Leidolf's breath was coming rapidly, whether from exertion or pleasure, he could not be sure. Thick ork blood, black and oily, dripped from the now still teeth of his chainblade, the sound of it striking the deck plating at his feet thunderous, beautiful. All around him, the still forms of both imperial soldiers and dead xenos, those nearest bearing wounds from his bolt pistol, their bodies falling, death coming to them before their corpse hit the ground, or dismembered by his blade. He had lost count of how many had come against him, how many he had held at bay while Keris had finished his bout with the Nob.
Leidolf almost snarled at his brother, his anger at the man raging to the fore now that the battle was ended. Even as Keris scanned his surroundings, head twisting from side to side to find a new foe, Leidolf was walking from him, turning his back on him before Keris could speak. Leidolf refused to add to the tension that hummed between the members of the pack and despite Keris' choices, Leidolf still considered him a brother. It was best to say nothing at all. His back rigid, his footsteps heavy, he made his way back to the central platform, picking his way through the bodies, silencing any xenos he found still living with his combat knife.
As he made his way toward Vermundr and the rest of the Claw, he reflected on the fact that the guardsmen, so beleagured when the Sons of Russ had arrived, had found new life in the presence of the astartes. He did not know what had transpired on between the soldiers and his brothers, but what ever had been said seemed to spur them onward. Already Officers were shouting orders, rallying their troops into a cohesive line, one able to deal with the remaining threats. This rag tag group of men, began to work in concert, training their concentrated fire power on one or two orks at a time, bringing down the xenos with an efficiency that Leidolf had previously thought them incapable of.
As the pack began to congregate, Leidolf watched as one of the guard officers began to seperate the Guardsmen into 5 man kill teams, sending them off with orders to examine the facility's perimeter. Vermundr wasted no time in sending members of the claw off with each of the groups, a prudent decision in Leidolf's opinion. Despite the fact that the soldiers seemed to have come to their senses, gazes sharp and backs straight, he did not think that it would take much to rattle their new found composure. Astartes in their midst would help stiffen their resolve. Leidolf started off with the group that he had been pointed toward, pleased to see that Heimdall joined him. Having his close friend, not to mention his flamer, at his back was much more comfortable to him.
Slowly removing his battle helm and locking to the clip on his belt, Leidolf tested the air with his nose. The metallic tang of blood, the overwhelming smell of charred flesh, and the sulferous odor billowing off the surface of the molten lake below mixed together, a cloying scent that almost drowned out the pungent filty scent of the orks themselves. As his eyes scanned the platform his gaze unwittingly fell on the forms of Keris and Vermundr, standing side by side yet miles apart, and the question flew unbidden from his lips, "When did it come to this, dislike bordering on hatred between those two?"
The lenses of Heimdall's battle helm turned slightly in the direction of the Packleader before he answered, his voice metallic and tinny as it came through the grill of his helm, "Jealousy brother is an ugly thing. Since our our return to the chapter things have seemingly been wrong with those two. It does not help Keris' decision to leave the pack either." As if his brother could sense his discomfort with the situation, Heimdall placed an armored hand on Leidolf's shoulder, the grating of ceramite against ceramite, punctuating the gesture, "We will perservere brother, the pack will. We have to in the Allfather's name.
A grunt, somewhere between exhasperation and agreement, was all Leidolf could muster for a moment, his gaze spanning the platform, taking in the other Wolves of his pack, giants standing in the midst of the guardsmen they accompanied, his gaze finally coming to rest on Ornsvald and Alrik. He shrugged his shoulders, trying to shake the uneasy feeling that had started to itch between his shoulder blades. "Perhaps we will perservere, but to what end? Constant infighting? Being at each other's throats like pups fighting over mother's milk?" He paused, his lips pressed together, grim thoughts passing through his mind, but he was unable to bring himself to voice them. He sighed," It is not befitting the Sons of Russ."
Heimdall fixed his gaze on his brother, the lenses of his helm masking any emotion that would have shown on his face, "We agree on this brother, hopefully things will get better in time." Hefting his flamer in one hand, as if to remind Leidolf of their purpose on this world,"For now though we have xenos to hunt."
A smile finally crossing his face, Leidolf felt his spirits lighten, he slapped Heimdall on the shoulder, "Aye brother, that we do."
Watching as the Guardsman around them ducked from rock to rubble, Leidolf grinned inwardly. So fearful they were, these small men. He felt none of that fear, his training, his alteration, all sending such thoughts into obscurity in the rear of his mind. He walked proudly in the open, Heimdall at his side, back straight, eyes darting left to right, scanning for threats. It was the lack of threats that began to bother him.
This area, seconds ago was the site of a ferocious battle, but now nothing seemed to be lurking in the shadows. There were no signs of retreating orks, or that the beasts were lying in ambush. "Something puts my hackles on edge about this place Heimdall. It is too quiet, deviod of life. Something is amiss."
His brother, the set of his shoulders betraying his wariness nodded, "Indeed brother, best be on our guard. Evern after their revival I don't know how effective the guard will be. Best rely on ourselves for the moment. Let's take point."
Nodding in agreement, Leidolf turned to the guardsmen following them, "Take cove. We are going to go higher up to see if that vantage allows us to see more of the surrounding area." The one that seemed to be in charge, nodded before passing orders to his fellows, a salute, fist to heart, his only response.
His hand stroking the grip of his bolt pistol, to his fingers it felt as if it were vibrating, waiting in anticipation for a fight that may or may not be yet to come, Leidolf turned to follow Heimdall up to the catwalk.
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