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Operative refers to Human agents of the Alpha Legion. Because of the clandestine and subversive nature of the Alpha Legion, they require a large number of non-augmented humans to conduct acts of espionage, sabotage, subterfuge, and other covert activities during their campaigns.[1]


As the Great Crusade ground on, the Alpha Legion made a habit of recruiting non-Astartes specialists in every theatre and campaign they entered, commonly members of the Imperial armed forces, though almost any human could be approached by the Legion for his knowledge or skills. These operatives often remained in their original position, ready to respond to Alpha Legion commands. Compromised operatives were not discarded if it could be avoided, and Alpha Legionaries would go to great lengths to retain them or hide their existence, lengths that included the fatal silencing of other Imperials. Many Operatives were psychically altered by Alpha Legion Librarians to not be aware of their own nature, serving as sleeper agents to be activated when the time was right.[2] One of the ways to identify some Operatives was by their tattoo of a small hydra symbol.[3] However the wearers of the tattoo seem able to make it disappear and reappear at will.[5]

At least during the Great Crusade era, Operatives were treated as valued assets as opposed to expendable commodities. Some were even made privy to the truth of Alpha Legion plans and objectives, a level of honesty that not even the brother Primarchs to Alpharius enjoyed.[6] This treatment was not for any sentimental or ethical reasons, but rather stems from the Alpha Legion belief that any and all assets are valuable and it is foolish to needlessly waste them. In fact, Alpha Legionaries tend to recruit those who stumble upon their secrets.[7a][3] In a dubious account, allegedly penned by Alpharius himself, the Primarch noted that he "detest[ed] waste", and though his Legion was perfectly willing to kill innocents when no other option presented itself, the Alpha Legion preferred to cultivate potentially useful individuals instead of eliminating them.[7b]

Known Alpha Legion Operatives

See Also

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