Keeva studied the letter carefully. Her hazel eyes skimming over the words a second time before she gave any indication of a reaction. Her fingers coiled around the paper angrily balling it into the fist of her hands. She'd known the day was coming, for the past week now she had expected it. Somehow, that hadn't made it's arrival any easier. Carelessly she tied her hair back before she left her small bunk room. Before leaving Keeva picked up her shawl from it's resting place on her poster bed and threw it over her shoulders. When she'd left she made her way to her usual post on the command deck to deliver the bad news to her superior.
The corridor she stepped into was long and cold, painted in uninviting steel. The drab interior of the ship made her smile; she'd never known anything else and to her the grey metal was home. She preferred the way the steel looked to anything else she'd ever seen, it was a comfort among the news she had just received; knowing it would always be this way. She made her way hurriedly to the command deck, several of the legions serfs passed her but paid her no heed. Dutifully busy with their tasks. She watched a servitor repairing some broken wiring underneath one of the light panels and jumped when it sparked in the servants face. The Servitor didn't even flinch. She tore her gaze away from the worker and continued her unhurried trip.
The commander desk itself was circular with several workers huddled around various consoles. It was the life of the entire ship, every order, ever error, every tiny detail about the ship was recorded here. Keeva looked out the clear windows surrounding the room into the vastness of space before them, the blip of stars blurred as they moved constantly forwards. She could tell the ships speed was hurried, they'd received new co-ordinates. A man, Mattias was stood on a plinth above the other workers, and Keeva stepped up to join him. Keeva saluted her companion Mattias, a man the same rank as herself. He returned the gesture.
"The Commander is somewhat, indisposed," he told her, giving a careful eye to the other side of the command deck.
"I saw when I came in; I thought you would be used to seeing the Commander talking with the Astartes by now, Mattias." She returned to him, not following where his eye had tried to lead her.
"I wouldn't want to," he replied shaking his head, looking away from the conversation. Giving a hint to the level of awe he held for the Genetically Engineered warriors.
"You misunderstand me," Keeva tried to explain. "I admire them, and I respect them. They achieve what we can only dream of, but I don't need to pick my bottom jaw from the floor every time I see one of them talking to the Commander."
"Your position with them is different." Mattias commented under his breath.
Keeva sighed dramatically. "I've told you before, I'm not afforded any special treatment just because of what I went through." She then glanced to the fully power armoured Astartes. "Besides, it wouldn't hurt if you got to know them or at last their names."
"You can't seriously tell me you know who that is, just by the armour." Mattias insisted.
"Try me," she replied confidently, folding her arms.
Mattias didn't rise to her baiting. The two had shared a friendship since their promotion to the same position at the same time and she knew exactly how to make him crack.
After a moment, and a few deeper breaths, Mattias asked her: "This isn't your shift, was there something you needed?"
"Yes, I needed to speak with the Commander about a temporary transferral when we come into orbit." She replied, finally looking to her superior officer. It looked like her wait wouldn't be as long as she feared as the Astartes warrior made his final command and left the deck.
"He seemed... angry," Keeva commented when the commander had joined them. She'd not heard much of the conversation, but she hadn't needed to. She could feel the tension and heat from their discussion from the other side of the room.
"When aren't they?" Her Commander replied.
Keeva took the words at their simple value and saluted her superior, turning the conversation instantly to one of business. Rather than speaking she handed the letter she'd received to him to read over. In turn he passed it to Mattias who was the first one to speak.
"You're going to consent to this?"
"I don't know," Keeva answered
"But you're putting in for transferral anyway?"
"Temporarily, yes. I would like to meet this man." Keeva answered once more.
"But your husban-" Mattias pressed his objection.
"Marcus' corpse is barely cold, and the loss I feel for him is still painful. I request that you do not mention him." Keeva snapped to the other Second Commander.
Mattias raised his hands to her and quickly apologised, knowing he had crossed a thin line.
The Commander, who'd been silent through the talking of his underlings spoke. "What do you know about this," he paused and held his hand out for the letter once more to look over the name again. "Nathaniel Greyson?"
Keeva turned from Mattias, her hardened expression softening to the easing tones of her superior. "Not much, Sir. He is a Primaris Psyker serving with the 54th detachment of the 412th. He has a decent service record, but there are few personal details on his profile," she expressed her concerns on the brevity of the man in questions public details.
"That's normal," the commander replied with a short nod. "I expect this has come about partially due to our recent orders. We're to rendezvous with the 412th and offer any assistance they require. While the Astartes pull them out of a tight spot on Tuelle. The Imperial Guard 573rd are having some trouble bringing the planet to compliance and sent out the request for help. We and the 412th were in the sub-sector. It is our duty to give the aid they require. You will be formally briefed within the hour."
"As it is my duty to meet with Nathaniel Greyson." Keeva replied, nodding the the information and the pending meeting.
"Duty? This isn't about duty Keeva, it's about giving yourself to another man," Mattias tried to make her see reason.
"Another man, to whom our son or daughter will be a valued asset to the Imperial." Keeva replied to him once again.
"I just don't see why you would..."
"Your judgement is clouded by our friendship, Mattias. While I thank you for your input I have already made my decision and am waiting for the Commander to give me his." Her tone had turned harsher with her friend, she then turned to him and quickly apologised for her sharpness.
Mattias simply nodded.
"If this is what you wish, Second Commander Genesis, then you have my permission." The Commander said, granting her request and saluted her. It was Keevas turn to to return the gesture, and the moment she had done she turned on her heel and left the command deck so she could send her reply.