Gravius Heckta walked through the doors into Launch Bay 2. He made note that the workers made it a point to stay out of his way. This could be attributed to his formidable stride or more likely, he mused, to his appearance. Regardless of the source of their fear, it was fine as it would keep them out of his way for now.

He stopped in the center of the bay and casually looked toward the launch port of Shuttle 12. His augmetic eyes whirred as they changed filters from normal, to thermal imaging. His eyes had sensitive enough imaging to be able to track the heat of a man's footstep even an hour after he trod there. Heckta saw quite a few trails, understandable due to the unexpected nature of the shuttle's departure. However he managed to pick out a trail whose fading heat signature showed that this person had come by slightly before the launch of the shuttle.

After checking to see that there was nothing else to find in the bay, Heckta turned and followed the footsteps in reverse. It was difficult in the better traveled sections of the ship, but he eventually came to a more obscure section of the ship. Eventually, the trail led him to a pair of thickset steel doors. The room was marked, Alpha storage 8.

Heckta stopped, a feeling of unease gripped him. This was where he hid that. That was important to Governor Koza's plan. How could anyone possibly know that device was on the ship, let alone its significance?

Heckta felt what could not be described as fear. He had not felt fear for years. Yet he could not tell what the feeling was. He reached up to open the door, hoping that the small black cylinder would still be there.

************

In a hidden burrow on the planet, Halindor woke with a start. He glanced carefully around to be sure they weren't under attack. After making certain, he began to ponder what had woken him so quickly. He was tall even for an Eldar. He was skinny but built with lean muscles that radiated skill. His long raven black hair matched his blue eyes, which spoke of great experience and painful memories. His answer soon arrived.

Pathfinder Halindor, I am Farseer Sithilion, your Alaitoc requires your services, a voice in his head stated.

At once, Halindor came to rapt attention. What is the will of the Craftworld? He replied.

The agendas of a few Mon-Keigh have the potential to place the Craftworld in grave danger. You must seek out a small, black cylinder. This is the key item in the destiny of the Craftworld. It will come into the keeping of a human female, inhabitant of the planet you are on, dressed in white, named Sariah, who is also crutial to our fate. You must protect this human and make certain that the black capsule does not leave the planet until we have determined what must be done. Use any and all means necessary and remain concealed also unless necessary, no one can know the Eldar are involved on this world, the Farseer briefed him. Do this and thousands of Eldar lives shall be saved and your disgrace shall be lifted. And with that the voice faded from Halindor's mind.

Halindor began immediate preparations. He packed his long rifle, his shuriken pistol, and the force shield and the twin Powerblades of his position before his disgrace and exile as a Pathfinder. He placed his black helmet, which matched his wraithbone armor, on his head, completely hiding his face. After fully prepping his kit he called to his 2 lieutenants; Kili a slim Eldar female in similar, but a more obvious form fitting armor, and blue eyes that always were filled with excitement, and Ranirion, a more compact, by Eldar standards, male wearing similar armor to Halindor, whose dark brown eyes wore a somber look. Both were Halindor's best pupils in field craft, stealth work, and marksmanship, a huge achievement considering the skill of Halindor's entire group.

What is it now Halindor, a huge mission? Kili thought to him. He knew she was eager to move out; they all had done nothing these past few months.

Don't be so energetic Kili, Ranirion thought quietly, we need not question Halindor now.

Halindor smiled at the stark contrast these two made when together. The he replied, don't worry you will all know soon. Gather the other 7 we do indeed have an important mission for Alaitoc.

Within twenty units, Halindor and his 9 pathfinders were standing by the exit of the burrow. All were equipped with similar pistol, rifle and armor. Halindor thought out to them, Opening the entrance, cloaks on.

The secret door opened out to the woodlands and as one all of the pathfinders threw on their cloaks, the sensors allowing them to instantly blend in with the surroundings. Halindor closed the burrow behind them and reminded himself of the others on that world that could be visited for supplies if they needed to go into a human city or the mission took longer then planned. He saw smoke rising in the air not far from their current position and led his squad toward it, knowing it would lead him toward his charge.

What former Autarch Halindor did not know was what tragedies, glory, and battles this route would take him and his squad.

*******

Meanwhile...