Hydra (Hive Fleet)
|This article is about the Hive Fleet; for the other uses, see Hydra (disambiguation).|
Hydra is a minor Tyranid Hive Fleet awoken prematurely from an aeons-long hibernation and is now advancing into the Galaxy to slake its hunger. It was first encountered on the very extremes of the eastern spiral  or in the galactic south, depending on the source. Hive Fleet Hydra is known to multiply and regenerate at terrifying speed, a trait that its largest beasts to lowliest maggots display.
Hydra is currently targeting other, older Tyranid Hive Fleets in order to cannibalize them for unknown reasons, though it may be the explanation for its ability to rapidly multiply and regenerate.
Dark Eldar of the Kabal of the Poisoned Fang encounter the still-dormant Hive Fleet Hydra. Instead of destroying it, the Dark Eldar board the largest bio-vessels, intent on bringing specimens back to the Haemonculi. However, they are unprepared for the rate at which the bio-ships awaken. Every pirate that sets foot inside one of the vessels is killed, butchered by a tide of rapidly spawned Tyranids. Those Dark Eldar still aboard their vessels attempt to escape, but for every drone ship they destroy two more take its place. Prematurely awakened from its slumber, Hive Fleet Hydra accelerates its advance into the galaxy to slake its hunger.
A strike force of White Scars hunts the Hydra across the sand dunes of Haadekh. Veterans of countless xenos wars, the Space Marines know that the best method of fighting Tyranids is to cut the head from the beast, sending the swarm into confusion. However, each synapse creature the White Scars slay sends out a psychic scream, attracting fresh swarms of Tyranids to their location. Soon they are surrounded. Warriors to the end, the White Scars sell their lives dearly. Their sacrifice draws Hydra’s swarms away from Haadekh’s equatorial cities, giving the Imperium time to evacuate key personnel.
After months of campaigning, the armies of Lord General Syvar Daeus turn back a tendril of Leviathan from the borders of the Corilanus System. In his honor a great Imperial Triumph is held on the planet of Ollfyre. Just as Daeus’ legions reach the Plaza of Fallen Heroes, shadows begin to fall across the millions of onlookers. Looking up, the terrified populace sees its doom approaching – countless spores darken the skies, and beyond that vast, organic shapes drift into orbit, blocking the light from Corilanus’ binary suns. The Hydra has come, drawn by the death throes of its defeated kin.
On the Imperial Agri World of Methuselax, Hydra landed vast eater-swarms to overrun the planet. Due to the risk of spillage into a nearby Webway gate on the world, the Harlequin Masque of the Soaring Spite led a coalition of Saim-Hann and Wych Cults to destroy the threat. Unable to land on the ground amid the swarming Tyranids, the Eldar instead remained airborne and launched pinpoint strikes against synaptic node-beasts. Though casualties were high for the Eldar, they managed to inflict enough losses on the Tyranids that the Hive Mind judged the biomass expenditure to outweigh the yield. Thus Hydra's forces drifted away, leaving a dead world but a safe Webway Gate.
- 1: Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 38
- 2: Warhammer 40,000 5th Edition Rulebook, pg. 166
- 3: Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition Rulebook pg.137
- 4: Codex: Tyranids (8th Edition) - Hydra
- 5: Codex: Harlequins (8th Edition) - The Dance of the Ages