Tauman: Maybe the smoke grenades of the real world, not at all the case in 40k... amongst a race of technocentric aliens. Which is why I think Tau grenades will have aspects to them more like this:http://www.ecbc.army.mil/news/2014/ECBC-Demonstrates-First-Prototype-Multi-Colored-Smoke-Grenade.htmlExemplar
A trio of loud thuds against her shoulder guard almost knocked her off Brak'a. She held onto the big alien's harness but dropped her rifle, forced to watch it spin and disappear into the encroaching foliage. Na'deem held on, both hands now around her waist.
" She yelled to Brak'a. Bra'ka leapt upwards
with a snarl, just as the aliens barrage engulfed where they had been a heartbeat before. Nel felt the thrill of speed, keeping her eyes open as Brak'a arched above the canopy, dazzled by the naked sun in the sky. For a moment she was weightless.
Then Brak'a's body stretched and twisted and they were falling, fast.
Below, three aliens searched for where their quarry had disappeared to, long serpent bodies coiled about the limbs of the trees when Brak'a crashed back down, smashing into one of them. Brak'a's meter wide mouth snapped around the alien's midsection, jolting the alien from the tree while the other two thirds of its body coiled about the trunk. All three were showered with oily black viscera as the alien was yanked apart, arresting Brak'a and the two Firewarriors descent enough to survive the rest of the fall to the forest floor.
Nel felt something pop
sickeningly in Brak'a's left leg but the faithful Yo'shi rebounded from the fall and began running in a new trajectory. One that Nel recognized and new Brak'a was going to try to get them home.
Yet he was already limping and getting worse. They wouldn't be able to outrun the enemy now. Nel reached into her utility satchel on her hip and yanked out a chaff-grenade. Brak'a had sacrificed without question to save them all, Nel's own was never doubted.
Igniting the fist-sized can, she held onto it rather than throw it behind her. The miniature grav-motivator within vibrated millions of times a second, blasting out jets of multi-spectrum smoke clouds that seemed to distort reality itself as light bent around the rapidly expanding gas. Her scream of pain was muffled in the billowing chaff as her fingers broke from the centrifugal force. She could hold on for only a few seconds but it was enough. She let the chaff-grenade go, knowing that Brak'a would appear as a quickly disappearing smudge across the forest.***
Brak'a roared, the sound deafening within the mountainside cave. Nel didn't stop pressing until she drove the Yo'shi's bone back into its socket. With a wet squelch, Brak'a's leg jolted into a defensive twitch and he began licking it. Nel straightened, pushing a wisp of hair from her face.
She sighed, "You would have broken it had that Sslyth hadn't slowed us down."
"Sslyth?" Nel turned and looked at the Firewarrior they had saved. She had laid him out against an outcropping once she had secured the cave. She'd kept his carapace on, filling the jagged holes in it with regenerating foam from her med kit. She had used liquid skin on the wounds on his face and arms, and the armor would keep his broken bones from moving too much but he had lost a lot of blood.
"That's what they're called. Sslyth. Probably Rift-pirates."
"I'm sure that many are, certainly all those I have come across. But, I am sure one or two of them seek universal morality and will one day see the light of reason." The wounded Firewarrior laughed before clutching his chest in pain.
"You are too kind to those who would kill us."
"It is not a kindness, only faith." She sniffed, her fingers touching the prayer beads on her belt. U'do had told her that the off-worlders seemed to be intolerant of aliens, enacting censor of alien communities in the cities.
"Sands..." He groaned, "You're hit!" He pointed with a weak hand.
Nel checked herself then saw three finger-length barbs protruding out of her shoulder guard under her cloak. Her left hand broken, she had to twist to unlatch the section of armor. Holding it up, she recognized the Sslyth 'needles'. The color of pearl and shaped like an insect's stinger, a small bladder on each was still pulsing as it pumped poison ineffectually.
"It's like being injected with fire, then ice, then nothing. It doesn't kill you, this is a slaver's weapon." She tossed the shoulder guard away. "My name is Shas'La Nel."
"Shas'La Kel'shan Na'deem. I am the First and last of my team."
"Tell me all, brother."
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (more later)