Passage from Soul Drinker, the first book in the Soul Drinker series by Ben Counter
The battle depicted in the passage occurs on what is a star fortress which is best described as a small death star, but rather than being a strong fortress with the aim to protect its inhabitants or precious possessions. The Space Marines have just join battle with their battle brothers and are aiding in the battle against a thousand strong mutant horde. Along with them is Sarpedon, a psychic capable of creating illusions to attack an enemy’s morale.
“The Hell. A weapon subtle but devastating, striking at the minds of his enemies while his brother Marines struck their bodies. In the swift storming actions that the Soul Drinkers had made their own, it bought the seconds essential to press home the assault. It worked up-close, in the guts of the fight, where a Soul Drinker delighted to serve his Emperor.
Three of Givrillian's Marines, more than used to Sarpedon's conjurations after years of training and live exercises, pointed bolter muzzles over the mutants' makeshift barricade and pumped shells into the fallen, blasting fist-sized holes in torsos. Several more Space Marines knelt to draw beads on the hordes of mutants thrown into confusion by the sudden collapse of their front line. Shots barked out, bodies dropped.
A tentacle flailed as its owner fell. Something with skeletal wings jutting from its back was flipped into a somersault as a shell blew its upper chest apart.
Sarpedon stepped over the defences and swung again, swiping a worker/soldier in two at the waist as he tried to scramble away. Givrillian appeared at Sarpedon's shoulder, his bolter cracking shots into the backs of fleeing enemies. Assault Marines leapt past them and sprinted towards the mutants ranged towards the back of the hub. Tellos's armour was slick with black-red gore.
A hand clapped Givrillian's shoulder pad - it was Luko. In an instant the two tactical squads had joined up to form a fire line and chains of white-hot bolter fire raked around the Assault Marines, covering them as they did their brutal work. Some mutants survived to flee - most died beneath the blades of Tellos and his squad, or hammered by the fire from Givrillian and Luko. Their screams filled the hub with the echoes of the dying.
The enemy had broken completely and the spectres of the Hell strode amongst the panicking mutants as the Marines slaughtered them in their hundreds.
It was how the Soul Drinkers always won. Break an enemy utterly, rob him of his ability to fight, and the rest was just discipline and righteous brutality.”
Morale – Enemy out number and outgun the player and are well dug into makeshift fortifications, the player must demoralize the enemy by unleashing the hell, restricted by a cooldown or energy bar of sorts, and killing enemy leaders or figures such as large hulking mutants detailed elsewhere in the book where they are either assassinated or duelled to the death as quickly as possible.
Codex Astartes – As you are a high ranking officer you are able to command several squads across a large area to attack simultaneously or flank enemies. Whilst planning out what to do, the player’s character will get to safety by ducking out of line of sight and the world will slow down. Whilst this happens the camera will centre on the character’s head and a mini ma will appear, with squads detailed by badges or insignia, flashing read if under attack and muzzle flashes to show which direction they are firing. Player must use flanking manoeuvres and tactics to win.
Gravity – As the station is a sphere and maintains a natural gravity all walkways will appear upright when in relation to other areas they will be upside down or curved at odd angles. This will cause the player to get around different obstacles and make navigation into unknown territory difficult.
Active Environment – The station is under attack and constantly shifting as pillars are destroyed creating cover, areas are decompressing causing a sudden suction of air, throwing off aim, doors are being locked and sealed as the enemy tries to reduce your movement and as enemies use cranes to smash or lift your cover, making you vulnerable.
Genre – Sci-Fi FPS with squad play and minor RTS elements