6 600 005.M42
I was one of sixty-four potential heirs to House Hippu-Tippalus. A few of us, myself included, were natural born descendants. Others were gene-smelted, crafted from my father’s DNA and given as gifts from the Mechanicus. Some were the siblings of my father, looking for a chance to claim the title that was given to him before their birth. Others still were adopted into the family, the most ambitious and ruthless of the bankers, or the most noble and loyal of the fleet captains. Each of us made incredible sacrifices to even be considered, and we lived our lives in fierce competition.
When my father announced that he would begin the process of deciding his heir, the great game began. Soon the least cautious of our ranks found themselves slumped over ledgers with knives in their backs, or captaining a ship with a malfunctioning warp drive. Those who inspired loyalty swiftly gathered supporters and retainers. Alliances formed and fell. Fealty and fraternity took on new meanings.
It was more than a hundred years before the dust settled and I was named the heir.
Father never told us how he would choose his heir, only that he would choose the one most fit to lead. Each of us interpreted this statement in a different way. Some took it to mean that they needed to defeat all opposition, and prove that they alone were powerful enough to lead the dynasty. Others chose to build complex trade alliances, and show that they alone could manage the family’s vast trade interests. Some even embarked on great journeys to prove that they could build wealth through daring exploits and newfound explorations. None of those ambitious explorers returned, save for myself. Sometimes I wonder if the day will come when one of them emerges from the void at the head of a great and terrible fleet, seeking to challenge my position.
Aboard Domilcus station, I am reminded of that fateful century. In those years things moved quickly. I often led from the front, taking ships from my siblings in boarding actions, or thwarting their business ventures with plots within plots. One month we would be raiding xenos shipping routes, aiming to capture valuable cargo. The next month, dueling over the rights to strip mine the moons of Brahmsava IX.
My heart races. My blood pounds in my ears. I am filled with the thrill of competition and conflict. It is time to take the station.
Now that we must treat all forces as hostile, there is no longer an opportunity to solve this with diplomacy or subterfuge. Sarsfield has recommended that I return to the fleet while he oversees this operation. I will not allow it – I trust his abilities, but I am enjoying this too much.
Already we have pushed all opposing forces out of the commerce district. The last to go were stubborn brutes, looting and raiding the bank vaults above the water sanitation decks. Their size and strength terrified the voidsmen, but they could not withstand our numbers. Though they retreated with considerable material wealth stuffed into bags and crates, they left the trade documents unmolested, which are more valuable for our purposes.
Most importantly, we have secured a hanger deck by forcing a squad of Astartes to retreat. With adequate docking facilities, I have ordered our ship to enter the system and provide reinforcements. Armsmen are inbound, accompanied by whatever voidsmen can be armed and spared. The station is vast, and we will need all hands to conquer it effectively.
By the guiding hand of the Emperor, we will prevail.