Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Dolgath Legacy Part 15: despite the doom

The Adeptus Astartes fleet dropped out of the warp right on top of them.  Every alarm on his battle cruiser seemed to go off at once.  Dolgath sat down heavily in his chair and pressed his palms over his ears.  A flurry of functionaries swarmed his audience chamber, all babbling incoherently.  He turned away and gazed through his expansive viewport at the arriving fleet.  The looming bulk of the newly arrived strike cruiser – like some massive shark with its fins spread wide and its jaws gaping – dominated the vista, surrounded by multiple escort craft like remoras swarming, he watch as a shuttle instantly launched from the strike cruiser’s black maw and headed for the docking bay of his ship.  He turned back to the gibbering mass gathering in front of his desk. 

“Cancel the alarms!  Receive our guest promptly and courteously, and show them here at their convenience,” Dolgath said with and effort at calmness.   

The functionaries receded, taking their cacophony with them, leaving only a tall, solitary, silent figure shrouded in shadow.  Dolgath seemingly ignored the figure as he rose, walked to the viewport and stood gazing at the newly arrived fleet.  

“I have a feeling our lives just got a bit more complicated…” Dolgath spoke, as if to himself. 

“You did not expect the Tau to give up so easily?”  The shadowy figure spoke.

“They are annoyingly optimistic, aren’t they?” Dolgath chuckled. 

He turned as Nelthas glided forward and simultaneously reduced her height; the sight was strangely disconcerting as if she was racing toward him from a great distance.  She was attired in black underlain in creamy lace; her psychomorphic mask was rosy ping with lips as darkly crimson as newly shed blood.  He felt a great surge of happiness at the sight of her despite the doom the fleet’s arrival brought with it. 

“They expected this planet to fall easily.  When it did not and the rest of their advance thrust past it, they realized they had a glaring weakness in their flank.  They are turning now to address it,” Nelthas analyzed. 

“Makes perfect sense,” Dolgath nodded.  “I just didn’t expect reinforcements so soon.” 

“Treyquil...” Nelthas offered. 

Dolgath rubbed his temples.  “Could be, although I heard a remnant Imperial Dragon force struck the Tau as a target of opportunity with some success several months ago.  Perhaps the Astartes have taken a personal interest in the prosecution of this campaign?”    

Nelthas glided up to the viewport to stand close to him.  “They have arrived in force to be sure…”

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