The city burned, fire lit up the night sky. First Captain Corvinus Adas looked upon the handiwork of his brothers with pride. Of course, the fires had been started by the very creatures that had inhabited this city before they’d arrived. The dumb animals had been in the middle of some sort of fight when they had landed via the drop pods. It had just made their job that much easier. The dead greenskins were another matter entirely.
The moment the foul orks had been made aware of their arrival, the infighting had stopped and the battle had commenced. Instead of fighting each other, they had turned to them. The firing had been intense after that. The charge down the ramps had been clean and the shooting simple enough. The weapons of their foes had been simple balistics, destructive but prone to self-destruction too. It had taken little under an hour to defeat them all.
What remained now was to find the rest of the squad and get them back together again, return to the Valiantand report to Nurion. Flicking the excess gore from his chainsword, he disregarded the broken corpse of the ork leader at his feet and tried to raise his companions via the Vox Channel, “Roll call,” he barked, needing to know who was still there. These were simple foes; there should have been no casualties.
Surprisingly, the vox was silent. He blinked and looked over his shoulder, the landscape behind him showed more burning buildings. Thick smoke curled into the atmosphere and the stench of death filled the air. Adas could not see any of his brothers and the radio was utterly silent. He tapped the side of his helmet and rolled his eyes. He would kick the ass of the servitor who had caused this malfunction, if that was indeed what it was. Static filled his ear and he spoke again, “Black Hands, Roll Call.”
“Adas, that you?” The voice of Thoss. The voice of the chaplain was welcome, not that he would let him know that.
“Third time, Roll Call!” he snapped.
That was that dealt with, the eight from his pod had made it through. The rest of the captains would be in touch shortly. All he had to do now was make it back to his squad, wherever that was. “Where are you?” he quipped.
“There is a burning spire to our right,” Thoss said. Adas looked up and saw a burning building slightly taller than the rest of the city, that must be it. How had he managed to come so far without his brothers?
“On my way,” he replied. No more time was wasted and he began heading to where his brothers were. He made his way through the dead street, the heavy footfalls of his power armour echoing ahead of him. The dead littered the gutter, if it could be called that, the evidence of his wrath clear by the scars of his chainsword on the bodies of his victims. The only sound he could hear was the pop and crackle of fire.
The noise of a building crumbling did not quite mask a heavier noise and Adas brought his sword to bear once more. The lumbering green form of an ork hurled straight towards him, bursting from the depths of the building, sending sparks and wood up into the dense atmosphere. The rolling, mad red eyes were set into a hideous face; leathery skin covered its skull and grotesque tusks jutted from its lower jaw. The thing towered over him as it charged forward. The thing was screaming a deep throated, “Waaagh,” as it ran forward, a brutal looking axe clutched in its green hands..
“No Mercy! Mortiferus!” Adas shouted back. His sword blocked the sweep of the axe with a loud clang. He brought a powered boot up and kicked the charging thing back from him. The ork staggered, though not so much as he wanted it to. Growling, he followed the stinking creature. Now it was his turn to go on the offensive. Without giving the ork chance to right it, he crashed his clenched fist down onto the top of its head, sending it sprawling into the blood stained ground.
The next sound was the rev of the chain on his sword and the wet splatter of flesh being sundered. A single scream turned into a wet cry, ending in a hiss which was more blood spewing out of the wound than anything else. Adas once again flicked gore from his blade and looked up. The rest of the company were now at the end of the street and he nodded, “There are always more orks,” he said over the vox. He could see the white helmet of the apothecary, Taran, nod at the sentiment and he straightened up.
Leaving the corpse in a broken heap, he returned to the rest of the unit arriving in mere seconds. “Don’t stand there looking pretty, back to the pod for pick up.”
With his words, the spell that had held the squad transfixed was broken and they followed his orders. Pick up would be via Thunderhawk Transport, which would take care of both them and the pod, returning them to the battle barge Valiant. Once there, Adas could inform Chapter Master Nurion of their success, and perhaps arrange for some sort of celebration too. They had scored a victory against the Xeno threat in the name of the Emperor after all, and that was something worth celebrating.
Mounting the ramp to the pod, he looked over his shoulder at the destruction they were leaving behind. The mess would be dealt with by the ‘lesser mortals’, their work here was done. His chest swelled with pride once more, pride in their handiwork, pride in the deeds of his brothers and pride in knowing they had served the Emperor well this day.