|THE HOWLING COMMANDOS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. CONTINUE TO BATTLE THE DIRE WRAITHS|
|THE TABLETOP - A GHOST VILLAGE IN THE SAHARA DESERT|
With the green-hued Dire Wraith matriarch in her sights, Vampire By Night hot-footed her way east into the settlement believing her ability to regenerate any wounds would ensure her survival until she at least reached her intended target [Regenerate: At the start of its turn, a model may roll a D6 for each missing Mass point. Upon the roll of a 6, a single Mass point is returned to the model].
Nearby, Manphibian fired at the northernmost alien and despite the evolutionary offshoot of a Skrull taking on the appearance of an innocent villager so as to 'throw off' the Howling Commandos' aim, the Dire Wraith was struck by a bullet and injured. Determined to put an end to his red-skinned foe, Manphibian utilised Warwolf's Command ability [Command: A friendly unit that is within 12" may re-roll a single dice roll once per turn] and trained his firearm at the snarling, vaguely humanoid-looking creature from the Andromeda Galaxy. The monster fell dead under a hail of bullets.
|VAMPIRE BY NIGHT LEADS THE CHARGE AGAINST THE DIRE WRAITH QUEEN|
To the south, the Dire Wraith watching the large palm trees sent a magical blast hurtling towards the Man-Thing and due to the fiery attack's supernatural origin it caused Ted Sallis' alter-ego some noticeable discomfort as it scorched his vegetable matter. Disconcertingly however, the Howling Commandos' mission was about to become even more difficult as Warwolf was twice struck by more missiles summoned from within the Dark Nebula and fell unconscious to the sand...
|THE DIRE WRAITHS AMBUSH NINA PRICE WHILST THEIR QUEEN PERFORMS HER DARK ARTS|
The defeat of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s vampire/werewolf hybrid left the shape-shifter who had originally been fighting her free to unleash a sorcerous blast upon Man-Thing. The Howling Commando was partially protected by a small rocky outcrop [Cover: -1 to hit], but still caught the best part of the magical attack. The Dire Wraith south of Theodore also fired at him, and the former Legion of Monsters member shook in pain. Having been wounded thrice the "large, slow-moving, empathic, humanoid swamp monster" was literally on his last legs.
Bravely however, Man-Thing was still determined to stop the Dire Wraith Queen in her unholy ritual, and ploughed into the Dire Wraith who had vanquished Vampire By Night, partially crippling the alien [Mass: 2]. Elsewhere Manphibian moved northeast to the northern edge of the settlement's wall.
For a moment time seemed to stand still as the Dire Wraith's monarch weaved her spells for a fifth time. But the matriarch only managed to generate two points of magic meaning the Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D. had one move chance to stop her foul machinations. Unfortunately for Nick Fury's special agents though, the Queen's sisters took the opportunity to 'swamp' Man-Thing, and brought Ted Sallis' vegetable matter-made form down under a flurry of blows.
|THE DIRE WRAITH QUEEN SUCCESSFULLY SUMMONS THE HYBRID|
Alone, with no hope of reaching his mission's target before she uttered the final incantation necessary to bring about the resurrection of the Hybrid, Manphibian decided that a tactical retreat was probably the better part of valour. The super-strong gill-man had gained some valuable intelligence on the Dire Wraith menace, and would return for revenge...