Sergeant Andraemon Dolon sat alongside his squad in the boarding torpedo as it was loaded into the launch tube.
The Hunter-class Destroyer Midnight Stalker along with five others of its class raced across the void to intercept a pirate wolf pack that had its sights set on an Imperial transport convoy. Apparently, the convoy commander had employed mercenaries to provide security for the transports, but at the first sign of trouble, they ran. The Minotaurs were the closest Imperial vessels able to respond to their distress signal.
The pirate wolf pack employed a Murder-class Cruiser as its flagship. The remainder of the fleet was comprised of assorted escort-sized vessels of various classes.
As soon as the Astartes vessels were in torpedo range of the pirate escorts they fired their payloads of boarding torpedoes.
Frustration and anger. It consumed Sergeant Dolon. Being passed over for promotion to Captain again. So many times it had happened. How many times had he exhibited his devotion and loyalty to the Emperor and his Chapter? How much more did he need to do to prove his worthiness?
The boarding torpedoes closed the gap with blistering speed. The interior of Dolon’s torpedo shook violently as it impacted with the hull of one of the pirate escorts.
The tip of the torpedo penetrated the hull of the pirate vessel. Smoke filled the air and pieces of the hull along with assorted pieces of debris covered the deck of the targeted ship. The forward hatch of the torpedo opened and ten Minotaur Astartes exited through the opening, taking up tactical positions to advance down the corridor.
A score of pirates rushed down the corridor in masse. Armed mostly with autopistols and close-combat weapons save a few brandishing autoguns. They rushed towards the Astartes howling and roaring in a deafening cacophony.
Before the Astartes could open with bolter fire, Sergeant Dolon rushed headlong into the throng of pirates. Initially confused, the rest of Dolon’s squad followed their commander into melee combat.
Dolon was a buzzsaw of death and destruction. He pointed his bolt pistol and at point-blank range squeezed the trigger. The bolt round exited the muzzle and impacted the pirate’s skull, vaporizing it in an explosion of bone and blood.
As he moved his pistol to the next target, he swung his chainsword into the right shoulder of another pirate. The chainsword’s teeth bit into and tore through the upper right torso of the victim. The pirate screamed in agony as the weapon ripped through his vital organs.
The Astartes Sergeant shot, slashed and stabbed his way further into the amassed group of pirates until he had expended all of his bolter’s magazines and his chainsword’s blade was so clogged with human meat that it became useless as a cutting weapon. At that point, he resorted to using the two as blunt force instruments of destruction clubbing his enemies to death.
For what seemed to be an eternity, a fresh group of pirates rushed into the battle. A half dozen of them grabbed onto Dolon’s weapons and by their sheer weight alone, yanked the empty bolt pistol and inoperable chainsword from his grip.
Dolon punched straight through one of the pirate’s head. His punch decapitated the pirate and blood pumped forcefully from the torn arteries. As he drew his arm back through the spray of blood and it drenched his gauntleted hands.
Another pirate fired a spray of rounds into the back of Dolon’s Mark VI helm. The rounds ricocheted harmlessly off the helmet. The Sergeant turned around and slapped his open hand onto the bare chest of the pirate. The impact collapsed his chest and left a bloody handprint on the pirate’s chest.
With defeat obvious, the other pirates quickly retreated in silence.
Back aboard the Astartes Destroyer, he presented his report to his Captain. Captain Hurst listened to the report without interrupting. When Dolon was done speaking, the Captain responded, ‘Your men told me of your heroics, Sergeant. While your actions achieved the desired result, they were the actions of a World Eater Berserker, not a Loyalist servant of the Emperor. Your exhibited behavior is one of the main reasons you were once again passed over for promotion. You placed your squad in a negative position that forced them to follow your lead instead of obeying the dictates of the Codex Astartes. Until you become more Codex compliant, you will never achieve the rank of Captain.’
Sergeant Dolon silently nodded his head in reply, acknowledging that he understood the words spoken to him.
‘Very well, Sergeant. You are dismissed.’
A brooding Dolon walked away without rebuttal.