For Whom the Bell Tolls

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The crack of autogun fire ripped over Veigar’s head and he breathed in the scent of battle and lho smoke.

It had been almost six months since he’d been in a real fight.

Yes there had been bar brawls, prison breaks, and skirmishes with the pitiful militia of Hayverfast, but there had been nothing like the titanic clash between the forces of the White Banshee and the greenskins in Maerimydra.

Veigar spat on the ground, and Dancer scowled at him.

“Thought you were spitting out a lho for a second there,” he grunted. “So used to the guards spitting out half used sticks while we had to make do with bloody rations.”

Veigar had rescued the big man from one of the prisons in the city state. After only a fortnight Veigar had been very pleased with his acquisition.

“Piss off mate,” Veigar said, before putting a lho stick between his teeth. “I was underground for a couple of weeks. Do you know how hard it is to get lho down there?

“I literally sold an internal organ to get my hands on some.”

Dancer raised an eyebrow at that.

“Well, I didn’t say it was my own,” and Veigar chuckled to himself at the memory. “But you know the worst part? I ended up losing it all when a fuckin’ daemon decided it wanted to have our packlizard for lunch.”

Dancer struck a match on a rock and lit the lho stick for him.

“You talk some shit sometimes,” Dancer said.

Before Veigar could reply, the bald man peeked his head around the makeshift barricade they’d made themselves, saw that the coast was clear and made a break for the offices of Port Hayverfast.

Veigar followed and grinned like an idiot scholasticus. Although he wouldn’t know what an idiot scholasticus would look like – he’d never been properly schooled.

As he sprinted, he took in chaos unfolding before his eyes.

Thousands of rebels, scum, and outcasts were flooding Port Hayverfast, throwing grenades and makeshift firebombs, stealing weapons from the militia, and generally causing a ruckus.

True, they were outnumbered and outgunned, but the Lady High Bitch had done her work perfectly and the city was in total disarray.

Maybe Vala wasn’t so bad, Veigar thought before immediately regretting it.

Vala was bad. She was the worst. She didn’t give two shits about anybody but herself. She was twice as
cowardly as Locke and matched Ilda-fuck in her hoity-toity attitude and stick-up-her-arseness.

Vala had gathered the leaders of Hayverfast, including the head of city state’s military, under the guise of peace before she assassinated them.

True, she could set off a bomb, but any idiot could do that.

A merchant voidship launched, trying to escape the madness of the semi-riot, semi-coup.
Veigar saw small bodies clinging to the fins of the voidship and then tumbling to the ground as it launched into the atmosphere of Dordrien.

Dancer had kicked the door from its hinges. Clearly it wasn’t reinforced. Amateurs.

Veigar, Yadra, and Ramon poured into one of the control offices. Veigar knew other teams lead by Broma, and Nestor would be capturing other points around the port – or at least he hoped they were.

The Hayverfast military opened fire and Veigar copped a slug to the shoulder. His carapace stopped the majority of the hit, but he’d have a nasty bruise.

Veigar gritted his teeth and raised his inferno pistol, firing straight through the data console and into the man using it for cover. The console caught fire. Veigar rolled his eyes and moved onto the next to-be-dead body.

Yadra was clumsily swinging the power sword he’d given her, unused to its weight or balance, but she sheered through her opponent’s weapon and cut deeply into his thigh.

Dancer had brought his fists up and was pummelling a guard while ramon emptied his autopistols into legs and arms.

It was all over in a matter of seconds.

Those who weren’t dead were rounded up quickly and the sounds of gunfire were slowly petering out.
Veigar could see his forces moving into defensive positions instead of being the aggressors.

He’d done it. He’d captured Port Hayverfast.

He looked down and saw his still-smoking lho stick. Veigar broke out into a grin and sucked, feeling the pungent smoke fill his lungs.

“Oi, Dancer, I bloody told you I wouldn’t let lho go to waste! Check it out!”

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