Siege of Port Hydra

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It was a battle no-one would forget.
The aftermath of the assault was costly, leaving Port Hydra depleted for many months, and it was years before the last of the invaders were hunted down within the forests of Hydra Primus and slain. All of this was because of a single day...
...the day Hive Fleet Leviathan struck Port Hydra.
* * * Admiral Vensh was sipping hot coffee when the outpost warning stations detected incoming Tyranid bio-ships.
The port went onto high alert. Most of the fleet was out on combat duties against the Orks, leaving only a squadron of Cobras, and a damaged cruiser to guard the port.
"CruiserFortis Ordinatus, this is Port Hydra. What is your status?"
"We need more time, Hydra," the reply came over the vox, "weapons and shields are up, but engines are still off-line. I estimate sixteen hours until we're space-worthy."
Vensh looked at the scans, and cursed. "You've got five."

At precisely 00:00 hours, the base's long-range auspex confirmed a contact. Vensh read the display, and felt anger and fear in equal measure.
"This is not good... we weren't expecting the fleet so quickly."
The ensign on the scanner turned to the Admiral, and Vensh saw how pale the young man was. "With respect, sir, those aren't ships... they're fighters."
Vensh looked at the scans again, and contacted the Techpriests to confirm. Their reply was horrifying; the massive blips, each three kilometres long, were clusters of Tyranid fighters and Mycetic swarms.
"Our fighter compliments are useless against that!" the Master of Ordnance spat, "we'd be overrun!"
"Then we trust the station," Vensh replied, "we have over six-hundred guns on the dock ring, more than enough to support our craft and butcher those bio-fighters. Order the main batteries to load anti-fighter Ordnance and set Defence Lasers to wide-beam. Engage as soon as they are in range."
The station did not need to wait long. Almost as soon as the order was given, the fighter-clouds came into range. For almost an hour they raced onwards, jinking around explosions and energy blasts. Countless died, but those that survived were still beyond number. Finally, the main batteries fell silent, resetting and reloading to face the main Bio ships. Extreme-range anti-fighter weapons began to engage, and every man, woman and child on the station, and the planet below, held its breath as the first wave came into range of the main turrets.
* * * "This is Dock-ring tactical to Fury Command, respond."
"Fury Command here, we are at station keeping. All squadrons sound off!"
"Imperius Squadron ready!"
"Knight Squadron ready!"
"Sentinel Squadron standing by!"
"Widowmaker Squadron is go!"
"This is Vampire Squadron, the last of our boys are clear of the launch bays."
"Bandit Squadron is ready!"
"Conqueror Squadron ready."
"Warmaster Squadron is good to go!"
"Deliverance Squadron ready!"
"Command Squadron is green. All squadrons sounded off and standing ready." Wing Commander Tolben made the final checks on his craft, and watched as the aus-scanner turned white with fire, "Main turrets are live, all squadrons go go go!"
Engines flared in the void as the Fury Interceptors began the counter-attack. The sky was choked by tracker-fire as hundreds of Hydra turrets, Battlecannons, Macro multi-cannon and Repeater-las defence units poured fire into the Tyranids.
"Imperius, Bandit and Deliverance Squadrons, target those mycetic spores! Everyone else try to take out those fighters before they overwhelm the turrets!"
A crackle of confirmations came over the comm. as the Imperial ships split and engaged. Most of the swarm composed of modified Harridans, evolved to fight in hard void. However, there were plenty of larger creatures; massive space-born death machines that vomited pyro-acid from their orifice-cannons. Tolben rolled hard as he passed under one, and his chin-gunner split the beast in half with lascannon fire. The top gunner, quad lasers glowing white-hot, burst open a spore-ship that was firing bio-plasma at anything that got close. The Fury jinked, all guns roaring, and passed within inches of a wingman, obliterating the Harridan chasing him. The pilot didn't have time to give due to his commander; one of the pyro-fighters scored a direct hit, and immolated the fighter.
Tolban pulled up hard, giving the chin-gunner a new target, and prayed that his men could survive this battle.
* * * At 04:00, the Tyranids made planetfall.
Small clusters of Mycetic Spores broke through the blockade, evading the guns of the dock-ring, and landed. The planetary defences fired desperately, trying to prevent a landing, but they could not kill them all. Imperial Guard regiments deployed to contain the landings, and for a time, they were able to do so. However, as the battle waged, the Tyranids became more numerous and more powerful, every hour increasing the danger posed to the Guard, and increasing the chance of a breakout.
Ten minutes later, the first breach of the dock-ring occurred. Tyranid spore-torpedoes had been eating through the hull for almost an hour, and finally penetrated the skin decks.
In Storage Hanger 7, the Imperial Guard had in storage numerous vehicles awaiting deployment. They cleared the bay of everything bar the Hellhounds, which remained to flame out anything that came through the hull. The first two-hundred Genestealers died without getting more than ten metres from the breach. The Gaunt broods that followed fared little better.
Elsewhere, the fight did not fare so well. Whilst the larger hangers and storage bays could make use of tanks, the most serious combats occurred in corridors and maintenance walkways. Riot troops deployed with shotguns, mesh-cannons and fusion cutters to drive back the invaders. They were slowly driven back, but at a terrible cost to the Tyranid invaders.
The main gun batteries were also targeted, as the main fleet was rapidly closing into full combat range. The opening volley from the Lance batteries was devastating, ionising any Tyranid fighter that couldn't avoid the salvo, and punching white-hot holes into the Bio-ships. One craft was struck by three such blasts in rapid succession. The first hit blew a scorching hole in the adamantine-tipped skull of the beast, the second smashed the metal-enhanced chitin and drew plasma blood. The third shot bored into the primary cortex of the bio-cruiser, leaving it brain dead in minutes. The corpse drifted along until it was caught up by the tail end of the fleet, and consumed.
06:24,Fortis Ordinatus began to fire its guns. At 06:48, the shells struck the Tyranid fleet, just as the counter-attack of Pyro Acid, Bio-Plasma and living torpedoes assailed the dock ring and the still-immobilised cruiser. Twenty salvos smashed into the engine section of the Imperial Cruiser, overloading her shields and shattering the engines, crushing any hope of escape.
06:51, and the station fired their torpedoes. Admiral Vensh voxed down to the launch hangers, and contacted Vampire squadron who were refuelling. He ordered them to fly escort, and ensure the torpedoes found their mark. Half an hour of dogfighting later, the ordnance struck home. Four Kraken Escorts were blown apart, and a Cruiser was torn in two as bone-bulkheads shattered and failed. Wing Leader McAlster voxed back to the dock-wall his mission's success, and that the Hive Ships were launching more fighters and spores.
"Do not let those spores through! Engage and destroy! Emperor be with you!"
McAlster sighed, knowing they were doomed. Already, they were outnumbered two to one, and more Tyranids were launching.
"Men, commend your souls to the Emperor, and accelerate to combat speed."
 As the casualties mounted for the Tyranids, their true offensive began. The Norn Queens had assessed the information gathered by the vanguard, and probed for weakness. One of the craft had confirmed a high number of incineration defences, and bio-engineered new Carnifex broods, ones able to withstand massive temperatures, and severe burns without faltering.
This Spores slammed into Storage Hanger 7, and the Carnifex ripped out into the melee. The Hellhounds engaged, only to find with sickening horror that their weapons did nothing. The monstrous beasts tore the tanks apart, hurling their shattered hulks about the deck.
* * * Wing Commander Tolben banked hard to avoid a chittering spray of living ammunition, and fired his last missile into the heart of a snake-like beast, blowing it up in a white-hot blast. He was running low on fuel, and the ammo-cells were dangerously close to running out, but most of the landing bays were now sealed to prevent Tyranid infestation. Only two bays remained active, and the demand for them was high.
There was a clang as something hit the hull. Tolben heard his turret-gunner shriek in fear as a Termagant, its head bulbous and distended with strange, leathery sacks, began to fire through the canopy. There was a heart-stopping crack, and the gunner, along with the Tyranid, was blasted out into deep space.
The controls went haywire. Tolben knew he was dead, and swore to make his death costly. He set a ramming course for a Mycetic spore, and tore through it like a bullet. He hit another a second later, and stuck. The last thing he did before he asphyxiated was to overload the plasma drives, destroying his craft and the spore in a flash as bright as a newborn star.
* * * Commissar Darrel watched as the autocannon teams raked fire into the first Carnifex. The beast took round after round, before the barrage slowly wore the beast down and a lucky shell tore its throat out. A missile from further back found a weakness in the carapace of a second, and blew it apart from the inside.
These monsters had overrun Hanger 7, and now a near endless wave of Tyranids were clawing and blasting their way in from the bay. It was only here, safely away from the skin-decks, that the big guns could be deployed and the hoard finally contained. Darrel didn't want to think about the hundreds of men he'd lost in the retreat, or the numberless beasts that now infested the decks.
He emptied his clip into a brood of Hormagaunts, adding the solid Brak-akk of his Bolt pistol to the sharp whine-crack of lasfire and the chugging cough of stubber and autocannon. He reloaded, and began to fire again, decapitating two Warriors with perfect headshots and gutting a Genestealer with tendrils for a mouth. He dropped to reload again, and heard the grill beneath him give a gentle 'grink' sound. He looked down, and spat a curse as his eyes met those of the Ravener. He cave the cry "Below! Below!", just as the first beast emerged and swallowed Lieutenant Brix whole. He drew a krak grenade, and hurled it down as the creature below him dove upwards. The creature swallowed the grenade, and a second later was splattered across the deck. Men were screaming and dying as Gaunts, Genestealers and Raveners surged from below as well as from the front, overwhelming the Imperial position.
Darrel loading his final clip, and prayed to the Emperor for salvation.




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