Tangled Webs

Agent Mkellin's Backstory

For Tanith! First and Last and Only!

Mkellin snapped awake, hand going instantly to his warknife, but he was alone in the tent. No legions of Chaos, no soldiers of Lost Tanith... no Colonel-Commisar Gaunt, with his accusing stare.

Mkellin shuddered. Tanith had burned again last night - burned in his dreams with cold fire, her dark forests gone in a flash. And, again, he had been unable to save her, unable even to fight -- feth, he hadn't even been on the ground when the Enemy came. And so he had been forced once again to watch from the safety of the retreating ships as his world was engulfed in unholy fire - his world, his home, his family, his life.

The Scout sighed reflectively, memory taking him beyond where the dreams had left off. The lone regiment salvaged from the wreck - three and a half thousand men, the Tanith First-and-Only - had gone to war against the Enemies of Mankind, led by the man who had left their home to die -- Gaunt. Mkellin hadn't been one of the rabid Gaunt-haters -- hadn't beem one of Rawne's lot, thank Feth -- but he hadn't trusted the man. Never could have.

And that was why, when he'd come across the black-clad squad hiding in the swamps of Monthax, he hadn't reported them, but had listened to what they had to say - and when they left, using their near-magical technology to 'portal' back to their HQ, he had gone with them, met their Bracket Fungus, joined their Department of Internal Security.

And that was why, every night for years, his dreams had been filled with the flames of a dying world, with visions of the Ghosts of Tanith marching into oblivion... and with Gaunt's face, his narrowed eyes silently accusing. Traitor, they seemed to say. Oathbreaker. Deserter.

Mkellin shook his head sharply, dismissing the thoughts. No point in dwelling on the past - he had made his choice long ago. He had a duty to survive - to preserve a tiny fragment of Lost Tanith as long as he could, for his old regiment were surely all dead and gone by now, crushed into the mud of some useless world, dead for the God-Emperor of Mankind. No, he was better off with the Black Cats - they needed his experience, and he needed their support.

So were his thoughts. But still those solemn eyes filled his mind, and still the battle cry echoed in his ears, a call to war, to death and to glory:

Men of Tanith! Do you want to live forever?

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