"Dead Quiet"

by Josh Liller

fiction - Warhammer 40k, PG rating

Alex Logan stepped out of the bar and into the deserted street. "Wrong fragging building, Joey. Last time I let you navigate" he muttered.

A second, slightly smaller man with a giant chainsaw strapped to his back stepped out of the bar. "The Emperor guides us my foolish mercenary friend. His divinity and everlasting light directs us. Perhaps it is that building there..." He pointed toward a building in the middle of a large and otherwise empty plaza. "It looks nearly identical."

"Good" said Logan and he stalked off toward it.

"Seems quiet around here" Joe said, almost to himself and not loud enough for Logan to hear. "Heretical scum may be about" he added and pulled out a bio-scanner he'd 'liberated' from a black market dealer. The man had used the Emperor's name in vain a week before in his presence and lived to regret it. His eyes lit up when saw the scanner's readout.

On the far side of the plaza, Kane Blueriver gazed across the same open area at the same building. "There's our meeting place, that building in the center of the plaza. I'm going to scan the area then teleport over."

Steve Irvan, standing a few feet away, muttered something about the Emperor-damned psykers and their bloody mind tricks. Leaving his companion to get to the building by his own mental means, Irvan continued on foot. As he rounded a building, he looked around the plaza. He saw something glint off a far building. Possibly nothing, but possibly a gun barrel too. And it was deadly quiet around here. He pulled out his pistols just to be safe.

Blueriver staggered a moment, his head pulsing with pain briefly as his attempt to telepathicly scan the area failed. But he'd seen no one so he doubted there'd be any danger. Focusing his mind more carefully this time, he felt his strength psychicly increased. Then, focusing on the building that was the intended meeting place, he prepared to teleport himself across the plaza with his mind. But his concentration was broken as a lasgun shot zinged by him. Instincts took over and he dove for cover...

Logan was half around the corner of a building on the edge of the plaza when the first shot zinged by him. He could feel the heat and instantly new it was some kind of high powered lasweapon. Not that it mattered. Dozens of shots rained down upon him, apparently from another of the buildings that ringed the plaza. One shot from the multi-laser grazed his head, burning a streak through his hair. Several more shots hammered him in the chest and he fell backwards, half as a reaction to avoid the shots and half due to the power of the shots themselves. He land on his back with a thud and quickly lost conciousness.

On another side of the plaza, several stories up, the multilaser began to make a clicking sound, its 30-shot energy cartridge expended. The spot on the balcony railing had been poorly chosen for mounting a heavy weapon and it began to crack, the gun starting to slide over the edge. The ganger grabbed the gun and attempted to pull it back, but gravity and the collapsing railing proved too much. Gun and ganger both tumbled four stories to their deaths. A second ganger on the balcony looked over the edge at his fallen comrade and bolted down the stairs and away from the plaza.

Two gangers stepped out of the building behind Irvan, knives draw. They lunged forward at him, stabbing him twice in the back. Had it not been for his carapace armor, Irvan would have been a dead man. Instead, hurt and bleeding he spun around to face his attackers, guns still drawn. He drew a bead on the ganger to the right and fired off two shots from each pistol. An bullet from his autopistol struck the ganger in the chest and a hallucinogen-filled needles struck him in the forehead and stomach. The man slumped against the wall, muttered "love the drugs, man" and slid around the side of the building. His blood left a red smear on the wall. Irvan swung his pistols toward the second ganger, firing again. The man seemed to have the reflexes of a cat and nimbly dodged the autopistol shot. He tried to avoid the needle pistol as well, but it nailed him almost perfectly in the heart. He stopped, a glazed look beginning to appear in his eyes.

"I can fly!" he screamed and began hopping up and down flapping his arms, the hallucinogens from the needle pistol shot having temporarily destroyed his sense of reality.

Kane Blueriver was on his feet, axe draw and angry. He rushed toward the nearest ganger, who for some bizaree reason was flapping his arms like a madman. The rune axe nearly cleaved him in two and the ganger fell over on the ground.

Out of the corner of his eye, Redemeptionst Joe saw the ganger burst out of the building. He saw Joe, drew a pair of knives, and charged. Joe jumped back and avoided the first stab. He tried to use his scanner to parry the next shot, but failed and the knife slashed him across the chest. Joe tossed the scanner aside and yanked the massive Eviscerator chainsaw off his back.

"Die heretic scum!" he screamed and counter-charged the knife-wielding ganger. The ganger easily dodged the slow, bulky chainsaw then parried the next blow with both knives together. He swung both blades again at Joe, but missed. Joe brought the chainsaw down with a mighty force and struck home this time, nearly removing the man's right arm. The ganger screamed a blood-curdling scream. Joe struck home again, this time nearly removing the man's right leg. He fell to the ground and went into shock, bleeding horribly. Joe revved the chainsaw up to a faster speed and prepared to give the 'punishment' to the not-quite-dead body...

Irvan put another bullet into the ganger against the wall and he slumped to the ground. Kane was walking toward him, rune axe still drawn, when a series of shotgun blasts ended the momentary calm. Kane fell to the ground, his right leg peppered with shotgun pellets. Irvan pulled out a photon grenade and tossed it into the open then covered his eyes. The throw had been poor and the grenade nearly bounced behind another building. But the blinding flash of the grenade did the trick and the shooting stopped. Irvan could tell which building the shooters were in and ran toward it. The door was unlocked and he bounded up three flights of stairs, bleeding from the stab wounds and a few stray shotgun pellets. He found one of the gangers on the third floor, rubbing his eyes and apparently still blinded. Irvan lowered his shoulder and charged, crashing into the man with enough force to send him through the window and to his death below. He saw a chest in the corner and decieded to try and open it. Occupied with that, he missed the other ganger running down the steps toward the ground floor.

Joe found Logan's body on the ground where it had fallen after being pelted my multi-laser fire. He slapped Logan hard across the face and got a low moan in return.

"Good, you're alive" commented Joe aloud, although no one was around to hear him. He countinued on carefully toward the planned meeting location.

A short time later, the four men were in their planned meeting location in the middle of the plaza. Logan was bandaged and his head had been crudely shaved. Blueriver's leg was bandaged and he was bitching alot, to no one in particular. Joe and Irvan were sorting the goods they'd looted from the dead gangers and the chest.

"So who were the buggers who attacked us?" asked Logan. "Cultists? Hired gunman? Warband of some renegade Inquisitor?"

"Heretics are heretics and now they're all dead!" muttered Joe, still sounding slightly crazed.

"Thugs. Robbers. Just a gang that hoped to kill us and take whatever we had. Probably why this area is so deserted."

"Well, one things for sure - I'm gonna be more careful when walking around strange street corners more often..."