This is brand new, actually, although it belongs to- well, you better figure that out for yourselves.
In the High Grass
Her breath on his auricle, soft as down.
A hand on his shoulder, gentle and warm.
The smell of dry grass after a sunny day.
The whine of a gunship’s repulsers dying down.
With a rush, Brother-Sergeant Azrael’s modified senses took over, and awareness came back. Input trickled in from all over his body. His head swam from a concussion, his left shoulder was dislodged, several ribs were broken, his pelvis probably fissured, and his left shin shattered where it had hit a small tree when he was hurled from the crashing land speeder after they had been shot down. His enhanced metabolism was already flooding his body with various hormones to cope with the pain and the bruises.
He cursed inwardly at the fact that his armour and his weapons rested back in the small governmental fortress, where he had had to leave them behind on their hurried flight when the fortress was attacked by unknown, yet extremely well-equipped troops. His training had urged him to stay and aid the defenders no matter how appalling the odds, but his first concern had been to get the Lady to safety.
“Are you hurt?” he asked the Eldar, his calm voice hiding his worries. He had tried to shield her with his body, and, considering the sheer force involved, that he should have succeeded at all would amount to a small miracle.
“A few scratches, nothing serious.” she assured him a tad too quick in a low voice.
Azrael tried to sit up and caught a fleeting glimpse of armed men with torch-lights walking through the grass around the cone of light of the gunship’s front flood lights, searching the area around the wrecked landspeeder some 30 meters away, before the Eldar gently pushed him down again.
“Stay low and wait, I will distract them.” she whispered determinedly. “You have to get away and raise an alarm. Get to safety and call in help! I would not stand a chance to do that on any of your Emperor’s worlds, and you know it.” With that she pressed his hand in parting and was gone, moving silently through the whispering grass, keeping low until she was almost on top of the people around the gunship.
Then he saw her getting up, unarmed, Emperor dammit!
He saw their searchlights fixing on her, heard their shouts and a shot ringing through the descending darkness.
He saw her fall, ominously silent, saw them pick her up, trussing her, carrying her into the gunship with satisfied chatter.
The search party walked up to the hatch which closed after the last of them had entered. The gunship’s engines came alive again with a high wail, and then it was gone, leaving him alone and undetected in the high grass.
She had saved him.
And then realisation hit him: They hadn’t even bothered to search for him, they had just left when they had found her! And before, the gunship had been, oh, so swift in turning from the siege to follow the single, insignificant fleeing landspeeder heading away from the peninsula! They must have been after her all along.
And now they had got her.
His guts tightened into a knot. He had to do as she had asked him to, he had to get help. He had to alert his Brothers on Baal. Clenching his teeth, he got up and started to limp back to the fort, instinctively sure that the attackers would be gone by now.