WAR40K: A Shadow Among the Stars
The White Hand were a Space Marine chapter operating in and around the Calixes sector several years ago, up until it’s dissolution following the loss of most of it’s members.
The Chapter’s final mission came when a Space Hulk, known colloquially as the Zelbidion, suddenly appeared in the Chapter’s home system. Orders came down from on high to board the derelict, and secure any and all technology and data from the wreck. The mission involved two full companies of Space Marines, in addition to support staff and mechanized support. Since the mission also coincided with the final stages of training for a batch of Initiates (soldiers who had not yet received the gene-seed), it was decided that they would go along on the mission.
After breaching several landing sites, and establishing auto-bolter perimeters near the docking bays, the marines began to explore the interior of the ship. In addition to scenes of unexplained carnage and ancient battles, they found invaluable technologically resources, which were secured aboard the Thunderhawks. The mission was proceeding smoothly, when suddenly all the units spread throughout the ship came under simultaneous attack from an unidentified enemy. At the same time, sensors detected that the Zelbidion was preparing to re-enter the Warp.
The order went out to retreat, but only a handful of White Hand marines managed to make it back to the ships. Mission priority was given to evacuating those Thunderhawks still space worthy, so that the treasures they carried could be of use to the Empire. Several Thunderhawks did make it off the Zelbidion, but only with a lot of empty seats. The remaining Space Marines who bore the White Hand gene-seed were scarcely enough to make up a short company, and as such, the Chapter has been effectively disbanded. It’s remaining members have returned to their home system to focus on training a new generation of soldiers, in the hopes of one day reviving the Chapter.
Only one of the Initiates on their final training mission made it off the Zelbidion. During the attack, his unit had lost wireless comms with their Thunderhawk. His Training Sergeant ordered he and his squad to double time it back the landing bay, and order the Thunderhawk to take off before the ship re-entered the Warp. He and his men made a mad dash for the ship, all the while being cut down one by one by an unseen enemy. At the end, only this lone trainee boarded the Thunderhawk. He ordered the pilots to wait as long as possible, but no other member of his unit made it to the ship before the Warp energies reached critical levels.
While he was commended for securing the technology and data his unit had recovered, without the ability to corroborate his orders, the trainee suffered under the stigma of desertion. As it could not be proved one way or another, the decision was made that he would be released from his Chapter prior to his final initiation. He was not even allowed to join the ranks of the support staff. For all intents and purposes, he was banished from his home system, so as not to remind the remaining members and new trainees of the Chapter’s failure.