Cruxis Majoris Ultima: A baleful red giant. The only Imperial presence, several science and monitoring colonies on what were little more than half lit snowballs. They tumbled in the void, the only toehold possible, as close as safe to the deadly irradiated star. Unremarkable, and until now unremarked. Their only claim to any worthiness of mention, the recent discovery of what appeared to be traces of explorers.... from the dark age of technology. A discovery beamed triumphantly to the Warmaster's personal Astropaths. Then the accidents happened, and station after station seemed to go quiet, or fall victim to a freak explosion or critical life support failure or meteorite impact. Some of the scientists reported that silent black sillouetes had been spotted on visual scopes. Big enough to be ships...but surely not Imperial? No hail had been given and no aid rendered in response to their pleas. Xenos? The descendants of humans from nearby Sub-Sector Christus Ecclessia? Among the the watchers, a few knew the truth. They were "Imperial" alright. Astartes, Angels of Death.