This war started for me inside a Rhino chassis, so I guess it's only fitting that it would end likewise. I had been escorted in by the Tactical Marines and relieved of my armament. Now the dim lighting flickered at times as the transport proceeded its off-road journey. The interior of the prison transport was crude, as was my fellow-captive hunched in the corner. His archaic armour was bruised and his robes tattered, and the stranger sat silent in his thoughts. We both did.
Our assault through the Despoiler's bunker network had been successful, and I was finally in the possession of the priced drawings. Better yet, Captain Demetros of the loyal Imperial Fists had arrived even sooner than I expected and most importantly, sooner than the Night Lords had hoped for. The second's confusion in their ranks as we emerged between the two hostile battle groups was enough for me to take my leave. My predictions had been correct, but this part of the plan had always been uncertain.
As I leaped over the outcrops and crossed the rust-coloured plain towards the bunker towers, I felt my bionic datalinks burst to life once again. Beneath the ground I had been unable to receive messages from my spy networks, but now the welcome, fresh intelligence reached my senses again. The fighting for the planet's capital had ended in Abaddon's victory over the aliens and the Imperium, but now it seemed that the Despoiler's authority would be tested by that of his Warp-fiend allies. However it would be, the planet was lost to Mankind.
I was just able to hide the Planet Killer plans and conceal myself beneath a pile of industrial rubble as the two warring armies smashed against each other. On the other side was the Astartes alliance of the Angels of Death, commanded by the battle company of Demetros. On the other there was an equally matched force of Iron Warriors, Death Guard and newly-turned Red Corsairs in Abaddon's command. I knew it would be almost impossible to avoid exposure, but who would finally find me?
Ultimately it happened to be the Dark Angels, whose remaining Scouts spotted my hideout. I was brought in front of their Company Master for questioning. The Space Marines didn't know about the hidden plans, but they were aware that the Inquisitorial Task Force had been tracking me. Luckily the stubborn Astartes of the first legion let no external agendas trouble their decision-making. The captain was robust and sagacious and I knew better than to try persuade and treacle my way out of this. I would need to hold my tongue and accept the consequences of my capture, for now.
Suddenly, I met the gaze of the stranger in corner. He had also lifted his head and the interior lighting now revealed the old face beneath his hood. I sat motionless, stunned. I could now recognize the ancient ornaments in his armour, the historical heraldry of the stained robes. The two pistol holsters on his sides were now empty, but as this Space Marine stood up, I knew he was far from helpless. He looked at me and we both smiled.
Two fallen heroes.
Two fallen heroes.
As it turned out, my flight would go on.