Looking at the last crypt in the mausoleum, Interrogator-Chaplain Tenebras silently noted it was unmarked unlike the others. Looking back down the row of crypts in comparison, he noticed a small data pad he had not seen before with the equipment of the late Chaplain Azariah.
“Who is he?” whispered Techmarine Vicars to himself, still examining the exterior of the unmarked crypt with his auspex-like device. He moved slowly around the stone box as not to miss a single centimeter. Tenebras moved out of the techmarine’s way and back down the row towards the first with the data plate he had spied.
“He is the man in black, one of many who betrayed us long ago and sided with Luther,” answered the boy from behind the marines. His voice was striking in the silence and echoed down the hallway they had entered from. Standing in the doorway, with the glow from the hallway, it silhouetted him masking his features. He appeared like some specter of the past come back to haunt them all.
Hearing the response, the marines turned and looked at the boy who stood in the door. Their most terrible of secrets, the secret that had brought them all this way, was being quoted by one not of their order.
“Who told you this?” inquired Tenebras, lifting the data slate from Azariah’s equipment and tapping in a security code to activate it.
“All of them, on their death bed I bore witness to their sins along with Chaplain Azariah. He taught me everything he knew after they were gone,” answered the boy. “It was an honor to be there in the end.”
“The sins of those who were unforgiven,” thought Tenebras to himself. How well he and his men knew this returning to ponder the information stored on the data slate as the others listened to the boy recite sacred knowledge of the Dark Angels.
Drawing his pistol, Veteran Sergeant Stross had heard enough and emerged from the group ready to kill the boy where he stood. It was quite clear to him that no one outside of the Dark Angels should know of their past. “I do this with no malice in my heart, only to protect my brothers and our chapter. Do you understand this?”
The boy stood his ground, unafraid of the sergeant. If he was going to die it would be standing on his own two feet without fear. Chaplain Azariah thought that this might happen and prepared him for this moment. He looked fearlessly into the sergeants eyes, unwavering at the towering Dark Angel.
“Stay your hand,” ordered the chaplain, looking up to catch Stross’s gaze. Staring intently into his eyes, silent understanding came over the sergeant as he listened to Tenebras recite from the slate out loud so all could hear him. “I have told him everything, against our traditions, not to condemn him if found, but to honor him, since it is unlikely anyone of us will be rescued alive and we cannot make him as one of our own. He has been the finest of initiates anyone of us could have dared hope to find for the chapter. I prayed that the Emperor heard what is in my heart and this boy, like The Lion before us, will be found.”
Stross looked away from his Chaplain, unsure of himself in light of the last request of a lost brother. “Tell us your name?” said the sergeant finally, re-holstering his sidearm. It was done and he hoped his choice wouldn’t condemn him. Sergeant Stross faced the boy once again. “I must call you something if you are to continue your training and become a full battle-brother.”
“I am called Kellen, Thomas Kellen.”