Hey guys, just a wee bit of something I've been playing with. Still a work in progress.
The fleet moved onwards at a steady cruising speed, as swarms of fighters raced about in designated patrol patterns. Over, under or around the hulking vessels, darting this way and that, looking for any sign of trouble. The occasional shuttle passed between vessels carrying personnel or stores amongst the fleet. Repair tugs moved about their business on a number of craft, surveying or repairing recent battle damage.
Tankers, munitions vessels, a troop transport, and even mining ships, refinery vessels, and agricultural-ships. Destroyers, Cruisers and a Fleet Carrier all made up the components of this unusual entourage.
The point and rear sections of the fleet were protected by a Dominator-class Cruiser, each one constantly alert for enemy craft.
And there, surging majestically in the centre of this fleet - alongside an Astartes Strike Cruiser - was the Spear of Tawa. A mighty Battle Barge of the Adeptus Astartes. Aboard this vessel, Space Marine and human troops trained in close combat and on firing ranges, or prayed within the crafts numerous chapels. Countless crew serviced the massive ship and its ancient systems. On the bridge of the Spear of Tawa, Brother-Captain Wayna of the Fourth Company surveyed his crew and stood sentinel over his returning fleet.
He ignored the constant background chatter from numerous servitors and human console operators. The duty-shift sat at the Tactical station, the teams that made up Flight Command, Damage Control, Engineer Command, Communications, Navigation, Surveillance as well as the ships human Captain and his small staff. And then there was the murmur of the consoles and memory stacks that formed the heart of the bridge, not to mention the gentle hiss and pops of the wall mounted speakers, and the deep rhythmic chop of the circulation fans.
The hulking Astartes Captain blanked it all out, focusing intently on his conversation with his right hand Warrior, Lieutenant Ouray. In the language of the tribes of Prism, Ouray meant “Arrow” and the Lieutenant was a physical embodiment of his name in battle. Ever at the fore, he could easily best any of the Fourth with a blade but it’s Captain in the sparring cages. And even at that, Ouray was fast approaching Wayna’s skill level.
Not that it was of any concern as First-Sergeant Cuauhtémoc - the Company Champion - never failed to upstage the flamboyant Lieutenant on the rare occasions he began to show over-confidence and arrogance.
“As you command, Brother-Captain.” said Ouray, before closing the link.
Brother-Captain. A Chapter honorific, it held a double-meaning whenever voiced by his Lieutenant.
A sign of respect to an honoured veteran Warrior, but also a reminder of their own non-Astartes familial connection. Wayna paced to his command throne, swept his fur cloak from behind his legs, and sat.
He stared around the bridge at the various screens, casting his gaze over scrolling data, schematics, and visual feeds from external and internal arrays.
All was bustling activity. Repair crews, deckhands, technicians, priests, Warriors, soldiers, armourers, pilots, servitors and kitchen staff. Yet deep in the belly of this thriving metal hub of constant noise and activity, one solitary room was as quiet as the very vacuum of space.
Brother Citlali stood facing the last of the caskets. Watching, waiting.
As still and silent as an ancient stone monolith, his steady breath fogging in the slightly chilled air the only true sign of life. Hands clasped and hidden within his long sleeves he worried at a bronze token, and waited.
Dozens of medical aides moved slowly and silently about their tasks, none daring to disturb their statuesque master or even cross his field of vision. He wore monastic robes of pure white, bound at the waist with silver cording. The robes were decorated sparsely with a small red symbol of the Hall of Healing - trimmed in the green of Fourth - upon the left breast, and nothing more.
His face was stern and uncompromising, his blunt nose seeming to have been broken more times than there were stars in the sky. A thin scar ran from his hairline to his left eyebrow where it ceased, before continuing its journey from his cheekbone down to his jaw line, narrowly missing the corner of his mouth. Where the scar passed by, the white of his eye was marked by a pale pink scar barely visible to the naked eye which joined the two halves of his facial mark.
His lips and eyebrows were thin, and his hard blue eye stared almost reproachfully at the defiantly silent casket. His hair was long, mottled brown and tinged with strikingly visible streaks of white. He wore long earrings made up of small totems and charms whilst his thickly braided hair was adorned with brightly coloured feathers. His left cheek bore an age-faded tattoo of a winged lightning bolt, it’s tip distorted slightly by his scar.
A miniscule red light winked on upon the wall behind the casket, followed by a hushed squawk of machine-speak from the rooms main computers as they conversed with the caskets own machine-spirit. There was a hiss as cold-steam spewed from a vent at the head of the casket and a small amber light began to rotate, throwing patches of colour across his robes in a rhythmic strobe.
After seventeen hours of motionless vigilance, he arched an eyebrow slowly.