The Allied fleet had successfully branched out from the wormhole and into unexplored space, dominated totally by the cybernetic menace. On the bridge of the Herald of Retribution, Primarch Voro Acetenus of the Unified Order of Cognalorilos glanced over a data report from a vessel which had recently disappeared near the wormhole arrival point, the Glorious Pinnacle. Given their location in the midst of Neraida space, it was abundantly clear what the fate of the vessel was. Just as Voro was about to begin scribbing a message of condolence to the clans of the crew, Shiplord Tolahven approached from behind. "My Primarch", he said with a bow.
"We have received a distress call from a Cognatus vessel over ten light years away. It must be the Glorious Pinnacle."
Voro clicked his mandibles together. "I shall lead a recovery team. Prepare my shuttle, Shiplord."
Though an officer of another nation may have protested such a brash action by the leader of their civilisation, X'elorn Tolahven knew the folly of such concerns. The leader of the Cognatus must retain their position through shows of strength. Voro was no different. "By your will, Lord Primarch."
Three hours later, Voro's personal shuttle dropped out of hyperspace above a barren moon. The surface below was covered in a planet-spanning frozen ocean, with not a single sign of the Glorious Pinnacle. Intrigued, Voro initiated a system-wide scan, only for it to be interupted by a green lance of laserfire across the viewscreen of the shuttle. "By the Gods!"
Rushing to the cockpit, Voro failed to reach the controls in time to move the ship out of the path of a second laser bolt, which impacted against the engine of the craft and sent it spiralling toward the planet's surface. Voro managed to keep control of the craft to the extent where he could pick where he could crash—a large flat section of the frozen ocean near the "tropical" zone. When the ship collided with the planet, Voro had braced himself but was unable to prevent his arm from fracturing. Stepping out of the shuttle, he huffed as he endured the pain. Good, even a Primarch must never let his guard down, he thought to himself as he surveyed the environment. He could see a light coming down from the dark skies as a figure emerged, beaming down into the surface, and upon closer inspection, the Primarch could tell its identify; a Dronox Commander, one of the elite warriors of the Grox, and by extension, the Neraida.
Voro immediately ignited his energy blade and began circling the new arrival. "I was under the impression they decommissioned your foul kind." This Commander was not the first Voro Acetenus had ever seen, as he had fought one of their kind during the Great War. And much like he remembered, this creature also maintained complete silence as it revealed its own energy sword from its arm, intending to assassinate the Primarch. After analyzing his prey for a few moments, coming to realize the Cogsangui had broken his arm in the impact with the ground, the Dronox immediately sent his blade to it, hoping to strike where he was most vulnerable.
However, even with one hand, Voro Acetenus proved a formidable opponent as he parried the blows of the cyborg with his other arm, and the two begun a fiersome duel. While exchanging blows, Voro was taken by surprise as the Commander leaped into the air, then launched itself at his direction, forcing the Primarch to move out of the way - as he landed, the ice cracked under its foot. Such a blow would have crushed Voro into paste, but also proved to be the opportunity he needed.
The Primarch struck at the cyborg, who fought back with an emotionless but fierce gaunt, as he felt some of his armor burn as the enemy's blade scratched through it. However, he prepared himself as the Dronox attempted another leap, and Voro positioned himself over the cracked ice. Upon impact, it broke down, causing the Commander to have its legs stuck into the ice as it crumbled under it, and with one swift strike, Voro struck the enemy while it was vulnerable, severing its head and upper torso from its body.
Holding out his wrist, Voro attempted to contact his flagship. To his relief, the holographic face of the Shiplord appeared before him. Noticing the scars, X'elorn parted his mandibles in surprise. "My Lord Primarch? You are injured."
"Nothing that will not heal. Come to my coordinates at once. We have a war to win."
- Previously a story on the Neraida War mainpage.