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Shadows v Night

Part One

Akkran the Angel Killer. That`s what they`d called him, and he was damned proud of it. It had only taken one stupid guardsman to pen the name, then it had spread like wildfire.

Akkran smiled inside his helmet as he thought of it. Repeating it to himself one last time, he turned to his bodyguard behind him and nodded. They moved again, slipping from one alleyway to the next in the shadows, the moonless night sky ensuring that these Lords of the Night remained unseen. Footsteps could barely be heard, these astartes knew their craft and they knew it well, their target would have no warning.

Akkran signalled for them to stop. Another quick glance, yes, all six of his bodyguard had followed perfectly. He didn`t need to look across the city`s street to know that his champion Kinnoc was leading his own squad parallell. Indeed it would be a failure on Kinnoc`s part if they were to be spotted so easily...

The source of Akkran`s alertness soon came into view. Two squads of guard had rounded the corner. The renegade marine stifled a laugh. Tempting though it was, they would not attack. Their real quarry was further ahead, no, these mere sentries were more valuable alive for the moment.

"Be patient, brothers." He said softly. "These will spread word of our presence, fear of our deeds will do more damage than their pathetic deaths will."

His men did not respond. There was no need. Each of them knew their craft, each of them had practiced it thousands of times before. Akkran watched as the patrol filed past, shaking his head in disbelief at their laxity.

Such complacency will soon fade. He thought. The Night Lords will claim this world.

Moving once again now the danger of being discovered had passed, Akkran let his mind wander for a split second. For the briefest of moments, he had remembered what it felt like to be afraid of failure. Such fears no longer mattered, for Akkran had long ago equated failure with death, and he was certainly not afraid of dying.

At least, he didn`t think he was.

His mind came back to focus as his target was finally upon them. The large rockcrete walls surrounding the Imperial Governor`s palace stood before him and he scanned it up and down in an instant.

Neckannia was a relatively peaceful world, but even so the local government was not short on security. There was a sentry roughly every fifty metres along the top of the wall, few, but who knew what other measures remained concealed? Akkran gave a quick glance to his squad and nodded.

Each of them knew exactly what to do.
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