The vox chimes in. The voice that comes through is calm, but lacking the usual sarcasm.
"Hold positions lads, Oi can make out at least four at the camp and one sniper coverin' our approach. Oi'm gonna need ye lot to trust me 'ere and don't feckin move. Standby"
"Standing-fookin'-by," Yngvar reports impatiently but quietly.
"Pax, bein' you're the sharp shooter, I need you at the ready if their are any Xenos scum left once Rustin's had his way with them. If needed I'll drive the Tauros and we'll wait for Rustin to report. Or that of the enemy's weapon."
Gunter holds position, silently containing his disdain for the human operative's methods. The Emperor's Avenging Warriors could cleanse these four insignificant opponents with wrathful flame, but instead Yngvar wanted to let the little scout feel useful. Gunter had no taste for babysitting.
Plateau Party, Round 1
Rustin ascends the final climb, somehow managing to keep himself as silent as a creeping cat. There were two men lying on the ground in front of him a few meters behind the lip of the cliff. One thing he knew for certain was that they were not Alpha-Ichi settlers. Dayvon and Meoni had mentioned nothing of missing persons outside of those who perished in the Ork attack, and they certainly didn't mention a missing Long-Las.
They were both in the prone position, not so much as speaking to one another. The shooter and the spotter both had cloaks wrapped around their bodies and heads to keep the rain out, and it was clear they were both watching the crest of the grassy hill and as far beyond it as the geography of the land would allow them. But if they had seen the Astartes or the Tauros, they made no sign or signal of it. Perhaps they were refugees from another settlement? Just trying to stay silent and out of the way until the war with the Orks blew over. But if that were the case why were they so close to the Communication Tower? Why the extravagant weaponry?
Then Rustin spotted the tattoos in the moonlight. A small wind blew the cloak of the shooter's head back and Rustin caught a glimpse of the barcode and serial number there, and perhaps more importantly the explosive collar that was firmly in place. Penal-workers. Escapees.
Making up his mind immediately, Rustin did what he did best. He slid the monstrous blade off of the darkwood scabbard strapped tightly to his back soundlessly and approached on feet of silk. The shooter kept his focus on the Long-Las' scope until his head was jerked back swiftly and four inches of reinforced Imperial steel slid through his carotid artery and across his throat. The speed and skill with which Rustin dispatched the shooter left him no room to yell out. He simply shook for a moment as buckets of blood poured out from the wound.
The spotter looked over, hearing the commotion and gasped audibly. He stared at the tattooed scout with fear in his eyes that quickly turned to hatred as he scrambled for the lasgun on his back.
Action economy is on Rustin, Spotter is currently prone
Rustin moves quickly. Speed was everything and his enemy could not be allowed one moment to scream out or the entire scout would be blown. With two vicious downward thrusts, Rustin pushes his blade into the spotter's ribs, easily puncturing the heavy overcoat that offered the man his only protection. Blood began pouring out of his mouth as he gasped for air that would not come.
For good measure, Rustin turns the blade and slides it across the spotter's femoral artery. It is only moments before his eyes are rolling back into his head and both men lay dead at Rustin's feet. The battle is over before it begun and with almost no noise whatsoever.
Getting a slightly clearer look at the two, Rustin can make out a variety of tattoos spread around their bodies - most damning being the penal bar and serial codes tattooed on the backs of their necks. The heavy overcoats give another clue as to where these men came from, but the oddity is the marking on the Long-Las itself.
Etched into the main housing of the weapon is an 8-pointed star. Disgusting symbols that would make a normal man uneasy to stare upon stretch along the length of the barrel.
With a single downward swing, Rustin flings his blade free of the excess blood from his two victims. He spat as he glared at the blasphemes markings, crudely etched into the men's flesh. Enough to disorient even the hardiest of men, his former line of work had conditioned him to suppress the sickening sensation brought on by the unholy etchings. Tearing his gaze away from the ruinous markings, he felt a felt something he hadn't felt for a longtime....something he missed.
Activating the vox bead, Rustin speaks low, a hint of anger in his voice. "Sentry team 'as been eliminated. These runts were penal workers, from the mines more than 'loikely. I can make out about ten more of 'em by the fire. Pricks are packin' guard issue weaponry. Now 'ere is the kicker lads....those weapons, along with these feckers' skin bare the the marks o' the archenemy. Somebody armed these bastards...."
Ending his transmission, Rustin stalks over to the edge of the cliff. Peering over the side, he stares down at the unaware cultists below. His relationship with the emperor was rocky at best, but what he lacked in devotion to the imperial dogma, he made up for in a raw, savage rage for the powers of chaos. He had spent a lifetime infiltrating and hunting ruinous cults across multiple sectors. There was that feeling he missed....it was hate. A grin slowly washes over his face as his eyes shift between each of his hands. Both are now holding incendiary grenades.
As Yngvar waits for the report, via the vox or from some other, perhaps louder indication of what is happening, he silently invokes the name of Russ in hopes that Rustin failed at least partially so some of the heretics living flesh remains for the teeth of Ice Splitter. Before anything further happens, Yngvar waves Pax over to the Tauros. "So our movements are not further hampered, tell me what you believe the machine spirits would say about removing a small, but crucial piece of this, now, Mechanicum-infused contraption. It mustn't be goin' anywhere while we're spilling chaos blood on the other side of that hill. Once done, take an elevated position and bring your fury upon any traitorous legions you see."
Once done at the Tauros, Yngvar turns to the rest, "Whatever Rustin is planning, after it is done, Pax will cover us from an elevated distance, now that their sniper team is neutralized. Aisha, Sarlock, and Gunter will cut down an traitors criminals attempting to flee. Any questions?"
Rustin peers out over the ledge of the plateau, seeing roughly a dozen sleeping bodies around a campfire. Apparently the sniper's were the group's only lookout. The scout wants to smirk at their stupidity but his hatred for their existence pushes any joy aside. There was to be no joy until they were dead.
Slowly, he sheathes his blade on his back and pulls out two frag grenades, one in each hand. He kisses each one gently and, as a photographer looking for the perfect angle, lines up a drop.
He opens up a microbead link at a whisper, "Sorry, lads. Oi moight 'ave misplaced a couple-o-frags." He pulls both pins with his teeth and lets them drop.
Two jarring explosions rock the small canyon and accompanying hillside.
"Oh, oi found them," he remarks, the smirk finally on his face again.
The grenades' lethal range overlap in a field of flying shrapnel and powerful concussion. Most of the ex-penal laborers turned chaos worshippers, die in their sleep, their bodies riddled with shrapnel wounds, their life fluid draining out in huge pools. A few lay on the ground moaning and coughing. One of the females is crying but that too ends in but a few seconds.
The initial explosions are followed by an almost death-like silence.
Then Rustin hears the sound of scuttling feet, and the voices of very alert men and women running toward the campfire.
Initiative is on, Round 1 will begin shortly.
"Yer missin' all the fun lads. 14 down... about 7 to go, reinforcing from the northwast. Should I save a couple for ye boys?" Rustin muses quietly into the Vox as he backs away slowly from the edge of the rock face, taking himself out of immediate view. He shoulders Sexy Sadie and gets a nice sight picture of all the cultists running to his position. Almost time now.
Aisha pulls her bolter as the explosions rock the canyons to her south. She moves a bit up the hill, but stays close to the Tauros to ensure nothing devilish befalls it.
Gunter had been swinging out away from the Tauros and moving toward the hill. With the explosions he abandons any attempt at stealth and full on runs up the hill, intending to keep some space from Rustin's position to be able to fire on any attackers from a flanking position. When he crests the hill he sees the group of cultists running at a sprint toward the canyon where the explosions came from.
The cultists run forward, eager to see what the commotion is about. With a shout from a large individual among them dressed in thick synthetic coveralls and a full faces respirator the group splits in half. Four individuals move to check out the canyon and another three turn to take up some cover behind some fallen rocks. Two of them go wide eyed when they see the Black Templar crest the hill and stare directly at them.
"Boss!" one of them manages to scream.
Pax follows quickly behind Gunter, moving gently out of the way of the Tauros - or as gently as an Astartes can - and bounds up the hill as though it were flat ground coming up about 12 meters behind Gunter only just barely being able to make out the enemies below.
Action Economy is on Yngvar
Yngvar ignites his jump pack and takes advantage of his superior mobility to cover the Western approach. He guns the turbines for a few seconds, then cuts them, as he sails through the air. Before he has the misfortune of slamming into the earth, he guns the reverse engines, softening his thudding landing behind a large rock to the west of the Tauros.
Sarlock grumbles under his helmet. The battle was too far away. In an attempt to make it come as close as possible, the Iron Hand takes off at a full run, easily lugging along his heavy bolter as if it were a lasgun as he bounds up the grassy hillside. His speed and agility are stunning for a creature of such size and might and the eagerness of bloodshed for the Emperor drives him onward.
Rustin sits without moving an inch. He draws a bead on the west entrance to the canyon and keeps his weapon trained there. Before long the cultists rush into his sights. He loses sight of the first two but the third and fourth stand idly by, trying to keep an eye on their situation while taking in the carnage around them. Rustin doesn't waste a second.
The lascarbine pops and the third cultist in the small group drops to the ground with a thud. The las beam having crunched through his forehead and boiled his brain into liquid and steam, killing him before he hit the ground. He twitches once, then twice and lays still.
Aisha takes off at a sprint, bounding up the hill with her bolter in hand. She closes the distance to Gunter, ending up just a few meters behind him and draws a bead on the heretics cowering in cover at the base of the hill.
Gunter prepares to unload on the prisoners below. As he lines up his shot he hears movement directly behind him. The distraction is just enough to shift his aim. By the time he recognizes it is Aisha entering his personal space, the bolter shells have exploded harmlessly around the enemy. Some cultists take the opportunity to jeer and yell profanities while others look terrified that an Astartes just fired a bolter at them.
The first Cultist and the foreman run forward as their comrade goes down behind them, felled by Rustin's exceptional las shot. No one currently has eyes on them and its anyone's guess what they intend to do.
Action economy is on me, but I have five classes to teach today and no time to roll right now. I will update this ASAP
The third penal laborer-turned cultist moves in the opposite direction, linking up with the rest of his small band and seeing the Astartes on the hill for the first time. "Shit! Fugg! Shit!" He screams over and over, taking cover behind the rock and giving himself just enough room to lean out and get ready fire his autogun.
The other cultists don't hesitate at all. Seeing Gunter first, they open up on the stoic Black Templar. The fourth cultist runs between his two comrades and takes a knee, lining up a single shot against Gunter while the other two open up with fully automatic bursts. Either through nerves or fear, two of the cultists fire wide. One of them however, lines up a very nice shot on the Black templar and lets fly ten rounds.
Gunter, quick on his feet anticipates the shots and literally jumps out of the way of most of them. One happens to find its way into his midsection, thunking uselessly into his hallowed plated and doing no damage whatsoever.
It is currently Pax's turn
Pax charges straight down the hill, cutting west ever so slightly as to stay out of his brother's line of sight. "Redemption through flame is upon you, heathens!" He screams out in his autotuned, robotic voice, his external Vox speakers ringing through the night.
As Kill-Team Doomsayer advances on the cultists' position, Yngvar pulls the throttle open as wide as it will go, causing the jump pack to burn to get him as far as possible into a flanking position. There is no way these cultists will escape, he thinks as he cuts off their route of retreat.
Manipulated by chaos, he finds his empathy with the human condition temporarily wiped clean as he apprehends these traitors and criminals. There will be no quarter for traitors.
As Yngvar flies through the air he catches sight of a second group of human traitors gathering behind the westernmost rock. Of the group, he sees another leader type wielding a glowing blue plasma pistol, screaming orders at his men. Two of them move up a ladder and go prone on top of the rock, while the others form a protective ring around their leader. The five on the ground seem to focus on Yngvar. With a yell of hatred, the foreman fires his plasma pistol at Yngvar twice and his men take that as their cue to open up with autoguns. Their shots are rushed and go wide and the plasma bolts fly so far off their target Yngvar wonders if they were meant for him at all.
The two cultists on the rock laying prone take pot-shots at Aisha. One misses by a hair while the second thuds into her leg harmlessly. Powerful against flesh, these autoguns are simply not packing enough punch to seriously threaten to Astartes at the moment.
Sarlock continues his flanking maneuvre, deftly sprinting south before turning back west, eager to cut off the cultists... out of the corner of his eye he sees movement.
Rustin notices the blazing ball of super heated plasma fly wide from the foreman's pistol. That was a problem. He moved the barrel of his lascarbine toward the bigger, more heavily armored cultist. Flicking the fire-selector to three-round burst, he squeezed the trigger. The first beam of light punches clean through the layers of padding on the foreman's body, knocking the wind out of him. The second to shots fly wide but find the flesh of the cultist just to the foreman's right. Both shots burn through the skin and boil the internal organs of the cultist. His screams turn into a bubbling, gurgling wheez as he hits the ground - his finger involuntarily spasming on the trigger of his autogun sending a full auto burst into the ground and his leg.
Aisha lines up her bolter with the foreman. She notes that the cultists around him seem to actively be putting themselves in harm's way in order to protect their leader. Anticipating their movements, she squeezes the trigger. The weapon bucks as a .75 calibre mass-reactive shell flies out of the barrel and connects with the foreman's right leg. For whatever reason, the round flies clean through the foreman's leg and buries itself in the wet earth before detonating. The foreman screams and looks toward the Apothecary with hatred in his eyes.
Gunter stows his bolter, mentally calculating his remaining ammunition and deciding that his blessed rounds are not to be wasted on such lowly filth. He draws the mighty force sword from its sheath beside his armor's power unit on his back. He then calmly proceeds to walk down the hill, gaining another five meters on the now clearly terrified ex-penal laborers.
Rustin grins as the cultist takes the stray shots into his chest and stomach and dies screaming. It was more than he deserved. To his right, he notices the ladder shift slightly and barely tap against the rock it is leaning against.
The rest of the cultists huddled beside the rocks facing Gunter and Pax open up again. Hoping to slow the advance of the Wrath of the Emperor made manifest. Two of them share a quick word and without hesitation, the westernmost cultists turns and flees as fast as he can. The cultist closest to Pax screams curses at him with a small woman's voice, twisted with hatred and malevolence.
"Die you fucking Imperial whore!" She screams as her autgun spits a rain of steel at the Ultramarine. Three of the ten rounds spent hit Pax, dancing up his leg and into his abdomen. He hardly even registers the impacts in his HUD, nor feels anymore than a tickle as his sensors alert him to the "damage." At most, the fresh coat of black paint had been chipped.
Meanwhile, the full auto burst aimed at Gunter fails miserably. The ex-penal laborer either too scared, full of adrenaline, or poor of a shot to come anywhere near the Black Templar. The smallest of the cultists takes cover in between two of the rocks and fires at Sarlock as he approached, but he shot misses wide as well and he curses under his breath. Slowly, a wet line of piss forms on his pants.
Pax simply points his flamer at the scum before him. To those in ther service of the Ruinous Powers, there was only one response. A streaming of searing white and blue promethium flame jumps from the flamer in his hands and he turns it left and right, bathing the entire area in a 30 degree cone of searing heat. Both the female cultist who cursed his name and the one firing at Gunter are engulfed immediately.
They scream horridly and pathetically as the flames dance around every inch of their body. Their clothes melt into their skin as their ammunition cooks off inside of their weapons. Their hair smoulders away immediately as the skin starts to melt off of their face. Eyeballs erupt like tiny overcooked sausages within their skills. Still alive during all of this and feeling it all, their fate is sealed when their det-collars explode under the torrent of heat, sending what little remained of their heads into the cool night air like firey comets.
Yngvar, feeling both angry that the foreman had the nerve to fire at him and seeing him as the biggest threat to the group currently, ignites his jump pack and barrels toward the plasma pistol wielding enemy. Ice Splitter screams to life in his right hand as he rockets over the wet grassy earth. The foreman's eyes go wide and he moves to bring the plasma pistol to bear, but he is much too late. The terrifying Space Wolf lets off the throttle a mere two meters away from the foreman, using the force and speed to drive Ice Splitter home. He brings the blade down in a vicious arc that begins at the heretic's neck and ends in a downward thrust tha exits his groin. The momentum pushes Yngvar a full meter past the foreman, Ice Splitter still extended behind him pointed at the ground as still as stone in his right hand.
The foreman stood stationary, attempting to speak as his eyes fluttered open and close - his brain not yet aware that it was already dead. Seconds passed. Then the body split in two, a wash of gore and innards spattering the hillside in a radius of four meters. With a wet flop, each half finds a final resting place amid the soft, blood drenched grass.
The cultists near Yngvar, drenched in their leaders blood and still reeling from the shock and veracity of the attack all make very different decisions in how to proceed. The westernmost cultist of this group takes a cue from the other group and turns west to flee the scene. He loses his footing in a few feet of large intestine, however, and falls face first into the ground. The cultist who was closest to the foreman at the start of Yngvar's charge reaches down to pick up the fallen leader's plasma weapon, but slips down to his knees in the thick gore. He scrambles to right himself, but ends up falling totally prone as well - his fingers wrapped around the grip of the plasma pistol. The last cultist between Yngvar and the boulder simply turns and opens up on Yngvar's back.
Yngvar doesn't even move. He takes every hit, nothing so much as coming close to damaging the Son of Russ. He simply turns his head and stares at the attacker, blood dripping softly off of his chainsword.
The two prone enemies on the rock, seeing how ineffective their weapons are against the Astartes decide enough is enough. They stand and run to hop off of the rock, using a smaller boulder as a step to get down.
Action economy is on Sarlock
Sarlock turns around and waits. He knew what he saw and the enemy behind him was hardly a threat. He decided he would give a surprise to whatever chose to round the corner and come at his team.
Rustin knows immediately what the tapping of the ladder means. Still kneeling, he sets his las carbine on the ground and pulls out his ornately designed hand cannon, Lady Vengeance. The special hand cannon houses six rounds in a titanium revolving cylinder and housing, capable of withstanding the force it expels as it fires. He crab walks over the ledge and peers over. One cultist was roughly halfway up the 10m ladder and the foreman was just behind him.
"Don't move lad," he whispers to the enemy in front of him. "Wasp just landed on your nose. Hold still and Let me get it for ye." With a smirk and a wink, Rustin points his weapon at the lead cultist and, gripping it in both hands, squeezes the trigger. The report is extreme. While not as loud as the Bolters used by the Astartes, it was still a thing of unquestionable power. Both of the scout's arms fly up to absorb the weapon as it bucks. It's flash lighting up the small canyon in an instant of yellow flame.
The lead cultist had no time to react. The solid slug from the cannon buried itself in his neck and tore through his chest cavity. Blood pours from his mouth instantly, but he makes no other noise at all. His lifeless body simply falls off the ladder to smack with a dull thud into the hard rock 6m below. "Damn, I missed it," says Rustin, still grinning.
Aisha stands like a statue, the battle unfolding all around her. The Daughter of Death keeps her bolter tight and disciplined, this time taking aim at the cultist on the rock who would try and flee. So simple their minds must be if they thought escape was an actual possibility. Her holy weapon bucked once and almost immediately the chest of the cultist trying to jump off the rocks explodes in a shower of bone and gristle. He screams as he falls, somehow still alive even though most of his chest and stomach are outside of his body. A few seconds later the screaming stops and a limp body slowly slides off of the rain-soaked rock.
Gunter also focuses his attention on the enemies trying to flee from the rock. He turns north west and takes off at a dead sprint, sword in hand, bounding over the terrain as though it weren't there at all. He makes it to the bottom of the rock, staring at the cultist who has yet to come down. He stands still as a statue, letting the rain patter down off of his armor, the moonlight shining down on hi terrifying beaked Corvus helm. He holds his sword, as long as the cultist is tall, in front of him in both hands. He waits patiently.
The fleeing cultist doesn't slow down one bit. He even goes so far as to throw down his weapon as though it were slowing him down. He covers another 18m, huffing and puffing as the adrenaline fuels him.
The foreman on the ladder stops his upward movement and pulls his autopistol, aiming it up at Rustin. He snarls under the re-breather mining mask he wears and lets loose a burst. The autopistol spits the rounds out at a high rate of fire, six of them leaving the barrel, but the awkwardness of firing upward while on the ladder throws his aim. Five of the shots go wide before he brings the weapon to bear. Rustin deftly backs away, sending the only shot that threatened him harmlessly flying into the night air.
"No one escapes," says Pax in a low tone. He mag-locks his flamer and de-mags his rifle, it practically shooting into his hand as the force of the mags reverses. He carefully takes aim and lets a single needle loose at the back of the fleeing cultist. There is no sound whatsoever as the battle rages on. The laser enhanced crystal "needle" shoots straight and true, burying itself in the coward's neck. A momentary annoyance akin to a mosquito immediately turns into a torren of pain as the cultist's nerve endings all feel the sensation of electric fire. The toxins within the crystal quickly work their way through the nervous system, shutting down all vital functions as it melts its way through organs. The cultists falls to his knees, grasping at his throat as blood starts pouring from his eyes, ears and nose, before it begins pouring in earnest from his pores. In a last ditch effort he starts to tear at his neck in order to breathe, but the fight is already over. In seconds he is but another body lying still in the night air with the majority of his life fluids on the outside rather than in.
After the pinging of the autogun rounds on his armor subside, Yngvar, enraged that they came so close to his Chapter's sacred wolf pelt, now bloody and covered with flecks of bone, commits fully to ending the life of the still standing heretic. As he turns to face him, but before making his all out attack, he turns to the two prone cultists and says over his external vox, "Watch closely, filth, and you will see that your loyalty to chaos brings a death even more grotesque than you can imagine." His words echo in the small area he occupies, his heavy Fenrisian accent forcing out some of the Low Gothic words. He turns and squares off against the shaking heretic who tries to remain brave in the face of imminent death.
"Your whore dead Emperor is a lie-" His attempted insult is cut short as the Space Wolf, standing a full meter taller than him thrusts his gigantic chainsword into his chest cavity without reving the engine at all. The teeth don't move an inch as they punch through flesh and bone. As the cultist coughs blood and drops his weapon to the ground, Yngvar engages the engine on his trusted weapon. The diamond-tipped teath come to life as he pulls his weapon out, expertly slicing the heretic's heart in two without causing much external damage at all. He catches the cultist as his weapon flies free, taking in the final few moments of his meaningless life. "Do you see now the folly of your ways? The wolf will always rend its prey." With a squeeze Yngvar crushes the small man's neck and lets him drop to the ground, staring at the two remaining.
The cultist who entangled himself in the intestines of his leader backs away as Yngvar drops the dead body of his comrade. He attempts to get up but the wet ground mixed with his rising terror is too much for him to control and he falls back down, squirming against the wet earth.
His other comrade decides he will die fighting. He grips his ex-leader's powerful weapon - a weapon which he barely understands - but he know how to pull a trigger. He does just that. He jerks the weapon just before it fires, anticipating a huge recoil and thus throwing off his shot considerably. The small ball of fire with the heat of a sun bounds off incredibly fast through the night air, missing Yngvar entirely.
Sarlock maintains his vigilant stance, waiting for the enemy he alone saw to come into view. He covers an area in front of him, keeping his heavy bolter vigilantly maintained at the opening of a canyon mouth to the south east. Before long, his targets present themselves.
A group of 12 former penal-laborers come into view, their det collars marking them as such. Apparently they heard the commotion and came running with little regard for how their approach would be heard. Sarlock opens up immediately, having waited for this exact opportunity. The heavy bolter erupts in his hands, the speed at which the rounds leave the barrel sounding like one enormous bark rather than separate rounds firing.
Five of the cultists holding a tight formation die before they realize their is a literal kill-machine standing in front of them in the form of an Iron Hands Devastator. Their bodies literally come apart as if detonating from within. Legs separate from their sockets, torso turn into chunks of meat and heads are destroyed utterly as the massive rounds find targets and begin detonating shortly after impact. A sixth cultist doesn't get hit directly, but the shrapnel of a round exploding in front of him peppers his body, flaying clothing, skin and muscle. He alone feels the pain of the attack and writhes on the ground fatally injured, screaming through ruined teeth.
Once the smoke literally clears, Sarlock sees that one of their leaders - a foreman - remains as well as a heavy weapons team that immediately drops down and focuses their two-man operated multi-laser on the Iron Hand. The foreman begins screaming orders, the plasma pistol in his hand aimed right at Sarlock. The weapon blares twice and two white hot balls of plasma speed toward Sarlock...
... Perhaps revelling in the glory of battle, Sarlock fails to notice the two plasma bolts streaking toward his chest. The first punches into him with the force of a hammer, melting off the black Deathwatch paint. The second follows immediately after, burning a small hole in his ancient Mk. V armor and leaving what little skin remains of his chest charred. Luckily, Sarlocks chest is more steel than flesh and he absorbs the blow as a mortal might absorb a punch. He turns his attention to the attacker and is about to fire when a fussilade of autogun rounds slam into him as simultanesouly the Multilaser team open fire. The multilaser fires way off target, but the autogun - loaded with manstoppers and blessed by chaos - find their mark. They tear up Sarlock's leg and body, finally finding a weak spot in his neck armor. Sarlock grits his teeth as the sting reverberates through his body and the cool night air assails him from two openings in his armor.
As the bout of automatic fire flies harmlessly past his head, Rustin leans forward again to get off another shot. Bracing Lady Vengeance in both hands he takes aim at the largest target in front of him - the foreman's body. He squeezes the trigger and is greeted by another enormous report. The canyon once again lights up in a muzzle flash of yellow luminscence. However, the foreman jerks aside at the last moment, sending what would have been a kill shot into his leg instead. He howls in pain under his reinforced rebreather, clutching his leg with his off hand and just barely maintaining his balance on the ladder.
Aisha, feeling righteous contempt for the dead enemies before her and satisfaction that her last victim died screaming and in pain, turns to face the new threat assailing the Iron Hand. Although she doesn't have a clear line of sight on the entire group, she makes out a few of the chaos followers armed with autoguns opening up on Sarlock. Knowing that the Devastator can take much more damage than this lot can dish out before he goes down, the Apothecary savant bides her time and lines up a shot at the cultist she can see.
Gunter swings his mighty force sword in a large arc over his head, hoping to easily slice through the enemy in front of him. It was time for retribution. The angle of the enemy is tricky and Gunter miscalculates the height. At the last moment the cultist jumps up and the blade sails harmlessly under his feet - something he never would have been able to manage had they been on even ground. Even still, Gunter takes satisfaction in the terror the cultist was no doubt feeling. No doubt, a small part of the enemy wished he had simply perished under the blade rather than be toyed with as such.
The last living cultist of the first group decides enough is enough and takes off at a dead sprint toward the reinforcements engaging Sarlock.
The foreman drops his autopistol and pulls a krak grenade off his belt. Gripping it tightly in his left hand, he begins to ascend the ladder.
Action Economy is on Agamemnon Paxius
Pax turns as the enemy sprints off, calculating how fast he is running with the angle that he is moving at. He takes aim a centimeter or so in front of the cultist, leading him perfectly. As he squeezes the trigger the cultist trips up a bit and accidentally moves his head to the right. The toxic needle flies through the night air and embeds itself harmlessly in a rockface.
Yngvar revs the chainsword and charges forward in the blink of an eye. The cultists on the ground pulling uselessly at the trigger of the plasma pistol, not realizing it has to recharge before every use. Screaming out in frustration even as Yngvar slowly presses his spinning blade through his body, the cultist jerks and convulses as blood sprays from the horrific wound on his chest and his mouth, steaming in the cold night air. Finally his hand goes limp and two bodies separated in two halves lay on the hillside.
His comrade begins screaming for mercy. Weeping and throwing down his weapon, he manages to make it to his knees and hold up both hands. "Please, don't kill me! Mercy! Please!" His wailing continues in earnest as the life fluids of his former compatriots coats his pants.
The cultist who somehow dodged Gunter's last attack hears the cries for mercy from Yngvar's direction and takes a cue. Throwing down his weapon he holds his hands up! "I give up! I am done! I am fucking done!"
Meanwhile, Sarlock stares down at the foreman who dared to fire upon him and scratch his blessed Mk. V "Heresy" armor. A smile blazed onto his face as he used the external vox to put forth his message. "You DARE to even think of harming me? Enjoy the last seconds of your miserable life!" The screechy, high mechanical voice pierces through the surroundings, hopefully shattering some of the cultists courage. He hefted the bolter into his favorite position and pressed the firing rune with deadly force. In almost imperceptible cadence, four of the massive mass-reactive heavy bolter rounds make contact with the foreman starting at his leg and working up his body. One by one the rounds smash through armor flesh and bone like they were nothing - the resounding internal eruptions causing so much physical trauma that the foreman simply ceases to exist. A cloud of misty red blood hangs in the air before the gravity of Serenity drags it back to the earth. A swinging arm lands after a few seconds of flying through the air, still gripping the plasma pistol.
The Multilaser team, laying prone, renew their assault on Sarlock. The heavy weapon emits an echoing, high pitched popping noise as it chunkily fires off a full auto burst. Two of the shots churn up the earth, burning away the moisture where they hit before the rest find their target. Sarlock sees the danger coming and quickly takes a step to the side, sending two of the violent beams of energy sailing past him. The last shot, however, finds its mark, impacting his chest with a resounding thud. The thick laser finds the weak spot in Sarlock's armor that the evil plasma weaponry had created. He grits his teeth as skin and steel singe and burn under the impact.
The remaining cultists move to fire off another burst at Sarlock when their comrade comes into their line of sight after fleeing the flame-strewn landscape created by Pax. One of them exhibits amazing trigger discipline, even going so far as to point his autogun up into the night air in order not to flag his running ally with his barrel. The other cultist doesn't exhibit any restraint whatsoever, and holds down the trigger, aiming at Sarlock with his ally directly in the line of fire.
The fleeing cultist is riddled with friendly fire. His clothing offering no protection whatsoever as the manstopper rounds tear through his body. He spits blood as his chest erupts from the poorly times friendly-fire. He falls to the ground with a thud, sliding a few feet before laying still. He moans for a few seconds before going completely silent. The rest of the full auto burst crashes into Sarlock, but does nothing more than annoy the already infuriated Iron Hand.
The foreman grunts with each rung he climbs, the effort bringing fresh pain screaming through his leg with only the promise of retribution against the human who did it to him bringing him any solace. Gripping the Krak grenade in a white-knuckled tight grip, he makes it to the edge of the plateau...
...and is greeted by the smiling face of Rustin, seated cross-legged, who is pointing the massive six-shooter at his chest. "Oi, prick," says the rough scout before giving a wink and squeezing the trigger for a third time. At such close proximitiy, the flash from the muzzle burns away the clothing on the foreman's chest, the solid slug passing through his chest plate and tumbling out of his back. Dizzy and tasting blood, the foreman loses his grip on the ladder and tumbles backward through the night air. The last thing he hears before slamming into the flat rock 10m below is Rustin's fading voice saying, "The Emperor protects."
What the gunshot started, gravity finished. Broken and bleeding, the foreman quietly dies next to the fire.
Action Economy is on Aisha
With a blink of her eyes and a corresponding audible *click*, Aisha changes her vox to loud speaker so that the new group of enemies may hear her. "Cower, craven dogs, before the Emperor's Angels! His eye is upon you and your False Gods cannot save you!" She fires one holy bolt at her target... Or attempts to fire one bolt. As another audible *click* assails her ears, she knows that a dead primer has failed and jammed in the chamber of her bolter. Ommnisance will have to be paid to the Holy Weapon's machine spirit later.
Gunter addresses the man begging for mercy in front of him. "This sword has been wielded on a thousand battlefields and laid down a thousand enemies of the Emperor before laying in a vault for a thousand years. Now it yearns for blood," Gunter slowly sheathes the weapon - the crisp rain water being pushed off of the polished black blade as it enters its sacred scabbard - and watches as the cultist begins to believe that he will be allowed to live, "but only of a worthy foe. You are a mewling pig, you are a dog, you are vermin. You are not fit to be ended by a weapon of such craftsmanship. You are not worthy to be ended by even a blessed bolter round."
Gunter, almost faster than the human eye can perceive, reaches out and grabs the man with a gauntleted fist around his ankle. The cultist falls back hard, his head smacking against the rock as he is pulled off like a rag doll. He thuds against the soft earth a second time before feeling himself rise into the night air.
Gunter lifts him from the ground, both enormous palms made larger by the hallowed Gauntlets he wears gripping under the cultist's arm pits. "Mercy? Death will be a mercy you do not deserve." Gunter begins squeezing...
Pax does not so much grunt with surprise or dismay at having missed his target. "The false gods of chaos are fickle," he says as he switches his aim to a new target, "but they will not see you through The Emperor's justice." The silent weapon doesn't even buck as another laser-enhanced toxic crystal flies out of the barrel. The moment Pax squeezes the trigger coincides with its solid smack into his target's face.
The cultist who had held his fire when his ally came into range jerks his head back as the crystal embeds itself in his forehead. The toxins work so quickly that he hardly has time to scream as his nerve endings erupt in sensations of burning fire and freezing ice. The skin sloughs off his face in chunks as the chemicals break apart facial muscles at the cellular level. Convulsing and screaming wildly, the cultist somehow has the fortitude and sanity to push the barrel of his autogun in his mouth and blow his own head apart in one burst of fully automatic fire.
Yngvar quickly goes to work, no speeches for the enemies of man like his compatriots were delivering. No, he was on the hunt again, just as if here were back on Fenris tracking the enormous Fenrisian Wooly Elkelope across the tundra. He expertly stows away Ice Splitter and pulls his combat blade. Although it looked like a mere knife in his hands, the blade on it was nearly as long as the cultist's leg from knee to ankle. The handle, forged from the thigh bone of a great nameless predator, reinforced with ceramite flushly merged with a solid mono-edged adamantine blade.
"We need to talk," he says calmly and in one deft move pushes the blade between the bones in the cultists leg, pinning him to the ground. The former penal-laborer begins screaming and clutching at the blade, but the angle and the power with which Yngvar easily pinned him to the ground is far too much for him to overcome. What is amazing is the skill with which Yngvar stuck him - hardly any blood flows from the wound, so tight was his application of pressure.
Sarlock rages under his helmet. First the desecration of his armor and then the desecration of the steel of his body. And by what? By whom? Enemies that did not deserve to even gaze upon a chosen of the Iron Hands - a Chapter whose legacy stretched back to the Great Crusade, a Chapter that stayed true to the Emperor of Mankind when fully half of the other Primarchs and their ilk turned their back! A small part of his mind raged at the fact that he felt the attack at all - so weak was the flesh from which his old self was born into. It was a testament to the strength of the steel that his new self was slowly becoming.
He roars under his helmet, external Vox blaring at maximum, but it matters not. All noise is drowned out bby the enormous report of his beloved heavy bolter. The Multilaser operator is immediately obliterated. The rounds from the heavy bolter punch through the armor shielding of the multilaser as though it didn't exist, breaking the weapon apart and rendering it useless before they did the same to its operate. The spotter has no time to react to the utter destruction of his comrade before his face stops a third heavy bolter rounds. From the angle he was laying, the round passes through his face, the kinetic energy of the spinning projectile pulling apart all muscles and bone, before travelling into his chest cavity and exploding. Pools of blood, charred bone and gore are sprayed outward behind where the heavy weapons team operated in a cone shape. Three more of Sarlock's rounds travel off into the night, not having anymore solid targets to hit.
The remaining enemy observes the destruction, paying particular attention to the comrade next to him that took his own life after being shot by Pax. The rain patters down a little harder now and he shivers. Either because of the chill or the adrenaline is unknown, but then he does something completely unexpected. He begins laughing.
"They are here now and all shall fall before them. Their followers are legion. They are death. They are Iron." He begins laughing maniacally as his hands go to his belt and pull two frag grenades stashed there. He pulls both pins in his mouth with a grin that never leaves his face, even as he explodes in front of you.
The Battle is Yours! Astartes Victor!
Gunter follows Yngvar's actions with only half a mind on the cultist in front of him. It looks like there will an interrogation. Gunter excelled at those. In a moment so brief that only an Astartes with enhanced reflexes and mnemonic enhancers would understand he evaluates a thousand possibilities before deciding that his current course of action will yield the greatest benefit in any questions that will be posed to Yngvar's prisoner. He continues squeezing, the cultist in front of him desperately trying to suck in enough air to scream, but the hold is too tight. Gunter is strong by human standards - impossibly strong, and every muscle is stretched with exertion...and then, release. The skeleton of the cultist loses the battle against the structural stress Gunter exerts with a sudden collapse. The cultist appears to implode. When Gunter drops the man there is no blood - his skin remains intact and holds his jellied organs together. Satisfied, Gunter steps away from the quivering pile and approaches the lone survivor.
"Better not let this one escape like the other." Gunter takes away any weapons or grenades the cultist has left.
Yngvar hears the last explosion and turns only in time to see the chunks of the cultist body land in the their final resting places. He turns back to the pinned cultist as he takes his helmet off, a large half grin half grimace playing across his features.
"Oy," Yngvar announces, "this fooker's seemed to've gotten himself stuck, haha," he chuckles. Kneeling next to the cultists he grips his neck and softly growls, "yer actually one of the lucky ones. Chaos be damned. You get to dance with the mind bullets," as he forces the cultists gaze towards the oncoming Gunter, freshly painted with the internal fluids of another cultist's crushed corpse.
Knowing the cultist is now likely soiling himself, Yngvar taps the cultists head with his massive gloved finger. "Lucky," he repeates, as he meanders away and rummages nearby for spare gear.
Gunter also takes off his helmet now that the prisoner is unarmed. "Let me be clear - you are going to die. If you tell me what you want to know, you will die quickly and painlessly. If you do not tell me what I want to know I will remove your arms, your legs and I will castrate you. I will cauterize your wounds so you do not die. I will have my apothecary connect feeding tubes that will keep you fed and hydrated so you will live for weeks lying here. Your very existence will be torturous, but that won't be the worst part. The grubs that live in the soil will be attracted to you, and when you are unable to take any actions against them, they will bury into your body. They will lay your eggs inside of you, and you will feel them. You will scream, endlessly, until they finally overwhelm your body and you die. I'd like you to think about your choices very carefully, scum, because I'm happy with either choice." Gunter pulls his combat knife and begins sharpening the edge against an armored greave.
While Gunter proceeds with the interrogation, Pax begins rounding up the weapons of the fallen, examining the wounds that chaos has inflicted upon the spirits within them to see if they can at least bring more information about the nature of the threat.
Having seen to Sarloc's wounds Aisha then strides towards the pinned prisoner. She watches Gunter perform his work and steps in to keep the prisoner viable when necessary.
Sarlock grunts in thanks to the Daughter of Death for her services. He only wished that he would never have to be healed and could be fully machine, but alas that was a goal that was unattainable in most regards. The wounds he had suffered had done more to his pride than his body and he would remember this day as a slight failure due to his having needed healing from the Apothecary.
He moves over to Gunter's position to listen to the Black Templar go to work, but keeps his back to them. He'd need to keep a close eye and make sure there would be no ambushes from anymore of these heretical scum.
Rustin stares down the ladder laughing. "Ye were dedicated little pricks, oi'll give ye that". After his brief fit of laughter, he retrieves three large caliber rounds from the bandoleer slung low at his hip. Deftly feeding the shells into the large ornate weapon, he spins the cylinder before holstering Lady Vengeance. Pulling his Lascarbine from the ground he slings it over his shoulder before making his way down the ladder. His boots hit the rain soaked ground with a thud as he presses his finger to his ear, activating the microbead.
"All ten o' your hearts still beating lads?"
Once Rustin hits the bottom of the canyon he is greeted fully and finally by the scene of carnage he alone created. Bodies litter the ground as a fire burning low in the center. Chunks of human flesh, bone, and gristle paint the floor and the walls. Nothing, aside from the flicker of the flames, is moving. Though he surely doesn't consider it "overkill," the effects of two frag grenades on mostly unarmored flesh in tight confines is absolutely devastating. The foreman lies on the ground on his back a few meters away from the ladder. His discarded autopistol is nearby while he still clutches the krak grenade in his stiff fingers.
After some inspection, Rustin determines that while the autopistol has the taint of chaos about it the Krak grenade looks clean. Perhaps it was recently stolen from an imperial armory or maybe originated on Serenity. Either way, Rustin feels confident he could wield the piece of ordnance without risking Warp taint.
Kano struggled meekly against the piece of reinforced adamantine pinning him to the ground. His eyes went wide as the Astartes began approaching him, the enormous post-humans made to look even bigger from his vantage point on the ground. The terrifying wolf had made some threats, but they were nothing compared to that of the black beak helmeted monster. His threats were more graphic and Kano had no doubt in his mind that he would carry them out.
But what will they do to you if you talk?
The thought of his new overlords made him shiver and he mustered up all the will and courage he could to keep himself from pissing his pants. Whatever the beak-freak Astartes before him had promised, his new masters would magnify it tenfold. If not in this life, then in the next.
"You lot," said Kano as he struggled to breathe through the pain in his leg, "can go feth one another."
"Aisha, please stand ready to assist." Gunter ignores the screams as he saws off both arms - the combat knife could have sliced through the bone like butter, but Gunter is allowing it to deliberately inflict more pain. Once Aisha has made sure he is in no danger of dying or falling unconscious, Gunter asks again, "Do you feel like answering my questions, now?" His combat knife hangs precipitously close to the cultists groin.
"Wait one moment Gunter while I stop the bleeding." Aisha uses a saudering iron on her Narthecium to cauterize the main bleeds, messily. The smell of burning human flesh fills the area as she works. Once the flow of blood has been stemmed she steps away and lets the Templar go back to work. "He is all yours.
OOC: Gonna roll for funnsies and. let me know if I have to roll something specific later.
Pax feels nothing but loathing at the weak human. He made his choice and he chose poorly in chaos. But that does not make listening to his pained screams and more comfortable. Pax busies himself collection the chaos-touched weapons of his fallen foes, holding them at a distance, as one might hold something foul-smelling. After collecting them all, he spends some time carefully stacking them for best effect before situating a krak grenade on top of the pile, ready to set off at a moment's notice.
Sarlock remains in his position near the torturing, searching the expanse around them for any signs of more of the enemy. He yearned for another chance to expend his bolter rounds into the bodies of these chaos-worshiping freaks. Illuminating any more of them was his only concern at the current moment.
Gunter smiles grimly as the cultist finally stops screaming and starts exclaiming, "I'll talk! I'll talk!".
As a skilled interrogator, Gunter knows to answer open-ended questions, forcing the prisoner to fill in more detail than he otherwise might. "Tell me about your escape from the prison."
The cultists screams out, the stumps of his arms spurting blood from midway up the bicep where Gunter cut. This area forced his blade to go through bone, not around joints, and the cultist had nearly passed out until Aisha loomed over him. The Daughter of Death had made sure he remained not only alive, but concious. Feeding vital fluids into his system to halt shock, the Apothecary then staunched the blood flow with fire in a manner that caused even more pain.
His will had broken and Gunter knew it. Tears streamed down his eyes as he responded to the Templar.
"Escape? We did not escape. We were liberated. No more endless days of toil in the dirt. They let us go. They said we had purpose and needed to fulfill our destiny!" He begins a fit of coughing and crying again, flailing around in the wet earth with no progress to show for it.
"Tell me about them. Tell me what they asked you to do." Gunter now appears sympathetic, his tone comforting.
Openly weeping, the cultist continues speaking.
"They were just there one day. Huge. Like you. Covered in armor, just like yours... but different. There was no hiding what they were - evil. But they promised us freedom and they delivered. We just had to give them everything in return. Some refused and were made examples of. Oh Emperor what have I done? I can still hear them screaming. Oh Emperor, Savior of humanity no, what have I done?" He begins another fit of coughing and begins convulsing. A look of concern from Gunter fades as Aisha jumps to, pumping more drugs into his system until he evens out.
His eyes are wide and the tears are pouring but he doesn't seem to react to them anymore. "They split us up. Those of us with real skill were kept at the mine. The rest were sworn to service, armed, and sent off. Some are guarding the mine, I think. We were sent to the big tower by the sea."
A breeze blows over the hills and the cultist shivers on the ground.
"You are not the first to have been betrayed by the false promises of the demons of the warp, but with the Emperor's grace, you will be the last from this planet for a very long time. Go now, to the Emperor, and beseech his forgiveness. You have earned a quick death." Gunter decapitates him before he even has a chance to worry about what death will feel like.
"There may be more opposition than we expected at the mine. We should restore the comm towers so we can summon orbital support as necessary." Gunter moves back toward the vehicle ignoring the bodies strewn on the ground. In his mind the prisoners deserved no more respect than they were given - certainly not a proper burial.
"I concur," says Pax simply. He sets the detonator on the krak grenade and puts it back on the pile of warp-tainted weapons, walking away before it even explodes.
"Well, then let's get on with it. Nothing getting done here." Sarlock says as he heads back to their vehicle.
"Right you are." Aisha turns away from the prisoner and heads to the vehicle.
Yngvar retrieves his combat blade from the cultist's final resting place.
"The more bloody traitors and thieves at the mine, the more they expedite our cleansing. They must, alas, wait until we have restored comms to this planet, as the Templar mentions. The more efficiently we resolve the comms situation the more likely we are able to see the heretics at the mine pay for their crimes."
Yngvar turns and makes his way to the Tauros with the others, eager to arrive at the first comms tower and get a lay of this newly cursed land.
Upon the team's arrival at the Tauros, Yngvar, his armor sealed and trigger finger itching to fire up his jump pack to get moving again, takes his place near forward left side of the group, ready to lead the way.
"We should only be a short distance from the comms tower now. Be on guard. Park this mechanicum heap behind the cover nearest to the target. I will move ahead and confirm the parking area is secure and relay modified instructions as needed."
After pausing briefly to hear out (and possibly answer) any questions members of his kill-team or the human might have, he engages his jump pack, jettisoning through the darkness, becoming nothing but an orange glow fading into the canyon's blackness.
Sarlock stops at his side of Tauros and takes out the repair cement provided to every space marine in action. He applied the cement to the areas of his armor that were open to the environment due to the blasts from the heretics.
"Roger that, space wolf. Let's get this moving, I don't think any of us wants to wait any longer to destroy these scum..." Sarlock straps himself in to the side panel of the Tauros, awaiting Rustin to drive them all to the next objective.
Strapped to the side of the Tauros like an extra munition, Gunter finally takes some time to consider the human driving the vehicle. Gunter had been like him, once, perhaps, but he had always desired to be more. This human didn't seem to hold the Astartes in awe like most mere mortals. That might be a good sign. Mortals overawed by the corrupting power of chaos were among the first to turn from the Emperor's light. But on the other hand, Rustin didn't seem to revere the Emperor in anything resembling a properly sanctioned manner. He certainly would bear careful watching. Gunter carefully came to the only possible conclusion - every act he made deserved careful scrutiny until he had proven himself beyond any shadow of doubt - most likely by earning a noble death. That was a thought that ought to make any mere human proud - death with the Space Marines as they waged their endless war in the name of the Emperor of Mankind.
[OOC: Rustin is manning the Multi-Laser; Pax is driving, you silly bitches.]
"I'll ride in the front again I suppose." Aisha jumps in the front seat despite her enormous armoured weight and ties herself down. No doubt this human will try to get them there as quickly as possible and let the ride suffer. "Rustin, how long have you been with the Space Wolf? Have you been working together long? Your relationship with him is quite curious." Not wanting the drive to be done in silence Aisha prys to pass the time.
Pax smoothly drives the Tauros away from the scene, again asking for the forbearance of the machine spirits within. He takes the group as close to the comms tower as he can get the machine without presenting dangerously as a target. "I mislike this," he says when the final approach is in sight. "Those stones prevent a mounted assault while looking for all His grace like good cover. It is a bit too perfect of an approach." He clicks hi tongue in thought, a strange sound, as his autotuned voice box tries to duplicate it after the fact, making for a weird echo. "It would be a good place for an ambush," he points out.
"Stop her a bit further back then and we can scout it out. Shouldn't be too hard with all these eyes." He points up to his own cybernetic eyes, or where they would be behind the helmet, grinning all the same. His hands race back down to his heavy bolter ready in an instant to tear apart anything that might even seem an enemy to them.
Yelling over the sound of the Tauros' engine, Rustin speaks to Aisha from atop the vehicle's mounted weapon.
"Logan? Ha! I met tha' old bastard about ten years back. I was on a joint op with the Ordo Xenos to snuff out an ex guard refinement who apparently thought they were better off joinin' the tau. Me and the ol' crew were to make contact with an agent on some little backwoods rock out on the fringe and fix the problem before the rest o' the locals got a wild hair up their arse and decided to go defect too. Anyway...Ol' Backbreaker was tha' contact."
He pulls a flask from a pouch on his webbing and unscrews it before taking a long swig. Securing the cap he begins to hand it down to Aisha but catches himself with a smirk.
"Where was I...? Right, so anyway...after tha' little fiasco, Logan and I ended up crossing paths again and again getting each other into and out o' trouble. I stopped workin' for the Ordos and went Merc and hadn't heard from the prick in a while....and tha's when he contacted me about Alpha Ichii. By the way, since we're making small talk and all....I never caught your feckin' name?"
Hmmm interesting. Who do you normally "work" for? I doubt the Ordos would be obliged to use mercenaries very often. My name is Shah. It is the name used for a Ruler or Chieften back on my home planet. Where are you from?
"Twasn't a merc for the Ordos, Oi was an agent, serving the Ordo Hereticus under Inquisitor Cassius Bray, Emperor rest tha' old fecker."
Despite his choice of words, Rustin speaks the name with an obvious sense of respect. For a moment, a sincere smile washes across his face as he appears to recall past memories. Shaking his head, the almost warm smile abruptly transitions back into his usual cocky smirk.
"Where am Oi From? Me ma's own eye o' terror Oi suppose." He grins to himself before taking another drink from his flask. "To be honest Mr. Shah....Oi' ain't got a clue, but tha's a whole feckin' story in itself. Before all o tha' mess Oi was in the Imperial guard, and not by choice....Prisoner L517- 011613, Rustin O'Kennick. 33rd Bhaalghast Penal Legion, recon, second platoon... Nightcrawlers."
As the two Imperial warriors - drastically different in all aspects from size to philosophy to manner of carrying out the Emperor's will - speak back and forth, Pax drives along the trail to their destination. He keeps the lights off still and rolls out at a pace that minimizes the sound signature of the Tauros Venator. The vehicle itself was a marvel of Imperial fortitude; even though it was loaded down with over twice its maximum load capacity, it carried on. It smiled in the face of adversity and overwhelming odds, its only purpose to bring death to the enemies of Man.
Pax depresses his intercom twice - the call for silence. They were approaching an area of road where the canyon narrowed and bigger boulders became more commonplace. The canyon walls to either side were too perfect a spot for an ambush and the Astartes kept their weapons trained on vantage points where their enemies might attempt to attack from.
After roughly 30 standard minutes from their victory over the chaos-bound penal laborers, the squad of Astartes and Rustin pull up behind a large boulder that effectively hides the Tauros - however, it also effectively limits the range of the Multilaser Rustin is currently manning.
The sky is dark and periodically a star or two will breach the cloud cover. The Astartes seated on the right of the vehicle (Pax and Sarlock) can see that the canyon to the right remains a consistent height with only a few taller canyon walls farther West.
Team leader Yngvar has ventured a few more steps ahead and sees that the canyon itself is mirrored by similar walls on both sides. Some meters ahead of him he spots a chain-linked fence that spans the length of the canyon floor. This is not a problem for one with a jump pack, such as himself, but it would prove a minor inconvenience for the other Astartes.
Beyond the fence, the canyon floor slopes upward until it is all level ground upon which the Westerly Sister herself has been built. The Comms Tower is sturdy and tall, of clear Imperial design as large Gothic archways surround the perimeter of the ground level, rising dozens of meters into the air. Beyond the tower, you can hear the waves crashing against the cliff face. Nothing seems to stir in the night air.
[OOC: GIMME DEM AWARENESS TESTS]
Gunter uses hand signals to indicate a pending ambush, exactly where everyone expected it. He waits for orders from Yngvar and clarifies his sighting in scant moments.
Pax returns a copy signal, indicating that he also sees. He does not motion in any way that might indicate the position of the ambushers, lest the watchers open up too early. What he does instead is subtle and very un-Astartes-like. With his left elbow, he gives a series of two taps on Rustin's leg, two taps, twice in quick succession, just enough to catch awareness while keeping the human from believing it to be accidental contact, before allowing the Taurus to roll forward just enough to allow the Multilaser a greater degree of mobility. Visually, he makes a big show of stopping short and hunting for the parking break, hoping to paint an illusion that the repositioning was unintentional.
Sarlock grimaces as the Taurus moves forward once again. "Halt."
He turns his attention over to Pax, pointing towards the gate that cuts through.
"Be wary Ultramarine...from the look of it, something isn't right with the dirt around the foundation of that gate...could be hopper mines...could be nothing...But we wouldn't want to be shredded by those."