Drinking With Wolves

For those of you considering having a beer with the Wolves of Space, a dire warning. Leo, one of the Imperial Guard heroes of Fist of Demetrius, has had some experience in this field.

Extracted from the first draft of Fist of Demetrius

“Kill me now,” I said. The room seemed to be whirling around as if someone had placed a gravitic rotator under my bed. It felt as if one of the Adeptus Astartes was banging on my head with a Thunder Hammer. My throat felt raw. My stomach churned as if I had the Brontovan Trots.

“You saw Space Wolves,” said Anton. The skinny bastard was practically dancing with excitement. “You drank with Space Wolves.”

“You pointed a shotgun at Space Wolves,” said Ivan, the light reflecting brilliantly on the metal of his face. I considered asking him to switch it off then realised that made no sense. “Your stupidity is impressive.”

“Don’t worry. They got their revenge. They decided a bolter shell was too quick so they tried to kill me with alcohol poisoning. I think they are on the verge of success. Ivan, if I die, you can have my shotgun.”

“I wanted that,” said Anton.

“Ivan, you have my permission to give Anton the shotgun — full bore, in the face,” I said. “Make sure it’s loaded with manstopper rounds. You’ll need them to breach his thick skull.”

“Hark at the man who tried to outdrink a Space Wolf,” said Anton. “He is calling me stupid.”

“I wasn’t trying to outdrink him,” I said, pausing to throw up in the bucket that Ivan had helpfully placed by the side of the bed. “I just decided it would be more dangerous to refuse him than to drink the bloody thing. Of course, I might have been wrong about that.”

“I hope you did not let the side down,” said Anton. “I would not want them thinking the boys from Belial can’t hold their drink.”

“Anton,” I said, dry heaving for a bit before continuing. “Compared to a Space Wolf, a mastodon can’t hold its booze. One of them could outdrink an alcholic Ogryn and its in-bred cousin, probably its whole alcoholic clan.”

I had flashbacks to last nights drinking session, just images really, because after I had accepted Grimfang’s proffered glass my memory of things shattered into a thousand glittering booze-soaked pieces. I recalled the High Command of Macharius’s army drinking toasts to the Adeptus Astartes, sensibly using thimble sized shot-glasses of spirit, while the Space Wolves guzzled tankards of the stuff. Only I had been dumb enough to try the tankard.

I remembered speeches being given and songs being sung  and over everything a looming sense of unreality hovering. It seemed so unlikely that we could be in the presence of these creatures of legend, that they would be present on the Crusade.  I remembered howling war-cries and tales of battle and a skald singing something in an odd chant that told of ancient battles under bloody suns against foes worthy of Wolves.

I remembered Macharius reeling to his feet and speaking of the wars of his youth, not boasting, simply talking about old comrades, now gone and battles long won. I remembered Constantine of all people toasting Macharius and their friendship.

Most of all I remembered what Grimfang had whispered, about the way Anna’s scent clung to me. The Great Wolf knew about the Imperial Assassin. He suspected her. Not without good reason. The question troubling me was what she would do when she found out, as she undoubtedly would.

Extracted from the first draft of Fist of Demetrius

Social

Comments

  1. Jimmy Carmine says:

    This sounds remarkably like the morning after my first night out when I was living in Glasgow. 😉

  2. omar campos says:

    that man is an ubermensch, he drank fenrisian ale and lived to tell the tale thats awesome 😀

  3. hope you enjoy livin’ in Prague. I was born there. And i hope that your new Warhammer series would be translated to czech soon too!

  4. Mark-Anthony Fenech says:

    “Anton,” I said, dry heaving for a bit before continuing. “Compared to a Space Wolf, a mastodon can’t hold its booze. One of them could outdrink an alcholic Ogryn and its in-bred cousin, probably its whole alcoholic clan.”

    Priceless! 😀

    Great writing, I like how it paces on effortlessly. The Guard talk is natural and not forced, you can hear the characters speaking, never knowing that there is a writer pulling at their strings.

    Well done 🙂

  5. Rinsukaze says:

    What can I say that has not been said already? Only a few lines, but I’m already laughing and eager for more…

    By the way, they could challenge a Black Templar or a Grey Knight at praying, at least they’re far less dangerous 🙂

    Nice job, sir!

Leave a Reply