There was a loud roar as four Thunderbolt fighters took off nearby, snarling into the sky above Suundarius.
Brother Chakresh stood next to the towers of crates within the hanger the Tempest Angels had requisitioned months earlier.
The Space Marine peered at the data scroll he was holding, struggling to reconcile the outgoing and incoming numbers in the various columns. He grimaced, trying to concentrate in spite of the grinding and hammering as nearby servitors worked to repair mangled items of equipment.
Just then Brother-Techmarine Virat tapped Chakresh on the shoulder. He pointed out of the open hanger door of the Chapter's improvised logistic depot.
"Who's that?" he said, the red armoured marine simultaneously picking up a newly repaired and charged plasma gun with one of his servo-arms. He handed it to Chakresh, who pointedly declined to take it.
A lone bulky figure was approaching across the open concrete expanse of the starport, moving through the shimmering heat haze with a very distinctive plodding gait.
"We didn't deploy any terminators down to the surface," Chakresh said and he quickly limped over to a shelf, picking up a refurbished melta gun.
"Greetings, Brothers!" the figure called out, stopping some distance away from the hanger's entrance.
He wore black terminator armour with a silver left arm and a grey right pauldron, "I am Hrothgar Bjórmagi, Deathwatch Chapter! Forgive my unexpected intrusion!"
His armoured mask was raised and they could see his long braided hair and knotted forked beard. Other than his powerfist, he did not appear to be armed. However his powerfist was clutching a very large metal barrel, with several smaller canisters attached to the outside of it.
"What is that object you carry, Brother Hof...Hoth...er... Hroth..." Virat called out.
"Hrothgar," the mysterious Marine said, "it is beer."
"Beer?" Chakresh said with a frown.
"Aye," the Deathwatch Marine said, nodding gravely, "the very finest."
"I thought our Chapter were the only Space Marines on Suund Prime," Virat said.
"Other than myself," he replied, "I imagine that to be true."
"And what brings you to us today armed with a very large barrel of beer?"
"A 'Hogshead' of Beer is the correct technical term," Hrothgar replied, "I seek a boon of your worthy Chapter, and so felt it only fitting to bring some token of thanks, in the event you can oblige me... but with your permission, I will enter this hanger as the sun is exceedingly hot. The beer will be ruined if we allow the machine spirits of these cunning cooling devices to become ill-tempered."
"What is it you seek?" Chakresh said.
"Two packs of assault cannon ammunition, a mixed rack of cyclone missiles," Hrothgar replied, "and perhaps a fresh jar of Number 7 Machine Salve."
Virat tapped the controller of his vox-caster, connecting him to Captain Aadesh, who was with the Chapter's companies, deployed several hundred kilometres away.
"What is it, Brother-Techmarine?" the Captain's voice said sharply, clearly otherwise engaged.
"We have a solitary terminator from the Deathwatch here, requesting our assistance," Virat replied, "he seeks some assault cannon ammunition, a rack of cyclone missiles, and lubricants, offering some... beer... by way of thanks."
"Yes Brother-Captain," Virat said, "an exceedingly large barrel. The very finest, apparently."
"Then give him any munitions he needs and whatever courtesies you think appropriate," the Captain said and he disconnected.
"Come in, Brother Hrothgar," Virat said, gesturing at the very large number of crates in the huge hanger behind him, "I'm sure we can spare some ammunition and a jar of Number 7."
"Excellent!" Hrothgar roared, walking ponderously into the hanger and gently placing the huge barrel down, "these canisters on the exterior of the Hogshead pass a cryo-libation through these small pipes. This keeps the brew at the perfect temperature, all controlled by the wondrous machine spirit that resides in this tiny box. Astonishing, is it not?"
"Truly," Virat said, smiling indulgently, in spite of the fact he had an understanding of technologies as diverse as buckles, battle tanks and warp engines, "I'm Techmarine Virat and this is Brother Chakresh."
"Perhaps I misunderstood you," Chakresh said, "you are on this world alone?"
"Indeed," Hrothgar said, "I am part of a retinue of... investigators."
"You intend to deploy with both cyclone missiles and an autocannon?" Chakresh said.
"Aye," Hrothgar replied, "in my experience one must always bring enough fire-power to any fight. More than enough is also acceptable."
"Then more than enough it shall be, Brother Hrothgar," Virat said as he walked off into the hanger to locate the required items.