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INQUISITORIAL RECORDS FROM THE SPACE HULK: INDEFATIGABLE INCIDENT

INQUISITORIAL RECORDS FROM THE SPACE HULK: INDEFATIGABLE INCIDENT

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About the Project

This is to be viewed from Oldest to Newest The planet of Aquas Primus has just been cleansed of Orks and the 329th Varaxian Regiment is resting while it's sister regimetns deal with the last of the Orks on the Planet's Moon. Meanwhile Battle Cruiser Indefatigable under the Command of Admiral Yallond is hurtling it's way through the way to bring supplies and a far more sinister menace to the system. This is a short story about the actions of the 2nd PLATOON of XXV Detachment of the MILITARUM TEMPESTUS “SCIONS” and their actions about the Battle Cruiser Indefatigable.

This Project is Completed

Epilogue

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Three weeks later a strike team led by Lord Inquisitor ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION*** and made up of Deathwatch Marines entered the Space hulk where they exterminated the Genestealers and recovered the bodies of the fallen scions along with the footage from their shoulder cameras.

DECORATIONS AWARDED TO THE MEN OF MILITARUM TEMPESTUS “SCIONS” DETACHMENT XXV, 2nd PLATOON

LIEUTENANT A. MARIUS – Hero of the Gallaus System, Posthumous Promotion to Colonel.

SERGEANTS PULLO AND VORENUS – Taken into the service of ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION*** and currently serving in his retinue, have shown exemplary skill when operating with the Deathwatch and have saved the life of Inquisitor ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION*** multiple times. They both received the Order of Terra along with the Honorary title of CENTURION while operating within Inquisitorial circles.

CORPORAL Z. HAYSWORTH – Order of Saint Galleus the Purifier, Posthumous Promotion to Sergeant

CORPORAL O. MONTGOMERY – Order of Saint Videre the Vigilant, Posthumous Promotion to Sergeant

CORPORAL H. FINNICK – Order of Saint Mittent the Dutiful, Posthumous Promotion to Sergeant

THE POWER FIST NAMED “CAPITIS” WAS TAKEN INTO THE ARMOURIES OF THE INQUISITION AND IS CURRENTLY ON ACTIVE DUTY

ALL TROOPERS INVOLVED WERE POSTHUMOUSLY PROMOTED TO ONE RANK HIGHER AND GIVEN THE ORDER OF THE MOST DUTIFUL SACRIFICE ALONG WITH STATUES IN THE CENTRAL PLAZA OF THE CITADEL

THE TYRANID FLEET ARRIVED THREE YEARS LATER. IT WS SUMARIILY DEFEATED BY COMBINED ASTRA MILITARUM AND ADEPTUS ASTARTES EFFORTS.

***

END REPORT

Epilogue

REPORT COMPOSED BY Lord Inquisitor ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION*** Protector of ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION*** and Hero of ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION***

Chapter Five

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Finnick came to in unimaginable pain. The serrated tail of the beast had latched onto him, it was speared through his body and small barbs kept him in place. He tried to move but found it was useless he’d been injected with a neurotoxin that made all but the slightest moves possible.

Then came a blinding light and the door to the docking bay opened.

***

Marius stood transfixed by the hulking behemoth. It stood ten feet tall and had a pulsating cranium. Even more grotesque than the vile xenos itself was it’s tail. It was poised to strike like a scorpion but it’s prey had already been caught. Corporal Finnick was impaled on the monster’s tail, he twitched and the scions could see that he was still alive.

“Master,” said Maxentius who was now kneeling in reverence to the behemoth.
The genestealers no long hung back and now advanced slowly behind their Patriarch.
“Get to the ship now,” Marius said and the scions slowly backed towards the pleasure craft but and enraged Maxentius lept to his feat hellgun in hand.
“I can’t let you leave sir,” he said and for the first time Marius got a good look at his face. It was subtle, soft cheeks and pale blue eyes matched his blond hair well and with no real chin to speak of Maxentius looked like a perfectly normal man but no Marius was looking deeper and he was horrified. It was only slight but it was enough. On Maxentius’ forehead there were three minuscule ridges. Noticing his gaze Maxentius moved his left hand to his forehead and lovingly stroked the tiny ridges.
“The Great Master thanks you for your assistance, the jammer was preventing him from calling the great fleet
and we couldn’t penetrate the doors, but now they will come and we will join out brothers in the Hive,” Maxentius said edging backwards towards the pleasure craft as the noose was slowly tightened around the scions.

Chapter Five

Finnick couldn’t hear what the men were saying but Maxentius’ rifle told him all he needed to know. “Sir,” he wheezed but no one heard him.
“Sir. Sir. Sir,” he just kept saying the words. It was
excruciating but soon it was loud enough that Marius turned towards him. The great beast pitched violently when it walked. Finnick was violently jolted backwards then forwards, the pace was quickening ever so slightly and the pitching was getting worse and worse.

Finnick felt his light fading and mustered all his remaining energy for one final act. He disengaged the clasp on his power fist and held it for all it was worth. As the Patriarch lurched forward Finnick threw his arm with the beast and let go of Capitis sending it sliding across the floor, coming to a stop at the feet of Lieutenant Marius.

***

Now the genestealers pounced. Marius stooped to take up Capitis while Vorenus used his last few shots to kill Maxentius. Pullo cut down a genestealer who ran ahead of the pack as the final scion took up the traitors rifle and covered his squad mates.

The Patriarch was bold and vain. It had spent centuries skulking about in the dark tormented by these soft skinned vermin and now it was going to enjoy killing them. Marius took up Capitis in his right hand and charged the monster. The scion covered him putting down two enemies who rushed to intercept the brave Lieutenant. Vorenus dragged Pullo into the pleasure craft and motioned for the scion to join them. As he stepped onto the running board his neck twisted violently to the left nearly beheading him, the Patriarch smiled in his abominable fashion with an arm outstretched then turned to meet the Lieutenant.

With a hasty message Marius bid his comrades farewell. “Go now, they must be warned. For the Emperor!” he shouted as he lept toward the great Tyranid. The Patriarch was fast but it’s spiteful psychic killing of the last scion had taken him out of the fight for a split second. That was all Marius needed. He was in the air, Capitis outstretched and gliding towards the cranium of the xenos. Seeing it’s impending doom the creature bought it’s mighty tail down in a scything motion but with Finnick still impaled it was too slow. Capitis made contact with the creatures skull shattering bone and carapace alike even as the tail arced downwards slicing the Lieutenant in half. Marius felt nothing but the crushing of carapace and heard nothing but the death throes of the beast. The two landed in a heap on the floor, man was indistinguishable from xenos as the genestealers flew into a rage and hacked at the corpses of scions strewn about the docking bay.

Chapter Five


The pleasure craft arrived at the Citadel landing pad and the two men were quickly bought before a meeting of the Regimental officers.
Pullo was the first man to speak, Vorenus made no objection but instead stood silently at attention. Both men were still in their armour and covered in xenos blood that clung like stalactites from their armour and congealed in the joints.

“Sergeant’s Pullo and Vorenus reporting sir,” Pullo said with a salute.
The Colonel said nothing but nodded for Pullo to continue.
Data recovery was a failure,”
The officers in the crowd said nothing.
“Engine
neutralisation was a success,”
Now the officers cheered loudly and several moved to sake the sergeant’s hands but the de
ath gaze of Colonel Harlson.
Tyranids were observed aboard the Space Hulk, their leader was killed by Lieutenant Marius. We are the survivors,”
The silence persisted for a good while before it was broken by a Major from the 2
nd Battalion.
“Emperor
Protect us,” he whispered under his breath which earned him a look from Colonel Harlson.
“One more thing sir,” Vorenus said stepping forward to stand beside Pullo.
“Go on Sergeant,”
“The beast was calling something, I fear that the ship was just a beacon and our troubles are far from over,”
“Thank you sergeant dismissed,”

Chapter Four

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Eighty-Five” the words were as if spoken by a snake.
“Eig
hty-Five,” they came again this time from Montgomery’s left.
“Eighty-Five!” the voices hissed growing louder and now coming from all around the three scions.
“Hurry men they’re getting closer we have to get out of this place,” Montgomery said still leaning on a scion as his blindness left him useless on his own.
Eighty-Five!” the voices demanded of him “Eighty-Five!” they said with what sounded like a twisted for of humour in their voices.
“Of course,” one of the scions said and put his helmet back on. The static almost deafened him but soon he found what he was after and set his vox to speaker mode. “Tertiusis that you?”
“Yes we were attacked but we set the charges,” Montgomery replied “Where are we?”
“Halfway to the docking bay sir,” a scion replied and the news bought great elation from
Maxentius.
“If you can get to the main comms relay, Marius is there with Primus and
they could make good use of any spare charges you have,”
“Understood on our way now,” Montgomery replied and the transmission ended.
“Um Corporal how do we get to the comms relay we have no map?” asked the scion that had dialed in the frequency.
“Read out the signs on the walls,” the Corporal said “we’re looking for Nullam Cosmos if my High Gothic holds up,”

The three scions went on towards the relay, they were still haunted by the hissing and the scraping but the words had ceased.
“Why were they telling us to go on that channel?” asked one of the scions.
“Maybe they heard say it?” replied the other “they probably want us all in one place to make it easier for them,”
Montgomery wasn’t content with this answer but said nothing, the pain in his eyes was getting worse. He could feel the acid eating into his face and burrowing it’s way towards his brain, if he could get to a medic they might be able to stablise him but he had to be quick.

Chapter Four

Finnick and his pair of scions landed on the floor with a loud thud. The tow scions scanned for enemies but Finnick pressed on towards a nearby doorway. He knew what he was after. He saw that the beast had punched out of the passage way above and had gone into the next room which is why he had done the same. He would kill whatever it was with his power fist, if he could crush the skull of a normal genestealer why not also the skull of whatever this was.

He and his men cautiously advanced into the room. Finnick went first followed by the two scions. He hadn’t taken ten steps when out of nowhere a pack of genestealers was upon them. The two scions fired their hellguns but were soon out of ammunition, they drew their combat knives as Finnick threw aside his pistol.

One scion stuck his blade deep into a genestealer striking the foul xenos in between two plates of carapace. It’s corpse fell on him and pinned him to the ground where two more genestealers tore him limb from limb. The other scion tried to help but was speared through the back by a large tail-like whip.

Finnick easily swatted aside two genestealers with his power fist but was awestruck when he saw what had killed his last squad member. It was at least ten feet tall with a coiling tail. It used two of it’s many limb to pry free the dead scion and cast it aside like a plaything, a grotesque tongue emerged from it’s mouth. Even in the low light Finnick could see it was covered in barbs, the creature bombarded Finnick with waves of stench, like waves on a beach striking rock it slowly pushed him backwards and wore him down. The genestealers had now gone silent, not a hiss nor the sound of talons on metal echoed through the small room. Only the pulsing of the great beasts cranium made a noise, the ship didn’t creak or groan and not even the constant licking flames of the maelstrom were audible..

The great beast stood upright, it’s tail poised to strike like a scorpion but Finnick wouldn’t go down without a fight. He drew back his power fist determined to make this xenos filth pay for any attempt on his life. Suddenly tow claws grasped each of his limbs. A group of genestealers had crept up behind him and had taken him utterly by surprise. The great beast drew back what passed for lips in a grotesque smile showing innumerable rows of pointed teeth. It’s tail rose and fell in a magestic arc striking Finnick in the direct centre of his abdomen. The beast hoisted him into the air and held him there for a time as if to gloat. Finnick blacked out.

Chapter Four

Over here sir,” said one of Montgomery’s scions as they reached the communications array “he’s hurt bad sir,” the scion said motioning to the corporal who was now being carried into view. Marius nodded and the platoon medic went to treat the injured corporal. “You have the detonator?” Marius asked the scion and was met with a nod.

The detonator was primed on the communications array emergency door and the scions took cover anticipating the explosion. Marius sent a quick message to Maxentius through channel eighty-five but had to do it via the audio code since it to was now jammed. Marius hit the detonator and with a great rending of steel the mighty emergency door was opened like a ration tin. A great hissing started all around the scions and they could see vague shapes writhing and shifting in the darkness but no one had the ammunition to waste in attempting a shot.
“With me Pullo,” Marius said and the two men primed the handful of melta bombs the scions had left, within minutes the complex array was reduced to a pile of molten slag. Once the last bomb went off Maxentius came over the standard scion channel “Now brothers hurry,”.

At that moment the genestealers attacked. The scions expended what little ammunition they had left but couldn’t hold off the horde that was now approaching them. “Run. Back to the shuttle!” Marius roared over the din and his men obeyed without hesitation. All but one. Montgomery had a grenade him his hand and before anyone could stop him threw himself into a swarm genestealers. Unwilling to waste his sacrifice the scions ran back through the maze of corridors although this time the dark shadows didn’t simply lurk. What had previously been an unsettling blob was now a deadly menace. Sometimes one but more often three or four genestealers at a time would throw themselves on the scions. With Pullo and Vorenus once again in the vanguard the remnants of the platoon made their way through the gauntlet. Over half the men were killed on their way back to the docking bay. Three were killed when enemies burst from the ceiling, dragged off to an undoubtedly merciless fate. Several tripped on the debris strewn floor and were devoured by their pursuers.

Pullo and Vorenus didn’t falter once as they led the platoon. Dozens of the enemy fell before them, whether sliced by Pullo’s power sword or cut down early thanks to Vorenus’ pistol. The four remaining scions ran into the docking bay and were not pursued by the genestealers who instead spread around the bay to encircle them.

Pullo, Vorenus, Marius and the last remaining scion took up position around an unphased Maxentius who stood staring out to space. “Maxentius are you alright?” asked Marius. The vox operator snapped out of his trance and turned to face his Lieutenant and laughed.
“He’s here sir, the great one is here,”
“Who’s here Max?” asked the Lieutenant slowly edging towards the insane
man.
“Sir the shuttle,” Pullo whispered and Marius saw that the shuttle had been shredded by genestealers and their only hope now was the small pleasure craft.
“The Chosen One,” Maxentius said
and fell to his knees.

Chapter Three

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“Light then up,” bellowed Corporal
Montgomery but it was too late. The men fired a few shots but the beasts were upon them in seconds. Montgomery’s chain-sword roared to life and he quickly dispatched one of the vile creatures with a single sweep downwards that caught the beasts chest mid jump. Two scions to his right kept up a furious volley felling a handful of Genestealer while to his left a scions stood impaled in the razor sharp claws of a Tyranid. It slid it’s claws to either side and the scion dropped to the floor in two, perfectly sliced pieces. A blow struck Montgomery in the head and he felt a great force twisting his helmet. A genestealer had a hold of his helmet and was twisting it hoping to break his neck. Seeing this Montgomery released the helmet’s locking mechanism, threw himself backwards and blazed away at the beasts soft underbelly with his pistol. It fell on him and with one last gasp sprayed his face with acid which stung his eyes and burned his face.

Montgomery came to a few minutes later, three of his scions were left standing. All of them had discarded their helmets and looted their former comrades for what ammunition and grenades they still carried. Stumbling blindly Montgomery reached around for something to hold onto but could see only darkness. “Damn lights why can’t they flash now hey,” he joked as two men helped him to his feet. The men looked at him in puzzled bemusement. When the fighting started the sergeant had powered up his backpack lamp and the light still shone bringing some comfort to the men in the dark ship. “Um Corporal are you alright?” a scion asked nervously as he waved a hand in front of the NCO’s face. “Of course now someone get a light and let’s get moving,” Montgomery said fumbling for his own switch and when he found it he stopped dead in his tracks. The light was on. He flicked the switch back and forth and heard the distinct click of the lamp and the faint humming that it made when at full power. It was then it dawned on him, he was blind. The acid had eaten away at his eyes and most of his left cheek showing his teeth. The Corporal took the arm of a nearby Scion and the men left the engine room taking the detonator and final charge with them.

Chapter Three

The lights to the bridge burst into life. Corporal Finnick stopped in his tracks and looked to either side. Lining the two walls were dozens and dozens of Genestealers perched upon broken masonry, fallen statues and twisted, deformed metal girders that had fallen from the ceiling. No one moved for a good few moments. “Run,” grunted Finnick into the squad vox and the scions made a break for the Bridge door. Immediately the genestealers reacted, racing to close the distance with the scions before they could reach the door and disturb the Patriarch within. The scions focused their fire on the Tyranids closest to the door, cutting them down with precision fire from their hellguns but it wasn’t enough. One lept onto the back of the rearmost scion and the man fell without a scream where he was torn to pieces by half a dozen of the foul creatures. The man in front of Finnick took an acid ball to the face and was hurled sideways, the man grasped at his helmet trying to wretch it from his head but eventually gave up, the acid must have fused the polymer to his skull, and instead tried to take as many of the Genestealers with him as possible. He took another four down before the acid finally reached his brain.

Finnick shot one Genestealer out of the air as it lept at him, it hung in the air form a second before it’s limp corpse crashed to the deck behind the Corporal. One genestealer made a dash for the door before doubling back, clawed fingers outstretched but Finnick was quicker and grabbed the creatures elongated skull in his right hand. It’s claws flailed wildly at the power fist who’s embrace the genestealer was not encased. Within a heartbeat Finnick clenched his fist and reduced the beasts skull to shards as thick purple ooze coated the once blue power fist.

Finnick reached the door and wasted no time pounding it with all his might, the third blow punched a hole clean through it and Finnick began to tear away strips. The two surviving scions kept up a constant fire to cover their Corporal. Inexplicably the genestealers retreated, they pulled back to what cover they could and began spitting acid at the men by the door. It was a pathetic effort as the men were too far away for the acid to harm them and their helmets could filter out any of the fumes. The scions finally burst into the bridge and immediately secured the door by activating the emergency ‘Hull Breach’ door that came crashing down with lethal ferocity. The scions removed their stuffy helmet and instead wore their berets which made the intricate task of transferring data more manageable. “Start the data transfer,” Finnick said to his two men who obeyed him. Finnick knew that with the emergency door down it would be impossible for the men to leave the bridge the same way they entered. He looked around desperately hoping to find an exit route and his eyes fixed on the ceiling where a large chunk of the roof had been torn out, it looked as though something big, enormous even had caused the damage but the danger meant nothing to the scions, it was face the beast or stay here to die. “Twenty percent done Corp,” said one of the scions transferring data while his companion inspected the bodies of the fallen ships officers. Their skulls were all deformed and strange, they sported clusters of carapace around the forehead area and some had slightly elongated skulls. All expect for one. One skeleton was normal, it was seated in the Admirals chair and the skull was leaning backwards wedged between the rest of the skeleton and the chair’s headrest. It’s jaw was open as if the skull was laughing even in death. For reasons unknown even to himself Finnick gently took the skull and placed it in his backpack, something made this skull different from the rest and it would make a good memento if nothing else. “Almost done,” one of the men said as the other set time delayed melta bombs on the various command consoles, Finnick thought it was overkill but there was no reason not to do it so let the man be.

With the transfer complete Finnick led what was left of his squad through the twisted ceiling. They came out in a low passageway and after a few hundred meters of crawling over scarred metal Finnick motioned for the squad to halt. He took his power fist and began tearing away at what was now the floor. After half a dozen motions he created a hole big enough for the scions to get through and they found themselves back in the corridors of the ship.

Chapter Three

How’s the vox?” asked Marius once he had made sure all of the scions were stabilised.
It’s shot sir I can’t get any signal at all,” replied Marius who was the only scion still wearing his helmet “I’ve got it configured to broadcast an emergency signal on all channels but something’s blocking it, maybe whatever attacked the crew jammed their comms. Ships this size have scanners that can detect a sent signal and jam it which is probably why we managed to only get one broadcast out sir,” the specialist went on.
Marius nodded
and went back to the rest of the scions.
“We’ve got to find that signal jammer and destroy it, it’s the only way we can get a message
to the planet,” Marius said to the men who nodded in agreement. If they went to the planet then they’d never be allowed to return. Marius was not about to leave behind half his platoon, over century of combined knowledge, on a Space Hulk to die at the claws of these monsters. He would do whatever he could to bring them back.

Leaving Maxentius behind to manage the vox Marius lead his scions into the maze of winding hallways that he hoped would lead him to the communications hub where he could disable the jammer. Maxentius refused any guards saying they’d be far more useful in disabling the jammer, saying that even if he and the array were destroyed reestablishing communications with the rest of the platoon was worth it. The ten scions went forward in pairs leaving a few feet between each pair so that if one was ambushed the others could give them covering fire. Pullo and Vorenus lead the group, Pullo holding his sword in his left hand while Vorenus carried his pistol and a hunk of iron that would serve as a club. The scions were down to only a handful of shots each and the men knew it, they weren’t scared but were keenly aware that if it came to a serious fight they’d be taking on the Genestealers with nothing but gun stocks and combat knives.

Marius and his scions worked their way through the tunnels, occasionally they came to a fork in the network and had to spit up but never for more than a few minutes at a time. They heard the telltale hissing and scraping of the genestealers but saw nothing. Occasionally a dark mass would hurtle towards them out of the darkness and the men would raise their hellguns but it never came into view. They were being teased but not attacked. The scions grew unsettled, they’d rather carve a bloody path to the communications relay than know the enemy is out there but not attacking them.

Eventually they arrived at the relay station and found it sealed off by large emergency doors. Marius cursed and the scions fanned out but couldn’t find another way in. Unable to breach the door Marius tried to reach Maxentius, to no surprise he found that the line was only static but then had a thought. If he couldn’t broadcast a message verbally he would use the audio code Maxentius used to contact the planet earlier. Marius painstakingly spelled out the code. Channel. Eight. Five. It was a pirate channel the Scions used when off duty. Normally someone played music on it or broadcast obscene stories about their ‘conquests’ but Marius imagined it alone would be unblocked. As far as Imperial Command was aware there were no channels beyond seventy-six being used in this sector and so wouldn’t be scanning for them. He figured he could get maybe a few minutes at most before it was jammed but maybe that’s all he needed. Maxentius understood the message and was soon on the vox. “Brilliant sir I’ve sent the same audio signal to the other squads but have got no response,” Maxentius exclaimed but Marius cut him off abruptly.
“It’s got an emergency shield around it how can we get through it? Do you have any maps or schematics of the ship?” he asked and after a few moments of hurried searching Maxentius replied.
“Yes sir I have them here, it seems that there is a manual override but it’ll take me some time to work it out from here, go dark and check back every ten minutes I’ll keep you informed,”

Chapter Two

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Victi Tertius received the transmission alerting them to the identity of the ship just as they breached the final layer of hull and secured their shuttle with three inch thick metal cables. “Secure the evac route and let’s make up for lost time, secure the bridge,” Finnick ordered hoisting his gigantic power fist from the floor of the Hulk and putting it on. He moved his fingers, slowly at first but soon with much greater dexterity. He had always like the power fist, the hefty weight, the delicate articulated fingers and more importantly the ability to pulversie his enemies with it. He’d only ever killed a single foe in his long career, an Ork Nob on Caaliin Quintus. The power of his blow had pulverised the ork’s skull and sent blood in a geyser straight up showering Finnick in the foul beasts viscous blood. In honor of his achievement he had the weapon named, in bold golden letters inlaid delicately just above the knuckles was one word Capitis or in Low Gothic, Headache.

The men of Tertius Squad advanced with reckless abandon, never once halting to inspect a room or even glance down a hallway. These men were here with a single task, seize the bridge and recover as much data as possible from it’s records. The hallways grew more choked with rubble and debris as the scions got closer to their target location. It seems whatever happened to the ship occurred first at the stern, it was as though the front section of the ship was crumpled slightly. None of the ceiling was in place instead it was scattered about the ground in a chaotic fashion, exposed wires sparked occasionally from the ceiling and what lights remained dangled like jungle vines from the tangle of cables that snaked their way through the ship.

The scions encountered a few stubborn doors which refused to open but they were no obstacle at all for Finnick and Capitis. “We’re on the right path men see there,” Finnick said pointing to a bank of signs that was well rusted and barely legible. “Pontem is what we’re after, let’s see here it is this way men and keep your weapons simmering,”

The men came to the entrance to the ship’s bridge, it was still a good half mile from them but with the bridge in sight Finnick attempted to raise Lieutenant Marius on the vox. “Report Report Report sir, at the bridge. Attempting to gain access. Will report when recovery underway. End. End. End.” the gruff sergeant spoke into the vox headset. He received no response but shrugged it off. He knew that the camera mounted on all the Scion’s backpacks would record his attempt and that was good enough to satisfy any board of inquiry that might arise. Tertius advanced to the bridge, weapons glowing faintly in the crushing blackness of the ship. Curiously this area did not have even a single light to illuminate the area save for a single faint red glow hanging over the bridge entrance. Finick paid it no mind.

With startling surprise the vox in Finnick’s ear erupted in a flurry of static and noise. Half deafened Finnick switched the frequency enabling the rest of his men to received the signal, at least one of them had to hear something he reasoned. They did hear something. All around them came a dull hissing noise mixed with the occasional clanging of metal and the dull scraping of bone on steel. From among the static and white noise every man of Tertius heard a single word clearly. “Tyranid”.

Chapter Two

Marius placed the vox receiver back in the array and turned to Victi Primus who had return wit several objects. “Report sergeant,”
“I’m not sure sit but all we can find are bones and ancient scraps of clothing. All the metals rusted and most of the cables are utterly perished,” Haysworth said motioning for one of his men to bring forward two objects.
“What are these?” asked the Lieutenant only half focusing on them, he could swear he just heard something hiss at him. He wrote the idea off as simply some gas venting from a pocket his men had disturbed upon their arrival. “This sir,” said Haysworth motioning to a skull “is a plain old ordinary human skull,”
Yes sergeant there are quite a lot of this around here,” said the Lieutenant with a hint of annoyance in his tone.
“Yes sir of course sir but I can’t explain what this is,” said Haysworth as he offered the second skull to the Lieutenant.
It was an
ordinary human skull. All except for three clear ridges on the forehead. The ridges appeared to be made of a different substance to the rest of the skull and Marius took out a small knife and tried to scratch the substance away. It didn’t budge. It was fused to the bone, no wait it was an integral part of the bone.
“By the Emperor,” exclaimed Marius handing the skulls to the two sergeants for further inspection.
“That’s not all sir we also found a dozen or so of these,” Haysworth said
motioning to a pile of finger bones. They were ordinary bones all except for very small almost nail like points at the end of the fingers made of the same substance as the brow ridges.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. Have you sergeant,” Marius said throwing the question to both Pullo and Vorenus who offered no reply.
“Best ‘till last sir,” Haysworth said taking another human skull from the squad medic. The skull had two very clear bullet holes in the rear. It was no suicide and the men knew it. There were hundreds of rusted old stubbers and ships pistols scattered about the floor but this wasn’t a shootout, it was an execution. Pullo tried a few of the weapons but their actions were totally seized up and the ammunition was useless.
“Maxentius get me the planet now they have to hear this,” Lieutenant Marius ordered throwing the injured skull aside in disgust. It took a good while to raise the planet and the signal was poor but Marius was able to report three clear words via an old noise code.
Unengaged. Crew. Betrayed.
Get the vox back on the section channel in case anyone tries to raise us,” Marius ordered but Maxentius was already fiddling with the required knobs and dials to restabilise the vox signal.

The hissing great louder and seemed to be coming from all around them now. Suddenly Marius caught sight of something slinking around in the darkness. As it dashed from cover to cover the light burst in a shower of sparks illuminating the creature for but a split second. Marius’ heart sprung into his throat. “Contact right,” he whispered into the squad’s internal vox. The men understood and began milling around seemingly at random but in reality were taking up defensive positions around the vox array and shuttle.

When the Scions were in place Marius nodded to the two Sergeant’s and walked back to the vox array. “Tell me this is ready to broadcast,” he whispered to Maxentius.
“Barely sir it’s not stable but it’ll take a good five minutes at least to get it working,” he whispered back. The hissing by now had grown deafening and was resembling more of a snake sound than that of escaping gas.
“it’ll have to do give me that,”
Marius said and threw his hand out to receive the vox speaker. At that moment the trap was sprung. At least a dozen genestealers burst from the darkness but the scion’s were ready for them. Armour piecing hellgun bolts filled the docking bay. Three of the beasts were felled instantly and at least two had a limb removed but still they came on.
“Alert. Alert. Alert. Enemy contact. Docking bay. Tyranid. End. End. End,” Marius roared into the vox array hoping to give the other squads a fighting chance at survival.
The enemy was close to the Scion’s now and Sergeant Pullo charged to meet them. He fired his last few pistol shots into the first Genestealer putting it down and turned to face the next. Suddenly a spray of acid struck him on the hand and his sword fell from his grasp. The fingers on his right hand were melting away and he collapsed to the ground in pain. Not wanting to be outshone Sergeant Vorenus ran to his aid. He struck down two beasts with his power sword, it carved through their thick carapace with ease. As he wretched the blade free from his second kill Vorenus felt a sharp pain in his back as two talon raked him through his armour. He too collapsed to the floor and dropped his sword.
Pullo forced himself to stand and holding his sword in his left hand buried it into the skull of the Tyranid flaying his brother sergeant. He lifted Vorenus to his feet and the two men limped back to the lines of their allies who looked at them with bewildered awe. By this time only a few Genestealer’s were left and they soon retreated back into the darkness.
“Go on run away cowards,” cried one Scion who was immediately reprimanded by Marius.
“Silence these animals don’t know fear, they retreat because they’re told to retreat,” marius said through the squad vox. A few moments later the squads helmets went blank and filled their ears with noise. “Helmet’s off,” roared Pullo who had removed his helmet to better inspect his now mangled hand. The acid had caused no bleeding but had rendered the arm useless with a paralysing toxin.

All the Scions removed their helmets and instinctively replaced them with their signature green berets. All expect for Maxentius who waved Marius off when he approached “thank you sir but I have to keep my ears on sir,” he said and went back to his switched and dials.

Chapter Two

Chapter One

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Three fleet shuttles departed from Aquas Primus, the first carried Victi Primus lead by the young Corporal Haysworth. Haysworth lead six other Scions, two with plasma guns, three with rifles and the platoons medic. Following them came Victi Seccondus lead by Corporal Montgomery. Montgomery lead another six scions armed with rifles and demolition charges. The third shuttle bore Victi Tertius lead by Corporal Finnick the most impetuous man in the platoon. Finnick’s squad was made up of six men armed with rifles and flamers, his squad also contained the platoon communications expert. Leading the shuttles was a small commandeered pleasure craft outfitted with a powerful vox array capable of broadcasting back to the planet’s surface, in the craft were Lieutenant Marius, Sergeant Vorenus, the most experienced man in the platoon and Sergeant Pullo a transfer from the first platoon which had been destroyed on the moon, Pullo was in the hospital at the time but insisted on avenging his former brothers. Scion Maxentius was manning the vox array aboard the craft, he was the most competent vox operator in the Scion Detachment sent to Aquas Primus hence his presence in the Citadel and not on the moon with the rest of the Scion high command.

Chapter One

Send the docking codes Maxentius, we might as well try to follow protocol,” said the Lieutenant checking his pistol. It was very low on charge, good for maybe nine or ten shots. Most of the men’s weapons were in the same state although the rifles could manage a hundred or so shots due to their larger charge packs. Their equipment had been with the rest of the Regiment’s gear in the outer Citadel and had not yet been properly secured. Thus the Scions were forced to make do with what ammunition they had. After all this was just a simple reconnaissance mission not a combat mission, no one expected mere Scions to clear a Space Hulk that was the job of heavily armed Terminators or better yet the cannons of the Imperial Navy.
“Codes transmitted sir. Codes received sir, it’s an older code sir but it checks out,”
Surprised by the response Marius straightened up in his seat but before he could say anything Maxentius shook his head.
“It was an automated response sir and very slow at that, if the code wasn’t from this millennium I’d say the ship’s wiring must be rotting away but this sir, I can’t explain this,”

Chapter One

The three shuttles docked at three points throughout the Space Hulk. The first squad landed in the main docking bay to secure a temporary command post. The second squad moved to secure the engines to ensure they were permanently deactivated. The third squad attempted to land near the bridge but couldn’t find a serviceable docking port and were forced to enter the ship in the docking bay with first squad and make their way to the bridge from there. Having secured the docking bay third squad set out for the bridge while the Vox Array was plugged into the ships data server to amplify it’s reach while Maxentius began sifting through data to try and learn more about the ship they were on. “This ship is well and truly shot sir but I can get some scraps. It seems it was called Indefatigable and. Wait this can’t be right,” he said looking puzzled and going back over the information.
“Well what is it?” Marius asked as the first squad returned from their patrol carrying several skulls and a few found weapons.
“It says here sir that this ship has commanded by Admiral Yallond but that can’t be right, look there’s even a picture of him here sir,” he said showing the men a flicking holographic image of the admiral.
“It can’t be this ship looks like it aged a thousand years, we came here aboard the Indefatigable no more than a year ago,” Marius said with a hint of panic in his voice “get the squads on the vox they need to know this,”

Chapter One

*

Corporal Montgomery lead his squad through the winding, decrepit passageways of the ship. The men moved carefully at first, inspecting ever corner and clearing as many rooms as they could but as they delved further into the Space Hulk their suspicions grew less and less before eventually falling away entirely. After fifteen minutes Victi Seccondus was almost completely, their weapons once trained on every scrap of shadow were now held limply muzzles down and inactive to preserve the short life that remained in their power cells. The ship’s lighting was chaotic. Lights would spring to life only to died down and then come back on in rapid succession. Entire hallways flashed with blinding illumination only to be plunged back into darkness mere moments later. There was no pattern to it, no rhyme nor reason it was entire chaotic with some lights occasionally exploding and showering Seccondus with harmless sparks.

When the squad was halfway to the engine room they received a barely audible transition. “Alert. Alert. Alert. Hulk identified. Imperial Cruiser Indefatigable. Warp Event killed all aboard. No Contact. Proceed with mission. End. End. End.”
So the men were back about the Indefatigable, not that it meant much to the men of Corporal Montgomery’s squad. They hadn’t spent much time wandering the ship choosing instead to join the men of the hunting parties who scoured the ship’s lower decks where, a few decades ago, some creatures kept aboard as a source of food had escaped and infested the lower piping section. They weren’t a dangerous game but they bred like flies and so the work of the hunters was never done, it was good practice at least.

The squad continued towards the engines eventually arriving and securing the abandoned room which then then rigged with all but one of the demolition charges they carried with them. Corporal Montgomery kept the final charge with him intending to use it to blast away a section of the ship’s interior corridors in the event the men needed a swift escape. Their vox erupted in a flurry of noise, it was entirely unintelligible despite the efforts of the vox specialist who could offer nothing more than a shrug in explanation. A dull scraping noise came from the corridor the Scions had taken to the engine room but it didn’t around any suspicion in the men, noises like this were common aboard a ship and even more so aboard a ruin of one.

Prologue

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The following report is presented to you Lord Inquisitor ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION*** Protector of ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION*** and Hero of ***REDACTED BY ORDER OF THE INQUISITION***

***Report Received*** 09:09:09 9th Rotation of the 9th Month. Colonel Harlson, I feel duty bound to report a large anomaly near the moon. Nothing to report beyond our inability to contact High Command in the rest of the sec.......... ***Report Terminated*** 09:09:18 9th Rotation of the 9th Month

Colonel Harlson shot the Lieutenant managing his communications a sharp look which was met with a muffled apology and much adjusting of knobs and flicking of switches. Unable to raise the moon at all Colonel Harlson returned to his desk and continued to read over a report about a helmet his regiment didn’t even use, Imperial efficiency at its finest.

An hour later the moon was still unreachable via any conventional mean of communication, but it didnt matter, within the hour night would fall and the moon would come into view of the Capitol. It wasn’t like the Colonel had the time to ponder the failure of his Vox system, violent tides and a large earthquake had forced his men back to the Citadel as outlying platforms of the city fell into the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were dead, his men held them back with bayonets as the Regiments supplies were bought into the Citadel. When the platform began to give way Major Ryemar of the 3rd Company, 1st Battalion gave the order for his men to charge the civilians so that they wouldn’t obstruct the retreat of the rest of his Battalion. His entire company perished in the sea, but his sacrifice resulted in the preservation of order and a total evacuation of the remainder of the Regiment. A box of medals was thrown into the sea in commemoration of his bravery and a statue will be built to him in the city square.

With such a pressing matter on his mind it was no surprise to anyone that it took Colonel Harlson until almost midnight to return to the subject of communication. Still unable to raise his sister Regiments on the planet’s moon the Colonel stepped outside of his office. The hallway was deserted, not a soul was transferring data, cleaning the floors or even skylarking by his office hoping to be noticed. Puzzled the Colonel and his staff took the short bridge that connected the former Imperial Governor’s office which he now used as a Headquarters with the rest of the Imperial compound which had been occupied by the Regiments officers. He hadn’t taken a half dozen steps across the ornate bridge before he was stopped in his tracks.

Gazing up at the sky the Colonel’s stomach plummeted, two of his aids screamed aloud and primary aide threw himself over the edge, driven mad by the sheer insanity he was staring into. Where the moon had been last night and every night for the past dozen or so millennia now there was a swirling maelstrom of purple and blue fire. Fragments of the moon still hung in the sky like a child’s mobile albeit one from crib of a particularly twisted child.

The Colonel ran across the bridge. His feet slamming into the hard metal as the fireball pulsed and flickered violently. Making it to the officers garrison he demanded a full Regimental meeting right there in the foyer.

Prologue

Admiral Yallond checked his chronometer, two minutes until Warp disembarkation. Suddenly he felt an object pressing into his spine. “Drop the ssstaff sssir” said the familiar voice of his first Lieutenant who pressed his laspistol even harder into the young Admirals back forcing him towards the command chair. The Admiral sat in the chair as the rest of the officers on his bridge drew their own pistols and entered the last few commands which would enable the ship to exit the warp. The bridge doors flew open and a party of the ships security detail ran into the room, Yallond’s hope was restored as he saw an end to this bizarre mutiny. These officer’s had literally been on his ship their entire lives, in-fact every man aboard the ship could trace their ancestors back ten generations to the ship’s creation. The detail raised their weapons and trained them on the bridge officers who paid them no heed but continued with their work. They inexplicably lowered their weapons and stood down “Damn your eyes men kill these mutinous scum,” the Admiral bellowed gesturing to the First Lieutenant who was standing before him, unmoved. The Security Officer removed his helmet and nodded to the fifteenth Lieutenant who activated a ship-wide broadcast.

Grettingsss crew of the Indefatigable, I am glad to be addressssing you this monumental day. For today we ssshall reveal ourssselvesss to our graciousss hossstsss. We will prepare thisss planet for the arrival of the Great Devourer Fleet. Long have we ssslinked about in the ssshadowsss but no more. Rissse up my children, ssseize the ssship and prepare for the great devouring”

Smiling the First lieutenant holstered his pistol and retreated to the main command station where he would bring the ship screaming back into real-space. As he did so a horrendous scarping noise came from behind Admiral Yallond, something made him shake violently. His mind began to swim, clouds of blackness began to encroach on his though causing him to fall from his seat and squirm about on the floor. Blood began to run from his eyes as bile filled his throat making his every breath torturous. Struggling and with whole body tremors Admiral Yallond heaved himself upright and lent on the secondary command module. It was then that he saw it. The monstrosity stood before him, it’s extended cranium pulsating, it’s talons caressing the First Lieutenant who was in tears at the act of praise. As he stood bewildered by the abomination it spun to face him. The beasts tail lashed out behind it poised to strike but it hesitated desiring a more imaginative end to the Admiral’s life. It reached out to him with a glowing talon, he was frozen in place unable to move. As the beasts filthy talons came close to his head Admiral Yallon marshaled all of his strength of will and managed to make one final, desperate act of heroism. His Father had lead the Fleet during the Fallux Crusade, his Great Great Grandfather had fought beside a Space Marine Battle Cruiser and even saw one of the demi-gods in the flesh and now he was to make his own contribution to his now ended family story. With all his might he threw his arm down on the panel mashing the various controls with his open hand.

The ship lurched violently as the Geller fields deactivated and it was thrown from the warp into real space. The beast threw him back into his chair and trust it’s tail into the Admirals chest. A broad smile spread across the Admiral’s face and he bagan to laugh uncontrollably, the beast was enraged, it’s plans had been in motion for ten generations and now it was hurtling through the passage between real-space and the warp. Admiral Yallond reached into his jacket and took out a picture of his wife, gazing at it he spat blood at the feral creature who withdrew it’s tail from his body. Suddenly everything began to change. Yallons skin began to tighten and wrinkle, his hair turned white and fell out of his head. His uniform began to perish and fade while the leather that made up the padding on his seat disintegrated into nothing. Every piece of metal on the ship turned black and cables rotted in their place plunging the ship into total darkness. Only the light from the foul beasts cranium illuminated the room as it frantically looked around desperate to get a grasp on what was happening, in the last few seconds of his life Admiral Yallond saw the First Lieutenant slumped on the floor, he looked a thousand years old and his skin began to fall away into nothingness leading only a ridged skull sticking out of a rapidly disintegrating uniform. Yallon opened his mouth and laughed through the congealed blood, his eyes turned to slime in their sockets but he didn’t stop laughing until his tongue turned into a rancid piece of meat and he finally succumbed to the powers of the warp.

Prologue

A Sergeant burst into the officers meeting, breathless and unable to do anything but beckon the Colonel with his limp arm. Colonel Harlson went to the man who motioned towards the sky, he told the sergeant to sit and the officers went out onto the bridge. The Warp Storm was now twisting violently and it was clear what had caused the anomaly. An Imperial ship that looked to be several thousand years old was floating aimlessly in the place that the old moon used to occupy. “By the Emperor,” gasped the Regimental Priest as several of the lower ranking officers sighed in relief, they were glad it was at least an Imperial ship.

“Space Hulk,” said the Colonel gesturing to the sky “that’s what they call them isn’t it Marius?”
“Yes sir,” said the young Lieutenant stepping forward, pushing a transfixed Major aside who snapped back without hesitation.
“Are your men well rested Marius?”
“Yes sir. My men are always ready to serve the Emperor,”
“Then off with you, investigate that Space Hulk and report back. Do not I repeat do not engage any hostiles on board, we’ve only got the one platoon of Scions left in the sector and I won’t lose them on some
decrepit old ship,”

With a swift salute the Scion Lieutenant turned on his heels and went off to ready his men.