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The Last Detail (Short Story)

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The Last Detail
Author Paul Kearney
Publisher Black Library
Collected in Legends of the Space Marines
There Is Only War


A man and his son are hiding in a bunker underneath their home, sheltering from a conflict above. They leave to explore their surroundings, finding devastation and eventually a Space Marine, wounded, with destroyed power armour and trapped underneath a rock fall. This Astartes explains that his chapter was on their world fighting a Chaos Warband called the Punishers, who had hoped to take this world in order to forge a bridgehead and go on to conquer the rest of the sector.

The Astartes then goes on to explain that he must contact his brothers and so they make for the Spaceport. Along the way they encounter Cultists, and must battle their way up the tower where they encounter a Punisher Chaos Space Marine, who kills the Man and reveals the Astartes to be a member of the Dark Hunters Chapter.

The Astartes finishes him off with help from the Boy. The two of them then send a signal to the Dark Hunters, using Morse Code, whereupon the boy escapes out the window whilst the Astartes stays in a last stand against the Punishers at the door.

The Dark Hunters' space fleet receives the signal as they are destroying the last of the Punisher space fleet they had been pursuing. They are surprised, thinking that they had eliminated all the remaining Punishers on the world (named Perreken), and accounted for all lost Battle-Brothers.

Three months later, the Boy is the leader of a band of guerillas who receive a signal from the Dark Hunters in Morse Code, where upon they launch an attack on a Cultist ceremony whilst Drop pods fall from the sky to slaughter the Punishers. The ritual is interrupted before a Daemon can be summoned from the Warp, and the Boy, who has become a hardened warrior despite his age, looks at the Astartes and knows that they are everything he wants to be.


The planet of Perreken, described as the size of a moon and the city surrounding the lone spaceport.