I took the banner from Raskreia into my left hand and gripping my power sword in my right I turned to face the Warboss. He and he alone was my target, every other Ork was merely a formality in my path to my target. My every move was economical, slipping past and around the enemies in my path as often as I cut them down like the mad dogs they were. I had eyes only for the Warboss.
He carried a two-headed axe the size of a normal man clenched in his right fist and a lethal looking mechanical claw adorned his left. I watched as he swept his underlings aside, bellowing out a challenge and charging towards me. I almost laughed as I saw several of the Orks it knocked aside collapse, never to rise again, their bodies broken by the sheer strength the Warboss could bring to bear. I almost laughed. What stopped me was the sure knowledge that I could be broken just as easily if any of his blows made contact with me and the truth that he had not even meant to kill them and yet he had.
Grinning as it charged towards me the Warboss let out a throaty laugh and swung around, sending its axe carving through the air towards my left arm. The arm that carried the Standard of the Fourth Company.
I could not stop that power, could not have stopped it had I possessed twice my strength. There was more than just the strength of the Ork in the blow. There was height and sheer momentum. Had it connected, the blow would have sliced through my arm and my body in turn and caused the Standard to fall. Something I could not allow. While I yet lived, the Fourth Company Standard would fly and I would fight beneath it as I had for almost two-hundred years.
I stepped back, twisting out of the way of the axe blow and bringing my sword round in a scything blow aimed not at the Warboss but at the handle of his axe. The bastard was fast for his size though and evaded my slashing blow, tugging his axe out of my reach and lashing out with his claw at my head. I caught the claw with the haft of the flag and twisted it aside; Ripping the Standard free before the Ork could bring the fingers of the claw shut and snap the Standard in two gave me enough momentum to spin it and drive the sharpened butt towards his midriff. I moved with the speed of a striking viper and the pole slammed into where the sternum of a man would be, driving him back. But despite all my speed and all my strength I could not pierce that armour with the Standard. My sword's crackling blade could have cut through it but the Standard possessed no energy field wreathing it.
I pushed my advantage, driving him back with lightning fast blows. I caught a swing of his axe by slamming the Standard into the ground and ducking beneath it so that when his axe struck it rebounded and I was unshaken as all the force was transferred to the ground, allowing me to rise and thrust my sword forwards.
The blade drove through his lower left arm, glancing up slightly so that instead of lunging straight and true and cleaving through his bone it merely punched through the muscle, doing little damage to him.
Even an Ork took notice when a warrior he thought would be easy to beat wounded him however and the Warboss looked stunned. I stepped back and flicked the blood off my sword, sheathing it and bowing slightly before jamming the Standard in the dirt. The Ork roared at me, taking one ponderous step forward. I roared in response leaping the few metres between us and driving myself shoulder first into his midriff. I slipped under his right arm as he brought it round in an attempt to slam me down and I rolled around him, my sword slipping free of its sheath as I came out of it and I made a swift backswing at the Ork's heel that chopped into the weaker armour and through it in a blow that should have hamstringed it but beyond a roar and a slight stagger the Ork seemed unaffected.
He seemed to ignore me and move towards the Standard but I dived in front of him and planted my feet before the Standard. "You will not take this from me, not over my dead body." A roar was all that answered me.
I darted forward and lashed out not at the Ork's torso or head but at his right arm. My first cut was glanced away by his armour, my second lunge blocked by his claw. The Ork's right fist caught me in the chest and sent me staggering back almost to where the banner still rested in the dirt. Now the Ork pressed his advantage, trying to drive me back so that he could kill me and take the Standard for himself. I ducked to one side and thrust my sword to the gap between pauldron and the rest of the armour on his upper arm. The blow struck clean and true, plunging through and almost severing the Warboss' arm.
I ripped the sword free but despite the terrible wound the Warboss didn't even slow, bringing his let arm around and down into my shoulder, slamming me down into the floor. I tried to push myself up, my mind and vision blurry. There was a shout in the vox and I looked up to see the Warboss taking his axe in his claw hand and raising it to bring it crashing down on me.
I woke from my memories swiftly and without any ill effects, not even blinking or shaking my head to clear my mind from my lovely trip down memory lane.
I heard the clanking of power armoured feet and knew before I even turned that Xandrek was stalking towards us. Vandread also joined us and was leaning with his arms crossed against the Revenant
. We moved into a rough semi-circle as Xandrek came to a halt in front of us. The Captain nodded to me, Raskreia and Veptus and he regarded Var coldly before finally speaking and mocking us as was his wont whenever he had the excuse.
“While you ladies have been seemingly day dreaming from what Sergeant Xhing tells me, we have translated from the warp into the Istvaan system with the rest of the fleet despite earlier warnings from our Librarians telling us that we would be early.” Xandrek began pacing back and forth. “I have recently just finished a conversation with the First-Captain and all captains and their Command squads are to report to the flagship for briefing. And before any of you ask a certain pointless question: Yes, we are heading over to the Nightfall where I shall meet with our Father and the other captains while the rest of you try to behave yourselves is that understood?” I nodded silently.
The Captain motioned to the interior of the ship and ascended the ramp with us all in tow, barring Var from piloting the ship and commanding Techmarine Malak to do so instead. I stayed silent during our flight.