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.
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. One of the ways to identify some Operatives was by their tattoo of a small hydra symbol. However the wearers of the tattoo seem able to make it disappear and reappear at will.
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. 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. Conversely, Alpha Legionaries will coldly kill any who stumble upon their secrets, even hapless women and children.
Known Alpha Legion Operatives
- Andol — Imperial Guard General. Agent of Roek Ghulclaw
- Hurtado Bronzi — Imperial Army
- Peto Soneka — Imperial Army
- Rukhsana Saiid — Imperial Army
- 1: Index Astartes — The Enemy Within, The Alpha Legion Space Marine Legion
- 2: Praetorian of Dorn (Novel) — Part 2, Chapter 1
- 3: Legion (Novel) Chapter 8
- 4: Apocalypse pgs. 171–172
- 5: Tallarn: Ironclad (Novel) Chapter 4
- 6: The Lost and the Damned (Novel) - Chapter 14
- 7: Alpharius: Head of the Hydra (Novel) - Unforseen Consequences