“Military authorities on Dar Sai have confirmed that xeno forces, after fighting two battles south of the Hanui Valley, have advanced 800 kilometers and now threaten the port city of Aruna. Two more battalions of Imperial Guard have been rushed to the city in an effort to slow the enemy advance.” — IMPERIAL VOXCAST, 3 477 738.M41.
NEWS REPORT, Imperial Daily Bulletin to Citizens
Xeno forces crush PDF, but stopped by Knights of Altair
By Amicia Gellena
Bulletin Staff Writer
ARUNA, DAR SAI—After defeating the 17th PDF battalion along the Peseda River, a regimental-sized Tau military force this week advanced nearly 800 kilometers south toward the city of Aruna. The xeno drive to the port city ultimately was stopped only by a last-minute counterattack of the Adeptus Astartes.
Nearly 200,000 square kilometers of the the moon’s major continent fell under xeno control in this military action, putting 300 small plantations and nearly 140,000 laborers under xeno control.
The first sign of the xeno attack was detected on 3 454 738.M41, when orbital satellites identified a sizable xeno force advancing south from the Tau-held Hanui valley. Within hours, the xenos encountered the 17th PDF battalion, which was building a trench line designed to bolster their defensive position.
Just before noon, the largely infantry xeno force engaged the PDF force, pinning Imperial troops with their long-range pulse rifles while Kroot auxiliary troops swung around the Imperial flank.
Major Jason Theodoris, commander of the 17th Battalion, courageously led an attack designed to turn the opposing Tau flank. Alas, it was driven back by fierce xeno fire, and Major Theodoris was killed.
At this point, PDF troops fell back to some wooded hills in an attempt to avoid the increasingly effective Tau fire. However, Tau battle suits descended from the skies and landed behind Imperial lines, prompting panic. Many troops fled the battlefield.
“The damned xenos have better weapons then we do,” one PDF trooper complained. “They sit out of range of our weapons and shoot us without risk, and their pulse rifles easily penetrate our body armor. It’s a crime.”
The trooper subsequently was executed by a commissar for statements detrimental to troop morale, and this reporter was sternly warned to not interview additional troopers without permission.
Yet, before this warning was given, dozens of PDF troopers shared stories of witnessing Kroot warriors stopping to feast on fallen soldiers. Although military authorities have long denied such atrocities occur, stories have accumulated over the years, giving the Kroot an ominous reputation—and some officers express concern that troop morale falls markedly when Kroot forces are reported.
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