As the exchange between Pax, Sarlock, Logan, Yngvar and the Tech Priest goes on and Aisha takes her place to the outskirts of the group, a static hiss screeches in her ear. In her HUD, a weak vox signal is shown to be attempting to break through both the communcation outage and the psychic barrier barring that has its hold over Alpha Ichi; and somehow, it appears to be succeeding.
Through static hisses and pops, she begins to make out a voice. "...oomsayer. Come..n. R..eat, Kill Te.. Doomsayer, come in." Though faint, she can clearly make out the voice of Watch Captain Angellion on the other end of the line.
Aisha snaps to attention before responding back over the vox: "This is Kill Doom Slayer, do you read? I repeat, do you copy?"
Yngvar's ears perk up at the din of static being broke by an actual voice since they arrived on Serenity.
Walking over to Aisha, he says "If you can get through, inform them our primary objective is complete and that we are proceeding towards our secondary mission. Inform them of the Mechanicum's presence, but only if out of earshot of the mechanical ears of the tech priest." To everybody else, "I'm headed to the armory. We will leave when I return, if you Brothers be ready."
He scratched the back of his neck, his fingers dragging across the inked double eagle and barcode hidden by his unkempt hair. The tattoo was a constant reminder of his sins against the imperium. The silver inlaid hexagramic symbols etched into the flesh of his chest and back however, were a constant reminder of the sins he committed "for" the imperium. Rustin's body was covered in artistic reminders of an eventful life. His arms marked with the tribal etchings of the M'koan warriors, a primitive people who'd come to accept him as one of their own.
Every bit of ink had a story. Some of those stories were short, like the various woman's names that had been scarred over by grazing bullets, blades and lasfire. Other's told stories that none needed to know about, like the 5 tally marks taking the form of winged skulls that sat across his left shoulder blade.
Despite his ability to keep spirits generally high, the decaying corpses of human and ork alike were dragging down the morale of the group. Clearing his throat, Rustin looked over to Yuli.
"Keep yer chin up deary. Ye've seen some shite, but I need ye to keep these boys in line. Some mourn with tears, but a tough lass like ye..."
He paused a moment and then addresses the group as a whole.
"Pricks like ye and me don't cry for the fallen. Yer 'ere with me because folks like ye and me don't mourn with tears, we mourn with blood."
Rustin halts abruptly and kneels to the ground, placing his palm on the damp earth.
"Tire treads....whoever took tha' Tauros is 'eaded to the coast. If it weren't wet out 'ere, we'd 'ave loikely missed these tracks."
With a quick wink to Yuli, he motions for the group to follow.
At the Garage
More garbled static follows Aisha's outgoing message. The sound of rain on her armor seems to intensify as she strains to hear the hard-working Vox caster on her back. After ten seconds pass, the Apothecary is about to repeat her transmission when the faint voice comes back.
"Kill Team Doomsayer, that is a solid copy. We read you. Report mission progress; is the package secure? Repeat. Is the package secure?" More static follows and Aisha waits patiently as Angellion has not signaled he is done speaking. Finally, he breaks through again, but the transmission is getting poorer. "...tuation in orbit. Numer..s Ork ...essels ... high orb.t. Scans sho.. they ...eparing to drop mor.. Roks. Unsure what is dra... them here. Over."
After issuing his orders to Aisha, Yngvar breaks away from the garage and makes to find the armory. It is in the central building block that runs north to south in the middle of Alpha-Ichi. The structure itself ends in the center of the settlement atthe mouth of the garage, but a little farther north of the garage is a nondescript door with "Clearance Only" electro-painted in Low Gothic on the outside. As Yngvar approaches, the access pad next to the door flashes red and "access denied" appears. Before Yngvar can frustratedly kick open the door, however, the sec-cam above the door whirs slightly and a voice comes over the external intercom.
"Forgive me, my lord Space Marine. The settlement is on lock down mode after the attack. One moment and you will have access."
After a few seconds the access pad flashes green and the door slides open. Inside, the armory is devoid of human presence. A single desk sits off the side of the room, no doubt for a requisitions officer to note down where weapons went and who had them. Mostly empty flexsteel and armaglass gun cabinets line the wall. A few las rifles remain inside, but the vast majority has been cleaned out and are even now in the hands of the remaining citizens of the settlement.
As Yngvar snoops around a bit, he does notice two more 80-round drums of heavy stubber ammunition. More curiously, there is a heavy-duty lock box at one end of the room that looks like it had meant to be opened but never was. The dust that had been coating it has hasty fresh hand prints in it, but it remains locked. Perhaps whoever was trying to access it didn't have the time or necessary access code to get in. However, the box itself, while sturdy and reinforced could more than likely be accessed by the monstrous strength of an Astartes...
At the Ag Habs
"I am fine," says Yuli. She seems to have a permanent scowl on her face and if she is mourning the dead, she is doing so under a haze of hatred for her enemies.
Junt and Laerd give nods to Rustin as he addresses them and seem to shoulder their weapons just a bit tighter. The shotgun in Junt's hands is a brutal and large weapon, and the tough looking man carries it with a familiarity that speaks to his skill with it.
Laerd drops to his knees and motions for Marko to do the same and cover their flanks as Rustin inspects the tracks. The range on their weapons give them the advantage of taking out anything sneaking up on them. Knowing that for the time being his weapon will have to wait, Junt makes his way to Rustin.
"What's the play then, off-worlder?" As he speaks, Yuli approaches as well, covering the West and sparing a look at the tracks. "Whoever took that Venator was either high tailing it to a ship we didn't know about or the Westerly-Sister. There simply isn't much else out West."
Rustin stands. He speaks as his eyes shift and scan their surroundings.
"Aye....ain't much more we can do on foot. We 'ave a general direction, best we report back 'ome. Only a matter o' toime till the greeners come back for seconds and I aim to be ready for round two."
Aisha makes her way to the outer wall of the camp before attempting to contact Watch Captain Angellion.
"This is Kill Team Doomsayer the package is secure. We are moving on to our second objective. Mechanicum's presence is noted here. Please repeat, Doomsayer actual. Over."
Aisha switches her coms to be only heard within her Kill Team. "This is Brother Apothecary, be advised, I have received a message that there are more orks in orbit and preparing to drop more Roks. Waiting on further instructions."
Her voice clips out and she waits patiently for Captain Angellion to reply. She knew little of the workings of mechanicum and even less of the Chaos. With the captain's last reply it sounded like this was going to be ground zero.
She stood quietly, with her eyes closed. The Daughters had stripped her of fear and uncertainty. Through the Emperor she always found her path no matter how dark.May the Emperor guide my hand to smite all those who are unworthy of his grace.
At the Armory
Yngvar spies the curious box, knowing that it must contain some sort of emergency equipment but unsure and eager to find out what. He hefts it up easily enough, feeling the weight inside as heavy - at least to a someone with much less strength than he. He wedges one side of the bulbouse container against his knee, kneeling slightly, and positions his gauntlets to leverage against the top and bottom of his prize. He starts slowly so as to not have the contents within erupt across the room as it opens. Putting forth seemingly little effort, the secure locked crate comes apart with relative ease. And while no mortal man could have accomplished it, the gene-enhanced post-human in Power Armor has little trouble.
Warning lights blink hurriedly from red to green on the container's sec-screen as they malfunction under the raw power of Yngvar. After minor sparking, they freeze on the green "open" screen as the lid is pried apart. As he gently sets the container on the ground to better inspect what is inside, Yngvar immediately notices the tell-tale form of a standard Imperial Guard issue grenade launcher hugged on all sides by foam. The launcher itself is too small for an Astartes to use without modification, but is built perfectly for normal sized humans. Still wrapped in fane-o-plas wrap and smelling of fresh oil, the launcher itself has clearly never been fired.
To the right of the launcher, also in foam, lay a row of grenades. The container is large enough to house four levels of foam and each appear to have grenades fitted into them. However, on the bottom of the stack is the disassembled pieces of a Long-Las and eight hot-shot charge packs. While everything within the sec-container is essentially meaningless to an Astartes, it will no doubt help the defenders of Alpha-Ichi, should Yngvar decide it is for them to have.
Rustin and his group decide to pack it up and head back to the settlement proper. With their limited numbers and perhaps even worse, limited combat experience, the veteran scout did not want to risk exposure longer than he had to. He had the information he needed and he knew that this "squad" had more pressing matters they would rather be tending to at their home - most notably seeing to the burial of their dead and manning the defenses of the Settlement, should they get hit again. What Rustin had forgotten about Orks would be more than these civilians ever knew, and he knew that they would not take the raid and destruction of one of their camps lightly.
At double time, he pushes the squad back the way they had come, making sure to keep themselves covered from the forest to the East as best they could by using the newly abandoned ag-habs as cover. After a while, they break free of the open air yield-fields and ag habs and make their way back across the open ground south of Alpha Ichi. Dead Orks and those that could not escape fast enough to get back to the settlement lay where they had fallen. Rustin keeps his eyes to the East, knowing that if the Orks do come again, it would more than likely be from the direction they had retreated.
As the Tech Priest and the Ultramarine finish questioning one another - "conversing" some would call it - Logan makes his way past them both and rushes into the garage's office. He inputs a 5-digit code into the access pad next to the door and it clicks open. He disappears inside and begins to rummage through this and that.
Aisha moves farther away from the conversation between the Tech Priest and her squad, attempting to find the best suitable spot to transmit a message back to orbit through the haze of downed relay towers and psychic blackout. She finds herself at the broken entrance to Alpha Ichi. A twenty foot arch way stands proudly above her. One of the perimeter doors hangs on its reinforced hinges, black scorch marks burned into the outside in rows of four. The second door lay back inside of the settlement and her diagnostor helmet gave her structural integrity readings as she scanned around.
She relays her message and hopes that it went through. After a few moments, the radio clicks back into her ear. "Doom...er, pack..ge confirm.d. Back Break.. safety is num..r one pr...ity. Extract..n curre.....risky. Comms fa..ing. Procee...w.th...our...ission. Out." The radio cuts out abruptly and Aisha is confident that communications with the Watch Captain at this time are over.
She catches movement in the distance and brings up her bolter in the blink of an eye. Five shapes were moving toward her from the direction of the Ag habs.
On the Wall
Ponto strains his eyes, forcing them to work overtime and find the small area of forest where he spotted movement. He focuses hard, going so far as to lean his head out over the ferrocrete walling as if each inch closer will aid him. And then there it is again! Movement so fast and right in front of his nose that he nearly falls over the side scrambling for his weapon. The commotion causes other sentries to stop what they are doing and look over at the flailing man.
Just as Ponto is about to yell that the Orks have returned, the thing that moved so quickly in front of his face lands on the barrel of his las rifle.
Ponto sighs and laughter inadvertantly burts forth from his lips as the tension and anxiety of the moment before fades away. "Fething buttafly," he calls to the sentries who had left their position to aid Ponto, most of whom swear under the breath and return to their posts. He giggles a bit as the small insect flutters and flies off. Below him, five figures emerge from the Ag Habs and make their way to the Settlement entryway.
Yngvar eye's the weapons and ammo, pleased with his work. Though the sight of fresh, unsullied weapons would normally be cause for disdain, all this sight provokes is a desire to get back out to the land.
He grabs the weapons, which feel dainty in his hands and heads back to the garage. Once nearby, he makes a pile with the weapons calls out to the defenders of the settlement in low-gothic "these should help a bit."
"Viggo, please continue working on the Tauros. We intend to leave soon, to, among other things check on the status of the squads you deployed. A vehicle such as this would aid even the most swift of Astartes." After letting that sink in, Yngvar adds "can you tell us anything else about why you are here or anything else about the chaos, now rotting this planet?"
Sarlock watched with anticipation as the others sorted out the minor details of the mission at hand. He tapped his foot on the ground in a solid rhythm of impatience at the various things being done in preparation. Sarlock had never liked prepping for missions. Not nearly as much as carrying them out. It had felt like ages since they had been sitting in Alpha Ichi, the various team members finding new annoyances to bother around about.
Sarlock scanned the surroundings and paced, ever perceptive of the threats that could come about and hoping against hope that something would.
"Would ye kindly lower tha'weapon big guy? Me and the lads 'ere fancy livin' just a wee bit longer."
Rustin holds his hands up defensively as he approaches the outpost gates, only to be met by the barrel of Aisha's weapon. The rest of the scout team follows closely behind him. He lowers his hands with a smirk as he speaks to Aisha.
"Found wha' we were lookin' for...or at least found the tracks o' what we were lookin for. Where's the two pups and the rest o' the crew?
Rustin sniffs the air quizzically as he walks past Aisha.
"Smells like barbec-"
Before he can finish his sentence, his jaw drops momentarily as he narrows his eyes. Muttering obscenities under his breath, Rustin storms over to the gathering at the garage.
"Nevermind how then feck ye hacked the keypad...but who the feck put me shite out 'ere!?"
Grumbling, Rustin ignores his surroundings and begins rummaging through the weapons and ammunition, carefully counting each item to make sure it's there.
Logan finally finishes rummaging around in the office and comes out holding a case not unlike the one Yngvar had just liberated from the armory, albeit larger. He spies the pile of weapons as Yngvar lays them on the ground and laughs heartily. Walking out of the garage he stops just shy of the gathered Astartes, setting his crate on the ground and then entering an 8-digit code, followed by a fingerprint scan into the lockbox. With a hydraulic hiss, four locks break free and the box opens up.
"Rustin is going to be mad as the seven Hells when he sees that!" He speaks to Yngvar from across the yard with a laugh which only grows louder as Rustin makes his entrance and Logan spied the dismayed look on his face. Leaving the situation with Rustin be, Logan begins sorting through various objects of war. The first thing he does he find two fresh Bolter magazines and slide them into his Hesh-Pattern Mk. IV Bolter. "Ah, yeah, my love," he says warmly to the weapon as he chambers a round home. "You were hungry, weren't you?"
After that he straps a few grenades to his web gear: Astartes sized fragmentation, krak and smoke adorn his belt and what look like a handful of hopper-mines get strapped to his lower back. Finally, he pulls a fresh Bolt pistol from the lock box, followed by three magazines and what appears to be a large silencer and attaches them all to his chest rig. Smiling like a child on Emperor's-Day, he addresses the rest of the group.
"We came prepared for war, that is for sure. I have two more caches like this in secure locations around this area, as does Rustin." He pulls out two Krak grenades, two bolt pistol magazines and two more bolter magazines. From the adamantine coloration of the rounds loaded inside, you are all aware that the magazines are all filled with Kraken ammunition. "However, I have to go some ways to get them and I doubt this settlement has too long before the Orks come at them again - and hard. So, for the time being, this will have to do. If you do run into traitors, these babies should help." It is clear he has given you some aid in dealing with armor and how you divvy it up is up to you.
"Whatever you decide to do next, you need to know that I cannot come with you. I have made a vow to these people and I have my own orders on this planet. My place for the time being is right here, having said that he has not made the same vows as me, nor is he bound by the same orders as I." Logan is looking directly at Rustin and what he is hinting at is clear. "He is a damned good scout and he has been a loyal and trusted companion to me over the years. You would do well to let him accompany you. It made be hard to believe, but a good mortal human comes in handy." He snickers a bit to himself, but lets what he said hang in the air all the same.
Viggo glances back at Yngvar as the Space Wolf addresses him. He takes in the request quickly enough and seems to have an answer already formulated before Yngvar finishes speaking. "This blessed vehicle will aid you, yes. You are free to use it, but the problem is evident in the equation." He points to you all, "you cannot all fit in it as is." He gives Pax a quick look and then the Settlement doors. "Master Ultramarine Omnissiad, while I fix this vehicle for your team, would you aid me as I cannot be in two places at once? The Settlement doors require repair and refitting +++noted sarcastic statement deleted+++ With your skills you could have it done in no time."
He leans down and begins spot-welding something under the chassis, humming prayers to the Omnissiah the entire time. "I know nothing of the Chaos that is supposedly on this planet. My mission is as it has always been and will always be; My will is to the Mechanicum and the protection of its interests."
"Thank you Viggo. That Omnissiah you're always on about may not be so bad."
"Good to see you've returned, Rustin. Your gear is not a mess. I suppose since it is yours, take what you need. The rest will be distributed in the aid of Alpha-Ichi's defense. This grenade launcher is especially...green. Given the alien filth on this rock, perhaps you'd like bring it along and make it less so."
"Logan, allow me to advise against that. Extracting you is our primary goal. You can't defend these people for ever. Not after we, you included, are plucked from this world. Finding out why the agents of chaos and psychic malice have come here and obliterating them will do more to defend these people, than making your last stand at this settlement, anyway. Our orders require that you remain secure until extraction. What is within these walls that makes your presence so crucial?"
Gunter watches passively. Leaving Logan here is probably safer than bringing him to confront the forces of chaos, and if the squad hurries, they can return before Alpha Ichi falls to arriving Ork hordes. "Something is drawing the orks here, and it may be Chaos. If we deal with the traitors quickly, we may not need to make a final stand at Alpha Ichi against the ork hordes." Gunter is impassive, but he knows Space Marines are stubborn, and if Yvgnar has made up his mind in opposition to Logan, things will never be resolved without violence.
"Oh look...his royal feckin' highness is going to let me take me own shite. How feckin' courteous o' ye."
Rustin spits to the side as he uses his thumb to slide several solid rounds into a bandoleer that hangs low on his hip. After securing several items to his webbing, Rustin begins assembling a long las with practiced precision.
"Dayvon, who'd ye vouch for as yer best shot?"
Sarlock paces on the edge of the group, impatient as the dallying continues between who will do what and what will go where. He notices the Tech Priest mention the doors and perks up a bit, as if helping will at least get the ball rolling in the right direction.
"I can assist the Tech Marine with the defenses at the front, should he be so inclined to let me. Then maybe we can get the hell out of this Throne-forsaken settlement."
He moves towards the broken and battered doors, either to watch as a spectator or assist with repairing them.
"Your advice is noted, Blood Claw, but it changes nothing. I have yet to see or hear verification of your orders from a Watch Commander. Until that happens, my current orders remain the same. I am not saying you are lying about being here to extract me, I mean you are a five-man Kill Team dropped into my Area-of-Operation, but this is one of those beaurocratic chain-o-command loopholes that works in my favor." He shakes his head for a second, realizing that Rustin's accent must have been rubbing off on him and making a mental note to never forget the 'f' in 'of' ever again. He gets back into his lock box and goes through some more things, focusing on weapon inventory rather than the lot of you.
"Destroying the Chaos agents will not stave off another Ork attack even if they are the reason why more Orks are dropping onto this rock. The flares went up, the destroyed camp will be noticed sooner or later if it isn't already. We have to hold the line. With him here," he says gesturing a thumb toward the Tech Priest," we can reinforce better than before. Believe it or not, those entry doors are the Settlement's main weak point. The fact that they are lying on the ground right now should have given that away. The priest can repair and reinforce them and I have seen Techmarines do more than that. I plan on securing more of Rustin's weapons to allocate to these people and we will hold out here. You have made it clear that your mission had more objectives than just me - the comms towers were a part of it, no? Complete your mission, young wolf, and rendezvous back here. We can hold out until your return." He stands back up and jerks his head toward a the people around the camp going about their duties, most of them standing tall and proud in the presence of legendary Astartes. "They are what is so crucial. Without them Alpha-Ichi dies, then the mine stops producing, and then with no promise or time frame for when more Imperial citizens could repopulate here, or if that is even a possibility due to the growing horde dropping from the sky, the Crusade suffers a terrible materiel loss. You need to think about the long winter and not just the short spring, Yngvar."
He stands and stretches his back and his arms, his tell-tale smile coming to the fore. "Besides, I don't play well with others. There is a reason they send me to these backwaters without a support team behind me. Do your job, lad and I will do mine." With a nod, he walks over to where Rustin is gathering his gear and shares a few words. While the team misses most of it, they catch the end, "...go with them and don't make me look like an arsehole."
As they finish speaking, Dayvon perks up at Rustin's question and points to the squad who accompanied him. "I gave him to you already. Laerd is the best shot at the camp, aren't you Laerd?"
The young man who previously accompanied Rustin beams visibly as he is addressed, taking a tiny bit of satisfaction at being praised in the presence of Astartes. He lifts his lasgun in one hand to emphasize his point, "Can hit a tick on a Grox's ass at 200 meters."
"Ah hell, this is turning out to be a fugged mission anyway. If you get over-run again, it'll be your hide that explains to the Commander why we had to destroy that ork camp a second time."
With a quick mental and physical pivot Yngvar turns the group proceeding to reinforce the front gate and starts to bark orders to appear as though he hasn't just failed to convince Logan of the assumed folly, "If you didn't get that folks, the doors are the weak point. Let's do what we can to get them reinforced. The man with circuitry for brains will be finished with our ride soon enough."
With that, Yngvar proceeds to garage entrance to see just what modifications Viggo is making and to see if he can be of any assistance. "Let me know if you need any fleshy hands for your work there.
Mentally, Gunter renews the oath they swore when beginning the mission, rededicating himself to Glorifying the Emperor in battle against the heretics.
"Well then tick slayer, she's all yours. This little bitch needs a name though."
The weapon emmits a high pitch whine as Rustin slaps a fresh magazine into the now fully assembled Long-las. With a smirk, he hands the rifle over to Leard. After a brief exchange of words with the scouting party, Rustin walks off and begins conversing with Logan.
"I couldn't make ye look like anymore of an arsehole than ye already do brotha. Backbbreaker....ha, I bet that one drives all the boy's crazy back at 'ome...but all same-sex beastiality aside, I'll take care o' this little lot o' yers."
Rustin points his thumb, indicating the members of the kill-team.
"This gun for hire shite was startin' to get old anyway, besides, these pricks look like they know 'ow to 'ave a good time. Give wha's left o' the stash to somebody who can make use o' it, and don't let tha' broad with the perky tits get maimed while I'm gone aye?"
Grabbing a sleek case from the pile of gear in one hand, Rustin hoists his carbine over his shoulder and begins following after Yngvar towards the garage.
"Hey fuzz nuts, wait up...oi've got a plan."
Rustin walks into the garage and immediately begins laying out his plan to Yngvar.
"Mag locks...mounted on the sides of the tauros. They need enough pull to secure something roughly the size of say....'chree power armor clad Astartes. Oi'll drive the piece o'shite, and whoever can't fit in the cab gets mag-locked to the sides o' the vehicle. I'm talkin' about turnin' ye feckers into giant refrigerator magnets until we can secure tha' other scout vehicle."
Rustin turns to the tech priest with a grin.
"A wee little task like this ain't beyond yer skill....now is it?"
As Sarlock walks away towards the front entrance, he smirks at the human's plan. Quite a crazy son of a... He continues on his way to the broken and twisted metal door, shaking his head from side to side.
Pax looks to Rustin like he's just suggested everyone sprout shovels from their ass and tunnel to the center of the planet. "I do not presume to know what you think you know of how my Chapter keeps the Holy Codex, but it would be somewhat... unseemly for an Ultramarine to latch himself to the outside of a vehicle. I shall operate the Venator or I shall march."
Pax gives a quick look to the gates and does some time estimates in his head as to what it would take to repair it.
edited by GM with approval from Fixxxer
Rustin stares blankly at pax, blinking periodically. After a long uncomfortable silence, Rustin speaks flatly.
"Did ye just call...shotgun?"
Laerd smiles like an idiot as Rustin hands him the obviously above average quality weapon. He even whistles as he gets a feel for it, running his hand across the action and extended reinforced smooth-bore barrel like a long lost lover would. "I'll make sure that when the time comes I hit my mark. Ork bastards are going to feel Ichi's retribution now. Boss, where do you want me?"
Dayvon nods and points to the front wall section, above the main gate. "For now, I want your eyes on the roof near the gate. The Orks are whores for doing the same thing twice, even when it isn't in their favor. Emperor knows the lads up there right now are either too tired, hungry and cold to be focused and others are no doubt... ill suited for this work. If things start to get hairy, I want you in one of the top tier apartments. That way you can have a better view of the enemy without being so exposed on the roof."
Laerd starts jogging to the living-habs, heading straight to an internal staircase that will deposit him on the roof with his new weapon. "He is a good shot," Dayvon says to Rustin. "When the time comes, that weapon in his hands will drop many-a-Ork. Thanks again, Rustin."
The Tech Priest takes in Rustin's unusual request. It was not a question of whether or not he had the skill to perform the task. It was a question of whether or not he could sanctify the vehicle and administer the appropriate rites in the eyes of the Omnissiah.
For his part, Yngvar stays relatively quiet, offering his silent acquiesence to the entire procedure. It didn't matter much to him as he had his jump pack secured to his armored back. The prospect of riding on a makeshift seat over open ground on the side of a speeding vehicle did seem appealing, however.
After finishing his internal calculations, the Tech Priest speaks in Low Gothic to the human scout, obviously not relishing speaking the common tongue. "This vehicle has been modified before my arrival on this planet. The driver's seat, has been fitted to sit two standard sized humans as opposed to the standard one. Two Astartes can fit, but it will be tight. The passenger will, by necessity, have half of his person hanging out of the vehicle. The gunner will almost certainly have to be you, human, ++rerunning diagnostic size calculations+++ as their forms can not stand in the gunner's deck."
His mechadendrites continue working even as he speaks to you, while his hands move mechanically to grab various tools and pieces of machinery. "I can weld reinforced plating here," he points to the exposed rear wheels closest to him, "and identically on the opposite side. Then I can magnetize two simple harnesses with cross straps to the plating. I am loathe to do so, but your mission is important. You will overburden this machine. It will not be able to maneuvre nearly as well, nor travel as fast. We can top off the fuel reserves with the Promethium your Apothecary retrieved and ensure you have enough for the duration of your trip. I have but one request." He looks back, his good eye studying those around him as his body unconsciously begins modifying the Venator. "Do not allow this machine to be destroyed. The insult to the Omnissiah is already present with these modifications, but losing two blessed machines due to negligence is nigh unforgiveable."
Pax does not offer Rustin a response and simply turns and walks to the main gate. Already Sarlock has placed his Heavy Bolter lovingly against a wall and is single handedly lifting the fallen blast door that had been blown off its hinges.
"Finally come to help, eh?" Is all the Iron Hand offers as he grunts and lifts the several ton door back to its place. As he lines up the hinges, Pax goes to work straightening them out and securing them into place. Gypsy is hard at work on his back straightening bent steel while a small plasma cutter attached to it cuts away at any debris. With the help of Sarlock, it isn't long before both doors are straightened and secured as they were before the Ork attack. An audible cheer goes up from the residents of Alpha-Ichi as the Marines once again go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their safety - regardless of their reasons for doing so. But Pax isn't done. After a quick scan he notes down the obvious weak points in the gate. With scavenged steel from dead Orks and what is available on-hand at the settlement, he begins improving the armor of the door with a talented welding ability.
The blast doors are secure once again and better than ever. With a little time and Pax's skill, the doors offer increased protection and stability.
As the Tech Priest works, Yngvar takes note of the weapons and ammo laid out by Logan. He takes one of the two Krak grenades and attaches it to his web gear. The fight against the Meganob had seen him expend the last of these and he knew they would be invaluable against a traitor Astartes. He then hands the other one to Sarlock, seeing that the Iron Hand was equally low on ordnance. He gives one standard Bolter magazine to Gunter and Aisha. Their marksmanship was impressive and they would get the most use out of the ammunition. Noting the lack of punch that the Techmarine was packing, he decides to give Paxius both bolt-pistol magazines. Just in case.
After about 45 minutes, the noise from the garage ceases. Through the night air, the smoke from outside the perimeter can be seen as the Orks continue to be thrown on the fire. Sentries walk the walls and keep a keen eye for any movement. The mass graves for Alpha Ichi's citizens, having been filled and prayed over are now being refilled with dirt and drops of holy water.
Viggo makes his way out into the night air and addresses the group once more. "Your vehicle has been modified and its fuel reserves topped off. The Multi-Laser is at full charge. Please, Astartes, if you find any of my brothers, bring them back to me."
+++the group has been at Alpha Ichi for almost two hours. It is now roughly 2 in the morning, Serenity standard time+++
"I do hope they continue to fight off the scourge of the Imperium that has apparently taken up residence on this rock. If they are alive, you have my word that we will use the All-Father's might and guidance to ensure they survive."
Yngvar turns away from the garage and starts towards the front gates. "No time to waste, gents. We can avail ourselves of further hospitality once chaos has been driven from these lands. Find your spot, stow your gear where you can and prepare to leave. We depart immediately."
"Logan, don't get ya'self capture again," he says, half mockingly and half seriously, as he knows that the veteran Son of Russ will do damn near anything for these people.
He walks to the newly repaired doors, nodding at Sarlock, Pax and the Alpha-Ichi residents who help mend it. To the humans he warns, "close the doors behind us and make sure the orks know your fury. Show them no mercy."
With his gear safely stowed, he puts his helmet on and begins exiting the settlement.
Gunter accepts the ammunition with mute thanks. Always taciturn, he has been even more reserved as everyone completes their preparations. As Yngvar mentions driving chaos from these lands Gunter snaps out of his reverie. The powers he had manifested, an affliction in his mind, now seemed a certain gift for this mission. "Emperor's will be done". Gunter smiles under his helmet as he accepts the indignity of being strapped outside of the vehicle. "Let's roll."
Sarlock walks over to the little tech priest and the Tauros, now completely modified to hold them. He looks up at the heavy weapon sitting atop it with pride, wishing it was an Astartes equivalent. Such a beauty that would be...
He walks over to the opposite side that Gunter takes, looking over at the silent Black Templar. Sarlock still itched from the lack of trust he now had in the Black Templar, but it wouldn't do to hate right now. Not with everything that had transpired since touching down on Alpha Ichi. And not with everything that was to come.
"Ready to turn those Chaos filth into a memory, Black Templar? I can see the smile on your face even with your helmet on. It might be as big as mine, but I doubt it," Sarlock directs towards Gunter, while strapping himself in.
His good mood makes a jest impossible to resist. "Bigger? No. Natural, yes. I had no need of bionic enhancement".
Slightly in jest, and slightly in a disturbed reference to the display Gunter put on back at the Ork camp, Rustin mutters as he stows a weapon case, and a container of fresh water in the cabin of the vehicle. "Yeah, if ye call spewing hellfire from the tip o' yer cock natural."
Pulling on a pair of goggles, Rustin climbs atop the Venator, securing himself in the gunner's deck. He takes a moment to re-familiarize himself with the mounted weapon, only having a basic knowledge of its operation. Looking over to Sarlock, he smirks. "I heard ye saying something about the flesh being weak....ye know they have pills for that now right?" With a wink Rustin turns and powers up the hull mounted multi-laser. The weapon emmits a deep hum as it powers up. He turns to look at Yngvar briefly. "Locked and loaded fuzz nuts, let's go stir up some trouble."
Sarlock, ignoring the comment from the Templar, emits a high-pitched laugh from his mechanical jaws at Rustin's comment. He enjoyed the foul mouth and jokes from the human. It was a nice refreshment from the humdrum of his mostly gloomy and all too-serious new brothers.
Pax grins at the exchanges going on around him, pleased that everyone seems to be in a good mood and all sticks have been removed from asses for the time being.
Strapping herself to the Tauros, Aisha awkwardly waits for the vehicle to get moving
Off to the Coast
The group makes their final preparations. Most of them had already spent their time checking and rechecking weapons and ammo, inspecting armor or simply waiting patiently for the parley with the Tech Priest to end. In the end, their time at Alpha-Ichi after the rescue of Logan and the civilians had been very fruitful indeed, even if they failed to recognize it. The discovery of the Tech Priest had confirmed the Mechanicum's interest and presene planetside and after some back-and-forth verbal footwork had also shown that the Tech Priest was willing to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship for the time being. Logan had been secured - or as secure a Space Wolf Kill Marine could ever be considered - and for the time being Kill Team Doomsayer's primary objective had been completed. Pax had done what he could to reinforce the settlement's weak points and, as any good Ultramarine would have done, went above and beyond the call of duty with an almost obsessive compulsive fervor. In the end, Alpha-Ichi was in much better working order and its inhabitants armed and ready for another Ork assault.
Tech Priest Viggo finished sanctifying the Venator, begging the forgiveness of both the Omnissiah and the machine-spirit of the vehicle for the rushed "enhancements." He very well could have said "no" and refused to entertain the human's ideas, but apparently he had weighed the pros and cons of the situation and decided that aiding a Deathwatch Kill Team was in his best interests. As you set to depart you overhear Logan and the Tech Priest share a few words. While most of it is unclear, you do hear the Tech Priest relent to something and promise to "charge the defensive batteries at once." Logan seems very well pleased by this and makes his move to the group.
"I will try not to get captured," he says cooly. "If my suspicions are true, the bastard leading them will regroup a bit before trying to hit us again. He is clever... well, for an Ork. Still a right stupid cunt, make no mistake." He smiles that Logan-smile you have all become accustomed to in the short time you have known him as he takes out his massive combat blade and starts dry shaving his neck and the sides of his head. The blade is so sharp it practically hums as it comes free of its sheath. "I will exit with you and break for the remaining weapon's caches while I still have the cover of dark. They aren't far, so fear not."
The Venator itself, even with its two extra sets of rear-wheels, reinforced frame and high-yield anti-galvanic motors sags slightly with the extra weight. Originally suited for only a human driver and gunner, and then refitted at the settlement to hold a human driver and passenger as well as a rear gunner, this vehicle was never meant to house four fully armed and armored Astartes. But its solid construction and blessings by the Mechanicum are evident as the engine purrs smoothly even with the "extra arse," as Rustin puts it, smashed into her "like an eager Grox farmer on an all-male planet" (also as Rustin put it).
Dayvon and Meoni return one last time to again offer their thanks to the Marines, focussing on the Black Templar especially. They wear their holy bolter casings around their necks with pride and reverance and as they approach, so to do other settlers offering prayers and blessings upon the lot of you. Those manning the walls turn and salute, some of which are ex-Guard, showing their highest form of respect. If it wasn't obvious before, it is very clear that Kill-Team Doomsayer, black power armor clad angels of death and genetic grandsons of the Emperor Himself, fear incarnate, are loved rather than feared by the citizens of Alpha-Ichi. Some break down and cry as you leave, but they are few. The vast majority simply want to do you pride, even if that means dying at the hands of the greenskins.
Slowly and surely, the group heads towards the main gates. Four settlers have to pull them open, or would have had Logan not gone to assist. The gates were far heavier now, having been reinforced with Pax's superior skill. As the team rolls out Logan gives a warriors salute, one fist over his primary heart, and heads off to the tree line. After about 10 feet Rustin loses sight of him, the rest of you assisted by your heightened senses and helmet's autosense barely hang on to his outline as his Camo Cloak actively blends him into his surroundings. After a few more feet, he is gone completely. The doors close behind you and Pax steers the vehicle out west.
The night air is cool against Rustin's skin. The clouds have covered the moon and visibility is low. Yngvar acts as pointman, scouting ahead of the group on wings of fire and ensuring that the path before them is clear. Pax has to drive the vehicle well below its standard operating speed in order to not overtake their squad leader. Not needing to rely on the vehicle's lights because of their enhanced senses and battle-helm night vision, Pax never thinks to turn them on. This reduces Rustin's visibility significantly, but the human so far hasn't voiced any concerns.
After about an hour and a half of driving Pax slows down as Yngvar approaches the Tauros from the middle of the dirt road on foot, one hand held up. Over the Vox he says simple, "We got somethin' up ahead."
Sarlock's impatience was growing to a head due to the lack of urgency in the events of the day and wished for nothing more than something to happen.
"Well it's about damn time, I can't take much more of this Throne-forsaken ride through this Throne-forsaken world. What do you see, Space Wolf?"
Gunter releases from the Venerator, readying his bolster with a fluid motion. He moves directly away from the vehicle while covering the direction of travel. His former elation had already faded. Once again he was devoted warrior - monk ready to do his duty toward the Emperor.
Knowing when and when not to speak. Aisha merely waits for the answer that is inevitable. Strapped into the passenger seat she quietly observes the approach of Yngvar
Per Mac_Tonite via Gchat who cannot get the Archive working on his laptop:
As the vehicle slows to a stop, Rustin pulls the protective goggles from his eyes, allowing them to dangle from his neck. From his position atop the Venator, Rustin peers through the darkness down towards Yngvar. "Need a closer look then papa bear?"
Pax locks the vehicle in a parked mode and exits, cooly limbering his flamer as he does so.
Per Xerb via Gchat who is off in Vegas getting AIDS
Yngvar approaches the group and motions to the South-West with his head.
"Just over the hills here," he says indicating a fast rising patch of grassland with some boulders at the top, "I spotted some smoke. Someone has a fire burning and are trying...poorly...to conceal it. If we stay low and approach with boulders in between us, we should be able to reach the top of the hill without being seen."
No sooner than the words are spoken, then Gunter moves to action. Crouching low he moves toward the indicated position.
Sarlock sighs silently, knowing that stealth was not his strongest point. He follows the Black Templar's lead and crouches low, attempting to step silently through the grass and in-between the boulders scattered around. Sure as the Emperor sits the Golden Throne, it'll be a miracle for me to take something by surprise...
Rustin hops down from the gunner's deck of the Venator. Hitting the ground with a squat, he stands up slowly as he unslings his weapon from his back. With the usual shit-eating grin he presses his finger to his ear, activating his microbead.
"Just a thought boys...in one hand ye 'ave at yer disposal a fucking handsome, silent fox with a half yard cock ....in the other hand ye a've foi've bull elephants wearing a 'alf ton o' pots and pans. Now let's feckin' see here....option A....or option B..."
He mockingly rubs his chin between his thumb and index finger, simulating deep thought.
"Decisions....de-feckin-cisions....Oi' could get in there and get eyes on tha' little jamboree quicker than ye walking hunks o' metal could. Or ye know...we could not use the scout for scouting. If that be the case lads, then why even botherin' crawling around like like pups searchin for a teet...mo'ight as well stomp our way onto tha' position with our cocks in our hands. Me own cock wrapped around me shoulders of course because ye know...the whole half yard comment...."
Sarlock stops his movement forward, forgetting for a split second that they did indeed have a human who could move much more silently than they ever could. Not that Astartes couldn't be stealthy, but with their pots and pans, it made it a bit difficult to be so. Plus it wasn't really Sarlock's style to sneak up unless absolutely necessary. Unrelenting force and destruction were his strong suits.
"I'd be a hell of a lot happier with that plan, personally. Stealth away our new-found human friend. Don't trip on your...well, you know." Sarlock smirks underneath, metal teeth glinting.
Hitting the release Aisha scrambles down from the passenger seat. "You make a good case for stealth human. But, the half yard thing...I doubt. You will have to put your money where your mouth is some other time. Why don't you skulk up that hill and take a look at what there is to see." Aisha readys her bolter, checking the breach and loading a bolt.
Still feeling in for Xerb who still is getting AIDS
Yngvar nods at the human's interesting response. He did have a point after all and there was no hurt in at least attempting stealth.
"Get to it, Rustin. There are boulders at the top of the incline. That will be your best vantage point while maintaining cover. I will flank around the base of the hill to see if there are any surprises up ahead. And Rustin... don't be afraid to scream if you need help."
The vox chimes again as Rustin responds to Yngvar.
"Aye, and if I do 'ave to sceam, Oi'll just make it a familiar scream. It'll sound similar to the laments that escape yer mum's lips when me teeth are tuggin' at her tits. Now lads....Oi'll move up, get a visual and be back in no feckin' toime. Remember lads....code for help will sound like fuzz nuts' ma'm gettin' boinked."
Adjusting the telescopic sight on his carbine, Rustin slinks low to the ground and starts for hill, periodically using the weapon's scope to survey the position ahead.
Through the static of his microbead he mutters one last thing in respond to Aisha as he slinks away. "Wait....did ye just ask to see me prick?"
"Hurry up Vagrant...I know you're at home lurking around in the dark but we have a mission to complete. Your half-yarder, impossible as it is, is not my concern."
The vox crackles followed by ten long seconds of silence. Finally Rustin responds.
"Uh, Copy that. Would ye believe it's the size of an Ogryn's thumb then?"
"A Ratlings seems more probable given the amount your are talking about it...What do you see?"
Pax shakes his head slowly, as though judging. No one can see the grin he's wearing under his helmet.
The wind picks up as Rustin low crawls up the grassy incline. He keeps his silhouette covered with his cloak, the hood pulled up, and keeps the boulder at the top of the rise in front of his body. The rain is steady and helps mask the sound of his approach. He gently peeks his head around the boulder, his eyes long since adjusted to the near black of night on this planet. There is a small opening between two boulders on the top of the hill and he angles himself to see through it to the rocks to the south. He slowly shouldered his las carbine, Sexy Sadie, displaying excellent trigger discipline as to not "accidentally" fire, and used the telescopic sight of the weapon to give him a better view.
Movement. A flicker of orange on the dark rock. A fire was definitely burning down there. It was in the middle of two rock faces, so while Rustin couldn't see the flames themselves, he could see their reflections flickering against the back wall of the rock. He spotted four bodies spread around it and they appeared to be sleeping - or dead, although the dead hardly required a fire to keep warm. Waiting a little longer, he spotted a long wood ladder propped againt the same rock face the flames were dancing on. It climbed up to a plateu of sorts that was lost in the darkness, perhaps 10 meters up.
Yngvar eventually decided against moving up the road. If they were going to allow the human to use his natural stealth abilities, then there was no point in potentially giving themselve away were he to clink and clank and whir up the road. So, he stayed with the squad by the Vehicle and started divvying out orders.
"Sarlock, at the first sign of trouble I want you on the top of that hill. It should give you the best firing position to cover us - and more importantly the Tauros - from all angles. Pax, I want you near the vehicle. We cannot risk anything befalling it. Gunter, you and I go straight in for the kill, wherever it is presented. Daughter of Death, maintain a support position between Sarlock and Pax. Destroy anything that gets past us or tries to sneak up on us."
With the orders given, he turns his head toward the hill top where he could clearly make out Rustin. The human had his cloak pulled around him and was using his telescopic rifle sight to gain intel on the enemy position. The fire inside the human reminded Yngvar of Fenris, of the tribesmen there. Crude as he may be, the human had proved his worth more than once in the short time he had accompanied the Marines; he deserved to have the chance to do so again.