“So, what do you think?” Antonius said as he terminated the holographic console.
Silence met him for what seemed like an eternity.
Captain Dakota of the 6th company broke the awkward silence. “…you do realize that is completely insane, Antonius?”
“Just because it has never been tried doesn’t mean it’s insane, Brother.” Antonius countered.
“No, the fact that you propose towing a Liberator class Battle Barge into the madness of the Immaterium with a ship one-tenth its displacement while powering both Gellar fields with its own engines makes it insane.” Dakota retorted.
“We must do it.” croaked Edgard of the 3rd Company in his strained mechanical voice.
“Edgard!” Dakota shouted. “Surely you have not abandoned your faculties! This is suicide!”
Edgard slowly turned to Dakota. “Did you leave me to die when the archfiend Kalan laid waste to our forces?”
Dakota’s mouth became a thin line of frustration.
“As I thought.” Edgard said with more heart and conviction than Antonius had ever seen. “I will not let them have Khalil and His Anvil.”
“We do not even know Khalil is alive…” Dakota groaned.
“We know they survived the initial crash.” Antonius said, holding up one finger. He added more for each point. “We know they beached on the surface of a protoplanetoid in the McClellan belt. We know they are without power, but the superstructure of His Anvil is intact. And…”
“We know they took on boarders.” Dakota finished.
“His Anvil is a fortress. Khalil will make them pay for every inch of corridor, every scrap of hull.” Edgard bellowed, causing his mechanical voice box to crackle. “Every minute we waste is another brother, dead in that hulk. We must go.”
Dakota’s head fell forward slightly, a look of grim resignation on his face. “For the Emperor and Atrus.” He recited the Azure Flame’s new battlecry as a desperate whisper.
“For the Emperor and Atrus.” Antonius said as hope swelled in his chest.
“For the Emperor and Atrus!” Edgard shouted in a voice almost more human than machine.