(Four posts in two days- staying at home with a cold has done wonders form my blog!)
Here is a short narrative of an officers of the fleet regiment's initial meeting with several Thunder Guard officers aboard the Grand Cruiser Praetoriae Vindictam.
Expeditionary Lieutenant Creswell opened the wardroom hatch and stepped into the anteroom for the fortnightly officer’s game of Mordian Holdem. Seated at the long-table in the room's centre, were five cavalry officers from various regiments of the Thunder Guard. Creswell was momentary caught off guard. He had not expected the Thunder Guard to embark until the following rotation, but obviously they had arrived early.
Peculiarly, the five cavalry officers started tapping the backs of their hands on the long-table. Each officer's large cavalry ring taped slowly and softly at first, but quickly grew louder and faster until it was a thundering raw. Then all of a sudden, the crescendo of banging abruptly halted. Slowly and deliberately the five faces turned to look at him. He shrunk at the combination of pained, emotionless and absent stares from their aged faces. None of them had to be older than him, yet their faces were hagged by the truth of bloody war. The Captain of Horse closest to him had a scar running down his check, contorting the edge of his mouth and giving his right eye an unnerving twitch.
Creswell attempted an ‘excuse me’ before leaving, but was ashamed when he realised his dry mouth had forsaken him. It appeared that his voice had cowardly retreated along with the natural charm and swagger that usually accompanied his grey-blue tunic. He had wished his missing traits had dragged him away whenever they had left. Just when Creswell believed the tension would actually kill him, Lieutenant Commander Chorley (Praetorian Navy) appeared at the rear starboard hatch of the anteroom.
“Harr Creswell, there you are chap, we have relegated ourselves to the Qatar Master Wardroom, through here lad.”
Creswell’s legs moved like they were on a parade, down the left of the long-table and through the rear starboard hatch. He made a mental note to find out where on the ship the cavalry officers were lodged and avoid them until they next made planet fall.