This was the worst day of Augustus Octavius’ life.
It started with a hearty breakfast served up by Jaffy, Augustus’ new adjutant. Likeable, obedient, and best of all quiet, Jaffy was a master chef as well as a competent secretary, dogrobber, and sounding board.
Augustus then toured the training grounds where the Cadian 401st were hard at work folding in new recruits from the homeworld. Too long had the 401st been depleted and sidelined. With this fresh infusion of young, eager Cadian-bred warriors, they were once again ready to crush the Archemeny of Mankind.
It continued with a delightful yet somewhat one-sided luncheon with Magos Kalennen of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Octavius was briefed on the state of the motorpool and his trusty plasma pistol Ruby Red received holy unguents, blessings, and a cog-shaped seal in silver wax.
He attended informative meetings of the upper echelon command levels under Warmaster Judocai, who, as ever, was absent. Although Octavius rankled at the idea that he and his were Regicide pieces for this man, the lack of the bloviating old windbag kept the meetings blessedly brief.
Finally, Octavius settled into his command bunker and was just about to tuck into a roast something-or-other as he went over the correspondence of the day.
Then it happened.
The screen on Octavius’ cogitator went black. Miffed, he reached for the reset button, but stopped as the dark screen lit up with a bright white Omega symbol.
The blood drained from Octavius’ face. He called Jaffy in, and told him that anyone short of Warmaster Judocai could be politely but firmly told to fuck off. Octavius entered his retinal scan, thumbprint, access code, and the input from his Inquisitorial Signet, a blessing granted from the Inquisition to a select few commanders from Cadia. The screen released, giving him back control of his cogitator, and highlighting the data that had set off the Omega Protocol.
Another general call to war from his good friends, the Azure Flames Chapter. Octavius tensed. The last general distress call had led them to their bloody victory on Iperin. Octavius scanned the missive. Familiar threats had gathered, and massed at a staging point near the Omega Station. Octavius barked a laugh. The Black Fleet would do for an invasion four times this size.
It was only then that his day became truly horrible. He did the one thing he had trained his mind to do when faced with the unfathomable machinations of Chaos.
He thought about it.
The Archenemy had to know. They were invading anyway. What could they possibly have up their sleeves? More fleets? No, too easy to detect. Another super weapon? Unlikely, plus it would remove the need to capture the Omega Station.
Octavius snapped himself out of his reverie. He did not have the power to answer the thousands of questions that swarmed through his mind. Only one man could.
Sadly, from the very next piece of correspondence in his inbox, that man was currently imprisoned.