Thursday, August 26, 2010

Character Journal 3 - H. Tiberius Holocene

Day 267, 813M41
Log of Events
Ferral Wolf, comissioned 389M34
Captain H. Tiberius Odysean Holocene

Warrant of Trade # RV-426-G7-96-BFN4Y2
Granted to Rogue Trader Hester Nathaniel Holocene 623M35 327M31
Given leave to spread the light of the God Emperor to places unknown within Segmentum Obscurus.

How do you measure the value of a life?

It is a question that every leader worth his salt must face, even Rogue Traders. I have sent men to their deaths, lost soldiers in battle. I have even left people to die and made decisions that cost the lives of thousands of souls. I tell myself that the sacrifices are necessary; sealing off a burning compartment on my ship might kill hundreds, but save everyone else, tens of thousands of people who rely on me to make the right decision. I have commanded warriors to stand and fight in futility or to advance straight into corruption. But I will never be able to forget the screams of those burning alive, or the sight of men being ripped to pieces at the hands of an Ork horde. Despite these memories, I have always been able to remind myself why I do these things.

How can I let the fate of one life, or even a thousand lives stand in the way of destiny?

I am the progenitor of the Holocene Dynasty. Sending men to their deaths is a part of that. The decisions I make will someday influence entire star systems, billions of people. I will not fail my ancestors, I will not allow our line to fall into oblivion.

And yet...

Losing Sitara was a hammer blow. Though I rarely had opportunity to express them, I cannot deny the feelings I had for her. Love is probably too strong a word, but there was caring and compassion to be sure. She smiled only rarely, but when she did, it brightened my day. Watching her get ripped to shreds by the... thing under the city was devastating.

Suddenly my understanding of my destiny was cast into shadow. If her fate meant so much to me, what of the fates of all the rest who serve under my command, who toil for the name Holocene. How can one man be held responsible for so many? How can I continue to choose to send men into battle, or one of a hundred other gruesome ends?

I wish, for a fleeting moment, that I were someone else; a lowly serf. Riches and fame seem ill-equipped to offset this price, this burden I must bear.

I find myself unsure as to my next course of action. This is unnerving to say the least. I know that I am still tasked with leading this crew, this dynasty. What if I make the wrong choice?

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