I kept my thoughts to myself, but something about the convenient arrival of the Imperial Guard seemed suspect.
“Setting her down, m’lord.” Tobias’ voice rang over the vox-horn, “shall I prep for turnabout?”
“Do so,” I said, “I don’t anticipate us being here long.”
I stood despite the rocking of the compartment as we came in to land, my prosthetics could take the turbulence.
At a gesture, my entourage rose to flank me. Leah in her matt-black Arbites armour and overcoat, Mach in his Cadian-issue Flak, Lysa in her bodyglove and corset, and lastly the Guardsman Kiasan, taking the fore.
The hatch hissed open, revealing to me a double-line of Guardsmen and Arbites standing to attention in front of a small village of lean-to tents and gazebos. At their fore stood a heavily-muscled older man who looked to be in his early fifties, balding with an iron-grey stubble.
“This your boss?” he asked Lysa as she climbed out. She nodded in return, grinning at me over her shoulder.
“Milord, Major Quinn Hardy.” He performed a stiff half-bow, as if his back wasn’t quite in it.
“Inquisitor Garrow Bronn,” I spoke curtly, stepping down from the open hatchway, “Why aren’t these men performing other duties, Major?”
“Because there’s piss-all to do, Milord.” Hardy said, falling into step with me once he saw my pace was not slowing.
“That being the case, why have you not let the Arbiters do their job?”
“Got an itch in my nose,” the Major replied, “Feel it’d be best were I to remain here.”
“We’ll see,” I said, gesturing Kiasan forward, “Lieutenant, the crater, please.”