The United Citizen's Federation was throwing everything into offensive. Evidently, the brass had discovered some kind of Smart Bug on Planet P. They wanted that Bug. They wanted to discover how the enemy thought. They wanted to win. The Bugs had a different idea. The Bugs wanted to keep their Brain Bug safe. The Bugs wanted to win.
Private Ilya Tolstoy wanted to stay alive. The vast cave systems of Planet P were the Bug's apparent natural environment. His squad had been ordered to hold this particular cavern in order to keep the main force from being overrun by the Bugs. Ilya knew that the orders were not truly to beat back the Arachnids, but to die slowly enough for the primary objective to be completed. So, he was trying not to die too quickly. Once again, the Bugs had a different idea.
Desperation. Desperation was guiding all of Private Tolstoy's actions. The narrow tunnel was swarming with the loathsome creatures. All around him, the stench of the dead humans and aliens filled the air. The Russian was fighting back to back with the survivors of his platoon.
"Hey, George. How much ammo you have left?" Tolstoy heard Private Kern ask. There was an edge of hysteria in his voice. He was nearly broken.
"Enough to get out of this. Now shut up and kill some damn bugs!" Franklin nearly roared. Mostly, over the screeching of the Arachnids and the gunfire but also to hide the worry.
Ilya whooped in a weary attempt at boosting morale and poured even more fire into a charging alien beast. Chunks of flesh and fountains of ichor scattered from the Soldier bug. As the creature died, the distant rumbling of a nuke detonation filled the chamber. Moments later a second, much closer, detonation rumbled through the cave. The last arachnid fell to the Lieutenant's under-barrel shotgun.
Exhilaration filled the few human survivors. The fact that they had survived was a beautiful thing.
"We survived! We can win! We're going to be ok!" Private Kern hollered.
The ground groaned and gave way. Murphy was never subtle in his revenge.
After an uncomfortably long time, Tolstoy managed to drag himself to his feet. The fall wasn't as bad as it could have been. Granted, he was sore and slightly bleeding but nothing was broken. As he looked around, he realized that he was one of the lucky ones. Several members of his squad were broken. It was the most accurate way to describe what was left of them. One of his fellows had his skull crushed and he was practically impaled on a rocky spire. Others where just bent unnaturally or smashed by huge rocks.
Kern clawed away from one of the mangled corpses. Several of the other troopers staggered away. There was some moaning from those too injured to move.
"Corporal Franklin?" Tolstoy called out. George was their highest ranking soldier after the Lt. Had been gutted by an Arachnid.
"Dead." A weary voice called out from behind. One of the soldiers was going to each of the wounded, checking their condition. She was no doubt a doctor before the war.
The eyes of the squad turned to Tolstoy. Great, I spoke first so I'm the leader. He took a deep breath, even though it felt as if someone had set him on fire as he did it. "Ok, You guys" He pointed to a group standing around staring around aimlessly. "Follow me. We're going to look for a way out of here and a way to get the wounded out."
"Doc!" He didn't know the young woman's name. She was one of the reinforcements straight from the Core Colonies. "You're in charge here. Do everything you can. We'll be back with help as soon as we can."
The young woman nodded. "Sir!" She promptly went back to work.
Tolstoy motioned for the group he ordered to follow. They did so with reluctance. "Let's move it. I don't want to be trapped in this shithole!"
There were some grumbling, but they followed. It was only then, that Ilya noticed his surroundings. There was a green haze hugging the ground. There was an undeniable sense of foreboding. The Mobile Infantry advanced slowly through the darkness. After a while, one of the troopers stopped and looked at the surroundings.
"We're not in a bughole."
The soldier felt a number of eyes turn towards him. Kern shifted uncomfortably. "What are you talking about? How can you be sure?"
The soldier fiddled with his rifle. "Because the walls have been carved."
The soldiers took in the walls. The rocks had far too many right angles to be natural. Ilya walked forward and ran his hands along the wall. The black stone of the wall was smooth, almost glossy. Everything in this place was unexpected. A somewhat welcoming sight was a tunnel entrance. There was an upward incline to the ramp. The tired soldiers advanced cautiously.
"Who ever did it is likely long dead. The Bugs probably saw to that. Come on, we need to get to the surface or at least somewhere we can get a signal."
All the soldiers gaped in shock. This was no cavern. If there was any doubt that this chamber was artificial, the giant pulsing generator ended any other possibility. A sickly green light seemingly flowed like water.
"What is this place?" Kern turned in place, taking in all the gloom of the place.
"It's a tomb." The soldier who had noticed the artificial nature of the place first spoke with a shaking voice. He walked up and stared blankly at what appeared to be a sarcophagus decorated with a stylized symbol. It almost looked like a cross of one of Earth's abandoned religions.
Kern was shaking now. "A tomb for wha..." There was a wet sound that was familiar to the troopers. Kern had just been impaled.
Kern's murderer was no bug. It was something worse. The thing was barely visible. It's shell was a twilight gray. The only thing easily seen was the bone-white death's head mask and the lifeless green eyes staring at the squad. And Kern's blood running down the monster's needle-like claws.
"NO!" One of the troopers screamed. The phantom tilted its head, seemingly in confusion. It then ripped Kern in half and tossed him away.
"Kill it you idiots!" Ilya screamed, terror dripping from his words. The squad opened fire. Rounds bounced off the body of the enemy. And then... It turned to mist and receded into the shadows like a wraith.
Slowly, the Mobile Infantry stopped shooting. They were merely wasting ammo. An unnaturally loud hiss filled the air as the sarcophagus began to open. As machine's lifted the casket, lights erupted all throughout the chamber. The MI stared in mute horror as row upon row of skeletal constructs stretched for as far as they could see.
"We are so fucked! RUN!" One of the troopers screamed as he broke for the tunnel entrance. He never made it. One of the skeletal ones brought the ax head of the strange device it carried on the soldier. The unfortunate human was nearly split in half.
All around them, soulless green eyes appeared in each of the metal skeletons. The creatures marched out in perfect unison. The MI opened fire to no effect. Their fire pinged helplessly off the advanced material shells of the MI's doom. As one, the agents of death raised their weapons and fired. The impacts were horrific in their damage. It was if someone was peeling them away layer by layer, molecule by molecule.
Ilya's mind snapped and he ran and ran. He impacted into something hard. Tolstoy yelled out in pain. He looked up, blood streaming from his broken nose. He gazed upon Death. A gaunt lifeless face stared down on him. In the center of the parody of an Egyptian Pharaoh's chest was a glowing core. It lifted an orb of some kind. A hoarse cry escaped from somewhere. The pulsating core began to rise in concert with the staff in the Lord of Death's left hand. Tolstoy tried to scream, but a metal foot crashed down crushing his chest. The staff of the Лорд смерти was the last thing Ilya Tolstoy of St. Petersburg ever saw.
The surface of Planet P was a site of triumph. Soldiers whooped and fired their rifles as a squad dragged their quarry from the crypts of this forsaken world. The Brainbug writhed in a feeble attempt to escape. A trio of old friends; a naval pilot, an MI soldier and an Intelligence officer walked off in triumph.
"You know, when the three of us are together, I think everything will be ok." The female naval pilot smiled broadly. Lt. Johnny Rico was about to respond when the screaming started. At the mouth of the cave, men were dying. Before the terrified eyes of their compatriots, they were dissolving. Phalanx after Phalanx of utterly silent seemingly robotic warriors emerged from the cave systems. Johny watched in horror as one of the warriors who had been blown in half with a grenade claw itself over to its severed lower half and reconnect. The deathless machine rose to its feet and took its place in another Phalanx.
Then there was the welcome sound of a fighter flight screaming towards their location. Salvation was coming.
But, there would be no salvation. One of the fighters was destroyed by a single bolt of green energy that erupted from behind one of the mesas. The second fighter was caught by a whip of sickly green energy and casually thrown into a cliff wall. A pyramid of what looked like solid black stone slide inches off the ground towards the now broken troops. Each shot from its weapon struck with the force of a nuke.
The Fleet was being overwhelmed by calls for orbital bombardment. Mobile Infantry soldiers were dying in the thousands by the second. The Admiral in charge was preparing to give the all clear when one of his fleet's remaining ships exploded.
It had been rammed. The Admiral managed to get a single look at the strangely beautiful craft. It was an elegant pyramid resting on a crescent moon.
"Goodbye, Maria." It was the only sound on the bridge as an arc of lightning sliced his ship in half. The space around Planet P was alight with the Funeral Pyres of Mankind. Far away, beneath the snowy mountains near the Galactic Rim, inside the stillness of a mind-shattering Orbital Construct encircling a dying star, inside the crypts of a airless ball of stone and deep within the labyrinths of a world of rusted sands, a signal was received. There is no peace among the stars, only the laughter of thirsting Gods.
Starship Troopers the movie is directed by Paul Verhoeven and distrubuted by Tristar and Touchstone Pictures.
Necrons and all related concepts are owned by Games Workshop.