A Quick Fic About Medusa V
I wrote this short bit over the summer in a brief flash of inspiration; I realize it's a little late for Medusa V, but here goes:
The sky above Deimos Spaceport was a rich purple, and Battle Brother Jay of the Grey Knights gripped his bolter tightly as he stood near the shuttle’s gangplank. He had been issued the lesser weapon when his wrist mounted stormbolter had been disabled in a battle to defend Hive Euryales from a Dark Eldar raid. Now, in the final days of this planet, he and his friend, Brother Edor, had been assigned to the make sure anyone under the influence of Chaos attempting to escape on any of the shuttles rapidly leaving the surface was stopped.
His dull grey armor was scuffed with the scars of a month’s straight fighting, and he hadn’t slept in a week. Lightning crackled all around as the Warp Storm drew ever nearer. His squad commander had said it would be less than a week before this serene farming world was consumed by the storm. Jay didn’t pretend to know about the Warp, but he knew that when that storm touched the planet, it would be stripped bare of everything, buildings, people, xenos, everything.
A man approached him. He was wearing a black cloak and carrying a duffel bag. Jay’s helmet hissed the words, “Civilian, may I see your pass?” A scarred hand waved a crumpled ticket in front of the Marine’s helmet. “All right sir, welcome aboard the Deliverance. Please take a seat in the rear of the ship, and stow your bag upfront.” A voice from beneath the cloak hissed, “I’ll keep it thanks.” Edor cocked his helmet, and Jay stepped toe to toe with the man. This small act of intimidation usually managed to get his point across with people, since the average Space Marine is over seven feet tall. “I said, stow your bag up front civilian, or leave it here.” He waved his bolter casually at a pile of bags deemed too big, too heavy, or otherwise not allowed on the shuttle. “Damn poster boys…” the man muttered. Edor flicked off the safety on his stormbolter, assuming a three point stance, and Jay picked the man up with one hand. In the other hand he produced a combat knife, which he used to slice the duffel open. A variety of items fell out, but the thing that got Jay’s attention was a book labeled, “The Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer” Jay sheathed the knife and snatched the book. “Where’d you get this?” He growled. “The Imperium frowns very heavily on corpse stripping.”
“I didn’t strip a corpse…” the man muttered. “What?” Jay said. The man flung back the hood of his cloak, and yelled. “I SAID I DIDN’T STRIP A CORPSE!!!” Edor leveled his stormbolter at the man’s chest, and Jay dropped him on the ground so he could rip the cloak off. Underneath was a man clad in combat boots, camoflauge fatigues, and wearing a Laspistol strapped to his thigh. Jay grabbed it away before the man could draw it. He crushed the weapon between his hands, and pointed his bolter at the Guardsman’s forehead. “Edor, get some Sororitas over here.” The Marine nodded and ran off toward the base’s terminal. “Soldier, you’re under arrest for desertion. Your insignia matches that of a unit to be denied entry to all escape craft. You dishonor all the men and women who have died to keep this planet pure when you run away like a grot. Now they’re going to take you out into a field and shoot you like a wounded dog.” The guardsman looked up at him and bared his teeth, obviously preferring death by bolter than death by Warp Storm. Edor came running back with two Sisters of Battle. The taller one grabbed the guardsman and chained his hands. “Thank you Brother Space Marines for finding this traitor in our ranks. We must all be extra vigilant for people like him now that the storm is just days away. I have been ordered here to watch for more of his kind. My Sister will take care of him.” The Marines saluted out of respect and went back to their posts.
Sister of Battle Daedelus dragged the condemned marine through the mud and chained his hands to a post near the perimeter fence. She snapped her bolter to her shoulder and fired three rounds in quick succession. They echoed across the vast tarmac, drowning out even the Deliverence’s engines as it took off toward the safety of an Imperial refugee ship. She left the body lying there, leaking crimson fluids all over the muddy ground, and walked back inside to get something warm to drink.