A Lesson in Iron (Short Story)
|Series||Horus Heresy Series|
A Lesson in Iron is a short story for the Horus Heresy Series by David Guymer focusing on Ferrus Manus and the Iron Hands.
At the height of the Great Crusade, the Fist of Iron, the mighty flagship of the Iron Hands Space Marine Legion, pursues an ork cruiser into the pull of a dangerous warp rift. A rare phenomenon, little is known about the rift, but Ferrus Manus, who commands the powerful warship, is about to learn more than he wishes as something emerges from the rift. Something impossible. An Iron Hands warship that seems to be from the future...
Escorted by the Venom Class Destroyer Strontium Wave, the Fist of Iron engaged a trio of Ork Kill Kroozers near a Warp anomaly about a dozen lightyears from the Krooked Klaw Empire. A fourth ship unexpectedly appeared on sensors, though Sergeant Gabriel Santar determined it to be an Iron Hands Strike Cruiser. In response, Primarch Ferrus Manus led a boarding party composed of himself, Sergeants Santar and Harik Morn, Mechanicum representative Xanthus, and some Scouts.
Scouts Arkal Metrician, Sharik Borrgan, Ruugal, Jerek, Lagethar, Zaegerr, and Scout Sergeants Salem Hektur and Boros explored the bowels of the ship and encountered hostile ethereal xenoforms that cannot be harmed by normal weapons. They suffered heavy casualties in attempting to retaliate. Meanwhile as Ferrus and the others approached the bridge, Morn and Xanthus found no living crew but discovered evidence that the ship came from the future, namely the exaggerated occultism in the servitors and control interfaces and slight deviations in access protocols. Upon the command platform of the bridge they discovered an Iron Hands corpse, full of bionics that Ferrus deemed reminiscent of orkish crudeness. Ferrus resolved not to let this happen to his children while he lived, but then his party came under attack from the ethereal xenos.
As with the scouts, the Sergeants' weapons failed to harm the entities, but Ferrus obliterated one with Forgebreaker. Santar drew his gladius and began stabbing at the xenos, which surprisingly injured them, causing Ferrus to think it might be the Warp conditions and maybe Santar's fury actually damaging the creatures and not his blade.
Ferrus then issued a fighting withdrawal order from the derelict. Morn was hesitant to leave a Legion ship in the hands of xenos while Xanthus thought of the technological advancements that might be discovered, but Ferrus wanted no part of the future this ship represented. For some time he had been looking for a First Captain, with Morn and Santar being frontliners, and Santar's impressive performance made Ferrus settle on who gets to be promoted.