Steven’s hands worked like lighting, flashing from wound to wound. His mind streamed out its consciousness, forcing his body to respond faster than normal. The injured brother’s respiration was rapid and one of his hearts had failed altogether. Larraman cells in the blood were staunching the open wounds but some were too severe to completely seal. The worst injuries wept like they were ready to break open at any moment. Already his brother had gone into stasis to conserve precious energy and bodily resources. He was dying but his conscious mind didn’t know it.
“Open channel number thirty-three,” said Steven into his microphone. Typically he could have thought the command and it would have opened but he was concentrating on his training to a point that the verbal part of his brain responded as well. “Suralie to command, over.”
A warning sounded somewhere in his mind. Looking at a different part of his helmets display he noticed a red blip heading directly towards his location. It was moving faster than it seemed possible. Steven drew his plasma pistol from his thigh holster activating the weapon and placed it on the ground.
Fractions of seconds counted now. Releasing the proper catches Steven removed the external breathing apparatus covering the lower portion of the marines face. His display flashed red: twenty meters. The crude bionic eye was still intact but his head was badly mauled. His display flashed again: ten meters. Steven grasped the charged weapons grip and aimed it directly ahead pulling the trigger. Only looking to aim at the last moment, instincts and his suit directed him the rest of the way. Leaping from the tree line like a giant insect, the six legged beast evaporated into a glob of green, red, and internal organs. Momentum from the beast carried the remains into a smoldering slide less than a meter from Steven and his charge. At least one genestealer wouldn’t live another day, he thought as he laid the weapon to rest.
“Apothecary Suralie, respond,” came the metallic voice over the emergency channel. At last, thought Steven, if the Emperors grace was with him, his brother would live to fight another day. “Priority evacuation, code eleven, ” said Steven. Normally reserved for the direst of emergencies concerning the highest members of the inner circle only, code eleven was rarely used. Typically, many marines died honorably for humanity and in the service of the Emperor. Those few of the inner circle that held the chapter’s history were afforded every effort to preserve them and their knowledge.
“Grand Master Ezekiel is dying.”