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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-16-16, 12:04 AM
Decimus Arbiter
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Victor Saul quietly hummed a refrain from something he overheard in one of the many chapels aboard the vessel that had brought them to Aurox Prime, ensuring his helmet was not set to transmit the grating sound across the vox. He did not know what significance the particular melody held, but its drone-like, almost monotonous quality helped clear his mind as the valkyrie bore them closer to the governor's palace. The flight didn't bother Victor: it was one of the smoother rides he'd had, and either way he knew that worrying about whether he'd land safely never made the damndest difference: you either did, or you died.

The mention of hostiles snapped Victor out of his reverie, as he began mentally preparing himself for combat. He replied to Sergeant Kharis' order to bear a flamer with a curt "Sir, yes sir!", unclipping his safety harness and moving along the inside of the craft, with a hand on the rail, toward the weapons locker. He took out the flamer, taking a few moments to ensure its tank was securely fastened on his back and the tube feeding into the weapon itself was correctly attached. He then retrieved an autopistol, holstering it at his side, as well as a combat knife and standard grenade loadout, before moving back to his harness and locking in for landing.

The instant the aircraft finally hit the ground, Victor was out of his harness, propelling himself out the back and down to the dusty ground before taking a sharp right to be on the left flank of the transport as he advanced. The flamer slowed his progress, but the dust whipped up into the air proved no difficulty as Victor's enclosed helmet did its best to penetrate the cloud with thermal and other visual-assistive overlays. A dozen or so of the rebels rushed at their fireteam, clearly unperturbed by the sight of the Imperium's finest unaugmented soldiers. Victor's lip curled beneath his helmet, as his finger twitched on the flamer's ignition, causing a small blue flame to spark into life at its end. Only the Prime's order held him back: the flamer was an all-or-nothing, virtually-indiscriminate weapon, and although his primary purpose was war Saul was not a mindless living weapon: these citizens of the Imperium didn't have to die.

As the rebels rushed closer, however, Victor held back, trying to gauge the situation. Would they keep coming, or keep a minimum distance? The Prime's words "Lethal force only if necessary" seemed to spin over and over again in Victor's mind as he noticed the rebels were armed with firearms, blunt weapons, and even explosives.

Suddenly, his decision was made for him, as the rebels kept coming and descended on the fireteam: one of them swinging a hammer at Brynnjar, another firing his weapon at Farkas. It was as if a switch had been thrown in his mind, transforming Saul from wary and cautious into a cold-hearted, calculating machine.

Recognising he had an opportunity to do what he hoped would cow both those rebels engaging his squadmates and any more distant rebels into retreat with one decisive act, Victor smartly made four paces to the side, clearing his line of fire so as to avoid the melee going on directly in front with his fellow Scions, and raised his flamer at a group of five rebels caught behind the main group. It was a simple balancing exercise: the death of these five so that many others might flee and live. Victor didn't hesitate, clamping his hand around the lever to release a great jet of searing flame, white-hot gas billowing from his weapon and utterly enveloping the rearmost five rebels, surely immolating them in mere moments.

As quickly as the flames had come, they receded: Victor released the lever, shutting off the gas, before bellowing "Subjects of the Emperor! Cease hostility and stand down at once, you need not perish if you but comply and STAND DOWN!"

~lingua factiosi, inertes opera~
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