5- Kill Team "Gevurah", XVI Legion
“Horus is a fool. He has forgotten his place, and his roots. He acted the Cthonian but always thought himself better; grander, more glorious, destined for higher things. He wanted to _rule_, as if he was a stuck-up son of Inwit or Macragge. That was never the Cthonian way. Horus forgot the truth of what we are. Whatever airs and graces we put on, we are killers, no more, no less; the Emperor’s wolves, sent to tear out the throats of his enemies. We destroy, not rule. That is Horus’ nature too, even if he denies it. Even if my brothers have forgotten their station, I have not; I am a Luna Wolf, now and always.”
- Hamilcar Bast, “the Gibbous”; formerly of the XVI Legion, 7th Company.
“The Emperor never conquered the galaxy; we did it for him. To contend that we should meekly hand over our conquests to the mewling weaklings of humanity is the grossest form of insult imaginable. The strong have always ruled over the weak, and the Gods have always rewarded the strong. They have rewarded the Warmaster; they have rewarded me. Kneel before me, worm, or kill me and prove yourself stronger.”
- Shul Targhum, “the Blessed”; Ritualist of the Jackal Lodge, also Sergeant of the XVI Legion, 16th Company.
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-001] Legionaries Hamilcar Bast and Ezekyle Dasturkh of the XVI, showing early Crusade-era (L) and late Crusade-era ® heraldry.
The Massacres at Isstvan III and V did not just represent a triumph for the Warmaster; they also marked the ascendency of the Warrior Lodges as the leading source of authority within Horus’ Legion. In the months that followed the Dropsite Massacre, the Lodges began to assert this control, both subtly and, increasingly, with open disregard for the former command structure of the Legion. One field in which the Lodges quickly assumed complete dominance was in the XVI’s internal discipline. Lodge members found themselves called to take part in informal tribunals as a part of their duties; when these gatherings marked a Legionary for censure, or worse, the Lodge itself would enact the punishment, often taking no account of the views of senior officers. As the war went on, the Lodges would often accomplish specific missions using members seconded from across the Legion; a practice that the Warmaster and his Equerry Maloghorst tacitly tolerated, so long as their own designs were not obstructed.
One of the few identifiable temporary Lodge formations was Kill Team Gevurah, which was apparently established in the immediate wake of the conclusion of the Isstvan V campaign. The designation “Gevurah” remains obscure; however, XVI Legion assets operating on Lodge business generally distinguished themselves using cult phraseology, so it must be assumed that the term had some form of ritual significance.
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-002] Legionary Hamilcar Bast of the 7th Company, XVI Legion, and an unknown subject. Rembrancer's note: Subject's clothing, pallour and presence of cult paraphenalia suggests membership of lower-deck fleet Basilitheist grouping (Ref:Alpha/6/Lectitio_Divinatus).
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-003] Sergeant Shul Targhum of the 16th Company, XVI Legion. Rembrancer's note: Subject's anolmalous facial features and colouring remain unexplained.
The Kill Team was created to eliminate a rogue XVI Legionary named Hamilcar Bast. Bast, an undistinguished Cthonian line trooper within the VII Company, had apparently given his superiors no concern as to his loyalties in the days leading up to the Isstvan III atrocity due to his Lodge membership; however, when his squad assembled for deployment on the surface of the planet, Bast failed to report to duty. Initial efforts to trace the missing Legionary failed; however, during the transfer of XVI assets from Isstvan III to Isstvan V, the Grand Cruiser Ananke experienced a rash of unexpected systems failures that were eventually recognised as sabotage.
Bast’s Lodge membership ensured a swift reaction from within the hidden arm of the Legion. In order to eliminate the threat and also to suppress knowledge of continued Loyalist activity within the XVI Legion, the Lodges assembled a Kill Team to hunt him down.
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-004] Legionaries Abed Barekbal and Lev Abakhol of the 21st Company, XVI Legion. Rembrancer's note: Red gauntlets of subjects are theorised as denoting specialist Warrior Lodge formation.
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-005] Legionaries Ezekyle Dasturkh and Tubal Magiddon of the 5th and 8th Company, XVI Legion.
The composition of this team is instructive as to the nature of the Warrior Lodges in the wake of the Great Betrayal. Commanding Gevurah was Shul Targhum, a relatively junior sergeant of the 16th Company who in the period before Isstvan was rumoured to be a senior Lodge officer. Targhum led a diverse grouping of Astartes, including a neophyte, a member of the Legion’s destroyer cadre, and a Sergeant theoretically with far more seniority than his own.
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-006] Legionaries Tarhunt Eshkol and Sheol Aqhat of the 5th and 13th Companies, XVI Legion. Rembrancer's note: Subject's armour and equipment denotes membership of XVI Destroyer Cadre.
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-007] Sergeant Cassius Lycaon and Legionary Tarkon Vuk of the 23rd Company, XVI Legion. Rembrancer's note: Red Helmet plume denotes Sergeant status in some XVI Companies.
The ultimate fate of Gevurah, or indeed Hamilcar Bast, is unclear. What is known is that Bast, sheltered by shadowy Deist elements amongst the menial thralls in the lower decks of the Ananke, inspired a bloody insurrection on the Grand Cruiser that raged intermittently for almost a year. During the early stages of the Battle of Dwell, the Grand Cruiser’s warp reactor cores spontaneously detonated, killing all aboard and also crippling two nearby escort ships. Only one member of the Kill Team is recorded beyond this date; Tubal Magiddon rose to become Chieftain of one of the XVI’s Reaver companies before his apparent death at the Eternity Wall Spaceport during the invasion of Terra, although confusingly, later reports from the Scouring period also record a Warlord of that name.
[Pict Capture DR/742-18Y-008] Kill Team Gevurah.