The body slipped of the sorcerer’s hand with a sucking sound, when it hit the ground the woman’s voice erupted from everywhere. Echoing and bouncing off the vaulted reaches of the vast chamber.
“Now that was very un-gentlemanly, don’t you think?” inquired the dead woman’s voice.
“Didn’t I just kill you?” asked the sorcerer casually, flicking blood off his hand.
“No not really, you of all people should know how easy it is to posses people, fortunately for me that’s my favourite psychic ability” replied the voice, mischievous and coy.
“So I killed a puppet?”
“Yes, but I’ve left you a parting gift in there, care to look?”With a groan the dead body rose again and smiled, dribbling trails of blood seeping from the corner of its mouth, “And I believe it goes boom”
With a crack the body snapped its own neck and detonated. A storm of blood and gore filled the air as bone shards pinged of runic armour and yelps of pain when the shards sunk into flesh. The sorcerer stood through the hail, a blue haze surrounding him.
“Was that supposed to kill me? An implanted grenade?” inquired the sorcerer, his deep voice drowning out the groans of his wounded men.
‘Now not really, that’s just a way for me to vent, I have such a temper” retorted the female voice.
“I’m sorry, why don’t I apologise, face-to-face, I suppose you’re on the other side of those doors ?”
“Very well” replied the sorcerer, turning to his men, “Get to work”
The shuttle rattled around Nikolas, he screwed his eyes shut and tried to control his acrobatic insides. He opened his eyes when the rattling finally ceased.
“Hate the atmosphere, hate it” whined Arvin, “I can stand a combat drop, but shuttles are a pain in the-”
“Will you shut up already!” yelled Sven over the roar of the engines, the trooper taking a dislike to medic as soon as they met. The medic glared but remained quiet.
[Docking in 15 minutes please do not remove your restraints] Buzzed the automated pilot, the vox fell silent and the cabin lights turned to green.
“So we’re hitching a ride?” asked Gray.
“Yep” replied Heath.
“With rogue trader? An individual operating without the blessing of the imperium?” Asked the pious storm trooper.
“Without the blessings of the Imperium, no, just without the blessings of some of the members of the Inquisition” asked Heath, turning in his seat to face Gray, “and the Lady De Villetta thinks this trader is trustworthy”
“None of those parasites deserve to live, they bleed away the strength of the Imperium, they are scarce better than pirates” spat Gray.
“I wouldn’t mention that around the trader, being the Lady’s brother and all” Natalia said from the back of the shuttle, “Not a very smart career move”
The cabin descended into quiet for a moment before Gray blurted, “The Lady’s brother? Major is that true?”
“Yes Gray. I know you have feelings towards rogue traders but this man is loyal to the Imperium and more importantly his sister, always the big brother” answered Heath.
“I apologise Major I did not mean-” Gray began.
“Don’t, I won’t tell the lady or the trader, just try to keep your temper in check, I don’t need the stress of replacing you” interrupted Heath.
“Thank you sir” replied Gray, letting a shuddering sigh of relief.
“No problem, now just settle in for the ride” Heath said and closed his eyes, “It’s not like we can do anything else”
The doors were scorched and blackened, but the adamantium stood defiant against the attentions of the dark warriors. The sorcerer was sitting atop a pile of fallen masonry, silently fuming.
“How long until we breach the door, we are on a time limit here!” demanded the sorcerer, lashing out at one of the ensorcelled gun-servitors, his fist levelling the squat automaton.
“These doors are thick, lord, I don’t believe we can breach them with the equipment we have and but the servitors could-” answered a warrior in a daemon visaged helmet, two burning pits of light glowing where his eyes should be.
“These things are useless to us while that woman is still breathing, as soon as I relax my hold over them, she’ll either detonate or make them attack us” explained the sorcerer, like a parent would to a child.
“Sir, perhaps we can bring in the ‘assets’?” asked the warrior, a third arm reaching over and retrieving the data slate in his left hand.
“No” snapped the sorcerer, “They will not be needed, understood?”
“Yes lord, I shall send for our caches to be opened?” asked the warrior.
“If we must, we have little to spare” the sorcerer said, deep in thought, “get what we need and no more”
“Yes lord” replied the warrior, and strode out of the chamber.
When his minion was gone the sorcerer sighed and said, “This isn’t going to be easy” he turned his hooded face to one of the servitors, “don’t you agree friend?”
The servitor turned its pale, pudgy face and groaned.
“I know how you feel...”
The airlock hissed and opened, dank steam wafted out from the shuttle as air rushed out of the cramped cabin. Robed enginseers scuttled forward,trailing servitors and acolytes but a albino, brown robed, elderly servitor aprroached the squad, ‘Welcome honoured guests, I am 459-40K’ it droned , through a scarred, antiquidated vocalizer, ‘please follow me to the master’
“Lead on” Heath said, keeping Gray in his peripheral vision as he followed the hunched cyborg. The storm trooper had put on his helmet, obscuring his face.
Heath breathed a sigh of relief, thanking the emperor for Gray’s obedience, or at least his restraint. His thumbed his vox bead into life and spoke quietly to his squad;
[A warning: the master of this vessel might be...different...., but under no circumstances are you to open fire, or threaten to do so aboard this vessel am I understood?]
[Yes sir] chorused the squad.
[Good] Heath switched off his vox bead and followed the servitor around the twists and turns of the ships interior, humming power feeds, snaked around the group, flickering terminals stood in shadowed alcoves.
After nearly a half-hour of marching the servitor halted before a bare adamantium wall, unadorned and unassuming. A frenzy of mechandrites snaked out from under the servitors grubby robes, linking into ports hidden under the floor’s grating. Hidden, wheezing pistons forced open the thick bulkhead, billowing steam rushed up, carrying the smell of heated oils and lubricant.
“I do need to replace that pair of pistons” echoed a voice from within the cavernous command chamber.
“Hello, John” Heath called out, a tall, thin man with long flowing black hair standing in the centre of a maelstrom of wires and data feeds, servo skulls bearing flickering pict- screens floated around the upper reaches of the chamber.
‘Heath, so you’re the one she sent?” John De Villetta asked, his pale face breaking into a smile, the left side of his face covered with a grinning half-mask.
“Remember I’m still her subordinate, she points I go” Heath replied, face deadpan, but slowly breaking into a smile.
“Well, that’s why I became a rogue trader, no bosses” John said, ‘But I couldn’t shake the family, everyone being an inquisitor and all”
“Can’t choose the family, but I need a ride over to Brelow” Heath replied.
“Any particular reason, all I know is; my sister just told me to carry some of her troopers wherever they wanted” John asked.
"Yeah that's life...."
WE HAVE COME FOR YOUR.....*necron warrior turns around to the necron behind him* Hey Bob? what did we come for?!