Last Son of Caliban: Divided Councils
Lieutenant Nabbuk knelt in his cell. His robes laid precisely around him as he contemplated arms and armor. The last week had been onerous, even for the transhuman Astartes and their Primaris cousins. Suddenly Ezekiel had summoned them back to the Tempus Occidere. The brothers had been ordered to their cells for equipment maintenance and told to assemble in the Strategium for a briefing from the master.
Nabbuk’s brow set in a deep furrow as he contemplated this. Ezekiel and Habbakuk had let them know that Master Cain languished under the care of the Chaplains, and no one else had seen him for the week. The watchers on board had been agitated. A pair of them had watched him constantly since the time he had returned from the surface. Others had been constantly wandering the corridors on unknowable errands according to the Chapter serfs crewing the ship.
The chime of his vox bead jerked Nabbuk from his thoughts. He toggled it with a tilt of his head, and leapt to his feet as the voice of Master Cain sounded from the bead. “Lieutenants, attend me immediately in Ezekiel’s chambers.” Before Nabbuk could acknowledge the carrier cut off. Nabbuk rose to his feet sharply turning out the door so quickly he had to twist to squeeze through the opening portal. He paced down the corridors at as rapid a face as respect for his rank permitted. His hood flipped up his arms folded down the opposite sleeves had paced down the halls of the strike cruiser, Bors fell in step coming around a corner, looking like a younger brother beside Nabbuk, despite having nearly a century on the Primaris.
As they approached the Librarian’s quarters Bors paused a moment, laying a hand on Nabbuk’s breast. “Tread lightly brother. Curiosity is not a virtue among our brotherhood. We obey, we fight, and we guide our brothers. We do not question. Restrain. Your. Curiosity.” Nabbuk reared back a moment, then bowed his head before turning to the door. They entered Ezekiel’s quarters where Master Cain stood before Ezekiel, Inquisitor Zadok, Inquisitor-Chaplain Habbakuk, and Astropath Granik.
Cain stood in the center of the room, with all but Habbakuk in front of him. The Inquisitor-Chaplain glowered from the corner of the room. Darkened in deep shadow his eyes glowed like baleful coals looking over the assembled leaders. Ezekiel hid deep in his cowl. Bors walked in like a man pushing against a gale, then stepped to the side of the door inches from the wall. Nabbuk followed his lead on the opposite side of the door. Cain looked at Ezekiel a moment, as Ezekiel and Habbakuk glanced at the Lieutenants.
“Brothers. We have been summoned. The leader of the heretics lies under our Chaplains as we extract information to secure this world, but we cannot delay here any longer. Skagerrak will hold without us.” He nodded at the Astropath, her sunken eyes windows into a horror that Nabbuk didn’t care to contemplate. “Granik he brought us a distress call from the planet of Mordia. The Iron Guard calls for aid. Commander Dante has called for loyal servants of the Emperor to aid them, and Supreme Grand Master Azrael has dispatched us. We have already broken orbit, and will enter the Warp shortly. The Navigator tells us a beacon shines on Mordia, which should greatly aid our travels. Shipmaster Peleg tells me we should be there within the week. We shall brief the company now, and then begin hardening their spirits to face the monsters of the immaterium.