A Day In The Deathwatch
Librarian Braulio of the Abyssal Jaws, currently of the Deathwatch suppressed a moan of pain as he carefully eased a razor sharp Tyranid claw from his chest. By the Emperor it had gone deep! It was not his only wound either, his right leg’s joints had given out, leaving only occasional twitches from the whirring generator, and the synth-muscles that helped him control his armor’s machine spirit flexed and grew lax by the minute. The only way it could get worse was if…
“That looks quite painful.”
Apothecary Mose of the Guardians Exemplar leaned back on a massive tree, strong enough to take his weight.
“Then do your job,” Braulio gritted.
Mose’s helmet cocked itself to the side as the man considered his options and Braulio began to fear the worst. The marine was a fanatic, even rivaling the Black Templars, and since Braulio had entered the Deathwatch, Mose had never hidden his disgust at the warp powers the Librarian possessed. Was it possible his hate had clouded him to the needs of his fellow Brother?
Mose reached out and unceremoniously dragged Braulio to safety before he tore out the Tyranid claw and sprayed some noxious concoction from his narthecium. “I hope you at least killed your weight in xenos to make up for this waste of supplies,” the Marine said conversationally. “I did,” Braulio grinned through bloody teeth, “using my special skills.”
Mose shoved roughly on a particularly sensitive spot and Braulio saw spots in his vision.
“Congratulations to you. Your degenerate Chapter with their love of corruption and complete disregard for the works of Guilliman has inspired disgust in me only eclipsed by the Eldar.”
“Hypocrisy is all I hear from a Chapter that kisses the boots of their own Librarian while disregarding all others as scum.”
“That Brother was inspired by faith. Nothing more.”
“I’m fairly certain the Scholastica Psykana would offense to the implication that mere faith would inspire lightning bolts mighty enough to eat through Wraithbone,” Braulio said, the conversation keeping his attention from the pain.
“I could leave you here you know, and let your gene-seed rot for all time,” Mose idly mused.
Braulio snorted before saying “Even you would not do such a thing.”
“No, I suppose I would not.”
Mose finished working on Braulio before slapping on a series of quickplast on his armor, murmuring litanies of forgiveness and repair to appease the armor’s machine spirit.
“Can you move?”
“Could your head be any further up your ass?” Braulio asked before getting up. He couldn’t move his right leg, but he could drag himself. The two moved as quickly as they could, attempting to reach their fellow Brothers on the vox to no avail when they came across a group of Hormagaunts.
“I’ve just realized, I hate these Xenos more than your filthy Jaws.”
“And I’ve just found out that you and I might actually have something in common.”
The two could hear themselves be surrounded by Tyranid packs as the moved with their hands reaching for their arms.
“If we die, I hope your gene-seed doesn’t corrupt the galaxy any further.”
“And I, my dear Apothecary, hope my death will at least involve an armored boot in your ass for that remark.”
The Gaunts drew closer, drool falling from their slobbering mouths.
“Let’s go kill everything.”
“Best thing I’ve heard from you ever.”
Brother-Captain Zahid approached the two members of his Killteam with his helmet off. It was obvious to Mose that by the bags under his eyes, Zahid of the Emperor’s Nightmare would soon be off to the coma-like rest his weak Chapter demanded.
Zahid slowly lowered his eyelids before raising them, apparently attempting to mimic a blink.
“Librarian Braulio, you are wounded,” he noted.
Braulio shuffled uneasily in his armor, the Captain’s steady gaze never failing to unnerve him. “Yes, a-“
“Brood of Termagants acted as fire support, spreading webbing to snare your form. The traces of web tell me that much. You missed a beetle, by the way,” Zahid said, as his surprisingly dexterous fingers dug into a rivet of torn armor to extract a borer beetle.
Zahid looked at the xenos creature before tossing it to Mose, where he placed it into a vial where it would remain until the Mechanicus would claim it.
Brother Kaito of the Rising Sons entered into sight then, hefting his Heavy Bolter one handed, while his other grasped the blade he’d termed ‘wakizashi.’
“Everything is clear Brother-Captain. We have a straight path to the clearing where we are to rendezvous with the Thunderhawk.
“Blood on your shoes and armor, yet no sign of discharge from your bolter. You killed something. Either bare-handed, doubtful considering the effect Tyranid hides have on our armor, or you used your knife.”
Kaito shifted uncomfortably before admitting “There was slight trouble on the hilltop. You were preoccupied, and the xenos foe was too close to use my bolt gun effectively.”
“That is why we possess voxes, Brother. So we may never be alone.”
“Oh who cares about him. We’ve done our job, let’s get off this world,” Mose snapped.
“The constant shifts of your armor and false nerves betrays your jitteriness brother, the Mechanicus medibay-“
“I’ll thank you to leave such places to me, where I specialize ‘Captain.’”
Zahid nodded in agreement. “Very well then. I need to speak with you once we go back however. I believe my time for Rest to be close at hand.”
Mose waved a hand in acknowledgement as he and Kaito waded deeper into the forest to the scheduled landing site.
Braulio limped over to Zahid.
“Bad egg that one. Bad attitude, bad… everything.”
“He is Astartes, a servant of the Emperor.”
“He’s an ass.”
“Not mutually exclusive things.”
“And you’re damned creepy. Always talking about your ‘Rest.’ Makes it sound like you’re looking for death.”
“My rest, eternal or not, comes when it will Librarian.”
“That gloom is why the Inquisitors avoid you, do you know that? Imagine, being unsettling enough to scare off those daft ---“ Braulio finished in a Marecian word Zahid did not recognize.
“Is that not an advantage?”
Braulio wished he could scratch his neck, where a particularly determined itch took root.
“Sometimes,” he allowed “but you might get more cooperation if you were open sometimes. Try smiling.”
Zahid’s pale lips flicked upwards in a dead grin Braulio only saw on the lost and damned, none of the smile reaching the Captain’s eyes.
“Second thought. Never try smiling again unless your head is covered by your helmet.”
“I thought it was quite good.”
“You looked like a piranha just before it reached out and bit the head off its next meal.”
“My Brothers on Icelus would claim that as an improvement.”