|Naylor - by Pirate Viking Painting|
Six figures moved slowly but noiselessly trough the ruins of the city. It had been comprehensively bombed for four years before being shelled for a month before the failed infantry assault. Parvell district had been silent for a long time. This night, this dark night, under heavy clouds, a small commando team had snuck through the ruins, carefully tracing the line of retreat of the survivors of what had been the worst combat disaster in the war.
Naylor used the molecular coring machine to extract the impact sites from the bricks. His satchel now held a dozen or so cores taken from the east side of the city. He chinned his microphone and voxed the Interrogator.
“That’s another sample.”
“Good. That should be enough, you’d better get back in in case they’re still there.”
“Oh, I can feel we’re being watched.” Naylor slipped the borrowed corer into it’s bag and reflexively reached for his machine pistols. And then stopped. Some sudden sub conscious thing urged him to stop. He did, he froze, with his empty, soft gloved hands held away from his body in plain sight.
The Kasarkin escort were good, he liked that. They’d seen him and also frozen. The five of them were arrayed around him in a defensive posture. They were quiet and covered their arcs and had taken all their ques from him as they had moved into the city.
His eyes scanned around, and then he saw it, a faint pattern of three bars forming a triangle on the outside knee of one of the Kasarkin. Holding one hand up to the squad leader, he moved, as nonchalantly as he could, moving up from a combat orientated half crouch to his usual height.
He sort of half sauntered out of cover, six steps that he hoped didn’t look too hesitant. If he was right, no sweat, if he was wrong, they were likely all dead anyway. When he was close enough, he stretched out an arm until he could just make out the faint triangle on the palm of his left hand. The lights went out. Naylor looked up to where he thought the lurking presence might be. But even with his augmentation he’d never see anything out there, he knew that from bitter experience.
The hand held up to the Squad Leader changed to a single finger making a small circle in the air and Naylor reached for the comfort of his machine pistols. The Kasarkin were already on the move, pepper potting back towards the Imperial lines, trusting that he would be the sixth member of their team in their tactical movement back towards comparative safety.
As he did, he chinned the mic again. “It was definitely them, looking around here, they’re the only reason that those Llar got out of the trap.” He took an age, perhaps as long as three or four seconds, to gaze back at where the Eldar might have been. But it was time to be somewhere else.