The control room was deserted except for Techmarine Maeson continuing to monitor the active battle vox nets and the fortresses still functioning monitors. Automated gun emplacements roared outside while the populace of Hellican II departed the Tyranid infestation. Minutes were left thousands of survivors remained to board transports to the awaiting fleet. Once the evacuation was complete the exterminatus would begin and consume the planet of all life, Imperial or otherwise, that was left behind.
Interrogator-Chaplain Azariah walked into the bunker calmly beguiling the raging battle outside against the great devourer. “Brother Maeson, any word yet from Colonel Kellen?” The remaining commander of Hellican II’s forces was fighting a delaying action to return to the evacuation site. Two squads of Dark Angel Veterans were with him as well as his secret cargo; The “Fallen” Captain Weston Timoteous lost for ten millenniums.
“Sergeant Zachariah has been lost with his transport. Landraider “Caliban’s Son”, Sergeant Drozd, and Librarian Castiel are in route. Colonel Kellen reports heavy losses too numerous to list. I am surprised he has been this resilient,” reported Maeson mechanically. “The ‘Deliverance’ is awaiting our thunderhawk with eagerness.”
“Get me Kellen on the vox,” replied Azariah. His suit, along with the other marines, had lost the ability to connect with the local vox network due to some kind of interference casued by the infestation. Short range functions were erratic the further the distance between links. The closer the living tide of aliens approached the more equipment failed to operate due to ‘interference’. It was maddening at times.
“Colonel Kellen, over…” squawked the overhead speaker with a static quality building in the transmission. Colonel Marcus Kellen, Commander of the Hellican II’s last and only regiment that had been renamed ‘Kell’s Bells” in honor of its commander. Originally it had been named ‘Hell’s Bells’ for the death the regiment dealt during the 13th Black Crusade on Cadia. After Colonel Kellen had taken charge, the term ‘death comes to us all’ had taken on a new meaning. He hated Tyranids with a passion.
“Colonel, status report,” said Chaplain Azariah into a station mounted microphone.
“We are six minutes out, ‘Caliban’s Son’ is safe and out in front…”
“If my calculations are correct on the magnetic-electric build, we only have six minutes before the systems on the thunderhawk will fail to function,” reported Maeson still connected to the network of controls. Six months earlier the Dark Angels had learned through a harsh lesson that the mysterious interference disabled even the most shielded of devices. Twenty Company Veterans in a thunderhawk and an entire regiment of Colonel Kellen’s men in Valkyries had been lost and never made it to their intended drop zone. Major Kellen had been promoted after the original command staff, including the regiment commander and Kellen’s wife, died in the debacle.
“I need more time colonel,” said Azariah. Even with more time the chances of them getting off the planet were slim. “I need seven minutes.”
A silence over the speaker in the room was his reply and then it spoke in Colonel Kellen’s voice. “You shall have it... I have but one final request… don’t let my son be taken. He’s hiding in my bunker waiting for me to return.”
Chaplain Azariah and Techmarine Maeson left the bunker as soon as the landraider pulled through the gates of the landing pad with its cargo. Transmissions from Colonel Kellen had ceased shortly after his final words. He had given them nine minutes in total, allowing more than a thousand people to evacuate and for the Dark Angels to accomplish their mission.
A small boy named Thomas Kellen clung to the chaplain like a rag doll as the Dark Angels boarded the thunderhawk leaving Hellicus II to live up to it's name.