7902912.M41, Lambum Obscurum, Laxus Sector, Segmentum Tempestus
"Is he dead?"
Sergeant James shook his head.
"No such fucking luck, mate. Not a chance."
His colleague looked at him, incredulously...
"But we saw him get attacked by an entire squad of Deathwing . . . no-one walks away from that..."
"You're right there, lad. Not even the Captain walks away from those sort of beatings. That's why we're going to be fucking carrying him, ain't it?"
This revelation moved the first speaker into a sullen silence. They continued to pick their way, barefoot, across the shrapnel riddled battlefield in silence, until the third diminutive figure spoke up for the first time.
"Why were we fighting for the rebels, Sarge? Its not one of the Captain's get rich quick schemes again, was it?"
The sergeant gave the speaker a murderous look, and a long uncomfortable silence fell.
"No, it wasn't. It was, for once, a proper, authorised, shitty mission. Rather than a proper, unauthorised, stupid shitty plan. The Captain was able to pose as a senior rebel commander who was some tactical genius to talk them into deploying right into the Imperial guns. Genius fucking plan. Or, at least, it would be if someone had told the Deathwing, or that fucking bomber that tried to kill us all."
"Or maybe someone did" was the treacherous, unspoken thought in Sergeant James' mind as they trudged on in awkward silence. He'd lost two good lads to that bombing run, and it being a stupid accident was a lot easier for him to cope with than some scumbag Inquisitor having tried to deliberately get him killed... He was drawn from his dark thoughts by the first speaker.
"Here he is Sarge. And he's still breathing!"
So now they'd have to lug him back to camp, evading the Space Marine kill-teams, and the sentry picket.
Sergeant James wondered if getting dangerous missions from the Inquisition earned bonus pay. Somehow, he doubted it.