Deathwatch (The Maneater)
The Deathwatch organization is pretty straightforward. Each sector or deployment area where Deathwatch operates is appointed with an overall leader, a Watch Commander, who is responsible for all Deathwatch assets and operations within his dedicated sector or area of operations. The Watch Commander is usually a lone professional, a marine who has dedicated his life to the service of Deathwatch. Because of his specialized skills and forbidden information he has learned during his long service in Deathwatch there is rarely a return for him back to his home chapter. Its a lone existence for the Watch Commander will sacrifice his comradeship with his chapter.
Under the Watch Commander serve the Watch Captains. Each Watch Captain is a leader, an investigator and a highly-professional veteran of Deathwatch. Their main job is to analyze all the transmissions, pleas for assistance and all the data and decide when and where it is necessary for Deathwatch to interfere in a developing xeno threat. The secondary job of the Watch Captains is to lead the actual combat assets, the Kill-teams, the Kill-marines and the Kill-ships. A single Watch Captain can have several teams working for them or none at all. It depends heavily on the needs of the missions and the wishes of the Watch Commander himself.
Kill-teams consist of anywhere from 2 to 10 Deathwatch marines, sometimes even more. They are the main combat tool of Deathwatch, assigned to wide variety of missions from simple reconnaissance and assassination missions to complex assignments like defending a whole world from xenos assault.
Deathwatch receives millions and millions of leads, tips, pieces of information and pleas for assistance every day. Only a few of them are worth the time and attention of a full kill-team. While most of the rest are simply filed away for future. Kill-marines are lone operators who are sent to pursue those assignments which are too small for a kill-team but possibly too important to ignore. To be a kill-marine requires rare talent. A marine who must be a scout, a diplomat, an assassin, an investigator and a leader in the same time. This is needed because the kill-marine must be prepared to operate for extended times without the support from squad mates or other Deathwatch personnel.
Kill-ships are fully automated drones controlled by the most sophisticated war-spirits known to man. They carry a cargo of Exterminatus weapons, travelling in the warp from system-to-system by pre-programmed routes, visiting places which are deemed to be strategically important to whole sectors, sub-sectors or even the Imperium as whole. If any of these worlds falls prey to sudden and unexpected xeno assault that would cause wider destruction the Watch Commander can authorize the kill-ship to launch Exterminatus on the world on its next visit there. Operating with minimum crew and sophisticated stealth-devices stopping a kill-ship before it enters the target system is almost impossible. And then its almost surely too late.
Watch Fortress is the main base from where the Deathwatch bases its operations in a sector or other operational area. A Watch Fortress is well fortified and defended by automated weapons and is capable of taking on several cruiser-class ships in space combat or resisting invasion attempts of thousands or even millions of xenos for years. Its raw combat power is still only its secondary function as it is the home, the training ground, the armoury and a vast library of information for all the members of Deathwatch operating in a wide area.
Many worlds are watched over by highly secret, well hidden Watch Stations. A Watch Station is well fortified base stored with equipment and capable of sustaining dozens, even hundreds of marines if need be. However, usually a Watch Station is all but empty, attended only by automated servitors and machines spirits as they are not meant to be active bases, but rather a silent, hidden line of defence. The sensors of the Watch Station monitor their assigned worlds for signs of xeno influence and if set parameters are fulfilled the Watch Captain will dispatch kill-teams to the station to deal with the emerging xenos threat. Untill that time the stations just wait, ready to support the kill-teams if and when the need arises.
Keepers of the Watch
Librarians, Chaplains, Techmarines and other astartes who spend most of their time in the Watch Fortress in dedicated support tasks form, together with the Watch Captains, the Keepers of the Watch. Amongst their duties is the collection and filing of information, keeping the Deathwatch records, training the new arrivals to Deathwatch, protect the ancient relics and priceless libraries of Deathwatch and maintain the weapons and armour the kill-teams need to accomplish their missions.