Who was the first to die?
Most commentaries will cite Honourious Luciel and Seventeen others on the company deck aboard the samothrace as the first casualties, at the hands of Sorot Tchure, at mark -00.19.45.
However they would be wrong.
The fleet tender, Campanile is mob-boarded and taken with all hands aproximately one hundred and thirty six hours before count begins, as a preliminary to the Calth assault. Three thousand seven hundred and nine crew members are executed, including the shipmaster, all command staff and a large portion of the engineering contingent. Proof of the loss of the Campanile, delivered to the Lord Guilliman at around mark 1.30.00 shows calculation and extreme planning on behalf of the adversary. This refutes any claim that the conflict was born of accident, if such claim were ever made. None were, nobody can argue against this. Lorgar was trying to kill them all along.
precise details of the circumstances are lost / and alone in such darkness, on a decelleration path between the outer moons, one small ship, overweight and wheezing, over three and a half thousand souls / because no log record or data canister was ever recovered from the wreck / which had been attacked by something in the night, made in the night, made of the night. A void hard darkness with teeth and eyes, squirting through every airgate and bulkhead and sealed hatch like pressurised oil / though it is assummed that the vessel was overhauled by a fighting vessel and taken with all hands / all of them screaming as they were blinded and suffocated, nowhere to flee or escape, no door that would open except to bare and airless space. And the thing in the night filled the Campanile up and swallowed the screams of the dying and the lost and laughed them back, promising that thier screams were nothing more than chamber music to the Dark Monarchs that humanity had only just begun to dream of / so that its anchorage could be used to penetrate the platform yards. Course irregularities are noticed frequently between marks -135.01.20 and -122.11.35. Vox contact is lost at mark -99.21.59. Calth orbitals mark the Campanile as 'cause for concern and would dispatch an inspection team upon its anchouring. The team never sets off because Vox contact is regained at mark -88.10.21. The crew of the Campanile is listed on the roll of the fallen as none of them were seen again / except they were but not in any form that they could be recognised.
Apart from thier screams.
Red, for Enemy.
A Marine is floating forwards at me from the airlock. 12 metres away.
It is red.
A Word Bearer. The XVII Legion, the Word Bearers.
I have a pistol in my thigh pocket. I can draw it and fire in under a second.
Theoretical: Aim for the eyeslit. Weakest part of the armour. Assured killshot. Close, probability of hitting at this range is high. Fire multiple times, garuntee a kill.
Practical: Fire two shots. We are in an airlock, chance of depressurisation is decreased with two shots. Aim for eyeslit with the first, Chest with the second. Eyeslit to kill. Chest to knockback in unlikely case of survival, Secondarily to throw the body into any futher opponents and throw them off balance. Estimated chance of kill on first shot is 67%. Overall chance of a successful engagement, factoring in the chance of non-instantaneous death and multiple opponents is 94%.
My name is Honourious Luciel, I am a Captain of the XIII Legion, the Ultramarines. What do I do?