To: General Vladimer Kurov, Commander Imperial Forces, Armageddon.

From: Colonel Destrier Celestine, Armageddon Command Guard

Date: 998.M41

Subject: Conduct unbecoming, Marines Malevolent

Thought for the day: Let the fire of battle cleanse your soul

General Kurov,
I must bring to your attention an action that took place at 06:44 (local time) in the environs surrounding Hive Hades. An incident involving the Marines Malevolent Chapter of Space Marines has brought to light some disturbing behavioural patterns within their ranks that I feel merits your most detailed attention.

Striking from the Diablo Mountains, a force of Orks (estimated strength: 5,000+ with vehicle and dreadnought support) poured down Devil's Ridge and stormed the blockhouses at the head of the Eumenidies river bridge. The Orks slaughtered the defenders here and swept across the bridge into Emperor's Deliverance refugee camp. As you are no doubt aware, this camp currently houses over 12,000 refugees from the destroyed hive and nearly 1,000 members of the Adeptus Ministorum.

I was therefore horrified when the Whirlwind anti-personnel tanks of the Marines Malevolent opened fire on the Orks while they were still within the camp's perimeter. High explosive rockets turned the refugee camp into a storm of shrapnel and when we launched our counter-attack, I saw horrendous collateral damage amongst the camp's population. While the Orks were penned within the camp, the Marines Malevolent were able to isolate areas of resistance and destroy each one in turn. The battle lasted for another six hours and the Orks were eventually destroyed utterly.

At the battle's conclusion I confronted the leader of the Space Marines, Captain Vinyard, and appraised him of my disapproval regarding his battle stratagems. Not only did the captain threaten my life, but he also stated that those who had died in the camp were expendable and acceptable losses. He went on to say that those who would not fight against the Orks and would cower in a camp had no right to live because their freedom was bought with another's blood. Captain Vinyard then expounded fully (and at some length) on his belief in the ultimate supremacy of humanity in war and his Chapter's tenets of belief. Namely that there is no such thing as innocence, merely degrees of guilt. I fully believe that the Marines Malevolent hold Imperial citizens in contempt and perceive themselves to be self-evidently superior to their fellow man. While biologically this may indeed be the case, I feel it is a worrying psychological trait that has not only brought about the deaths of nearly four thousand refugees and members of the Adeptus Ministorum, but shows a worryingly egotistical streak in the command structure of the Marines Malevolent.

I look forward to your earliest reply.         

Colonel Destrier Celestine              
Armageddon Command Guard