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Warm vapour hissed silently out into the night, expelled by environmentally secure vents. They created a foggy nimbus around the 4 armored figures huddled together around the cave's entrance, giving the giants the appearance of vengeful spirits of the night. Which, perhaps, they were after a fashion. Ancient by design, the powered armor suits were decorated in the dark colors of the Deathwatch. The pilots inside as battle hardened and reliable as the weapons they bore.

Lieutenant Barclemes leaned on the hilt of his chainsword as he peered into the darkness of the cave. Off to his right, Seargeant Jargus motioned ahead as his voice came over the commlink.
"Looks like this is the way in, sir," his gruff voice showing faint irritation at the command to halt the approach.
"Picking up several heat signatures on the ground," Lamarks chirped in. He scanned with his heavy bolter's thermal optics, traversing over the mouth of the entrance. "I'm guessing no older than 10... maybe fifteen minutes ago."
"By the Emperor's Throne, what are we waiting for then?" came the excited voice of Corporal Harris. He looked back at Barclemes with his bolter held in a cocky one-handed grip, resting against his shoulder.
"We wait because I ordered you to wait," Barclemes intoned, with serious purpose. "And because I value your life more than you apparently do. Do not mistake the flight of the Eldar for an undisciplined rout. They do not normally give up so easily. I sense a trap."

The four looked back towards the cave entrance before them and considered the warning of the squad commander. It was true, that the Eldar had fled the site of the artifact rather quickly upon the first engagement of the marines. Normally too proud to let the humans recover an artifact of their alien design, the retreat had come as a surprise. Barclemes and his squad had moved up to discover that the tracks appeared to lead them to this underground cave system that the techpriests had mapped out in their preliminary geographic scans.

Resolved to discover the depth of their retreat, Barclemes finally decided that they must follow their quarry wherever that may lead. Even into the bowels of the earth. Signalling forward, he barked out the order...
"Move forward and engage all threats with extreme prejudice. Stick together in there. We will see how many of these xenos can outrun the vengeance of the Deathwatch."


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Moving forward in a diamond formation, the marines entered the darkened cavern. The natural dirt and rock was slick with algae and dew, forcing them to step with caution.
"Light amplification, overlay thermal image at 25%." Barclemes whispered into his helmet, and immediately his visors optics switched to accommodate the low lighting. Instantly, the cavern blazed into detail, revealing the retreating footsteps of the booted eldar feet up ahead.
"Lieutenant," growled Jargus, "picking up audible disturbance up ahead. Sounds like... whirring..."
His last words were cut off into a grunt as he lurched into a sideways roll as sparks hammered at his chest, clanging metal steaking past in rapid succession. The marines wasted no time in dropping into firing positions, taking what cover they could in the natural rock jutting up from the ground around them. Barclemes felt the impacts of the projectiles hammer into the boulder just beside his head with whizzing sounds like angry wasps, but noted the general lack of sound from the ambush ahead. Thin metallic discs sprouted from the rock, quivering slightly as they came to lodge themselves deeply into the boulder. Barclemes briefly studied the projectiles, noting their incredibly sharp and thin appearance.
"Shuriken catapults," noted the young Harris, as he scrabbled to bring his weapon up to bear.
"You have a talent for stating the obvious," Jargus quipped, picking himself off the ground and moving to cover beside him. He took a second to dislodge a few shurikens that had bitten into his chestguard and shoulder. Amazingly, the small blades had punctured the hardened armor with varying degrees of success.
"Shall I greet them in kind, sir?" asked Lamarks. He clicked the safeties off his heavy bolter and engaged the auto-loader. The weapon shuddered with deadly promise, cycling rounds into the eager chamber.
"Open fire!" yelled Barclemes. As one, they emerged from cover with a withering stacatto of gunfire. Unlike the elegant Eldar weapons firing silent metallic discs, the marines' bolters belched forth great gouts of flame, propelling their mass-reactive explosive rounds forward with a thrumming roar. Where the bolter rounds impacted, the cavern exploded with sound and light. Bits of earth and eldar bodies alike were thrown up into the air as the fullisade continued.
At once the enemy guns were silenced, and all movement ceased in the cavern up ahead. Waving his hand with a chopping motion and barking a cease-fire order, Barclemes and the marines checked their weapons and scanned the smokey ruin before them. Silence and stillness carried for several long seconds.
And then a mechanical whirring squealed to life from up ahead, as of great turbines winding up.
"Brace yourselves!" yelled Jargus.

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J-Tech said:

127 views and nobody wants to play interactive storytime with me? Does my writing suck that bad....?

No but I am confused about having Space Marine Lieutenants and Corporals, I thought you only got Captains and Sergeants.

But I shall write something from the Eldar point of view:

Autarch Y'Nel cursed. Those fool Mon Keigh had disturbed his teams at their dig-site. The ranger squads had located a webway gate upon this world large enough to transport a Hellebore Cruiser into orbit. Unfortunately they had also discovered a Necrontyr tomb beside the gate.

They had been trying to locate the entrance of the tomb in order to seal it when those meddlesome Space Marines had arrived. The Eldar had fled to avoid waking the Necrons below the earth with the sound of battle.

Now he and his aspect warriors were waiting in ambush while the Farseer took her Warlocks and Guardians back to the Tomb to complete the spell of sealing. His keen senses heard the lumbering Mon Keigh as they entered the cavern and the low pitch hum as they switched spectrums. Whispering into his comm-bead he checked that all his squads were still in position. Exarch Farel and his Dark Reapers were holding position on a small plateau at the top of the cave. Dire Avengers and Rangers were scattered around the cave, weapons trained upon the entrance. Y'Nel and his Exarch bodyguard crouched behind a large rock formation waiting for the Marines to appear before them. 

"Autarch, this is Farel, we have a visual on the targets, shall we fire?"

"Negative, do not reveal your positions. Dire Avengers on my mark fire and withdraw. 3,2,1 mark."

Y'Nel watched as Shuriken tore into the Mon Keigh's position in a whirlwind of death. Amazingly not a single man fell. Suddenly a throaty roar filled the cavern as the enemy opened fire, their crude explosives killing a handful of Dire Avengers who had not retreated quickly enough. Y'Nel cursed again, the Craftworld could not afford to take too many casualties.

"Farel, I want you to target that heavy weapon, all units open fire!" Y'Nel drew his long bladed power swords from their sheaths upon his back. Touching the activation runes the blades sprung to life, iridescent flames coursing along the eldritch blades crystalline matrix. Rising from his crouch Y'Nel began to run, knowing his warriors fire would not touch him. "FOR IYADEN!!!" he cried as his bodyguard followed him into battle. This was going to be fun.

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A cry of alien voices echoed up ahead, as the lithe bodies of Eldar aspect warriors lept from their hiding spots.

"Fire at will!" bellowed Barclemes. His trained squad sent crisscrossing fields of fire towards the oncoming horde. Suddenly, from concealed positions above, a hail of rockets peppered the cave entrance above their heads. Explosions blossomed in quick succession, sending dust and debris hailing down around the marines' position. Harris stopped to fend off chunks of the collapsing roof, pieces of rock clanging from his visor.

"Keep your ass firing, soldier!" yelled Jargus, shoving the recruit to the side, away from the danger, with a heavy shoulder plate. He whirled around to train his bolter again on the advancing horde, hardly missing a beat.

Barclemes engaged the trigger on his chainsword and the whirring blades sprang to life with an angry howl. The Lieutenant stood up to meet the advancing aliens head on. One Eldar charged towards him directly, it's bone-white armored mask curved and sloping into a disgustingly alien appearance. Barclemes raised his pistol and fired a quick shot at the advancing foe. The bolt collided with the mask, shattering it's way past the exoskeleton at the forehead, and detonated inside the helmet. The mask cracked in a spiderweb pattern as the warrior lurched and stumbled mid-stride, dead before hitting the ground at Barclemes' feet.

His exultation lasted only a moment before a new pair of warriors were on him in an instant. They slashed and stabbed with a grace and agility that was more of a dance than any martial art the marine had seen. The lieutenant met blow after blow of their chainswords with his own re-inforced chainsword. But the Eldar attacked in perfect tandem, using eachother's strikes and parries to force the marine off balance and off-tempo, scoring a multitude of minor injuries.

Jargus, sensing his commander's situation growing dire, ceased his barrage to draw his combat knife with his off-hand and moved in for a wild stab at one of the Eldar fighters. The warrior sensed the attack coming however, and casually parried the blow. He stopped for a beat to engage his helmet's concealed weapon, and out of twin chin-mounted ports a stream of needle-like shards rained down on Jargus, knocking him to the ground.

Barclemes took immediate advantage of the momentary distraction and swung his blade in a mighty backhand arc. The blow caught the green armored Eldar at the neck joint, and the mono-molecular teeth cleaved deep into the flesh and bone, sending the head flying.
"Lieutenant! Behind you!" cried Lamarks in warning.

Barclemes whirled to meet this new threat, but found himself facing an Eldar warrior with twin power swords, poised to strike him down. He could only grit his teeth together and brace for the inevitable blow.

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 Y'Nel watched as the Dark Reaper's fire brought the roof of the cave down upon the Mon-Keigh. Suddenly the panicked voice of Farseer Lelth sounded in his ear "Autarch the Necrontyr are awaking! The Mon-Keigh's clumsiness must have roused them. I need you to break off from the attack and reinforce my position."

"Understood Farseer I am on my way" Y'Nel changed his comm link's frequency "Farel take everybody but the rangers and reinforce the Farseer's position, the Necrontyr awake. I will deal with these Mon-Keigh." Y'Nel continued his charge towards the Marines watching as one of them killed two of his bodyguards. He cursed knowing their skills would have been needed in the coming battle. 

"Ranger's target the Mon-Keigh, let them see that you have a bead on them, I have a plan" Y'Nel ran at the warrior that had killed his comrades watching as he turned to face him, from the corner of his eye he noticed another marine in arms reach. Stopping suddenly he brought up his blades in a single fluid motion, holding one at the throat of each marine as dots of light manifested on the enemy.

Switching his helmet's speakers to broadcast he addressed his foes. "I am Autarch Y'Nel of the Craftworld Iyaden. You're coming to this world has disturbed a Necron tomb and even now my brothers and sisters struggle to contain the threat. You have no chance of life at the moment. If you wish to live, you will help us"

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Stillness descended upon the three figures at the centre of the cave. Harris stood on his tip-toes, the alien blade at his chin, while Barclemes was caught in a half-crouch, staring down the length of it's twin. It took a second for the Lieutenant's senses to realize that he could understand the Eldar warrior's demand. He blinked away his confusion, and rising to his full height, he responded,
"You have trespassed on an Imperial world, xenos. Your troops will fall back and leave this world forever."

Behind and to the right, the familiar sound of the heavy bolter cycled loudly, as Lamarks drew bead on the situation. The laser sights from the hidden Rangers swarmed over him, and he carefully raised his head from the sights.

" know not of what terrors we are trying to prevent. But if you value your lives, you will cease these hostilities until the Necrontyr threat has been dissolved," the Eldar responded. His arm-jewels glowed briefly, pulsing with an inner light. "The time for consideration is over. Come with us, or get out of our way." And with that, he snapped his blades back, and into their scabbards. Without so much as a backward glance, he signalled his troops and they sped off together deeper into the cavern.

"Sir? You don't actually believe those lying..." began Lamarks.
"Lieutenant," Jargus interrupted as he picked himself up off the ground, "if the Eldar have discovered Necrons on this planet, you can believe that we are dealing with an entirely more serious threat."

Barclemes looked around at his men and considered the retreating Eldar forces ahead.
"As much as I hate to take this xenos' word, they would not have discontinued their attack on us if there had not been a more urgent matter." He sent a silent prayer to the Emperor for guidance as he weighed his options.

"We follow the Eldar and see what can be done to stop the Necrons from awakening. Their potential for planetwide devastation cannot be ignored. We move in, we fight alongside the Eldar, but don't for a second think that we are allies in this endeavour. Move out!"

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The combined force marched deeper in the cave, the path began to level out and the walls appeared to be absorbing any light in the cave. After half an hour of walking Jargus abruptly stopped, "Something is.....wrong." Y'nel turned to glance at the monkeigh warrior. "What is it?". "My motion tracker is picking up contacts closing in from under us." As he said this they both looked down at the thin bladed fingers poking through the earth.

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