Big Game V – Chapter Twenty: Beacon
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Kalmsan donned his cloak, tucked a data slate under his arm, and with a nod to his bodyguards, stepped out into the wide hallways of the Battle Barge His Hammer II. Magos Kelhar followed, surprisingly spry for a man who had been shot recently. Kalmsan marched to the bridge with purpose. Finally, he was going to be able to wield his power as an Inquisitor on a grand scale. Space Marine Guards at the entrance to the bridge saluted, and opened the mighty doors. Where the bridge of the Menelaus was cramped and festooned with consoles, partitions, and cogitator banks, the bridge of His Hammer II was open, ergonomic, and spartan. Several helmetless Space Marines, a Navigator, and even a Scout sat at various tactical consoles. Three Astropaths sat in a clear open-topped plasteel cubicle, festooned with smoke censers and candles. The light scent of incense filled Kalmsan’s nostrils. Central to the bridge was a raised dais with a tall backed steel throne, on which Captain Piers sat. Both armrests terminated at keyboards under furious use, and at least eight monitors surrounded the Master of the Fleet. Kalmsan walked around to the front of the throne.
“Brother Piers. I have the transmission ready to send. Are your Astropaths ready?”
Piers waited a second before responding, as his fingers clacked on the keyboards. “Yes, Brother Voltman. Please take it over to Brother Li at the communications console.” Piers gestured to the right, towards a console near the Astropaths. Kalmsan walked over and handed the Data Slate to Li. Li slid it into an interface terminal, and pressed a few buttons.
“This message is coded Vermillion, Inquisitor. Please authorize it with your keycode, here.” Li brought out a scanner attached to the console with a thick cable. Kalmsan held his ring up to the scanner. The Ring flashed irregular patterns of red light, transmitting his code. “Message authorized. Sending to Bakka, Fleet capitol. Other recipients in queue. Estimated time to completion: 4 hours 12 minutes.”
“Good. Please have me informed when the message is sent to all recipients.” Kalmsan replied. He felt a rush of exhilaration. He had just sent up a signal flare that would summon any and all Imperial forces in the quadrant. He doubted whether the Raven Guard or Crimson Fists would actually come, but they would pass the word to the other Space Marines. He was almost guaranteed troops from Tallarn and Necromunda, and any ships the fleet yards at Bakka could spare. The entire Perseus arm of the Galaxy would hear his distress call in a matter of weeks, and fleets would begin arriving soon after. He marched off the bridge, retinue in tow. Kelhar was grinning like a child on the Emperor’s Feast day. His catalog of the systems of the Chasma Spica would obviously make his name known far and wide within the Magos Geologis. They made their way to the Dreadnought bay, where Atrus waited. As they entered, the Dreadnought turned to face them, flanked by the four red robed Techmarines.
“Is it done?” Atrus boomed.
“Yes,” Kalmsan answered, “soon every spare Guardsman in the Segmentum Tempestus will descend on the Chasma Spica.”
“Let us hope that it is enough."
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