Ultramarine scouts defend their homeworlds of the Ultramar system against an impossible threat
The Ultramarine creche-brothers watched the battle in subdued awe from the observation deck. Thrice-blessed missiles hurtled toward their target, vanishing into an unholy miasma surrounding the enemy fleet.
It was as if they were swallowed by a great beast, upon whose teeth the missiles burst harmlessly against. A monstrosity, the Imperium’s largest ships were as ornaments surrounding a festival tree.
Tiny, insignificant, almost without meaning.
It was heretical to think such things, Fenris admonished himself in the view of something greater than he could imagine. I’m not suited for this life of an Ultramarine, still too many of my own thoughts.
As if reading his mind, Sergeant Sahrih interrupted him, “Which is why your creche was chosen for this, Scout Fenris. “Your target is a new hiveship unlike anything we have ever seen; capable of blinking into and out of Segmentum space, carrying an entire fleet with it. We will need you to improvise, thinking heretically if necessary.”
A threat unlike any we have seen before. We hear these words too often now.
Fenris’ creche-brothers readied themselves, each in their own memories of War. There was no thought of failure. No consideration of loss. Success is the only option, death in service to the Emperor the only reward.
Ultramar and her nine worlds were the core of the Ultramarines, their recruitment and forge-worlds, the might of their chapter, the center of this, the most loyal of chapters; their very heart was under attack.
Failure was not an option.
ABOUT THE WORK: A piece of flash fiction for a freelance writing position whose specific limit was 250 words, yet had to relay enough information that readers of the product line could recognize familiarity with the existing works. In this case, the requirement was to have a leader give a rousing speech to new recruits before their first mission. — Unfortunately, this one fell short of the intended mark, becoming more of an advanced Ultramarine Scout briefing instead. I liked it so I kept it.
Thaddeus Howze is a popular and recently awarded Top Writer, 2016 recipient on the Q&A site Quora.com. He is also a moderator and contributor to theScience Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange with over fourteen hundred articles in a four year period.
His speculative fiction has appeared online at Medium, Scifiideas.com, and theAu Courant Press Journal. He has appeared in twelve different anthologies in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. A list of his published work appears on his website, Hub City Blues.