Author's Notes: Hey everyone, something I thought of so we'll see how it goes. I do not own anything. Games Workshop owns Warhammer.
Crista Gavinski swallowed nervously and straightened her uniform for what seemed to be the hundredth time as the Arvus Lighter took her and eleven other midshipmen to the Lunar-class cruiser Divine Flame where, if the Emperor smiled on them, they would complete their training and gain their lieutenant commissions. Just the thought of it made her feel slightly nauseous and to distract herself she looked at her fellow midshipmen. They could be roughly divided into two groups, those who owed their commissions to planetary governors and those who came from the various Schola Progenium. Though naval discipline prevented any overt acts it was clear that there was some bad blood between the two groups, with whose commissions came from governors where mostly of noble birth and naval heritage and saw those of the Schola as ill-bred fanatics. Those from the Schola, on the other hand, saw themselves as the product of intense training and discipline and their counterparts pampered children playing at war who had simply been given what they had earned.
Crista belonged to the first group. Born on the hive world of Harren Primus she was distantly related to House Bringston, who possessed vast holdings in the world's multiple industries. In the time of her great-great grandfather there had been a falling out of some kind, Crista was not sure of the exact details and the two families had not spoken to one another afterwards. The Gavinskis' fortunes had declined rapidly after that so by the time Crista's parents had succumbed to a virulent strain of fever sweeping the mid-hive that they inhabited Crista's inheritance consisted of virtually nothing but debts. Despite the falling-out years before House Bringston had swooped in and paid off the debts. Though only sixteen Crista knew that this was not done out of a sense of filio affection. Though neither family was willing to admit it they were related and the conduct and status of each reflected on each other. Thus, to avoid the shame of having a destitute relative be arrested for debt, House Bringston saved Crista and obtained a commission obtained for her, thus ensuring that she would leave Harren likely never return while engaging in a profession which would bring both honor to her and to her family. That had been three years ago and now she was entering the final stage of her training.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a jolt as the Lighter settled down in the bay of the cruiser. The midshipmen scrambled to undo their harnesses and grab their ditty bags, none wanting to be seen as being slower than the others. Just then the hatch came down to reveal a man with lieutenant insignia on his uniform. He gave a single sweep, his eyes showing hostility and disgust. He then opened his mouth and began to shout in a loud voice.
"OUT! OUT! OUT!" They all rushed to obey, practically falling over themselves in their efforts to exit the Lighter.
"FORM UP! FORM UP!" Having done so many times before the midshipmen rapidly lined up in the appropriate line, each the proper distance between them. Though they did so quickly it clearly was not fast enough for the lieutenant, whose glower only increased. After glaring at them all for a moment he began to speak again, this time his voice at a normal level, raised only slightly to be heard over the sounds of all that was going on in the hanger.
"Listen up dirtfeet and listen good!
"I am Lieutenant Riginston and I have been burned with the task of trying to beat some knowledge of how His Majesty's Navy works outside of a classroom into your thick heads while at the same time keeping you out from underfoot of the actual officers. When I give you an order you what you are told without hesitation! AM I UNDERSTOOD!?"
"SIR! YES SIR!" They all shouted out as loudly as they could, just as they had been trained to do.
"Right, grab your bags and follow me!" With that he turned and walked away and appearing to pay them no further attention to the midshipmen as they hurried to keep up with him.
He led them through seemingly endless corridors elevators till it was clear that some of the midshipmen were hopelessly lost, a fact reflected in the carefully blank expressions on the faces of various crewmen that they passed. Fortunately, Crista, having grown up in a hive, was able to keep her bearings. At last they arrived at the midshipmen's' quarters. These were relatively small and cramped with four midshipmen crammed into each one. Once they arrived Lieutenant Riginston turned to regard them again.
"Store your gear and wait here to hear your assigned duties. Keep out of the crews' way and don't get into trouble." With that he turned and left with out another word or second glance.
The new midshipmen quickly adjusted to their new environment and their various duties. As they had learned many of the basics before even arriving they were now divided up to learn their individual jobs. For the most part they were kept well away from the bridge as much as possible and their main connection was Lieutenant Riginston. Crista quickly decided that Riginston was a man with no promotions in his future and resented having the duty of, as he clearly saw it, babysitting the midshipmen and preventing them from accidently blowing up the ship. Whenever possible he lumped them off on various petty officers and warrant officers, who for the most part seemed to consider them a nuisance whose sole purpose for existence was to get underfoot of those trying to do actual work. Because of this the midshipmen quickly bonded with one another and the distinctions between the two groups quickly broke down.
Crista had soon become friends with Hunter. That was not his actual name, but he came from a world with such complicated names than none could pronounce it and so everyone called him Hunter as it suited his personality and he took it in stride, as he seemed to do most things. He would never command a ship, but he was loyal and aggressive and Crista was sure that he would excel in the Naval Security Troopers, to which he had been assigned. Indeed, she was not sure why he had not been assigned to the storm troopers instead of the Navy.
While they were kept away from it as much as possible Crista's and some of the others' duties at time took them to the bridge and one of their duties was serving the officers at dinner. This enabled her to become familiar with some of the officers. The captain, Adeon Navappo, was a golly older man from a family that had been supplying officers for the Navy since the Age of Apostasy, was friendly enough, when he noticed the midshipmen at all. The first officer, Commander Sari Esannason, seemed to regard them midshipmen as a cross between a collection of servitors and a gaggle of half-wits. The one person who truly frightened Crista was Commissar Brith, a tall gaunt figure who resembled nothing so much as a skeleton who seemed to regard everyone around him from the captain to the ratings with suspicion.
While have the majority of the crew treat her thus was annoying, it did have its advantages. Many seemed to forget that she and the others were there and were inclined to talk around them. Most of the time there was nothing of much interest, mostly dealing with matters of routine connected to their patrol. Several months after they arrived; however, they sensed a change in the attitude of the offers, there was a sense of restrained excitement and little by little, through a combination of what she herself heard and combined with scuttlebutt shared with the other midshipmen, Crista was able to piece together what was going on.
There had been increasing reports of merchant shipping being hit by raiders, a fact which had caused the ship to alter its patrol rout in an effort to incept them. One ship in particular, a Hellbringer-class Light Cruiser the officers had taken to calling the Blood Phantom, had been noted in numerous reports. The ship had seemingly been attacking ships and even worlds at random, looting and killing with impunity always leaving a few survivors to tell of its deeds. However; there had been two significant changes.
The first being that the Phantom's pattern of behavior had changed. It had begun to restrict itself to a specific area and was not showing any signs of leaving. Crista learned of the second while they were in rout to the area while she was serving the officers at dinner and one of them raised concerns of a lunar-class cruiser taking on a hellbringer, especially with its compliment of attack-craft which they could not respond to. The Captain dismissed this with a laugh.
"Not to worry, my dear fellow, for I have a surprise, pleasant for us, though for the enemy not so much." He looked down the table, favoring them all with a conspiratorial grin.
"I have received word that we have been blessed with reinforcements. The Fury of the Lion, is on rout to aid us. Ladies and Gentlemen, we shall have a rare honor. To fight alongside the Emperor's sons, the Space Marines of the Dark Angles."
Author's Notes: Hello everyone, sorry if this was a bit slow, the first chapter is an introductory one and things will get more exciting next chapter. Unfortunately, I will not be able to update on a regular schedual as I have a lot of stories that I am working on, but update it I will. Till then please pray for Anne, a family friend who has cancer and all who need it. Bye and may Jesus bless you.