‘This,’ said Janus ‘is your target.’ An image of a palace came up on the holo. ‘As you can see’ she continued ‘there are four defensive tiers with towers all along it. The gate in the first wall is on the west side, on the second it is the ease side and so on to the top.’
She was giving Damas’s squad and the Grey Knights under Justicar Marius. The Grey Knights kept a comfortable distance form the pariah marines.
‘But none of that should really be a problem for you should it?’ said Janus. It was more of statement than a question.
‘What do you think?’ sneered Damas. Marius shot him a look of shock and anger. One does not become a killer of daemons if one cannot respect his superiors.
‘Damas if you insist on speaking to me without respect I can see to it that you and your squad are sent back to Mars for another century of waiting to be tested in combat.’ Said Janus. At that Marius let a hint of a smile touch his face.
Janus shot Damas one last withering look before returning to the holo.
‘Five drop pods.’ She said. ‘You will all be in them and shot down to the palace while the navy distracts the daemon fleet.’
‘Excuse me inquisitor,’ said Marius, ‘but won’t the drop pods be shot down or destroyed in mid-drop? Those aren’t anti-infantry or tank guns on those towers, those are anti-aircraft. How can we kill the daemon if we blow up before setting foot on the ground?’
‘Decoys.’ Replied the inquisitor. ‘There will be fifteen decoys, some with fixed weapons and others with bombs within them. It has cost me a great deal to obtain this from the mechanicus. So you better get the job done. Now back to the deployment, where was I… oh yes, Damas and his men will hit the center. Marius, you and your squads will take the four corners. The Grey Knights will hold off and distract the palace guards while Damas and his take on the daemon. Any questions?’
‘What if they fail?’ asked the Justicar of one of the Grey Knight squads.
‘Then they die and those of you that are still alive will move in and finish what they failed to do.’ Said Janus. ‘Now go train, and for the sake of the mission, try to start functioning as a team.’ She said. Suddenly she took a step back as though her diner wanted revenge. ‘I don’t want to see any of you until the operation begins.’ She walked out of the room as fast as she could, holding on to the walls for support.
Finished: Too Much Love Will Kill You (working title), an original fiction novel. Working on: Second draft of Too Much Love, and the first draft of A Winter's Tale (working title).