/Entry 1/ I have only met my new Deathwatch brothers a few minutes ago on board the Imperial frigate Thunder’s Word, and we are already being sent planetside.
According to the captain’s briefing, the industrial moon Tantalus in the Castobel system, a strategically significant battlezone against the Tyranids here in the Jericho Reach, has been swarmed by this vile Xenos infestation. The fight is already lost however: except for a few zones around the polar circles, which are estimated to fall to the onslaught within hours, the whole moon has been scourged; even a Deathwatch Kill-team cannot turn this tide. But that is not our mission.
A Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus, called Zardos Vyakai, crashed his escape shuttle on the moon’s surface, right at the frontlines, which will be overrun any moment now. More importantly, the Magos carries with him a datacore containing invaluable information on the Tyranid Hive Fleet. Acquiring this datacore is of vital importance to the Empire, and thus the Deathwatch. I added a third objective of my own: to kill as many of these Xenos monstrosities as time will permit. A drop pod is being readied for us, we will touch down in ten minutes.
As I’m a veteran of that most costly of struggles for the Ultramarines, the Battle for Macragge, the captain appointed me as the Kill-team commander. An interesting choice, and not one my apothecary training has extensively prepared me for. My brothers are a mixed lot, to say the least. I was glad to see another Ultramarine, brother Macbeth, but I found his reactions to my questions a bit disconcerting to say the least. He seemed conflicted about receiving this highest of honours, to serve on the Deathwatch. I had expected more from a standard bearer. Brother Bill on the other hand, while quite reserved - more than I had expected of a Blood Angel, at least proved to possess a combative spirit and made clear where his allegiances lie. The third, brother Armenius, of the Dark Angel chapter, likewise seemed capable and eager. The last member of our Kill-team, brother McGregor, missed the appointed rendezvous. I hope the reason for this does not turn out to be too severe, but otherwise such a thing is inexcusable.
/Entry 2/ We have landed on Tantalus, close to the Magos’ shuttle’s crash site. We quickly checked the craft, but the remaining occupants had all been dead for a few hours at the least, and the computers and instruments damaged to such a degree as to be inoperable. As we only have five hours before we must reach higher ground and a drop ship from the Thunder’s Word will collect us, we could not investigate further. Brother Aremenius just found four sets of human tracks, leading to the north-east, in the direction of a prison labour camp, on the outskirts of Pyroclast-Gamma-9, an industrial refinery.
/Entry 3/ We found three human corpses and a broken servoskull, next to a dead Tyranid. I tasted the vile Xenos creature, but it gave me no further clue as to the Magos’ location. As we followed a short trail marked by blood, we were suddenly surprised by three winged Tyranid creatures, the kind referred to as Shrikes. They proved no match for four brothers of the Deathwatch however. We continue north-east, towards the prison camp. Was pleasantly surprised to see another drop pod touch down, which finally united us with brother McGregor.
/Entry 4/ Found remainder of Imperial guard unit in the camp. Commander admirably gave order to his men to lay down their lives for the Emperor. Unfortunately we have no time to aid these brave souls in their hour of need, their survival is of no strategic consequence. As the Tyranid horde came down on them and started to breach the perimeter, I deemed it necessary to try and reach this commander, to question him for any information which might lead us to the last known whereabouts of the Magos. Escorted by brothers Bill and McGregor we flanked the Tyranid horde and gained access to the prison camp. While my brothers searched the buildings, I approached the Imperial guard commander. At the sight of a Space Marine however, the man’s steely resolve quickly gave way and he utterly broke down, no doubt believing his recue had come. Pressed the man for intelligence then and there, but the Tyranid horde slaughtering his men a few meters away had by then fully occupied his mind. I both pity and admire these humans, so feeble in mind and body, but yet somehow able to muster great strength and dedication in their best moments. I decided the best way to gain his full cooperation was to end this Tyranid incursion for the time being. As brothers Armenius and Macbeth laid down suppressive fire from their superior vantage point on the southern flank of these horrid creatures, my remaining brothers and I engaged the Tyranid horde from the front, putting our allotted frag grenades to good use. Just observed brother Bill using his jump pack to land in the middle of the Hormagaunt swarm. Better get ready the narthecium.