant, he twisted the tube’s cap and threw the explosive hard into one of the pits. Corpses and tyranids alike were blown to pieces
Tube charge blows multiple human and Tynranid bodies to pieces... at least a kilo of TNT analogue, probably several kilos. I suspect the tube charge is a fraction of that (like maybe a pound or so?)
He rested his rifle on the rail, focussed through the scope and carefully judged the breeze. This time his first shot sent a deuterium bolt through the warrior’s eye.
Recently revived air-scrubbers re-oxygenating the deck allowed Praetor to remove his battle-helm. Suspensor readings in retinal displays showed maximum lift capacity.
Terminator armour has suspensor readings. Note they don't reduce mass per se but provide lift. (remember the Suspensor sword from Soul Drinkers.)
Tsu’gan sent a burst into the creatures, rupturing the ribcage of the leader and ripping off a limb.
The flare from the storm bolters lit up the corridor like a tongue of fire. Tsu’gan felt their heat. Three xenos exploded against the fusillade.
Storm bolter fire vs 'nids. We dont know how any shots worth to do this though.
Tsu’gan’s retinal display was still reporting zero threats. No heat-traces, no kinetics, no gas or power surges.
Terminator sensors. "kinetics" may mean motion sensors.
Cold air, charged with liquid nitrogen mist from inside the chamber, beckoned them closer. The room was not especially large or remarkable. It was square and held twenty banks of clear cylindrical, coffin-like receptacles capable of housing a Space Marine in full armour. This was where crewmembers could go during a long space journey. It was also a place to keep the badly wounded until a space station or dock could be reached which had superior medical facilities to those of the cruiser.
Strike cruisers seem to carry their own cryogenic facilities.. for whatever purpose.
“Contacts on my scanners. Closing quickly.” Nu’mean went to his own bio-scanner, one of the concomitant systems of his Terminator armour.
Several heat traces, distant but very real, were approaching.
More on Terminator sensors - biosensors, which seem to rely on heat traces.
It took Praetor three blows from his thunder hammer to batter the bulkhead door down and send it screeching from its moorings into the corridor at speed. Like most sons of Vulkan, his strength was prodigious, but even amongst the Fire-born Praetor had a reputation for incredible feats. Brought on by fury and determination, this one ranked amongst the toughest.
The closest Raptor didn’t see it coming. Six thousand kilograms of half-metre-thick metal took the renegade down, slamming into its torso and nearly cutting it in two. A death rattle escaped from its skulled faceplate before it died.
Assuming a 3-4 meter tall 1 meter wide door half a metre thick is a density of 3000-4000 kg *m^3
Terminator with thunder hammer rips a door off its hinges and sends it flying at considerable speed. Assuming 2-3 m/s implies a momentum implied of 12-18 thousand kg*m/s. Probably only the last blow imparted the speed, since the mountings would have weakened under the blows but kept the door in place. It's also something of a lower limit.
The respite would not last. The cleansing fire of Brother Kohlogh’s heavy flamer had done its work well. Ashen genestealer bodies littered the corridor ahead, but more were coming, many more.
Heavy flamer reduce many genestealers to ash. 300 kg per Genestealer is half a ton to a ton at least cremated.. (equal to 7-15 normal people disregarding the carapace) although timeframe is unspecified.
His haemonculus surgeons had really outdone themselves, he thought. You could see the staples in the back of his skull that pulled his flaccid face tight. A half a dozen of his warriors had been scalped, and now his limp, greasy hair was replaced by a magnificent raven mane. A mixture of drugs and concoctions ran through his injection harness, toning his muscles and giving his eyes a healthy green glow. He curled his lips back, admiring his new stainless-steel teeth.
Dark Eldar cosmetic surgery.
One of Malwrack’s sybarite lieutenants ran up gleefully and shot him square in the face, detonating the man’s head like an overripe melon.
Dark Eldar have hand weapons that can explode heads too,w ith the comparable firepower.
Instincts taking over, he pulled his limbs in tight to his body and rode the shock wave. His personal force field flared to life, wrapping him tightly in a cocoon of black energy and utterly protecting him. Even when he hit the ground, the shadowy field absorbed the impact that would otherwise have shattered every bone in his willowy frame. Malwrack rolled up onto his feet, and sensing somehow that he was safe for the moment, the field became transparent.
Interesting little defense. Malwrack has.
Rumbling towards him out of the smoky haze was an Imperial tank...
...He glanced behind him, but where his warriors had been a moment before, there was now only a smoking crater. Body parts were scattered everywhere, humans and dark eldar now indistinguishable from one another in death.
Imperial tank's shell blows apart a great many Dark Eldar bodies.
Suddenly, the telltales on Malwrack’s forearm bracer lit up. His shadow field was a formidable piece of technology, but it was not infallible. There was only so much punishment it could take before it either overloaded or shut down to recharge itself.
Gunfire, shellfire, close combat impacts.. they all drain the shield.
She relayed that she had no interest in the planet he had ransacked for her, for she had worlds and captives of her own.
The Dark Eldar seem toh old planetary territory, although whether it is in normal space or in the webway we dont know.
More soldiers leapt from Raiders while behind them several slower-moving gunboats began to blow the scarabs apart with volleys from their energy cannons. The horde of machines began to thin. One of the large spiders crashed to the floor in a pool of slag. As if in response to the shifting tide of battle, twisting streams of green fire stabbed forth from out of the darkness. Humanoid shapes were slouching towards them, skeletal and hunched; cumbersome weapons hung heavy in their hands. Every soldier they hit flew apart into piles of burnt flesh and charred bones.
Necrons seem to have some brute force weapons. The only other place we've seen this is Hellforged. Single/double digit MJ maybe.
The ones on the ground immediately began firing their rifles. Two of the incubi were killed outright, but the armour of the others withstood the barrage. The archon’s protective field turned opaque in several places, protecting his eyes from the blinding beams as it saved his body from vaporisation.
Implies the Necron beams can vapourize Dark Elar (explode or evaporate, your pick) The ARchons defense shiled and incubi Armour provide protection though.
The bodies of his soldiers were piling up everywhere, blackened and smoking. Amidst them, dead necrons were staggering back to their feet, reassembling themselves somehow until they again looked like gunmetal skeletons.
Necrons revive from Abuse the Dark Eldar dish out. Necron weapons continue to burn the fuck out of Dark Eldar.
It had started without warning, a chunk of space rock vomited from the warp, hurtling directly towards Izanagi. Terror had gripped the world, every calculation of the observators of the Divisio Astrologicus came to the same result: Izanagi was doomed. The impact of such an immense meteor would kill the world and everything on it. There was no time to evacuate, only to kneel before the God-Emperor and make peace with Him before the end.
The impact of the immense meteor was felt across the planet, sending earth tremors that resonated across each continent. A great plume of dust billowed into the atmosphere, wrapping Izanagi in a mantle of darkness.
Impossibly, the immense space rock had reduced its velocity as it entered the gravity pull of Izanagi. True, it had struck with enough force to gouge a hundred-metre-deep crater in the lush forests of Kazi Basin, but even such a devastating impact was far from the planet-killing blow predicted by the arcane science of the tech-priests.
An asteroid big enough to inflict a mass extinction event on this planet drops from the warp, and they consider it miraculous that it decelerates prior to impact to save the planet. The fact it comes out of the wapr, that it seems to have control of its velocity, and that some aliens (lik Orks) use Rocks for transportation never seems to cross these people's minds. Hell you'd think they'd suspect something as a rule!
The thick layers of dust swirling in the atmosphere blinded the satellite surveillance systems of the prefecture and the agri-combines. Aircraft found it impossible to operate in the choking, gritty clouds, dust quickly clogging intakes and exhausts and reducing visibility to a few metres.
Satelilte surveillance and aircraft for recon. Those sneaky Orks!
With orbital and aerial observation impossible, the human defenders of Izanagi could only monitor the advance of the orks by the expansion of the Silent Zone.
The Orks manage, with asteorid impact, to deny the humans access to vital intel.
A paved service road cut through the hills, used by the serfs to gather the crops. It formed a direct route to Ko, one of Izanagi’s hive-cities and the nearest processing plant for boden-fruit.
An agri-world, with hive cities, it would seem. Not the first one we;'ve seen, but it always strikes me as being odd whenever I see it mentioned.
Kaptain Grimruk Badtoof pressed the magnoculars against his face, the human-built instrument looking like a tiny toy in the ork’s immense hand.
A thick finger pawed awkwardly at the modulator controls set into the side of the instrument.
Finally, the ork kaptain found the setting he wanted. The black world around him leapt into vibrant hues of green as the night-vision mechanisms became active. Grimruk always thought it was an appropriate thing, the way the human device made things green. It was almost as if the humans who made them had understood that the night belonged to the orks.
human scale, human buitl magnoculars used by an ork having night vision capabilities. Probably not space marine since Space Marines are pretty damn big compared to normal humans (as is their equipment)
Straightening himself to his full height of two and a half metres, the ork kaptain scrunched the battered hat onto his misshapen head.
He’d torn it from the body of a boss human in the ruins of Vervunhive, one of the black-clad officers who kept their soldiers in line by shooting the ones that tried to weasel out of a fight. Grimruk smiled as he saw that his own troops understood that same message.
Again the Ork isnt' dramatically huge.. he's space marine size. Note the mention of Vervunhive - a possible nod to the Ghosts novels.
I also can't help but find this amusing in the story - an Ork in a Commissar's hat.
His hand closed about the heft of the immense chainaxe he carried. He thumbed the activation stud, grinning as the steel teeth of the weapon shuddered into life, whirring like lightning as they screeched along the edge of the axe.
They made good time even when they did reach the wire. Grimruk placed the credit for that on his foresight. He’d kitted his troops with red boots before setting out on their scouting mission.
Even the lowest grot knew red ones were faster than others.
The power of Red and WAAAGH. Even works on foot troops.
The orks behind Grimruk lifted their weapons in the air, a chatter of boltguns, stubbers and combi-weapons barking into the night.
Amusing how well equipped these Orks are.
A human soldier rushed at him, firing his rifle at the towering ork. Grimruk felt the las-bolt sizzle through his arm, the wound cauterising instantly behind the searing beam of light.
Lasgun bolt punches through Ork arm, cauterizing a hole through it. Not terribly effective by itself. Assuming Ork arms are twice the size of mine (15-20 cm diameteR) and maybe a 1 cm diameter hole we're talking at least single or double digit kj for the hole alone, nevermind cauterization (easily single digit if not toudlbe digit itself, depending on the severity of the burns and the size of the wound.
Of course vaporizing a hole straight through would probably be 20-30 kilojoules at least, nevermind cauterization (5-10 kj maybe extra at least)
Grimruk ripped a wood-handle stikkbomb from his belt, nodding for the kommando with him to do the same. The two orks smacked the heads of the grenades against the wall of the bunker, then cast the activated explosives through the firing slits for the bolters.
The walls of the bunker failed to restrain the fury of the blast. In a shower of flame and debris, the bunker virtually collapsed in upon itself. The two orks who had attacked the fortification were thrown like rag dolls, smashing into the ground a dozen metres away.
He’d need to talk to the mekboyz about how much punch they packed into their stikkbombz.
The bunker was a shambles, twisted supports protruding at crazy angles from shattered blocks of processed stone. Here and there the mangled wreck of a soldier jutted out from the jumbled mess. Grimruk snorted contemptuously as he looked at the walls. The stikkbombz had blasted them to bits, like they were nothing but paper. Maybe he’d suggest the mekboyz keep making the grenades the way they were. Provided of course that they let him know first.
Two Ork Stikkbomz blow apart a bunker. and the troopers inside.
Elements from a dozen different regiments had been detached for duty in the custodian force.
at least a dozen PDf regiments on this planet.
..there was nothing to stand between them and the billion inhabitants of Ko.
Hive city on the agri world has at least a billion inhabitants.
While the temporary energy shields maintained the atmosphere and gravity within the exposed sections, Captain Rilk was eager to rejoin the front as soon as possible..
Imperial starship uses "temperoary energy shields" to maintain atmospher and (oddly) gravity onboard while repairs are made to seal breaches. What kinds of shields would maintain gravity? Either way its interesting in implying forcefields used as some sort of reinforceing mechanism for hulls or a damage control mechanism.
He ran a gloved hand over the implants on the back of its neck, the mechanisms that turned a vat-grown humanoid into a robotic creature capable of basic tasks.
The alteration was a simple one, but specific, reversing the neural dampener that prevented servitors from being distracted by physical pain.
...removed a couple of further connections, cutting off all power to the brain. The servitor shuddered briefly, and died.
The servitor had never been alive.
varied commentary on a servitor (vat grown), needing implants to distract from plain, and then needing to cut power to the brain.
That flicker of disruption meant one thing: scrap-code, chaotic data introduced into the ship’s cogitation systems to cause disruption, in this instance invisibly blocking onboard communications.
Kaspel’s breath quickened behind his mask: the creation and use of scrapcode was considered by the Adeptus Mechanicus to be heresy, a grave attack on the machine-spirit.
Ah the "scrap code" terms from The heresy novels and such. basically just 40K version of hacking., usually with chaos elements.
Battlecruisers were assembled in the space docks that orbited some of the Adeptus Mechanicus’ forge worlds. Ships were built reverently, over many years, enginseers and other adepts working tirelessly in the vacuum to build them. By necessity, the work was modular—components were forged on the world below, brought up in shuttles, and then installed into the frame of the growing ship. Beneath the hull, a ship was not just a single machine, but also many machines, brought into harmony as a single entity. Many parts, one whole.
Kaspel knew that what had once been brought together could be torn apart. The hull damage had taken out many of the supporting points which fixed the engine unit in place within the main structure of the battlecruiser. By Kaspel’s reckoning there were five supports left that needed to be manually unbolted. The struts themselves were vast, but the levers for releasing them were easy enough to shift.
Imperial starship construction is suggested to be modular, and that "battlecruisers" (which is defined as cruisers usually) take "many years" to build in Forge worlds. Contrast this with decades or even centuries in other worlds (or the 11 year Lord Daros example) Other battlecruisers (like the Long serpent class) implied to be built in a matter of years also.
He had yanked off his metal collar of rank, and the electoo that ringed his bull-like neck, the badge of a Mechanicus-ordained lay artisan, stood out in the brightness.
Man, one quote out of an entire short story. It wasn't a bad story, just a bit confusing ot follow and not very technical. Basically a bunch of technicians and I think an enginseer run across some Harlequin masks, end up getting mind controlled by the masks, and slaughtered (I think) by the Eldar for daring to use the masks. Or something.
Anyhow, the one quote is mainly interesting to note the "lay artisans", which have been mentioned elsewhere, but another one can never hurt.
Tam had even considered dropping his sniper rifle after the first hour of running, but he’d held on to it. It was a thing of beauty. Prayers to the Golden Throne and dirty poems inscribed in the stock, a telescopic sight he prayed over every night that he’d been chosen to carry in his role as a sniper, with a lovely bayonet for close-quarters work that his father had forged himself back on Tantulas.
IG sniper rifles. note the emphasis on bayonets, because it wouldn't be IG if it wasnt bayonets.
I should note the writer of "Unity", one James Gilmer, I believe is one close friend of Karen TRaviss. Take this as you will.
"The tau do not exterminate but turn those they can. If not willingly then they may use other methods to turn the population."
Someone didn't read up very much on the Tau did they? Although subversion and brainwashing isn't much better.
Also considering what they let the Kroot do to humans, it is pretty hilraious to say they don't EVER exterminate. Again FFG and a few other sources would beg to differ, but in truth the objectionable thing is the way its treated as absolutes. The tau should not be treated as any more 'one dimensional' as other races. They can have nice guys and vindictive assholes, and people on both sides of the fence (lovers and haters of the tau) should accept that.
The pulse rifles the fire warriors carried had better range than most of the Guardsman weapons.
Nothing really surprising here, except that they somehow don't totally outrange all IG weapons.
He’d earned a few kills, but often after a Guardsman had gone down from a rifle butt cracking open his helmet or a curved knife punching through a flak jacket.
Guard vs Kroot.
With the frost on, there wasn’t a lot of crop cover, and that meant a hike across open terrain with an enemy that had much better auspex devices than a helmetless Space Marine and an Imperial Guard sniper.
“My scope is kitted out for NV, if it comes to that.”
The IG sniper gear has NV scopes, much like Larkin did. It is also implies that Space Marine helmets have something similar in their helmets. Of course the Tau have better shit still.
“We can’t cross open fields during dusk. We’ll wait an hour or two and you can employ the night scope to see if we’re clear.”
“My lord, despite the strength of spirit that blesses this rifle, I’m afraid it’s not as powerful as the auspex devices of your lost helmet or of the tau forces. If they have thermal viewers or anything fancy they’ll pick us out immediately.”
More on the NV scope and the other auspex
"The blue-skinned xenos always vox-cast. They swear that they mean no harm, and they preach a kind of tolerance. They poison minds with xenos lies and try to turn those who are weak in their faith to the alien cause."
Yes, the tau love propoganda. but they don't exterminate or sterilize!
"These things speak our tongue, they field humans from dozens of worlds, and they hire xenos mercenaries to do their fighting.”
Implies the Tau have dozens of human worlds in their Empire. This fits with what we know from other sources. Hell in Jericho reach (a single part) they have dozens of worlds IIRC.
"Even with hardly any light, I can see almost as good as that scope. Had I my helm I could see better than that scope."
Space Marines without helmet are as good as IG sniper NV scope.
"I can make my way to the clearing and take a look around, but maybe you should hang back. Any auspex devices might pick you up before it would spot me.”
Space MArines in power armor are bigger, and generate a bigger thermal signature.
Tam panned back and forth a few times with the scope. The only thing that was showing was a light source down-range about half a kilometre."
NV scope detects light source half a km away.
Tantulas was a higher-gravity world than Coruna, and Tam could feel it with every step he took. He also knew that his shorter stature compared to the Coruna Imperial Guard
IG trooper from a higher G world than another. Resulting in a more compact (or evne Squat-er) trooper.
"..should we encounter enemies you will have to use your NV to spot targets for me. My helm had thermal viewing, but the ruins of it lie back at the uplink station."
How do they inend to do this exactly?
“The Tantulas Regiment… their bodies are adjusted to higher-gravity worlds, and they all have excellent eyesight. It’s why so many of them serve as snipers.”
The benefits/capabilities of the Tantalus' regiment.
The rest of the lights suddenly went out and Tam swung his rifle up with practiced ease, his thumb flicking the NV switch.
“Watch your eyes! Chem-glows out!” Gesar was moving as he spoke and Tam saw half a dozen green sticks fly from the man’s hand to land in a semi-circle in front of him. The light was dim enough to not foul Tam’s NV, but he also suspected that it gave Gesar enough light to see by.
Chem glow stick thingies.
“Very, very well done, Space Marine. You’re going to be quite the prize yourself. So many of those lovely organs stuffed in you. So many genetic marvels handed down from your Emperor. Your blood holds many prizes. I want you to know that only the best warriors will take your flesh. Your body will be a singular honour for all who fight.”
Kroot just love ingesting Space Marines. It makes me wonder if they could actually ingest and absorb their genetics, since at least some of their augmentation is purely artificial, and possibly some form of organic nanotech, and quite possibly psychic. Then again the 'Nids supposedly did so maybe they can. Or maybe they can only absorb parts of it. Who knows.
Also there's a bit of the 'heavy-g - stronger' theme to this story. That's been discussed in other threads, and it may not be as realistic as mentioned (it may be downright silly.) Since this is 40K though I'll invoke 'magic' as an explanation to avoid having ot be too complex about it
"The kroot seek only unity, and your meat tells the kroot how to be. They give the gift of unity, and they become stronger. They will take your flesh in unity and become better fighters in low gravity. They will see better. They need fresh meat. Their only constant is change.”
I guess this is one reason why the Kroot don't mind serving under the Tau for the Greater Good. Even if they still merc themselves out against Tau rules.
"“Your Emperor and priests fill their giant warriors with machines and organs to make them strong. Their meat is powerful, but the kroot need all kinds. Otherwise they would break down. You’re saving their race. You should be proud. "
Oh great. Pro-Kroot humans. I like how it implies the Kroot are so genetically volatile that they need extreme variety to kepe from fallign apart or something. By the way, its perfectly okay by the Tau for non Tau humans to be butchered and prepared/stroed like cattle, but don't do it to the pro Tau humans. But they don't exterminate! Again if we don't treat the tau as one dimensional ideals, this isn't really so much of a problem - ideology like religion can rationalize a great deal, and it can be true in a relative sense. But absolutes...
In its dark fists was a heavy bolter of bulky, archaic design, much too large for a human to carry, adorned with bleached skulls hanging from chains of polished bronze.
Because it's not properly imperial if it doesn't have skulls. Oh and its too big for a human to carry.
He carried a heavy ammunition canister over his shoulder, in addition to the oxygen tanks on his back. The canister was densely packed with folded belts of ammunition for the massive bolter cannon clutched in Mercutian’s gauntlets. The warrior carried two similar containers himself, locked to his belt.
This heavy bolter is fed on ammo cannisters housing the belts of bolter ammo. This implies a shit ton of ammo though - hundreds of rounds maybe.
In that foulest of ages, this ship had hung in the skies above Holy Terra as the world’s atmosphere burned. A million ships painted the void with flame as they raged at each other, while the planet below, the cradle of humanity, caught fire.
This ship had been there, and it had slain vessels loyal to the Golden Throne, casting them from orbit to tear through Terra’s cloud cover and hammer into the Emperor’s cities.
Implied that the Battle of Terra during the end of the Heresy involved a million ships of some kind or another - but all designed to fight. This would imply the Heresy Era Imperium had some millions of combat ships.
“Plasma bleed is significant,” the acolyte intoned. “The Shriek can be maintained for another two point one-five hours before aura-scrye inhibitors must be powered down.”
..he was content to let the Echo of Damnation fill nearspace with a thousand frequencies of howling noise and wordless machine-screams. Any other vessels in range to trace the Echo on their scanners would find their auspex readers unable to detect definitive targets in the jamming field, and their vox channels conquered by the endless static-laden screams.
The Shriek had been Tech-priest Deltrian’s most recent invention. Invisibility to Imperial scanning had its uses, but it also fed with greedy abandon on power that other areas of the ship needed to function. When the Shriek was live, the void shields were thin, and the prow lances were completely powered down.
Night Lords version of Electronic warfare and cloaking. Power intensive though, however it does what it does.
Nor did they rely on lobotomised servitors to breach obstructions. Instead, several of Lucoryphus’ Raptors were armed with melta guns, breathing out searing surges of gaseous heat intense enough to liquidate the metal it blasted.
Servitors for breaching obstructions in place of melta guns. meltas described as being able to melt metal with "gasoues heat" -not even bas bad as flamethrowers. some sort of poorly worded plasma weapon I guess. Or maybe it is a steam gun !
“Vaporiser weapons,” Lucoryphus’ hissing voice carried over the vox, “Melta-class weapons. No cutting. No cutting servitors. Much faster.”
Vaporisor weapons? Is that an actual catagory? I also guess the servitors to breach obstructions use some sort of cutting device - lascutters maybe?
A dead genestealer shivered no more than seven metres away from where Cyrion was standing. Cyrion blew its head apart with a single shot from his bolt pistol.
Bolt pistol round blows paart Genestealer head. GEnestealrs mass 300 kg, so its height might weigh around 15-20 kg or so (about as much as blowing apart a human torso roughly, not including the carapace stuff.)
“I see it,” Talos voxed.
He stared into the darkness, looking away into the six hundred metres of shadowed chamber to the north. “It emerged from the wall a moment ago.”
“I see it, too.” This, from Variel. He approached Talos and hefted his bolter, his thermal sight easily piercing the gloom.
"Fire when it reaches optimal range. "
..Talos raised his bolter, sighting through the targeter and drawing breath to summon the others.
On Talos’ red-tinted visor, a proximity rune turned white. In the very same moment, Talos and Variel opened fire.
Optimal range for a bolter is less than 600 metres, at least in the dark using thermal sight. Talos' bolter has a targeter.
Brielle saw Quin test the mechanism on his boltgun, before lowering his sensor goggles to scan the depths of the storm.
Sensor goggles on the members of a rogue Trader's retinue. and yes that is Brielle from Andy Hoare's Rogue tRader novels. Prepare to roll one's eyes and wince, because there are no White Scars to balance things out here.
She turned back, leaning in yet closer to the damaged surface. She fancied she could see signs of repair, if only at a minuscule scale. Perhaps this place could heal itself, she mused. Perhaps that explained how it could have withstood the ravages of this storm-wracked world for so many long, lonely aeons.
Well its necron so yeah it can heal itself. And no they won't figure out its necron, despite being members of the Great Arcadius line.
.. Brielle reached her hand to the mechanism at the side of her helmet, lowering a set of goggles over her visor. The headset buzzed as lenses whirred to focus on what Brielle’s own eyes could not register. The goggles were capable of registering many different wavelengths, overlaying what they perceived over Brielle’s own vision.
More detail on teh sensor goggles. Surprised they're not great old artifacts of the ARcadius line. They seem to favor considering increidbly commonplace shit as being relics.
As the figure rose upwards, she saw that it was floating, as if held aloft by the light itself. It was huge, easily three metres tall, its body a metal skeleton swathed in rags that appeared to writhe as if stirred by some unseen current.
And the Necron Lords appear. Yes, Brielle decided to plunder a Necron tomb. Brilliant eh?
Breathing a silent prayer to the Emperor to guide her hand, she squeezed the trigger. Her shot struck the figure square across its metal brow, but the bolt exploded, leaving little more than a black smear to mark where it had landed.
Yep. Shoot the almighty Necron Lord in the face with a bolter. That ought to anger it.
The warrior raised his boltgun and in scant seconds emptied an entire magazine at his foe. Several dozen bolt-rounds, each sufficient to reduce a normal body to a bloody ruin, glanced harmlessly from the metal form above.
“Quin!” Brielle bellowed over the deafening roar of the armsmen’s shotguns joining in the fusillade.
Bolter empties its magazine i "seconds" implying assualt rifle rates of fire. The Necron Lord tanks all several dozen, each being reputed to basically pulverize a human body.
A metallic warrior barred her path. Instinctively, she brought her bolt pistol to bear, opening fire from a distance of scant metres. At the same moment, her companions did likewise, and the foe was rocked backwards as its skeletal body was hammered by round after round of precision fire.
For a moment, Brielle feared that this enemy’s metal form would prove as impervious to attack as that of the larger figure that floated above in the shaft of green light. She gave heartfelt thanks as she saw angry sparks erupt from within its chest, followed an instant later by a small explosion.
“Again!” She ordered, firing three more bolt-rounds into the enemy’s chest. The armsmen pumped shell after shell at the foe, forcing it backwards still further.
And then, the metal skeleton blew apart, ripped asunder by an explosion deep within its armoured ribcage lagged metal shrapnel lanced outwards, one piece shattering the armoured visor of Brielle’s helmet, and slashing a deep cut across her forehead.
Well I guess enough weapons fire from her entourage managed to fuck up a Necron eventually. Good job Brielle - you used up a fair chunk of youre firepower to kill one, which will probably just come back later.
Quin had stopped firing once more, evidently having emptied another two-dozen bolt rounds into the floating figure. Even as he ejected the spent, sickle-shaped magazine..
Meanwhile the Necron Lord is still eminently un-fucked.
As Quin raised his boltgun once more, his tattooed face a mask of savagery, the figure’s palm blazed with pulsating green light.
The feral-worlder convulsed, his boltgun slamming to the ground at his feet. Brielle screamed his name, but it was too late. Before her eyes, Quin’s survival suit appeared to melt away. First the armoured plates dissolved, as if the metal were being peeled away, one layer of atoms at a time. Then the fabric too disappeared, to reveal the warrior’s tattooed flesh beneath. For a moment, Quin stood naked before the metal daemon above him, and then the tattoos that covered his body faded, followed an instant later by his skin.
Quin’s bloodcurdling death-scream split the dusty air of the tomb chamber as his skin dissolved and the raw musculature beneath was revealed. Layer by layer, the flesh was peeled away, atomised to nothing by the awful power of the green radiation. At the last, only Quin’s skeleton stood, silhouetted against the blazing shaft of green light, and in an instant, that too was gone, the last of his marrow reduced to dust evaporating on the unnatural wind.
Necron weapons do much more as we know they can. Couldn't happen to a more deserving idiot. Pity it couldn't be Brielle.
With titanic effort, Brielle hurled the stave at her foe. The blade flared green as it crossed the space between them, almost blinding her. With unerring accuracy, the tip struck the skeletal figure in the centre of its ribcage, piercing armour that had proven impenetrable to dozens of boltgun rounds. A shaft of green light shot outwards, accompanied by a piercing machine howl, and the stave continued its course, burying itself up to the haft in the figure’s chest.
The skeletal horror stood transfixed by its own weapon, blinding green light now splaying in all directions from its wound. It stood, unable to move, its hellish death-mask face staring at Brielle as it writhed as if in agony.
Brielle lucked out, and Necrons are vulnerable to its own weapon.
“Just think what the Mechanicus would give to get their hands on that tech. They’d give anything to study just one of those machine warriors… what if we could broker contracts with each of the forges, one sample to each, exclusive rights…”
Ah yes, the Arcadius, masters of the goofy plan! Nice to know Brielle learned her lesson from this encouter didn't she? I wonder what Ciaphas Cain would think of this twat.