Ashok's head swam, and this time not just with the haze of the Black Rage. He was fighting alongside what amounted to a giant servitor, yet one with a soul - and one whose god had created him to fight Chaos, apparently. This... thing
with which he had become allied was arguably more human than many men he had worked with - or, more properly, worked for
as a soldier of the Ordo Xenos.
The librarian emptied the sickle clip in his bolt pistol, each shot melting portions of a replicator, but before he could reload a handful of the metallic creatures scuttled along the ceiling and dropped inside the the arc of fire of Ashok's gun. Coupling it magnetically to his plastron, he swung his staff in a slow circle in front of him. Replicators begun to crawl over his armor and chisel at its ceramite surface. He lowered the staff in his right hand; with his left, now glowing with a fierce blue intensity, he began grabbing the things and crushing them into a mix of component blocks and iron filings. One of the replicators escaped this fate by leaping directly onto Ashok's cranium, in the process dislodging the brocaded cowl he wore.
Ashok reached up and grabbed the replicator, then tossed it onto the floor a few meters away. His eyes burned the red of smoldering embers, and with a horrible incoherent shriek that resonated beyond the audible he launched a shaft a white-hot psychic energy from the head of his staff that lit the room with a blinding flare. The replicator he had thrown was vaporized, leaving little more than a pile of oxidized dust.
Turning, he saw the spider-like replicator crawling up Primal's shoulder joint. Ashok gritted his teeth, able to compose himself long enough to yell, "Duck!" As Primal bent forward, his optic sensors flaring in surprise, Ashok swung his staff two-handed and batted the replicator off the Transformer's shoulder and into the opposite wall in a low arc. The replicator fell immobile to the floor, leaving an impression in the bulkhead where it had struck.
In the quiet that followed, Ashok recovered his hood and replaced it on his head, covering his face in shadow. His eyes still gleamed redly, and he took a few deep breaths before asking, "That machine is done? Good. Much more of these things, and I might start to get upset."
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."