Sergeant Arcturus shut off the proximity sensors. Since they’d entered this narrow canyon, alarms had been screaming non-stop. A quick glance at the status display confirmed that the land speeders slaved to his own craft had followed suit. No sense filling their ears with extraneous noise; they knew how close they were flying to certain doom. One twitch in the wrong direction and all three vehicles would smash apart on the canyon wall.
Arcturus and his Ravenwing land speeder squadron had been dispatched to the western flank, an attempt to come in behind the traitors currently holding his brethren in the Dark Angels Third Company at the mouth of a mountain pass. On the other end was an Imperial settlement which had succumbed to the vile temptations of the Eye, its citizens drafted into an unholy force of Chaos bent on spreading their filth to the entire planet. The Dark Angels were sent to put a stop to it.
He jinked his speeder to the left, narrowly avoiding an outcrop of boulders, and the two slaved followers duplicated the move exactly moments later. By travelling this way in single file, they were able to move much faster and more safely. With the touch of an artist, Arcturus adjusted the slave circuit to fine-tune its response; one of the speeders was a few microseconds out of sync.
Timing was critical. If they were late, the main battle force would be throwing themselves at an enemy well-entrenched and prepared for the attack. Early arrival would leave Arcturus Squadron without the critical support they’d need to inflict any serious harm to the enemy, their lives given for nothing. For success and glory to the Emperor, they must arrive precisely on schedule. Their mission was a lightning attack to distract the enemy and eliminate vital heavy support units entrenched behind the front line.
As Arcturus guided his roaring column down the winding corridor, he glanced quickly at his gunner, Brother Eagle-Eye. Although sensors detected nothing within range, the veteran was constantly scanning the canyon ahead and the walls on either side for potential targets. Vigilance is readiness.
I dug throught he archives to find this one. August 29, 2002, is the date on the original text file. It’s been floating around, popping up every now and then as my interest in Warhammer 40K ebbs and flows (it’s flowing right now!). I have some more stories like this floating around, so if you’d like to see more drop me a line or hit me up on Twitter to give me your thoughts. Follow me on Instagram for more like this, and occasional previews of upcoming work. Want to see more in general? Becoming a patron is one way to help make that happen.
Maps & Tales is supported by patrons just like you.
I have been and will continue to release content here—free for personal use—on a regular basis for as long as I possibly can. When you become a patron through Patreon, you'll be helping me sustain this effort. You'll be helping me upgrade my tools and devote more of my personal time to creating high-quality content for your enjoyment. As thanks, I've got a few extra goodies for you, including exclusive content for patrons and custom maps—just for you!.