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Inanis headbutted the Night Lord in the face.  Both their helmets cracked upon impact, Inanis’ was worse since he already headbutted three other Night Lords in quick succession. 
    The meltagun in his hand lit off, burning a hole through the backpedaling traitor his fist could go through cleanly. 
    Something slammed against his back, sending Inanis forward and headbutting the corridor’s wall.  Pushing back against the wall, he turned around only to be slammed back into the wall.  A Night Lord was piggybacking Rutus, trying to shove his lightning claws into the huge Marine’s neck.  Rutus was trying to crush the Night Lord against the wall but he was instead crushing Inanis. 
    Before Rutus could inadvertently slam into Inanis again, the latter dropped the meltagun and leapt up.  Catching the Night Lord on his back, Inanis was now piggybacking the traitor.  Rutus grunted under the weight of two Astartes on his back but he didn’t fall.  Instead, he slammed against the wall again, making Inanis grunt in pain and his ears ringing from his armor warning him of major damages. 
    Pulling out a knife with one hand and holding the blade downward, Inanis grabbed hold of the Night Lord’s head with the other hand, pulling it straight back.  He stabbed the knife down into one of the helmet’s lens.  The Traitor Marine shivered as his brain was stabbed and his body went into its death throes.  He soon went limp and let go of Rutus. 
    “Ah, shit,” Inanis commented as he fell backwards and landed on the ground with the Night Lord on top of him.  His blade snapped upon landing, the handle snapping off and leaving the blade in the skull.
    Rutus turned around and tossed the dead traitor off of Inanis with one hand as if it weighed nothing. 
    “What took you so long?” Rutus roared as he picked up his double-barreled autocannon from the floor where he had dropped it when the melee began.  
    “You’re welcome you angry bastard!” Inanis spat, tossing the knife’s handle to the side and picking up the discarded meltagun. 
    Rutus howled as he resumed firing down the corridor.  Night Lords were caught in the open and cut down as twin lines of solid projectiles sawed through them.  The traitors tried to get out of the way but they were penned in by their own numbers and the corridor.  They attempted to return potshots as Rutus approached them while firing, bolt rounds sparking off of his armor or the walls. 
    Inanis watched his back, sending other Night Lords appearing from side corridors scurrying back with a shot from the meltagun.  The traitors were too far away for the meltagun to be effective but it was enough to ward them away. 
    “The Raven Guard can do better than you!” Inanis called out, hoping to goad them to attack.
    “Switch,” Rutus voxed. 
    The two Space Marines spun around, their backs to each other.  Rutus opened fire down the corridor Inanis had been covering.  Inanis was now facing a melee that had spilled into the corridor.  Ultramarines were wrestling with both Night Lords and Word Bearers, stabbing each other with blades and swinging mauls and power fists in the tight confines.  These Ultramarines had their helmets painted red, the red mark of censure.  Now they were the Red-Marked, followers of Sergeant Aeonid Thiel, a hero of Ultramar and a pain in the ass to his superiors, as he fought to secure the borders of Imperium Secundus.  It was quite simple for an Ultramarine to join the Red-Marked, they just had to dunk their helmets in red paint. 
    Inanis held his meltagun in one hand and pulled out a double-barreled plasma blaster from its holster with the other.  Charging into the melee, he fired both weapons pointblank into the back of the traitors.  He had to fire carefully as Ultramarines tangled with traitors, rolling on the floor or against the wall. 
    Blasting apart two traitors from behind, he kicked out and tripped a third.  The third traitor’s head was crushed by a power fist slamming down on it from the Ultramarine the traitor had been slugging.  Moving on, Inanis fired his meltagun into the foot of a Word Bearer that was kneeing an Ultramarine repeatedly.  The foot he vaporized was the one the Word Bearer had been standing on.  The Word Bearer fell onto his back with the Ultramarine now on top, smashing his fists into the Word Bearer’s face. 
    A power sword slashed out at Inanis.  He backed away but the blade cut his meltagun in half.  He responded by blasting the traitor’s face with the plasma blaster, vaporizing the head.  Another Traitor Marine appeared behind the one he just shot.  A power sword slammed into the side of the traitor’s head, pinning the body against the wall. 
    Thiel placed a foot against the corpse and pulled the sword out, letting the body slide down and flop to the floor.  The fighting was over.  Rutus was reloading his autocannons, the Night Lords he had been shooting at long gone. 
    “Head count,” Thiel ordered. 
    Ultramarines sounded off.  Less than a quarter of their number had fallen in the ambush.  The traitor grand cruiser was close to being theirs. 
    Inanis noted Thiel looking for his pistol among the bodies, the sergeant having lost his.
    “Hey, hero-smurf,” Inanis called out.
    Thiel looked up and caught the double-barrel plasma blaster.
    “Don’t lose it,” Inanis said as he brought up his last weapon, a combi-bolter.  His blue gauntlet racking the slide.
    
“I never did get that gun back,” Inanis commented once the memory had passed.  The plasma blaster had been destroyed during the Battle for Macragge in the First Tyrannic War with Hive Fleet Behemoth.  The Ultramarines had cared for the custom plasma blaster for ten thousand years until its destruction, never asking about its dubious origin. 
    Sitting up, Inanis found himself on Imperial Highway.  Next to him was the hideous condor statue.  Condora had fallen off its perch from the Gate and somehow landed properly on its feet. 
    “I guess the eagle has landed,” Inanis commented at the statue, ignoring the fact it was a condor. 
    Grabbing hold of Condora with his right hand, he picked himself up to his feet.  The dreadnought shell strained against his commands.  The internal cogitators were rebooting and power flowing back through his walking, metal tomb.  Inanis made a mental note to the Techmarines to make his body sturdier, flying through a building and shutting down was not an incident he wanted to repeat. 
    His internal chronometer told him barely ten minutes passed since he was sent flying.  A cloud of dust had settled on what was left of Condora City.  Before him to the south where Condor Gate used to be was the tip of the hive ship.  It took Inanis a moment what he was looking at was the hive ship.  The tyranid battleship had suffered extensive and grievous damage during its crash landing and through the valley, carved open like a melon hit by a hammer and a chainsaw.  Ichor flooded out from the wounds, submerging nearby tyranid dead that carpeted nearly every inch of the ground, the swarm having been thrown entirely forward to its death. 
    Far as Inanis could tell, no tyranid lived.  The air was still of any movement.
    “I guess we won,” Inanis said cheerfully.
    A hive tyrant emerged from the dead hive ship, stalking out from one of the massive wounds.  It held four boneswords. 
    Inanis sighed. 
    He could tell it was the same hive tyrant he fought.  Every detail was exactly the same.  This was a case of the hive mind resurrecting a bio-construct that had done well and hive tyrants were epitomes of command and viciousness for the race, appearing constantly in the same battlefield if the fighting went on that long.  It came as no surprise when the tyrant walked directly towards Inanis, its boneswords held at the ready.  No other tyranid emerged with the tyrant, meaning the hive ship used the last of its life to resurrect something deadly and cunning. 
    The volkite saker was inoperable, the weapon sending out sparks when he attempted to deploy it.  Warning signs lit up his HUD of the saker in danger of overloading.  With no choice, Inanis held onto Condora with his right hand.  Diverting all power to one function, he held on tight to the statue.
    He then disappeared with the statue. 
    He reappeared several moments later by himself.  The hive tyrant had paused in its tracks, clearly confused.
    Condora landed right in front of him.  The hive tyrant screeched in surprise and backtracked several steps, looking up to see if anything else fell from the sky. 
    “Damn it,” Inanis swore.  “Would have had a real Wizard-of-Oz-like moment here.”  Back at low power, motor function was the only part still operable while the rest of his body had to wait for power to return.
    The hive tyrant roared as it began to run at Inanis. 
    Inanis braced his feet and deployed the Maximus Typhoon missile pod.  A large portion of his back separated and folded upwards, revealing four rows of missiles pointed at the tyrant.  The tyranid skidded to a halt at the sight. 
    Inanis unleashed all the missiles in one volley, taking no chances. 
    The tyrant leapt behind Condora. 
    A fury of plasma explosions engulfed the area.  The dust in the area cleared a wide margin from the combined force of the blasts.  The Highway was carved open with the resulting crater’s surface glassed.  The statue melted from the extreme heat and turned to sludge. 
    The tyrant charged at Inanis through the end of the plasma inferno, trailing smoke in its wake.  Its carapace was cracked open in many places and gone in others.  It was missing chunks of its back and lost an upper limb.  One side of its face was a melting mess but it didn’t pay the damage any heed as it closed the distance with a roar. 
    “Bah, just a flesh wound,” Inanis spat at the sight of the damage dealt to the hive tyrant.  If it had been a direct hit by just one of the missiles the tyranid would have been a pile of ash.  “Ah, whatever.”
    Inanis shouted his own war cry as he charged at the tyrant. 
    The two slammed into each other at a sprint, both trying to knock the other over only for them both being sent to the ground.  Inanis landed on his back and attempted to scramble back up to his feet with his limbs, the anti-gravity unit that would have aided him currently inoperable.  By the time he had rolled onto his front, pushing himself up to his hands and knees, the tyrant was charging at him.  Pretending he was on gridiron football, Inanis charged forward like a lineman.  He tackled straight into the tyrant’s midriff, sacking the tyranid to the ground. 
    Landing on top of the tyrant, Inanis raised his right hand and repeatedly slammed his fist and forearm down onto its face.  Teeth shattered under the impact but the tyrant ignored the damage.  Unable to bring its blades to bear, it slogged Inanis in the head instead with enough force to send the dreadnought rolling off.  Inanis followed the momentum and kept rolling, a pair of boneswords slamming down where he had been.  He continued to roll as the tyrant followed his failed attack with another swing as it threw itself at Inanis.  The tyrant made it up to its knees and chased after the rolling dreadnought, crawling forward on its knees and swinging the boneswords down like a butcher’s knife. 
    A notification lit up in Inanis’ HUD.  The quake stompers were active but had little power. 
    Using the momentum of his roll and turning with his right hand, Inanis pushed himself up by the hand, spinning to present the soles of his feet at the approaching hive tyrant.  As it closed the distance and began swinging the quake stompers let loose a small blast of kinetic energy.  The hive tyrant was sent flying thirty feet, landing on its back with a loud crash. 
    Inanis growled in annoyance as the kinetic blast also sent him flying into the ground face-first.  Without the anti-gravity functioning it couldn’t counteract the quake stompers. 
    Pulling his head out of the ground, Inanis struggled back up to his feet.  The hive tyrant was charging at him and only fifteen feet away.  Inanis leapt at the tyrant at the last moment, colliding into its torso and its limbs slamming into his sides.  The tyrant was forced to take several steps back.  It didn’t recover fast enough as Inanis slapped the tyrant in the face with the back of his hand, forcing the tyrant back even more and stunning it. 
    Diverting power to his palm, he deployed the melta blaster and dived forward, reaching out for the tyranid’s head.  The tyrant recovered enough to dive to the side.  Inanis instead grabbed hold of the tyrant’s remaining upper limb.  He blasted it off close to the elbow. 
    The two combatants fell to the ground away from each other. 
    Inanis struggled to his feet but he held onto the blown off limb.  Standing up, he faced the tyrant, also struggling to its feet with its two remaining arms.  It turned towards Inanis and held up its boneswords, ready to swing in and cut the Neo-Contemptor in half.  Inanis grasped the separated bonesword over the tyrant’s cut off hand.  The hand was attached to the bonesword so he wouldn’t have been able to hold it by the handle. 
    He held the bonesword before him in a salute, then held it out in a stereotypical fencing pose, the point of the sword aimed at the hive tyrant. 
    “En garde, you ugly fraker,” Inanis taunted.  The hive tyrant was already charging at him. 
    Inanis was forced onto the defensive, constantly moving backwards.  The hive tyrant, despite missing two limbs and thus two boneswords, was still fast.  It constantly rained slashes from different directions with each swing.  Inanis was randomly swinging the bonesword left and right to keep the tyrant away.  The dull bonesword was constantly being chipped away by the tyrant’s pair.  With them sheathed in psychic energy and his not, they suffered minute damages to the edge that were being healed on the fly. 
    It didn’t take long for Inanis’ weapon to be cut in half.  He then threw what was left of the bonesword at the tyrant in its general direction without aiming.  To his surprise, the edge lodged itself in the tyrant’s neck where the chitin had been melted away.  The tyrant paused at the unexpected damage.  It only took a moment for it to realize the damage was minimal and ignorable, and charged straight back at Inanis with the broken bonesword still stuck to its neck. 
    Inanis threw a straight punch at the tyrant.  It responded by scissoring the arm between the two boneswords.  The biomorphs lodged themselves deep into the elbow area, locking the dreadnought’s remaining arm in place.  Inanis pushed forward and slammed his fist into the pommel of the bonesword stuck in the tyranid’s neck.  The tyrant gurgled as the blade bit in deep into its neck.  It attempted to push Inanis away using the boneswords as leverage.  Inanis did a low turn kick, smacking it in the tyrant’s leg and causing it to stumble and lose its concentration.  Inanis pushed forward and hit the bonesword’s pommel again, the sharp blade biting deeper.  Punching again, the blade came to a stop as it reached the spine. 
    Before he could punch again the tyrant kicked him in the pelvic area, sending him backwards but forcing the tyrant to follow with the boneswords stuck.  Inanis kicked back and the tyrant responded with its own kick.  Both growling in frustration, Inanis and tyrant began kicking each other in turn.  Chitin cracked and adamantium dented as the two continued to kick each other to death. 
    As the kicks continued Inanis noticed the boneswords sawing deeper into his elbow, the blades about to meet in the middle.  Keeping up the kicks, Inanis surged all the power he had into the volkite saker.  Then he threw a push kick.  The tyrant did a gurgling howl as ichor bubbled from its mouth and its torso cracked open.  The kick also ripped his right arm off as the boneswords finally cut through the limb.  The limb then exploded as the saker overloaded. 
    Like a bomb going off in their faces, the two opponents were sent flying.  Inanis was sent north up the Highway.  Landing on his back, he came to a screeching halt as he skidded into a junction. 
    He noticed Stellar Warrior was to his left, having fallen on its back.  To his surprise it was still moving but its position made it impossible to stand back up. 
    As Inanis sat back up, a clawed foot slammed into his chest and forced him to lie back down.  The hive tyrant stood over the dreadnought.  It now only had one arm left and most of its side was carved open from the saker’s explosion vaporizing its carapace. 
    Stellar Warrior squealed as metal struggled to move. 
    “You need to mind your surroundings,” Inanis spoke to the tyrant. 
    The tyranid raised its remaining arm to begin chopping the dreadnought to pieces. 
    It then disappeared in a puff of gore as hundreds of bolt rounds filled the air.  Inanis groaned in disgust as ichor splattered all over him. 
    “Nice shooting,” Inanis called out to Warrior.
    Despite its inability to move, the Warlord’s power claw had the perfect angle to shoot at the hive tyrant with the mega-bolter. 
    Warrior then gave Inanis a thumbs up in response.
    A fleet of Imperial fighters and gunships swarmed over what used to be Condora City.  The city was completely uninhabitable and would require decades of clearing and fixing if the Milanese ever decided to return to the area.  Ultramarine Thunderhawks swept in low and disgorged Space and Primaris Marines into the streets.  Not a single bolt shell went off.  Every tyranid in Condora was dead
    When the relief force found Rutus, buried under a mound of rubble that been a building that fell on top of him like a cut tree, all he said was, “What took you so long?”
     
The valley was turned into a charnel house.  With the hive ship stuck in it, the Imperials decided to just burn the entire valley, using wings of Marauder bombers to drop incendiaries into it.  Tyranid dead were thrown into the inferno.  Any vehicle that was able to equip a dozer blade was modified to do so and pushed into service to shove the dead xenos close to the valley as possible.  The piles not caught in the valley’s raging inferno were torched by flamers.
            Inanis stomped through the area, still armless but needed to walk.  The battle for Milana III was over.  A hundred Praetorians and eight thousand Guardsmen and auxiliaries had given their lives to stop the main swarm from breaking through the valley.  It was a pain that not only the hive ship destroyed the swarm for them, its crash was also caused most of the defenders’ deaths.  And most of those deaths had been when the buildings they had hunkered in collapsed on top of them, turning the site into instant mass graves. 
    This victory was bitter and stale. 
    But the whole ordeal had been necessary.  Essell was already being congratulated for his victory by every officer from the Imperial Guard, Navy, PDF, and Astartes.  Inanis didn’t feel like being anywhere near it. 
    Coming up upon several Predator battle tanks belonging to his chapter lined up side by side, their crew were outside attaching dozer blades.  They greeted Inanis respectfully and continued on their work.  Before the tanks was a large mound of tyranid dead that needed to be pushed to the burning valley. 
    Making his way to a Predator in the middle of the line, several Space Marines sat around, against it, or on top.  These Space Marines were armored differently.  They were scouts and Reivers, light armored and stealth troops with camo-cloaks hanging from their shoulders.  They gave silent nods to Inanis as he approached, except one. 
    “Hey there, Batman,” Inanis greeted the one that didn’t nod in greeting, their leader. 
    Charr didn’t respond verbally, his jet black eyes staring at the knife he was sharpening with a whetstone.  The knife was small in the hands of an Astarte transhuman, but it was as big as a short sword for an unmodified human.  And it had been used recently.  Charr responded by pausing the sharpening and pointed in front of him with his knife.  Then the sharpening resumed. 
    Inanis turned to where the Nightmaster pointed.
    Against the pile of dead tyranids lay a lictor.  Lictors are tyranid scouts.  The vanguard of a swarm to lay a pheromone trail for the tyranids to follow.  Lictors are masters of stealth with chameleonic skin that could hide even from an Astarte sense.  They were larger than Space Marines in full armor and opportunistic hunters, knowing when to strike and catch their prey by surprise before they even realized they were dead, let alone being stalked. 
    Charr and his hunters, the Nightmares, had taken it down.  They had found it in Condora City when they scouted the city ahead of the army.  And they had taken it alive upon Essell’s orders.
    And it was still alive. 
    The lictor wheezed and coughed ichor.  It was missing all of its limbs.  Tendrils and hooks were cut off.  Its chitin had been peeled off carefully, the obvious work of a sharp knife.  What lay before Inanis and the Nightmares was a warbling, skinned creature of pathetic stature that was once a mighty and feared creature.  The only thing it was able to do was spout pheromones for tyranids to converge on.  That purpose was fulfilled with help from the Praetorians. 
    Knowing Charr, skinning it was just for fun.
    “The battle did not go as expected,” Charr commented in Taliana, a long dead language taught eleven thousand years ago by a long dead bureaucrat, without looking up and still sharpening his knife.
    “No, it did not,” Inanis replied in the same dead language.  “But who could have imagined a hive ship falling down on us.”
    The ghostly pale Astartes didn’t respond to that, simply sharpening his knife. 
    “We have our glory,” Inanis continued.  “That’s what matters.”
    “A hive ship killing the biggest swarm by landing on it hardly seems like a glory for our chapter,” Charr said as he sheathed his knife. 
    “No,” Inanis agreed.  “But there’s always next time.”
    The Nightmares began to disappear.  Their cloaks pushing around their bodies and the hoods brought up.  The cloaks began to take on the appearance of the area around them before smothering their wearer with invisibility.  Charr was the last to disappear.
    “I can’t wait,” the Nightmaster whispered before he turned invisible. 
    A second later they all vanished from his sensors.
    Inanis sighed.  “This is the Imperium.  There’s only war.  We won’t have to wait too long.”
    Inanis raised his foot and crushed the lictor’s head to paste. 
    The dreadnought walked away in silence.  The Predators’ crew had been ready and waiting, immediately pushing the tanks forward once Inanis had left.  The dozer-blade equipped tanks shoved the mounds of dead tyranids into the valley, burning away all evidence of the Typhoon Praetor’s duplicity in diverting the tyranid swarm to Condora City.  

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Catwoman's Cleavage

A special photo I purchased from the cosplayer AGflower.  Other photos I have purchased are released only to paid patrons on my Patreon.  Support my Patreon at www.patreon.com/drb7364. I really hope to commission more of AGflower in the future.

Site for AGflower: www.facebook.com/agflowercospl…

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AGflower in Bondage

A special bondage photo I purchased from the cosplayer AGflower.  Other photos I have purchased are released only to paid patrons on my Patreon.  Support my Patreon at www.patreon.com/drb7364. I really hope to commission more of AGflower in the future.

Site for AGflower: www.facebook.com/agflowercospl…

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Inanis headbutted the Night Lord in the face.  Both their helmets cracked upon impact, Inanis’ was worse since he already headbutted three other Night Lords in quick succession. 
    The meltagun in his hand lit off, burning a hole through the backpedaling traitor his fist could go through cleanly. 
    Something slammed against his back, sending Inanis forward and headbutting the corridor’s wall.  Pushing back against the wall, he turned around only to be slammed back into the wall.  A Night Lord was piggybacking Rutus, trying to shove his lightning claws into the huge Marine’s neck.  Rutus was trying to crush the Night Lord against the wall but he was instead crushing Inanis. 
    Before Rutus could inadvertently slam into Inanis again, the latter dropped the meltagun and leapt up.  Catching the Night Lord on his back, Inanis was now piggybacking the traitor.  Rutus grunted under the weight of two Astartes on his back but he didn’t fall.  Instead, he slammed against the wall again, making Inanis grunt in pain and his ears ringing from his armor warning him of major damages. 
    Pulling out a knife with one hand and holding the blade downward, Inanis grabbed hold of the Night Lord’s head with the other hand, pulling it straight back.  He stabbed the knife down into one of the helmet’s lens.  The Traitor Marine shivered as his brain was stabbed and his body went into its death throes.  He soon went limp and let go of Rutus. 
    “Ah, shit,” Inanis commented as he fell backwards and landed on the ground with the Night Lord on top of him.  His blade snapped upon landing, the handle snapping off and leaving the blade in the skull.
    Rutus turned around and tossed the dead traitor off of Inanis with one hand as if it weighed nothing. 
    “What took you so long?” Rutus roared as he picked up his double-barreled autocannon from the floor where he had dropped it when the melee began.  
    “You’re welcome you angry bastard!” Inanis spat, tossing the knife’s handle to the side and picking up the discarded meltagun. 
    Rutus howled as he resumed firing down the corridor.  Night Lords were caught in the open and cut down as twin lines of solid projectiles sawed through them.  The traitors tried to get out of the way but they were penned in by their own numbers and the corridor.  They attempted to return potshots as Rutus approached them while firing, bolt rounds sparking off of his armor or the walls. 
    Inanis watched his back, sending other Night Lords appearing from side corridors scurrying back with a shot from the meltagun.  The traitors were too far away for the meltagun to be effective but it was enough to ward them away. 
    “The Raven Guard can do better than you!” Inanis called out, hoping to goad them to attack.
    “Switch,” Rutus voxed. 
    The two Space Marines spun around, their backs to each other.  Rutus opened fire down the corridor Inanis had been covering.  Inanis was now facing a melee that had spilled into the corridor.  Ultramarines were wrestling with both Night Lords and Word Bearers, stabbing each other with blades and swinging mauls and power fists in the tight confines.  These Ultramarines had their helmets painted red, the red mark of censure.  Now they were the Red-Marked, followers of Sergeant Aeonid Thiel, a hero of Ultramar and a pain in the ass to his superiors, as he fought to secure the borders of Imperium Secundus.  It was quite simple for an Ultramarine to join the Red-Marked, they just had to dunk their helmets in red paint. 
    Inanis held his meltagun in one hand and pulled out a double-barreled plasma blaster from its holster with the other.  Charging into the melee, he fired both weapons pointblank into the back of the traitors.  He had to fire carefully as Ultramarines tangled with traitors, rolling on the floor or against the wall. 
    Blasting apart two traitors from behind, he kicked out and tripped a third.  The third traitor’s head was crushed by a power fist slamming down on it from the Ultramarine the traitor had been slugging.  Moving on, Inanis fired his meltagun into the foot of a Word Bearer that was kneeing an Ultramarine repeatedly.  The foot he vaporized was the one the Word Bearer had been standing on.  The Word Bearer fell onto his back with the Ultramarine now on top, smashing his fists into the Word Bearer’s face. 
    A power sword slashed out at Inanis.  He backed away but the blade cut his meltagun in half.  He responded by blasting the traitor’s face with the plasma blaster, vaporizing the head.  Another Traitor Marine appeared behind the one he just shot.  A power sword slammed into the side of the traitor’s head, pinning the body against the wall. 
    Thiel placed a foot against the corpse and pulled the sword out, letting the body slide down and flop to the floor.  The fighting was over.  Rutus was reloading his autocannons, the Night Lords he had been shooting at long gone. 
    “Head count,” Thiel ordered. 
    Ultramarines sounded off.  Less than a quarter of their number had fallen in the ambush.  The traitor grand cruiser was close to being theirs. 
    Inanis noted Thiel looking for his pistol among the bodies, the sergeant having lost his.
    “Hey, hero-smurf,” Inanis called out.
    Thiel looked up and caught the double-barrel plasma blaster.
    “Don’t lose it,” Inanis said as he brought up his last weapon, a combi-bolter.  His blue gauntlet racking the slide.
    
“I never did get that gun back,” Inanis commented once the memory had passed.  The plasma blaster had been destroyed during the Battle for Macragge in the First Tyrannic War with Hive Fleet Behemoth.  The Ultramarines had cared for the custom plasma blaster for ten thousand years until its destruction, never asking about its dubious origin. 
    Sitting up, Inanis found himself on Imperial Highway.  Next to him was the hideous condor statue.  Condora had fallen off its perch from the Gate and somehow landed properly on its feet. 
    “I guess the eagle has landed,” Inanis commented at the statue, ignoring the fact it was a condor. 
    Grabbing hold of Condora with his right hand, he picked himself up to his feet.  The dreadnought shell strained against his commands.  The internal cogitators were rebooting and power flowing back through his walking, metal tomb.  Inanis made a mental note to the Techmarines to make his body sturdier, flying through a building and shutting down was not an incident he wanted to repeat. 
    His internal chronometer told him barely ten minutes passed since he was sent flying.  A cloud of dust had settled on what was left of Condora City.  Before him to the south where Condor Gate used to be was the tip of the hive ship.  It took Inanis a moment what he was looking at was the hive ship.  The tyranid battleship had suffered extensive and grievous damage during its crash landing and through the valley, carved open like a melon hit by a hammer and a chainsaw.  Ichor flooded out from the wounds, submerging nearby tyranid dead that carpeted nearly every inch of the ground, the swarm having been thrown entirely forward to its death. 
    Far as Inanis could tell, no tyranid lived.  The air was still of any movement.
    “I guess we won,” Inanis said cheerfully.
    A hive tyrant emerged from the dead hive ship, stalking out from one of the massive wounds.  It held four boneswords. 
    Inanis sighed. 
    He could tell it was the same hive tyrant he fought.  Every detail was exactly the same.  This was a case of the hive mind resurrecting a bio-construct that had done well and hive tyrants were epitomes of command and viciousness for the race, appearing constantly in the same battlefield if the fighting went on that long.  It came as no surprise when the tyrant walked directly towards Inanis, its boneswords held at the ready.  No other tyranid emerged with the tyrant, meaning the hive ship used the last of its life to resurrect something deadly and cunning. 
    The volkite saker was inoperable, the weapon sending out sparks when he attempted to deploy it.  Warning signs lit up his HUD of the saker in danger of overloading.  With no choice, Inanis held onto Condora with his right hand.  Diverting all power to one function, he held on tight to the statue.
    He then disappeared with the statue. 
    He reappeared several moments later by himself.  The hive tyrant had paused in its tracks, clearly confused.
    Condora landed right in front of him.  The hive tyrant screeched in surprise and backtracked several steps, looking up to see if anything else fell from the sky. 
    “Damn it,” Inanis swore.  “Would have had a real Wizard-of-Oz-like moment here.”  Back at low power, motor function was the only part still operable while the rest of his body had to wait for power to return.
    The hive tyrant roared as it began to run at Inanis. 
    Inanis braced his feet and deployed the Maximus Typhoon missile pod.  A large portion of his back separated and folded upwards, revealing four rows of missiles pointed at the tyrant.  The tyranid skidded to a halt at the sight. 
    Inanis unleashed all the missiles in one volley, taking no chances. 
    The tyrant leapt behind Condora. 
    A fury of plasma explosions engulfed the area.  The dust in the area cleared a wide margin from the combined force of the blasts.  The Highway was carved open with the resulting crater’s surface glassed.  The statue melted from the extreme heat and turned to sludge. 
    The tyrant charged at Inanis through the end of the plasma inferno, trailing smoke in its wake.  Its carapace was cracked open in many places and gone in others.  It was missing chunks of its back and lost an upper limb.  One side of its face was a melting mess but it didn’t pay the damage any heed as it closed the distance with a roar. 
    “Bah, just a flesh wound,” Inanis spat at the sight of the damage dealt to the hive tyrant.  If it had been a direct hit by just one of the missiles the tyranid would have been a pile of ash.  “Ah, whatever.”
    Inanis shouted his own war cry as he charged at the tyrant. 
    The two slammed into each other at a sprint, both trying to knock the other over only for them both being sent to the ground.  Inanis landed on his back and attempted to scramble back up to his feet with his limbs, the anti-gravity unit that would have aided him currently inoperable.  By the time he had rolled onto his front, pushing himself up to his hands and knees, the tyrant was charging at him.  Pretending he was on gridiron football, Inanis charged forward like a lineman.  He tackled straight into the tyrant’s midriff, sacking the tyranid to the ground. 
    Landing on top of the tyrant, Inanis raised his right hand and repeatedly slammed his fist and forearm down onto its face.  Teeth shattered under the impact but the tyrant ignored the damage.  Unable to bring its blades to bear, it slogged Inanis in the head instead with enough force to send the dreadnought rolling off.  Inanis followed the momentum and kept rolling, a pair of boneswords slamming down where he had been.  He continued to roll as the tyrant followed his failed attack with another swing as it threw itself at Inanis.  The tyrant made it up to its knees and chased after the rolling dreadnought, crawling forward on its knees and swinging the boneswords down like a butcher’s knife. 
    A notification lit up in Inanis’ HUD.  The quake stompers were active but had little power. 
    Using the momentum of his roll and turning with his right hand, Inanis pushed himself up by the hand, spinning to present the soles of his feet at the approaching hive tyrant.  As it closed the distance and began swinging the quake stompers let loose a small blast of kinetic energy.  The hive tyrant was sent flying thirty feet, landing on its back with a loud crash. 
    Inanis growled in annoyance as the kinetic blast also sent him flying into the ground face-first.  Without the anti-gravity functioning it couldn’t counteract the quake stompers. 
    Pulling his head out of the ground, Inanis struggled back up to his feet.  The hive tyrant was charging at him and only fifteen feet away.  Inanis leapt at the tyrant at the last moment, colliding into its torso and its limbs slamming into his sides.  The tyrant was forced to take several steps back.  It didn’t recover fast enough as Inanis slapped the tyrant in the face with the back of his hand, forcing the tyrant back even more and stunning it. 
    Diverting power to his palm, he deployed the melta blaster and dived forward, reaching out for the tyranid’s head.  The tyrant recovered enough to dive to the side.  Inanis instead grabbed hold of the tyrant’s remaining upper limb.  He blasted it off close to the elbow. 
    The two combatants fell to the ground away from each other. 
    Inanis struggled to his feet but he held onto the blown off limb.  Standing up, he faced the tyrant, also struggling to its feet with its two remaining arms.  It turned towards Inanis and held up its boneswords, ready to swing in and cut the Neo-Contemptor in half.  Inanis grasped the separated bonesword over the tyrant’s cut off hand.  The hand was attached to the bonesword so he wouldn’t have been able to hold it by the handle. 
    He held the bonesword before him in a salute, then held it out in a stereotypical fencing pose, the point of the sword aimed at the hive tyrant. 
    “En garde, you ugly fraker,” Inanis taunted.  The hive tyrant was already charging at him. 
    Inanis was forced onto the defensive, constantly moving backwards.  The hive tyrant, despite missing two limbs and thus two boneswords, was still fast.  It constantly rained slashes from different directions with each swing.  Inanis was randomly swinging the bonesword left and right to keep the tyrant away.  The dull bonesword was constantly being chipped away by the tyrant’s pair.  With them sheathed in psychic energy and his not, they suffered minute damages to the edge that were being healed on the fly. 
    It didn’t take long for Inanis’ weapon to be cut in half.  He then threw what was left of the bonesword at the tyrant in its general direction without aiming.  To his surprise, the edge lodged itself in the tyrant’s neck where the chitin had been melted away.  The tyrant paused at the unexpected damage.  It only took a moment for it to realize the damage was minimal and ignorable, and charged straight back at Inanis with the broken bonesword still stuck to its neck. 
    Inanis threw a straight punch at the tyrant.  It responded by scissoring the arm between the two boneswords.  The biomorphs lodged themselves deep into the elbow area, locking the dreadnought’s remaining arm in place.  Inanis pushed forward and slammed his fist into the pommel of the bonesword stuck in the tyranid’s neck.  The tyrant gurgled as the blade bit in deep into its neck.  It attempted to push Inanis away using the boneswords as leverage.  Inanis did a low turn kick, smacking it in the tyrant’s leg and causing it to stumble and lose its concentration.  Inanis pushed forward and hit the bonesword’s pommel again, the sharp blade biting deeper.  Punching again, the blade came to a stop as it reached the spine. 
    Before he could punch again the tyrant kicked him in the pelvic area, sending him backwards but forcing the tyrant to follow with the boneswords stuck.  Inanis kicked back and the tyrant responded with its own kick.  Both growling in frustration, Inanis and tyrant began kicking each other in turn.  Chitin cracked and adamantium dented as the two continued to kick each other to death. 
    As the kicks continued Inanis noticed the boneswords sawing deeper into his elbow, the blades about to meet in the middle.  Keeping up the kicks, Inanis surged all the power he had into the volkite saker.  Then he threw a push kick.  The tyrant did a gurgling howl as ichor bubbled from its mouth and its torso cracked open.  The kick also ripped his right arm off as the boneswords finally cut through the limb.  The limb then exploded as the saker overloaded. 
    Like a bomb going off in their faces, the two opponents were sent flying.  Inanis was sent north up the Highway.  Landing on his back, he came to a screeching halt as he skidded into a junction. 
    He noticed Stellar Warrior was to his left, having fallen on its back.  To his surprise it was still moving but its position made it impossible to stand back up. 
    As Inanis sat back up, a clawed foot slammed into his chest and forced him to lie back down.  The hive tyrant stood over the dreadnought.  It now only had one arm left and most of its side was carved open from the saker’s explosion vaporizing its carapace. 
    Stellar Warrior squealed as metal struggled to move. 
    “You need to mind your surroundings,” Inanis spoke to the tyrant. 
    The tyranid raised its remaining arm to begin chopping the dreadnought to pieces. 
    It then disappeared in a puff of gore as hundreds of bolt rounds filled the air.  Inanis groaned in disgust as ichor splattered all over him. 
    “Nice shooting,” Inanis called out to Warrior.
    Despite its inability to move, the Warlord’s power claw had the perfect angle to shoot at the hive tyrant with the mega-bolter. 
    Warrior then gave Inanis a thumbs up in response.
    A fleet of Imperial fighters and gunships swarmed over what used to be Condora City.  The city was completely uninhabitable and would require decades of clearing and fixing if the Milanese ever decided to return to the area.  Ultramarine Thunderhawks swept in low and disgorged Space and Primaris Marines into the streets.  Not a single bolt shell went off.  Every tyranid in Condora was dead
    When the relief force found Rutus, buried under a mound of rubble that been a building that fell on top of him like a cut tree, all he said was, “What took you so long?”
     
The valley was turned into a charnel house.  With the hive ship stuck in it, the Imperials decided to just burn the entire valley, using wings of Marauder bombers to drop incendiaries into it.  Tyranid dead were thrown into the inferno.  Any vehicle that was able to equip a dozer blade was modified to do so and pushed into service to shove the dead xenos close to the valley as possible.  The piles not caught in the valley’s raging inferno were torched by flamers.
            Inanis stomped through the area, still armless but needed to walk.  The battle for Milana III was over.  A hundred Praetorians and eight thousand Guardsmen and auxiliaries had given their lives to stop the main swarm from breaking through the valley.  It was a pain that not only the hive ship destroyed the swarm for them, its crash was also caused most of the defenders’ deaths.  And most of those deaths had been when the buildings they had hunkered in collapsed on top of them, turning the site into instant mass graves. 
    This victory was bitter and stale. 
    But the whole ordeal had been necessary.  Essell was already being congratulated for his victory by every officer from the Imperial Guard, Navy, PDF, and Astartes.  Inanis didn’t feel like being anywhere near it. 
    Coming up upon several Predator battle tanks belonging to his chapter lined up side by side, their crew were outside attaching dozer blades.  They greeted Inanis respectfully and continued on their work.  Before the tanks was a large mound of tyranid dead that needed to be pushed to the burning valley. 
    Making his way to a Predator in the middle of the line, several Space Marines sat around, against it, or on top.  These Space Marines were armored differently.  They were scouts and Reivers, light armored and stealth troops with camo-cloaks hanging from their shoulders.  They gave silent nods to Inanis as he approached, except one. 
    “Hey there, Batman,” Inanis greeted the one that didn’t nod in greeting, their leader. 
    Charr didn’t respond verbally, his jet black eyes staring at the knife he was sharpening with a whetstone.  The knife was small in the hands of an Astarte transhuman, but it was as big as a short sword for an unmodified human.  And it had been used recently.  Charr responded by pausing the sharpening and pointed in front of him with his knife.  Then the sharpening resumed. 
    Inanis turned to where the Nightmaster pointed.
    Against the pile of dead tyranids lay a lictor.  Lictors are tyranid scouts.  The vanguard of a swarm to lay a pheromone trail for the tyranids to follow.  Lictors are masters of stealth with chameleonic skin that could hide even from an Astarte sense.  They were larger than Space Marines in full armor and opportunistic hunters, knowing when to strike and catch their prey by surprise before they even realized they were dead, let alone being stalked. 
    Charr and his hunters, the Nightmares, had taken it down.  They had found it in Condora City when they scouted the city ahead of the army.  And they had taken it alive upon Essell’s orders.
    And it was still alive. 
    The lictor wheezed and coughed ichor.  It was missing all of its limbs.  Tendrils and hooks were cut off.  Its chitin had been peeled off carefully, the obvious work of a sharp knife.  What lay before Inanis and the Nightmares was a warbling, skinned creature of pathetic stature that was once a mighty and feared creature.  The only thing it was able to do was spout pheromones for tyranids to converge on.  That purpose was fulfilled with help from the Praetorians. 
    Knowing Charr, skinning it was just for fun.
    “The battle did not go as expected,” Charr commented in Taliana, a long dead language taught eleven thousand years ago by a long dead bureaucrat, without looking up and still sharpening his knife.
    “No, it did not,” Inanis replied in the same dead language.  “But who could have imagined a hive ship falling down on us.”
    The ghostly pale Astartes didn’t respond to that, simply sharpening his knife. 
    “We have our glory,” Inanis continued.  “That’s what matters.”
    “A hive ship killing the biggest swarm by landing on it hardly seems like a glory for our chapter,” Charr said as he sheathed his knife. 
    “No,” Inanis agreed.  “But there’s always next time.”
    The Nightmares began to disappear.  Their cloaks pushing around their bodies and the hoods brought up.  The cloaks began to take on the appearance of the area around them before smothering their wearer with invisibility.  Charr was the last to disappear.
    “I can’t wait,” the Nightmaster whispered before he turned invisible. 
    A second later they all vanished from his sensors.
    Inanis sighed.  “This is the Imperium.  There’s only war.  We won’t have to wait too long.”
    Inanis raised his foot and crushed the lictor’s head to paste. 
    The dreadnought walked away in silence.  The Predators’ crew had been ready and waiting, immediately pushing the tanks forward once Inanis had left.  The dozer-blade equipped tanks shoved the mounds of dead tyranids into the valley, burning away all evidence of the Typhoon Praetor’s duplicity in diverting the tyranid swarm to Condora City.  
Aquila Gate was the smallest gate in Condora City and the narrowest part of the valley.  This Gate was merely a rectangular building that was held up by the valley walls.  Despite serving as a Arbites and PDF base, it was barely considered a fort like Eagle Gate.  The only similarity the two Gates had was an emblazoned bird on their southern and northern sides, in this case it was the two-headed Imperial Aquila.  Plans to defend Aquila Gate was nonexistent.  The only plan was to hold the tyranids long enough for the Imperials to continue retreating north to Condor Gate, the northern entrance to the valley and last bastion between them and the evacuation zones. 
    As the super-heavies reversed past Aquila Gate, the Space Marines took over.
    A Lander Raider Terminus Ultra Pattern, Overwhelming Force, parked itself in the shadow of Aquila Gate.  Its eight lascannons spat thick blue lasbeams that tore human-sized holes in the large bio-constructs.  While Force concentrated on the larger species, Rutus, Inanis, and the Space Marines handled the rest. 
    A line of Space Marines stood before Aquila Gate, forming something of a firing line.  Among them were Centurions and Terminators to employ their heavy weapons to thin the gaunts.  Despite the heavy firepower deployed combat had reached melee range within minutes. 
    Inanis swept his hammer all around him.  With Space Marines close by he couldn’t use the graviton energy to send out kinetic shockwave.  Using his left hand to sweep the hammer around him like a broom, his right deployed the saker and burned scores of tyranids to ash.
    “Blessed are those that bring righteous death to the enemies of the Emperor!” Izaac intoned as he flailed all around him with tyranids trying to close in for the kill in every direction.  The high-ranking chaplain was armed with a power fist as his left hand while the right held the badge of office, the Crozius Arcanum.  The head shaped as a double-headed eagle of the Imperium with a skull forming the base, it was a master crafted weapon as befitted to a reclusiarch, an energy field surrounded the head as Izaac mauled tyranids with it, shattering their bodies explosively. 
    Izaac spun in circles, shouting praises to the Emperor and condemnation to his enemies, as he literally flailed his arms.  The energy field of the power fist and crozius made him a whirlwind of death as he crushed and shattered tyranids.  The style felt wildly inappropriate as it looked more akin to someone throwing a tantrum but his blows expertly landed, never missing, and not once had an enemy been able to scratch him.
    Fighting beside him was the Primaris Librarian, Kazume.  Kazume towered over Izaac by at least two feet.  The librarian wielded two force weapons, a spiked sword and ax.  Both weapons shone a bright white light as the librarian poured his psychic might into them.  The light itself was a weapon as it extended the killing range of the force weapons’ blades.  While Izaac was unbridled fury, Kazume was contained fury.  He slashed his weapons in killing strokes, cutting off heads, slicing bodies in halves, stabbing through heads, he did it with ease and the blades sliced through the chitin with incredible ease in silence.  With the psychic light’s help, he was able to cut apart tyranids that were a foot away from the physical blades.  Even after killing dozens of tyranids within range, he huffed and puffed when there was even a slight pause, shuddering for a need to kill as he approached more tyranids.  Kazume even had a pair of backup force weapons shaped as trench knives sheathed to his thighs, though Inanis never seen him use the knives as no foe had been able to force the librarian to use them. 
    Both of them fought around Inanis’ feet, requiring him to dance around and leap over them at times as they seemed to believe the dreadnought was careful about their presences.  Inanis wanted nothing more than to kick both of them over Aquila Gate and shout “field goal”. 
    Rutus hung to the far west side of the valley, firing over Space Marines with his storm cannon and bombard, laying waste to ranks of tyranids.  This allowed him to ignore the melee.  Inanis thought Rutus’ position made better sense for him.  By standing away from everyone he didn’t have to try being careful with the raging chaplain and exacting librarian moving below him.  But he didn’t have the necessary weapons to lay waste to a swarm through ranged combat.
    “Wish I was Optimus Prime,” Inanis commented, wishing for a truck trailer that carried his other weapons with ease as he flattened a tyranid warrior under his foot and vaporized another with the saker. 
    A harridan came screaming down from above, firing its bio-cannons at Aquila Gate.  The structure weathered the storm of bio-acids but there was no garrison this time.  Despite its size, the harridan swerved in the air to avoid AA fire with some ease.  Gargoyles hooked to its underside were blasted off as flak and bullets glanced off the harridan’s carapace to hit them.  This time the hive mind had no intention of sacrificing its larger bio-constructs by performing kamikazes. 
    Aiming up with the piercer, the plasma bolt shot up from the harridan’s blind side.  The bolt hit one of the wings near its base where it met with the rest of the body.  The harridan fell screaming and hit the ground, crushing gaunts.  It struggled to get up but didn’t have the chance as it landed right before Rutus.  The Leviathan tore the airborne tyranid to pieces with a long, close-range burst from its storm cannon accompanied by bolters, metalguns, and plasma guns from nearby Astartes. 
    “Hive tyrants!” an Astarte called out. 
    Hive tyrants were tyranid commanders, the highest embodiment of the hive mind in combat form. They acted as the primary synapse conduit to lead armies or direct an attack at the front.  Self-aware and cunning, they were probably the most dangerous type of tyranid.  The only beings comparable to or above a tyrant were norn-queens and hive ships.  Inanis had never seen five hive tyrants together at any one time, the most he seen or heard were two in the same area.
    Accompanying the tyrants were a horde of tyrant and hive guards.  The tyrants were all modified mostly for melee combat and charged at the Space Marines in a sprint.  Behind the tyrants a hierophant followed in their wake.  Force was forced to concentrate on the bio-titan, blasting its face apart with concentrated fire of lasbeams hitting the same spot.  This gave the tyrants free reign to close in.
    Rutus took out one tyrant before it could get into melee range.  The tyrant guards flung themselves in the path of projectiles, their sole duty to guard the hive tyrant they followed, their powerful chitin able to stop anything below some of the most powerful anti-tank weaponry.  The bombard turned their insides to mush as the graviton energy went through the chitin.  The storm cannon never ceased firing and caught the tyrant as its bodyguards died while being flung away.  The hive tyrant roared in anger before the storm cannon slowly tore it apart.  Autocannon rounds chipped away the tyrant’s chitin but the rate of fire eventually tore the biological armor off and shredded the insides.  The hive tyrant was cut in half.  Those halves were torn apart as the bombard fired again at its corpse for good measure.
    The other four made contact with the Space Marines. 
    Inanis swung its hammer at one hive tyrant.  It blocked the swing with its two boneswords.  The close combat biomorphs connected with the hammer’s staff, keeping the Aquila-shaped head from connecting and unleashing the energy within.  The psychic energy sheathing the boneswords sawed slightly into the hammer’s staff.  The tyrant attempted to aim its heavy venom cannon that took up its remaining two arms, but Inanis kept up the attack, staying too close for the bulky weapon to be used.  The hive tyrant was unperturbed as it simply kept swinging its boneswords, blocking the gravity hammer and riposting, scratching at Inanis’ hull. 
    Izaac and Kazume took on a hive tyrant together.  Its upper arms were scything talons while one lower arm carried a bonesword and the other a lash whip.  Izaac came at the tyrant’s right, flailing his power fist and crozius at it like a tornado.  The tyrant’s bonesword and right talon countered the chaplain.  The left talon and whip blocked Kazume.  The whip lashed out with a life of its own, snapping out at the librarian with force and momentum provided by the hive tyrant but slithering in the air like a snake.  Kazume’s force weapons cut bits and pieces off of the whip, the psychic energy cutting right through the tentacle, causing it to cringe with each piece cut off. 
    Tyrant guards attempted to swarm the reclusiarch and librarian in aid of their charge.  Izaac didn’t attempt to take them head on.  Instead, he used his power fist to smash into their sides.  Their armor cracked under the impact but the blow was calculated to send the tyranid flying at the hive tyrant.  The tyranid projectile hit the hive tyrant hard enough to make it unsteady.  It then promptly began to avoid the other guards the chaplain sent flying its way. 
    Kazume on the other hand concentrated on killing the tyrant guards.  His psychically tuned force weapons cut through them with ease as if their armor was made of paper.  Swinging his force weapons in intricate patterns, the guards were slashed to pieces as they used their numbers to block his path to the hive tyrant and attempted to swarm him with their numbers at the same time.  This simply slowed him down. 
    The remaining two attacked Rutus and the Marines.  The hive tyrant attacking Rutus was using a literal wall of tyrant and hive guards to keep the bombard’s projectile at bay.  Armed with a heavy venom cannon, it took shots at Rutus but the Levianthan’s reinforced atomantic shielding kept it safe, a powerful barrier against most heavy weapons.  They proceeded into a shooting match to see who would eventually outgun the other.  The other hive tyrant directly engaged the Space Marines.  Centurions and Terminators closed in on it while those in basic power armor engaged the guards. 
    Inanis lured the hive tyrant and its guards away from his brethren, allowing him to use his graviton weapons.  Stamping down in regular intervals, the quake stompers sent the guards falling back and knocked his opponent unsteady.  The tyrant always recovered quick enough to defend itself from the hammer or jump back in time to avoid a swing.  Hive guards learned quickly and kept their distance, firing their impaler cannons and shockcannons while avoiding hitting the hive tyrant.  Inanis’ shield protected him from the constant rain of bony spines but it was draining fast from the sheer volume. 
    The hierophant fell and caused everyone to stumble from the nearby fall.  But the tyranids continued to swarm forward.  Inanis spotted pyrovores, biovores, and exocrines moving around the deceased bio-titan.  All were four-legged organisms with large, cannon-like biomorphs attached to their backs.  They were essentially the tyranid’s analogue of artillery, each type of construct firing a different kind of projectile from long range. 
    “Great, it’s the dickheads,” Inanis spat.
    They were too far away for Force to deal with and they were already lining up shots to take out the defenders regardless of other tyranids in the area. 
    Inanis ran at the hive tyrant while deploying his plasma piercer and charging it.  The tyrant stood its ground and raised its melee weapons in defense, not enough time or space for it to use its ranged bio-weapon.  The dreadnought caught it by surprise when he shoulder-charged it.  The tyrant attempted to jump away too late upon realizing its foe wasn’t going to use his melee weapon.  The tyrant screeched as it was tackled out of the way. 
    Inanis quickly raised his left arm and fired the large plasma weapon.  The triangular bolt of superheated fire struck a pyrovore.  It exploded in a massive ball of fire that caught the other artillery bio-constructs.  The hive mind had them packed tightly together to be used for mass barrage which was the weakness Inanis used.  The pyrovores’ body was filled with multitudes of sacs that kept the munitions for its flamespurt, and as Inanis guessed it was full to the brim.  The expanding fireball caught other pyrovores and they went off in a chain reaction.  Biovores fired spore mines and they were equally as explosive as they were caught in the chain of fiery explosions, shredding other tyranids in close proximity as the biovores were also filled to the brim with their acidic spore mines. 
    Turning back to his opponent, he saw just in time the tyrant aiming his heavy venom cannon at him.  Jumping to the side, the supersonic crystalline projectiles glanced off of his body, leaving deep furrows in the alloy.  A few hit Beaky and shattered the staff.
    “Oh, you son of a bitch!” Inanis shouted.  “Here’s Mjolnir!”
    Landing on his feet, Inanis threw what was left of Beaky at the tyrant one-handed.  The hive tyrant was busy aiming its venom cannon when the hammer struck it in the face.  The kinetic explosion ripped the tyrant’s head apart.  A large group of tyranids close to the dead tyrant suddenly paused in their charge, the swarm crashing against the front ranks and beginning a vicious melee with the tyrant’s leadership gone.  
    Looking around, Inanis realized his tyrant had been the last to die.  The hive tyrant that had attacked the Space Marines was brought down with a dizzying array of weapons on hand whilst countering the gaunts and guards that tried to swarm the defenders at the same time.  But because of the smaller species’ distraction, a dozen Space Marines and a Terminator had died trying to bring down the tyrant.  Freed from the danger of the tyrant, several Marines helped Rutus, distracting the hive tyrant trying to outgun the Leviathan.  The tyrant had been desperate enough to use hive guards and gaunts to create a living wall to block Rutus’ projectiles.  Fired upon in two different directions and not enough gaunts to create cover, Rutus managed to tear the hive tyrant apart with a fully charged blast from the bombard.
    Izaac’s and Kazume’s hive tyrant was literally taken apart piece by piece.  Izaac had used his weapons to bring the tyrant to its knees, constantly bashing at the legs and joints.  Kazume’s light-infused force weapons somewhat easily cut through the tyrant’s armor.  The chipping allowed him to eventually get into the flesh underneath and cut off a piece of a clawed foot.  It eventually came to the point where Kazume sliced off its feet.  Izaac’s energy-fielded weapons constantly weakened the armor, cracking it with each hit little by little.  It eventually became weak enough for Kazume to slash through and carve the tyrant’s knees in half.  Down on its hands and knees, the tyrant’s arms were next to be cut off.  It didn’t take long after that to turn the tyrant into a paraplegic with both of them putting it out of its misery soon after.  The two continued to fight around the tyrant’s corpse long after it died.
    “Displace,” Essell’s voice blared in the vox.  “Head to Condor Gate.  We make our last stand there.”
    The Land Raider had no room inside, leaving Space Marines to climb on top to use it as a transport as it reversed north.  Rhinos and Razorbacks waiting behind the Land Raider took the rest of the defenders.  Inanis and Rutus were the last to leave.  As the slowest, the two dreadnoughts were the rearguard, wiping out tyranids in droves in a shower of ballistic and energy projectiles as they waddled backwards.  The four-barreled storm cannon cut down several rows of the tyranid’s smaller forms like a tractor running over a garden, popping the smaller tyranids from the powerful large caliber slugs.  Inanis’ volkite saker swept through an entire row in one sweep, explosively vaporizing all the beam touched, the explosions sending the rank behind falling back against the swarm. 
    The tyranids soon paused in its approach to Aquila Gate, stopping a few dozen yards.  Every aircraft veered away in every direction, leaving the aerial swarm confused by the sudden departure but quickly consolidated to form a cloud of wings, chitin, and talons above the ground swarm’s front ranks. 
    Aquila Gate was soon bombarded with fire, spore mines, and bone shards.  Hive guards and aided by venom cannon-equipped and artillery bio-constructs showered the elevated building with all they could bear.  The tyranids were taking no chances the building was set to explode and come down on the advancing swarm. 
    Making it north past their weapons’ range, Inanis and Rutus turned around and moved to Condor Gate a mile away.  A few minutes later, Aquila Gate fell onto the Highway, burnt and bubbling from a mixture of flames and bio-acid. 
    The hive mind, confident in the lack of a trap, had the swarm resumed its charge with monstrous creatures ranging from carnifexes to the bio-titan hierophants taking the lead. 
    Then a single missile landed where Aquila Gate had been. 
    The vortex missile miraculously struck the Highway despite tyranid bio-constructs swarmed every inch of it.  A slight lull occurred when tyranids traversed over the fallen mound of debris that had been Aquila Gate.  The vortex missile glanced off of a carnifex’s back and skidded in between two gaunts before the warhead hit the Highway.
    The resulting black hole engulfed everything within a three-hundred-yard radius.  The thinning beams of sunlight from dusk were suddenly engulfed by a sphere of glowing blackness that lit the area like a solar eclipse would.  The curving wall of blackness engulfed tyranids of all shapes and sizes, indiscriminate as it turned them into matters of the warp.  The valley walls that had helped funnel the tyranids stood no chance as buildings and mountain were swept into the artificial black hole.
    Despite the swarm halting the vortex field’s gravity forced tyranids into its embrace.  Tyranids from the small forms of the rippers that had been feasting on the dead to reuse the bio-mass to the massive bio-titans were sucked in screaming.  Aerial tyranids too close to the vortex fared no better, tumbling end over end as they disappeared inside.  Even a harridan was forced inside, flapping its wings desperately to stay away. 
    The sphere of blackness disappeared half a minute after the vortex missile detonated.  One instant it was there, the next it popped out of reality as if it never existed.  What it left was a perfect sphere-like crater.  The crater extended into the mountains and deep into the ground, forming a bowl that could never exist naturally or climb out of barehanded.  The entire edge was perfectly smooth, not a single mar until the tyranids resumed the offensive.  The instant the vortex disappeared, the tyranids immediately rampaged into the crater.  Gaunts threw themselves in to fill up the bottom.  Their talons and claws having difficulty finding purchase against the smooth bedrock, they were instead used as a stepping platform, literally.  Tyranids fell on top of each other, crushing those underneath into flattened paste with little concern.  It took less than a minute for the massive crater to be filled and everything inside crushed to death.  The corpses of crushed chitin were stacked high enough for the tyranids to traverse over the gap in the Highway to reach the other side and chase after the imperials. 
    The sheer weight and stampede of the tyranids caused a flood of ichor to rise out and slather up and down the Highway, sending dozens of bio-constructs slipping onto the ground.  They were promptly crushed under the swarm without a second thought.  More and more died and formed a carpet of dead that reached to the corpses already flattened into paste from the earlier fighting.  The carpet of tyranid dead smothered the entire ground and reached all the way out to the southern lands past the valley, making it impossible to see or reach the ground underneath without excavation tools. 
    Artillery continued to rain down on the tyranids but it mattered little as high explosives sent burnt carapaces into the air and burning hot shrapnel down onto others.  For every dead, a hundred waited to take its place.  The tide reached Condor Gate in half an hour as the Imperials made their last stand.
    
“This is where we fight!” Izaac roared, enunciating every word.  “This is where they die!  This is where you all become heroes of the Imperium!  This is where all of you live forever in the annals of history!
    “FOR THE EMPEROR!”
    Tens of thousands of throats repeated the cry. 
    “Great speech, Leonidas,” Inanis commented.
    A rhythmic clashing began with fists hitting metal surfaces or chest plates, rifle butts slamming against the nearest hard surfaces, or boots stomping on the ground.  The unified clashing clamor from tens of thousands of individuals raised spirits in the act of solidarity, the bang a physical noise as it echoed down the valley towards the fast approaching tyranids. 
    What eclipsed the sound from twenty thousand of Isadorian Guardsmen and Praetorian Auxiliaries were the two Warlord Titans.  The pair of one-hundred-ten-foot tall bipedal war machines grunted through vox-speakers in time with the clanging, the machine grunting sounding more like a war god coughing with static but it cheered the troops on.  Adjacent to the electronic grunts was the softer sound of generators revving as they powered the arm and back-mounted weapons on the Warlords. 
    The two Titans stood behind the ends of a conclave wall eight hundred feet long and thirty feet high made of ferrocrete and adamantium facing the valley.  Like the other Gates, Condor Gate had no actual gate, only a massive archway where five super-heavy tanks and six Land Raiders of various classes sat idle side by side as the best obstacle to block any approach.  Before them was a vast trench network fit for the size of three hundred Astartes to form a deep wedge against the tyranids.  A waiting pike against the charging monstrosities. 
    Unlike the other two Gates, Condor Gate didn’t have a bird of prey emblazoned on its arches.  Instead, a statue called Condora, shaped as a condor taking flight, stood on top of the gatehouse that was Condor Gate’s arch.  The statue was massive and a deplorable rendition of an avian.  The condor was apparently handmade by the first settlers ten millennia ago using the adamantium hull of their colony ship as the material, beating the metal into shape.  The condor was supposed to represent the world’s allegiance to the Emperor and His growing Imperium, but also their status as a lesser avian in comparison to the double-headed eagle that represented the entire Imperium of Man.  The adamantium statue had been in Milena but the ancestor of the planetary governor had it removed because it was an “eyesore”.  It was eventually moved to Condora City where it was named after the statue.
    Every human soldier stood on top of the walls or behind it, ready to shoot down or up to aid the Angels of Death as best as they could, or replace those that died on the walls.  Heavy weapons were brought up to the ramparts and waited to help thin or slow the tide of chitin. 
    The trenches were massive.  The entire zigzagging network was wide enough to allow a tank to traverse within with inches to spare on the sides.  Interspaced evenly throughout the trenches were large, square pits that housed a dreadnought.  Inanis was in the pit closest to the tip of the spear-shaped trench network. 
    Having lost Beaky, Inanis managed to grab hold of a pair of double-bladed, power chain-vambraces, brought to him by a Techmarine from the back ranks, before he took his position.  Magnetically and suction clamped to the bottoms and sides of his arms, the four massive chainswords extended from the sides of his arms so as to not impede his forearm-mounted weapons, the tips reaching out eight feet past his hands .  The chain-vambraces’ teeth were the size of short swords and all were sheathed in an energy field that gave the cutting weapons an increase in their deadliness.  Stenciled to the sides of the guide bars were the names of the chain-vambraces. 
    Inanis named the one on his left arm Death To Evil.  The one on his right was called Groovy
    Once the tyranids were a hundred feet from the tip of the trenches, the defenders opened fire as one. 
    Thousands of lasguns fired down from the ramparts at full auto.  A carpet of lasbeams swept into the swarm’s front ranks made of the quicker, smaller species, felling them like scythes to a wheat field.  With the swarm packed so dense, the soldiers required no need to aim into the ocean of talons and claws.  Once the power packs were spent, the soldiers stepped back for the ones waiting right behind to take their place and open fire.  The change was quick and smooth, requiring only a second for the next line of soldiers to step up and open fire. 
    Heavy bolters, heavy stubbers, autocannons, missile launchers with fragmentation warheads, grenade launchers, and lascannons also fired down from the walls, felling huge scores of tyranids with their powerful munitions. 
    In the archway, the super-heavies and Land Raiders unleashed their awesome firepower.  Their large size allowed them to shoot over the Space Marines and gut a massive portion of the tyranids flooding up the valley after one volley.
    Then came the Warlords.  Titans of Legio Custos, or the Imperial Guardians, they were both a recent addition to the ancient azure-colored legion hailing from Isador System, seconded to the Praetorians and their accompanying Guardsmen and auxiliaries who all came from the same star sector. 
    Caeruleum Bastardis was armed with a macro gatling blaster for its right limb and a Volcano cannon for its left.  On its carapace, it mounted two plasma blastguns.  The right weapon arm fired shells the size of battle tanks, sending a stream of explosions throughout the tyranid swarm at a breathtaking pace.  Hundreds of tyranids died in seconds, but tens of thousands filled the space instantly.  Great geysers of superheated fire vaporized dozens of tyranids with each shot from the blastguns.  The blastguns fired alternatively, conserving power with its steady pace.  The Volcano cannon hummed as it was brought to full power, reserving the precious shot for a bio-titan.
    Stellar Warrior was armed with an Arioch power claw for its right limb, its inbuilt Vulcan mega-bolters laying waste to the tyranid’s frontline.  Its left limb was a plasma destructor, a larger version of the plasma blastguns that vaporized five times the number the blastgun could do in one shot.  Unlike the blastguns, the destructor could fire a stream of plasma bolts in a burst but Warrior’s princeps chose to only fire a single bolt with each shot to also conserve energy.  On its carapace were one Apocalypse missile launcher and a triple-barreled laser blaster.  The laser blaster’s las erased long furrows in the tyranids, burning a blackened line in the Highway. 
    And finally, the Space Marines.  Thirty Terminators formed the tip, standing in the forefront trenches.  Their heavy firepower stalled the tyranids from reaching them for some time, as if a tidal wave of gunfire and flames pushed back another tidal wave of chitin.  This was only possible due to the enormous amount of firepower laying waste to a legion-sized force.  Any other saner army would have broken and run from this kind of loss, but something like this was nothing to the hive mind which had a near infinite amount of bio-mass to keep creating more and more bio-constructs.  The defenders would run out of ammunition before being able to kill every single tyranid on Milana III.
    Flanking the Terminators were Centurions and Aggressors.  Though similar in size to the Terminators their purpose was slightly different to them, but as they bore large weapons it was enough for the purpose of killing scores of tyranids from the trenches.  And flanking them, forming the base of the spear-shaped trenches were every other Astarte, firing bolters, plasma guns, and heavier weapons to aid in decimating the xenos.
    With the mouth of the valley fanning out to Condor Gate, the tyranids made great time to reach the walls despite the massive amount of firepower they were receiving.  They reached the wall first in ones and twos, sheer dumb luck allowing them to reach this far through the hailstorm of projectiles.  The defenders on the battlements simply shot down the wall’s face and killed them as the tyranids made no move to avoid it.  It took exceptionally longer for them to reach the trenches. 
    Before the tyranids made contact with the trenches, the Space Marines backed away to the second line of trenches, all firing while moving backwards effortlessly, having memorized the path and steps to take and when it was their turn.  A minute later, gaunts started to swarm into the long, wide ditches en masse.  Then the frontline trenches were suddenly filled with a massive fireball.  Incendiary charges buried in the ditches were set off and engulfed everything in them, creating a moat of flames reaching up six feet into the air.  With momentum pushing them, gaunts and warriors fell in, unable to stop.  They were burnt to death in seconds.  Those behind and with time to react chose to leap over the fire.  The moat of flames was so hot it cooked them alive as they leapt over, falling to the ground on the other side as cooked meat.  The few that survived were blasted back into the moat with precise bolter fire that burst their torsos or heads open. 
    The Astartes continued to fire through the burning obstacle, cutting down ranks of tyranids that either milled behind the fire or attempted to leap over with little results.  Eventually the tyranids simply ran into the burning trench.  It took half an hour until the sheer amount of bodies and ichor quenched the flames.   By then, mountains of chitin corpses filled the valley mouth. 
    Flooding into the pit, the swarm aimed for Inanis.  He met them spinning.  Stretching out his arms to either side, he spun on his waist and held the chain-vambraces low.  Tyranids ran into his chainswords headlong.  The cutting edges easily sawed through carapaces with incredibly ease.  The energy field surrounding them and the enormous power behind the spin sent the torn bodies flying away.  Those that made it past the chain-vambraces were crushed by the arms and flung away as broken rags.  It didn’t take a minute for the tyranid dead to reach his waist. 
    Inanis didn’t experience dizziness.  With his volkite saker, he carefully fired it at the southern area of his position.  Tyranids, both dead and alive were vaporized, their ashes falling amongst the bodies and ichor.  A tap from his quake stompers sent the mounds of corpses flying away, giving him room to allow more tyranids to charge at him and to die at his feet. 
    Ranged biomorphs showered Inanis with beetles, bone, and bio-acid, blocked by his energy shield.  Space Marines that took position behind his pit attempted to cut them down but the mass of chitin blocked their aim.  This was eventually countered with concentrated mortar fire coming from behind Condor Gate raining down on them. 
    Carnifexes soon managed to enter the pit.  A few were taken down by opportunistic missile and plasma fire but Inanis’ bulk was in the way as they converged on him. 
    Inanis stopped his spin and faced the carnifexes, hefting the chain-vambraces up and retracting the volkite saker back into his forearm.  “Who wants some?”
    Inanis met the first carnifex by punching it in the face.  The two chainblades stabbed through the hardened carapace with ease, cutting in deep above and below the head.  When the fist connected with the carnifex’s face, the head and the section around it flopped off the rest of the body, held together by a thick strand of sinew and its spine.  The dreadnought stepped to the side at the same time as the punch as it didn’t fully arrest the charge.  The momentum sent the dead monstrous tyranid forward as it flopped to the ground, glancing off of Inanis’ shoulder. 
    He killed the next carnifex with a pointblank shot from the lascannons.  The head was vaporized instantly.  The corpse flopped to the ground like a puppet that lost its strings.
    Two carnifexes charged straight at him.  Inanis met them with uppercuts from both arms, one to each bio-construct.  The sawing energy-sheathed blade ripped their way with ease, erupting a welter of ichor, carapace chips, and gore. 
    “Have a mouthful,” Inanis taunted as he turned and punched a third carnifex trying to flank him.  He angled the punch so that a sawing blade went straight into the slavering maw.  The twisting maneuver sawed the blade out from the side, splitting the carnifex’s head in half horizontally. 
    Behind him Terminators stood on the lip to the pit, shooting down at the small tyranids flooding in, trying to surround Inanis while he was busy being mobbed by carnifexes.  Cones of fire and hundreds of solid projectiles rained around Inanis as he unceasingly punched left and right.  Left and right, left and right, carnifexes continued to rush him without relent and he killed them relentlessly. 
    It came as a surprise to Inanis when a large tongue that ended in a three-pronged claw grabbed him by the left upper arm, pulling him off his feet with surprising strength.  It took only a moment for his mind to comprehend and witness a haruspex had grabbed him with its long tongue as he was pulled towards it maw.  The energy shield hadn’t automatically lit up as the tongue was slower than a projectile or was registered as harmless, something he would have to calibrate after this was over. 
    His limbs flailing in midair, Inanis’ left arm disappeared inside the haruspex’s maw.  The huge tyranid stood at the southern tip of the trench network, keeping its distance from the fighting.  Bolt shells, slugs, and lasbolts bounced off its thick hide, the bio-construct ignoring the weak attacks as if gnats were running into it. 
    With the chain-vambraces still running and Inanis too big to fit into its mouth, the pair of saws ripped into the maw’s lining, shredding tentacles and fangs that lined the orifice.  The haruspex cried out in agony, stamping on its four feet.  It reacted by sucking Inanis’ left arm further in with the remaining tentacles wrapping around Inanis to help pull him in.  The chainblades cut even deeper and made the haruspex stamp and shake even harder.  A pair of its huge crab-like claws came forward and grasped the dreadnought’s legs, attempting to cut them apart.  The neo-adamantium held against the great pressure but warnings were lighting up in Inanis’ vision, the armor wasn’t going to hold long. 
    “I’m told I’m bad for the heart,” Inanis said as he deployed the plasma piercer. 
    The large plasma cannon blasted streams of superheated bolts into the unprotected flesh inside the haruspex.  The tyranid went into a seizure as its insides were turned to ash.  By the time plasma bolts burst out of its rear end, the haruspex slumped to the ground, unmoving. 
    Inanis ripped his left arm out, the chain-vambraces slicing through dead flesh.  It took half a minute for them to cut through the claws that still held onto his legs, the carapace thick and strong to be of some resistance. 
    A hierophant came roaring into the battlefield, its bio-cannonss tracking a target.  Its sharpened feet created miniature earthquakes as it sprinted as best as it could to Condor Gate. 
    Bastardis fired its Volcano cannon.  A las beam of pure white light followed by a thunderous crack that sounded as if reality was splitting struck the hierophant.  The beam connected to the hierophant at an angle, punching into the side close to its head and out through its rear end.  The beam tore a perfect tunnel through the bio-titan, its proximity shearing off a foreleg.  The loss of the limb sent the immense and hideous creature falling.  Its body fell through the beam and sliced open much of its body, its burnt innards revealed to the outside world.  The bio-titan died before it hit the ground, creating a small earthquake that made even the defenders on the ramparts lose their balance. 
    Already a pair of hierophants were making their way around the dead bio-titan.  The Warlords and tanks concentrated their fire on the enormous tyranids, reducing much pressure on the smaller forms that were reaching the wall in greater numbers.  The tyranids at the base of the wall were forming a ramp with their bodies, dying in droves so that they could become an implacable slope for the rest of the swarm.  The sheer amount of dead was reaching to the ramparts with gaunts leaping close enough to the battlements for their claws and limbs to grab hold of the edge before being shot off.  Human troops were using plasma weapons, flamers, and grenades to lessen and slow the progress while trying to whittle away the bodies, but there weren’t enough of the special weapons to go around for such a long wall and grenades could only do so much no matter how abundant they were in comparison. 
    As Inanis made his way back to the pit, a Space Marine called out, “Tyrant!”
    Inanis turned around quickly and brought his chain-vambraces up in a guard position. 
    A hive tyrant with four boneswords was in the middle of its leap, having leapt over the deceased haruspex, sweeping its bladed and psychically crackling biomorphs in four different directions at Inanis.  The dreadnought blocked a pair of the boneswords but the other two cut into his upper body, slicing into the lascannons’ housing and rendering them useless, the barrels cut and bent.  But the living blades didn’t get any farther, the thick neo-adamantium plating had slowed and blunted the powerful blows, the psychic energy having allowed it to cut into the shell with relative ease only taking it so far. 
    Upon hitting the ground, the tyrant attempted to pull away but the two blades were caught in the metal, the angle of its current stance too low to properly take them out.  But the tyrant was strong enough to pull Inanis forward, which was exactly what he wanted to do.  Pushing the pair of bonesword he blocked away, he used the momentum of the tyrant’s pull to send him rushing forward, body slamming into the tyranid and shoving the whirring chain-vambraces into its midriff.  The tyrant howled at the damage it was taking and kicked out, catching Inanis in the pelvic area.  An imprint of its clawed foot was left on the hull but the blow was enough to dislodge the stuck boneswords, separating the two combatants. 
    Inanis quickly inspected his chainblades.  An instant check saw several of the sword-sized teeth broken and twice as many chipped and cracked.  Boneswords had a small brain in their hilts that sheathed the weapon in psychic energy, despite the fact the blade’s monomolecular edge was deadly enough alone.  The more boneswords the tyrant held, the more psychically powerful all the boneswords became.  If the tyrant had only been holding one or two, Inanis’ chainblades wouldn’t have taken much damage.  The energy fields surrounding the teeth couldn’t handle the strain against a powerful immaterial construct that was psychic energy.
    Looking at the tyrant, it approached Inanis slowly, wary of its opponent.  With four boneswords, the blades were covered in a thick psychic field that they distorted the air around the living swords.  The blades he blocked were heavily chipped from attempting to push against a pair of sawing blades.  But Inanis saw the blades were repairing themselves, growing like skin cells filling a wound.  By the time the two engaged again, the boneswords were fully healed as if they were freshly grown without ever seeing combat, even the wounds Inanis gave to the tyrant’s torso were disappearing. 
    Meeting each other in close combat, Inanis stood his ground as the tyrant did the same, their distance barely seven feet apart as they wailed at each other with their limbs.  The hive tyrant was fast, sweeping its bladed biomorphs in intricate patterns from multiple directions.  Inanis was sweeping his arms all around him in intricate patterns to deflect and riposte. 
    The tyrant was forced to alternate with each pair of its upper limbs.  It needed to pull its arms back for a powerful swing but Inanis wasn’t giving it the chance, immediately riposting after blocking an attack to allow the chainblades to cut the tyranid.  Compared to the tyrant Inanis’ counters had little strength, but the proximity of its energy-covered teeth was enough to be an extreme danger to the tyranid.  It attempted to back away several times, trying to lure Inanis deeper into the swarm.  The dreadnought merely walked backwards and fired plasma bolts and energy beams at it.  The hive tyrant was ridiculously fast.  It dodged the projectiles and charged at Inanis to keep him from reaching his allies. 
    Fighting over the tip of the trench, the two continued to trade blows while the world around them burned.  Several times the Volcano cannon fired, lighting the land in false sunlight.  Massive bio-projectiles flew back at the Titans and Condor Gate.  Spore mines were flung towards the wall and artillery performed a counter barrage, lessening the number of spore mines.  Flurries of Deathstrike missiles sailed overhead and landed deep in the valley, setting off massive spheres of plasma that eradicated thousands of tyranids, sparking off false sunrises in the distance, but the swarm didn’t appear slowing. 
    Death To Evil was torn apart as it blocked the latest the swing of a bonesword.  Unable to withstand the attacks any longer, the teethed chains shattered before the guide bars were snapped.  The bonesword continued on but its path was slightly deflected, the edge only cutting shallowly into Inanis’ armored head.  The unexpected situation caused the tyrant to overextend its swing, unbalancing it for a moment before it regained its footing.  Taking advantage of the moment, Inanis brought Groovy down and cut off a lower limb at the wrist.  Groovy shattered upon cutting through the arm, it too unable to hold together any longer. 
    The hive tyrant screamed in outrage as it jumped back, the sawed limb gushing ichor before stopping, the wound closing.  The psychic field around the blades noticeably dimmed at the loss of a companion but still remained strong from three bonesword brains.  Making himself feel better, Inanis stamped down on the fallen bonesword that lay before him, snapping the biomorph blade in half. 
    The vambraces fell off of his forearms, no longer useful.  He brought up his hands and tauntingly motioned with his fingers for the tyrant to come back and fight. 
    “Come get some, General Grievous,” Inanis called out.
    The hive tyrant charged at Inanis with a howl, its three boneswords raised to swing down at the disarmed dreadnought.  Inanis met him halfway, sprinting at the tyranid.  Before the two could slam into each other, the tyrant swung his blades down.  Inanis used the quake stomper in his right foot to shoot his leg up faster than the tyranid could swing.  The impromptu kick smashed in between the hive tyrant’s legs.  The unexpected blow stunned the hive tyrant, sending him up in the air but its heavy weight only made him jump ten feet.  Its arms flopped down to its sides, the kick and flight arresting their momentum.  Before it landed, Inanis reached up with both hands, the melta blasters deployed, and grabbed hold of its head.  The melta beams vaporized its head and the tyrant flopped to the earth, along with a score of nearby tyranids caught in its death through the synapse. 
    “So civilized,” the Neo-Contemptor commented as he retracted the melta blasters back into his palms. 
    Inspecting the battlefield, the ramp of dead or dying tyranids now reached up to the battlements.  Gaunts and warriors were flooding onto the walls with a wall of projectiles keeping them from overrunning the defenders.  The Space Marines continued to hold the trenches but it was clear the tyranids were simply keeping the Astartes busy while they concentrated on taking the ramparts. 
    The hive mind also decided to resume its kamikazes. 
    Bastardis was swarmed with gargoyles trying to find a way inside the Titan while scratching ineffectually at its hull.  Guardsmen and auxiliaries were firing up at the Titan, a stream of lasbolts and tracers showering the Warlord from below.  The projectiles did no damage, at most scratching the paint, but flocks of dead gargoyles were descending to the ground. 
    Then a harridan slammed into the carapace.  The impact made the Warlord bow and bend its legs to keep it from falling.  Its weapon arms smashed on top of the wall inadvertently, crushing humans and tyranids under their large size.  The harridan broke its wings as they flopped lifelessly but the huge tyranid was still alive, slithering and biting into Bastardis.  Its huge size and strength was allowing it to tear into the adamantium slowly with its jaws.  Inevitably it would chew its way in or cut something vital.  Bastardis’ huge size and the tyranid on top blocked it from being hit from below.  Bastardis was shaking, trying to dislodge the parasite on its carapace but it had lodged itself in the gaps. 
    Another harridan tried to do a kamikaze against Bastardis.  It flew too fast and collided with the void shield, the energy field believing it to be a projectile.  The harridan exploded against the shield, showering tyranids below with ichor, chitin, and its flattened corpse. 
    Bastardis eventually stopped swinging itself to dislodge the large tyranid.  It simply turned towards Warrior and stood still, bending slightly forward to present the harridan on its carapace.  Stellar Warrior raised its power claw, pointing it towards Bastardis.  The mega-bolter opened fire.  Instead of hitting the void shield, Bastardis’ princeps had deactivated them and allowed his Titan’s carapace to be showered with hundreds of bolt shells.  The harridan screeched as it was torn apart into wet chunks and blocks of chitin.  Warrior had only fired for three seconds but the act also shredded the carapace-mounted weapons on its brother Titan.  The plasma blastguns would fire no more.
    Undaunted, Bastardis turned back to the swarm and fired its arm weapons as Stellar Warrior did the same. 
    Then it started raining mycetic spores.  The huge pods slammed onto the earth and disgorged their contents from ripper swarms to carnifexes and everything between the size of the two.  The spores landed south of the valley but quickly proceeded north, landing on both sides of the wall. 
    Inanis looked up to see a large shadow blotting out the sky and it was being burnt.  A hive ship was entering through the lower atmosphere fast and lance batteries were trying to tear it apart from above.  It was disgorging mycetic spores as quickly as it could in its descent of death.  The swarm picked up the pace in its charge north. 
    With the enemy now on the north side, the Astartes abandoned the trenches.  They formed a ring in the archway, using the arch to block out the spores that could have landed among them.  Inanis and Rutus held the south end of the archyway with the tanks, keeping out the swarm with a wall of fire and beams.  Marines spread out alongside the wall’s northern face, clearing the area to hide behind the wall as the battleship-sized bio-ship continued to descend.  Inanis’ internal cogitators calculated the bio-ship’s descent as it tumbled on its axis during its fall while pieces of it continued to be burned off by lance fire.  The hive ship was going to land somewhat a hundred miles south but it was clear from its speed and largely intact size it was going to create a cataclysm upon impact.  The rain of mycetic spores had ended quite quickly, having been unleashed while the hive ship was still in the upper atmosphere before it came too low to the planet. 
    Firing his saker and piercer, Inanis vaporized hundreds of tyranids trying to enter the archway.  Beside him stood Rutus, pouring autocannon shells and graviton energy bombs in large sweeps south of the archway.  Behind them were the super-heavies and Land Raiders, keeping the area around them clear as the two huge dreadnoughts chose to bear the brunt of the swarm’s attacks. 
    “All units, hunker behind the wall and pray to the Emperor we survive,” Essell commanded through the vox. 
    The tanks reversed north out of the archway and took up positions behind the wall.  Following them were Rutus and Inanis, walking backwards as they filled the archway with outgoing projectiles, covering the Highway with tyranid dead that were attempting to follow. 
    “Easy for Essell to say, I haven’t even seen him this entire time,” Inanis commented as he swept his saker left and right, rupturing ranks of tyranids into explosive dust. 
    Rutus growled at his fellow dreadnought, bringing down a hierodule with several fully charged shots from the bombard to the head. 
    “I doubt he’s busy doing anything.  It’s probably just lazy writing,” Inanis replied. 
    The two dreadnoughts split up to take up positions on either side of the archway, pummeling emerging tyranids with heavy firepower.  A small legion of tanks and armored vehicles were parked behind the wall and facing it, keeping some distance as tyranids dropped down from the walls only to be gunned down by the tanks like a firing squad.  The wall’s top soon disappeared in a cascade of firepower as the Warlords had backtracked enough to turn their weapons on the battlements, cleansing it of tyranid presence.  Infantry and Astartes took up position in the buildings behind the tanks that made up the northern tip of Condora City, turning their residence into a redoubts as they repelled tyranids from the spores that landed north of Condor Gate.   
    Keeping most of his attention on the tyranids coming out of the archway, Inanis checked on satellite imagery in the equivalency of using his subconscious to do so.  He dearly wished he hadn’t.  The falling hive ship wasn’t fully dead.  It was turning in its deadly dive towards Condora City.  The cataclysm was going to occur much closer than his cogitators estimated.   
    When the hive ship finally landed, it landed close to forty miles away.  Inanis found himself being lifted off his feet as the earth pulsed, throwing him and everything not tied to the ground up in the air.  Inanis found himself flipping, turning upside down to see a three-hundred-twenty-ton super-heavy tank nearby turning onto its side in the air.  Then a shadow eclipsed the area.  Inanis saw not only hundreds, maybe thousands of tyranids lifted into the air by the impact but also Warrior lifted high enough for it to be spun around.  The Warlord looked as if it was lying on a bed made of air, hovering like a magic trick.  Inanis was very sure the fifteen-hundred-ton Imperial Battle Titan was going to land on its back. 
    Activating the anti-gravity unit in his chassis, Inanis remained floating as everyone else fell to the ground.  Tanks landed on their sides, fronts, upside down, rears, or on top of each other.  Dreadnoughts and IFVs crashed into each other.  Buildings crumbled, burying the garrison inside.  Tyranids were crushed by the impact as they fell on their faces or on top of each other. 
    Then the two Warlord Titans landed.  The twin impacts sent the nearby tanks and tyranids bouncing back up into the air though not as high as the hive ship’s impact, along with several nearby structures that had remained intact to cave in. 
    Landing back on his feet, Inanis found the earth shaking dangerously.  He checked the satellite feed again.  The hive ship was skidding along the earth and coming ever closer to the valley.  It had crashed landed right behind the tyranid swarm and was now crushing and killing it.  But what pushed ahead of the hive ship was an enormous wall of dust and dirt several miles high, heading for Condora City.  It was already entering the valley, funneled north at breakneck speed like a river unleashed from an overfilled dam.  He could even see tyranids swept up in the approaching dust storm, tens of thousands picked up a mile into the air and disappearing inside.  Even bio-titans were picked up like rag dolls.  It would reach Condor Gate in a matter of seconds.
    Inanis panicked.  He didn’t have a pun or snappy one-liner or a fourth-wall breaking comment in mind when the wall fell apart. 
    “Well…frak,” was all he could muster. 
    He witnessed the corpse of a hierophant breaking through the wall before him.  The enormous body glanced against the left side of his sarcophagus, popping his shield instantly and the glancing blow had enough force to shatter the left arm up to the shoulder.  Picked up into the air by the impact, Inanis was sent flying into a nearby building headfirst as the dust storm reached him.  The crash virtually knocked him out.
Inanis woke up to danger.  He braced his legs and held up a breacher shield as a Son of Horus slammed into its golden yellow surface.  The raging lunatic was trying to saw at the shield with a chainaxe and chainsword in both hands. 
    Inanis ended it by shooting the traitor in the head with a burst from his combi-bolter. 
    Imperial Fists slammed together beside him, keeping the shieldwall in place as Caldera City crumbled around them.  Inanis saw little point to this as Beta-Garmon III had virtually fallen but he didn’t mind making the traitors bleed for it just a little longer. 
    Inanis swore as the walls of the redoubt continued to crumble around them from concentrated enemy artillery and missile barrage belonging to the distant Iron Warriors.  Void shields popped and ferrocrete burst like grenades.  More Sons of Horus continued to slam into the shieldwall, heedless of bolts and plasma bolts shredding their numbers.  Above their roars of praising their primarch were the dozens of Titans battling right outside, discharging world-ending weapons at near pointblank range.
    Then the artillery began to fall on top of the Fists.  Inanis swore again.  The Iron Warriors had decided to simply end the matter by dropping ordnances directly on the battle regardless of the damage to their allies.  The Sons appeared to be surprised by this and many paused in their charge.  Inanis sneered at their reaction, the Sons of Horus have become an increasingly uncooperative Legion and have freely begun backstabbing everyone within and outside of their Legion.  Did they honestly expect they were above this, not expecting betrayal from fellow betrayers?
    A traitor right in front of him disappeared as a heavy mortar shell landed on his head.  The resulting explosion tore the body apart, showering Inanis’ shield in gore and metal fragments.
    Quick, curt commands from the Imperial Fist captain had the shieldwall displacing, raising their shields a few inches from the ground and walking backwards as one into the redoubt’s ruined interior.  The phalanx was punctured by heavy shells falling in their ranks but the Fists simply closed ranks without preamble.  More Sons of Horus continued to pour into the redoubt, flooding into the breaches in the wall.  With the Fists retreating they had a full run of the place while the Iron Warriors continued to rain shells with abandon on top of the redoubt and their allies.  Inanis wasn’t sure if the Sons were trying to escape the bombardment by going through the Fists or take out the Fists before the Iron Warriors did as a point of pride. 
    Inanis and the Fists never stopped firing their weapons through their shields’ gun holes, laying waste to traitors.  The Sons returned fire, punching holes or denting adamantium plates as they slammed into the shields, and were repelled with a shot to the face or chest.  Inanis was swearing in his helmet, silent from the outside and the ears of the Fists as he left his mic on mute.  He had been swept up in the combat and wasn’t supposed to be here, but he relished hurting Traitor Marines. 
    His combi-bolter finally clicked on empty as he unloaded the last bolts into the face of another Son of Horus.  He dropped the combi-bolter, letting it hang from his pauldron by a strap.  There was no room or time to reload.  He pulled out a gladius and prepared to end more traitor lives. 
    Stabbing forward, he took a Son in the eye when he tried to stick his bolter into the gun hole upon noticing Inanis was out of ammo.  He smashed the shield into the corpse, sending it back and impeding the progress of another traitor who tripped on the corpse.  The tripped traitor fell on his own chainsword that sawed through his helmet and cut his head in half.  Inanis laughed in his helmet at the sight.
    Then the ground erupted in a massive explosion that tore the redoubt to pieces…
    
Inanis woke up with a grunt.  He hated dreaming.  It was always about when he had a real body.
    The chronometer in his vision informed his two hours had passed.  A carpet of tyranid dead was completely laid out before the Imperials.  Cover in ichor and chitin, it looked like the world was made of tyranid dead.  It reminded Inanis took much of a daemon world that had taken years to destroy that was literally made from the bodies of the dead and dying.
    A swarm of gaunts continued to attempt to attack Eagle Gate but only gaunts.  Inanis saw the larger species and synapse creatures were hanging back, ignoring the rain of artillery falling on them and taking a toll. 
    Inanis noticed two things that made him comment out loud, “That’s not good.”
    The first was the sight of a sickly green and yellow barrier sparking into life in the southern section of the valley where sporadic artillery fell.  Someone in the rear must have spotted it as an increasing amount of shells began to rain down on the area.  The area was soon showing a psychic barrier that was coming closer to Eagle Gate with the unmistakable forms of bio-titans being shielded.
    The second was a flying swarm that could have been mistaken for a large, dark cloud.  Inanis could see gargoyles, shrikes, and harridans.  Powerful anti-air batteries and fighter covers had kept the airborne tyranids at bay from flying over the mountains.  The tyranid flyers had been supporting the attack at Milena but Inanis guessed a large chunk had been diverged for a timed assault on Eagle Gate. 
    “Warriors of the Imperium,” Izaac called out, standing next to Inanis.  “Glory has arrived.  The Emperor watches over us now to witness the defeat of the abominable tyranids.”
    Inanis imagined himself rolling his eyes and tuned out the reclusiarch.  Getting back up to his feet, he hefted Beaky in his hands and waited. 
    The sky screeched as a fleet of Lightnings, Thunderbolts, Fire Raptors, Storm Eagles, Stormravens, Thunderhawks, Stormtalons, and Stormhawks sped towards the approaching swarm.  Inanis could hear through their communications that their orders were to engage the approaching airborne swarm but to keep their distance.  Their aircrafts were too valuable and all they can do was thin their numbers as much as possible. 
    An impressive array of projectiles, beams, and missiles slammed into the flying swarm as the fighters fired as one.  But like the Imperials, the flying tyranids weren’t interested in their counterparts.  They did their best to dodge and weave, and only attacked the aircrafts that came too close or in range of their own biomorph projectiles, but on they went, ignoring the Imperial aircrafts.  They began to descend towards Eagle Gate. 
    Hydra flak tanks, Stalkers, Whirlwind Hyperios, and Manticores with their missiles outfitted for anti-air capabilities rolled out of the archway and began firing into the airborne tyranids with abandon.  The tyranids were flying straight towards Eagle Gate and barely avoided the incoming fire, using their weight of numbers to bull through the AA barrier.  Behind the Gate, more missiles and tracer rounds streamed through the sky towards the airborne swarm, exploding in their ranks in a firework of shrapnel and flames, casting crisp bodies and pieces onto the tyranids charging in from the ground.  But still they reached Eagle Gate. 
    With a loud screech, the airborne swarm hit first.  To Inanis’ shock, and Izaac’s he assumed as he heard the high-ranking chaplain pause, the flying swarm rammed into that arch of Eagle Gate.  A harridan that had been blasting its bio-cannons at Eagle Gate rammed its body into fort’s exterior.  A loud boom erupted from the impact that had enough force to shake the foundation.  It was quite clear the harridan was dead as it was stuck halfway inside unmoving, but a large portion of heavy weapons were either taken out or impeded by the giant body. 
    Then another harridan slammed into the arch.  Gargoyles and shrikes screamed as they followed in the wake of the harridans, diving inside to take the combat to the defenders.  The AA vehicles continued to extrapolate a heavy toll from the fliers but to little results as the tyranids were flying at breakneck speed to reach the arch.  Inanis could hear and detect frantic fighting and explosions occurring in the arch but the heavy weapon support from above was now gone. 
    As Inanis expected, zoanthropes created the psychic barrier that blocked the artillery, and they now took up the frontline of the ground swarm.  He did not expect twenty of them.  Zoanthropes were slow despite being floating psykers and the swarm slowed with them to stay behind their barrier.  Indignation fired its main weapon at the barrier.  The explosion rocked the entire area, sending the carpet of corpses covering the land into the air, but the barrier still held and didn’t slow the swarm.  Tanks and Aspect continued to fire at the barrier with abandon, but the Hellhammer could no longer fire as the barrier was too close and explosion would cause great collateral damage. 
    The zoanthropes weren’t having everything their way.  One bled to death as it overloaded in its own psyker powers to hold up the barrier.  It felt to the ground in a wet heap before being crushed flat by the swarm it protected.  With the loss of one zoanthrope more continued to die one at a time at a faster rate trying to keep the barrier up with less of their numbers.  But despite the increasing speed of death among the psychic tyranids the barrier was reaching the trench line.
    Inanis leapt at the barrier with one hand out before him like a fist.  Upon contact with the knuckles of his fist with the barrier, it imploded.  The backlash killed the zoanthropes as the null-metal on the knuckles forced the barrier to cease.  Having exerted themselves to the extreme and linked together by the barrier, the sudden end of it was too much for them. 
    Inanis then swept his other hand in and slammed Beaky into the swarm of gaunts.  The graviton energy paused the swarm’s advance as the kinetic blast swept back at them.  With the barrier down, tank shells, lasbeams, plasma bolts, and flames resumed laying waste to the swarm. 
    Then a hierophant’s foreleg slammed into Inanis and sent him flying back.  His energy shield popped instantly as it protected him from the powerful blow.  He tried to control his flight but he covered the distance too quickly and slammed into a Leman Russ.  The tank’s front caved in and sent it skidding back into another tank. 
    “Sorry about that,” Inanis apologized as he stood up.  He groaned when he saw the damage had flattened the driver’s section.  “Yeah, really sorry about that.”
    The hierophant roared as it came closer to Eagle Gate.  Fifty feet tall and heavily armored, Inanis’s height didn’t even reach its head.  Walking on four legs ending in spear-like tips that could punch through a super-heavy tank, its huge weight formed craters wherever it stepped.  Its remaining two limbs were bio-cannons and they fired.  Three Leman Russes and a Predator were thrown into the air from the impact, at the same time the bio-acid melted them utterly along with the crew into bubbling goo.  The tanks landed amongst other tanks, sowing chaos as they also melted from residual bio-acid. 
    With the barrier gone, Indignation used the opportunity to fire deep into the swarm, stalling it as much as possible.  Aspect concentrated on the bio-titan but the hierophant was undeterred as the explosive bolts impacted harmlessly against its hide.  Due to the hierophant’s height and proximity, the Stormlord couldn’t aim directly for the bio-titan’s head but continued to riddle its legs and nearby tyranids with bolts.  As the hierophant turned its attention to the archway, Inanis slammed Beaky against the inside of a foreleg.  Despite hitting the leg at the highest setting, the gravity hammer only caused small cracks to appear in the chitin.  But the force behind the blow and graviton energy made the bio-titan slip and fall on its side.  It had fired its bio-cannons at the same time.  One projectile hit the side of Eagle Gate and melted a hole big enough to fit a tank through.  The second caught a Leman Russ’ turret a glancing blow before hitting the Gate, but it was enough to melt the entire battle tank into a bubbling mess. 
    Coming to a halt in his swing, Inanis leapt into the air backwards.  Performing several flips, he landed on the hierophant’s head.  Firing his quake stompers at full power, the kinetic blast tore at the bio-titan’s head.  It roared in rage as the shockwave cracked its head open and burst an eye. 
    Then it stood back up and threw Inanis away. 
    The Neo-Contemptor skidded to the ground on his face, crashing through several gaunts in his path.  Pushing himself to his feet, hormagaunts and termagants attacked him with abandon, trying to bring him down.  A smack of his hammer against the ground sent them flying away. 
    Turning back to face the bio-titan, it began turning to face Inanis. 
    “Yeah, that’s right you ugly motherfraker!  Come get me!” Inanis taunted, waving his arms to get the bio-titan’s attention. 
    The hierophant turned its head further so that its single eye could see Inanis.  Before it could aim its bio-cannons at Inanis, it stopped.  It turned to face back at the archway. 
    “Son of a bitch!” Inanis swore.  The hive mind was focusing on the objective to get through the valley. 
    Before Inanis could attack the hierophant he noticed a large bio-construct leaping at him from the side.  Turning to the attack, a dimachaeron slammed into him and bore him down on his back.  The huge tyranid was twice the size of Inanis and it had to kneel to try and claw at Inanis.  It used its clawed hands and bulk to keep Inanis pinned down, forming a crater with his shape into the Highway.  Its two remaining limbs ended in scythes that attempted to pierce the Neo-Contemptor’s hull but Inanis blocked it with bashes from Beaky’s staff.  With Inanis holding the hammer between him and the dimachaeron he couldn’t wield it properly as it frantically tried to stab and claw him to death.  Bio-acid dripped from the tyranid’s thorax maw, sizzling against the adamantium, but with Inanis’ metal body it didn’t bother trying to eat him. 
    Deploying the plasma piercer, Inanis continued to block the attacks as it charged up.  Upon being fully charged, he aimed his left arm at the dimachaeron’s right foot.  Firing, the plasma bolt as its full power vaporized the lower extremity.  The loss of its foot and the force from the projectile made the tyranid slip forward and fall onto Inanis.  Portions of his body bent as it tried to take the huge bio-construct’s weight.  He read damage reports as the tyranid also tried to keep itself from falling by using its clawed hands to push up, leaving imprints in the adamantium. 
    Letting go of his hammer, Inanis reached up and grabbed hold of the dimachaeron’s head.  It barely resisted as it was concentrated on trying to get up as Inanis angled the head before his. 
    “I won’t be seeing you in Starcraft III,” Inanis mocked as he fired his lascannons into its face.  At the same time, he fired the melta blasters in his palms.
    The dimachaeron didn’t have time to screech as the four pointblank beam attacks burned its head to nothing.  For good measure, Inanis fired half a dozen more times, vaporizing much of the area surrounding its head.
    The body collapsed against him.  It took effort with many warnings in his HUD he ignored to push the dead weight off of him. 
    Standing back up, he was about to pick up Beaky when a carnifex charged at him, too close for him to recover the hammer in time.  Instead, he held his palms to his side, turning his shoulder to the charging carnifex.  Forming his hands to appear as if cupping an invisible sphere, he then thrusted it forward at the carnifex’s face with the palms facing it.
    “Hadoken!” Inanis shouted as he fired the two melta blasters. 
    The twin thick beams of concentrated energy vaporized the carnifex’s head.  At such close range the twin blasts stopped the tyranid dead in its tracks and shoved it on its back. 
    Picking Beaky back up, Inanis ran back towards the hierophant that was approaching Eagle Gate.  The defenders were fleeing north, the infantry moving with the tanks.  The super-heavies stayed in place, Indignant still firing at the swarm while Aspect changed its aim back at the swarm’s front ranks.  Essell was ordering a retreat to Aquila Gate.
    The hierophant was shaking its head madly.  Izaac hung to its head, having reached up to it with his jump pack.  Izaac was shouting slanders about tyranids but Inanis was sure it was for the reclusiarch’s own amusement since tyranids had no understanding of being insulted.  The bio-titan’s progress had stalled, which stalled much of the swarm as its huge size impeded progress.  It was also angrily stamping down in its effort to shake the reclusiarch off, stabbing and crushing lesser tyranid species. 
    Coming up behind the bio-titan, Inanis cleared the area with a slam of his hammer against the Highway.  At max setting, he slammed Beaky into the inside of a rear leg.  The hierophant tumbled to the ground with a raging cry. 
    Inanis jumped to the side as the bio-titan fell.  He continued to run towards Eagle Gate.  As he passed the hierophant’s head, he saw Izaac shove a melta bomb into the head through the empty eye socket.  Laughing triumphantly, Izaac activated his jump pack, avoiding the hierophant’s jaw as it tried to bite him, missing by several inches.  The reclusiarch landed on Inanis and grabbed hold as the dreadnought continued to run towards Eagle Gate.  As the bio-titan stood back up and aimed its bio-cannons at the fleeing Astartes, its head exploded in a shower of wet and burnt gore.  It came crashing back down, crushing a huge score of tyranids under its mass.  The impact of its fall was strong enough to make even Inanis slow to balance his steps.  Izaac laughed tauntingly at the dead bio-titan.
    “You should have joined the White Scars or Space Wolves,” Inanis commented as he reached Eagle Gate.
    Izaac made a rude noise but said no more as he rocketed off once Inanis made it to the north end of the Gate.  Aspect and Indignant were the last to exit the north end, both reversing to the north while firing at the horde.  Aspect’s rear ramp was open with crewmen lugging in crates of bolt ammunitions for the mega-bolter, allowing it to keep firing.  With no friendlies in front of them, both super-heavies unleashed their full arsenal of secondary weapons comprised of lascannons, heavy bolters, autocannons, and a demolisher cannon.  Eagle Gate served as a funnel to an already funneling valley, forcing the tyranids to squish in with difficulty while the super-heavies acted as a barrier with their firepower.
    Hydra flak tanks supported the super-heavies from the rear by firing up at the arch.  The airborne tyranids had flooded the fort with many of them breaking through the windows of the northern wall.  The Hydras were bombarding the entire northern side of the arch with their autocannons, cutting gargoyles and shrikes into pieces.  Space Marines and unmodified humans poured out from the two northern entrances at the base of the Gate.  Chimeras, Rhinos, and Razorbacks waited for them as the defenders that had garrisoned the arch poured in to be taken further north.  Once the transports began trudging north, the Hydras followed, then came Inanis, and finally the super-heavies. 
    Another hierophant was pushing up to the Eagle Gate.  Indignant fired its Hellhammer cannon.  The shell slammed into the bio-titan’s head.  The front half of the hierophant disappeared.  Eagle Gate bulged northwards, the bow cracking and snapping in hundreds of places but miraculously held.  As a fort, it was able to withstand an indirect hit but not much else.  Pulverized bodies flew out of the northern side as portions of the wall crumbled and shattered windows were used as outlets.  Pieces of the dead harridans were brutally shoved out of the arch, propelled by the blast to go through the buildings. 
    Despite the great explosion, once it dissipated another hierophant began to push its way in.  It managed to enter the archway. 
    Then the arch fell.  Remote-controlled explosives blew apart the voussoir and extrados of the arch.  In its weakened state, it didn’t take much as the arch literally slid down into the archway.  The hierophant had enough time to cry out before the building fell on its back.  The huge weight crushed it like a tin can. 
    Inanis couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the sight.  Tyranids were already swarming over the impromptu impediment but it was a struggle due to the mess making it difficult for the larger bio-constructs to traverse while the smaller ones had little trouble.  The air was still filled with tyranids with harridans, shrikes, and gargoyles forming firing runs as they rained bio-acid and fleshborer beetles on the retreating imperials.  AA vehicles filled the air with flak and explosions while Imperial fighters continued to tear apart the airborne swarm little by little with indirect engagements.
    The Imperials only made it a hundred yards when the blockade of debris was bashed through by trygons and mawlocs, the burrowing creatures used their natural ability to tear through such obstruction with ease.  Inanis sighed out loud.  The super-heavies opened fire with only their secondary weapons as they were out of munitions for their primary. 
                                                                                                                                                                                           

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:icontyrionfan123:
tyrionfan123 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Amilea is so hot
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:icondrb7364:
drb7364 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2018
Indeed.
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:iconlexxii:
lexxii Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi Andy & Welcome to Global Super Group :star: :iconcutieshots: :star: Please enjoy your membership :star: xoLexxCutieShots :star:
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:iconlexxii:
lexxii Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi Andy, Welcome to Global Super Group :star: :iconcutieshots: :star: Please enjoy your membership :star: xoLexxiiCutieShots :star:
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:iconrankgo:
Rankgo Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
you have a very interesting material here. I will follow your DA to not miss anything I post :)
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:icondrb7364:
drb7364 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2018
Why thank you.
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:iconrankgo:
Rankgo Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Because of the material you have here, it's really good
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:icondrb7364:
drb7364 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2018
Thank you for such kind words.  You seem to be making some good materials as well.
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(1 Reply)
:iconclonehero:
clonehero Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
Are all these comics actual visual comics or story comics, in which case there are no pictures? Dumb question, but this has happened.
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:icondrb7364:
drb7364 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
Quite peculiar and I guess not a dumb question then since something like that happened.  They are all visual comics.  
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