The worst part is the waiting…right? In his Horus Heresy short story Duty Waits, Guy Haley explores the effect on Dorn’s Imperial Fists of the interminable waiting as they man the walls of the Imperial Palace in expectation of Horus’ armies reaching Terra. With security tighter than ever after the Alpha Legion’s infiltration of Terra (you’ve read Praetorian of Dorn, right?), and civilians suffering the side-effects of a total focus on war, tensions are high and an outlet is going to be needed, sooner or later. For Captain Maximus Thane (sound familiar?) the enemy can’t come soon enough.
It’s a story literally about waiting, about what that does to a Space Marine, and how they cope differently to ‘normal’ humans. At the same time it’s an exploration of the Imperial Palace’s defences and what the ever-increasing need for vigilance does to the nerves of the defenders…which ties back into the first point. Thane and his men are stretched out onto a knife-edge, fighting boredom (how would a Space Marine cope with boredom? Find out here…) before they ever fight a physical enemy. It’s a powerfully dark story that exchanges action and excitement for tension and detail…it’s odd, but fascinating.