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Catachan Jungle Fighters1

Sergeant Jackson cursed as his autorifle jammed. He ducked back into cover and
hastily worked the action to clear his rifle, while the rest of his squad kept up the rate
of fire towards the advancing Orks. The 101st Liberators had just landed on the
accursed jungle planet of Kizon, and they’re already under attack from the Ork
infestation. The steady boom! Boom! Boom! told Jackson that the support section of
his platoon was pounding away at the ranks of Orks with the autocannons and heavy
bolters.
“Hold them back!” Captain Winters ordered. “Hydra tanks, suppressing fire!”
Jackson covered his ears just in time as the quad autocannons fired up, sending a
barrage of destruction towards the marauding Orks. The hundreds of explosive shells
ripped through the horde of Orks with ease. However, as one Ork fell, another two
would be there to fill the gap left.
“Into the frey, troopers!” Sergeant Jackson heard someone roar, and he quickly
turned around to reprimand he who had decided to break ranks. Then he noticed that
the troopers had stopped firing, and were staring in awe at something on the field. He
turned around and stared.
Dozens of burly humans, all wearing red bandannas, assaulted the Greenskins in
close quarters with massive blades and swords. Jackson felt his mouth drop as he saw
one of the men gut an Ork with a single swipe of his sword. Then suddenly, they
disappeared back into the jungle, much to the confusion of the Orks. As the
Greenskins tried to pursue, they ran into the booby traps that the men left behind.
Mines jumped up and sprayed shrapnel into the faces of the Orks. Then they fell into
spike pits and other traps. Very soon the Ork horde was annihilated.
“Good to meet you, name’s Colonel Straken. Catachan Jungle Fighters. Second
Regiment.” Sergeant Jackson turned around to see a man, half of his body covered in
bionics, extending a hand towards Captain Winters. “Welcome to Kizon. I assume
you’re our reinforcement.”
“Doesn’t look like you needed any.” Captain Winters said hurriedly, retrieving
his crushed hand from the Colonel. “Captain Winters, 101st Liberators.”
“Pleasure.” Straken said, “So, is this it?”
“Most of the regiments are still in orbit. We’re just the beachhead. We got tanks
as well as artillery support.”
“Tanks aren’t gonna cut it in this terrain. What about light support?” another
Catachan Jungle Fighter asked.
“We don’t have any light support.” Winters replied. “Our Earthshakers will bring

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down the sky upon the enemy.”
“We’re gonna be fightin’ close quarters in the jungle, with such large caliber
shells there’s bound to be friendly fire.” Straken said. “Especially in this terrain,
they’re gonna be a liability more than an asset. We’ll second some mortars to your
regiment. Use them well.”
“Sir.” Winters said,
“Ok. Lets get back into cover before the Orks attack again.” Colonel Straken
said, heading off into the jungle. The 101st hurried to follow the rest of Jungle Fighter
regiment. They had a hard time travelling with the Catachan Devils through the
difficult terrain of the dense jungle, and many of the men, especially the fire support
section began to fall behind.
“Tell your men to catch up. Lest the Orks attack again.” Gunnery Sergeant
Harker warned, hefting his heavy bolter on his shoulder. “What’s wrong with them?
Didn’t eat breakfast?”
Without a warning, Orks appeared in all directions, charging the line of
Guardsmen. Harker returned fire with his heavy bolter, while Captain Winters issued
orders.
“Form a skirmish line, cut them down!” Winters yelled, firing his lasrifle
frantically at the surrounding Orks. The other Kronus Liberators fired desperately at
the closing Orks,
“Catachan Devils! Flank right!” Straken ordered, disappearing into the jungles.
“Strike from the sky.”
“Strike from the sky? What in the Emperor’s name does that mean?” Jackson
yelled, pumping the trigger of his lasrifle desperately.
Suddenly, dozens of Catachen Guardsmen appeared out of nowhere, landing on
the backs of the Ork attackers, their massive warblades flashing in the light. Many of
the Ork boyz were cut down, while Harker and his heavy bolter took out the rest of
the Ork gunners with accurate bursts from his weapon.
“First rule of fighting in the jungle: maximum speed, maximum aggression. You
get ambushed, you lay down fire and move. Last thing you want is to be bogged down
during an ambush.” Harker said, stripping the empty belt from his heavy bolter before
feeding a fresh belt in and resting it on his shoulder.
“Less talking ladies. Lets move.” Straken called.

***

“This is HQ.” Straken said, pointing to a gathering of ruined buildings reinforced


by sandbags and razorwires. “Its bigger than it looks.”

2
“Watch yourselves. Don’t be droppin in the spike traps” one of the Catachan
Devils growled jokingly, or at least Jackson thought it was jokingly.
At first glance, Jackson thought the place was abandoned, but the base turned out
to be a deep cave that was bustling with activity. Catachan Warriors were sharpening
and envenoming their blades, while others calibrated their lasrifles. Many of the
troops nodded or muttered “Colonel.” When Straken passed by. Jackson noticed that
they had their own astropath for communications, but no commissars at all.
“So. Welcome to Kizon. Want to start?” Colonel Straken asked.
“The 101st Liberators are in orbit, awaiting our signal to commence landing. We
are a mixed regiment, with infantry, armor and artillery components.” Captain Winters
started.
“Armor? Like what?”
“Heavy armor, Leman Russ as well as a few Hellhounds.”
“Keep the Leman Russ in orbit. But deploy the Hellhounds. They could come in
handy. What about Sentinels?”
“None.” Winters said, taking a drink out of his canteen.
“Well. Here in the jungles, your tracked vehicles are going to have a hard time
traversing the terrain. Here we use Sentinels as the method of transport and as the
main vehicle support.”
“Sir. I’ll go scout out a proper drop zone for the Liberators.” Sergeant Harker
said, walking past the Colonel.
“Good hunting, Harker.” Straken said, turning back to brief the Captain.

***

The five man patrol that followed Harker came to a halt on the edge of the
jungle. The traps that they had set a few days ago were still unsprung, which meant
the Orks had not found this drop zone yet. But its gonna be a different case once the
Valkries start landing. More traps would be required.
“Straken. This is Harker. Drop zone is uncompromised. Send in a detail to start
preparing it.”
“Copy.”
“Lets get to work.” Harker announced, taking off his satchel of booby traps and
passing it to Smith, who ripped the bag open and started planting the mines and traps
around while Harker kept an eye out.
The mines that Smith and others were laying were shredder and spring mines,
both effective Ork killers. They also used the tree branches around to create whiplash

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traps, and although weren’t deadly by themselves, they had envenomed the striking
branch with poison. The venom they used came from their homeworld of Catachan,
deadly poisons that could kill an Ork with just a touch.
“Hold up.” Harker whispered, his sixth sense telling him something was off. He
scanned the jungle around him, and he raised his heavy bolter as he noticed one of the
bushes shifting unnaturally. “Seems like Orks. Kommandos perhaps.”
“Harker. We’re closing to your position now. No contacts.”
“Copy that.”
A detail of Catachan fighters arrived, and planted more traps and mines, while
Harker’s squad kept a lookout for anymore contacts. Unable to clear the niggling sixth
sense in his head, Harker sent Smith and Johnson for a hunt for the enemy.
“Ork Kommandos.” Smith reported simply. “Killed.”
“Traps are set. Lets deploy the bait.” Harker said. “Straken. Traps are set. We’re
ready for the drop.

***

Dozens of Valkrie dropped from the sky, accompanied by Lightning Fighters as


escorts, while the Guardsmen below watched in awe. The Catachan Devils, however,
was not impressed by the slowness of the deployment. Such a loud display would
surely attract unwanted attention.
“You gotta tell them to be quicker.” Straken said to Captain Winters. “The Orks
are closing in.”
“Don’t worry. We have air superiority out here. The Lightning fighters and
Marauder bombers will keep the Orks suppressed.” Winters said confidently.
“Don’t be so sure, Captain.” Harker injected. “These Orks can be cunning and
crafty as well.”
“Sounds like you admire them, Sergeant.”
“I don’t admire them. The day that you underestimate your foe is the day you
will die, Captain.” Harker replied sharply. “Remember that, and you just may be able
to live through this campaign.”
Just as Captain Winters was about to retort, crude missiles streaked from the
jungle, hitting at least five of the unsuspecting gunships. The Valkries quickly
transformed into flaming comets, while Ork Kommandos appeared all around the
floundering Guardsmen.
“Fire mission! Danger close!” Captain Winters roared into his vox.
Marauder bombers roared overhead, incendiary bombs dropping into the forests.
The Catachan Devils sprung into action, firing away at the Orks that appeared all

4
around them. There were also several distinct explosions as the traps they had set
detonated.
“Up and at them, Catachan Devils!” Straken roared, punching one of the Orks
with his power fist, before stamping the fallen Ork’s head to ensure it was dead.
Straken moved on, his lasrifle firing constantly.
The Guardsmen in the clearing that was their drop zone was caught in a crossfire
with little cover except for the burning wreckages of the Valkries. The 101st formed
desperate skirmish lines, sending hails of lasfires into the jungle in an attempt to
suppress the Orks. However, their volleys were hitting nothing but shadows and
silhouettes.
“Winters! Tell your men to redirect their fire!” Straken roared, emptying his
lasrifle point blank into one of the Ork shoota boyz. He quickly reloaded, and the las
fire was redirect to another section of the jungle. Straken nodded to the other Devils
and they assaulted the Orks in close quarters with their deadly blades. “Forward,
Catachan Devils!”
The detachment of Guardsmen roared their assent as they cut down the Ork
shootas quickly. The Devils quickly raised their rifles and sent volleys of lasfire
towards a group of Orks that tried to charge them. Straken strapped his lasrifle to his
back and drew his “Devil’s Claw”, a four feet long blade that ignited with power with
a press of the activation stud. With a hollowed blade and half filled with mercury, he
could swing the sword as lightly and quickly as a chainsword, yet hit with the power
of a hammer. He lopped one of the Ork’s head off with ease, while punching another
Ork with his power fist.
Sergeant Harker advanced steadily with his heavy bolter firing, cutting down
many of the charging Orks without mercy.
“101st!” Captain Winters roared, attempting to rally the broken and pinned down
Guardsmen.
The Lightning and Marauder bombers continued strafing the Orks to little effect
in the dense jungle, while the disorganized Guardsmen were sometimes friendly fired
by the aircraft.
“Straken here. We need the Sentinels.” The Colonel voxed, while parrying a
blow from a Ork hammer with his fist. He stabbed his sword deep into the Ork,
hearing the energy hiss and crackle as it burned through the Ork’s flesh.
“The Emperor protects!” Straken roared in the face of a charging Nob, his sword
poised to strike at the heart of his enemy. His power sword pierced through the crude
armor and flesh of the Ork with ease, and Straken twisted the blade to pop the Ork’s
heart.
The dead Ork Nob dropped away as he kicked the body off his sword.

5
Captain Winters and his 101st managed to form small skirmish lines that
delivered heavy volleys of lasfire into the Orks attackers, while the Marauders were
finally called off to prevent further friendly fire.
The ground shook, and three Sentinels crashed into the clearing, heavy flamers
spitting out gouts of ignited promethium onto the Orks, while chainsaws hacked
closing Orks into pieces.
The Catachan devils cheered at the sight of the bipedal walkers, as more of them
arrived. The Orks were slaughtered quickly by the surprise assault, and many of them
began a hasty retreat.
“Hold your ground, don’t pursue!” Straken ordered to Winters.
“Continue the landing, we need those boots on the ground.” Winters ordered.
“Secure a perimeter, don’t let them close.”
Harker stripped the empty belt from his heavy bolter, and quickly fed a new one
in, and he noticed movement in the dense jungle. He raised his heavy bolter but did
not pull the trigger as the movement faded into the jungle. No Ork could have
disappeared like that, not even the most skilled Kommando could. He went off to
report the contact to Colonel Straken.

***

Shas'la T'au Kais lowered his stealth burst cannon as the human with the
cumbersome weapon walked away. The Tau warrior, armored in the XV-15 stealthsuit
was invisible to all but the most advanced technology, and had only been seen when
he disturbed some foliage.
“The Gue’la is deploying in strength, and has engaged the Orks in open combat.”
Shas'la T'au Kais reported. “I shall continue to monitor the Gue’la.”

***

The 101st Liberators had finally finished unloading, and it was time to move.
With most of the infantry mounted on Chimeras, they soon found out even their
dozers were not enough for the dense jungle terrain, and they were forced to keep the
Chimera on the main paths.
“Engine to four hundred psi!” Captain Varco ordered, peering through the
gunport. “Make sure we have plenty of traction. Don’t want to slip and slide in this
terrain.”
Another loud crunch shook through the hull of the armor as the dozer took down
another tree, and Varco grimaced as the dozer cut down another tree.

6
“Make sure we’re charged up and ready.” The Captain ordered the multilaser
gunner, who had stacked up the ammunition for ease of reloading.
“What the hell!” Varco yelled, as he fell off his seat when the Chimera suddenly
accelerated.
“Ambush!” the driver yelled, pointing at the auspex. “They’re all around us!”
The gunner traversed the turret and fired quickly, while the vox was filled with
desperate transmissions for orders and directions.
“Hold your ground! Guardsmen! Form a defensive cordon!” Winters voxed.
Varco l opened the hatch and manned the stubber. He fired a long burst at a
group of Orks that were descending from trees on ropes. He saw the last Chimera
burning and a large fall of rocks behind them, which explained why they were still
alive. The Guardsmen were engaged in a desperate close quarter fight with the Orks,
while the Hydra flak tanks were backing up in order to use their firepower effectively.
The Catachan Devils, mounted on their Sentinels were a lot more mobile than the
st
101 , and were executing a pincer movement in order to break out from the ambush.
“No quarter!” Sergeant Jackson roared, firing his autorifle as he charged into
battle. His autorifle was doing slightly better during the fight against the Orks, as the
rounds were physical, unlike lasfire, which only left a clean, smoking hole. Jackson
plunged his bayonet into one of the runtier Orks, before emptying his autorifle.
“Reload, reload!” the gunner yelled, as the battery for the multilaser died. Varco
picked up the crate and slotted it into the gun. The gunner resumed fire immediately.
Varco fumbled with a box of stubber ammunition, when suddenly there was a loud
thump, and the suspension groaned.
“We got a Ork up top!” the driver said, panic creeping into his voice. Varco
grabbed a lascarbine from the rack of personal arms, before slamming the button for
the emergency hatch open.
He stood up and fired the lascarbine on full auto at the Ork’s back, who turned
around and did not seemed to notice that its stomach was perforated with lasfire. The
Ork roared, thick green spittle flying, before swinging his axe. Varco ducked, feeling
the axe shaving the top of his head. He dropped his lasrifle, and swung the stubber
around, feeling thankful for the hydraulic modifications he installed. He let loose with
the heavy weapon, and did not stop until the dead body of the Ork fell off his APC.
He ducked back down below, before locking the hatch. He fired up the auspex
and noted the Orks numbers seemed to be thinning. “Watch those temperatures!”
Varco said, pointing at the multilaser’s temperatures. The gunner nodded, and twisted
a valve to increase coolant.
“Sir. Check the auspex. Something big heading our way.” The driver reported.
‘Something big’ did not cut it at all. It wasn’t just ‘something big’. It was a Deff

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Dread.

***

“Ork Dreadnought!” someone voxed. Panic quickly spread through the ranks,
and Winters attempted desperately to maintain control.
“Dammit! Platoon leaders, maintain formation or I will shoot you myself!”
Winters roared, standing on top of one of the Chimera. Meanwhile, the commissars
and unit leaders attempted to rally their squads
But whatever control Winters had disappeared when the Deff Dread sawed one
of the Chimeras apart with its chainsaws. The other Chimeras and Hydra tanks fired
their weapons at the marauding Ork war machine, but it failed to penetrate its thick,
albeit primitive and crude armor.
Straken directed the Sentinels to attack the Deff Dreads with their lascannons
and autocannons, which were more effective against the armor of the war machine
than the flimsy las bolts. One of the Deff Dread’s arms was shot off by a lucky blast
from of the lascannons.
“Plasma charge!” Straken roared, and Hark threw him one. Straken primed the
charge and flung it with his augmentic arm, and the volatile charge detonated on
contact with the Ork dreadnought. The miniature sun left the dreadnought a half fused
mess of metal.
A loud cheer went up amongst the Guardsmen, and Straken raised his power fist
in response. “Reload! Get everyone back on the transports, we’re moving!”

***

“It seems these Gue’la are not to be underestimated…” Shas'la T'au Kais
transmitted.
The Tau stealth team continued to monitor the Guardsmen as they moved away
in their tanks. Shas’la T’au Kais nodded to the rest of the team, and they slipped away
into the darkness, and they headed for the Ork encampment that the drones had
spotted from the air.
The stealth team advanced through the dense foliage easily, confident that their
advanced technology will cloak them from both humans and Ork eyes.
“Contact. Greenskins ahead. They seem to be employing some sort of crude
camouflage.” One of the stealthsuits reported.
The Orks ahead were well armed, but dressed in primitive and impromptu
camouflage, with tree leaves being the main of the camo. Shas’la T’au Kais counted

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six, and his scanner agreed. Two of his team moved ahead to cut the enemy off, and
he quickly locked onto the Ork targets with his stealth burst cannon.
“Take the Greenskins.” Shas’la T’au Kais ordered, firing his arm mounted burst
cannon. The barrage of plasma from the combined arms of the Tau Stealthsuits
quickly cut down the Orks with ease, and no Orks escaped.

***

La’Kais raised a clenched fist, and his Fireteam came to a halt and went to cover.
The Fire Warriors were closing in towards the Gue’la compound, and caution was
needed. Meanwhile, the Kroot secondary’s were swinging from tree to tree, moving
skillfully and agilely across the difficult terrain. La’Kais checked his scanner and
noted that all Fireteams were in position and ready to strike.
His Fire Warriors were arrayed in a rough skirmish line, their pulse rifles all
charged and aimed at the enemy. He prepared a photon grenade from his underslung
launcher. The enemy was in for a surprise.
“All fireteams, engage the enemy!” La’Kais ordered, firing the photon grenade
in an arc. The grenade sailed through the air and landed amongst one of the guard
posts, and the sudden explosion of light and sound rendered them little more than
mewling babes.
The Kroots descended from the trees, firing their rifles while they closed
distances with the humans. The Guardsmens assumed that the Kroot were weak,
judging by their thin and wiry body, but they learnt the lesson of underestimating the
enemy the hard way.
“Ah. You’re strong. It will be good to have that strength.” One of the Kroot
Carnivores screeched, striking with a whiplash, the blade at the front end of his
fighting stave/gun punching through human flesh with ease.
“Catachan Devils!” one of the soldiers wailed loudly as he fell.
The Guardsmen began to return fire from the shelter of the stone structures, ruby
red shafts of light punching through the light cover of the foliage at the Firewarriors.
La’Kais was hit once in the chest, but his armor had deflected the round easily. The
Guardsmen seemed to be fighting back, and La’Kais noticed that there already were
half a dozen Kroot mercenaries dead.
“Fire team leader La’Kais. Drones report that the Gue’la convoy is closing in.”
“Understood, recon. I’ll send someone to divert them. What the status of the
stealth teams in the area?”
“A team is near the convoy at this time. I’m issuing the situation to them now.”

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“Thank you, recon lead. La’Kais out.”
“La’Rue Aloh, take your fireteam and divert to the rear and make sure the Gue’la
convoy doesn’t gets here. Shi’ur, support him.” La’Kais ordered, reloading his pulse
rifle. “All Fireteam elements, close in for the kill!”
The Fire Warriors closed in towards the compound, carefully avoiding the well
laid traps, while the Kroots gathered up the dead bodies, in preparation to absorb the
Gue’la’s DNA.
“Grenades!” La’Kais ordered, firing his underslung grenade launcher. Several
more followed into the mouth of the cave and detonated. The Kroots charged in, firing
their rifles.
“Ah. A good fight!” one of the Shapers snarled, eviscerating one of the humans
with his dual Kroot blades. A badly thrust of a bayonet skidded off his skin, and he
turned around, plunging both blades through the human’s stomach before ripping
them out in a spray of blood and guts. One of the Guardsmen, wearing a red
bandanna, swung a large sword at the Shaper, who brought a blade up to parry it.
“Foul xenos scum!” the Catachan Devil spat in the Shaper’s face, who brought
its blade up into the Devil’s reach, and twisting, cutting the Devil’s hand and causing
him to drop his combat blade. The Catachan Devil sprung backwards and held his
fists up. The Shaper grinned and leaped forward. The Devil realized too late it was a
feint when the Kroot sliced open his sides with his lethally sharp blades.
The Kroot finished the slaughter of the humans, and began to consume the flesh
at the direction of the shaper.

***

“Open fire!” La’Rue Aloh ordered. His Firewarriors opened fire at the column of
unsuspecting Gue’la.
The column of Gue’la tanks all stopped mysteriously, before exploding one by
one after a bright blue flash. It was in fact, the fusion blaster from the stealth team that
snuck quietly amongst the Gue’la.

***

“Incoming! Get down!” Harker roared, hefting his heavy bolter and laying down
some fire towards the suspected source of fire. These were definitely not Orks.
The Catachan Devils returned fire, but to little avail as the enemy seemed to
disappear when they returned fire. One of the Guardsmen next to Harker fell when a
bolt hit him square in the chest. The flak armor had not even provided a shred of

10
protection, and the poor Guardsmen was left with a wide smoking hole for a chest.
Harker took cover and dropped the bolter. He picked up the fallen Guardsmen’s rifle
and he stealthily scanned for a target.
He spotted movement and he waited for it to reappear. A flash of yellow as one
of the Xenos soldiers moved from cover. He aimed briefly and fired a round. His
round caught the Tau Fire Warrior in the throat, in the weak part of armor, and the
Xenos fell. Harker smiled and scanned for another target.

***

“Gue’la sniper!” La’Rue Aloh warned, firing a grenade from his pulse carbine.
The grenade landed squarely in the middle of a Guardsmen squad that were trying to
deploy a autocannon. The bright flash of light and sonic shockwave disabled them for
the time being.
“Shas’Ui, we have a enemy tank designated as a Hydra flak tank attempting to
bring their weapons to bear. Take it out.”
“Copy.”
A few EMP grenades suddenly clamped themselves tightly to the Hydra flak
tank’s rear armor. There was a bright flash and the Hydra flak tank exploded, killing
many of the Guardsmen that seeked cover from behind it.
One of the Chimera drove off in a tangent, and La’Rue Aloh immediately
requested air support to take it out. He marked the target with a Markerlight, and
moments later, a seeker missile from a Skyray Missile Gunship streaked from the sky
before ending its travel with a loud explosion.
The last of the convoy is finally burning, and La’Rue Aloh ordered his Shas’la to
fall back to the compound.

***

“Is this it!? Is this everyone!?” Captain Winters asked urgently. The last
remaining Guardsmen who had survived the slaughter had gathered around him. The
101st Liberators had landed two whole companies, and all that remains was roughly
half a platoon of men. “These deviant xenos shall die today!”
“Hold your horses.” Straken said, walking into the scene. Half a platoon of men
followed the Colonel. “HQ is compromised, we’re moving to trap them. Lets move!”
The Catachan Devils advanced steadily through the jungle, scanning for more
ambushes by the xenos. They were quite close to their HQ, and their advance slowed
to a crawl. Straken ordered his men to spread out in order to ambush the Tau

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effectively. Little did they know that they were the ones being led into a trap…

***

“Prepare for the drop, Shas’la!” La’Kais ordered, reloading his pulse carbine. For
the ambush, he had ordered his Shas’la to be armed with the pulse carbine, more
suitable for the ambush action than the long and unwieldy pulse rifles. “Restraints
off!”
The Shas’Ui walked down the line of Firewarriors, looking each warrior in the
eye. On the same deck, two Crisis suits, piloted by the Cadre’s bests, were preparing
to drop alongside the Firewarriors. La’Kais’ Shas’la quickly boarded the Devilfish as
the air caste pilots report they are closing in on their dropzone.
The small contingent of Kroot that La’Kais left behind was about to get some
serious reinforcements, delivered straight to the doorstep thanks to the Manta Drop
Ship.
The ramp lowered, and the Crisis suits slowly walked to the edge of the ramp.
“Good hunting, Shas’la.” The pilots said, and the Crisis suits walked off the
ramp, their jump packs allowing to descend upon the ambush site quickly and quietly.
The Devilfish transport was next, and as it left the Manta drop ship it hit turbulence,
but the pilot expertly adjusted the output from the gravitic engines. The Manta drop
ship roared away as the Devilfish descended quickly.
The Gue’la was in for a surprise.

***

“We have them now, Catachan Devils!” Straken roared, his lasrifle firing on full
auto. He ignored the brief shadow that loomed over him, instead, he aimed for the
Xenos that were hiding amongst the ruins of their base.
The feral looking xenos returned fire with crude looking rifles, and Straken was
confident that his Catachan Devils will overwhelm them very soon. He moved from
cover to cover, eager to meet these wiry xenos in close combat.

***

“We have them now, Shas’la!” La’Kais roared, leaping off the Devilfish’s troop
ramp. His Firewarriors followed him, pulse carbines firing. The Crisis suits, with their
heavy flamers wreaked havoc amongst the Guardsmen, while the Tau Firewarriors
engaged in short and deadly firefights with the Gue’la.

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The Kroots emerged from cover and leaped through the air to engage in close
quarters. The Catachan Devils met them in a clash of blades. The Kroots and their
fighting staves were at an advantage here, with a longer reach and both sides were
bladed.
Colonel Straken had sorely underestimated his foe, as the thin and wiry Kroot
mercenary quickly hacked and slashed at the Colonel. Straken quickly countered the
blows with his Devil’s Claw and his powerfist, but he soon noticed that the Kroot was
a lot faster and a lot stronger than he was, and it seemed to be playing with him.
Straken roared with anger and swung his powerfist. The Kroot Warrior leaped
backwards, out of Straken’s reach and fired its rifle at him. The charged round ripped
into Straken’s flesh arm, causing him to drop his sword. The Kroot snarled and leaped
in for the kill, however, Straken dropped at the last second, and bringing his fist up.
The power fist exploded with power and blew the Kroot’s head back. Straken left out
a sigh of relief, before standing back up and quickly whistling a shrill cry to sound the
retreat.
The 101st Liberators should slow the enemy enough for the Catachan Devils to
escape. The Devils shall live to fight another day, to avenge the fallen. I will have my
revenge. Straken thought as he looked back for the last time. He saw Winters being
gunned down by one of the robotic looking aliens and their advanced plasma rifles.
He glared at one of the unhelmeted one, and the two met eyes. Then Straken turned
away and ran.

***

“Finish up here.” La’Kais ordered, reloading his pulse rifle. He turned around
and walked towards the waiting Devilfish transport. The rest of his Shas’la followed
quickly, while the Kroot Carnivores disappeared into the jungle, awaiting their next
assignment.
The Devilfish lifted into the air silently and zoomed back into towards the
rendezvous point with the Manta Drop Ship. They shall hunt the Gue’la again soon.
Orders had just came in, it was time to put down the Be'gel horde. The Devilfish
docked with the Manta Drop Ship without a hitch, and La’Kais disembarked. The
Manta Drop Ship was now fully loaded with the Firewarriors and Crisis Suits for the
battle ahead.
Another Manta Drop Ship was on its way to destroy the Greenskins in one final
fight. La’Kais swapped his pulse carbine back for his pulse rifle, and quickly swiped a
nutri-bar from one of the racks. He shook hands with La’Rue Aloh and the two
quickly talked about their actions.

13
“Silence on deck!” Someone one roared, and Ethereal Aun’el stood up from his
seat to speak to the gathered Fire Warriors. There was silence immediately, and the
Ethereal looked upon the expectant Shas’la.
“Firewarriors of T’au! Very soon you will go into battle, and there will be
casualties. But all those who fall in battle will live on forever, in the honor rolls.”
Aun’el said, and the Firewarriors nodded with assent. “Go forward into battle and
retake this world for the Greater Good!”
The Firwarriors pumped their fists into the air, and a cheer went into the air.
“Now go, unit leaders, gather your squads and bring death to the enemies.”
Aun’el ordered.
La’Kais rounded up his squad and they loaded onto their designated Devilfish
transport. The Air Caste pilot quickly ran through the pre-flight checks, before sealing
the hatch shut. La’Kais strapped himself in.

***

The Manta Drop Ship silently cruised over the large Ork encampment. For a
moment the Orks did nothing. Then they opened fire.

14