Big Game V – Chapter Twenty Three: The Black Window

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Brother-Chaplain Muninn walked slowly towards the main altar in the Chapel of the Ravenspire.  Sunlight streamed in through the stained glass windows, showing the trials of the Primarch Corax.  As Muninn walked, he told himself Corax’s story just as he had done hundreds of times before.  His youth in the mines, then leading raids against the Tech-Guilds and staging work riots, conquering the moon called Lycaeus and naming it Deliverance to honor his people.  The Istvaan drop massacre depiction always filled him with hate for the traitors who had cut his legion to tatters.  He turned to face the Black Window, completely covered with lead.  Raven Guard Space Marines knew that this window symbolized Corax’s soul-wrenching decision to personally end the suffering of the twisted Raven Guard Space Marines created just after the heresy, when desperation led to the debasement of Gene-Seed replication techniques.  Corax had never been the same after delivering the Emperor’s Mercy to his mutated children, but the Black Window was a reminder that sometimes the price of need is high.  Muninn’s thoughts were interrupted as the gleaming silver doors of the Ravenspire opened, and Neophyte Jalan entered, making the sign of the Aquilla as he did.  Muninn focused on the Black Window until the Neophyte was beside him, and then turned to face the boy.  He still had the look of youth on his face, and his growth had yet to slow, so Muninn stood head and shoulders above the young Scout.  Jalan held out a parchment, sealed with white and silver flecked black wax, bearing the Seal of the Raven.

“Thank you, Jalan.  This comes directly from Captain Shrike, I assume?”

“Yes, Brother-Chaplain.”  Jalan replied. “He says it is urgent.”

“Very well.  If you have other duties you may go, but if not then I suggest you admire the Ravenspire while it is as empty as it is.”

“Thank you, sir, I will.”

Muninn broke the seal with his thumb, and opened the parchment.  Shrike was placing a detachment consisting of two battle companies and one reserve company under his command, with heavier than normal armour, and full Scout support.  Three companies!  This was no minor offensive, this was a campaign!  Muninn skimmed through assignment details and found the location: the Chasma Spica.  Muninn knew of it well, it was less than a week’s travel away at the highest warp speeds, but the Chasma Spica had always been an obstacle, forcing travel around its storm-wracked exterior.  Now the storm was gone, like a bubble vanishing on a needle.  An Inquisitor named Kalmsan had identified a major Chaos threat, and named several Traitor Legions present.  Muninn muttered a prayer of guidance and strength.  The orders had them leaving tomorrow, and arriving within five days.  Such alacrity indicated that Shrike valued speed over safety during warp transit.  Muninn glanced up at the Black Window and sighed.

Sometimes the price of need is high.

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