This story was written by me. I will not post any more chapters on this site, and will continue the series on http://WWW.Fanfiction.net. The story follows a Fire Cast Shas'la, who is given command of his battle-damaged squad and sent on a mission deep inside enemy territory. 122.978.M41. The planet Lethe. Imperial Space.
As bombs exploded in the distance, and the chatter of Imperial bolters filled the air, I crept through the alleyway, my Pulse rifle clutched to my chest. Our unit had suffered heavy casualties, and only three of us remained. I lead the group, now standing in for the unit’s Shas’ui lieutenant. Behind me, the two other members of the group crept silently. Directly to my rear was Kais, our field engineer. She carried a Pulse Blaster, and wore a lighterweight Recon Armour. She was a expert engineer, and had personally redesigned the weapons we carried for greater range and accuracy. Personally, I though she would have been better off if she was born to Earth Caste parents, and not inducted into the Fire Caste at birth. She was one of the Ka’sti, the orphans of Tau society. Her parents were unknown, and she had simply been adopted by a member of the fire caste who found her. I’d known her since childhood, as I had with every other member of the squad. Except for Shi.
Shi was the other member remaining in our unit, and was the most mysterious Tau I had ever met. He barely spoke, except for expressing gratitude or giving affirmatives or negatives. He carried a Longshot pulse rifle, and served as a sniper for the squad. Unfortunately for him, he had been separated from his unit. Technically, he wasn’t a member of this squad, but hey!!! At least he was doing something for the Greater Good.
As for me, well I’m Shas’la Sa’cea Mont’yr On’ci. My nickname among my former squad members was Blacksun, mainly because of my uncanny sense of sight. Without the aid of Blacksun filters or HUD’s, I’ve been known to spot a Mal’ra at 100 Tor’leks. Most Tau would not be able to see that. Because of this, I carry a experimental weapon called the Rail Carbine. This weapon is a new variant of the rail rifle that turns it into a deadly accurate automatic weapon. Firing four rounds a second from a 80 round mag gives it a huge stopping power, and the ability to end enemies from a range just below that of a proper rail rifle. I was entrusted with this weapon after graduating from the Fire Caste academy on Sa’cea five. My shooting instructor recommended on my reference that I be given a weapon like this. The weapon is only starting to be issued to Fire Warrior teams, and has already been issued to 12 other Fire Caste La’rua.
Our target was a facility south of our current position. We attacked with five other units, but the facility defences killed most of the other teams. What was left of the cadre scattered, and we were left in the middle of the enemy residential district. After several run-ins with Imperial Guard troops, our squad has been reduced to just us three. Our objective is to reach a designated evac point, where a TV-99 Orca dropship is waiting. Unfortunately for us, at least twenty units of Gue’la are hunting us, and I’m not ready to die just yet.
I snapped back to the present when my helmet’s T-Comm began receiving a long-range transmission.
“Fireteam Onyx, this is Orca 1124, over;”
I tapped the talk icon on my wrist-mounted Command unit.
“This is Onyx, we copy;”
“Fireteam, we are reading force moving in on our position, we are departing in one Dec. If you are not with us in that time, we will have to extract without you. Do you copy Onyx???”
I cursed under my breath. After I recovered, I pressed the talk button again.
“This is Onyx, message received. We will be there in one Dec.”.
I switched bands and contacted the others.
“Alright guys, listen up!!! We are extracting in one Dec, so get a move on. Double time it, and drop all stealth measures. To the drop zone people!!!”
The three of us clutched our weapons, and began jogging as fast as we could on our hooves. The ground shook as a plasma bomb impacted nearby. We slowed as we neared a corner. I peeked around the edge of the building next to us, and halted. The others stopped behind me, and raised their weapons.
“Crap!!!” I exclaimed over the comm. “We have a dreadnought.”
I gave a couple of orders, and signalled with my hands to the positions that the others needed to take. The other two nodded, and moved to take up the ambush positions. I peeked around the corner again. The dreadnought was slowly moving down the street, but hadn’t noticed us yet. It was armed with a stubber, and a massive battle cannon. A litany of names ran down the iron armour that surrounded the living corpse within. It was well known to the Tau that the imperial machines had many weak points. Their armour was near indestructible to standard pulse munitions at long range, but a well-aimed blast at medium or short range cold severely damage them. the others reported in over the T-Comm, and requested further orders. I told them to wait for my signal, and then cut the connection. As the walker passed the alley, I grabbed a clip of HE ammo from by belt, and slotted it into the secondary receiver of my gun. I activated the silent jump-pack on my back, and rocketed onto the roof. I clambered through a hole in the duracrete surface, and into a well-furnished bedroom beneath. I looked around the lavish room and quietly shook my head. The selfishness and greedy attitude of these Gue’la. They hoarded wealth, and lived in these massive chambers while much of their population starved and grovelled. Typical of the unenlightened. I sprinted over the smashed window at the front of the room, and poked the barrel of my gun out. The walking tomb that was the dreadnought thumped by, leaving indents in the tarmac where it walked. I sighted on a exposed power junction on it’s broad back, and squeezed the firing stud. The powerful carbine jolted my shoulder as the HE rounds flew away in a short burst. The powerful explosives thudded into the sparking metal box on the walker’s back, destroying it in a spray of sparks and fire. The dreadnought’s right arm went limp, and it spun around to face the street behind it. Unfortunately for the rotting corpse inside, Shi was waiting on a rooftop to my immediate right. He squeezed off a cluster of quick pulse shots, severely damaging a hydraulic fuel line on the machine’s back. the walker collapsed, it’s legs unable to move. Finally, Kais stepped up and demolished the walker’s stubber with a blast from her weapon. She quickly shot her pulse blaster twice more, and took out another two power junctions. Finally, I set the fire selector for AP ammo, and fired two bursts of AP bullets through the walker’s cockpit/tomb. The machine shuddered, and fell limp. However, our victory was short lived. A unit of Imperial Guard came round the corner to investigate the gunfire. They shouted, and let shots loose from their weapons. I signalled to Kais and Shi that we had to go. They replied in the affirmative, and quickly retreated towards a nearby alley. I stood below the hole in the roof, and with a last glance around the room, I fired my pack, and rocketed out of the roof to safety. We had about 50 Rai’kors left until the dropship departed.
OK. This is a story with a lot of words in the Tau Lexicon. So, I will make a list of words at the end of each chapter. For those reading this on Advanced Tau Tactica, the full story can be found on Fanfiction.net. FAnyway, here is the glossary at the end of the chapter. This will be updated regularly.
In order of appearance. Those marked with a * are my own words:
Shas’ui: A veteran who has passed his first Trial of Fire in the Tau Army. Often a battlesuit pilot or lieutenant in a Tau Fire Warrior Squad.
Kais: A personal name meaning ‘Skilful’.
Ka’sti: Orphan, or literally ‘Abandoned Child’.*
Shi: A word meaning Victory. Often used as a personal name.
Shas’la: The lowest rank in the Fire Caste. Equivalent of a basic soldier.
Sa’cea: A sept system in the Tau Empire. Known for producing very honourable and loyal soldiers.
Mont’yr: Blooded. Can also be used as a personal name.
On’ci: Hidden. Can also mean Shadowborn when used a s a personal name.*
Mal’ra: A Tau pest simular to a earth Cockroach. Unlike a cockroach, these creatures live for decades. A enemy that cannot be defeated is often known a Mal’ra’shi. Of course, in a universe like the W40K one, every single race is this.
Tor’leks: Meters. The equivalent value in earth measurements is about 5 meters. For example, 100 Tor’leks is about 500 earth meters.
La’rua: A team of about 6 fire warriors. Teams can go as high as 12 fire warriors, but sometimes compose of many more. Sixe La’rua form one Cadre.
Dec: A length of time equal to about a hour.
Rai’kor. A length of time equal to about one minute.