A note from Necrontyr525

Battle Damage Assessment time, ‘South-west’ sector of the Capitalis Congestus. Hostiles: Unknown. Terrain: Unknown. Hazards: Unknown. Just another day in the Deathwatch.


Warning: Plot Armor is a lie perpetuated by the foul daemons of the Warp. You have been warned.


Would you kindly correct my spelling errors?

The objective of your next mission, perhaps your next several missions, is Battle Damage Assessment. BDA missions involve examining a battlefield to determine the effect and extent of the damage caused by a bombardment or airstrike. You have a rough area sketched in red on the map, derived from rough range estimates taken by your autosenses when you looked out across the damaged area. But there is simply no suitable substitute for an examination on foot and by eye (and autosenses) conducted by a Space Marine, so a BDA mission it is.

You know from painful personal experience how resilient a Tyranid infestation can be, having snapped your power sword in half, and lost two of the scouts in your squad, clearing a nest of genestealers in a sector that the local Planetary Defense Forces had declared ‘clear.’ You had not the time to replace that blade before reporting to the Deathwatch. The relic power sword seems to taunt you from its place next to the other relics awaiting transport to Watch Command. You won’t receive any orders concerning its disposition for some weeks yet.

You pick the blade up and examine it. It is a hand-and-half sword for a Space Marine, anyone else would call it a longsword, perhaps even a small greatsword. The pommel is a simple sphere of brass. The handle is wrapped in worn leather and silver wire. The guard is fine steel shaped as a pair of spread eagle’s wings flaring out from a jawless skull: the insignia of the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines. The forehead of the skull in inscribed with the same firebird insignia that decorates the pauldron of the Power Armor that it was found with. The blade itself looks to be a monomolecular edged alloy, possibly adamantium. You aren’t sure about that however,as there are distinct way bands of a lighter alloy all along the blade. There is no apparent trigger nor space for the disruption field emitter common to all of the power swords that you are familiar with.

Yet when you run your gauntleted thumb along the blade to test its sharpness, it carves away a sliver of your gauntlet. You stare at the gounge for a long moment, then examine the edge of the blade: it is undamaged and presumably undulled. You combat knife, made of monomolecular edged steel, cold duplicate the damage to your gauntlet, but you would have dulled its blade in the doing. You sling the scabbard at you hip, opposite your bolt pistol, and sheathe the blade.

You shake your head to clear away your musings. You have a DBA mission to plan out, and the ‘south-west’ sector is as good as any to start in. You trace your finger along the map, planning out your path. ‘South’ to the Visitor, then ‘south-east’ into the unknown ships at B7, C8, and D9, and finally ‘east’ to E9.

You tap the E9 grid reference and ponder. You could double back, sweeping through E10, D10, C9, and B8 on your way back to the void-hab. Or you could complete the circuit around the damaged section, clearing F8, G7, H6, and G5. Either path covers the same amount of unknown ground, but you have this strange itch between your shoulder blades that whatever the ‘blighted heart’ of the Capitalis Congestus is, it lurks in the ‘south-east’ section of the Hulk.


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