He indicates paths on the dirt map and begins explaining his observations of Ork movements in the area. From his terminology and a series of insults and slang, you are able to pick up not only is Rustin familiar with the Orks, he also possesses a military based knowledge of their behaviors and tactics. "Main force went that way with the prisoners, including Logan. A smaller force splintered off that way. They 'loikely 'ave patrols out 'ere judging by the groupings of their footprints. And a wee bit o' information that might be useful....they 'ad at least one Mek with them at Ichi. This information ain't free though lads. We both 'moight want to rescue Logan, but there's innocents in the mix...and some o' the lasses 'ad 'noice juggs." He grins wide but suddenly his face shows a rare seriousness. "No more innocents die today lads...ye 'ear me?" He stares up at Yngvar specifically as he says the next part. "Swear on Leman Russ' left nut"
A harsh breeze blows through the trees, bringing with it some rain that has managed to maneuvre through the dense Evergreen canopy. For a second, the lot of you catch the faintest of voices - harsh and grumbling - and what sound like an accompaniment of screams. But as quickly as it reached your ears it faded to nothingness, leaving you to wonder if it was a trick of the wind on the trees or the real deal.
A small patter of rain drops on the soft mossy ground remains consistent and the movement of small mammals can be observed every now and again. Two Marines have shown themselves to Rustin and stand just to the left side of the path made by the retreating Orks. Gunter keeps his weapon trained on the newcomer from his position in heavy cover. Pax and Aisha remain silent, covering their individual sectors and ensuring that no surprises come upon the squad.
Sarlock, although becoming amused at hearing the crass terminology at the end of the explanation, steps in between Yngvar and the human soldier. He knew a space wolf's temper and was keen to keep Yngvar from murdering an innocent human in cold blood. He rests his armored hand on Yngvar's shoulder and looks down at the soldier in front of him.
"It would appear you know much more than we could have hoped for, soldier," Sarlock speaks to him before turning to the squad leader. "Seems to me we know where our mission objective is Yngvar. Let's get to it." Sarlock keeps his hand on the space wolf's shoulder and tightens it a slight bit to maintain his grip.
Yngvar steps forward slightly, closing the distance between himself and Rustin causing Sarlock's hand to break from his shoulder. "What I drink would kill you," he says, half dismissively and half as a challenge. "If you'll raise a horn to any brother who comes out of this alive, including Back Breaker and the civilians, the Wolf King's grin shall surely grace us all. However, only after Logan vouches for you, will I be totally convinced. You have my gratitude for the intel and our assistance in freeing the captives. Do not betray us, or your justice will be swift and not even the name of Russ will save you. We will calibrate our vox frequencies to allow you to communicate with us on comms."
With that he walks a few paces up the path in the direction Rustin indicated the prisoners had been taken. There, he pauses to consider what will be found down the canopied path. He turns towards the group, now including Rustin and says "We exterminate the ork presence to any extent possible and free as many captives as are still alive. Rustin, I leave the approach to you."
Gunter at last lowers his Bolter and steps out of the brush. The helmet hides the harsh glare he gives Rustin as he measures him intently. Having taken his measure, Gunter is confident that the newcomer will not betray them, but is not convinced that he will not complicate an approach with brash heroics. To Yvgnar he says pointedly, "You will be judged on the results of your decisions, not your intentions." With that he is once again ready to follow his Squad Leader's orders.
Aisha stands quietly off to the side during the whole ceremony. She says nothing about the drawing or the man's interpretations. With her team indicating departure she takes a quick stock of everyone's wounds. She scans the unarmored man in front of her for broken bones or lacerations.
Despite being covered in Ork blood, the man appears to be uninjured. As Yngvar speaks, Rustin dismissively focuses his attention on the las carbine now in his hands. With practiced movements he ejects the weapon's current magazine, swapping it with a fresh one pulled from his webbing suspenders. As he secures the magazine with a slap, the weapon emits a high pitch whine. A single green LED flashes near the trigger guard, indicating the weapon is full and charged. "Yeah yeah....gratitude, swift justice, got it lad. Gratitude won't blow apart a Big Mek'. I 'ope ye boys brought a can opener with ye. Some'ting tha' goes boom preferably."
After adjusting his microbead to match the kill team's vox frequency, Rustin peers through his weapon's telescopic sight and begins slowly stalking forward. "Toime' ain't on our side boys, we moight' be able to track these squig feckers before they reach wherever the feck it is they're trying to reach." With a quick hand signal he moves down the path in the direction of the Orks' main force, and your primary objective. "Fan out boyo's, and keep your eyes to the trees, these green bastards moight 'ave lookouts." He stops briefly and looks over his shoulder towards the group. "Let's get this sausage train a'movin shall we lads? Name's Rustin by the way, or big prick O'Kennick as yer mum's will soon be calling me." And with that he stalks forward once again, his weapon aiming high and low, sweeping their forested surroundings.
Though he'd been clandestinely holding a weapon on Rustin only minutes before, Pax can't help but smile. "I like this man," he comments to the nearby Aisha.
Despite the heavy accent, Gunter, as all Astartes, is trained for perfect recollection. Over the Vox he observes, "Big Prick O'Kennick seems a bit of a mouthful. Prick for short."
From up ahead Rustin moves with a calculated purpose. With a slight crackle of static, Rustin responds to Gunter's comment over the vox. "Aye, oi'm a mouthful indeed boy'o. Good observation, I didn't know ye we're checkin' out me goods. Don't fear though lad, I'll try to ease it in slowly for ye."
With a few of the team members seeing no reason not to distrust his story, and a few more on the skeptical side, Yngvar makes his decision as squad leader and puts his trust, and the safety of his squad, in the hands of the newcomer. Rustin leads with an efficiency that has come through a harsh life of training, battling and hunting the enemy. The man is a natural hunter. His body melds into the surroundings - seemingly slithering over obstructions in the environment without making a sound and continually keeping his profile broken up in the heavy brush. He takes point and leads the Marines through the heavier bush just to the North of the path made by the Orks.
The going is slower than expected. For Astartes in full armor, silently picking your way through heavy brush is more difficult than it seems; even though you have been trained for all manner of warfare, including sabatoge and guerilla training, most of you consider that type of battle below you. Because of this Rustin is able to easily cover the ground without making a sound, where the Astartes have to set careful foot steps to avoid detection.
According to the chrono time-pieces in your armor, you have been keeping this pace for almost an hour. The sky is beginning to darken as the Sun starts to fall below the mountains in the far distance. The rain is constant and provides a small amount of sound-cover to the branches and twigs you no doubt break. With a jerk, Rustin puts his right fist into the air. He remains motionless, staring straight out ahead of him. He is roughly 10 meters in front of Yngvar, the lead Marine.
It takes a moment but then the rest of you hear it: laughter.
But not the laughter of joy, the laughter of brutality. Screams are mixed in here and there before another booming, cruel bout of laughter and cheering erupts. Though you cannot see anything through the trees, you know you cannot be too far away from whatever it is you are hearing.
Yngvar halts upon seeing the signal made by Rustin. "Rustin, scout ahead and determine their exact location and who they are holding prisoner." In a lower, baying voice And don't piss them off until we know more of the size and capability of the force. Recon only."
He does not want to let Rustin out of sight, still nagged by his abrupt appearance and borderline excessive show of solidarity. But he knows that this is the only way the civilians perhaps even Back Breaker, can be saved. Yngvar figures that his limited trust for Rustin, especially in this forest, is just as fraught with potential failure as is the likelihood that Rustin will give away the kill-team's position. Ever vigilant, he scans the surroundings to ensure the kill-team can react to any approaching threat.
Rustin whispers softly into his microbead, relying on the Astartes ability to pickup even the faintest of sounds. "I'll work on not pissin' em off, ye just 'ope they don't smell wet dog comin'. Goin' quiet now Den mother, standby." Rustin stalks ahead, keeping a low profile as he surveys the area in search of the source of the voices, as well as any tactical advantage.
Rustin doesn't so much as glance back in the direction of the Astartes he had been leading all this way. With his Las Carbine pulled tight into his shoulder - barrel out and vigilant - he stalks forward and seemingly melts away into the woods.
In only a few scant seconds, you can no longer see the burly-tattooed human. The rain remains constant, patting softly off of your hard armor as the sun drops evermore behind the mountains, darkening your surroundings.
Sarlock remains quiet, scanning the surroundings, his heavy bolter at the ready. Standing as still as the foliage around him. This Rustin would do well. Sarlock knew he would, for he knew the strong from the weak. The fighters from the casualties. Flesh was weak, but this man Rustins' reminded Sarlock of the steel and metal in all those whose vigilance shone bright for the Emperor.
Approximately 40 minutes pass before you begin to hear the crackle of your vox systems. Rustin steps from the woods, his lasgun held over his shoulder. Without skipping a beat, he begins speaking. His face lacks the usual smirk.
"Listen up lads, 'toime ain't on our side. Got a visual o' where they're holdin' up. 'Bout a kilometer from 'ere, and that fecker is 'eavily guarded. I spotted a shite load O' boyz, we're talking the same force that hit Ichi. At least two towers with 'eavy shootaz are overlookin' the place. If we move now I can get us in close but we're on borrowed time."
His face displays a certain intensity as he checks his ammunition and weapons. He speaks now in a low, flat tone, a hint of anger behind his voice. "I spotted their alpha. Huge fecker' tearin' into the civilians from Ichi in some sort o' arena." He spits. "Tha' fecker's 'ead is mine. Logan's loikely' inside one o' the smaller structures I spotted. We got shite to do, and we got to do it quick lads."
"The Orks are likely distracted by the spectacle in the arena - we might be able to get close without detection even if weapproach directly - we just need to break cover with a well-timed scream. We capture the heavy weapons and the high ground and we can rain down he'll on them."
Sarlock eyes the two in front of him, calmness in his mind, calculating and deciding which course of action seems better when pitting the two against each other. Never did like concealing myself anyways, he thinks.
"I concur with Gunter, thus we might avoid more loss of life on this day. Plus, my heavy bolter hasn't killed something in quite a while. Let's get to it."
He nods, rubbing his stubbled chin in deep contemplation. "Aye, I loike' it. Those towers are our priority. While you lot hit them I'll move around to the breach. Your 'eavy fire should take eyes off me, long enough for me to sneak in and locate Logan. There's an electrified fence around the captives, as well as two tankers that I'd bet is 'olding either fuel or ork shite. I can blow those tankers if a secondary distraction is necessary. Any of ye lot got krakk grenades to spare?"
Sarlock moves over to Rustin and reaches down to his hip, retrieving 2 krak grenades from his equipment.
"Use them well," Sarlock says in his metallic voice. "I expect a few flying limbs as payment for these grenades." He shoves the two into Rustin's hands and then moves back into position with his brothers.
Rustin takes the grenades with a grin and secures them to his belt. Looking around at the group , he points a thumb over to Sarlock. "Did I mention I loike this guy?" He turns once again to look at Sarlock. " I'll turn these green feckers into paste just for ye boy'o. Just watch for the fireworks aye?"
Aisha steps from one foot to the other and waits a moment before speaking. "I will back you up Rustin." She draws her Bolter and stands ready to follow him.
"You may want a say a prayer of anointment over your weapon, Sarlock," puts in Pax, levity showing through even with the strangeness of his voice. "I would wager a cup of Fenrisian ale that it..." (Pax's voice becomes a remarkably close, if electronic, approximation of Sarlock's own) "...hasn't killed something in quite a while..." (Pax's voice returns to it's normal autotune) "...because you have neglected its warrior spirit."
Pax makes a little show of checking the breech of his own weapon, a long and light rifle made even longer by a sizable suppressor. "If it would be easier, I could just take out the tower gunners without setting the orks' tusks on edge. Clean and quiet."
"Something to aim, for. By your leave, commander," Gunter addresses Yvgnar, "I'll stick with this one," he points to Rustin, "while he approaches the breech. If things get ugly he could use an Astartes Warrior in full regalia at his side."
Sarlock maintains his silence while the other brothers speak. Oh the Omnissiah is just flowing through this one, isn't it? he thinks to himself before audibly chuckling slightly at the Techmarine's final words.
"Oh yes, that "gun" was ever so effective in the last encounter. I don't know what we would have done without it," he says sarcastically into the vox before bringing up his heavy bolter to a ready position. "Time to get on with it."
"Regalia or not, one errant shoota round could create a very painful night for those of us who go about unarmored. Gunter and Aisha will accompany Rustin to the breach and attempt the extraction of Back Breaker. Be ready for our diversion."
Yngvar does not wait for the others and instead makes off for the main gate to the compound. As he strides down the path he replaces a standard bolter magazine with the kraken round variety, in preparation of what he knows will a most significant test of wills.
Gunter says nothing as he prepares to follow Aisha ad Raustin. They need careful watching over so he plans to stay behind them.
Sarlock follows behind Yngvar and Pax, following the lead of his squad leader and pushing the rune on his heavy bolter to switch from normal bolter rounds to Kraken rounds. Intense excitement spreads throughout his mechanical body, a rush of adrenaline that can only come with the knowledge of the battle to come. The familiar grin comes to Sarlock's face as the son of the Iron Hands readies himself for the coming fight.
Aisha quietly bows her head to The Emperor. She changes out her magazine for Hellfire rounds. She whispers softly as she follows Rustin. "May The Emperor cleanse the earth of the unholy and retched."
"But, brother," says Pax with faux confusion, "my recollection of our last encounter was of me having to calm the machine spirit of your, ahem, 'gun.'" He says the last word like it was a bit distasteful to use such a slur.
Despite his sarcasm, he follows along with the rest of the kill-team, his rifle at the ready.
As they walk together along the path, Sarlock reminisces of the past along with his fellow brother.
"If I recall, our first encounter saw you stacking rocks around to form some type of cover for yourself. And once again I recall, you were wounded in that battle despite the cover. I do believe my "gun" decimated two powerful enemies, whilst you were stacking rocks like a child." Sarlock says the words through a stifled laugh.
With the stock of his las carbine tucked deep into his shoulder, Rustin stalks ahead of Aisha and Gunter leading them through the forest. As Aisha whispers her prayer, Rustin glances over his shoulder at the two Astartes, and then speaks to Aisha with a smirk. "We'll be the ones doin' the cleansing boy'o. The emperor moight' be the cleaning lady, but we 're his mop and bucket. Which reminds me...should I call ye two mop and bucket, or do ye lads 'ave names?"
"If you dare insult the Emperor to my face again, I will kill you. My name is Gunter."
"Ah yes, I remember you mowing down the foul tyranids," muses Pax. "The sun has to shine on a dog's ass someday," he muses whimsically.
Before Sarlock and Pax can get into a match of "whose machine part is bigger," Rustin heads off into the woods with Aisha and Gunter in tow - all business. He breaks through the tree line and vanishes without a sound which is somewhat less than can be said for his hulking allies in their holy Power Armor. Luckily, the rain continues to patter down on them doing its small part in covering their sound signature while the setting sun has given them the cover of darkness. It is somewhat amazing to watch Rustin work. He is clearly not Astartes, yet the darkness does not seem to hinder his movements through the woods nor does it slow him down. If the Astartes behind him have any empathy left in them for normal humans, they would be impressed - knowing that the mortal isn't benefitting from enhanced senses, nor technologically advanced Armor autosenses.
Before long the trio begins to slow, following their hard-to-understand companion's lead. Up ahead, the Marines can see clearly that the woods are beginning to thin. Rustin has brought you just to the edge of the heavy cover. With trees wide enough to cover even the girth of an Astartes, this is the best place to sit tight. Up ahead the woods thin out for about 6 meters. To the group's South, a long crude chain link fence with random bits of scrap metal wired to the mesh and barbed-wire on top stretches for some distance to the East and West.
The Marines can clearly see the hole that has been torn away from a section of the fence. Rustin's intel was spot on as three burly Ork Boyz stand guard around a steel barrel burning with internal flames. Luck seems to be on your side as all three of the Ork Boyz' attention is pulled to the inner courtyard of the camp, their backs facing the trio. It is apparent that while the guards' focus is elsewhere, they aren't moving from their spot anytime soon. From inside the camp the vicious cheers and hooting of many Orks is heard.
Meanwhile, Yngvar leads Sarlock and Pax farther down the original path heading East. They stick close to the woods on the left hand (North) side of the path which gives them cover but takes them a little longer. After about five minutes of forward movement, the path widens out and starts to become clear of tree cover, forming into less of a path and more of a dirt road. A few more minutes of movement brings them within site of the main gate of the Ork camp. It faces West and as Rustin reported has a large guard tower just to its North. Staying in the heavily wooded area means that the Marines are roughly 15 meters North-West of the main gate/guard tower. They see a secondary guard tower just beyond that. If the Orks were smart they would have spread the Guard Towers out, but alas they are Orks.
Yngvar eyeballs the area - it turns out Rustin's intel was spot on. Sarlock covers the closest tower with his heavy bolter, ready to turn it into a memory if they are spotted. Pax likewise scans the area with his Astartes Sniper Rifle, ready to do things quietly.
The Marines stop for a moment to assess the situation; apparently, the closest tower, the one hugging the main gate, has two guards inside of it. The tower farther away only has one Ork manning its guns. However, the Orks only spare the occassional glance towards the woods. Their attention seems to be solidly focussed on the happenings inside the camp. From the camp comes a loud feral cheer from hundreds of Ork voices... followed by the clear scream from a human being.
Rustin peers through the scope of his las carbine. After examining the hole in the fence, it is clear something has caught his attention. As his eyes cautiously scan the surrounding area, his attention quickly snaps back to the sound of the human scream. Rustin's eyes narrow as he points his barrel toward the orks guarding the fence. His finger twitches as he contemplates squeezing it. Blinking, he regains what little self control he has and turns to look back at Aisha and Gunter. Catching their attention he nods to the broken fence, hoping the Astartes picked up on the small detail.
Pax takes a knee and picks a target in the nearer tower, adjusting his scope manually. "By your command, brother-sergeant," he says lightly into his vox.
Pax fires, lining up a perfect shot against the closest Ork guard's head. The toxic needle flies out of the weapon with little more than a whisper in the chilly night hits the Ork in the back of the head. Too busy cheering for the festivities in the yard, the Ork merely swats it away as though a bug had bitten it, giving the attack no thought. However, Pax sees the Ork sway a bit, as though it was becoming drunk. Apparently some of the toxins were working their way through the Ork's system.
Crouching in hiding, Gunter makes brief eye-plate to eye-plate contact with Aisha. He touches the bottom of his helmet as though he would rub his jaw where she cleaned his clock. "There are few Space Marines that could best me in single combat. The Emperor was with you, both to erase any doubts and to teach me humility. I look forward to going into battle with you, brother." Gunter does not place any undue emphasis on the last word - the relationship among the Astartes, even of rival chapters, goes much deeper than simple gender. Gunter doesn't seem to care that Rustin can hear the near-silent whisper over the Vox.
Rustin raises two fingers to his ear, activating his microbead. Soft and quietly he whispers. "Eyes open lads, that fence 'as been cut. Char marks roight' there, 'ad to be a power klaw. Oi'm startin' to 'tink they wanted us to find our way in here. Proceed as planned, if it gets 'eavy I'm blowing those tankers." He points to the two masses of metal standing side by side.
Pax never moves, his rifle still aimed squarely at the same spot on the Ork Guard's head. He squeezes the trigger again. Another hiss from the barrel. No kick whatsoever. The Ork takes the second needle within a centimeter of the first and immediately slumps to the Watchtower floor dead. The noise of this sudden drop alerts the other Guard. He stares quizzickly at his companion. He bends down to inspect his friend closer and you brace yourself for the inevitable scream that will start a sequence of events of which you excel at.
Moments pass and the second Ork Guard stands. He looks as though he is about to scream, and then begins laughing. He waves a hand at his companion, perhaps believing him to be napping on the job and turns to watch the festivities. The human screams of agony become louder, only to be drowned out by the cheer of the green masses.
Pax moves his body the smallest fraction. A machine set to kill. This Ork was laughing and cheering at human misery - there was no fate more determined and set before Pax than erradication and it would start with these grinning bastards.
A squeeze of the trigger. A whisper on the wind drowned out by the patter of rainfall. The needle embeds itself in the ear of the second Ork Guard. He looks as though he wants to shout, confusion etched across its features as it tries but cannot comprehend its own demise. It slumps over in a heap on top of its companion, out of sight due to the armor of the Watchtower.
Two down, one to go.
The third Ork appeared as if it was looking out at the Team, but most likely it was doing a poorly timed scan of the surroundings. Eyes toward Pax, he squeezed the trigger a final time. The Orks eye pulped and exploded as the toxic crystal pushed its way through the tough tissue and into the Ork's brain; shocking his nervous system and begins the rapid degeneration of muscle tissue within the incredibly thick Ork skull.
With a dull thump, it too falls to the floor of the Watchtower motionless.
Pax maintains his crouched firing position, his eye still glued to the sight of his weapon. "I am sorry, Battle Brother Sarlock," he whispers into his vox smugly. "Can you remind me what we were talking about again?"
Rustin slowly slings the las carbine around his shoulder, the weapon dangling under his armpit. He carefully slides the soot covered serrated combat knife from its sheath on his belt, holding it in a tight downward grip. Activating his microbead he follows Gunter's last statement. "Should I give you boys some privacy?" He tilts his neck to each side, cracking it. "Now Mr. Gunter, I don't know what your God emperor wants, but I know moine' wants these green little cock grubbers drownin' in pools o' their own blood. Pull blades. When your brothers open fire, we take these 'chree quietly. G-man, you got lefty, nameless take roighty', I've got the squig fecker in the middle, just beyond the fence."
Turning to Pax, "Nicely done. Those machine spirits you're always on about must've had their fill of your praise and prayer. By the strength of Emperor, we must foster the extermination of the orks from the Imperium. Their laughs at torment of their captives is depraved in a way that makes my blood burn," he breaths into the vox. It pleases Yngvar to know they felt that enjoyment abruptly and violently replaced by the searing pain of the toxic darts.
"So say we all, in the name of the Golden Throne of Terra," answers Pax.
Gunter places a hand on the hilt of the ancient blade he wears at his side. He considers drawing it before deciding not to soil it on such unworthy opponents. He pulls his combat knife from near his boot and prepares to take out the sentry. "No reason to wait until the distraction to fell these opponents - once the shooting sarts we'll want to move directly for Logan. And they'll be alerted. Let's move. On the count of three. One... Two..."
Gunter prepares to launch a silent assault on the designated sentry.
Rustin shakes his head as he holds the blade tight in his hand. "Moight want to reconsider that move boy'o. We want the attention on yer other brothers before we make our move. If we move before they move, we risk those orks piling in on us first. If we're the ones foightin' a hundred orks then we won't 'ave the time to bust Logan out. Which means we just wasted our feckin' toime' splitting up in the first place."
"Well, Sarlock?" asks Pax into his vox, as though he were looking for the obvious answer to an asked question. "Where is that distraction? Light them up," he follows up, excitement and mischief in his voice.