He hugged cover and waited for the command. For decades they had been eliminating rising warbosses to ensure no WAAAGH! would devastate the neighbouring imperial systems. Despite their efforts it had so far been impossible to stop the rising WAAAGH!, however a couple of months they had found out that the driving force behind the Ork rising was a Bigmek named “Da Kreator”, and the Bosses only his puppets. Removing them had only slowed the process, not stopped it. In order to get the Orks fighting among themselves and ensure the safety of the neighbouring systems, they had to kill this xeno-technician. Last week they had discovered the makeshift-workshop and their enemy’s newest project, a giant Gargant. The Deathwath Kill-team had split up, to divide and conquer their enemy’s camp. Brother Zurial of the Raven Guard, a demolitions expert had set off, to rig charges to the Gargant to destroy it once and for all. Brother Praetus from the Imperial Fists and Sergeant Castus from the Ultramarines with the team’s heavy weapons had taken position in the outskirts of the camp to provide covering fire for the last group. Brother Erasmus of the Blood Angels looked at the other figure occupying the abandoned shack, Brother Sigurd from the Space Wolves. Even though clad in the Deathwatch’s traditional black armour, there was something feral about him, coiled like a predator it was obvious that he was just about to charge headlong into the next Ork-patrol. Even though he knew, that his battle-brother was fully able to deal with such a force, it was their mission to kill the “Kreator” and they could not afford to be discovered before their time. “Rage is a bad tactician, brother”, he said. Sigurd looked at him, and for a moment he felt the angry Space Wolf’s gaze find his own. “You’re right”, he said and relaxed visibly. Five minutes later a giant explosion shook the ground and the giant war machine of the Orks tumbled sideways, seconds later two heavy bolters opened fire. “That’s our signal”, Sigurd grinned and his twinned bolt-pistols blazing started into the fray. Erasmus racked his boltgun and followed suit. The ensuing battle was short, brutal and ended with the demise of Orks’ Mek. The death of the Ork also marked the end of the Kill-team’s assignment, and so the marines returned to their respective chapters. The farewells were short, but filled with mutual respect. The last two to be returned to their chapters were Sigurd and Erasmus. Standing in the landing bay, the two marines, who had become close friends in the last seven decades turned towards each other.
“Farewell, brother and may the Emperor guide your path”, Erasmus said gripping Sigurd’s wrist.
“And to you brother”, answered his fellow marine, “take this blade; so that you always remember you have a friend among the Wolves of Fenris.” Handing his combat knife to the Blood Angel.
“Thank you brother, but I cannot leave you without a fang”, he said, handing over his own blade.
The two marines, sheathed their ‘new’ blades, nodded to each other, saluted and moved towards their transports.
“Don’t forget, rage is a bad tactician.”
“And only a calm hunter is a successful hunter”, the Space Wolf retorted.
“May our paths cross again, brother.”
“So Russ and the Emperor will it.”
That was the last time he had seen Sigurd, brother of Thjörstar Ironwolf.
Now, five hundred years later, that memory still brought a smile to his face. Another Ork met a sudden end at the end of his dreadnought’s Blood Talon. As he killed the last of his opponents, a large brute of an Ork boss sporting a power-claw, he looked at the blades of his right-hand Blood Talon. One of these blades had once been Sigurd’s combat knife and was his last link to his former life. “Only a calm hunter is a successful hunter” it echoed through his head. Erasmus calmed down, deactivating his weapons and returning to the Techmarines on the fringes of the battlefield. “My work here is done”, his mechanical voice droned. Stunned, the Techmarine replied: “As you wish Brother.” Turning towards the Thunderhawk, he returned Erasmus to his crypt and his deep, dreamless slumber. To this day, Senex Antiquii Erasmus is the only Dreadnought of the Blood Angels Chapter whose fighting capabilities match those of a Death Company Dreadnought, without its wearer actually having succumbed to the Black Rage. The so far only explanation found by the Chaplains and Sanguinary Priests is that through his training in the Deathwatch he is able to tap into the power reservoir the Black Rage represents, without losing himself to the Rage. Brother Culorbo has often talked to Erasmus and sees him as a glimmer of hope in the battle against the gene-curse of his chapter.