with it destroy the shadows.
The Yevyr System, 892.M41
The bridge of the battle barge The Fist of
Retribution was abuzz with commotion; the ancient ship, belonging to the
Praetorians, a descendant chapter of the Imperial Fists. The Fist had always
been the 2nd company’s battle barge. Rumors state that the Fist was
gifted to the Praetorians at their conception. It had seen the chapter’s
greatest triumphs and its greatest defeats. But, she was not off to war this
time, no; she was on a recruitment mission. Captain Augustus Primus, who had
been captain of the 2nd for almost two hundred years, had ordered
the 2nd to the Yevyr system to find new recruits for the company. But,
it turned out that this would be no simple recruitment mission. Also in the
system was a Mechanicus Expedition ship, the Pride of the Omnissiah. Normally, this wouldn’t concern the Praetorian 2nd company, but the Pride had a history with the
Praetorian Chapter. Long ago, the Praetorian 3rd company agreed to
help the Mechanicus with its expedition to find new Standardized Template
Constructs and had been posted on the Pride of the Omnissiah almost two
thousand years ago.
Normally,this would have been a joyous occasion; the various Companies of the
Praetorians rarely got to see each, due to their largely decentralized organization.
But this was different, something wasn’t right. The Pride of the Omnissiah wasn’t
responding to the Fist’s calls. It wasn’t even moving anywhere, its engines
where deactivated, the ship was aimlessly drifting in space.
Captain Primus was on the bridge, attempting to figure out what was happening. “Shipmaster
Vardis, have you been able to get through to the Pride?” he asked.
The ancient, scarred figure of Ship Master Rafael Vardis looked up from his command
lectern, “No, we have not been able to get through to the Ship; they haven’t
responded to our Vox signals or Astropathic messages,” he paused for a minute, “Perhaps
they are just having some sort of technical issues.”
Someone snorted from behind Primus, and he turned to see who it was. It was their
Company Champion, Luthor Hoth. He was only 109 years of age, one of the
youngest Marines in the Company. But he was, without a doubt, one of the most
skilled fighters, having more battle honors than most Veterans of the company.
“I highly doubt that the Adeptus Mechanicus are having technical problems, Ship
Master,” Hoth said with a smile, “If you haven’t noticed, they make their
living off of keeping machines running.”
Primus chuckled, while Vardis scowled, “You should learn to respect your Elders, boy,”
he said with a sneer.
Before Luthor was able to reply, Captain Primus said: “Enough. We need to figure out
what’s going on with the Pride. Luthor’s probably right. It’s most likely more
than a simple mechanical failure. Assemble the Company. We’re going to board
the Pride and figure out what’s going on.”
“Are you sure that’s wise?” Vardis said quickly, “If nothing’s wrong with the ship,
the Mechanicus would be unhappy with our intrusion.”
“That’s a risk I’m willing to take,” Primus replied, “Luthor. Head down to the Hangers,
tell the Techpriests to prepare the Thunderhawk’s for a boarding action.”
“Yes, Captain,” Luthor said with a bow.
A hush fell across the bridge of the Fist of Retribution;
the entire human crew stared out the view ports into the void, across thousands
of miles, towards the small figure of the Mechanicus ship. No knew what they
would find on the ship. But if Primus had known what was on it, he would’ve ordered
the Fist of Retribution to open fire with its Bombardment Cannon, instead of
boarding the ship.