On the fourteenth day of Christmas, Black Library gave to us…a Crimson Fists short story by Mike Lee. A standalone story, None More Loyal follows Veteran Sergeant Galleas and his squad as they respond to an Inquisitorial request for aid and lay a trap for an infamous enemy of their chapter. Galleas prepares as well as he can for the coming conflict and the opportunity to exact revenge in the name of lost brothers, but as ever with the Inquisition, things are not quite what they seem.
Nicely paced and carefully plotted, this is a great example of how satisfying a short story can be. There’s a good mixture of character development and typical Space Marine action as the Crimson Fists prepare themselves and then take up arms, but also an impressive sense of tension as the story unfolds. With the Inquisition in the mix and the usual questions they inspire, there’s also a nice thread running through that looks at the issue of loyalty to the Imperium, given the extraordinary degree of autonomy afforded to both the Space Marines and the Inquisition. It’s good to see the Crimson Fists back in the spotlight, in a very solid story.