Pluto Orbital station, Terra system
The Terra system was the busiest place in the entire Imperium of Man. There were other systems that came close, but not equaled it for sheer numbers of ships and people passing through. The Pluto Terminal was not one of the busiest of the ones in the system, but it was fairly well packed with masses of humanity. Which made the sudden lack of people in one section of the terminal cause for consternation. Consternation that died abruptly when the ones investigating realized what was happening. Or more accurately, who.
A full squad of Adeptas Sororitas of the Order of the Sacred Rose blocked the entire middle of one of the hallways. Ten Sisters of Battle. No one dared go anywhere near them. The few of their faces that were visible were not friendly in the slightest. But all of that paled beside the fury that resided in the face of the woman in front of them. That woman was not known to many of the passersby, but a quick check of Imperial records for those with access had them all hurrying away. Cannoness Karina was not a happy woman at the best of times. The few people who had business in the area kept their mouths shut and moved quickly to do their tasks and leave. The rest of the traffic skirted the hallway until a hatch at the end of the hallway opened and everything stopped.
Two Space Marines stalked in. A scout in red armor and a Terminator in matching colors. They escorted a stasis casket that floated on a hover field. The few greatly daring onlookers stared in awe as they saw the fleur-de-lis of the Sisters emblazoned on the casket. Neither of the Space Marines had weapons in hand, but both had them on their persons as they approached the sisters.
"You dare come here, Blood Ravens?" The Canoness' words were calm, but the fury that dwelt within was palpable.
"This sister of your order died in our care." The scout said calmly, ignoring the ten weapons aimed at him. "We did not kill her and she did not waver in any way. She took the Emperor's light with her where she went."
"What do you know of the Emperor's light, Astartes?" The Canoness demanded.
"We know she saw it, at the end." The Terminator said flatly. The Canoness stared at him and her face slowly paled. He nodded. "We agree on few things, Canoness. That is how it has been and that is how it will be. But what she did should be remembered. She was taken by foul xenos on the planet Kaurava and hurt sorely. Blinded. She was not allowed martyrdom and she held firm to her faith through the darkness. Taken by other xenos for other reasons, she found humans who needed guidance to find the Emperor's light. She aided them to find that light until she came to us at her end. All the while, she said was that she was taking the Emperor's light into dark places. We do not believe as you do. But she did."
He looked at the scout, nodded to the Canoness and turned to go. She stared after him, confused. The scout shook his head.
"We do not believe what you believe. We will not." The scout said quietly. "I owed your sister a debt. The debt is paid. She is home. She died free of the xenos and she died in what you believe is the Emperor's light. Deny it if you wish. I am merely abhuman, beneath your regard. But Sister Superior Agatha Soliari is home. My oath is fulfilled."
"What did you say?" The Canoness demanded. "What name?"
"Agatha Soliari. She called herself Agatha." The scout said softly. "Personally, I believe she felt that she was doing your order a disservice claiming any rank. She was a credit to your order. We have to return to our duty now that this one is done."
"I thank you for this service." The words were stilted as if the Canoness wasn't quite sure how to say them.
"It was an honor to meet her. She did your Order proud." The scout nodded to the sisters, turned on his heel and left, the terminator following.
The sisters tracked the Space Marines until they left the area, but the Canoness was staring at the casket. None of the onlookers dared move as tears started falling down her face.
"Canoness?" The sister superior of the squad asked. "Do you wish the casket destroyed?" A gesture and the Multimelta armed sister took aim.
"No." The Canoness said softly, stepped up to it. She touched the metal, her fingers oddly gentle. "We will... investigate this. We will need to know what happened to her, why and how. She was there. I know she was. They had no reason to lie, to say her name if it was someone else. They must have been telling the truth. But... I mourned her with all who were lost with Canoness Agnew. Let us take...our sister to her rest." The Canoness said after a moment.
The Sister Superior nodded slowly and with a gesture, her squad formed up on the casket .A guard of honor. Not many outside the Order knew that Canoness Karina's last name was Soliari.
Her twin sister's name had been Agatha.
A year later
FAR across the galaxy from Terra
Sister Genni was afraid. Scratch that, she was terrified but she focused past it. To hide her fear, she was singing. The xenos attack on the Rogue Trader ship that she had procured transportation on had been overwhelming. She as young, barely out of her novitiate. When the call had come for her to travel, she had not questioned her orders. The canoness had been clear that the chances of her coming back were slim, but the possibility to take the Emperor's light into a place it wasn't was a sister's dream. She held her boltgun steady though even as the crew of the Rogue Trader shifted in fear around her. She was not going to fail her Order today. The Order of the Lost Rosetta might be small, but they were very devout.
"New contact!" A call came from the bridge even as the foul greenskins pounded on the hatch. "Tau cruiser! Moving to engage the greenskins!"
"They won't help us." Genni was set now, her focus was sure. She took aim at the hatch that was warping under the pressure of the Greenskin assault. "Not against other xenos."
"They might." The Captain moved to stand beside her. A storm bolter hung in his hands. She had no idea how the human had procured such a normally restricted weapon and right now? She wasn't going to ask. "We are within Farsight's domain. He does not like the Orks."
"Who does?" Genni asked incredulously even as the hatch slammed apart and a huge Greenskin shouldered his way in. She fired without thought, her bolts tracking true, the first one bounding off his crude armor, but the second finding a soft spot before burrowing in and exploding. The Ork gave a cry and fell, but dozens, maybe hundred of the foul things were crowded behind it. "Oh, for a flamer!"
Then it was all fire and fury. Genni fired as she had been trained, seeking weak spots in the Ork's crude armor. The roar of the Captain's Storm Bolter cut down at least a dozen Greenskins on the first salvo, but then the brutes rushed close and it was hand to hand. She used bolts, the Sarissa built into her boltgun and her armor gauntlets when everything else proved clumsy. She saw the Captain go down in a horde of Gretchin as Orks piled on. She was pushed to one wall by the green tide and lost count of how many Orks she slew after twenty. They just kept coming. She took hit after hit, the Greenskins piling on her as the other defenders fell one by one. They couldn't get through her blessed armor, not completely, but each hit took its toll of her protection. She was no veteran, but she was Adeptas Sororitas. She would not surrender. And certainly not to Orks.
"OY!" A shout had Genni flinching even as the mob of Greenskins withdrew. An Ork even bigger than the first one strode in, idly backhanding a smaller Ork who didn't get out of its way fast enough. "Dat one mine! Uz tough, humie. Ur pretty little 'ead'll look gud on me trophy rack." She could see the helmets of many races attached to said rack.
"Come and take it." Genni tried to put defiance into her tone, but she was exhausted. Her boltgun had maybe six rounds left and her spare magazines were spent.
"Youz got gutz, humie." The Ork laughed with glee as he waved a massive axe that had to weigh as much as she did in full armor if not more. He hefted it with one hand. If that hit her, she was dead. "De'll look gud all over the floor."
She did not advance. Instead, she waited, her boltgun ready. As she expected, the Ork gave a loud cry and charged. She dodged to the side, only to realize too late that the cunning Greenskin had faked his charge. She had a moment to see his axe before it hit her. There was no pain, she was just flying. Then she hit and no matter her devotion or determination, she could not hold back a scream. When her head cleared, she stared up as the Greenskin approached, shaking its head.
"Eh, you ain't so tough after all. Just another squishy humie." The Greenskin sounded disappointed as he raised his axe only to freeze as a new sound, one Genni did not know, came. Some kind of gunfire she had never heard before. "NO!"
The huge greenskin spun towards a new threat and Genni raised her boltgun in a trembling hand. Even as her vision greyed, she took aim at a tiny green spot on the back of the Ork's armored head and squeezed the trigger. The recoil sent her screaming into darkness.
A indeterminate time later
Pain dragged Genni back to reality.
"Easy. Easy." An accented voice speaking Gothic was the first thing that Genni herd. "Sister, easy. You are hurt. We are helping."
Genni forced her eyes open and froze. Her helmet had been removed. The human woman bending over her wore a helmet that looked Imperial, but the chest piece and shoulder armor were anything but Imperial. The woman retreated a little, her hands still full of medical gear. One arm was obviously artificial, but it looked far sleeker and more functional than any Imperium tech could have produced.
"Sister?" The woman asked. "I am Gue'vesa Simons. When Orks were detected in the area, we knew the trader was due. The commanders got worried. We rushed here, hoping to save the ship but we were too late."
"The crew?" Genni asked, her head spinning.
"Only you. We were too late for anyone else. Blasted Orks." Simons said sadly. "We need to move you and you do not want to be conscious for that. This ship is going to break up soon, stupid Orks just rammed it as they always do. You are lucky the whole thing didn't fall apart."
"My... My weapon..." Genni scrabbled for her boltgun and the odd soldier frowned. Genni's fingers found her boltgun even as something went hiss nearby. She was falling before she could drive the Sarissa into her own neck. Her confused and hurt expression had the soldier smiling sadly as Genni lost consciousness.
"Too close." Simons shook her head as the medical team finished up and loaded heir newest patient onto a gurney for travel back to their ship. The medical bay was already prepared for the battle sister. They had hoped to meet the Rogue Trader, introduce themselves to Genni and then ease her slowly into the role that was not the one that her canoness had proposed. Because of the Orks, they would have to do it the hard way, but gently. "Dammit. I wish the Gue'vesa'ui had made it onto the Manta in time. She always makes it look so easy. No one tries to suicide when she does it."
"You did well." The Shas'La in charge of the breaching team that had accompanied her said with a nod as the team of Fire Warriors and human auxiliaries formed up to return to their Manta. "The Gue'la is alive."
"Wasn't supposed to show the Gue'vesa armor if I encountered Space Marines or Sisters." Simons griped. "Boss is going to have my head. Didn't think the woman would wake with such a dent in her helmet." She picked up the Sister's helmet and shook her head at the indention in it. A hairsbreadth deeper and Genni wouldn't have had a brain left in her skull. "We will need to scan her for brain injuries before anything else."
"Already ordered." The Shas'La said with a grunt. Simons shrugged as she and her team followed. As they passed the warboss, the Tau field commander shook his head. "Nice shot."
Indeed, apparently the Ork had turned its back on the Sister of Battle for just a moment too long. A small hole shone in the back of its skull and what brains such a beast possessed were scattered everywhere from the bolt that had penetrated a tiny weak spot on its cranium. The vulnerable area was less than a handbreadth wide. With the Warboss down, the Tau and Gue'Vesa team had faced little organized resistance.
There was nothing else to do on the doomed vessel, so as the other teams retreated in order to the hangar bay where they had landed, Simons' team escorted the gurney into the cavernous Missile Destroyer that severed as their mobile base of operation. There Simons had a surprise.
"Mira!" Simons inhaled as the hover gurney moved to its designated slot and a team of Tau medical drones hovered ready for their newest patient. "When did you arrive?"
"On the second Manta." The Gue'vesa'ui wore no helmet here. She smiled at Simons, but it faded as the soldier would not meet her eyes. "Stop blaming yourself for what happened to me." The dark haired human said sharply as she strode to where Simons' team were racking their weapons beside the Fire Warriors they had been assigned to. "Nothing that happened was your fault." Simons would not meet her eyes and Mira sighed. "Do you need another talk with the Por'El?"
"No!" Simons said quickly. She didn't like the Tau. Not at all. She worked with them, because she had little choice. She did not resist as her second in command took hold of one arm and Mira took hold of another. "I..."
"It is not your fault, Simons. None of it is." Mira looked into her subordinate's eyes and frowned. "Crap! Mi'ria! Simons has had another episode." A blue skinned form stepped from the swarm of drones towards them and Simons started to struggle. Her face was Tau, but was also somewhat like Mira's. Stood to reason, she had started from the same DNA. Finding out that now there were two of Mira had been a hell of a shock for a lot of people. Agatha hadn't explained what she had done and Mira had been a mess for some time after. The Tau hadn't expected it either, but they had adapted. "Simons! The Emperor protects. Calm."
The human slumped in the hands that held her even as the Tau stepped close, her face sad.
"No!" Simons begged as Mi'ria produced something that whirred. "No! Don't make me forget! I don't want to forget!" She couldn't move as the Tau placed the device in front of her eyes. She squeezed her eyes shut tight, but the energy from the device wouldn't be stopped by puny flesh.
"It is not your fault, Simons." Mi'ria's voice was so like Mira's but gentler. After a great deal of discussion, she had been inducted into the Water Caste and Por'El Salierra was her mentor. She also worked as a liaison of sorts between the Water Caste, the Earth Caste and humans like Mira. She heaved a very human sigh. "We should not have let you go into combat. The stress was too much. Calm, Simons. It is not your fault. We will make it better. You will have a place."
"No!" Simons screamed, struggling in the hands that held her now. Fruitlessly. "No! Don't! I want to remember who I am! I want... to..." Her voice trailed off and her face lost all expression. Tears were falling unremarked.
Mira and Mi'ria led Simons now unresisting form to a seat as the Manta's engines rumbled, signaling their departure from the doomed human ship. There, they strapped the dazed human in and Mi'ria sat beside her, working her device. She produced a soft cloth to wipe Simon's face with as she worked. Mira turned to the Fire Warriors and moved to sit with them.
"Anything new to report?" Mira asked.
"No." The Shas'La replied evenly. "She did very well. She will be missed." Mira looked at where Simons was sitting and shook her head. "I don't like it either, Gue'vesa'ui."
"No one does, Shas'La." Mira hated parts of her job. Not the least of which was when her Gue'vesa failed the Greater Good through no fault of their own. "Of all the humans who came with me, she was the only one who was still capable of combat. We should have known that she was still stressed. She hid it so well." The Shas'La just looked at her and Mira bowed her head. "I know. I will prepare a full report."
"Mother." Mi'ria's voice held worry mixed with affection. "I am sorry. I thought she was ready." Mira patted the seat beside her and the Tau that looked sort of like her sat.
"So did I." Mira admitted. "She will serve in another way. We all find our place. I had just hoped... We need more Gue'vesa'ui. I thought she could handle it, but it was too much."
"Even if she cannot fight, she has a place in the Greater Good. They will be kind to her, Mother." Mi'ria said softly as she laid her head on Mira's armored shoulder. Mira smiled and held her daughter as the Manta's engines rumbled, taking them home.
"I know." Mira felt tears start to fall as Mi'ria held her. "But it won't be her. She was the only one who made it through and now... I have lost her too. It is hard, daughter."
"I know." Mi'ria said sadly as she too fought tears.
No one, not a single human or Tau, had expected what had happened. No one possessed any explanation as to why Mira had emerged from her stasis pod in a hospital on the Enclave world of Vior'losas a human, but six weeks pregnant with a non-human child! It had to be a result of the Ethereals' experimental drug and/or Agatha's touch, but no one could figure out why it had happened. The Fio'El was banned from Mira's presence for life for his crime against her and Mira was only too happy to stay far away from him. The former human soldier's mind had been whole, but the child had been born with almost all of Mira's knowledge if not the experience to use said knowledge. The shock of that had nearly unhinged Mira, but in the end, she had accepted the love of her daughter.
"We will need to be careful, Mi'ria." Mira said after a moment. "Sisters of Battle are dangerous. But if we can duplicate what was done with Agatha, we might earn a powerful ally."
"I have already notified the Por'El. She is preparing things as we speak." The Tau that was her daughter released Mira and scrutinized her. "You haven't been sleeping enough."
"One of you mothering me is bad enough, Mi'ria." Mira complained. "I swear, the Por'El is going to be feeding me out of a bottle next!"
"Only if you make her." Mi'ria said with a smirk. Mira glared at her and the Tau around them chuckled.
Mira had to smile at her daughter. The future was opening up and they would meet it together.
For the Emperor and the Greater Good.
A Deep Space Rendezvous
"I regret the decision." Marneus Calgar was a very busy man, but he had made time for this meeting. "But in the end, we have little choice. The answer must be 'No'."
"Our reputation has tarnished us." The Blood Raven who stood in front of him said with a shake of his head. Gabriel Angelos wasn't happy, but he rarely was these days. "I had hoped, but I do understand."
"We can continue the joint training if you wish." Calgar offered. "We are sending several companies to a planet called Arkhona. Orks and Eldar are present there along with larger numbers of traitors. We do not know why as of yet, but whatever it is, cannot be good."
"Perhaps a squad or two." The Blood Raven offered. "But we too have been ordered to show strength on an outlying world. Eldar and Orks have been sighted on Acheron for no reason that any Imperial can say and both leaders are known to us. An Eldar Farseer named Macha and the Ork Gorgutz." Calgar nodded, but his gaze was far away. "Chapter Master Calgar?"
"Ultramarine records go back a long way." Calgar said slowly. "There are records stored on Maccrage that predate the Emperor's ascension to his throne." The Blood Raven nodded and Calgar continued. "While contemplating your proposal, I perused those records. I found this." He held out a scroll to the Blood Raven who took it gingerly. ""That was the only copy and I have no idea how it got in there. It wasn't supposed to exist." The Blood Raven stared at the scroll and then at the Ultramarine who shrugged. "Yes, I looked. And no, no one else will ever hear such from me. I thought I knew what secrets were. You..." The Chapter Master of the Ultramarines sounded awed now. "Ten thousand years. Loyal to the Emperor, not your Primarch. I thought I knew what honor was, Blood Raven. Your Chapter's devotion has humbled me. And no one can know."
"It can never be spoken of on pain of death. Just as we are barred from ever returning to Terra." The Blood Raven said softly. "But thank you. We cannot ever acknowledge the Primarch from whom our geneseeds came. We will be loyal to the Emperor as he should have been."
"All these millennia, hiding the truth. The fact that a black shield of all people, formed a loyal group from his renegade legion to fight his Primarch... A group that became a chapter." Calgar said with a shake of his head. "A hard task, but you are up to it. Knowledge is power."
"We guard it well." The Chapter Master of the Blood Ravens said firmly.
And done. I try to keep my fanfictions 60k words or 20 posts. It keeps things from getting too stagnant or crazy.
I always wondered WHY Kyras disliked ANY contact with the Black Legion so much in Dawn of War II Chaos Rising and Retribution. It makes sense if the Lunar Wolves Legion (also known as the Sons of Horus) is where the Blood Ravens originally CAME from. The Legion that changed into the Black Legion after Horus fell. And no, they wouldn't want ANYONE to know that their Primarch was Horus. That their chapter had been created by a renegade from that legion to FIGHT him. Wouldn't end well for ANYONE. Hence why Eliphas was so amused by the Blood Ravens in Dark Crusade and Chaos Rising.
Some thought the Thousand Sons were a better match, due to the abundance of psykers in the Blood Raven ranks and it is possible, but the Sons of Horus had a lot of them too. I just think the Black Legion would be more than a bit annoyed if one of THEIRS wound up founding the Blood Ravens.
This was just my own imagining, but I think it fits. Neatly answers a LOT of questions about them, doesn't it?
I hope you all enjoyed this.
For the Greater Good of the Enclaves,