Friday, 14 August 2009

...this is now

As the transport ship decelerated into orbit around another world, Shas'O Tyrnax reflected on the changes of fortune for his Expeditionary Force.

Five years and another planet... I wonder what awaits us here?

Praxedes was a border world. Initially colonised by humans many thousands of years ago, the local populace had welcomed trade relations with the burgeoning Tau empire. As Tau interests had developed, a small security detachment from the Tau Seamu sept was deployed to the world. Cordial relations had been maintained with the planetary Governor, and what territorial engagements had taken place were small enough that the wider Imperium had not seen fit to intervene.

Until now. The new Imperial Guard commander was far more aggressive and career-minded. He was determined to make his mark on Praxedes, and further his career elsewhere. The sudden increase in engagement tempo had forced the Seamu sept to request reinforcements.

The H'Rus Expeditionary Force still has no home - but we have the personnel and equipment - the Seamu sept have a home but not the strength to defend it.

For the Greater Good, Praxedes is our new deployment.

That was then...

H'Rus was lost.

After several further engagements, the Tyranid swarm overwhelmed the remaining defenders.

Even now, in spite of the intervening years, the battle reports were being reviewed and analysed.

At the last stand, bitter enemies had stood shoulder to shoulder with each other to stem the tide, and allow civilians to escape. Even long-term foe, Farseer Varshar, had joined the final battle against the Tyranids. The Eldar had held the right flank, whilst the rival Tau Saemu sept took the middle. The H'Rus Expeditionary Force had held the left flank - but all to no avail, as the Tyranids spewed forth more and ever more reinforcements, far beyond the expectations and belief of the defending commanders.

The planet H'Rus was gone, stripped of all bio-mass. A dead world.

But the name would live on within the H'Rus Expeditionary Force, a fitting tribute to the fallen, ensuring they would never be forgotten.