Kill Team: Change (Fiction)

Change. He’d spent most of his life not really understanding the meaning of that word. Life in the Imperium was defined by its constancy, tedium and drudgery. Change, he’d come to realise, was considered an enemy of the Imperium. Change led to questioning; change led to introspection; change led to revolution. The T’au had brought change. Ni’loc discarded his old name, the name of an Imperium slave, almost five solar rotations ago. That was how long it had taken to bring new light to the planet of Ur’veil, itself newly named. That was how long it took to discard the shackles of the Imperium. That was how long it took to change a world for the Greater Good.

***

Father meditated. Communing with the Grandsire was draining, but it always brought clarity of purpose. The invaders threatened to derail a plan that was over a hundred solar rotations in the making. The Grandsire exuded calm and control – a plan took shape in Father’s mind. The time for a full uprising was not yet upon them, but nor was it a time to remain completely hidden. The Brotherhood had kept their activity concealed during the war. The invaders had all but seized the planet and this would bring unwelcome change. The Brotherhood would regroup and wait for the invaders to become complacent. Father’s mission was clear – he was to creat a distraction, using the last military elements that were loyal to their cause. This unrest was targeted at destabilising the command of the invaders. The distraction would allow the Grandsire to escape to a more secure location and then their calculated indoctrination of the planet could continue.

***

Ne’wo Sha studied a hololith of the northern continent. Just like in the others the defense of the Imperium was failing here too. A local T’au breakthrough had cascaded into a full scale gue’la rout. His forces had been forged through years of battle across this heavily polluted planet. They were an unstoppable tide that flowed over the enemy positions. A shadow fell over the hololith and he looked up to see a pair of huge airborne tugs floating an impressive piece of equipment towards an area that had been cleared nearby. It was an atmospheric scrubber. One of hundreds that would give Ur’veil a clean atmosphere worthy of its new start. He returned to the display and to the cleaning up of the last remaining elements of resistance. Sudden explosions snapped his attention to one of the tugs. It was listing dangerously, black smoke billowing from its side. Trails from the missiles that had struck it could be traced back to the ground almost directly below it. The undamaged tug could not handle the heavy load by itself and scrubber began to lurch slowly towards the ground. This sector had been cleared months ago. Ne’wo touched his commlink and spoke calmly, his eyes remaining fixed on the slow motion drama. His orders would see this insignificant blip dealt with. Nothing could thwart the inevitable tide of change here . 

***

Father swept his autogun left and right, covering the approach to the gas vent as the ambush team returned. They scurried inside and he pulled some loose metal sheeting across the entrance to conceal their escape route. The attack had been a success. A small distraction to divert from a bigger distraction to come. The role he played in fulfilling this plan was all that mattered to him. It drove him. 

***

Ni’loc and his team were ordered to move out moments after the first explosion. They were a couple of clicks from the location. As they approached they had a clear view of the two tugs and their cargo hitting the ground, causing an explosion that shook the ground. He was following a signal from a Recon Drone. Movement had been detected just before the tug was hit and they were closing on that location. The team moved like a machine, each member alternating rapid advances and covering their teammates. The XV25s advanced in longer bounds, scanning with their burst cannons for any enemy movement. The drones silently covered the team’s flanks. The ruined city was eerily quiet following the massive explosion. Every hiss of vented gas, a common sound as the city sat above a subterranean geo-thermally powered manufactorum, caused Ni’loc’s trigger finger to tense slightly. As the closed on the Recon Drone he ordered the team to halt and he crept forward until he could see it. When it sensed his proximity it lit a rusted sheet of metal angled against what appeared to be an opening. Ni’loc flicked his commlink on, “Move to my position. We’re going hunting. T’au’va”.

***

Until next time,

Owen

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