A Howl in the Void Part 2
A Howl in the Void
Part Two: Thovus System
After two days’ full burn the Moons Grace arrived in the Thovus System via its southernmost rim, bypassing the lazily orbiting gas giant of the system, Thovian I. After failure to contact the Warhorse, encrypted emergency astropathic messages were dispatched to the nearby Thirteenth Legion Fleet in the Tarvus Sector where Brother-Captain Karos had come from, requesting immediate rendezvous. Under direct orders from Chief Librarian Thaddius, the remainder of the astropathic choir were to send not just an encrypted message, but a focused signal to a single individual; that of Chief Librarian Sagan Meer. Though such a method requires the receiver to be prepared, Thaddius decided there was no other choice; with The Trials fast approaching in a years’ time, most Brotherhood fleets had started the long journey back to distant Vardenheim, hidden away in the galactic Northwest in the isolated and forgotten Peleus Cluster. The backlash of such an unwarranted astrotelepathic commune would be taxing on Sagan, but only briefly, as he was not only Astartes, but a psyker of monstrous power.
The approach vector of the lone battle barge was a cautious one, as its lack of any capable long ranged armaments was a vulnerability it’s crew didn’t want an unseen enemy to take advantage of. Under the direction of Shipmaster Ruvnun, the Moons Grace locked into high anchor above Thovian IX, where it began conducting deep range system scans surrounding Thovian X for any traces of the Thirteenth Legion. The energy scan and pictograph drone reports were disturbing. Live-feed projections from the pictograph drones displayed the spinning debris of an orbital engagement, while the energy readouts reported the trace of multiple macrocannon battery discharges, as well as a lance strike. Though the evidence of conflict was obvious, the live-feed betrayed no signs of any dead ships.
“There were multiple vessels, according to our scans, the readouts picked up the plasma trails of at least four ships, though there is nothing suggesting that this unseen foe has made warp transit out of the system, lord.”
Thaddius nodded as Shipmaster Ruvnun reported. He furrowed his granite grey brows as he considered his options.
“There have been no contacts?” he inquired.
“No, lord.” replied Ruvnun dutifully, bowing his head in respect to his armored master.
“What do you think of this, brother?” Thaddius said. He turned to face the ferocious warrior he had addressed, his blood brother, Wren Thohali. Bedecked in an ornate suit of Terminator Armor, the Veteran Sergeant towered over all present on the bridge, the ancient servos in his plate whirring and clicking with his movements. Totems laced on leather cords around Wrens vambraces held small avian skulls and bones, and the helm mag locked on his belt was fashioned into that of a beaked bird of prey. Wren not only doubled as the First Company detachment commander of Thaddius’ strike force, but was also acted as his personal equerry and advisor. Little could be done to separate the two, as they had both not only come from the same Chapter, but served their term in the Redemption Company and all of their other postings together. Upon his ascension to Chief Librarian, Chapter Master Morael had granted him this specific request, truly playing into his appellation of “The Just”.
“I think something is awry, brother, and we must make all haste to find our kin of the Thirteenth. We must push to Thovian X and find out for ourselves.” Wren replied, his deep, rasping voice carrying quietly over the murmur of constant activity present on the bridge.
Thaddius nodded again, “Aye brother, summon the captains and their sergeants to the strategium. Go now.”
Wren bowed his head in deference and departed the bridge via its rear blastdoors. Thaddius returned his gaze to Ruvnun, who respectfully shied away from making direct eye contact with his lords.
“Make course to Thovian X, deploy the Shadowhawks once in range. Full shields and high alert, Shipmaster.”
“”Your will is my command, lord.” he bowed and retreated to his command throne.