The time was now!
As each Caste prepared themselves, the sky above them swarmed with the ships that brought upon the galaxy the bleak and forthright devouring destruction that was the Tyranids.
As Hive Fleet Kraken loomed over head, it's ships arduously swishing and hopping through space, some of them large enough to discern quite easily from the ground of T'suni.
"Fire Caste, offensive perimeters!" Uash'o yelled to the encampment.
It was abuzz with regimented order as each member of the Greater Good ran to take their allocated position for this exact drill, for the past nine days the plan had been formed, and for the past three, countless drills had been activated and monitored to make sure that they were ready.
In this time Shas'o Kunas had relieved himself of command and briefed Uash'o Kan'yr'seth Da'ya of all their recent moves since landing upon the planet. The High Commander was confident that they were as prepared as they could be for the strike that was to come.
The Ethereals followed him, all three on hover drones, two meditating, on what precisely, none could tell you, but Aun' Tau'n Ur'loh Da'myr stood upon his, blades out and ready for combat, their new Protectors stood around them with their own ceremonial blades in tow.
"We need to be prepared!" shouted Uash'o, "The cloaking field has been tested with our technology, it has not with theirs and we do not know when they may pick up on our signals!"
"Yes High Commander!" the Fire Warriors recited behind him, rifles at the ready. The kroot had been told to remain in the underground tropical forests for in case any ships broke through the ice sheeting of the planet and stood in loosely regimented rows as they to watched the overhead display, looking towards the Tyranids forthcoming fleet.
"All channels look clear" called Fio'so, his brow furrowed in concentration as he watched all of the diagnostics running past his screen, making sure that nothing was close to failing...until..."High Commander! Relay Seven is down to 4%! Do you want me to risk a battery replacement run?"
"No! Hold!" Yelled Kan'yr'seth down the line. "We now need to rely on our technology, and take risks only when we need to, if it fails, have a drone ready to replace as quickly as we can, we can take no risks in our current situation!"
"Yes High Commander!" replied Fio'so continuing through the pages of information constantly being updated.
As the Hive Fleet slowly passed, more and more of the T'au forces showed signs of relief.
"It looks like it is holding!" cried a random warrior from within the crowd, from this a small cheer ran through the crowd.
Sighs of relief filled the air and the hope that the T'au would survive for another day and continue the Third Phase Expansion ran through the camp with passion and excitement!
"Do not celebrate before we have victory!" cried Kan'yr'seth, his voice harsh and stern.
"You may be right High Commander!" Fio'so interrupted, "The seventh relay has failed, shields are down!"
"Prepare for battle!" cried Uash'o, "Get that satellites battery replaced at once!" He cried to Fio'so.
The Hive mind felt it, within a system of death...all of a sudden their was life! A shudder ran down the flagships spinal nodes, automatically releasing scouting drop vessels, shaken free and aimed directly at the new sense of...life! It was definitely intriguing to the Hive Mind, they had felt this system from thousands of miles away and yet they sensed no life until just now, and when it reached it's mind out to it, their just seemed to be an island, floating within space on which this life survived... but it wasn't worried, like all biomass it had come across, it would be absorbed and devoured by the fleet and turned to fuel. If the Hive ship could laugh it would.
"Projectiles incoming!" Cried a Fireblade from the horde, as each Firewarrior lowered and aimed through their given rifle. Breacher teams ran forward, supported by close range XV88 crisis suits. "Victory will be ours, we stand in Mont'ka! We will win the day!" cried Kan'yr'seth, firing up his own suit with modified Oneger blade.
As the dropships found their mark, surprisingly, none making it through the planets exoshell to the ecosystem below, hundreds of warriors and gaunts teamed together and attempted to swarm their fortified positions, but thanks to the current temperament of the planet, the current icy crust was quite strong, stopping the ships and directing the full brunt of the Tyranids towards the army of Greater Good personnel!
The tyranid horde moved swiftly but were having trouble with the heavy snowfall, some tripping up or attempting to climb snow banks that turned to powder when they tried. Stealth teams moved in and fired round after round of burst cannon fire, dissolving chitin and bone with searing plasma.
More ships rained down from the break in the barrier, Fio'o watched through the feed from the drone replacing the battery, "The satellite has not been damaged, battery has been replaced, start up sequence beginning!" he sighed to Uash'o, he went to reply but his Shas'vre interrupted him, "Sir, the threat has touched down on the Eastern continent, practically on top of Relay Fours Defensive group".
Kan'yr'seth nodded, "Air Caste! Attend the following coordinates, defend the ground offense as best as you can!"
"It will be done." replied the Kor'vre, their ships zipping over their heads as they accelerated toward the target.
Shas'el Ta'mir scanned the battlefield, setting his marker drones to the task of picking out the larger warriors running through the group, he knew Tyranids were synapse creatures and the bigger they were, the more sway they had over their smaller kin. Pathfinder teams, supported by gun drones of their own made quick work of each target he lit up, with the taskforce of Fire Warriors he had at his disposal laying withering volleys of fire into the swarming ranks.
Their one Anti Air Turrent fired into the sky constantly, taking out more of the pods that now became more in number.
"That was the last warrior sir!" the Fire Warrior Shas'ui shot over his comms, "Why are they not slowing down?"
Ta'mir pondered this, there had to be another creature he wasn't aware of, but where?
"Pathfinders, move forward, I can see nothing from the air but I need you to check the snow dunes, perhaps something is hiding beneath them."
"Yes Shas'el!" as soon as he heard the reply he saw the two squads move up either side of the fire tunnel the warriors had set up.
As they reached the first embankment they disappeared in a flurry of snow as the hill was wrenched asunder by a large purple tentacle. Screams came through the comms as the ripper tentacle smashed and grabbed at whatever it could find. "It's the pods sir...the signal is comi..." the comm garbled out as the speaker met her untimely end.
Checking his sensors he reconfigured the scanner to search for the pods, and with each lock he unleashed a missile from his suit, flying over the field he continued to fire, when the air support arrived he relayed the coordinates of the remaining spores and allowed them to finish them off with bombing runs.
"Do we have a timeframe for getting the cloak back up?" Ta'mir asked to the Kor'vre
"Estimated time five minutes Shas'el, but we cannot rely on it to stop the assault."
"Understood" he replied swiftly, "Fireteams, remain around the relay tower, we must defend this position!"
As fast as they were clearing them, the drop pods continued, some now falling into the underground.
"Sunshark, bomb the crust where it has already fallen" make an access point for you to give the Kroot air support as well."
The pilot acknowledged and with another swoop the ground collapsed in a ball of blue fire. Two Razorsharks and a Tigershark, pulling a hammerhead stall and lunging into the other world beneath them.
Ta'mir focused once more on the battle at hand, his marker drones going back to lighting up the larger warriors, the creatures were becoming more varied now, creatures looking like horrific effigies of T'au physiology with an extra pair of clawed arms coming out from their torso's, he believed he had seen these in simulations, creatures the Gue'la had called 'Genestealers'. A larger pod smashed into the newer ground further back, it's tendrils lashing out and slowing it's decent allowing it not to go through the icy crust.
With a howling shriek the bestial creature lugged itself out of the battered and dying spore which had safely carried it to planetfall.
"The silent hunter is here."