The Deathwatch

Baldur took his time over the cache of weapons. It was a grand thing, how the weapons were lined up, well-oiled and well-maintained for future generations. He puffed his chest out, feeling a sense of pride.

He ran his hands over the offered weapons in turn, keeping a certain degree of quiet solemn as he took the time to make his choice. There was an air of destiny about them; what they each decided would make a huge impact in the future, he was certain. To what degree of impact, he was unsure. How could he be? He was, unfortunately, un-gifted with that aspect of manipulating the energy of Fenris. Besides, it would be sacrilegious in the name of the Emperor. Only He would see and know the future and the bend of destiny.

His heavy hand finally rest on the body of an Inferno Pistol. It was a miniature meltagun for all intents and purposes, a short-ranged melta weapon that could punch holes through the heaviest armour. It was the perfect pair to his Force Axe; he could wield other in both of his hands, cause destruction at two angles, and still call down the fiery and destructive conflagrations of his mental prowess.

"This will do," he spoke in his firm voice, lifting the weapon from it's sacred holding place. He gripped it firmly in his left hand, his finger set over the trigger guard, and held it up. He aimed it forward, setting his eye down the length of it over it's sights. He nodded after a moment, and found it's match in holster, and collected all the ammunition he would need.

Before he holstered it behind his other weapons, he named it: "Ulrica."
He watched as his brothers chose there different armaments. Walking around in the armory he took the time to inspect the different relics even though he had chosen his servo arm over them. They were prized possessions of the Imperium and to have the opportunity to be close to so many he took as an honor. After he had made a pass by each weapon in respect he took to showing respect to his own bolter, bolt pistol and chain sword. After a moment a thought struck him and he approached the senior tech priest, "Excuse me. To show proper respect to these relics I would like to walk my brothers through the battle preparations using sacred machine oil for each weapon if this is possible. Since these relics will be with them for the rest of their service it might be prudent to begin there service with such a respectful show to the machine spirit."

If he did get the sacred oil he would wait till their final preparations before deployment to apply it to his own servo arm. The sacred oil was similar to regular maintenance oil used by other space marines on there bolters and other weapons with one significant different. It had been processed and prepared by a senior tech priest. This made it an oil that reacted strongly to machine spirits. It was said that a single drop of sacred machine oil could consecrate a weapons machine spirit, instantly unjamming the weapon and making it less likely to need repair anytime in the future. Each one of these relics had probably already been seen to in this way by the senior tech priest himself, but, it might be wise for each space marine to consecrate his own relic before the first deployment.
The techpriest turned to Tacitus and replied in his robotic monotone, "I regret to inform you that Lord Misha has ordered me to prevent your tampering with the weapons your comrades have chosen to become their relics, as any outside influence could hamper or even prevent the bonding that is to take place." Here the techpriest paused a moment before continueing. "I have also been ordered to inform you that Lord Misha sends His condolences, as you will not be allowed to examine any equipment aboard the Promise of Redemtpion other than your own, including artefacts and archeotechnology recovered during missions, as He cannot risk an outsider interfering in his plans. He also says for you to 'rest assured as He has planned for nearly every possible occurance, and has staffed His ship accordingly'. Now if you'll excuse me, I have duties to attend to. Commissar Dmitri here will escort you to the launch bay." With that the techpriest turned and headed deeper into the cavernous armoury. Commissar Dmitri, as if on cue, entered into the armoury, an air of expedience about him, though his face held the generic expression of stoic confidence all Commissars were trained to wear. "Sirs, if you'll follow me, the mission is about to begin. We need to get you into your drop pod as soon as possible. It seems our window of operation has become alarmingly shorter than originally thought. This way, if you please." And, without waiting for any response or acknowledgement from the Astartes, Dmitri turned and proceeded to lead the way to Drop Pod Launch Bay Theta.
If being chosen to serve as a member of the Deathwatch wasn't consider such a high respect he would take the limitations placed upon a Tech Marine of the Iron Hands as a dire insult. Evidently this Inquisitor either regarded his skill as a tech marine was lacking or he was simply overly cautious about the specifications and hardware aboard the vessel. He'd respect the boundaries of the Inquisitor only because he had taken an oath upon joining the Deathwatch to serve him. He thought to ask the Senior Tech Priest as to why these restrictions were in place aboard the Promise of Redemption but it was already moving away.

Before he could think to follow the priest the commissar entered and begun to lead them towards the drop pod. It'd be good to get off the ship and into the heart of battle, "Commissar, perhaps you could brief us on the mission. To not know what we are about to kill, where we are deploying and our overall objectives go against the rules laid out in the Codex Astartes." He looked over to Konrad, "Correct?"
Konrad looked to Baldur before answering, with a passage of the codex, "You strive for victory. That is obvious. What may be less obvious is the nature of victory. There are circumstances in which you can destroy the enemy utterly, without loss to your own forces, and yet the victory may be his. In all situations, you must first decide on the nature of victory, and then take steps to secure it. Avoid the instinct of fight first and think later." He strode beside Tacticus performing last minute rites on his bolter. After he was finished he pressed the dorsal side of the barrel to his forehead, with the weapon pointed upwards and reverently whispered, "We find ourselves together on the eve of battle once again old friend, as long as your fury holds as will mine."
"We fight the Emperor's enemies whoever they are." Seraphim reminded the squad cradling his new weapon in his arms as he fell in behind the commissar. "Besides from what I have gathered about our inquisitor I'm unsure if anyone but him knows what foe we face. I have never met a man outside of planetary governors as secretive as Imperial Inquisitors, and unlike governors they may keep their secrets." It wasn't a reprimand for questioning the Inquisitor's methods, Serphim agreed that they'd be better off knowing the nature of their mission. He was just hoping his comrades would be patient enough to let their patron reveal it in his own time.
"As the Blood Angel says, we fight the Emperor's enemies. Whoever they are, wherever they are, whatever their numbers-- none of it matters. What matters is that we cut them down in His name." Baldur's voice was smooth, crisp in it's deep rumbling. He was making a simple statement.

"Let the Inquisitor have his secrets. We are the Emperor's Chosen, His Angels of Death. We can cut down whatever we face. Would I like a squad of Scouts on the ground, feeding to us what we may face? Of course! But I have fought many battles without. As have all of you, I'm sure. Else-- you would not be here, correct?"

The accusation lingered in the air, however. Sometimes, being sent to the Deathwatch was a punishment, not an honour. Baldur was well aware of this, from his mingling with a number of Dark Angels in the past, and other Imperial citizens In the Know. It was his job to know all, after all.

Baldur made a makeshift holster of his belt of gear, and stuffed the melta pistol into fur that wrapped over his waist. It looked strange, and clunky against all of the other gear he wore at his waist. It didn't seem to bother him, however.

"Come, comrades. Let us prepare; now is the eve of battle." His axe was suddenly in his hand, and he tucked it close to his armoured chest. He bowed his head a bit, and seemed to lose himself in a silent prayer.
As they approached the Drop Pod Deployment Hangar, Dmitri spoke, "Very perseptive, Master Blood Angel. Though you would do best to keep your observations about m'Lord Misha to yourself. It is true though, that only a handful of techno-psykers and the Inquisitor Lord himself know the identity of your foes planetside. Not even I, his highest in command and only Novitiate know who, or what, you will encounter. And the list of those who know details of your mission proper is shorter still. Truth be told, he has been much more cautious since he lost his last Kill-Team. Their death's weighed more heavily on him than he would ever admit. And the message he received shortly before your arrival didn't help any. Ah, but here we are." As Dmitri spoke, two great doors opened into another monolithic chamber, filled with drop pods, all bearing the black and silver colors of the Deathwatch. Various crew members helped the marines into their harnesses. As the great panels of the pod closed and sealed, one by one, the commissar grabbed a microphone and spoke through the loud speakers, so that all could hear, though the marines were sure this was directed at Tacitus. "You are no longer a member of one the hundreds of chapters descended from the Great Legions of old. That life is but a memory, remembered not in your heart or head, but the paint on your right shoulder and in your war against the xenos. Your left arm symbolizes your purity of faith, and ability to follow orders without question or doubt. The black of your armor alludes to the nature of your new home, the Chapter known only as Deathwatch. This Chapter does not exist. YOU do not exist. The Codex Astartes does not exist. For you there is no glory, no honor, no fame, no future. For you, there is only the Emperor, Lord Misha, and the never ending war against the Threat Without. And so we wish you all the speed of foot and might of arm. Udacha porashchanie!*" As the final panel sealed itself, Dmitri switch the channel to only the inside of the pod, in particular, only Baldur's chamber. "Though I said there are only three things in the Deathwatch, you and I know that out here, only two exist, don't we?"

And with that, there was a great jolt as the pod shot from the ship and was on it's way to the planet's surface. Moments later the speakers popped back into life, this time it was the Lord Inquisitor's voice. "Greetings, my loyal Kill-Team. I'm sure you've been anxious to hear what your mission is and who you will be killing in the name of the Emperor today. I apologize for my secrecy, but trust me when I say I have my reasons for it, and that they are in your best interest. Well now, to the mission. You will be landing shortly on the planet Tantulus, in the area designated Pyroclast-Gamma-9, a promethium mining and refining facility. Once there, you are to locate and secure the Techpriest Magos Vyakai. He is the last surviving member of an Adeptus Mechanicus Biologis team that was planetside studying the local life on the planet has managed to gather much information on Hive Fleet Dagon. Also, in his last transmission, he may have mentioned an STC. The message was horribly garbled, but if this is true, his safe return is of the utmost importance. Now, as you may have gathered from my mention of the Hive Fleet, you will be facing Tyranids this day. The area you will be going to has not yet been overrun, but you can still expect light to medium xenos presence. All civillians have either been transported off planet already, or are dead though a few security personal and servitors may still remain. You have five hours to locate the Magos and reach a place suitable for Thunderhawk extraction before the main tyranid force arrives. Good luck." And with that, mere seconds passed before the drop pod slammed into the planet's surface and the panels blew. The first thing you notice is that you have landed next to a security bunker, sealed tightly and still intact. A short ways away to the east you spy a Comms Uplink, situated on high ground. Further surveying reveals that you have unfortunately landed in the far southeastern corner of the facility. To the northwest, you can see smoke rising. To the direct north, you can see a small compound as well as a Mag-train line heading east into the distance towards Pyroclast's extraction stations. You have 5 hours remaining.

((*:This is russian for "Good luck and farewell"))
Before entering the drop pod Seraphim had donned his helm. Painted back as a symbol of his service to the deathwatch is eyes glowed green as its systems activated. The optics lit up just in time for him to see the crew running down the drop pod ramps as they began to rise. Not in wireless communication with the rest of the team he uttered a prayer as the machine encasing them shuddered its clamps releasing and throwing them into the maw of the swarm.

The ramps clanged to the earth and Seraphim pulled himself free of his harness his Phobos pattern bolter coming up before him as the boots of his armor stepped onto the ramp. He panned his view over the skyline. His experiences against tyrnanids alongside the ultramarines had taught him to keep his eyes open for movement, there were types that could come out of nowhere. "The high ground could make for a good extraction point." he commented turning to check on his squadmates. "They would have heard us land and don't always behave like the mindless beasts they appear. We should get moving."
As the Inquisitor spoke Tacitus ran through the final procedures of preparing his war gear. He took the clip out checked it for the umpteenth time and slid it back in the bolter again. A click signified the safety being turned off which was followed by two more as he switched the firearm from single fire to full auto. There was no chaplain present or appointed sergeant speak a litany right before the battle begun. Tacitus took it upon himself to speak one in the few seconds as the drop pod fell. The Catechism of Xenos seemed fitting, "To be unclean, that is the mark of the Xenos. To be impure, that is the mark of the Xenos. To be abhorred, that is the mark of the Xenos. To be reviled, that is the mark of the Xenos. To be hunted, that is the mark of the Xenos. To be purged, that is the fate of the Xenos. To be destroyed, for that is the fate of all Xenos."

As the drop pod opened Tacitus scanned the direct area, bolter raised, "That Comms station could be an easy to way to locate the Tech Priest and any other forces on the planet. We should also check and see what or who is in that bunker. Who knows - with any luck we could've dropped right next to the hole he's hiding."
Konrad strode from the drop pod, bolt pistol raised in his right hand, while his bionic arm gripped his new sword. He scanned the area quickly, bionic eye taking thermal and ultraviolet readings for Tyranid activity, while his organic eye was bound to the normal visual light range. "I detect nothing in the immediate vicinity, so either the beasts are not about, or more likely they've gotten good at concealing themselves." He eyed the bunker Tacticus mentioned, and his bionic eye saw what was beyond even normal space marine sight "I pray we are that lucky," It was the emperor's will to be merciful to his chosen, and also his will to test their mettle. Problem he found, is that it's impossible to predict which he will choose at any particular crossing.

He observed claw marks, acid burns, and all manner of Tyranid attempt to enter, all had failed. "It would appear that the bunker has remained sealed. Given the typical pattern of Tyranid invasion, combined with the information the inquisitor has given us, there is a fair chance anyone inside may still be alive."