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Hellric's Nightmare miniatures

Blog over my passion of collecting, constructing and painting miniatures and figures, for wargames, roleplay or showcase, including Warhammer 40K Tyranids, Chaos, Daemons, Cthulhu Mythos, various Gundams & super robots, etc...

Ascent of a hive queen - tyranid fiction - last part

Publié le 10 Septembre 2006 par Hellric in Tyranids

Here's at last the last part of this great fiction by Entomologist !

Chapter Three

 

Koehler stood among the deathwatch staring for a moment at the thing that crouched up ahead.  It was a true abomination, a thing that had no right to exist in a sane universe, a perversion of all life.  The thing stood taller than a hive tyrant, and was at least as large as a carnifex.  Two giant talons adorned its upper arms, scything slowly through the air.  Below, two shields grew from the other arms, each scored with holes.  He had seen similar things on some of the tyrant guard, and knew that these shields would release a volley of toxic spines if the deathwatch got too close.

Below the thing’s bloated head, an organic gun barrel pulsed ominously.  A deathspitter, perhaps.  Most horrifying was the thing’s tail, a bloated, glistening organ that seemed to pulsate with unnatural life.  He soon understood why.  The monster was laying eggs.  He and the others watched, horrified, as the large spheroids dropped from the creature’s tail, impacting softly in the dirt, coated with a foul layer of brownish slime.

Even from here, he could sense the thing’s mind.  It was perhaps the single strongest mind on the planet.  It was clearly what had killed the librarian, and it was unquestionably the leader of every Tyranid for miles around.  This thing had to die, along with whatever horrible offspring it intended to bring into existence.

As they drew nearer, their weapons held ready, it finished laying its eggs and turned to face them.  A great pair of wings unfolded from its back, as barbed tendrils shot from its chest, writhing and dripping with ichor.  The thing seemed to become more hideous with each passing second, and now that its attention was directed at the inquisitor, its mind was almost unbearable.  Worse still, three smaller fiends now moved in front of it.  Each somewhat resembled a tyrant guard, but was larger and stronger, and looked far, far meaner.  Each had a pair of wings similar to the thing that they protected, held close to their backs for the moment.  Koehler had a feeling that these things could move faster than any normal tyrant guard.

 ***

The humans advanced, and began to fire.  The guards stood their ground, most of the ammunition bouncing off of their thick carapaces.  Soon, however, it was clear the weapons would wear through her guard.  With a thought, she sent all three forward, leaping into the air, their wings extending to carry them towards these new prey.  Directing their movements, she kept them from attacking the strange-minded one, but focused on his heavily armored companions.

One by one, the prey fell beneath the talons and claws of her guards, but the guards were not uninjured.  One took a round of ammunition to the head, right where its eye would have bin, if it had been grown with eyes.  It fell silent as its brain was torn apart.  Another lost a limb to a particularly heavy weapon, its talon shattering into several pieces.

As the prey fought, one of their number left the battle and advanced toward the nest.  It removed its helmet, revealing a head that seemed partly made of metal.  Its mind was sharper than those of the others, and she immediately recognized it as a leader.  She heard it bellow something, a challenge perhaps, and charge towards her, weapons blazing.  One of the shots found an egg beneath her, causing it to explode in a shower of black ichor.

 As she felt the offspring inside die, she was filled with instinctive rage.  Both her mind and her throat let out a piercing scream as she charged at the prey, talons held high.  The leader continued to fire at her, but she held the shields on her arms up, protecting herself.  The warp field surrounding her also helped to deflect the assault.  She unleashed a volley of spines from the shields, but they bounced harmlessly off of the prey armor.  One struck his head, but was deflected by the metal that it hit.

He continued firing until she was nearly on top of him, then he pulled a metal blade from a sheath at his side.  With all her speed and strength, she brought a talon down on him, but he deflected it with the blade.  She could sense it radiating a strange energy, something she hadn’t encountered before, something that made it a particularly strong weapon.  Her throat convulsed as the deathspitter fired, coating the blade with the corrosive fluids.  But it was barely even scratched.

As she raised her talons, he rushed towards her, digging his blade into her armor.  It failed to pierce her completely, but the armor had a gash cut into it now.  Her tendrils whipped towards the prey, trying to entangle him, but he moved quickly.  His blade found one of the tendrils, severing the tip, causing her to shriek in pain.

 Hastily, she withdrew her tendrils and gathered her mind.  Again she raised her talons, as if to strike, and again he moved towards her, hoping to find some vulnerable spot in her belly.  But she wasn’t planning to strike with her talons.  Again, she reached out around her, drawing the warp energy in and focusing it, then unleashing it at the troublesome prey creature.  

 

The human was knocked back an appreciable distance, thrown to the ground.  His armor was cracked and dented now, and blood was flowing out between those cracks.  With a quick motion, she brought both talons down and impaled him, Her tendrils extended again, reaching for his head, tasting his blood, beginning to absorb the essence of what he was.  

 

But something was wrong.  Her mind saw into his, and he was smug, satisfied, happy.  His hand, she looked and saw something small, saw through his eyes as a button was depressed, as the small metal thing began to blink.  Heard his laugh as his life ebbed away.  

 

Moving with all possible speed, she leaped back and took to the air, her great wings propelling her up and away from the danger.  Even so, the explosion was still close enough to throw her back, knocking her from the air to the ground beside her nest.  She felt the heat burn into her delicate wing membranes, but the damage wasn’t bad.  She would heal quickly.  Rising to her feet, she looked out at the remains of the prey.  Two of her guards were dead, and one was badly wounded, but all the prey except for the strange mind had fallen.  She turned her attention to this last survivor, and began advancing on him.  

 

***

 Koehler had seen as the captain gave his life to destroy the monster, and failed.  Now he watched in horrified shock for a moment as the thing came towards him.  No witnesses now, it was time to turn to his other weapons.  From the depths of his cloak, he pulled a metallic object, something like a bolter, and something like a sword, with a cylindrical chamber that glowed with a disturbing green light.  He fired, and felt reality itself seem to tear around him for a moment.  The green beam that shot out from the weapon hit the armor plating on the creature’s head, and began to burn through it.

The inquisitor laughed a moment, then fired again, this time hitting the thing in the chest.  It brought up one of the shields on its arm, but the beam cut right through it.  Then, the weapon gave out, its power exhausted.  He tossed it aside and pulled out another weapon, a black, smoothly crafted gun with wicked razor edges along its length.  Firing again, he saw the steely flechettes embed themselves in the creature’s armor, and a few managed to penetrate into the flesh.  The thing writhed with pain from the toxins.

 “How do you like it, eh?” Koehler mocked. “You thought your species was the only poisonous xeno out there? Hah!”

 The creature suddenly lunged at him, its talon moving almost too fast to see, and removed the gun from him, along with half the arm that was holding it.

***

 Pain racked her body, but she was not going to let this human destroy her brood, no matter how many strange weapons he produced.  She could smell the blood gushing from the stump of his severed limb, and felt a grim satisfaction as her mind found his pain.  Immediately, her tendrils lashed out, entangling this puny creature and bringing him up close to her head. 

 

Her mind began to reach into his, stripping away the shielding he had built up.  She feasted on his memories, drawing them into herself.  He was a specialist among the prey, taught in the ways of her kind, sent to learn how to destroy them, to destroy her.  He knew all the weak spots of the prey that wandered here, but he had never seen anything like her before.

 Her tendrils began to bore into him, tasting his essence as her mind savored his thoughts.  She heard him whisper, as he began to die, and understood him.

 “No, you cannot, I must not die.” Anger, hatred, bitterness. “We must be, we must, but we weren’t.” Sadness. “Weren’t ready.” Almost dead now, words spoken only faintly, with new strange thoughts, strange emotions. “I’m sorry, Lydia, I...” Silence, dead.

 She felt satisfied as she drained the corpse, tossing the remnants into the reclamation pool.  This one had been special, and would give her offspring new advantages.  Yet some small part of her felt an echo of his sadness.  On some strange level, she almost understood him.  Understood how he felt, how he cared for this other human, as she cared for her offspring.

She turned to her eggs, the young inside now ready to hatch.  They emerged one by one, warrior creatures with minds somewhat like her own, able to channel the will of the Great Mind, and lead the other kindred within the fortress.  They spread their wings, and flexed their claws, holding their long-barreled weapons as toxin sacs began infusing the ammunition with the very strongest venoms of her kind.

 With her new children, she took to the sky, leading them into the fortress, drawing a living tide of chitinous monsters behind her as they flew.  When they entered through the ruined wall, her children opened fire, their weapons shooting hundreds of poisoned crystals, piercing the armor of the prey within the fortress.  In moments, the tide turned, as the army fell under the sway of her mind and her children’s minds.  The disorganized groups now fought as one, swarming over the corpses of their former comrades.  Soon, this last stronghold of prey resistance would fall.

 ***

 High above the planet, in the depths of space, the astropath gazed out the window.  They had lost contact with the group, and she knew that they were dead.  She had felt Koehler die, and felt an impression of what had killed him.  Already, she was preparing her mind to send a warning of the creature to the rest of the Imperium, but first the ship would need to get clear of the planet, away from the shadow cast by these monsters.

They had already altered course, and were moving away from the planet as fast as they could without warp travel.  For now, they seemed out of range of the enemy ships.  For now, but this planet was being overcome fast.  Soon it would fall, and it would be emptied of life like all the others.  Maybe they could get away before the Tyranids noticed them.  Maybe.  She looked back at the planet, the red disease spreading across its surface, and wept.

  

 

Epilogue

 

The fortress had fallen, and much of the biomass had been removed.  The queen’s The fortress had fallen, and much of the biomass had been removed.  The queen’swounds were healing now, and she had spawned several more broods of warriors, each more intelligent and cunning than the last.  Reaching her mind out into the Great Mind, she felt the kindred spreading across the entire planet now, unimpeded but for minor pockets of resistance.  But these would soon fall as well.

Behind her, a writhing mass of tendrils approached.  Within, she could see the serpentine shape of a scavenger among her kindred.  It was much like the smallest of her kind, able to gorge itself on biomass to be absorbed, but unlike them, it had a formidable intelligence.  Though it could not reproduce as she could, it did share her ability to draw out the patterns of the life it absorbed, and comprehend its nature.  It had been absorbing a great deal, as the sacs that lined its sides were large and bloated.

 

She beckoned to it with her mind, drawing it nearer as her tendrils slowly extended.  They intertwined with the small, delicate tendrils on the creature’s face.  She searched inside its mind, as her tendrils tasted the information it began to share with her.  Hundreds of new genetic patterns flooded her mind, transmitted onward to the Great Mind.  Many were already well known, but there were always a few new and interesting adaptations.

 When the exchange had finished, she felt the Great Mind direct the creature into the reclamation vat.  It had done well, but it had delivered its information, and its one remaining purpose now was to be absorbed.  Reluctantly, the hive queen made her way towards the reclamation pool as well.  Although she could resist digestion in its depths if she chose, she could also alter herself to allow it.

A thought from the Great Mind stopped her.  It was satisfied, pleased, she had fulfilled  her mission.  She could sense the ship she had come from, and her predecessor aboard it, as voices within the chorus of the Great Mind.  She would not be reabsorbed.  Although she had been wounded, she had never been stopped, and the information she had found would prove useful on future worlds.

She watched as a small ship descended to the ground, guided by wing flaps and organic gas emissions.  As it landed, an orifice wetly opened in its side.  It was time to return to the place where she was spawned, to rejoin the ships among the stars, and take her place as a leader of the fleet.

 

Slowly, she walked into the ship, sensing the opening close behind her, feeling the fluids surround and suspend her, then sensing as the craft rose into the air.  Half asleep now, she rested as miniscule creatures within the fluids tended to her wounds, rebuilding her tissues.  She was dimly aware of the ship leaving the atmosphere, and rising towards the great hive ship.  Faintly, she could sense it docking, then being swallowed up.  She felt its structure fuse with the interior of the larger ship, and then slipped away completely as the Great Mind lulled her to sleep.

 For a time, the Great Mind mused upon the events at this latest planet.  The many voices harmonized, reviewing the information gathered, processing it, interpreting it.  This new design had worked well, and would merit replication.  In moments, the pattern of the newest hive queen was spread across the fleets, the information woven into genetic material by the norn queens, ready to be woven into flesh.  A few more tests of the design on other worlds, a few innovations and adaptations, and it would be perfect.

 

 

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