A while back, TheGM asked Lecia Athena (notorious Imperial traitor and follower of the Corvus Cluster) to suggest a scenario idea concerning her anti-Imperial activity on the agri-moon of Dar Sai.
Lecia kindly wrote a brief but colorful narrative background for a scenario, which TheGM took the liberty of expanding into this (very short) story. The GM wishes to thank Lecia for her participation in our 40K adventures and duly acknowledge her literary contribution, as well as her role in inspiring what’s clearly a new sub-plot in the Dar Sai campaign.
The ending of this story will be, in fact, written on the tabletop, and the raid’s outcome will be published soon enough
Traitor. Heretic. Terrorist. Rebel.
Lecia Athena had been called many names by Imperial authorities.
She preferred freedom fighter.
It was raining outside, and the humid air rested cloyingly on Lecia’s skin. She ignored her discomfort and focused on her surroundings. Today was an important day.
She sat cross-legged in a corner of a ragged tent, one of thousands packed together in an Imperial refugee camp outside the village of Alandra. To the east, several hundred kilometers away, was the city of Malifax—the next target of the invading Tau army.
It was dangerous to be in the camp. Imperial authorities were hunting her, but she trusted that she could remain hidden amidst tens of thousands of refugees.
“The Tau promise to bring the Greater Good to Dar Sai,” she said, looking around at the dozen co-conspirators who sat quietly, listening intently to what she had to say.
“All your lives, you’ve been little more than slaves. You worked hard to grow your crops then were forced to turn them over to your masters. You were whipped by overseers, who leered at your wives and daughters and treated you like cattle.”
“But the Greater Good will change all of that. The plantations will be divided up into individual farms. You’ll own your own land. You’ll grow your own crops. You will keep the money you earn by selling those crops and keeping what you want to feed your families.”
“The Tau will remake Dar Sai into a paradise.”
She scanned the faces of those who listened. Some were nodding in agreement. Others looked intrigued but wary.
There was fertile ground for recruitment in this camp, Lecia thought. Displaced from their homes, awakened to the fact that their Imperial masters were not all-powerful, her small group of followers were looking for a path that would better their lives.
Of course, some of those around her hid uglier motives for their presence. Some bore the physical and emotional scars created by an overseer’s whip. Here and there, beneath a dirty cowl or a loose-fitting shirt, Lecia would make out a disfigured face or what looked to be a third arm carefully hidden.
Whether a laborer fueled by hate, or a mutant raging at the cruel prejudices of Imperial policy, her comrades were primed to strike out at those who’d wronged them.
It was time to feed the flames.
“Now is the time to take our first step to a new way of life,” Lecia told them. “The Tau are offering us a better tomorrow, but we must do our part. We must earn our freedom.”
“What do you want of us?” one voice asked.
Lecia rose to her feet. “We must fight. The Tau are battling the armies of our oppressors, and they are winning. But how can we sit back and allow the xenos to shed their blood on our behalf if we will are not willing to shed our blood? To earn our freedom, we must take up the fight. We must strike a blow against our oppressors.”
She paused a moment. She waited to see if someone would object. But everyone simply waited for her to say more.
“There is a weapons depot only 25 kilometers from her. Many of the guards have been sent to the front lines to fight. A small group of us can seize the depot. We can take as many weapons as we can carry and disappear into the forest.”
“From there, we will arm the people. We will retake what is rightfully ours.”
Another voice spoke up. It was a young mutant, his face blistered and scarred but expressing an eagerness for action. “There may be weapons at the depot, but we have no weapons now.”
Lecia smiled. “Oh, we have weapons. We’ve slipped onto the battlefields at night, gathered the odd autogun and lasgun. We’ve pulled the flak jackets off a few corpses. We have enough to prepare ten of us for this raid.”
“And then?” someone asked.
“We take what we can from the depot and arm the people,” Lecia said, the hard sound of determination and fanaticism adding strength to her words.
“As we grow in numbers, we will begin ambushing military convoys, blowing up supply depots, assassinating Imperial officials. We will infiltrate all the refugee camps, spreading word of the Greater Good, weakening the Imperial yoke on the people.”
In the back of her mind, Lecia saw even farther into the future. She saw a day when her small group of followers became a small army. She saw a day when it would be incorporated into the Tau army, as the 1st Gu’vesa Cadre of Dar Sai.
And Lecia Athena would be its leader. A hero of the people. A free woman.
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our gaming adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.