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Apothecary Vigil Rann ejected his bolters spent magazine and clicked a second in place, never taking his eyes off of the horde of ork’s that were currently launching themselves at the entrenched Imperial Fists. All along the battlements of the imperial outpost the fists pushed the green tide back. Vigil sighted down his bolter again, unleashing precision bursts against the xeno’s before him. Each mass reactive bolt that hit blasted more ork’s back.

“How much longer can they keep this assault?” the voice over the vox link was Brother Victis, the command squads banner bearer, his words were punctuated by effort has he drove the Ork’s back in close combat “Even these foul creatures have their limits”

“It doesn’t matter how long the ork’s continue this battle, we are here until they are all dead” replied Captain Lexandro, grim determination in his voice as the crackling head of his thunder hammer crushed another orkid skull.

“Why brother, are you growing weary of the fight?” asked Vigil as he sent another burst of bolts at a charging ork, two rounds caught it in the chest and stopped its charge while the third round smashed into its head. The bolt stuck and then detonated, taking the ork’s head with it. The apothecary quickly aimed left and fired another burst, punching another ork out of the air as it leapt on another battle brother down the line.

“I never weary of a good battle apothecary, I just hate to waste good ammunition on these scum.”

“Ammunition is never wasted if it’s used to remove a threat to the emperor’s realm” replied Vigil as he placed a fresh set of rounds into his bolter “But if you are worried about wasting it then perhaps you should exercise better aim” 

He received only a grunt in reply as another wave of ork’s pressed their attack. Vigil kept up his rate of fire, ensuring the ork’s didn’t flank the rest of his squad. Not that he felt the greenskin’s were up to tactics of that calibre but his experience in the Deathwatch had taught him to never underestimate these creatures, they had an intelligence that bordered on cunning and are even more deadly because of it.

As he emptied another clip of ammo into the tide of ork’s a symbol flashed up on his Diagnostor helmet. It was the gothic symbol of ‘aid’, a brother was injured. Nary a second later a voice came over the battle groups vox link “Apothecary!”

Without looking at him Captain Lexandro ordered “Good brother, we can hold these beasts off ourselves”

Vigil nodded and turned left, running along the barricade and toward the symbol on his head’s up display. As he charged along the makeshift wall he added his fire to those already embattled there, hitting those that managed to get through the fusillade of bolter rounds, but still making a beeline for the symbol and the injured brother there.

As he sprinted toward his objective he noticed that a part of the barricade had been broken through. The fists were falling back to secondary positions as the ork’s poured through, the greenskin’s were making more ground that Vigil would have liked. He spotted his quarry, a marine with what looked like three or four metal bar’s piecing his flesh. Around him his brothers desperately fended off those ork’s that made for him.

Vigil was about to send them an order over the vox but before he could another interceded him. The massive form of Brother Jarick, the companies awoken dreadnaught, stomped forward.

“Apothecary Rann, tend to your charge. I will hold these beasts at bay” the ancient hero moved himself forward, pushing the ork’s back with his assault cannon, and lead the rest of the fists back to the barricades.

Vigil sent a ping of acknowledgement and ran over to the wounded marine. He holstered his bolter and switched his Diagnostor helmet from combat to medical mode. The various scanners and asupex systems begun to reel of medical data. He knelt down next to the wounded brother, he noted his helmet was red indicating his role as a sergeant.

The apothecary looked left to see the other marines of the squad still standing nearby. He looked at the nearest one “Your place is on the barricade brother, mine is here. You will do no good standing guard.”

“But he is our sergeant brother-apothecary, who will lead us?”

“You would do well to think for yourselves rather than stand around like indecisive guardsmen, do you remember none of your training. Go, now”

Another of the space marines motioned to his companions and they followed him, heading for toward where brother Jarick held his place. Vigil looked back down at the injured sergeant, the marine seemed to chuckle though it was a choked cough.

“My apologies apothecary, they are still young. They have only just earn their armour”

Vigil nodded and activated his narthecium “I understand, this will be an important time for them. What is your name brother?”

“Sergeant Argus” replied as he began reaching for his bolter, Vigil moved his hand to stop him “Please don’t, I need you to stay very still. You are lucky you didn’t rupture an organ”

“What if the ork’s break through?”

“Then I shall deal with them, which reminds me could you activate your pict feed and link it to my helmet”

“Why?”

“I have every faith in the skills of brother Jarick and the others up on the barricade but I would prefer to have an eye behind me”

The sergeant didn’t reply but never the less linked his pict feed to Vigil. With a flick of his eyes Vigil sent the image over to the left corner of his helmet, he kept one eye on it as he finished examining the damage. Most of the bars had been stopped by his Black Carapace but one had punched through his leg. Vigil would need to saw that in half before he removed it.

“Sergeant Argus I need you to lie very still while I saw off this bar”

The marine nodded and kept his face looking forward. Vigil smiled and activated the adamantium tipped saw on his narthecium. He slowly brought it down to the bar and begun to saw his way through the metal. All the time Vigil kept an eye on sergeant Argus’ pict feed.

As he felt the metal begin to give way he saw a single ork break the line and charge toward them. Before Argus could yell a warning Vigil disengaged his saw and spun around, covering the wounded space marine and drawing his pistol. Before the ork could take another step Vigil’s pistol snapped up and fired three shots, all three hit dead centre of the greenskin’s chest and three detonations blossomed inside it. It’s corpse crunched down three meters from where the two space marines were, Vigil slipped back to kneel before Argus.

Vigil saw the sergeants vision shift from the battle to look at the apothecary. Vigil smiled under his helmet “I was offered a place with the Sternguard when I joined the Apothecairon, I’ve had more than enough time to perfect my aim”

Argus didn’t respond he just looked back over to the battle. Meanwhile Vigil looked at his work with the bar, it was weak enough now for him to break it with his hand. He shattered it with his fist and moved back to look at the other bars. These would require removal before his wounds could be treated.

“I am going to give you something for the pain you are about to feel” said the apothecary as he readied an injector “The important thing to remember is stay calm”

Before the sergeant could voice any kind of doubts Vigil pushed the injector into his neck and sent a pain inhibitor flowing through his system. On his HUD Vigil saw Argus’s biosign’s calm, he smiled and placed his hand on the first bar. He gripped the bar and gently begun to ease it out, Vigil heard the sergeant grunt but he remained still. On his HUD the apothecary could see through his x-ray scan that the bar was almost out. With a single pull he removed the bar from the marines leg.

With the bar gone sergeant Argus’ leg now had a gaping hole, bone was visible in the wound and blood was already leaking out. To stop the blood flow and protect the marine Vigil applied some biopaste, a gel like substance that hardened soon after placement that would form a seal over the wound. It’d do until Argus could be returned to a medical facility.

Vigil begun to pull out the second bar when his vox link snapped on “Brother, the beasts are pressing harder and I fear we will need to fall back. Can the patient fight?”

The apothecary begun to pull the second bar as he answered “Not right now, but I will be able to move him soon”

“Be quick in your ministrations brother time isn’t our ally today”

The apothecary didn’t reply but he did begin to move the bar’s faster. He removed the next two in quick succession. He could hear the sergeant breathing heavier and Vigil placed his hand on his shoulder.

“I need you to call two of your squad over here, you need to be returned to a medical area soon to treat your wounds”

Argus just nodded and Vigil felt the clicks in the air as he called over the vox. A few seconds later two space marines ran over.

“What do you need apothecary?”

“I need you to take him back to the Thunderhawk’s, I believe we will soon be leaving and I would like Sergeant Argus to see treatment as soon as he can”

The two marines nodded and moved to pick up their leader as the apothecary stood up and grabbed his bolter. Vigil looked back over to the fighting, a few seconds later the symbol appeared again and he heard someone call his title. Vigil sighed happily.

Duty called.         

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