The stone walls of the corridor led Relai down to an arched opening. Burning braziers lit the hall beyond. The flickering light spawned a multitude of shadows that shifted as flames swayed to the warrior's passing. Although free from décor, ancient plinths of red stone stood about, the objects they were built to hold long since taken by the Ordo Xenos for study.
The silence was broken by Relai's footsteps alone as he walked towards three secure doors, checking each in turn. Satisfied all was as it should be, Relai crossed to the other side of the hall and moved into a smaller chamber beyond. He went through the same routine in there before continuing on his way through tunnels and chambers.
At the end of a long passage, Relai slid a metal control panel from the wall, checking several readings on its auspex. Satisfied all was well, he checked behind him, as he always did, before hitting a sixteen-bit hexadecimal code on the pad.
Amber lights flashed above, followed by a hiss and clunk, to which the vault's door swung outwards.
Relai stepped back enough for the door to miss him, but hesitated where he would normally have stepped in. His robes had blown towards the opening as the heavy metal door opened. That was normal, for the pressure within was set low. What had caused Relai's hesitation, however, was the amount by which his robes had shifted. He had lived this very moment every day for years. Had grown accustomed to the subtle differences the pressure within caused on his robes as the door opened.
'Today is different,' Relai said, though his voice wasn't audible from outside of his helmet; he didn't want it to be.
His robes had pulled towards the dark vault more than they ever had before. Not by much, but to the auto-senses of Relai's helmet, and to the memories engrained into his mind of this simple task, he knew the movement had been more than it should have been.
The door to this complex is open.
The azure glow of Relai's power-glaive thrummed to life.
Moving swiftly, Relai crossed into the vault, before activating the artificial lighting inside the metal room. Rushing to another control panel, Relai typed several rapid commands, which showed up on slowly brightening green-screens. He sent a transmission to Watch Station Svaneti without hesitation.
Relai was activating and de-activating several systems at once with one hand as he counted down in his mind, knowing the time it would take for a space marine to find and reach the vault.
Have fun with those. Relai activated several guardian configured servitors throughout the complex, fully arming them at the click of a button and ordering them to seek and destroy intruders.
Immediate bolter-fire drifted down through the passageway. It was extremely quiet, almost inaudible even to Relai, but his auto-senses picked up the bass of it. They're in the first chamber. He had no time to wonder why this was happening, of who the kill-team really were. All he could do was what he had been training and waiting to do since he took his oath.
The faint sound of someone shouting, followed by heavy bolter fire.
They're closing in. Slowly, but surely. Would I expect anything else from a kill-team?
Shaking away the anger that rose at the thought, Relai unlocked his boltgun and shouldered his power-glaive so he could check his trusted bolter. Nodding in approval of his additional work on the weapon, Relai activated the M.40 targeter and glanced down it. Nodding once more, he punched one more button on the vault's panel and strode from the room.
YOU ARE READING
Deathwatch Keeper Relai of the Ordo Xenos, alien hunters of the Imperium of Mankind, has stood vigil in a remote bunker for more years than many Astartes have served. Nothing has ever happened during his long watch, until now. The unexpected arrival...