Magister Militum Frans Ruldolf of the Jager Corps gripped his data display tightly as he read the words scrolling across its surface.
“You have validated this information?” he calmly asked the officer standing behind him.
“Yes sir,” replied the officer. “It appears to be true. We have a debriefing scheduled with the survivors for 06:00. Grand Librarian Hoeth wants them studied further for signs of psychic corruption.”
The Magister Militum nodded his head to show he agreed with the Grand Librarian’s caution, but the non-verbal communication also allowed him the moment required to wipe the grimace from his face before he turned to face the officer. It would not do to show anyone anything other than placidity.
He had always known others might discover what the Jager Corps were doing on Adrilles. Grand Librarian Hoeth had counseled that the discovery might be delayed– even indefinitely– by the random noise that is the Warp and by the unique and not yet entirely explained conditions broiling in the atmosphere of Adrilles.
It would seem Grand Librarian Hoeth’s estimations were wrong.
Daemons had come to Adrilles.
Reports from the first day’s fighting suggested Khorne’s horde was in alliance with the Necrons and even fought alongside the Vlka Fenryka. Why Arjac Rockfist would enter into a plan that involved Khorne was something the Magister Militum could not fathom. The Necrons he could understand. Indeed, he had ordered his own Jager Corps to turn a blind eye to the second faction of Necrons that had joined this war. His data screens had told him those Necrons had been sorely beat during the day’s fighting and were now scattered across the surface of Adrilles. Frans Ruldolf did not mourn their loss.
“Arrange an interstellar channel to be opened,” said the Magister Militum. “I would like to speak with Commandant Halzer.” The officer nodded, saluted, and left the antechamber to make the arrangements.
Alone, Frans Ruldolf scratched his temple, an old habit, and allowed himself a slight smile.
It had worked.
He would have preferred more time, but he felt the arrival of Arjac Rockfist, the Daemons and the two factions of Necrons offered a truer test. The Tyranid hordes were as great a threat to the unholy Daemons and the undead Necrons as they were to the Imperium. When he had commissioned the search for an ultimate solution, he fully intended that one day it would be turned upon all enemies of Man, and now here on Adrilles almost all the Imperium’s enemies were present.
Turning his attention toward his so called Battle Brothers, the Magister Militum knew Arjac Rockfist was not a man for reason. It would do no good to attempt to discuss motivations or strategies with him. He was a captive to his Chapter’s ideology; it was his one true weakness. The Vlka Fenryka– the Wolves of Fenris– could never see what the future required. The Jagers have had disagreements with the barbarian tribe. It would be dealt with one way or another. He did not want to raise his hand against the noble allies of the Imperium, but Arjac Rockfist had forced his hand and there was too much at stake.
Something else Ruldolf had to consider was if the Space Wolves had transmitted the location of Adrilles to other Chapters. He was ready to fight the enemies of the Imperium and to put down Rockfist and his host if they would not see reason, but the Jager Corps was not ready to fight the great Companies of the Astartes should they see fit to join Arjac Rockfist.
Perhaps this is where there could be more use for the Rubicon Necrons. Distasteful, dealing with such types, but less distasteful then ordering the Jager Corps to wage all out war against the likes of the Ultramarines, Dark Angels or other Chapters within the Space Marines.
Ruldolf rose, his cloak gracefully falling into place as he strode toward the exit. The opening moves had been made. Development was complete. He had the initiative. It was true he had done things many deemed heresy, but history would tell a different story if he succeeded on Adrilles.