I28 – The Story Continues

Shit. How long had he been out? Was it still coming?… he couldn’t hear it any more… but feth his eye hurt.

A swaying, uneasy step and he was on his feet. Wiping a cloying purple fluid from his chin. He was covered in it, and Throne it smelt bad. Suppressing a gag, he steadied himself against the wall. 

The click of her holster opening resounded around the room. With a start, Armitage noticed her for the first time – Quinn, Lockharte’s hacker adept. How much had she seen?

++She knows++

Nausea broke across him, his head swimming. Visions of hooves, a monument of ruins, and a roll of thunder like the laughter of old Gods. His eyes refocused, she’d drawn her pistol. He could see she was scared, he fatigues were damp. She’d pissed herself. Her hand trembled with the weight of her revolver.

++Kill the girl++

“Wait… “He raised his hand, a cough rising within him. “Put it away, I’m fine.” Her hand lowered a fraction, he would have been relieved but for the earthquake in his chest. Panic crossed his eyes; he had let it linger too long.

“Tenenbaum!” He’d been a fool; maybe the interrogator could still get it out, whatever the hell it was. Startled, Quinn reasserted her aim. 

“Tenenbaum, get me Tenenbaum!… Quickly”, coughs shook him, fresh viscous, purple fluid spraying forth from his nose and mouth. Buckling in the middle, Armitage fell to his knees again.

++She is going to kill you++ 

Footsteps and shouting from outside, thank the Throne – he was coming, Tenenbaum could stop it.

 “Quinn! what in the name of the Emperor’s balls is that smell?”

A low bass growl and the whir of damaged augmetics seemed to answer. Shit, it was Frayne and that accursed dog-thing, not Tenenbaum. That was bad. Armitage tried to rise again, to protest through the retching shaking his body. Frayne had pulled his pistol now.

++KILL THEM++

Fighting to his feet, Armitage had no choice. He’d been a fool to keep this from his superior, but it was too late now. He couldn’t risk them letting it out. Fingers reached for his side arm, drawing it in a surprisingly fluid motion.

Frayne fired. Pain exploded across Armitage’s shoulder, his gun skittering away across the flagstones. Roaring with pain he barely heard Quinn’s command — “Hunt”.

With a hiss of firing stimm packages, Red leapt. Armitage rolled away, saving his throat, but sacrificing his hand. Bone crunched as the hound bit down and Armitage clawed ineffectively at the mechanised jaws.

++Take its eye, as you lost yours++

Panic took him, the coughs turned to speech, garbled words in lost languages, spiky and guttural. Shaping the fingers of his armoured gauntlet to a point he smashed the hound’s biological eye to pulp. But still the damned animal persisted.

“You little bitch, call him off!” Farson bellowed. Quinn and Frayne turned. He was a fearsome sight anyway, but coupled with the fresh wound opening his mouth across his cheek and the shock maul he was brandishing made the enforcer’s intent perfectly clear. Farson was going to make her call Red off.

Tenenbaum was just behind, his ornate pistol levelled at Frayne. “Drop your weapon. I can help him”

“Sod that, he’s going to die, and you’re not going to stop me” scoffed Frayne, turning to lose a round at the Interrogator.

Farson was on her. A yelp of panic as she dodged his first swing, the second caught her legs. Her cry of fear brought Red, the animal relinquished what remained of Amitage’s forearm and bounded to her aid. Another blow impacted her raised arm before the dog hit, sending Farson crashing down. With no semblance of restraint, the animal’s mechanised jaws crushed Farson’s already damaged skull. 

++Grab the gun, kill them, avenge the marked man++

Armitage took his chance, with Frayne occupied he’d managed to retrieve his sidearm. A flurry of shots sent Quinn and Red ducking for cover.

“What in the blazing hell is happening?” Leviticus’ wizened old voice called over the vox. 

Tenenbaum replied, “Hereticus elements have gone rogue, take them down”…

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