“We are the Emperor’s retribution. We are here to scour the heretic. We are here to punish the traitor. We are here to cleanse the xeno taint from Imperial worlds. Suffer not the heretic to live. Suffer not the traitor to live. Suffer not the xeno to live.“—Admiral Jallaque, commander of the Damocles Crusade fleet.
* * *
IMPERIAL VOXCAST ( 6 213 742.M31)—The crusade against the hateful Tau Empire has reached the rebellious Timbra Sub-sector.
A series of Astropathic messages from the crusade fleet indicate that Imperial warships recently arrived at the outskirts of the Garrus colony system without incident, according to Captain Jamol Wythe, public liaison for the Imperial Navy at the Nguyen Naval Base above Belliose III.
“The fleet of more than 50 warships, led by the Battleship Blade of Woe, reached the Mandeville Point of the Garrus colony system and entered normal space without any significant damage,” he said. “Early sensor readings reveal the presence of several small Tau ships but no evidence of a significant xeno naval force.”
It will take the fleet approximately seven days to cross interplanetary space and reach the Garrus colony, Wythe added. If there truly are no Tau warships in the system, then the fleet commander, Admiral Jallaque, will broadcast a message to the rebellious colony to stand down its arms and accept the judgement of the Imperium.
“Any hesitation in obedience—any sign of resistance—will have the severest consequences,” he said.
Any successful opposition to the crusade fleet is almost non-existent, Wythe added. In addition to the firepower of a Retribution-class battleship, the fleet has around a dozen capital starships, as well as troop transports carrying five provisional companies of Space Marines and 19 regiments of Imperial Guard.
“As a colony world, Garrus does not have the industrial capacity nor the population to stand up against such a powerful force.”
Exactly what retribution Imperial officials will take against the rebellious colony is unclear. It is rumored that the Inquisition itself is participating in the crusade, and it is alleged that Imperial government officials allowed xeno influence to take root in the populace.
The consequences for treason and ties to xenos are likely to be severe, noted Khrysdam Alrod, a retired naval officer and scholar who is familiar with similar military actions in past decades.
“Trials, executions, even mass internships of traitors, the traitors’ families, and associates who took no action to fight treason are very likely. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, will feel the wrath of the Imperium.”
Military authorities warn that it could be weeks before more information is available about the crusade.
“Astropathic messages provides only limited information, and the vagaries of the Warp mean that messages can be delayed or distorted,” Wythe said. “I know that loyal citizens of the Imperium are waiting for news of glorious victories. But we will need to be patient.”
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Categories: Damocles Campaign