The Raven Guard legionary slammed into Pelegon with the force of a freight train, the ground meeting the Olympian's back with an equal impact. He kept his grip on the two halves of the flagpole, jabbing them into the other marine's side. Unfortunately, his stabs were not calculated, and scraped harmlessly of the black-armoured legionnaire's flanks. Meanwhile, he was slamming the butt of his bolter into Pelegon's helmet. The armour was comfortably absorbing it, and the marine, whether in fury or stupidity, was hitting the Olympian's forehead rather than his faceplate. He had forgotten to try to pin Pelegon's arms to the ground using his knees, leaving them free to move; a mistake that the Iron Warrior would not have made. He reached up with both hands and wrapped them around the Raven Guard's helmet, establishing as firm a grip as he could; his left around the beak, and his right behind the head.
The neck of an astartes, made of bones harder than ceramite and muscle stronger than steel cable, was not the easiest thing to break - but in this regard, the Iron Warrior was assisted by his own excessive strength and the strange shape of the Mk. VI's beak. It served as a good handle, and the Iron Warrior gave a well-practiced 120-degree twist and pull, dislocating his opponent's neck in a single smooth motion. The marine went limp and collapsed, to the last unaware of the mistake he had made in his rushed attack, and the Iron Warrior put both hands under his shoulders and shoved him off; as he did this, a hand grabbed him by his armoured gorget and hauled him to his feet. A moment later Pelegon found himself eye-to-eye with their librarian, Sevestus, who greeted him with a nod before obliterating a Raven Guard techmarine, who collapsed into a pile of molten slag.
Pelegon bore him no ill-will for their altercation earlier, and was wary of the librarian for the power he had just exhibited - the psychic energy caused Pelegon's teeth to ache, and his mouth filled with the taste of iron as the blood began to pump in excess round his tongue and gums. At this, he remembered the squad he was now a member of, and checked his HUD; Xandrek had briefly had an accelerated heart rate, but now it was dropping...the blood pressure, however, was not. Their Captain was not exerted, but he was angry - and at that moment, Pelegon realised why, seeing their champion, Azrael, staring at the retreating back of a Raven Guard whose claws and honourifics marked him as a champion - or at least the champion was retreating from Azrael. He was advancing toward Pelegon and Sevestus.
With chainglaive in hand, the Iron Warrior lunged forward at the Raven Guard, attempting an impaling stab with the chainglaive, coming up from below. Sevestus synchronised his attack with his staff, swinging it down from above, but the champion evaded the librarian's blow while catching the shaft of Pelegon's glaive between his claws. The Iron Warrior realised that the weapon was lost, and released his grip barely a second before it was sliced apart - unsure what to do, he stepped back. Unfortunately, during this lull, the champion, recognising the librarian for the threat he was, stepped forward and ran both claws into Sevetus' chest. The librarian collapsed bonelessly, and the flatline on Pelegon's HUD indicated that both hearts had been impaled - the Iron Warrior realised the mistake that he had made by relenting his attack, and hurled himself forward at the champion, who again sidestepped the attack, moving like a liquid. Pelegon landed on his chest, but ducked his head between his shoulders and rolled, coming up on his feet beside Sevetus' body, kicking up a deal of sand in the process. Now he was disarmed and facing a much more dangerous opponent. He needed to buy time.
"At last, a son of Corax who has the strength and courage to attack from the front" Pelegon grated, his voice a guttural, barely human rumble. He was doing his best to suppress his anger, and it was working, but at some toll to his ability to concentrate. The loss of the chainglaive irritated him; to go for so aggressive an attack without knowing his opponent's strength had been foolish.
"Our standard bearer was brother Laridus. He fought by my captain's side bravely for more than a hundred years, and did not deserve the death that you gave him" the champion responded, his tone flat and emotionless. If he was trying to use guilt, it wasn't working.
"Your standard bearer died trying to save his hide from my meltagun" Pelegon sneered, and kicked the head of Sevestus' fallen stave. The weapon flipped up, and the Iron Warrior caught it in his right hand, snatching it out of the air. He had no ability to use it as a psy-focus, but it had a power field around its head and haft, which would mean that at least it would stand up to the champion's claws better than the chainglaive had.
The two began to circle each other, the Iron Warrior cocking his head to the side as he analysed the Raven Guard's stance, and the way his claws were absolutely stock-still. He wouldn't have time to draw his meltagun and fire - which removed the easy way out as an option. He would use the staff to block incoming attacks until he had gap-closed, then try to get the champion in a grapple. That, he knew, he had a decent chance of winning. All sons of Olympia knew how to wrestle, and he was willing to bet that the sons of Deliverance did not indulge in such an activity. Perhaps they chalked it up to being too brutish for their tastes.
"Why does an Olympian fight among a company of thieves and backstabbers?" the champion asked, and dived forward, his claws crackling. Pelegon stepped to the side, swinging the stave, and missed. The two returned to their circling, and the Iron Warrior could feel the champion's eyes burning into his even through his helmet's visor.
"Backstabbers? A rich accusation, coming from you. I fight because I was ordered to the ranks of the VIIIth. What is your name, crow? I want another term for you beside the shit I'll be scraping off my armour later"
"Nirantius" the black-armoured marine responded, his voice low and cool, not rising to the bait "we fight with more honour than you ever could. I have the courage to look my foe in the eye as I end him. I feel their breath on my face, their blood on my hands. I do not cower in a trench and order bombardments from afar. Never hold yourself above me, Iron Warrior"
"Then tell me this..." Pelegon responded. He had a plan now, a formula for an attack. It would either work, or see him dead. In any case, now he would crush the life out of the pathetic crow. The field on which they fought was strewn with boulders, and just such a one would serve to give him the edge that he needed. "How do you look your foe in the eye while plunging a blade into his back?"
With those words, the Iron Warrior advanced, holding the staff high. When within distance, he swung it down, and Nirantius, as expected, raised one claw to deflect it, while lunging at Pelegon's abdomen with the other. Contrary to what the Raven Guard would have expected, the Iron Warrior stepped forward right into the attack, thrusting his hip to the side so that the claw would skitter off the armour there. While doing so, he swept out his other leg, right under the other marine's feet, with the intention of knocking him down. Nirantius staggered, but managed to keep his balance, but that crucial half-second of defenselessness was all that Pelegon needed. Dropping the staff, the Iron Warrior grabbed the marine and grabbed him in a bear hug, pinning his elbows to his side. Nirantius struggled, but Pelegon tensed his muscles with all his strength, his hands meeting behind the small of Nirantius' back and locking themselves in.
Pelegon picked up the Raven Guard, who now kicked and struggled with all his might, but failed to dislodge him. He could feel the servos in his armour straining to keep up with his own muscles, but the readings from his armour did not reach worrying levels. Nirantius engaged his jump-pack, trying to fly away, but built as it was for the lighter Mk VI, it had no chance of lifting both himself and the monstrously-armoured Iron Warrior. Pelegon felt the weight get lifted from his heels with each thrust, but managed to push forward regardless, walking toward the nearest boulder that he judged to be of adequate size. It was only a few metres distant, and though he could not see where he was going, with Nirantius' midriff blocking his vision, his armour's siege-auspex told him when he had reached it, and pushed Nirantius' back into the rock.
"Now, Nirantius" Pelegon grunted, and gave a little wriggle with his shoulders "I'm not holding myself above you. It's the other way round"
With that, Pelegon stepped back, and then drove himself forward, slamming Nirantius into the rock as hard as he could, making sure to swing him what little he could to get as much momentum as possible behind the motion. He felt the thudding impact through the Raven Guard's body and armour, but without a moment's hesitation stepped back and forward, smashing Nirantius against the rock again. The Raven Guard realised what was going on, and his efforts to free himself redoubled, but to no avail. He simply could not free himself from the grip of the much stronger Pelegon, who had him exactly where he wanted. The Iron Warrior beat Nirantius against the wall over and over again, and felt as the other marine's armour began to crack under the impact. The jump pack loosened, then eventually came off altogether, falling into the dirt with a thud - Pelegon kicked it away and kept going, neither slowing nor relenting.
Silent and intractable, like a titan of ancient Terran legend pounding a city into the dust, Pelegon broke Nirantius apart. Warm liquid began to run over his arms, and the Raven Guard's struggling weakened, and Pelegon became aware that the formerly intact midriff armour was now covered in a web of cracks. After what felt like only a handful of seconds, but had been, in fact, nearing on three minutes, Pelegon judged that that was enough, and then continued, counting another twenty impacts. By this point, Nirantius was decidedly deformable and soft in his grip, a bleeding bag of broken bones and ceramite shards loosely held together by the tattered remains of his black carapace. Pelegon dropped him, and the Raven Guard slid down the rock, no longer able to move. His breath was a blood-moistened rattle that caught in the shattered remains of his throat. His helmet had survived the worst of the damage, and the Iron Warrior wrenched it off, looking Nirantius in the eye. His face was a mess of bruises, his nose broken and one eye so badly swollen he could no longer see out of it. Pelegon leaned forward, towering over the sitting marine and backhanded him across the jaw; with a pop his mandible came loose. The Iron Warrior changed his pose, grabbing a handhold in the pitted surface of the boulder in his right hand, and Nirantius in the left, and began to climb.
The boulder was some fifteen feet high, flatter on top, and the Iron Warrior dragged his way up with little difficulty, in spite of the weight of the near-dead marine and his own huge jump-pack. Nirantius was a limbless heap, leaving a long blood streak on the rock behind him where he hit hit. When the Iron Warrior reached the top, he surveyed the hectic battle - he would be a prime target up here, but it was no matter. Nirantius would serve as an example to all. He pulled one of the melta-bombs from his belt, along with a mag-lock from one of the spares he kept there, and fit one to the other, and then primed the deadly explosive.
"Get up" he snarled, and with one arm hauled Nirantius to his feet, holding him up by the collar. He leaned forward, the brutally sloping helmet touching the champion's shattered nose, and breathed out like a bull, the condensation visible in the air.
"I will look you in the eye, Nirantius" Pelegon continued, and with his left hand he clamped the melta-bomb onto Nirantius' midriff. By this point, the Iron Warrior was completely holding him up "I'm giving you a death standing on your feet. Consider it an honour, as you seem unable to do it yourself. Is this cowering in a trench, Nirantius? We are the IVth. We are strength, we are will made manifest. We are Iron!"
The champion opened his broken mouth, trying to reply, but before he could so much as begin to vocalise his thoughts, Pelegon shoved him back as hard as he could. The other marine began to collapse, and Pelegon kicked as hard as he could, planting his foot in Nirantius' midriff. The Raven Guard flew back, and made it four feet away from the boulder before the meltabomb exploded, obliterating him in a superheated blast. Of Nirantius, there remained only a broken jump-pack and a lot of dried blood. Pelegon felt his fingers curling into fists as he realised that he needed something more to kill, and drawing his meltagun, hurled himself back into the fray, intending to reconvene with Xandrek and the rest of the First.
Last edited by Nol; 10-27-14 at 05:47 PM.