Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Daughters of the Final Autumn - Retributor Squad Greta

For decades Greta fought as a Battle Sister of the Order of Our Martyred Lady, serving with distinction in battle after battle.  Even as an older woman, she survived the Third War for Armageddon as a Veteran Retributor Superior.  Her squad recorded scores of Ork kills, tearing piles upon piles of greenskins to pieces with Heavy Bolter fire.  Though her squad suffered fifty percent casualties, they still counted themselves lucky at the end of that engagement.  So many of their comrades had not.

Unfortunately for Greta, as she aged and became less and less expendable, she developed a nasty habit of standing up to the Ministorum.  She rarely questioned any influence they tried to impose in battle, though she did grumble about it a few times.  No, she was a consummate warrior who obeyed orders. It was the time between engagements which brought out her coarse attitude towards these men. Her experience, strength, confidence, and respect from her peers inflated her ego and she became less and less willing to endure the arrogance and conceit of the Ministorum Priests and Confessors who served with the Order.

Greta's seminal moment came, as they sometimes do, very late in her life.  A young Abbot named Erocus was assigned to the Order of Our Martyred Lady after the losses suffered at Armageddon.  He was to oversee their operations in the Convent, including the orphanages and the spiritual well-being of the Adepta Sororitas. The "disgusting little despot", as Greta secretly labeled him, swiftly assumed as many responsibilities as his station allowed, making swift, hollow decisions.  He was obsessed with sin and the cleansing of the spirit. He insisted that it was his duty to forge the shame of sin into spiritual steel fit for service to the Emperor.  He often took it upon himself to personally scourge the sin from parishioners and Sisters alike.

The younger Sororitas accepted this behavior, of course.  Their prevue was battle, of course; not The Message. It was not their place to question it. Of course, Greta had learned to detect certain behaviors in men, particularly those placed in unfit and undeserved positions of power.  She kept a close eye on his activities whenever she could make the time, though she also had many confidants and spies throughout the order reporting to her.  

It was on a cold day in the depths of winter when she received a note from one of her informants. Young Sister Ovis had been taken by Erocus for aggressive questioning.  Tears stood in her hard, sunken eyes at the thought of the sweet and loyal Battle Sister taking lashes and floggings, and possibly (Emperor make it not so) because of Greta's scrutiny.

In an extremely uncharacteristically hasty move, she dashed for the Abbot's quarters where a pair of Sororitas flanked the closed door from which muffled screams emanated.  One glare from the respected (and unarmed) Veteran Sister Superior made the young, armored Battle Sisters back away from their posts. 

Even without her power armor, the aged Greta easily kicked the locked portal open with a crash and she beheld a ghastly sight.  The disgusting, pink, naked, writhing Abbot intertwined with the weeping, bruised, and bloody young Battle Sister.  Greta only had a moment to note the girl's eyes were filled not with fear, but rage and embarrassment.  Greta felt fleeting pride, but then bounded across the room, mindlessly scooping up the Abbot's rosary.  

She blacked out.

Minutes later, she came to her senses.  She saw an image of herself in a massive, gaudy mirror.  She held the lifeless body of the Abbot with her powerful legs and she had the rosary constricted around his slim neck.  His eyes bugged out from their sockets and his face was purple, contorted into a ghoulish mask of its former dashing appearance.  No, she thought, that had been the visage.  This was his real face.  She unceremoniously allowed the corpse to slump to the cold floor and she spat upon it.

Greta quietly stood up and walked towards the door.

"Oh, Sister Superior, no!" Ovis had finally become fearful.

She didn't even look at the young Sororitas.  "Do not show weakness in front of me, girl. Put your clothes back on."

She walked out of the room and down the twenty flights of stairs to the dungeons where she incarcerated herself so she could stand trial and executed for her crime against the Imperium.

Of course, that is not the end of her story.  

Oddly, her trial was delayed for weeks.  She was treated well by the young sisters she had previously instructed.  This, of course, quite disgusted her.  She was a traitor to the Emperor! Had she not taught them to hate people like her and seek vengeance against her for such crimes?  Still, a small, secret part of her was glad to have been so beloved.

In time, she had a visitor.  A smiling woman in a longcoat entered her cell with two Sisters in tow.  The two seasoned Sisters showed a hint of fear on their faces.  This gave Greta pause.  Greta's visitor could have been her daughter, probably in her mid forties.  She had a hard face and a very severe hair style wound up so tight her face must have screamed for mercy at the stretching.  

"Are you here to pass judgement upon me for my treachery?"

"And burn you at the stake?" She did not mask her amusement as she removed her purple, silk gloves.


The woman tittered as she removed her longcoat, revealing from underneath the accouterments of a Lord Inquisitor.  

For once in her life, Greta's countenance fell.  She tried like hell to regain her composure, but she could find no breath.

"My name is Lady Inquisitor Deborah Webster of the Ordo Originatus. You have been tapped for service to resurrect and restructure the Adepta Sororitas Order of Autumn which is now called the Daughters of the Final Autumn.  Your tenacity and quality of character are exactly what we need for our new Mistress of Recruits."  She smiled warmly.

If Greta recalled correctly, that Order had been admonished by the Inquisition only a few short years ago.  Admonished with sin-cleansing flame.  "Our?", Greta whispered. 

"Forgive me.  Their.  Of course."

Greta had annoyed the Inquisitor.  She glanced at the Sisters who had escorted the Inquisitor into the cell.  They seemed quite shocked.  Drawing strength from that, Greta quickly  found herself.  "Yes. Yes you do.  Of course you do.  That Order was nearly destroyed by damned fools.  You'll need people like me to keep new recruits from running afoul of more damned fools." 

"My thoughts exactly."

~ * ~

This is my first unit in both the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge and the Freebootas Motivational Challenge.  I wanted to make sure I got this in before January ended, though it meant putting off my commission again.  Now that this is done, I'll have to move on to that again.

At any rate, I think this is the scheme I'm sticking with.  The guns are a little sloppy, but I'm happy with them overall.  This squad's banner depicts the planet Jupiter.  All of the squads will use a celestial body in the Terran system for unit designation.  As with all the Characters in this army, this one is named after a strong woman in my life who selflessly helped raise me; my grandmother, Greta.

The model looks nothing like her.

Remember to *CLICK* to zoom!

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