Steig comes over the vox. "Negative my lord Astartes. Lost all of that in the siege."
Over squad vox, "Damnation! Prepare to engage, brothers. I want two frags and a soundstrike on them!" Mac pulls a grenade from his belt. "On three."
Gren 46 +/- = BS 36 + 10 (Oath of Knowledge) +/- mods for horde size and surprise
The group of Astartes silently makes their way towards the two Gretchin squads on the rooftops. They catch up to them, taking position on each side of the street, Fulrik more towards the right, and the others to the left. "1...2....3!" Mac yells into the vox, having cooked his grenade sufficiently for the task at hand.
In one glorious moment, 2 frag grenades fly up and land at the feet of the grouping to the left and the missile accelerates forward, aimed for the middle of the grouping to the right. At exactly the same moment, the explosions detonate, the screams of the Gretchin drowned out by the massive sound produced. Pieces of the buildings and orks fly off in all directions as the Kill-Team continues marching forward, cautiously, but with haste.
After a few minutes of walking through the war-torn streets and killing ork boyz here and there with solidly efficient kills, the Kill-Team sees a barricade in front of them, the sight and sound of las fire coming out of it. The makeshift barricade sits in front, with the bodies of hundreds of orks sprawled out around it. The firing stops at your approach, your boots cracking the skulls of the fallen on your way into the quickly constructed headquarters of the resistance.
Upon making your way in, a gruff old timer, probably in his late 50s to early 60s, walks forward toward you. A giant scar cuts a near line from his right temple to his jaw, wrinkles sprinkled all over his weather-beaten face. He stands a solid 6 feet tall, but is dwarfed by your appearance like so many others. He wears the fatigues of the local militia, an imitation of regular imperial guard issued regalia, a shock of orange hair protruding from his head.
"Look what the cat dragged in! My lords," he says before bowing to the group, "glad to see you made it here in one piece. If you'll follow me to the command tent, I can get you up to speed on everything. The fighting has abated somewhat in this quadrant, but I haven't heard much from the other sectors. I have heard nothing from the Northern quadrant. That leads me to think that they may have breached the inner city from this position. It could also mean that is where their leader is."
He walks forward to a map of the city sprawled out over a few ammo boxes inside a dusty brown tent.
"Your Inquisitor was last heard to be in the Administratum building, here." He points to a section of the map, right in the middle of the inner city. "That's a good 2 or 3 kilometers. We don't know much about what is going on inside there. Comms were lost in the past 10 minutes, complete blackout. We would be in there takin' a look ourselves, but I figure the last thing we need is to leave this part of the city defenseless. I can open the gates whenever you wish."
Fulrik approaches the barricade with purpose. He catches all of the stares and dropped jaws, knowing full well what just the sight of an Astartes could and would do to a mortal Guardsman. He nodded to some, showing his enlarged canines and smiling to others. If the sight of an Astartes could bolster men's spirits, what then would the recognition of one do? The 2.5 meter tall monster of a man in black and silver Mk. 7 Power Armor strode with purpose and hoped that he instilled the will to fight and die in service to the All Father in everyone who had a chance to look upon him. For if this squad of Astartes were not the Emperor's will made manifest, then what was?
"Commander," he says in his thick accent speaking a bit more comfortably the Low Gothic of the commonfolk than the High Gothic of the Imperial Courts. "I am Fulrik Floaner of the Fenryka Vlka - you may know of us as the 'Space Wolves'. I have brought your men gifts." He begins unloading the extra grenades, charge packs, and ammo magazines for stubbers that he picked up on the way. "You are no doubt in need of resupply. This is the best I could do on short notice." He nods to the others who stopped and picked up some as well, hoping they follow his lead and unload on the command table.
"You are Steig?"
Mac allows the commander to lead him towards the tent. He takes stock of the equipment of the soldiers at the barricade.
"Commander, whatever men are too injured to fight might still be of some use to you. Have them gather the heads of Orks, and use pipes from the nearby buildings as pikes. You are going to be turning this barricade into a bigger target. You are going to decorate it with boar's heads, make it into a challenge. While you do this, you will be moving a significant number of your men into the nearby buildings. The Orks will have two reactions, either they will flee before the display, or they will attempt to charge it. Those who charge will be torn apart in the crossfire. You will rig your remaining non-missile explosives for vehicles or mobs that are too much to handle without the position being overrun. I have faith that you will be able to turn this around." Mac said all this while roughly gesturing at the buildings with his good arm. Then, looking at the troopers, he added, "And I will need to talk to your men before we leave."
At the news of the northern blackout, Mac grimaces. "We can stop this. To the north lies both our objective, and the swine-chief. We are going to be ending this, one way or another." Mac looks at his battle brothers. "Open the gate, we're going in."
"My gratitude to you all for the weapons and ammunition. Should hold us over for the rest of the fight." He turns towards Mac, looking at the Eagle Knight's attire, a puzzling look coming over his face.
"I've seen plenty of Astartes in my day and know all the regalia. Yours I can't pinpoint. I like your ideas though, my lord. Stevenson! Keller! You heard the Space Marine, get moving on making those pikes. Stuff the damn bastards' heads on 'em and show 'em we mean business. Hop to it!" The men scurry off with their Commander's orders, happy to be doing something, but sad to leave the presence of the warrior gods in front of them.
Many of the fellow soldiers, even those who can barely stand, make their way out of the medical and comms tents, in awe of the masters before them. They get to work on everything their superiors mention to them, moving about the base camp with haste. A few gaze while they work, ever wishing to be the total package that is an Astartes.
Samael walks quietly over to study the layout provided by the map and any other information that he can see, hoping perhaps to see a pattern or some hidden method by which him and his brothers could most effectively move to the admin building while not incurring the wrath of the entire attacking force at once. He keeps an eye toward anything he can see that the city's defenders could do that would help their chances exponentially.
After some time, he finds the best route to the admin building, through a few of the less traveled alleyways and cross streets that make up the majority of the inner city. Much of what the Eagle Knight said was true, a good show of fear and a good defense of explosives would do well for these men. Samael uses his external vox to voice his other opinions. "Might want to watch the rooftops, we came upon a few snipers on the way over here. I'd leave a group of your best to watch the approaching rooftops, and be sure to keep trying those comms. Hold fast and keep in cover. You don't want to be out in the open where a Shoota can snap your head off. That tank still working?" He says, while pointing at the massive Hellhound.
"She's low on ammo, but yeah she can still move," Steig replies.
"Good. I'd make it look like it's out of commission as best you could. Push it off to the side, make it look unimportant. Then, when the Orks think they have you in a jam, unleash hellfire on them."
"Roger that, my lords...and happy hunting!"
The gate behind your all begins to move upward into the air, the walls surrounding it a good 100 meters high. It skids to a stop just high enough to let you all pass through. You've made it into the inner city.
You all walk proudly through the open gate, which hisses and creaks behind you and thuds down with a final crunch, sealing you from the outside world and bringing you into the heart of the city of Palantine. You are all bombarded with a much different sight, and quite a sight to behold. Above you a massive dome encapsulates the inner city, sealing it off from the acrid wasteland weather and temperatures of the world of Octavian. Completely climate-controlled, your sensors indicate the change in air pressure and weather, updating you on your surroundings. Lush greenery surrounds the buildings, birds tweet through the air, and water trickles from a large river that cuts a path underneath the main thoroughfare. Massive buildings line the streets in all manner of shapes and sizes. Glass, steel, brick, stone, all of these are present in this lavish inner city. The walkways are lined with bushes and brambles and a massive tree, which almost touches the top of the dome, sits in the city center. More of a paradise world within a hive, the inner city lacks the brutish feeling from the sandy wastes of before. Although beautiful, the scene before you feels a bit eerie due to the fact that no one can be seen in your immediate line of sight.
The quadrant you have entered into remains untouched by the war, due to the efforts of Steig and his men to hold their ground, but off in the distance, things aren't so quiet.
Mac hugs the wall of a nearby. He motions for the other members of the team to fan out and take defensive position. Over the general vox, "Darius, take point. Someone see if we can make vox contact with the inquisitor."
"Aye," says Fulrik in response to Mac.
He switches to the squad-to-squad secure channel that the Inquisitor would no doubt be keyed into should her Vox be operational. "Warlock; this is Angel five; Repeat, Warlock this is Angel five. How copy? Over." Fulrik grips the Fyrie Wyrm tight in his palm, scanning the area for any signs of movement, although he wasn't expecting any given that Commander Steig had done such a good job of keeping the filthy pigs out so far.
"Warlock this is Angel five. How copy? Over."
The team stays silent and in the shadows of some of the closer buildings and foliage, maintaining an air of stealth and secrecy. Darius and Samael also take up positions of stealth around the entrance to the inner city. The silence is broken when Fulrik begins to work his vox.
The vox crackles for an indeterminate amount of time, but as Fulrik continues to hail the Inquisitor, nothing comes back from the other side of the communication. Looks like the team would have to do it the old-fashioned way.
Fulrik catches the team leader's attention and shakes his head - Unable to reach.
Mac motions for the team to move towards the administration building.
The team fans out in a military formation heading towards the Administratum building from the course that Samael had found using his superior tactics. The city was virtually untouched in the quadrant that they were currently in, producing and eerie feeling as the sounds of battle came from far off in the distance. Even so, the members of Angel 5 moved cautiously through the streets, passing from the alleyways to main areas with ease, moving ever closer to the building in the center of town. The stench of the dead came after a few minutes and all could tell that they were approaching the fighting.
After about a kilometer or so of movement, Mac motions with his hand for the group to slow. Something had caught his attention, but it wasn't something that worried him in the least. In fact, it gave him a bit of a pleasant surprise. If he was correct, that was the sound of an Astartes, a sound he would surely not misplace in his memory. He motioned for the team to hug the buildings on the left side of the street, silently creeping around the edge of the furthest building, while the others waited behind him. What he saw would have surprised anyone in that situation.
Not 15 meters away from the group an Astartes clad in the black and white of the Raven Guard pummeled ork boyz left and right, smashing skulls here and blasting away entire bodies there. He was unleashing a bit of hell on the Orks surrounding him, but the numbers grew and soon he would be overwhelmed by the masses surrounding him. The bodies of the fallen xenos littered the streets about him, and he was happily destroying more, but it would look as if he would need help in the coming minutes. Even Astartes needed help sometimes.
Mac fires his hand-flamer into the mass of Orks approaching the Raven Guard's left flank in a wall of angry promethium.
"Cacolotlacah," he calls over a general vox channel, "Looks like you could use some help against the hogs."
Bertram was silent as he hacked an ork in half, the wound only bleeding as the body started to fall. This is why you don't ambush by yourself. He thought grimly, though there was a faint smile beneath his helm. Seeing the ring starting to close he knew he needed to buy some space. Drawing on the power of the warp he channeled his will through Orphne. The psy-active matrix glowed, the eldritch light absorbed back into onyx black material of the sword proper.
The sudden comm-chatter broke his concentration, the warp merely sparking from his sword. "The more the merrier". He answered, his voice little more then a whisper on the vox.
Raven Guard Librarian
Fulrik takes a knee and maintains the integrity of the perimeter. He was fighting a duelling personality battle inside of his psyche; the Wolf inside stirred and barked and clawed at the corners of his mind. It wanted blood - Ork blood. It wanted him to drop the Soundstrike onto the ground, pull his combat blade and charge into the foe. It was only because of decades upon decades of service and forced discipline to the bigger order of battle that he had learned to suppress that instinct.
Long fangs were not necessarily smarter than their younger brothers; they were simply more in control of the enormous, violent Fenrisian Wolf that tore into their very soul at the thought of hunting in the name of the Allfather and Russ. Patience, he internally growled back. Soon enough we will bleed these pigs dry.
He kept a close eye on the numbers of Orks and how quickly they were dwindling. His Brothers knew exactly what they were doing. He kept his ears focussed on the battle, knowing to change his internal orders should he hear an Astartes in need of aid; he kept his nose to the wind, should he smell the slightest shift in the wind indicating more enemies approaching.
The Raven Guard struggled against the oncoming foes, having killed many of them already, their corpses strung out and about in all manner of gory glory. He had attempted to use his psychic powers once before, but failed due to the shear volume of foes before him.
As he cleaves another of the orks in half, their war cries sounding in the background, 5 Astartes round the corner of the Southern side of the crossroads. With the fluidity of the Emperor's chosen, they sync together and lay down a supreme amount of firepower into the horde. Mac aims his flamer at those to the left, bathing them in the illuminating fire of the Imperium, their wicked screams dulling in the soft afternoon sun. Flesh ebbs and flows off the bones of the closest ones as those in the back scream their lungs dry from the pain of being on fire.
Greeth does what he does best. Rends.
He flies forward, hacking two of the greenlings in half, blood spurting out over his armor. He parries a sudden blow from one behind him, punching upwards and separating the ork's head from his body. A swift counterattack later, and Greeth slams his massive helmeted head into another enemy, crushing the things skull and watching bemused as it falls limp to the ground.
Darius and Samael brace themselves and lend lead to the firefight, spraying hot bolter rounds at an increasing rate, popping off heads here and limbs there. One ork gets close to Darius, but he pistol whips it in the head, letting it fall to the ground before stamping its head to mush. The Emperor's justice pours into the foul xenos scum for a few seconds and before long none of the approaching greenskins remain alive.
Silence emanates from the group's surroundings, as Betram takes a quick look at the group.
Mac steps forward and bares his throat in acknowledgment of this new warrior, "Hail, Son of Ravenlord. I am Macquilli Quiahuitl of the Eagle Knights, Jaguar Tribe, acting officer of the Deathwatch forces on this world. Name and purpose?"
Shaking the failed attempt to roast the oncoming horde Bertram was glad for the assistance. Nodding his thanks to the Flesh Tearer he cocked his head at the strange, though appropriate ending. His own livery, the white Raven against an almost black blue, was barely visible under the ork blood. Turning to face the Eagle Knight he returned the sword to it's place on his thigh. Just visible within easy reach was the butt of a shotgun beneath his jump pack. "Bertram." He scanned the newly arrived marines as he spoke, voice never rising above a whisper. "We were part of Inquisitor Alaunus' retinue. We were separated during the invasion."
"I would switch that to 'purpose' before 'name'. Our briefing mentioned nothing of other Astartes present on this rock."
Fulrik does not offer his name and barely offers a look of acknowledgement as the situation was still set to explode at a moment's notice. How the Orks had gotten into this area without having to first bypass the Imperial Guard who had been holding them off so well thus far was a mystery to him, but he had to assume that more were present.
"The Wolf raises a point, Cacalotl," the Eagle Knight rolls the shoulder on his good arm, "We received no word of you." Mac clicked over the private squad vox for everyone to ready their weapons.
"Tell us, Raven Son, why your tribe is involved with this Inquisitor, and why she would neglect to mention your involvement in her mission."
"You have not worked with the Inquisition long, have you." There was no question in his whispered tone. Glancing at his left arm he wiped away some of the gore, revealing the dull silver of the Deathwatch. "We were meant to provide security and support while she studied the artifact." If he had any concern about the marines arrayed before him he gave no sign. "One thing you will learn about them, they never give the full truth. Am I to assume you are responsible for that blast earlier?"
"I know a fair bit about the Inquisition," Mac raises his hand flamer and points it at Bertram, "And I doubt they'd be so foolish as to foment conflict between the Deathwatch and one of the founding legions by omitting the presence of such important persons as yourselves."
"You will answer my questions, mystic. Why are you out here and not with the Inquisitor?"
Fulrik, with his helmet off and thus unable to communicate openly on the secure channel without prying ears hearing it, makes his way to Bertram.
"We were not informed of the presence of a second Kill Team planetside. In and of itself, that gives us pause to not simply take you at your word. You have already shown your knowledge of the warp, that is evident. Perhaps this too is another trick of such knowledge. Or perhaps you are exactly as you say. But I won't have my brothers betrayed, Raven. Now, answer the fething questions."
Fulrik stands toe-to-toe with the new Astartes, his long canines bared in a bestial smile. If there is a challenge to be issued, he is ready to accept - that much is clear.
Barbarian, he thought looking at the wolf in front of him, rolling his eyes behind his helm. "Who said anything about a conflict between those of the First Founding and Inquisition. As for why you were not informed she had acquired Astartes support." He shrugged, "You'll have to ask whoever sent you." He was surprised the Flesh Tearer wasn't on the offense.
Looking over to the Eagle Knight pointing the hand flamer at him he sighed. "The Inquistor sent us out to deal with any orks that could threaten the artifact while she prepped it for transport." His tone never rose above a whisper, the threat of immolation or combat with the Wolf beyond his worry. "Save the ammo for the orks, the Deathwatch does not take kindly to those who fire on their comrades."
Fulrik seems pleased enough with the answer and flashes a quick eye to Mac while the Raven addressed the Eagle Knight. The look was minute, but it clearly indicated that Fulrik thought he should lower his weapon.
"Librarian, you are charged with the security and compilation of knowledge. So, you must know that the Wolves of Fenris have only ever attacked Astartes after they had been deemed traitorus extremis. We have not made a mistake in that regard yet and I do not plan on doing so now. But I would not have my brothers betrayed; they say the Alpha Legion maintains a presence in the Jericho Reach to this day."
He lets the words hang in the air and turns his grin into a ferocious smile. With a grunt his punches the Raven Guard in the breast plate. It does nothing to him physically, but eases the tension a fraction.
"We should move out, Mac. I say we let the Raven lead the way. He seems to know where our quarry is."
The wind blows through the trees about the group, and as negotiations become less tense, Samael and Darius make their way towards the group. Once all are within the same area, the group fans out once again and makes way towards the Administratum building that Samael had plotted a course to only a few minutes previously. The eerie silence permeates all around the group as they pass the glorious buildings of what could be considered the more grandiose sector of this large Hive City. Monuments to the God Emperor litter the crossroads as massive stone pillars line the fronts of many of the buildings. No remains, human or xenos can be seen along the backstreet path, only the whistling of the wind sits inside the area. Trained to do so, the Kill-Team remains at a steady, but alert pace, keeping themselves aware of the surroundings.
Betram leads the group down the alleyways and side-streets for some time before coming upon a large open square, a massive statue sits in the middle and surrounding it are all manner of administrative and governmental buildings. It is a grand center with trees and brush all around. The statue stands in the center of an enormous pool, shooting fountains of water up at determined intervals. The sun sits high in the sky and everything is blanketed in its warmth. The Administratum building that you have been looking for sits straight across from you, sitting on the other side of the massive city square.
"Defensive formation. Establish contact with the Inquisitor, Raven Guard. Everyone else, ascertain safest route of travel and be vigilant for ambush."
"Any traps would draw more orks." Bertram answered, glancing across the square. They had went back and forth, but it was decided inconspicuous would be the best defense against the orks. Switching vox channels he waited for the secure link to the Inquisitor to open.
Nothing seems amiss as the team fans out into a defensive position as per the orders of their squad leader Mac. The Wolf used his keen senses to track anything out of the ordinary, but once again nothing at this particular moment seemed troublesome. All was quiet in front and only the sound of the wind could be heard swimming through the pillars of the massive stone buildings. The sounds of battle could be heard by Fulrik and Greeth, but they were a long ways off in other sectors of the city, and it could be expected as such due to the comms blackout and the lack of communication from the other units protecting the inner city.
Bertram opens up a private vox channel to the Inquisitor, knowing that the range would be sufficient, even in a comms blackout. The vox crackles for a bit before a soft voice comes over the internal vox secure channel.
"Bertram, is that you? Throne, where the hell have you been? It's been quite a day, hasn't it? Anyways, they evacuated me to this building for safety and it appears as though this area remains untouched by the orks. I am with other dignitaries and politicians of the area and we have a small contingency of Imperial Guard militia with us. Reports from their scouts suggest that the fighting is intensifying in the other sectors and could be here any minute."
Trusting in Fulrik's senses and Greeth's assessment, Mac orders a rapid, staggered advance towards the administration building. "Keep alert, brothers."
Fulrik gives a quick nod and immediately begins advances at a controlled pace in a staggered position as indicated, Soundstrike at the ready.
"Ran into an ork patrol, and a kill-team. We're coming in now, ensure the Guard don't get trigger happy." He replied simply, the news of civilians not something they hadn't figured into their plans. "Is the artifact ready for transport?"
Clicking briefly to the squad's channel he gave them a head's up. "The Inquisitor is with local high ranking citizens and a guard detachment. The fighting is getting closer."
He kept the secure channel on receive as he followed the others, moving toward the front of the formation.
The Astartes break through the shadows and into the sunlight, fairly certain they were not walking into a trap, the glaring sun pummeling down on them. They moved with a purpose, but also with the alertness of god warriors, checking their angles and double-checking their blind spots. It was only a matter of minutes before the team made their way through the square, past the Emperor's statue complete with accompanying fountain, and up to the doors of the Administratum. The building was a massive structure, far outshining all those around it. The pillars were made of marble and stood high into the air. Twin double oak doors stood in the middle, and a large sign greeted all those who entered the front of the building.
"My will be done."
As the final marine stepped up the last stone step, the double wooden doors swing open in front of you. The first one out the door is not one the Kill-Team expects. A monstrous Astartes warrior comes forward from the shadows, his Mk. IV "Maximus" power armor all black except for his right shoulder pauldron, which bears a dragon's head over a green background.
For his part, Fulrik keeps his Soundstrike aimed down and to the right.
"Well met," he says giving Greeth an incredulous glance - shocked and happy that the Flesh Tearer showed an emotion other than rage and pious indignation. The comment was as singularly amazing as anything he had ever seen the Sanguinary Priest do.
"Well... is she?"
Mac growled over the squad vox at Greeth's remark and then gave a pointed glare at Fulrik before addressing the Salamander.
"Caiman-son, direct us to the Inquisitor. We have much to discuss, and not nearly enough time."
"Greetings, friends. Bertram said he was bringing company. And despite the rush, there's time for manners, no? Please, follow me. The Inquisitor will be happy to meet with you. My name's Kal-vek." The Salamander holds open the door for the recently located kill-team with a gesture to indicate he'll follow them through.
The Marines file through the door in a straight line, pounding the granite ground with their powerfully armored boots. As soon as all are through the door, Kal-vek closes the door behind the warriors, the locks and shields activating once again to bar any outside intruders. The lobby of the building looks rather familiar in style to all the other Administratum buildings on other planets, Palantine having copied from the great architects of the Imperium. High arches and long hallways feed into this main chamber, acting as a hub for all the traffic of the building. At the current moment, none sit in the open area as the Astartes make their way in.
Kal-vek makes his way to the front and turns to the others. He tells everyone except Bertram to wait as they will fetch the Inquisitor from her private chambers. The two of them walk off down one of the hallways and then turn a corner. Everyone else sits and waits, bantering about this and that for a few solid minutes and before long, the Kill Team gets a solid look at the Inquisitor they were there to rescue.
She walks down the hallway with an air of confidence and pride, her long maroon hair shifting from side to side as her legs step out before her. In full regalia, the Inquisitor looks ready for battle at a moment's notice. The many trinkets and charms clink against her Shamrock green armor, a matching green Force Sword strapped at an angle to her back. As she gets closer, one can see that her eyes also match the the greenery around her, providing a solidly organized appearance for all.
She steps up to the Kill-Team, who dwarf her by 2 heads or more, but the authority of her attitude silences everyone for a few brief seconds.
"Welcome, my lord Astartes. It would appear you are here for me. But our mission is not done yet, as I am sure you have been briefed. Let's get straight to it then. Our mission is to recover the artifacts uncovered by the population of Palantine. Rumor has it that these are at the now abandoned mineshaft outside of town. Do you know the one of which I speak? You can't miss it. I would have it in my possession had we not had to evacuate the area due to the green incursion...another thing I am sure you are well-aware of. But, seeing as it would be foolhardy to jump into the besieged town and mineshaft in the dead of night, despite your Astartes abilities, I suggest some R&R for the time being. I must continue my discussion with the nobility of Palantine, as well as receive reports from Bertram about the fighting in the streets. It hasn't reached us yet, but it will. So, for right now, I will have Kal-vek show you to the rooms we have provided for you all. I know you wish to continue the fight immediately, and believe me I wish we could too, but for now your orders are to wait. Patience, that is what I ask of you now. Any questions?"
Fulrik makes his way to Kal'Vek. "You were right to push for manners over might. It has been a tough fight ever since we made planetfall and perhaps we are all a bit battle-worn. I am Fulrik Floaner, Long Fang and formerly of Gunnar Redmoon's Great Company, Fenryka Vylka," he finishes using the Fenrisian title of the commonly called "Space Wolves." He lifts up his knee pad slightly, and Kel'Vek can see clearly the wolf's skull in front of the blood moon heraldry.
He offers his forearm in a warrior's shake, confident that he is offering it to a son of Vulkan. The Salamanders and the Space Wolves had a mutual respect and a legacy that dated back to the opening days of the Great Crusade itself. Both where First Founding Chapters and both had histories of glory that pre-dated the Heresy . It was a rare thing to meet a Brother of such repute and Fulrik hoped to quash any ill-feelings before they could brew.
"That sour son of a bastard there is Samael, my honor-brother, of the Raptors, second sons of Corax." He gives a toothy grin.
"And don't mind him," he says motioning to Greeth with his free left hand. "We just recently started letting the Flesh Tearer interact with other people. It is new to him."
Confident that tensions have been eased, he moves toward the Inquisitor.
"Inquisitor," he says in clipped High Gothic, rolling over the flowing vowels with as much grace as a Land Raider in a tea house. "We are well acquainted with that hole in the ground. Half of our team took fire from Gretchin obtaining some equipment which we then turned into a massice trap for the Greens. Like idiotic pigs, they took to the bait and all who followed died for their ignorance. The Wyrm, he says lovingly patting his weapon of choice, took many lives this day. We also lent our assistance in helping stave off the Ork's attacks along the Southern entrance. The Guardsmen stationed there have been re-equipped as well as possible given the situation and resources available."
He shifts his position, looking down at the Inquisitor simply because physics forced him to. "What are the artifacts you seek. I can appreciate need-to-know information, but we cannot help if we don't know what to look for. I would assume from your relatively relaxed position here that you have a very good idea as to where to look as well? Can I assume you have exact coordinates?"
"Apologies my lord Astartes, for in the rush of my comments, I forgot my name. Inquisitor Alaunus Mezra is my full name, but you all may call me Alaunus, should you so choose. Never really liked the term "Inquisitor" anyway. Too many ill thoughts behind those words. Anyhow, yes you would need to know that information wouldn't you? Need-to-know it may be, but I trust you. After all, you are Space Marines and Deathwatch Space Marines at that."
She pauses for a few seconds, collecting her thoughts, strolling around the Astartes as she talks.
"On the planet, we believe there to be two artifacts worth inspecting...or destroying depending upon which type of Inquisitor you talk to. One is an athame. Yes, you heard me correctly. We believe that one such dagger sits under the ground of this very planet. Obviously, we can't let it sit there and fall into the wrong hands now can we? The other is a sacred tome, one of which I know not the contents, but that which I know is very dangerous in its' knowledge and power. Both artifacts must be recovered, lest they fall to the ruinous powers."
She stops in the middle of the Astartes once again.
"I know exactly where they are."
Mac was certainly less cordial than the Wolf. In fact, he seemed more disgusted than the rest of the squad had ever seen him. "Why, Inquisitor, in your most infinite wisdom, did you not deign to tell us that there was another Deathwatch force on-planet? Let alone one in your service?"
The Inquisitor turns to regard the impolite...what was he? The shoulder pauldron gave no indication of a Chapter she knew. He was certainly a member of no Chapter she had ever heard of.
"Why should it be relevant to you, my wounded friend? Wounded in body and in pride it would seem. The Inquisition does not need to dispose of all its' intentions. Should we do that, do you really believe the Inquisition would still remain? I shudder to think of an Inquisition with no secrets at all." A smile touches her lips.
"You were told what was needed for the mission. Watch Captain Spero was told all the relevant details he needed as well. Let's leave it at that, shall we?"
Fulrik began tapping his finger against his armor. To anyone not versed in Astartes Ciphers, it would sound like random nonsense. But to the Astartes present, even those they had just met, the message was clear: Trust in the Team.
It didn't matter why the Inquisitor failed to tell them of another team on the planet. All that nonsense about not "liking" the title of Inquisitor because it had bad connotations attached to it, and then directly contradicting it by lauding the secretive nature of the organization put Fulrik off more than words could say. He liked a straight up and down battle with the enemy before him and his allies behind him. The cloak and dagger nonsense that the Inquisition routinely dabbled in was distasteful in the least and dishonorable in the worst.
So, ultimately it did not matter. Trust in the Team, his message relayed... because we apparently cannot trust anyone else, he thought to himself.
He gives Kiwi a nod and Greeth a mischievous grin; surely, his comment must be making the Flesh Tearer pout underneath his hood.
Mac growled, "Your 'intentions' are none of my concern, atlacatl. What is my concern is the disposition of my men and any fighting forces relevant to the mission at hand." He gestures with his good arm at the Killteam guarding her, "A whole squad of Astartes on protective detail! Whatever shadow-games you've had them playing are irrelevant, but when they're playing at being bodyguards, there is no sensible reason NOT to tell us they're here! And the Watch Captain, is he so lowly peon to be kept in the dark about a full fire team? A full fire team that we're responsible for extracting along with you and your precious artifact?"
Mac leans in close, glaring the Inquisitor right in the eyes, "You might be able to convince some people that this is all part of your shadow-war, but I'm not that dull. You're posturing does a poor job of covering the fact that you made the mistake of a child. You are sloppy, Inquisitor. A moment of laxity spawns a lifetime of heresy."
Straightening up, Mac booms, "Whatever orders were given to the squad you have at your disposal, the Astartes and the Deathwatch are not lapdogs that come at your beck and call. We work with you, not for you."
He turns from the Inquisitor dismissively to address the Salamander, "You, Son of Tlecipactli, show me the Apothecarion. Greeth, with me."
Inquisitor Alaunus does not back down from the massive Astartes staring her directly in the face, keeping her smile on her lips the entire time that the Eagle Knight goes off on his tirade. As he is beginning to walk away, she goes on.
"There are plenty of sensible reasons to withhold information from Space Marines. In my experience, sometimes it saves lives. Do not think me some fool, I have my reasons for keeping things from you. The information would not have kept you from your duty or your mission. Either way, you were ordered to rescue me, and that is how it stands. A wounded hubris can bring a galaxy to its' knees..."
She comes closer to the Eagle Knight's face.
"Perhaps lap dog is a bit of a harsh term to put on yourself. I said nothing of the sort. But, let me remind you of something, since your air of superiority under the guise of working together alarms me. You speak of heresy...well...Do not think yourself so much more important than everyone else, Astartes. That one mistake led to the deaths of billions of innocents in the greatest heresy of all. I find your wounded hubris most alarming."
She turns and makes her way back to her quarters.
"I shall see you all in the morning, bright and early."
Fulrik glared at the departing Inquisitor and decided he did not like the woman at all.
"I bet working with her is a treat," he says facetiously, eager to converse with the Salamander about enemy resistance the second team has faced.
Kal-vek removes his helemt, smiling at the newcomers. "That went well," he observes brightly. "She doesn't usually get on so well with people who question her decisions. She's right, you know." Kal-vek drops into a whisper. "Imperial precognitors advised that Bertram and I be sent with her secretly. If it was well-known, apparently the repercussions would have been dire. Maybe you'd have delayed your advance, or maybe you'd have been distracted by a side-mission. It's hard to know why anyone does anything - no reason to assume the worst."
After making his observations, Kal-vek beckons to the Eagle Knight. "I don't know what a... Tlecipactli," he stumbles a little over the strange word, "is, but I can show you the Apotehcarium. They'll be able to reforge you as good as new in no time."
"That's presumptuous. What you are doing here with her is none of my concern, nor of my Watch Commander, if sanctioned by another authority of the Deathwatch, which I will assume you are. But the fact of the matter is that we have to extract you, so we should know that you're here." He takes off his own helmet, revealing his red skin and large nose, "You underestimate our strategic acumen. A Deatwatch Killteam without maneuverability is as an eagle with a broken wing. Our approach would not have changed, because I would not expect that my own team would be able to fend off a horde of Orks after having locked themselves in a closet. The approach would not have changed, but perhaps we could have spared ourselves the standoff with your seer friend." Mac gestured towards Bertram with his shoulder. "Surprises are an occupational hazard, but we can do without them from our own side."
"I have heard the low-speakers call him 'Vulkan,' Caiman." Mac remarks casually as he makes his way to the flesh-smithy.
"Yes, son of Vulkan, that's a name I'm proud to claim. I don't imagine he'd like the nickname you've chosen for him. But there are a few more artifacts to find before we can ask him in person, no?" Kal-vek laughs a booming laugh, amusing himself at least with the reference to Vulkan's return when nine sacred relics are finally gathered by the Salamander chapter. "Your friend Fulrik introduced Greeth and Samael. What do you like to be called?" Kal'vek's black skin and red eyes contrast with Mac's red skin making them an odd-looking pair as he flashes a smile to show he means no offense.
"I do understand why you're upset, and rightly so, but unleashing it is unlikely to produce any positive effect. You hope to change the Inquisitions method of operation?" Kal'vek stifles his laugh this time, but clearly he thinks the idea is ridiculous.
"I am Macuilli Quiahuitl of the Eagle Knights Chapter, of Jaguar Tribe, and neophyte of the priesthood." He gestures to the rest of the squad, "They call me 'Mac'."
"My Chapter has a proud history of Inquisitorial cooperation, and Ive worked with several myself. Usually," he looks back in the direction of the confrontation, "they behave their age."