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Unforgiven (Short Story)

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2drones.gif This article is about the Graham McNeill short story; for the Gav Thorpe novel, see The Unforgiven (Novel).
Unforgiven
Unforgiven-McNeill.jpg
Author Graham McNeill
Publisher Black Library
Collected in Deathwing
There Is Only War

Cover Description

Battling cultists devoted to the Ruinous Powers, Dark Angels Sergeant Kaelen discovers that his Chapter has secrets... secrets that could damn them all.

Synopsis

Spoiler!
This page contains spoilers for: Unforgiven (Short Story)

Brother-Sergeant Kaelen leads his battle brothers in a Jump pack assault on the last stronghold of the heretic leader known as the "Prophet" on the Dark Angels' recruiting world of Valedor. As the Space Marines begin to take casualties from the rebels' fire, Kaelen recommends that they take cover and await reinforcements, but his superior, Interrogator-Chaplain Bareus, says they must press on and confront the Prophet, even if the whole squad perishes in the attempt.

Breaking into the inner fortress, Kaelen is sickened to recognize scenes painted on the wall as blasphemous parodies of the fall of Caliban. He is even more horrified when the squad is confronted by "The Angel of Blades," a monstrous man-machine (similar to an Obliterator) that kills most of the squad before Kaelen leaps onto its back and rips out its organic heart. They are then confronted by the Prophet, and his bodyguards. Bareus grimly names the Prophet as Cephesus, a Fallen Interrogator-Chaplain. Cephesus, who ordered his men to ensure that Bareus reached him alive, attacks with his own Blades of Reason, mortally wounding Bareus and adding the Chaplain's Blade to his collection. Kaelen attacks, and is badly wounded, but while grappling with the Prophet, inadvertently rips off the Rosarius protecting the Fallen. Without this protection, Kaelen is able to impale Cephesus through the chest with a massive blow from his power fist. On seeing their leader dead, the rest of the cultists flee in terror.

With his dying breath, Bareus passes his Crozius Arcanum to Kaelen - his way of "recommending" that the Sergeant join the Chaplaincy and ascend to the Deathwing. Limping outside, the sole survivor of the mission force, Kaelen is met by a Terminator Sergeant in an arriving Thunderhawk. Asked for his name, Kaelen simply responds, "I am Deathwing."

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