Rogue Trader: Intermission: Honour and Duty
This intermission takes place during the crew rebellion in
From the Annulus Militae of Commissar Gabriel Forschner of the Scintillan XVIII Rifles, M41/346/125.
—Thought For the Day: As I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I shall fear no evil, for I am fear incarnate—
It begins. It is the moment we’ve all trained for since we left the proving grounds of Scintilla, the moment we’ve prepared for with countless hours on the parade ground, and manoeuvres out in the badlands of Hive Quintus. Emperor’s teeth, but I never thought I’d live to see it happen on board my own ship. I’m writing this report in case I don’t make it out of here. The men are scared, they hide it well – Saints preserve them – but I know them and they cannot hide their fear from me. It’s that look in the eyes, that thousand yard stare into the middle distance. They know they are going to die today.
Lupo is doing the prayer rounds as I write. The platoon calls him ‘Father’ Lupo. It started as a joke. He’d be there, wandering up and down the lines singing hymns from the Ecclesiarchy’s Primer on the Catechisms of Detestation. Emperor alone knows where he found it. Throne, Emperor alone knows where he learned to read! My illustrious predecessor shot Lupo for stepping out of the lines back on the Lathes. The book stopped the round. The lads knew then that the God-Emperor was keeping an eye out for Lupo.
I’m not going to survive this, so it doesn’t matter now if what I write here is insubordination or not, but that prick got what was coming to him. If that heretic hadn’t have killed him back on Hesh, I would have. I only thank the Emperor that the Lord Captain’s man promoted me, so that I could stop the pointless damned killings. Discipline is what every solider needs, discipline and faith. But all officers have a duty to their troops. He didn’t recognise that. He never realised that while you hold their lives in your hands, the inverse applies. When you start killing your own men to get your kicks, then the Emperor knows your time is numbered.
I’ve got to go. The traitors are storming the precinct gates. I’ve order the heavy weapons deployed, but it’s only a matter of time until they break through. Koltz has told me that the ship is on fire. It’s making its way through the crew quarters and gunnery decks. If the promethium lines go up we’re all dead. Emperor damn-it, but where in the name of Terra is the Lord-Captain? We’re dying like dogs down here and no-one can help us. I go now to war. I go to sell my life and the lives of my men for the God-Emperor. If anyone finds this record, if you have a spark of compassion for the brave men and women who fought and died here, please, take us home. Bury us on Malfi, where the white walls of Hive Primus stand proud over the bayous. If I cannot see the sun set upon my home, if I must die here in this Throne-forsaken place, then bury me where people can know of our story and remember us in their prayers.
Duty and Honour unto Death.