::'''Small Worlds'''
::''Chapter Thirty''

The sound of 30-something weapons being readied in near unison is an interesting one. It’s not dissimilar to a series of marbles dropping into a dish, or a swarm of mechanical rats in your house. It’s clearly difficult to describe, but you never forget it.

Vaniah had heard it before, and the sound brought back a few memories. Though of course he had been amongst the large group, not those they were aiming at.

Visstor had heard it before, and the sound brought back a few memories. Though shedim generally don’t dwell on their memories, Visstor enjoyed this one, mostly because shedim tend to enjoy memories of battle. Especially when the battle was followed by a stiff drink.

Werther had never heard the sound before, and it frankly scared the drek out of her.

Zeke held up his hand, in the old Earth military gesture that told his soldiers to hold their fire. “You never change, Vaniah. I keep expecting you to, but you don‘t. It‘s become monotonously disappointing, really.”

“Sorry about that.” Vaniah kept his gun in the same position as he wiped his face.

“You know, the priestess told us something interesting about your gun before you arrived.”

“I figured. There‘s not many other reasons the SDF would‘ve accepted her help.”

“I found it hard to believe, really, but then, well… I remembered who we were talking about.” His hand was still in the position. Zeke wasn’t the sort to let down his guard, during a rant or otherwise. “I‘m surprised your father never told me.”

“You were only his retainer.”

But Zeke could get mad, and anger ruins any tactics. And though his nostrils flared he remained stoic. “Nice try, but I‘m afraid that this is the end of the line for you, Vaniah. I can only say I expected more from…”

But Vaniah started to tune him out, his eyes scanning the almost-circle of armed soldiers, desperately trying to find a way to escape without getting killed. Visstor stood there, doing the same, while Werther continued to recover from the persistent shock.

''Any thoughts?''

It took him a moment to realize the pun.

''You’re still here?''

''What can I say, this is getting interesting.''

''I don’t suppose you could do something with that body…''

''You know it doesn’t work like that. Least I’m pretty sure it doesn’t… No, you’re going to need a miracle from somewhere else.''

''How helpful… Could you at least distract some of the Psykers again?''

''Not sure that would do much good, considering there aren’t any.''

Zeke was starting to finish his miniature rant. Vaniah knew all the details already, though if Visstor or Werther had been listening they might have learned something.

“So you have two options; come quietly, or go down shooting. I think I know which one you might pick, but do try and prove me wrong.” His hand tensed as he prepared to signal his men.

“Actually, Zeke…”

'''“Vaniah! Where are you!?”'''

Sounded like Noonjack, but Vaniah barely noticed the voice, he was rather more focused on the opportunity it created.

A good half the soldiers turned to glance at the sound, and that half second was all they needed.

Visstor dug his fingers into his arms, and rather than bothering to roll the skin into balls, flung the strips at the soldiers. He aimed low, by design or inexperience with the launching method it was hard to say.

Werther actually recovered enough to sweep kick a pair of the guards.

Vaniah aimed and shot Zeke in the leg. His armor would’ve stopped a chest shot, inconveniencing the commander more than anything. The shot went a little wide, but not enough to miss, and Zeke fell backward immediately.

That was the easy part.