After the cleansing, as the month long purge of Beseritor became known, the weary populace gathered in Hive Primus, which was slowly picking itself back up, for a parade in honour of the Battle Brothers, the Imperial Governor, the PDF and the Imperial Guard who had “liberated” the Planet. The Kill-Team did, however, quiz Diaz Lan on his quick arrival, only to be told that his astropathic message had arrived two weeks before he sent it… the Kill-Team sensed the hand of the emperor in their victory, and gave thanks.
At the height of the parade, the Battle Brothers were awarded the Imperial Aquilla, forever marking them as friends of the imperium, and were granted the honoury title of “Hero of Beseritor.” After saying goodbye to Sergeant Mithras and the rest of the Imperial Forces on Beseritor, the Kill-Team accepted Diaz Lans’ offer to take them back to the Watch Fortress, for their debrief. The Kill-Team left behind a populace who would be forever grateful for their presence, and who would be immortalised in their history.
The Kill-Team used the month long voyage back to the Watch Fortress as a time of reflection and rededication, purging their bodies of any lingering xenos taint, both Tau and Tyranid and meditating upon what they had accomplished together. They felt the bonds of Brotherhood, that they had known all their life, returning… albeit slowly, but it was a good feeling for the adeptus astartes, and made the journey go quicker.
When they arrived back at the Watch Fortress, they met with Watch Commander Madrigal and Inquisitor Quist, and gave them an in-depth report of their time on Beseritor. Inquisitor Quist was very interested in their dealings with the Tau, letting slip that she had met Commander Flamewing on a couple of occasions, and that he was one of the leading voices in propagating a temporary truce with the Imperium, to allow both sides to focus on the greater threat, the Tyranids. The Kill-Team were also granted an apology from the Watch Commander, for not treating Beseritor seriously enough.
The Kill-Team also learned that this victory was one of the most significant victories against the Tyranids in the Crusades history, and given the relative scarcity of resources in the Battle, very, very impressive. Also, because the Tyranid fleet came from the Canis Salient, they had reported less of a Tyranid presence in the area, as if their strength was now concentrated in the Orpheus salient, which meant it was easier for the Imperium to fight the Tyranid Menace. The Kill-Team felt quite satisfied with the outcome of their mission, and felt a great sense of contentment and honour at performing the Emperors will.
After the meeting, the Watch Commander said that he would be assigning two more marines to the Kill-Team, a Tech Marine from the Blood Ravens chapter and a Devastator Marine from the Space Wolves Chapter, which Brother Haakon was pleased about; he looked forward to celebrating, Space Wolves Style, with his Battle Brother. The Kill-Team then spent a couple of weeks learning to integrate the new members into their tactics. The Space Wolf, Brother Hreidar found it easier to integrate, because of his pre-existing relationship with Brother Haakon.
The Blood Raven Techmarine, on the other hand, found it very difficult to integrate in the Kill-Team… the rest of the space marines were relatively suspicious of the blood ravens, whose past was shrouded in secrecy and whose members tended to keep to themselves. However, they did come to learn, somewhat, each of the methods of the existing Battle Brothers, and by the end of the training, they were much more of a tight nit group… and then it was time for their next mission briefing, and they entered to just Watch Commander Madrigal, waiting for them.
They were informed that the Watch Commander had already accepted on their behalf, given that he realised the importance of this mission, but had not told their old friend, Diaz Lan this fact, so they could listen to what he had to say, and get as much information as they needed. He does mention that the Kill-Team should find it amusing where he has decided that they should hold the meeting with Diaz Lan, and then leads them to an arctic live fire training range, where Diaz Lan is completely covered in a warm fur coat, but is still shivering under the immense cold.
To the Kill-Team, with their heightened immune systems, this was just a slight chill, and something that they could easily take. However, the mirth of the Kill-Team was quickly dispelled by his news… that the Lord Militant was convinced that Aarum could have a secret xenos presence on the planet, but that the Natives would not let them leave the capital because they had yet to prove themselves. They learned that the Aauruns were a proud people who had not fallen to the Dark Powers during the age of shadow, and as such were a very valuable resource.
After some preliminary questions, the Kill-Team learned that anyone trying to leave the capital have been killed, but also that other bodies have been found, with all of their flesh missing, and large shattered bones, as if they were carved in half. This prompted a flurry of questions from the Apothecary, Brother Elyes, regarding anything he had heard that could strip flesh from the bone like this… but unfortunately, there were too many predators which could do that to draw any conclusions.
They also learned of the Sister Hospitalier, Sister Rachael, who had been found with a dagger buried in her sternum, which the locals were calling a suicide driven by a weak spirit, but Diaz Lan informed the Kill-Team that no Sister would ever take their lives; they were too strong in their belief for that. Diaz Lan also exposits that the Aaruns could be in the thrall of some xenos presence, which is why they are not allowing any further exploration of the planet, but he is quick to follow that up and say that is only conjecture at this point.
With the meeting adjourned, the Kill Team went to arm themselves for this test of arms. Given that everything they knew about the Aaruns was that they respected might and warrior traditions, the Kill Team chose Brother Curro as their leader for that mission knowing that as a favoured Assault Marine, and as a Storm Warden, he would understand more than most the rituals and ways of communication that these Aaruns may favour. Brother Drakhaus retreated to his quarters to scry the warp for any potential information or help that could make a difference to their mission, understanding that they had gone into their previous missions underprepared, and only through the grace of the Emperor had they come through unscathed.