Writer & Illustrator

The Chain of Faith 

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vingette warhammer40k

To ask if she possessed faith was beyond rhetorical—it verged on heretical. 

Sister Honna Zhen, Adepta Sororitas, Palatine in the Order of Our Martyred Lady was a creature of faith. Faith was the pith of her being. The chain binding the flesh in her body, the thoughts in her mind, and the fire within her heart.

But that faith was with the God Emperor of Mankind, and not with Second Platoon, 33rd Battalion, Yelondion Planetary Defense Force—the very platoon, who were supposed to link up with Honna’s squadron just over the following ridge line. 

Honna looked back upon her squadron. The Orks had extorted a heavy sum upon them. So few left, and none without the marks of battle. To a woman, their power armor was pitted. Scarred from axe and cleaver, hard round, and tooth. But in their faces, she saw the very faith that she held. 

A faith in her. And she in turn had a faith in her Canoness. Up and down her chain of command all the way to the God Emperor himself sitting atop the golden throne on holy Terra. 

Honna ducked as bolter fire—or whatever the Ork-ish equivalent was—exploded along the ridgeline. 

She had a choice to make: Lead her women up that ridgeline, over that hill and into the heart of the greenskin hoard. Then hope—pray—the Planetary Defense Force troops rented their own gash within the enemy and were just then moving to flank the Orks. Or to hold her position.

Another hard round whizzed by the Palatine’s head.

The odds of the PDF completing their audacious flanking maneuvers were slim. PDF troops were not front line solders. Not shock troops. No one would fault Honna for holding her position. For striking a defensive posture. Save the lives of her sisters, whom she valued above all save for the God Emperor. 

But what if the PDF pushed through? What if with luck and faith in the Emperor they pushed back the green wave and were there, waiting for their ally—waiting for Honna and her Sisters of Battle—and they weren’t there? The feeling they would have as the blood-mad Orks hacked them to pieces: that a link in their chain of faith broke.

Honna revved her chainsword, turned to her sisters.

“The chain will not break!” She yelled over the din of battle. Her sisters had no way of knowing Honna’s internal thoughts but they understood the sentiment well enough. 

“For the Emperor!” 

Sister Honna Zhen, Adepta Sororitas, Palatine in the Order of Our Martyred Lady, unbreakable link in the chain of faith—sisters beside her—crested the hill.