Cormac's bunched knuckles found the man's forearms again and again as they lashed out, bruising themselves and sending brief sunbursts of ache through his hand.
The Cadian trooper was nothing if not tough, blocking each punch only to send counters that knocked Cormac's skull off its axis, tripping him with each attempted kick. The tales of their combat prowess didn't seem to be exaggerated.
Each man stood beneath the tainted sky of Goidelaer II, stripped of chainmail and flak alike. Hand-to-hand wouldn't do much against the foul creatures that had spawned into their system from the warp, but even play battle focused the mind, woke the body.
His eyes swept to the sky for a mere moment, despair flooding through him like a plague. His world was tainted, clansmen slain and risen in equal measure. Their land had been tainted, and the Sidhe'Baloraedh came bearing the end of all things, trampling and scourging the God-Emperor's land beneath them.
The Cadian took his distraction in step, delivering a punishing blow into his stomach that sent the Aoisin sprawling to the grass. Cormac grasped the soon-offered hand, standing as he clutched his torso. He seized the soldier's forearm, the other's hand grasping the same place in the custom of the Aoisaech. A gesture of respect, and welcome, thanking him for the fight.
Cormac turned away from the man, grabbing the various adornments of war that lay scattered around the flattened sparring ground in a rough semicircle.
Pulling the clan-made chainmail about his scarred and sweat-sheened figure, he spotted the outriders returning in the distance, dust kicked from hard-pressed hooves clouding their approach. He quickly slung quiver and bow across his shoulder and onto his back, tightening the straps with one hand while the other clasped the buckles of his sword belt about his waist, the blade powered by God-Emperor's energy slapping his thigh within it's sheathe, and the las-pistol rapping the insides of it's holster. Finally, he affixed his vox-bead into the canals of his ear, just in time to hear the closing notes of some urgent message.
It all began at once.
The death-scent carried across his homeworld's wind and reached him finally, assaulting his every sense with it's innate wrong-ness, threatening his gullet to fill with bile. His instincts overpowered, focusing on the vox chatter and slapping the Cadian's armored shoulder to get him moving.
-has been sighted! The Sidhe'Baloraedh come for Faenchal's Stave!"
Cormac's legs kicked like a stallion beneath him as he sprinted to the fore of the military blockade and past the hurrying caravans, scrambling atop a parked wagon,eyes hunting the line of horizon for the hated enemy.
The Ghosthorns of his people roared beneath and around him at his Captain's command, and he finally saw what they faced, a hand grasping the fine-carved wood of his bow in habitual comfort.
Speaking over the vox, he searched for sound of Captain Omerach's voice, speaking in the clipped tones of Aoisin as a call for his attention.
"Captain. What are my orders?"