That the Night Lords would insist on him receiving immediate medical attention Pelegon had forseen; for it to be Nyx to threat, though subtly, that it was going to happen regardless of consent, was surprising. Injured as he was, and with Nyx clad in cataphractii plate, he judged that any wrestle between them would be short-lived. Without a word, Pelegon handed the sergeant his newly-obtained thunder hammer, having no mag-lock on which to place it, and maneuvered himself onto the operating table, which creaked a little under his weight, taking his helmet off. Beneath, the area round his mouth was covered in semi-crusted chunks of dried blood, as was his gorget, from where he had coughed up a considerable portion, and several of the blood vessels under his eyes had burst from the hammer's pressure wave, lending him the appearance of heavy upper cheek bruising.
Nyx raised a dark eyebrow at this, to which Pelegon shrugged and lay back, awaiting Veptus' attention - he caught murmurs in Nostraman as their Primaris talked to another apothecary who was tending to his wounds, but his ear canals felt engorged - likely due to the impact from the hammer, again - and with his rudimentary grasp of the language could pick up nothing.
As he lay back, staring at the crazed tangle of brass pipework that constituted the ceiling, Pelegon realised with a slight shock that that had been the first pitched battle in which he had ever fought - up until now, the Iron Warrior had only ever undertaken siege warfare. It had been most similar to the storming of a breach, though less immediately bloody and more drawn-out. None of the fortifying, digging, taking ground inch by bloody inch, none of the waiting. That was the strangest - to have started and finished a battle in a single day, an experience that had previously been contained to Pelegon's training exercises as a neophyte many years previously. Yet, in spite of the glory, in spite of the immediate satisfaction of getting to crush his foes with his hands without having to pull them kicking and screaming from a bunker beforehand, it just did not sit right with the Olympian. It lacked the intellectual crunch that he and his brethren so savoured, the mental challenge of calculation to multiple decimal places, the minimization of errors - to him, the first shot of any battle was fired from the nib of a pen. Though it had given him immediate respite to fight so quickly, it did not feel as earned as it might have been had he thought his enemy to have stood a chance in the first place.
Pelegon was brought out of his reflective state by the advent of Veptus, who came over with another apothecary - though it was not the one who had been operating on him, he noticed.
"Now Pelegon, normally I would anesthetise you, but I assume you won’t play along now will you?”
Pelegon nodded, his dark eyes boring into the apothecary's pitch-black ones.
“Can you believe that Azoth? He doesn’t trust me to only cut him open.” Veptus turned his head, his face feigning indignation. Azoth grunted.
“Shocking Corpse-Master. Truly this latest betrayal supersedes today’s, frankly, insignificant events.”
Pelegon's face twitched into what was, if not quite a smile, an expression that just about conveyed amusement at the apothecary's comment.
“I knew you’d understand…” Veptus turned his attention back to Pelegon. “…fortunately I have the same distain for general anaesthesia. So…” Veptus’s narthecium cut into Pelegon's neck “…you should be feeling numb below the incision point right about now. Now try to move your left hand.” Pelegon obeyed, his fingers twitching.
“The CSF implant coats the nerves in your spine so that they don’t receive pain signals, like insulating a wire. The pain signals never reach your brain. However, before you think about using your new found immunity to pain to batter your way out of the Apothecarion, the membrane-disc that secretes the chemical is a delicate thing. And over exertion of your spine can cause it to split and the chemical to flood your brain, cutting off all your neurons from all the other neurons in your brain and whilst you may have fewer to lose than the rest of us, it’s no more advisable.”
The Iron Warrior huffed at that last comment, but let it slide. While talking, Veptus had already cut away the remnants of his breastplate and Pelegon did not judge it wise to retort, no matter how innocuously, to a man who quite literally held his heart in his hands.
“So, Pelegon…” Nyx spoke at Veptus worked “…did you claim any glory for your Legion today? I’d hope it wasn’t some insignificant legionary that wounded you thusly, otherwise we might need to assign someone to baby-sit you.”
"No. It was a techmarine of the XIXth. I attempted to use this..." he tapped the...space where the meltagun usually rested on his thigh. Of course, he had dropped it after the techmarine had hit him.
After this slight hiccup, Pelegon continued, voice even in spite of having the apothecary's hands brushing his lungs "...on the rear armour of that contemptor you tackled, but failed to note that he was in swinging range with the hammer you are now holding. It is a good hammer, I think, and it was a solid blow, but upon seeing that the impact had stunned me failed to double-tap. I believe I beat his skull to paste after that, but forgive me if my memory is hazy around that time. I do remember that I did not fall - to my knees, but not my back."
There was a hint of bitter pride at this last statement, but for reasons that were likely anathema to the members of the Nostraman VIIIth. To die on one's feet, staring the enemy in the face, to die rather than to yield; these were all not just common, but expected in his own legion. No matter what happened, Pelegon knew that he would always regard battle in such a way. As the raptors on the hill, one of which he had been forced to dispatch, had proven, it seemed they had no such qualms...except for the curious incident regarding the Raven Guard champion, Nirantius, and their own Azrael.
"A handful of other crows died by my hand - most notably, one of their champions. The very same spared by Azrael. I crushed the life from him with my hands - the bones of Corax's sons pop and crackle just like a bird's, though they require a little more force. I have his helmet..." Pelegon stroked the bloodied and dented Mk. VI clamped to his belt "...right here..."
Pelegon's voice trailed off as Veptus started working on his bionic hand, talking to Nyx, completing the surgery in due course.
“You should regain the feeling in your limbs soon enough, although the full effects will take a few hours to wear off. Feel free to exercise your arm, but try not to damage it again so soon, else I might think you are trying to find reasons to be down here. Though if that is the case, that can be arranged.”
Veptus flashed Pelegon a wicked, utterly humourless smile, to which Pelegon responded with a nod and, unusually, a thumbs-up. Maneuvering himself upright, he nodded his thanks to the apothecaries present, as well as Nyx, who held out the hammer. Pelegon took it in his uninjured hand, too tired to care. He would be summoned by Xandrek in due course, he had no doubt, but his broken chest ached for rest, and though he was loathe to slow down had to acknowledge his body's needs. Particularly now that the raptor squad, who's number and marking he had failed to note, would likely seek revenge on him.
Returning to his quarters, the Iron Warrior sat down on his bed, and entered a restful state of near-sleep, half-closed eyes on the door in front of him.