Gunfire. Screaming. The rattle of shuriken shots against the walls of the destroyer.
It was like poetry to Lisbeth’s ears. Without thought, she sprinted for a firing position, Permanence dangling by a strap from her shoulder. Behind a burned-out section of wall that had been blasted away from the side of the room, she kneeled next to a grey-looking Armsman loading rounds into a shotgun, looking for all the world as if this was a totally everyday situation. Without acknowledging the heavily-armoured sister, he rolled back onto his front and fired three rounds, blasting a fist-sized hole in a pirate's gut while Lisbeth raised Permanence and aimed for a target.
On the left - a figure in lurid yellows and greens - three rounds. Lisbeth held her breath and pulled the trigger three times in quick succession. By the time the third round had left her boltgun, the first had struck home, lodging itself in the shoulder before it detonated, separating the figure from it's left arm and sending it sprawling to the floor, blood arcing in the air. She moved her head, scanning for another open target, before her eyes came to rest on a thin, spindly creature, totally naked except for a bandolier around the shoulder and hip. The beast had grey-green skin and a huge, crushing beak, and pointed quills coming from the back of what Lisbeth assumed was the head. Her guts knotted and twisted at the sight of the strange creature, and the bitter taste of bile washed over her tongue. Swallowing hard, she tightened her grip on the bolter, knuckles white underneath the shining black armour and rattling rosaries. Adrenaline flooded her brain and her heart raced even faster. Years of conditioning told her to raise the bolter and fire, but her rounds met only open air. The creature dived right, rolling and springing back up with impossible speed. Lisbeth did not know what it was, nor did she need to know. All she knew was that she hated it, and that was enough.
A stray round struck a section of piping overhead, hot steam billowing out of the breach and blocking Lisbeth's line of sight. For a moment, she cursed that she did not have a helmet to give her different spectra to see through, and then scolded herself silently for her arrogance. Faith in the Emperor is all the protection you need. The Emperor's whispers were a comforting presence, but she remembered the words of the Confessor, and forced herself to ignore them, swinging her bolter around to find a new target.
She got three rounds off before everything went dark.
The next thing Lisbeth was aware of was a sharp pain on the side of her head, and a weight pressing down on her chest. The fog was cleared by another sharp pain on the other side, the swipe of a claw digging in to flesh, tearing skin apart, dragging muscle away. The beast was on top of her, and Permanence was somewhere out of reach, the strap snapped and dangling uselessly from her shoulder. By instinct she swung an armoured first, and caught something soft - flesh, perhaps. Another swing caught the creature's chest and a wheeze escaped the thick, crushing beak as it moved an arm down it's body, pawing at something. Even with one eye gummed shut with blood and grime, Lisbeth recognised the glimmer of a blade, and crossed her arms above her head to catch the blow as it came down. With what felt like an impossible force, the creature bore down, the blade growing closer and sharper with every passing moment. Flecks of spittle splattered onto Lisbeth's face, carried on gusts of hot, stinking breath.
Lisbeth's shoulders grew weaker, her arms beginning to shake under the sustained pressure from the alien's strength, straining the sinews of her muscles. The blade grew closer and closer, inexorably down toward the carved inscription down the middle of the sister's breastplate, scraping away on the detailed carving. Lisbeth closed her eyes, and prepared herself for the end.
The pressure slackened. Another gunshot rang. The Armsman had fired two shells into the side of the creature, shards of shot scraping against the painted surface of Lisbeth's armour, and a stabbing sensation shot through Lisbeth's left leg, but for the moment her attention was focused elsewhere. The Armsman had given her enough time to push back against the alien, and she threw all her weight against the monster, roaring off the ground as she flung herself at the creature's shoulder. Catching it square in the collar with her forehead, she forced the alien back onto the floor, their positions reversed, and taking advantage of the momentary shock she tore Persephone from her simple strap and lifted it above her shoulder, swinging down with both arms toward the screeching monster. It raised an arm and caught the sword with a bone, a piercing squeal blasting through Lisbeth's ears as the weapon cut through, jamming in the marrow of the creature's bones.
Tugging the sword out was impossible while the monster still breathed, but with one arm lame and useless the beast was still a considerable opponent. The alien swung the remaining good arm at Lisbeth's head, and this time she pulled back in time to avoid the raking claws, grabbing the limb as it swung in opposite way, her arms locked around the wrist.
The monster screamed again as Lisbeth bent it's arm back on itself, snapping bones in half and tearing blood vessels. Now utterly defenseless, Lisbeth wrapped her hands around the monster's neck, and pressed down hard, clenching her fists as tight as possible around the thick, gristly flesh, flicking her head to keep the blood dripping down from the gash down her temple and across her cheek from flowing into her eye as the struggling gasps turned to weak wheezes. Lisbeth kept squeezing as the creature ceased to resist, kept squeezing as she felt the windpipe turn to pulp beneath her gauntlets, kept squeezing as he light left the monster's eyes and kept squeezing even as the last few weak, reflexive breaths passed through the dying beast's maw. Finally, as it lay totally limp, she placed an armoured boot on the creature's chest and tore the sword from it's lodgement, bringing it back down with two swift strikes to hack away at the creature's neck.
Triumphant, swelling with the joy of victory in His name, she grabbed the beast's dismembered head and held it high, taunting the pirates. "Who is next die, scum? Onwards, sisters, for the Emperor!"