Available as an e-short for the first time, 11 years after its publication in the Let The Galaxy Burn anthology, Dan Abnett’s The Fall of Malvolion is a standalone ‘Astra Militarum’ (that’s Imperial Guard, to you and me) story featuring the Mordian Iron Guard. When troopers of the Mordian 15th uncover a nest of genestealers on the agri-world of Malvolion, it becomes a race against time to evacuate the population before the inevitable waves of tyranid monstrosities descend upon the planet to feed. Malvolion is well defended, but against the tyranid hordes even the staunchest Imperial defenders are hard pressed.
40k has always been dark, but back in the early days Black Library used to publish some really grim stories…like this. Seen from the ground, and the perspective of ordinary humans, the endless waves of tyranids are as horrific as they’ve ever been…the clue’s in the title, after all. There’s not much character development here, as the viewpoint flits between various elements of the Imperial Guard presence to show the scale of the devastation, but that’s not the point. This isn’t about the Mordian Iron Guard, it’s about shock and awe. It’s powerful stuff, just don’t expect a happy ending.