The sounds of hundreds of tiny gnashing teeth made Sergeant Serpentius turn suddenly. Down below, he could see hordes of rippers moving towards his position. Serpentius fired a round from his combi-flamer into the mass of bodies, hoping to frighten them away, but they kept coming. A shadow passed across him, and he glanced up, searching the sky. The Scout Sergeant shuddered as something stabbed through his back and into his heart, and he fell to the floor, dead.