An Investigation into the Heresy of the Reasonable Marines
The first story written about the Knights Inductor, by LongPoster. Sadly, the story was never continued or concluded, and LongPoster never wrote anything else (under that name).
DESTINATION: Ordo Hereticus Conclave Astartum, Nemesis Tessera
SUBJECT: Reasonable Marines Adeptus Astartes Chapter
SENDER: Inquisitor Rightina Immam
MESSAGE FORMAT: Astropathic
ASTROPATHIC DUCT: Marimen Relay Station
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Hate the Heretic
My Lords, I have completed my assessment of the Reasonable Marines chapter, and now send you in full accordance with your wishes, my report.
As you know, the Reasonable Marines, formerly recorded in Imperial Records as the Knights Inductor, date back to a founding in the M.35, and have been out of regular contact due to a warp storm in their home sector of Aprior, for some thirteen hundred years. As you have dispatched me, I now present my report on the deviancies these marines have developed during this time.
Upon travelling into the capital system of the Aprior sector, I was surprised to hear the comparatively high amount of civilian communications traffic in the system. Contrary to expectations, during the warp storm, the system appears to have only grown in population, while its urbanisation has been reduced substantially. My pilot could find no evidence of the five major hive cities which were supposed to exist, but instead, a uniform level of urbanization across the surface, with the largest structures on the planet being massive air-filtration systems not dissimilar to those used by the Adeptus Mechanicus on many newly colonized worlds. Despite this, the communications traffic implied that the population of the system had expanded at a phenomenal rate, despite the disassembly of many of the major hives. Later, I learnt that far from being destroyed by the warp storms, these hives, had been disassembled by the marines themselves. Only certain regions of the hive cities appear to remain intact, primarily, those of exceptional aesthetic value.
My guide, Sergeant Sacres, told me that they were tourist attractions; with even parts of the underhive being preserved, both as they had been before the storm, and as the chaos forces had left them. As you can understand, this was of considerable concern, but I was assured in no uncertain terms that all ‘materials liable to endanger the visitor’s reason’ had been destroyed utterly.
The planet now proudly boasts of material independence from external supply. Sergeant Sacres told me that this had been a priority of the Reasonable Marines shortly after they took control of the planet, in order both to ensure the maximum rate of survival given the difficulty of travelling during the warp storm, and to provide a long term basis for prosperity. I asked him if all the planets under the Reasonable Marines’ control were like this.
‘We don’t like to say control, nor for that matter, do we claim to bring worlds to “compliance”’ he replied ‘we prefer to view many planets in the sector as cooperating with us. Consequently, some worlds in the sector are entirely unaffected by our own governance policies. Where we’ve been forced to act against planetary governors, we try to ensure, given the hazards of inter-system travel, that every system is able to stand on its own effectively. We aim to make most worlds capable of resisting a full invasion, too, with a progressive garrison policy that allows us to minimize our long-term obligations towards such worlds. So while the initial relief effort here was led by the third company, with support elements from the Imperial Guard, we were able to restore a working independence to it within three months. The majority of the chaos forces surrendered within one week, and were rapidly contained and shipped off world…’
I asked what precisely he meant by this, but he would not be drawn on the matter at the time. Instead, he conducted me on a tour of a massive underground waste processing sub-station, and a large-scale civil-defense post. ‘One part of this long-term strategy is an ability to mobilize the population of any world effectively. We find that providing suitable training and equipment, along with an emperor-centered opt-in training regimen is sufficient to induce many potential combatants to our side, while other options for those who would prefer to undertake another form of service allow those who would hold back the efficiency of militia units to be channeled into more effective service. We start training young, ten years before eligibility to join the core militia in all areas, as part of the comprehensive program of education we encourage; because of its opt-in nature, and a syllabus of ability and genetic testing which allows us to identify capable potential recruits at an early age, and keep them under observation. In this way, we have been able to increase our numbers to over three thousand in the last millennium…”
I immediately questioned him regarding how this fit with the Codex Astartes, and his response was immediate and practiced, ‘There is no specific regulation to the number of marines in a chapter; while the common interpretation is one thousand, this is simplistic. Instead, the Codex Astartes proscribes companies, and then the squads that should make one up, nine companies, and ten squads, plus command squads and headquarters staff.
The number of squads in the scout company is not limited by the Codex, as that would prevent a full strength chapter from inducting new recruits; and very little that Gulliman did was counterproductive,’ he said this highly reverently, ‘Furthermore, each chapter maintains its own starfleet and vehicle pool. We have used the lack of contact with Mars to induct many extra marines, who in turn gave their gene-seed to others, resulting in our being substantially over-strength. Much of that has gone to the vehicle pool, allowing us to field over a hundred predator tanks, and not many less Land Raiders, not counting the versions in service with our sister units…”
I found that last comment curious, but let it go, as I was interested to see the vehicle production facility our air-car had arrived at – I must note that the number of air vehicles gave me some pause, and in due course, I shall tell how the Reasonable Marines’ planets appear to have manufactured so many such vehicles. Of course, this is a specialty of the chapter, with many nominal assault units preferring to enter battle entirely in land speeder variants, more, I believe, than any other chapter.
The next day, I was informed that a transport would be able to take me to one of the Marines’ ships. The vessel was obviously new, from the lack of decoration, and it was, to my surprise, piloted by a full navigator. Apparently the Reasonable Marines had managed to maintain an adequate number during their isolation to provide for their logistics train as well as their own vessels.
This was my first encounter with the Reasonable Marines’ brand of servitors. At first, I thought they were purely machine, but Sergeant Sacres informed me that somewhere within their tracked, low-slung bodies, were sufficient elements of force-grown genetic culture to qualify them as servitors, for legal purposes. ‘They were re-designed by the tech-marines to maximize productivity, according to the standards of the holy STC. Much of the Imperium uses servitors that are made in a wide variety of ways; this standardization provides a five percent saving on resources, and their limited number of organic components allows them to be repaired more effectively.’
My suite on the vessel was, honestly, less than I was used to. Comfortable, but it was severely lacking in customary elegance of imperial staterooms. Upon arriving on the Strike Cruiser, with some dark humor, named Peace, I was surprised to see a large number of what at first I took to be Adepta Sororitas. Compelled by curiosity, I examined them; despite their nature, they wore the unpainted steel armor the Reasonable Marines favored on board their ships, when they had no information about their destination, though several sported urban disruptive camouflage. When questioned, they answered quite simply that they were Sisters of Reason.
I had heard, of course, of the brief conflict, during the isolation, of the Reasonable Marines, and the Adepta Sororitas of the Order of the Sacred Rose in the sector, which had ended after the marines demonstrated their willingness to use orbital firepower. The settlement removed almost all war materiel from their convents, to limit further aggression, using the ‘reasonable’ interpretation of the intent of the Decree Passive as justification.
Now, I understood what they did with it, it was natural that their candidate identification program should locate any number of talented, potential recruits who otherwise met their criteria, save their gender. While the implants of the Adeptus Astartes are only compatible with males, this less individually capable group of warriors are frequently used to supplement the Reasonable Marines’ numbers – two thousand such women in all, equipped in all details like marines, as reason permits.
This shocked me, as I began to see the depths of this heresy of reason.
As you know, the Emperor decreed a limitation on the use of Land Raiders, our most potent multi-role vehicle in its weight class, to the Adeptus Astartes, during the Heresy, after their production centre fell to the enemy. It has never been revoked
The Reasonable Marines claim that this is an unreasonable interpretation of his words, which, as they claim he was pragmatic like them, only applied to the duration of the shortage. They claim that, now that the Imperium has the capacity to produce these vehicles, he would want them deployed beyond the Astartes and the Inquisition, and they apparently manufacture substantial numbers of them, both for themselves, this Sorority of Reason, and even the Imperial Guard.
This was not their only heresy. While they did express a certain devotion to the Emperor, they practically blasphemed against him during the Inquest I was allowed to observe.
In this ritual, the captain of the vessel, the captain of the company stationed aboard, and the captain of the third line company (of would-be Sororitas, the title coming from Gulliman’s use of ‘Companies of the Second Line’ to describe space marine reserve companies. While the Reasonable Marines are willing to make use of these women, they admit that without the genetic enhancements of the marines, in allowing superior physical ability, longer lives, and more training hours in the day, that their ‘Sorority of Reason’ is best suited to a support role. This claim finds no disagreement) embarked. As well as these, various other officers and personnel were present, both making notes, and to provide something they called a ‘impartial quorum of question’.
The company captain began with a recitation of this… heresy. It pains me to repeat it, but I must.
‘As we proceed in this investigation, consider the Emperor of Man. Despite his genius and continuing honorable courage, he made a number of avoidable mistakes, even from the foundation of the Imperium. Even with the greatest ability, and noblest goals, mistakes happen. Therefore, let us admit to our own errors, that we may refine our ways…’
I cannot go on. They are heretics, my Lords. I shall conclude this report when I can compose myself and suppress my fury.