A small orange worm scurried across the wasteland. It was barren, almost completely devoid of life now. His brethren had been meticulous in their ingestion of living matter. But this was only the begnning of the Ripper's life.
Moments before it had crawled from a spawning den with more than fifty others of its kind. The individual beasts instinctively huddled together and gathered themselves into a cohesive mass. They were a living carpet designed for only a singular task.
Every piece of organic matter, no matter how small was to be devoured. And the Rippers were the last to scour the surface clean. If this Ripper possessed the intellect of its more advanced brethren, such as that of a Tyranid Prime or Hive Tyrant, then perhaps it would have pontificated the effectiveness of its particular breed at scouring the last vestiges of life from a planet.
Perhaps, too, it would have been more aware that in fact its kind had been rather careless in their eradication of hostile life on this worthless rock, and that they had overlooked the sheer determination that their foe possessed. And, that there was a resolute chance that it was about to enjoy an even shorter life than the rest of its kin. For if a Ripper possessed even the awareness of a genestealer, they may have noticed the peculiar objects that were rapidly descending towards the surface of the planet.
But neither philisophy, tactical analysis nor awareness of the heavens is the forte of the Ripper, so it was most alarming when a Drop Pod slammed into the ground a mere inch from this little worm, and splattered its kin into a fantastic shower of blood and chitin.
The ripper initially panicked before a primal urge to feed overwrote it's senses. Instead of fleeing the Ripper remained put and began to gorge itself on the exploded corpses of it's fallen comrades. It devoured their chitinous shells and feasted on the internal organs of it's fellow rippers. The determined little beast skirted the edges of the Drop Pods and ingested as much organic matter as possible.
As it neared the end of it's meal the flaps of Drop Pod opened, crushing even more of the writhing anthropods. The Ripper instinctively made its way to the swarm and began to regroup with the rest of its brethren. The swarms of Rippers tried to pour into the opened Drop Pods, only to be met with ceramite power armour and bolter shells.
The Angels of Death had descended, to cleanse the Xenos taint from this world.
Rippers lack any real sense of tactics. Unsurprisingly their attempts to eat the Space Marines proved rather ineffective as their jaws broke on the Power Armoured demi-gods. Many more were torn to shreds as the explosive shells from Boltguns caused the very form of the creatures to erupt in a terrific explosion of gore.
But it was when the Adeptus Astartes deployed flamethrowers that the slaughter really began. This exceptionally lucky ripper, narrowly avoided being toasted as large swathes of the Tyranids found themselves bathed in Prometheum.
The ripper, possessed by some unknown extra-instinctive behaviour, began to burrow frantically into the ground. It's teeth and mandibles were now being used to chew through the very earth itself, so that it could escape the massacre of it's kindred.
It was then that it found itself within a cavernous tunnel, with hundreds more of its kind. This snaking path had been freshly gouged from the hard rock, by a monstrous leviathan of gargantuan proportions.
Fortuitously for this squirming little beast, the Hive Mind had expected a response from the Power Armoured foes it now faced and had left behind a reserve of their most devastating designs. While the ripper lacked the mental faculties to comprehend such a strategic asset, a more malign intelligence was now guiding its every move.
When the creature that had dug the tunnel struck the surface, it left many casualties in its wake. As the ripper met the light of the sun once more, a scene of devastation had unfolded. Bodies of the Power Armoured Space Marines lay motionless upon the arid dirt and pieces of ravaged drop pods littered the ground.
For the Trygon Prime had been swift in its judgement, laying waste to all in its path. It used its colossal scything talons to tear apart the eight-foot super soldiers that assailed it while utilising an ungodly cunning to guide the rippers towards the injured and the dead, finishing off the last vestiges of hope for the Angels of Death. Swarms of the little creatures now erupted from the tunnel left in the wake of the titanic Trygon.
This little ripper was amongst the swarm, guided towards the corpses of slain foes. It gorged on the flesh of the deceased superhuman warriors, digesting the sacred geneseed of Adeptus Astartes in an attempt to quench its eternal hunger.
The rippers desolated the area, bringing down the Space Marines through to their concentrated weight of numbers. The malevolent mind of the Trygon Prime had utilised its synaptic link efficiently to wipe out its foe.
Yet, even a monstrous beast of such majesty is not omniscient nor omnipresent. It could not foresee that the resilience of humanity was a testament to its own. While many had been wiped out since the eruption of the Trygon from the earth, the Adeptus Astartes were far from defeated.
The loss of their comrades only further increased their determination. It was the Angels of Death who stuck back with a ferocity far greater than even that of the rippers. They poured prometheum over the rippers liberally, incinerating them with ease. As fire engulfed the landscape, these gods amongst men resorted to even heavier weaponry.
Lascannons were readied and rockets loaded, as they fixed their targets on the humongous leviathan. The ripper carried onward unto the breach, as many of its brethren attempted to swarm the Space Marines. But bolter and flame kept them at bay.
However, it would not be by the fires of the Imperium would this ripper meet his end nor even by bolter shell, but by the boot of one Space Marine, who stepped on him by mistake.