Howling Banshees were the most beautiful sight the battlefield had to offer. Though more than one initiate had mistaken them for running blindly at the enemy, that lasted only until the lithe swordswomen began their dance of death.
Lessya watched Exarch Kalhida lead her squad into the tide of Hormagaunts, disrupting the creatures' already fragile concentration with their piercing screams, before slashing through them in a flash of gore and bestial screeches. Lessya and her Guardians took the lead, carving a path across the deadly green sea. She could see other squads advancing behind the melee units, forcing back the Tyranids, and Avandros, the great Wraithlord, slaughtering Warriors by the dozen, further breaking the Tyranids' cohesion.
Though it took less than three seconds to survey the battlefield, that was enough for Lessya to miss the wall of chemical flame coming at her until the heat made her head turn out of pure instinct. She threw herself to the side just as the Pyrovore's attack engulfed three of her Guardians. Lessya could not afford to spare them a look. She knew they were now little more than cinders and, if any doubt was left, the sight in front of her dispelled them. The Pyrovore responsible for her kinsmen's deaths was devouring Kalhida and her Banshees, now reduced to molten sculptures, nothing left of their yellow and blue armours.
She fired on the frantic beast, but its massive cannon was already spewing a new torrent of fire, forcing her to dive again. More of her brethren died, and Lessya could sense the Hormagaunts closing on them like a terrifying, large-scale representation of their own mandibles. Meanwhile, the Pyrovore's hunger had taken hold, and it now came at her, drooling acid and firing its cannon furiously. Despair took hold of her, and Lessya again missed the flaming blast coming at her until the heat forced her to.
It was nothing like the wild flames of a Pyrovore. This was a focused beam, brighter than anything she had seen, striking more than thirty metres away from Lessya, yet still making her flinch. Two dozen Hormagaunts and the Warriors leading them were vaporized in the most literal sense Lessya had ever witnessed. Reduced to fine dust. Though Lessya knew it was not in their nature, she swore she saw the Tyranids pause for a second, puzzled, but by that time Fuegan was already among them.
He rescued Avandros first, relieving him of several Warriors assaulting the ancient hero. Then he came carved a path to her. The Phoenix Lord actually came to her rescue. To untrained eyes, it might seem as if Fuegan was merely spinning blindly, and even for a veteran such as Lessya the full scope of the Phoenix Lord's intricate fighting style was impossible to grasp. In little more than a minute the great figure stood at her side. He nodded to her, then looked at the Eldar troops around and behind Lessya. A second later, a roar like that of the Dragon of myth rallied the host and Fuegan the order to advance came with a blast from his Fire Pike. Lessya saw the flame-shaped holes on the weapon's tip come alive like a sun and, an instant later, a focused sun struck the Pyrovore ahead. The beast's mandibles simply disappeared and the volatile gases and fluids inside the beast exploded, ejecting its hollow head.
Fuegan stepped on the grisly remains, surveying the enemy while the Eldar host charged. As she left the great Lord behind, Lessya thought she heard laughter, like the rumble of a great beast about to unleash death on its prey.