+++FILE DESIGNATION: Lord-Captain’s Personal Logfile+++
+++LOCATION: Uncharted Space+++
It has been years since I last encountered the forces of Chaos. Though Victrix and I served for quite some time at the Cadian Gate, it was rare that we encountered a sorcerer of such power as to command deamons, but I remember them all. Anterax, the Heretic, who succeeding in summoning the Bloodthrister, but failed to master it. He was the first to die at its hands, but far from the last. Oberog the Despoiler, who led an army blessed by the Unclean One. And Mortarion, A Word-Bearer Sorcerer, who commanded a veritable legion of deamons. Like all who challenge the might of the Imperium, they were destroyed, but not before the were able to inflict significant and lasting damage.
I must remember that even the bravest may quail in the face of such evil. I must remember Commissar Pytrovich, who took his own life rather than continue the charge against the Bloodthirster. I must remember General Hansen, who, when faced by Oberog’s hordes, turned the heavy guns of the 79th Armored against his own men. I must remember Major Killian, leading the charge against the Sorcerer’s demonic host bare-handed, bellowing for the Emperor’s salvation.
I remind myself of their failure, so my own may seem less. God-Emperor forgive me.
The warp incursion occurred during second watch three days ago. The deamon came through amidst the aft munitions decks. I ordered an immediate return to real-space and containment of the lower decks. The horror tore through several compartments, killing all in its path, before we were able to confront it. What happened next was all too familiar. The minds of men were not meant behold such abominations and retain their sanity. It was such that I was temporarily deprived of mine. Though I remember it not, in my rage I struck Victrix before she was able to subdue me. I only wish she had reacted more quickly. Perhaps it was for the best that I was the one who failed to stand before the beast. Had our positions been reversed, I am unsure that I could have stopped her.
With Victrix’s aid, I was able to recover quickly and, through the quick action of my command staff, the deamon was dispatched. I was surprised – and pleased – to learn that Nicostratus stood his ground and fought bravely. Though his confidence in me may be shaken, it seems that at least some of my lessons have sunk in. I hope he understands now the true scope of what is at stake out here. And, though the danger has passed, the destruction remains. We will be long in counting the bodies.
I haven’t slept or eaten since the incident. I tell myself it is because there is work to be done, but I know the truth of it. I fear what I have done. The knowledge that control fades so easily in the face of horror eats at me. What about the next time? Might I be on the bridge with my ship’s vast weapons arrayed before me? That is why there must not be a next time. I must purify myself, body and soul. Harden my will against that which would break it. With the God-Emperor as my Sword and my Shield, I must hold the line.