Big Game V – Chapter Fifteen: Face of the Enemy

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Antonius instinctively rolled behind the tree as he heard the telltale sound of a three-round burst from a Bolter.  He moved his eyes to the upper right, and the sensor in his helmet registered this, and activated his vox link.  A single shot sung out as he connected to Erallion.

“Erallion, Antonius.”  he whispered.  “Sit-rep?”

“Antonius, Erallion.  One Traitor, dead.  The Pilot.  Liam sustained a minor injury, nothing serious.  Inform the Sergeant, we need to see Brother Kalmsan”

“Confirmed.” Antonius clicked his tongue on his teeth to bring up the squad vox selector, and connected to Sergeant Joseph.  “Joseph, Antonius.  Erallion and Liam have dispatched a Traitor, and they have requested to see the Inquisitor.”

“Good.  Reconvene after sweep.  Joseph out.”

Antonius turned to Majeed, “We must finish the sweep and return, brother.”

“One more pass to be sure.” Majeed replied.

“Of course, brother.”  Antonius deferred to Majeed, who had been a full battle brother for two campaigns.  They worked their way up a ridge, and down the other side, then doubled back and returned to the rendezvous point.  They were the last two.  The squad was spread out, covering possible angles of attack, while Joseph, Liam, and Erallion stood around an odd red lump.  Joseph turned towards Antonius, and Antonius saw that the lump was an Astartes helmet of an ancient mark, painted with a bright red lacquer.  Runes in a long-dead language covered the helmet in geometric patterns.

“Majeed, Antonius, take the southwestern vector.  Be cautious, Brother Kalmsan is coming from that direction.” Joseph whispered.  Antonius nodded, and moved into position.  Twenty minutes later, the Inquisitor and his retinue appeared.  Majeed signed for Antonius to hold position, and then turned to escort Kalmsan to Sergeant Joseph.  Antonius remained on guard, scanning the trees for potential targets.  He never realized how hard it had been before his transformation to simply do a mundane task for hours without tiring.  He barely noticed as half an hour passed.  Joseph’s voice came over his vox link.

“Squad, Joseph.  Brother Kalmsan has identified the markings on the Traitor’s helmet.  They are a sect of the Word Bearers, known as the Sicarii.  According to Brother Kalmsan, they would probably not be here unless they thought it had religious significance to either the Imperium, or to the blasphemous things they worship.  Brother Kalmsan has also informed me that his troopers have discovered the remains of Imperial settlements, founded by our very Primarch, Vulkan, during the Great Crusade before the Heresy.  Whether or not these Traitors have come to defile this ancient place matters not.  What does matter is that we complete our mission, and return with reconnaissance.  Brother Chaquadan, bring your flamer and burn this… thing.  The rest of you, move out and advance towards our objective in an open gauntlet formation.  Joseph out.”

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