Unexpected Foe

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It wasn't the dull, flickering lamp which hid everyone's faces that bothered him. Neither was it the bloodstains he had seen on the way through these darkened corridors, or the ever-increasing number of armed bodyguards he had passed on the way in. No, it wasn't any of those. He'd conducted countless arms trades in his life, and he'd seen this all before. No...what was getting on his nerves were the questions. Incessant questions, intruding into his mind. They disturbed his otherwise calm demeanour, constantly eating away at the silent, confident mask that he had built up over the years. There was something terribly wrong about the woman opposite him, too. He could evade her questions and cast a shadow around his motives, but he always had the feeling that no matter what he said, she already knew the answer, she already saw through his lies. It was as if she could read his mind, and had planted the tiniest maggot there. That maggot was devouring his façade, exposing him. He hated being exposed.
"Why do you do this?" the questions resumed, interrupting his thoughts while the thickset bodyguards behind her continued to inspect his merchandise.
"Maybe if you told me what that's supposed to mean then I could answer it for you," his retort, dripping with sarcasm, did little to elicit anger from her.
"It means exactly what it says."
"Money, then."
"Oh, really?"
"Yes," he tried to keep his reply level, but he didn't get the feeling that it was working.
"So, why don't you get out of this hellhole...if you have so much money...?"
That was it. That was all he was going to take. Rising to his feet and slamming his fists down on the table in one movement, made awkward by anger, he towered above her. Reaching to their side-arms, two of the burly men kept the infra-red targeting beams criss-crossing over his face.
"Enough! Enough with your damn questions! By the Warp, when I came here, I never expected the Imperial Inquisition!"
Before she could smile - and that was exactly what she would do, he knew it -a violent rumble appeared, gradually becoming louder and louder until it swallowed up all other noise. Snatching up the short, rusted Lasguns he was selling them, the gangers slotted in fresh Hotshot power cartridges, backing away from the ever-shaking door. Fumbling with his own stub revolver, his quivering hands shook the barrel left and right. Gleaming in the half-light, the long, thin piece of silvery metal looked menacing and pathetic at the same time. Glancing over at the woman, he saw her flick a knife out from beneath her skin, the hidden pocket on the back of her arm producing a small blade. Taking another more deadly one from her belt, she kept her eyes firmly glued on the door, as did everyone else in the room.
Their readiness proved futile, however, as the door burst inwards in a storm of thick, dull bullets and a cloud of splinters. Sparks flew as some of the projectiles ricocheted from walls, though such a number of them compensated for the chaotic inaccuracy and within a mere second, all of the gangers - maybe half a dozen it total, were dead or dying, their bleeding bodies torn wide open. Unfortunately for him, the woman was still alive, emerging from beneath the battered table. Her breath was short with the shock, though, and he knew that she wouldn't be bothering him any longer. Taking aim with his pistol, he put a bullet in her neck with one precise shot, managing to overcome his fear with anger. The revolving chamber span to the next bullet with a solitary click, and that was when he realised that the horrific noise had finally ceased. The silence was but a short one, however.
Punching through the door, a twitching, muscle bound arm ripped away all semblance of the flimsy wooden sheet. Thicker than a grox, it punched another gaping hole through to the room and finally tore the remnants of the door away from their hinges, tossing the fragments into the blood soaked room. The bearer of that arm seemed to take a few steps backwards, their heavy footfalls rumbling in the building and causing a rat by his foot to scuttle away into the shadows. A few more footsteps, quicker this time, causing the fallen corpses to spasm and shake as if they were still alive, the deep groans of the floorboards doing nothing to help remove this illusion. With a thunderous crash, a dark and threateningly enormous figure barge through the door, knocking away pieces of the plascrete wall on both sides and head butting the ceiling that blocked its path. The Daemonic beast turned to face him, accompanied by a swirling swarm of dust from above and two scurrying creatures below. Opening a spittle-dripping maw and narrowing its blood-red eyes inside the leather hood, its appearance overwhelmed him.
"Nobody ekspekz da Orky Inkwizishun!" its foul roar shook him to his bones, his teeth rattling against each other.
"Cos our main weppin is suprize!" one of the runts squeaked with ecstatic delight.
"An feah..." the other muttered, glaring up at the other two without seeming to notice the exasperated look on the beast's grim face above it.
"Yeah, yeah, da fear too! Fear too! Yeah, an we don't take no Squig dung eiva!"
"Rufeless effishincy, ya dumb-"
"Will yew two shut up!"
"Rufe - Ruth - less effishincy, yeah, dat too! An we gotz da kunnin' planz!"
"My kunnin' planz, yer mean..."
Scooping up the first runt with one giant spade-like claw, the beast wrapped its fingers round the creature's throat, with a deadly hiss of "shut yer trap, ya stoopid runt."
The next was grabbed up before it could escape, its legs frantically flailing in empty air as it too was enveloped by a fist the size of the arms-dealer's head, with the monster's roar of "an yew - yew ain't kunnin'! Mork's kunnin', yeah, but not you!"
Stomping angrily through the widened opening, the creature left his field of vision and he finally remembered where he was - holding a shaking pistol over the corpse of his customer, having barely moved from the second that he had killed her. Swivelling round, he held up the weapon to point into the unwelcoming darkness. Uncomfortable as it felt, with the sweat exuding from his pores and sticking to the cold grip, it was still better than being weapon-less and fleeing. Backing away into the furthest corner, he watched in horror as the Daemon lurched unsteadily through the hole once more, hurling its companions to the floor with a mighty yell.
"Nobody ekspekz da Orky Inkwizishun!"
"'N' our main weppinz iz suprize, fear, ruthlessness 'n' kunnin' planz!"
Swiftly kicking the helpless runt with one dented metal boot, the creature bellowed "we gotz da Waaagh, an datz wot counts!"
It was finally too much for him to bear. As the three hideous things advanced on him, he pulled the trigger once - no, twice, his finger twitching with the sheer dread. The first bullet curved gently away from his target as it glanced off of its metal hide, the ringing screech doing nothing to stop its advance. The second tore a chunk of flesh away from its arm, though it paid the wound no heed. The dull echo of each stride consumed him and only the enrobed, armoured hulk in front of him was visible now. He took one last shot, but the bullet merely flew wide. Then his whole world went black, the three pairs of gleaming red eyes disappearing into the void of unconsciousness.
 




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