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Fear Itself (Short Story)

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Fear Itself
Author Juliet E. McKenna
Publisher Black Library
Collected in Fear the Alien

Cover Description

Imperial Guard of the 19th Alba Marmorea hold a vital river crossing deep in the verdant forests of Shertore. Their enemy: the inhuman monstrosities of the tyranids. With the deadly aliens attacking ever more frequently and the baleful psychic presence of the Hive Mind pressing in on them, it falls to the commissars and medics of the unit to keep the men together until help can arrive.


Facing many assaults from the Tyranids on the agri-world of Shertore, the 19th Alba Marnorea of Alvanik hold a fort at a river crossing against the hordes of the hive fleet. Faced with draining morale, debilitating casualties and the incessant attacks, Catmos, the field surgeon, must patch together his men’s bodies and minds. After several attacks led by the higher hive mind creatures such as the Lictor, Ravener and Warrior, the final situation looks dire, with Catmos ready to commit suicide after giving his patients peace. However before options dwindle to this, the Praetors of Orpheus Space Marines arrive by drop pod assault and cut down the Tyranid horde.


The planet Shertore, under assault by an unknown Tyranid hive fleet.


  • Catmos - Head Field Surgeon
  • Commissar Thirzat - Regimental Commissar
  • Mathein - Catmos' orderly
  • Etrick - Junior Surgeon
  • Trind - Junior Surgeon
  • Haux - Etrick's orderly
  • Nyal - Young Guardsman whose mind is stretched to the limit until Catmos counsels him.
  • Captain Kelloe - Leads one company of Guardsmen
  • Captain Slaithe - Led one company of Guardsmen. Dead from Borer beetles
  • Vox-Sergeant Biniam - Catmos' robust and trustworthy friend.
  • Lieutenant Jepthad - Young newly field-promoted officer