His Last Command (Novel)
|Preceded by||Traitor General|
|Followed by||The Armour of Contempt|
|Collected in||The Lost|
The Tanith First are no more. Moved into another regiment under a charismatic new commander, the loyalties of the former Ghosts are put to the test when Colonel-Commissar Gaunt, long believed dead, returns. As the enemy overrun the Imperial forces, clashing with Crusade command, and suspected of harbouring the taint of Chaos, Gaunt must fight not only to be reunited with his Ghosts, but to stop all their lives being thrown away in an unwinnable war.
After sixteen months of fighting as part of the Gereon Resistance, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his team escape the Chaos-held world and return to Imperial territory. Instead of praise and acknowledgement of their actions, the Ghosts are met with deep mistrust and abuse. Saved from execution in Camp Xeno on Ancreon Sextus by Junior Commissar Nahum Ludd, Gaunt and the Ghosts are briefly re-united with Lord-General Van Voytz before facing trial by the Commissariat. However, half-way through the hearings all charges are dropped and the Ghosts are prepared to return to active duty. Gaunt is shocked to learn that the Tanith First has been disbanded and merged with an under-strength regiment; the 81st Belladon. Furthermore, Gaunt is relieved of command status and once again a simple field commissar, but separated from his men.
The Ghosts are sent to join the 81st/1st Recon - the merged 81st Belladon and the Tanith First, led by Colonel Lucian Wilder. The regiment is taking part in the campaign to capture the ancient step-city Sparshad Mons, occupied by the Blood Pact and disturbingly warped nocturnal predators. The situation in the Mons is grim; desertion is high, morale is low, and most of the Imperial soldiers are inexperienced grunts. Gaunt is deployed to another section of the step-city and attached to a regiment from Fortis Binary, accompanied by Ludd and Eszrah Night. The situation deteriorates rapidly as the Blood Pact launch a counter-assault against the Imperial forces.
His Last Command introduces troopers from the 81st Belladon, several of whom become key characters in the series. The title refers to both Gaunt and Wilder. When informing Gaunt of his demotion, Van Voytz tells him that the Tanith was "[his] last command". Wilder issues his last command to a platoon of Belladon soldiers participating in a suicidal rearguard for the rest of the regiment, which Gaunt assumes leadership of.
|The Founding||A Ghost Return • First and Only • Of Their Lives in the Ruins of Their Cities • Ghostmaker • Necropolis • In Remembrance|
|The Saint||Honour Guard • The Guns of Tanith • Straight Silver • Sabbat Martyr|
|The Lost||Traitor General • His Last Command • The Armour of Contempt • Only in Death • The Iron Star|
|The Victory||Blood Pact • Salvation's Reach • The Warmaster • The Anarch • The Vincula Insurgency|
|Anthologies||Sabbat Worlds • Sabbat Crusade • Sabbat War|
|Other Short Stories||Vermilion Level • Killbox • Viduity • Ghosts and Bad Shadows|
|Background Books||The Sabbat Worlds Crusade • Tactica Imperialis|
|Spin-offs||Double Eagle • Titanicus • Urdesh: The Serpent and the Saint • Volpone Glory|