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Grandmaster Menelaius stood unmoving as the last thunderhawk gunship entered the cavernous landing bay heralded by the high pitched whine of retro-thrusters. The hangar bay was one of the numerous structures that had been cored out of the bedrock that was the remnant of Caliban. These were relatively small landing bays, where gunships and small intra-system shuttles could be despatched, serviced and retrieved. Relatively small was the key phrase, since even these small bays could house enough thunderhawk gunships to embark an entire company of space marines along with their heavy equipment, including their transport vehicles. He knew of the massive docking facilities which were many levels deeper, closer to the under surface of the massive asteroid which would dwarf these hangars. Those were where the chapter's space fleet were serviced. He followed the imposing form of the gunship as it flew nimbly through the massive blast doors and force fields, and made a three point landing without breaking stride. He saw the deep gouges and the many pock marks made by enemy fire on the wings and the fuselage. He marvelled at the precision landing, knowing fully that he could expect nothing less from the gunship that was piloted by the supreme grandmaster's personal pilot.

The front ramp descended with the characteristic hiss followed by a muffled thud as it made contact with the ground. Servitors and chapter serfs moved rapidly to their assigned service positions to immediately commence inspection and ready the aircraft for another mission. A single techmarine supervised the staff while two apothecaries, accompanied by a few initiates and servo-meds met those who descended from the interior of the gunship. The wounded and the dead were rapidly moved to the main apothecarium. Yet, Menelaius stood unmoving by the exit doors, his eyes fixed on the loading ramp. Finally, after all the wounded had been transferred two figures emerged slowly from the gunship. Accompanied by an unmistakable aura of determination and authority, of purity and honour, the supreme grandmaster of the Dark Angels chapter descended the ramp. He was preceded by the master of the fifth company, Sammael, and followed by the enigmatic being that seemed to glide effortlessly behind him. Half as tall as Azrael, the hooded being, one of the watchers in the dark, held within its arms the sacred relic of their primarch, the Lion Helm. Menelaius closed his eyes momentarily in respect and brought his right fist up to his heart in a combatants salute. He marvelled at these two commanders and their honourable demeanour, leading from the front, first to land and last to leave. His stout heart felt a tinge of sorrow at the numerous casualties they had sustained in Xersia, but his heart swelled with pride at the same time. They had stood their ground against the despoiler. Led by their supreme grandmaster, the fifth company had stood fast on the battlefields of Xersia and battled their way in to the honoured annals of history. Assaulted by horrors that would normally drive any human insane, they had stood fast in harms way! Mutant hordes, daemonic entities, traitor marines and the despoiler in person, all had come to desecrate the Basilica Defaux on Xersia, and yet not one single Dark Angel had faltered. They fought, they bled, they died and they beat back the son of the arch traitor, and now they were preparing to face the enemy once again. He was indeed proud to call these men his battle brothers. He would be proud to administer to their healing and the emperor's peace if needed. He greeted the supreme grandmaster and performed a rapid survey to ensure that no battle wounds that required his attention were present and then did the same to Master Sammael. He then took their leave and began to walk rapidly back to the main apothecarion where he would join grandmaster of the librarians, Ezekeil. He had much work to do!

As he walked along the long dark corridors towards the elevators that would take him to his appointed work place, he had time to rethink events of the past. His life as a space marine had begun nearly five hundred years ago. The compassion and caring that he had always had within him made him a natural choice as an apothecary. Although eschewing the suffering brought about by wars, Menelaius was stout hearted on the field of battle and all but unstoppable when his battle brothers were in need of his expertise. His courage and devotion had not only earned him the title of grandmaster helix primus, commander of the apothecarium but a century ago earned him the right to enter the honoured ranks of the Deathwing. That he had lost his younger brother Nestor on Piscina IV under circumstances that were not transparent had only made him more determined. He had long surmised that those events on Piscina IV were closely related somehow to the coming of the despoiler. Events had moved extremely fast in the past weeks. The arrival of the other unforgiven chapters had resulted in a build up of the Lion's descendants unprecedented since the tumultuous days of the heresy. His command had expanded their capabilities to cope with the expected influx of casualties. They had developed techniques for the rapid insertion of bionics in conjunction with the disciples of the machine god, in order to return the battle brothers to the frontline rapidly. Inter-chapter liaison between the apothecaries had resulted in further advances all of which increased the battle field efficacy of the chapter's fighting strength. Yet there was always the unknown, always the diseases and injuries that were different. Injuries to the physical being he could repair. Those to the spirit would be assuaged by the chapter's chaplains. However, determining the intricacies of conflict that took part within the minds of those capable of harnessing the raw power of the warp, the librarians of the chapter, was hazardous in the best of times. It was one of those times.

He reached the main chambers of the apothecarion. The place was a hive of activity. The scouts and assault troopers of the fifth company had paid a tremendous price on Xersia. Victory had been theirs and strong had been their faith, proud the hearts of the survivors. Yet the losses were felt deeply. They will mourn their losses along with their victory songs when the despoiler was finally banished back to his realm. He continued along the various chambers housing the wounded and passed to another entry portal. The security and surveillance mechanisms at the gateway to this chamber signified the extreme importance of whatever that lay behind. Retinal scans, DNA wipes and speech recognition were all part and parcel of the stringent identification methods required to open the thick adamantine blast doors. As he entered through the blast doors, the first emblem that was visible was the red winged sword with the broken sword, signifying the area to be the exclusive realm of the Deathwing. If the outer chambers had been a flurry of controlled activity the chambers within this restricted area were calm like the eye of a storm. Individual alcoves were built in along each wall, each one capable of tending to a space marine, in or out of armour. A few alcoves were occupied, the honoured members of the Deathwing would be tended to in the same secrecy they lived their lives. He continued on, not breaking pace, nodding his acknowledgements to his subordinates until he came upon the last entry portal. Passing through these doors, he entered a chamber with a stillness that clawed at his heart. There, in an isolated alcove, guarded behind stasis fields and psychic wards, strapped on to the recovery bed, lay the still form of Adonis, Codicier librarian of the Angels of Redemption chapter. Three men stood by him. One was the indomitable Ezekiel, grandmaster of librarians of the Dark Angels chapter. The man next to him he also recognised as the chief librarian of the Angels of Redemption. The third was a member of his own apothecarium. The battle fleets redemption and vengeance had transited through secret elder warp gates arriving in the region of the eye long before anyone expected them to. The events which had led to the dying farseer touching the mind of codicier Adonis had been known to them for sometime, but he had been in a coma since that event. They had worked ceaselessly to revive the librarian or at the least to unlock the terrible secrets that lay within, secrets of such enormous consequences, that a venerable elder farseer had elected to give his life to pass it on to the angels. It must have grave implications for the war raging in the eye, yet they were nowhere close to retrieving the information.

They had no choice but to endeavour. The combined intellectual talents and millennia long experiences of all four chapter apothecaries had been harnessed to resolve the brave codicier's injuries. Physically he was unharmed. It was assumed to be the psychic force of contact with an elder mind that had caused this effect. The revered librarian and keeper of the book of salvation, Ezekiel, was renowned for his ability to insinuate himself within the minds of even the staunchest allies of the ruinous powers. Yet he had had the slightest of successes in entering Adonis' mind. His persistence had enabled them to understand the events leading up to the mind touch, but beyond that was a cacophony of information that still eluded the ancient librarian. They will persevere in to the coming days, events within the region lending urgency to their efforts, and he, would stand guard lest, the patients or their guardians required tending. His would be a long vigil.
Doctrinae Unforgiven
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Gathering of Angels
Apocrypha Caliban
Codex Astartes Angelus Mortis
Legio Infitiales Venia
Battle Honours
Chronicled By ( Shadow Guard )
This section provides the narrative history of the events that took place during the Gathering of Angels campaign conducted by the Inner Circle, during Abaddon's Thirteenth Black Crusade. This is in no way the official GW version nor is it in anyway an attempt to infringe on their IP. There are many versions of imperial history buried within the sands of time and this is but just one of them. Read on if you dare!
GoA Volume I: Revelation
GoA Volume II: Nest of Vipers
GoA Volume IV: Battle for Caliban
GoA Volume III: The Grand Circle
GoA Appendices
GoA Volume V: Desperate Hours