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    A matter of perspective

    ### Epilogue ###

    Captain Fuentes sat at his desk in his private sanctuary, brooding.

    Adhering to the orders of a Lord Inquisitor was not something a humble captain was in a position to question. Not even to reflect about. That he did not like those orders one bit might sooner or later result in unpleasant interviews with representatives of the navy - or worse: the inquisition he would be content to avoid.

    Now, his fleet tender Mercury-54-R had been turned in a troop transporter. No, that was not entirely right... it had been turned in the homebase of a bunch of barbarian auxiliaries. And to make things worse, expectations on how that transport mission would develop had not been met in the anticipated scope.

    As planned, those barbarians had been deployed to support loyal imperial forces in putting down half hearted rebellions on Mercury-54-Rs course to Elysia. Larger conflicts were not that common in Segmentum Solar after all - and who would expect to find a planet inhabited by heretics that close to terra?
    The expectation that was not fulfilled was the death toll of the auxiliaries. At this point, if that scum had not been completely extinct, the occupied space should at least have been significantly reduced. Instead, they had lost mere three platoons. Mission assessments saw even an increase in cooperation and coordination between the two... tribes. Discipline within each tribe surprisingly had not been a problem - Fuentes had expected more trouble on his ship. One should be thankful for little things as well.

    The whole mission would be something hardly to be believed in admirality - but at least he had Lord Helions orders. But as soon as Fuentes would reach a more civilised system, he would definitely be questioned very closely. Disappearing from the empires screens for such a long time was nothing that extraordinary given circumstances in the Warp - and each time a ship emerged after a long time again, it was subject to very carefull examination by the inquisition.
    In this case, however, Mercury-54-R did not disappear in the Warp. All they did was entering the forbidden region XX-K196586-C upon direct order of that Helion and picking up 9.000 (give or take a few dozen) barbarians and their heretical equipment. And when Fuentes had the first contact with imperial officials after leaving that region, it became apparent that his stay in that bloody system lasted for a little more than the three weeks the ship chronometers indicated. In fact, all system commanders and ship captains he met since then insisted on a date meaning that he entered XX-K196586-C 32 years ago. Now at least he knew why XX-K196586-C was classified regio prohibitus. Helions order to exterminate the heretic planet upon leaving the system after taking all military personnell on board made some sense to Fuentes - it may have been possible to control and develop the society on ... what was its name? Utgard. But with that difference in the passage of time, it could not contribute anything to the empire. Well... besides the donation of all soldiers that had been taken along.

    That Magos Pente that accompanied Helion was also quite reluctant to allow the techno heresy they brought with them on an imperial vessel - but he had to admit that the taint was minor enough. So minor that the vehicles could even be upgraded to a certain degree with imperial weapons. And it was meant to be ony temporary until the problem solved itself on a battlefield on the way.

    A few weeks ago, most of the barbarians had learned enough gothic to comprehend complexer orders. So again one obstacle less to make his life miserable.

    Fuentes looked up as the com gave of a chirping sound. "Fuentes. Report.". Nothing, only silence. Apparently that call came from the bridge. Fuentes terminated and called the bridge himself... no response.
    Outside on the corridor he heard boots clattering and shouts and incomprehensibly muffled by the door. Something hard knocking repeatedly on his door.
    Wonderfull. Was that a breakdown of communication system - and even something worse affecting vital systems?
    Fuentes stood up, walked to the door and opened. At least the door signal should have worked, so what was the point in knocking? So either the harm to his ship was larger and affected not only coms - or the soldier outside was entitled to extensive tongue-lashing.
    The door opened and Fuentes looked straight in two muzzles. Those muzzles belonged to primitive projectile weapons as preferred by the humans holding them - two of the barbarians in camouflaged exo-armour and faces hidden behind hazard masks with redish glowing eyes. And then all turned red as two projectiles spread Fuentes brain in his sanctuary.

    ---

    As the headline indicates, this is the epilogue - excuse my english, i am no native speaker.
    I started with the end because other readers had difficultes believing that the story is indeed a 40k story. And the main part is VERY non-40k.
    So... what do you think so far, would you like to read the rest?

    And feel invited to speculate.
    Last edited by Ravengrove; 07-11-2018 at 10:53.

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