“The gene-seed is intact… Tercius will live on men. I need you to stay frosty”
Gunfire ripped through the dimly lit, forest under-canopy. The heavy bolter ripped through the flora like jagged lightning. The roar of the weapon against the nearly silent forest was jarring.
“Contact! Three-O-Clock” Dorian called out over the squad net.
Ejected casings and matte links erupted from the ejection port bathing the forest floor in hot brass.
“Where Dammit!” Rama called out. “I can’t see anything but forest!”
“Same here, continuing to scan! Help me out here Dor!” Called out Mikel aloud, skipping the vox entirely.
“Hold your fire, Dorian!”
“Cover me!” Calius called out as he ran forward, anointed bolter in-hand, scanning from tree to tree looking for the enemy.
Moving forward of the squad, Calius checked every bush and knot-hole for any sign that an enemy was present. Aside from destroyed underbrush, no signs were present.
The rain started coming down in sheets. In the distance lightning could be seen through the cracks in between trees. The rumble could be heard several seconds later.
“What is this?” Calius said to himself as he eyed the massive evergreen. Scrapes, claw marks could be seen on the back-side of the tree trunk, opposite the scarring from the bolter fire. Calius stepped forward, and then looked up.
Only a faint whiz-crack of the sniper weapon could be heard, and the splash of ichor washed over Calius just before he was hit by a massive impact of a falling object.
In a blur of claws and corded muscle, the shape…the body dug deeply in to the ground and Sergeant Calius in an attempt to flee.
Stunned by the impact, Calius was grasping for his Bolter when the claw ripped down his back and pinned his hand to the forest floor. In a flash, the Lictor took a swipe with a long limbed claw, skimming off the shoulder plate, and catching Calius in the face, tearing in to his lower jaw, shattering it and very nearly ripping his mandible free. Calius staggered, pulling free his power sword, falling back against the tree.
Again, heavy bolter fire ripped through the dark, impacting all around Calius as he stayed in the shadow of the massive green-pine.
For a moment, Calius saw the eyes of the beast as it glanced back at him, just before it charged off in to the thick underbrush. Alien malice, hunger, death. Grabbing his bolter this time, he looked to fire at his enemy, but it was gone; vanished in to the under-canopy.