I made a post with a timeline. This is the second to last event before a peace deal was made. Hope you enjoy. 🙂
February 14, 2277, |Battle for Hill 72|
Explosions fire off in the distance, the violent gray hellscape gives away to a scene of carnage, brutality, and animalistic fighting. The Nharr have proven vicious foes for the past month, and now the Legion is on its last legs. Their escort navy was occupied with their own battle up in the heavens. Looking up one can see the UV lasers and explosions of Nharr and imperial spacecraft.
“Corporal! Get up! We need to make for the hill!” The lieutenant shook Cpl. Voliskni and pointed to a distant hill, some five miles from their current position. His cracked helmet hud showed the destination was Hill 72.
Moving along the crater Voliskni gathered his men. 4 in total, and began shooting their way through the hordes of Nharr. Grotesque six-legged drones with an angular head and scales colored with various browns and blacks that are painted over with human blood. Others were more specialized. In the distance, Voliskni could see a Behemoth. It’s back is hollow, natural glands produce a toxic ball which is “sneezed” like artillery. The men during the first invasion called them Snifflers.
The Imperial force of some 500 men made way for the hill. Walking over bodies of both Nharr and human alike. The combined radio chatter, the screams, gunfire, Sniffler explosions, Human In-Atmosphere air support roars overhead, dropping bombs down a group of Snifflers’ gullets. It all deafened Voliskni’s ears. He was driving purely on his training, instinct, and knowing the general direction of his attack. Massive booms could be heard, the snifflers disintegrated into a grand mix of mustard yellow and brown muck that drained into a nearby kinetic rod crater. Voliskni fired on a pair of grunts, ejected and slapped in a new magazine. They were halfway to the hill now. Manpower ticker reads 380. Looking to his right Voliskni could see another Sniffler reaching up and batting the wing of a Y7 Bomber out of the air. Sending the craft into a spiral and crashing just to the right of the company. Splashing mud, blood, and entrails all over the men.
They were on the base of the hill now. Headcount 290. Almost there.
“Drop Solution 5 on our position! I don’t give a damn about danger close just do it!” the Lieutenant shouted into his intercom.
“Gas Gas Gas!!!” Troops smacked their helmets, sealing their suits and activating rebreathers. A few seconds later some 50 steel canisters dropped from another bomber. Upon impact, a purple gas emitted from the vents. Winds being in the Imperials’ favor, blew the smog downhill. First irritating the Xenos’ skin, then it turned into blisters that grew to the size of baseballs. Then they coughed up blood. So much so it’s often the case that the first cause of death when exposed to Solution 5: Drowning. Eventually, the blisters burst, delivering a paralyzing pain to the victim. A nasty chemical that was brewed during the Great War and first released in various government houses. It was dubbed “The Royal Gas” thereafter.
The gas gave what’s left of the company breathing room as they move up the hill. Shooting down any Nharr smart enough, and brave enough, to go around the gas. Once reaching the summit, the lieutenant and his guardsmen, all armed with UV rifles and pistols, ordered the placement of heavy weapons. The three gun teams left set up their .80 caliber guns, Engineers launched a firecracker string. A long line of explosives attached to a single line. The remaining infantry check their ammunition and line up between the machine guns.
“Drop everything you have around Hill 72, There’s only 300 of us left… Explosives, gas, Drop a doom stick for all I care… Yes sir… Right…” The commanding officer’s face went from that of adrenaline-fueled rage, to one of remorse.
“Men,” He calmly spoke in the coms, “Our escort has left us. They need to preserve the navy and pull back before more reinforcements arrive. We’re on our own.”
Besides the battlefield noises in the distance silence overwhelmed the company. Not much more needed to be said. This was their Alamo. There was no surrender, they’d just be turned into meals for the xenos. Voliskni looked up to the sky and saw that the space battle was over, but the Imperial ships were growing smaller and smaller. Closer to his reality, the Imperial In-Atmosphere fighters were still flying. But were far fewer in number than at the start of this struggle. They still conducted strafing runs, but that was all they can do. They swooped down and up at the base of the hill. All of their explosive ordinances, besides the HE rounds of their autocannons, was expended earlier in the battle. The guardian angel that dropped the Royal Gas was quickly shot down. A massive plume of black and purple smoke can be seen. Voliskni looked back down on the battlefield and saw the absolute devastation Solution 5 can do. Thousands of drones limped around, suffering the ordeal of the gas. While millions more attempted to either charge through the smoke, or take the long way around.
“At least there aren’t any snifflers” A soldier said.
“Yeah, I like our odds. 300 men against 300 million hungry xenos,” Voliskni said.
Some laughs could be heard. But quickly died down. The gas was dissipating. Soldiers charged their guns. The heavy machine guns racked their bolts and aimed in the general direction of the enemy.
The next five and a half minutes were absolute chaos. All of the gunfire, the explosions, callouts, screams of men, screams of beasts. The Imperial company employed their Bayonets well, as a massacre of gunfire devolved into a bloody melee. The lieutenant's saber struck down any xeno that got past his guardsmen. The guardsmen resounding their branch’s cry “for the emperor!” as they glassed the faces of Xenos with their UV rifles. The Firecrackers were detonated. Sending a large wave of corpses onto their comrades. It did nothing to stem the tide though. As more and more drones invaded the imperial position, the more and more desperate the men became. On Voliskni’s cracked visor, he saw the headcount ticker start going down. 275, 240, 215, 190… He didn’t pay attention to that though. He just focused on killing the next lizard. And the next one… and the next one.
One by one the imperial army fell, all 18 legions destroyed in one botched attempt to retake the Nharr homeworld. And all this was streamed across cosmos to the holo theatres on the Core Worlds. The emperor, watching with a grim face noted the peace deal the Nharr queen has made. No doubt feeling smug about the defeat. Having a plan though. The emperor signed the peace deal. Retaining the occupied systems, and commencing the construction of the largest navy in the galaxy.
The second invasion of Nharr will set the standard of the moral code of the Legions forever more. Victory or Death. “victoria aut mors”.
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© Post "The battle of Hill 72, The ending battle of the First Extermination War" for game Stellaris.
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