Swamps of M’boto: The Return
“We are going back” Master Balthasar said. His eyes hard on the Librarian.
“We are going back. The Knights will take their cargo to the rock on the Strike Cruiser but we will remain here to ensure that nothing of this is spoken of where it shouldn’t be”
Balthasar glared at Herod. The Librarian leaned back, his eyes taking a meditative cast “We will keep most of the Deathwing here, only the knights will return. And the detachment from the 7th will be glad of the reinforcements.”
Balthasar turned his head, breathing deeply. And again. Focusing on the map his brain automatically created from the briefings sent from the planet below.
“Very well. Detachment Abnell is holding the defensive complex we took a few days ago. We will deploy there and strike the xenos through the woods to disrupt their lines facing the Guard. I will have Captain Hanadan so inform General Middlebrooks immediately. Will your Deathwing be ready within the hour?”
Herod nodded immediately.
“Very well, have them on the embarkation deck within the hour, we drop in sixty minutes.” He paused to toggle his vox on “5th Company! Gear for immediate deployment. You have 50 minutes to be assembled by squads on the embarkation deck. For the Lion and Caliban!”
50 minutes later, in the full panoply of war, Master Balthasar strode onto the embarkation deck. Chaplain Maccabeus stood at the head of the squads lined up, the vehicles were already attached to their Thunderhawks, the last of the chapter serfs fled the bay even as Balthasar crossed the threshold. He marched to the lead Thunderhawk, then turned to his men as they stood fixed in their ranks. “Brothers. Embark!”
As one the assembled green troops turned and filed into the transports. 6 columns filled the dropships and vox clicks and chatter buzzed as squads and chalks checked in.
“Balthasar to all elements, final check”
“Squad 10, present and correct”
“Squad 9, present and correct”… and on until finally
“Chaplain Maccabeus, all squads are present and correct Master Balthasar”
“Brother Librarian is your element ready?”
“We are ready Master Balthasar, give the word”
“The word is given. Captain Hanadan, open the doors and launch the Thunderhawks!”
With that the door lifted, ponderous and slow, yet smooth and the Thunderhawks lifted as one, arrowing out into the inky blackness, and turning in the double v formation that would drop them in their two demi-company groups, even as the Blade of Judgement fired her main engines to depart the system with her precious cargo.
The Thunderhawks dropped, thrusting hard even with gravity pulling them down, like homesick children desperate for the embrace of their family. The Dark Angels were returning to war.