Rackham started. Visions of his team on Alpha.220 flitted through his mind. They were mingled with images of strange, lithe beings. Incorporeal. Screaming. Then it all began to fade as reality encroached. The bedsheets were damp against his skin but the sense of foreboding endured. He had slept long, but apparently not well. He was still drained from the exertions of the last few days. His eyes had been open since he jumped awake, but it was only not that he was taking in the scene. His chambers on The Genuine were well proportioned, consisting of this bedroom, a tactical room, a water closet and an anteroom with storage for much of his day-to-day equipment.
He eased from the bed and drew on a light robe, his body aching. Waring subjects was not only taxing on the mind, but it wore the body down. It was as if he’d experienced everything the cultist had over the last few days. The last thing he remembered from those experiences was Ul’Vey’s blade slicing through the air towards him. He’d learned the hard way to exit the host before the killing blow. It had to be timed just right, otherwise his body would feel some physical impact of that violence. If he exited too early he risked an unexpected reaction from the subject.
Through the anteroom lay tactical and it was here that he felt most in control. All of the reports his assets sent were available here along with holo displays of far off planets. Information was the primary currency of an Inquisitor. That and the deliberate application of violence. Alpha.220 hadn’t left his thoughts since waking and he thumbed the rune on a dataslate to bring the latest reports from his people there. An astropathic message from yesterday was the most recent information from the planet.
++Priority Transmission: Coding/Delta/Rouge++
++Recipient: Inquisitor Calicus Rackham ++
++Subject: Sun Ascendant++
++Author: Albinus Davenos – Kill Team Davenos++
++Thought for the Day: Ruthlessness is the kindness of the wise.++
Burning Sun in motion. Enacting their plan. Purpose now apparent. Sporadic engagements.
Not the most eloquent of prose, considering Davenos was a son of Sanguinius, but the message was clear. The Cult of the Burning Sun had been preaching about making a beacon for the Celestials, their word for the Tyranids. Most recent intelligence from the agents he had tracking their activities was that a fevered energy had overtaken the senior leadership of the cult, most specifically a Magos named Dur’fla’ta had been much more openly active. Alpha.220 had been seized by a stray T’au sept, displace by the Great Rift, for about twenty year. Only recently had the Imperium expelled the xenos. Rackham believed the Cult of the Burning Sun were going to attempt to use some unknowable T’au technology to bring about the collapse of Alpha.220’s sun, causing a red giant, a beacon for the Celestials. What they didn’t know was that the Celestials, a tendril of Hive Fleet Leviathan, were already moving towards Alpha.220. Their star killing stunt may actually have the opposite effect to what they desired, the opposite effect to what he desired…
Being an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos presented him with seemingly impossible choices. He knew that every action he took was just an attempt to delay the relentless advance of the Tyranids, an attempt to feed them systems and planets with less strategic value. Everything Rackham did was an attempt to steer the Tyranids towards targets of lesser importance. Alpha.220 and the sector it inhabited was of lesser importance.
The Cult of the Burning Sun must be stopped in their foolhardy quest, lest they accidentally destroy the very thing that is keeping the attention of Hive Fleet Leviathan: Biomass. The Cult of the Burning Sun and their psychic resonance was all the beacon that was need to keep the tendril on target. Thus keeping other sectors safe, if only for a short time.
A nagging thought, a residue from his dreams, peaked from the murky parts of Rackham’s mind. The scream that awoke him was xenos, but it wasn’t T’au. It was something much more psychically aware.
Game 1: Rampage (Elites, P.138)
This game represented the Cult of the Burning Sun becoming much more focussed on a course of action. The Deathwatch attempted to prevent whatever they were trying to achieve, but they were overrun and the xenos moved towards their target.
Game 2: Revive the Shrine (Kill Team Annual 2019, P.28)
Following the last encounter The Cult of the Burning Sun established a small drilling rig in the midst of an Imperial ruined city on Alpha.220. Rackham’s agents observed this activity and directed Kill Team Davenos to the site. The Kill Team held off the cultists and prevented them from activating the equipment. In the brief respite the team placed explosives on it and destroyed it.
Next up the fighting will go underground as the cultists seek an alternative path to their prize.
Until next time,