“…, where exactly did you think he was keeping it. Because where ever you thought, I’m not sure I’d want any if it had been there!”
The Sergeant laughed at his own joke, apparently pleased with himself as he smiled past his bent nose. His eyes were tinted with the meagerest suggestion of contempt for Elsen, a dislike of those who placed themselves above others. There was an edge to the Sergreant – the hint of menace and cruelty that only another monster could see. The man would be trouble.
Elsen didn't give a damn about the Iho. The insubordination, however, was not acceptable.
“Sergeant, until I am informed otherwise I am a Lieutenant in the Emperor's most Holy Armies and will act as such.” Elsen tapped his Adam's apple surreptitiously with his finger. It was a common sign in the ranks of enlisted men that a Commissar was listening and he was not free to speak as freely as he would wish. “We are bound by rank and duty even here. Who knows what goal they have in mind for us or what the price of victory might be. It is foolish to abandon protocol when put into a new command – especially one where we know nothing of our commanding officer. ”
He tapped his throat again as he turned to the Corporal, “Trust me, a man gains nothing by volunteering compromising information without cause. We are all here for a reason – a secret purpose – and if they've brought me
into this I can guarantee you their purpose is long, bloody and near-fatal to all of us.”