-—LIMITED ACCESS GRANTED——-
Thought for the day: By the manner of their death shall we know them.
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Record of Zanthus Pyrecrow, servant of the Emperor’s most Holy Inquisition.
I have walked with gods and lived to bear record of it. The Adeptus Astartes are truly gods of war sent to bear the message of death to the enemies of mankind. When we received word from Inquisitor Constantine that we would be retrieved by the Deathwatch, I could barely formulate coherent thoughts. To see the Astartes, much less be deemed worthy of the resources required for their deployment is a great honor.
But now, we waited. I could hear things in the walls, in my head. The laughter. It kept coming back. Taunting me. Trying to convince me of horrifying half-truths. Whispering heresies just beyond the empyrean veil. It seemed like an eternity of reading from the Tome of St. Calypian. The hallowed words of the illuminated text seemed the only things keeping the horrible whispers at bay. But nothing could drown out the laughter.
When the Astartes breached the main door of the Sepulcher, they made for the central chapel, and we could hear the sounds of battle through the walls. Evidently, the Emperor saw fit to bless them with extremely heavy firepower from the sound of automatic weaponry. When the battle ended, my mind reeled with the aftershock of the death of a great daemon. The psychic aftershock resonated in my thoughts, likely because of my indoctrination taking effect to prevent worse damage. Not long after that, we received an order from Chaplain Morgan to take cover. Evidently, it was more efficient for them to blast through the walls. Needless to say, we were fortunate the central cogitator console was sturdy and large enough to hide behind.
As the dust settled, we saw the hulking forms of the five Space Marines sent to recover us. We were in awe. The two bearing markings of the Blood Angels removed their helmets and drank something from a golden mask. Shortly afterwards, the one in deathwatch black turned pale white and lunged for us. It took the combined effort of the rest of the Marines to stop him, but he calmed down quickly. It was more terrifying than a charging daemon, and I would know. On their request, we informed them of all relevant details, but shortly afterward, the image of the Heretical Inquisitor appeared and informed us that a virus had infected my techpriestess. Within seconds, however, she was able to isolate and destroy the virus, but the damage had been done. Nihilis had relayed our coordinates through Severine and lance batteries from orbit were even then being trained on our position. The Chaplain suggested that Severine interface with the central system again and attempt to locate the Inquisitor. In order to preserve our assets, I was forced to offer an opposing suggestion. If we were to allow her to connect with the cogitators again, it could compromise her and permanently damage her memory circuitry. From dealing with the entity known as
REDACTED we had experience in dealing with these kinds of corrupted systems. Nevertheless, it was difficult for me to present such advice to Astartes. We made for the transportation bay and entered a Chimera transport tank. The Ultramarine terminator took up a firing position through the top hatch. I am grateful to the Emperor that the Chimera is not equipped with rear-facing windows. We rode for a few minutes, the terminator firing away. We were close to the extraction point, the reliquary where we awoke the first two Marines.
And then everything went black. All I remember was the terminator bracing himself and the chimera turning over. When I came to, we were on our side and the Marines were telling us to run as they provided covering fire. We dashed inside to the inner chamber where I began to invoke the Rite of Banishment as a ward for the inner door as a last defense. The Astartes took down the great marble pillars to create a field of obstacles in the outer room. and just moments after they had established their firing line, the outer doors burst open and the unending tide of red-fleshed daemons charged. I did the only thing I could at this time, I began to recite the hymns of St. Calypian in the hopes that it would keep the wills of us mortals from breaking. I couldn’t even hear myself speak over the sound of the Marine’s weapons and the shrieks of the daemons being cut down.
Suddenly, it stopped. Then I heard a voice that made my skin crawl. It appeared to be a leader of some sort. A red daemon brandishing a large sword towards the Marines. It dropped off of its infernal steed, the skull cloak it wore, rattling through the outer chamber. The Chaplain stepped forward, switching his rosarius on with a hum and a barely perceptible shimmer around his armored body. As the distance closed with each step he took, the tension in the air grew palpable. When they dueled, they traded blows with the sound of thunder and their martial prowess was like nothing I had ever seen. They moved with calculated power and precision. When I saw the left arm of the chaplain fly through the air, I thought the battle to be lost. But he kept fighting, the strength of the Emperor behind every blow of the Crozius Arcanum. It was then that we found ourselves standing on the teleportation pad aboard the Terminus Est.
We were debriefed independently of our saviors. We gave our report to the assemblage of Inquisitors: Lord Inquisitor Constantine, Inquisitor Grey, Inquisitor Hand, and thankfully, Inquisitor Callista. After that meeting, I was taken aside by Inquisitor Hand and given dire news.
With that in mind, I will be watching very closely. Perhaps the time has come to be more exacting in my ecclesiarchical duties. After all, I am the Ashen Confessor.