Author's Notes: Hello everyone, some ideas that I have had bouncing around in my head so I would like to see how they pan out. Games Workshop owns Warhammer and some ideas come from Fantasy Flight Games.
Inquisitor Kraig Ebo of the Ordo Hereticus of His Majesty's Most Holy Inquisition had served for virtually all of his one hundred and twenty-three years. In that time, he had seen pretty much all that there was to see. He had seen heretics and mutants by the score. Witches and the creatures of the Warp. So it was perhaps fitting that the last thing he was to see before going to sit at the side of the Emperor was something that he had never seen before. That being his acolyte, Interrogator Stefanus Anders, put a bullet right between his eyes.
Anders put his weapon, a Westingkrup Carnodon Pattern Precision Hand Cannon, back in its holster and looked down at the remains of his master. In retrospect, perhaps he should have used a different weapon, preferably one which would have left a smaller mess. Yes, looking down at the mass of flesh, blood and bone which had been the Inquisitor's head, Anders decided that that would have been a better choice. It was going to be a rather unpleasant task for whomever, or whatever, was tasked with cleaning it up. Well, thank the Emperor that was not going to be his responsibility. Time to see to what was. Anders drew himself to his full height, made the Sign of the Aquila and bowed.
"Go to the Emperor's side Master. Your duty is done." Kraig Ebo had been his master for fifteen of Ander's thirty-five years and while he had been a vicious tyrant more often than not, but he had been one of the few constants in Ander's life and at the end Anders felt compelled to grant him the Emperor's Peace. Ander's looked down at his master's remains, taking in his wounds.
As always Ebo was wearing his power armor, its glossy black surface covered with icons and devotional scenes worked in gilt. In the end neither the icons nor the armor itself had been enough to protect Ebo from the heretic attacks. Anders turned slowly around to take in the scene in the manufactorum where they had traced the heretics to, flinching in pain as he unthinkingly put weight on his injured leg.
They had hit the heretics hard and fast, Ebo's usual tactic, in an effort take them off-guard, kill the chaff and arrest their leaders. Anders did not know how, but the heretics had been warned and had been waiting for them and the attackers had themselves been attacked. Like most such groups they had been poorly armed, mainly various homemade and poorly maintained autoguns. Individually they were no threat to Ebo in his power armor, but there had been many of them and Ebo's size and actions had made him their primary target. Hundreds of shots had rung harmlessly off the armor, but inevitably some had gotten through and Ebo had gone down. While he had been their primary target, he had not been the only one.
Anders looked over at the blasted remains of Destroyer II and Sin-Eater V, the Arco-flagellants and the three servo-skulls which composed the rest of Ebo's retinue. Anders had always been uneasy around the flagellants, but his feelings had been nothing compared to the fear and hatred which they engendered in the heretics, who had poured a veritable torrent of bullets in their direction. They had soaked up an unbelievable amount of damage, but at last they had both succumbed, as had the servo-skulls. Anders, the least threatening-looking member of the group, had had the least amount of attention, but he had been noticed and something, a shot or piece of shrapnel, had gotten through his carapace armor on his leg. It had not gone wholly the heretics way; however. Dozens of dead and wounded heretics lay about. Looking at them Anders was disappointed, but not surprised, to note that the leaders were not there. He shook his head and reached for his vox unit; it was time to call for reinforcements. Ebo had not wanted to include the local enforcers, or any non-Inquisitorial assets, but the threat had proven to be far greater than anticipated and now he was dead. Anders would have to reach out to other Inquisitors and until they responded it would be up to him to continue the investigation and for that he would need help.
The enforcers, called the Maintainers of Order in a rather unimaginative name according to the information that Anders had collected before they had arrived on the world of Oloph Primus, arrived with commendable promptitude and their detachment included a medica to treat Anders' leg. Anders was offered pain balm, but he refused. He had long learned to tolerate pain and there was still work to be done. Instead he demanded to be taken to the governor's palace, called the Residence of the High Executive.
Oloph Primus was classified as a civilized world whose main source of revenue was the exportation of manufactured goods. Centuries of mergers and buyouts had resulted in the industries of the world being owned by a handful wealthy families who were so powerful that they had taken control of the governorship, or High Executive to use the local term. The position was held on a rotating basis and its main objective was to ensure that the meeting of the tithes did not overly impact their profits and that no new companies could threaten the interests of the existing ones. Due to their deep ties to the various corporations Ebo had been reluctant to rely on local government. Indeed, they had not even told the current governor, Domineus Ortyras, that they were on the planet. This had compelled Anders to use Inquisitorial codes which identified him to the Maintainers when he had contacted them and display his rosette when he demanded to see the governor.
They must have received word of his coming for guards, servants and all the other people who always seemed to inhabit palaces and be running about on errands, whose purpose was, as far as Anders knew, known only to themselves and the Emperor, all leaped to get out of his way. This allowed him to proceed unhindered till he reached the doors to the High Executive. Four of the High Executive's elite guards stood before him. For a moment they looked as if they would bar his way, but a glower from Anders sent them scurrying to either side. He paid them no further mind as he passed them and entered the room beyond.
In keeping with his duties, the office of the High Executive was very unlike those of other governors which Anders had seen in his service to the Inquisition. There were no paintings of previous holders of the office, indeed, there were no works of art at all. In their place were cogitators manned by servitors. The High Executive, was a tall man, rail-thin with graying hair which matched his suit of the same color.
On the way to the palace Anders had gone over his options in dealing with the High Executive. He and his master were perfectly within their rights to not inform anyone of their activities on the planet. However; this was likely to have offended the High Executive and now that Anders was in need of his aid and would have to move swiftly to sooth any bruised egos on the part of the High Executive and the other important and influential persons of Oloph Primus.
On the other hand, his master had taught Anders that, as a representative of the Inquisition, he must never be seen to be subservient to anyone, even a planetary governor. Inquisitors were the left hand of the Emperor who fought the foes of mankind wherever they were and whatever they were. Governors, Ebo had always said were mere stewards of the Emperor and warriors did not bow to stewards, especially stewards whom they could kill with a word. Anders had weighed all of this and had decided on what he thought would be the best method of approach. His mind was recalled back to the present as the High Executive rose from his seat.
"Interrogator Anders. I am High Executor Lexon Bellair," he said in a voice as colorless as the rest of him was; "I was informed of your presence by the Maintainers of Order. From the Maintainers of Order, I most note that neither I, nor anyone else was informed of ongoing Inquisitorial operations being conducted on the planet, not by you or your master. May I enquire as to why this was the case?" Anders did not bow or make any other form of obeisance, but he made no remark on the governor's words, which some would have seen as criminally disrespectful way to address a member of the Inquisition.
"High Executive Bellair, the doings of the Inquisition are not your concern. We came to this world to deal with a developing situation, a situation which I would be within my rights to blame you for allowing to develop to this extent. Thus it would be in your best interest and in the best interest of this world, to assist me. The longer that this matter continues the longer that this world and some of its, shall we say less than popular policies." Executive Bellair's expression did not change, but it was clear what exactly Anders was talking about.
Oloph Primus, like many highly industrialized worlds, had a sizable mutant population. On some worlds these would be purged, while on others they were allowed to live as an oppressed under-class and used as slave labor, or paid so little that they might as well be considered slaves. Oloph Primus was among the latter, what made them unique was the level of mutation which they would tolerate, far more than many would. If Anders wished it the world could easily find itself the target of a pogrom which would not only cripple the world's economy, but could see many of the leaders killed for allowing the mutants to live for so long. The last thing that the High Executive wanted was to see the skies about Oloph Primus filled with ships bearing Sisters of Battle and Frateris Militia urged on by firebrand Preachers and Confessors. Seeing this Anders immediately changed his tone and approach.
"On the other hand, your aid is greatly needed until help arrives and that would not only clear you and leaders of this p'lanet of any suspicion and the need for any further investigations into your practices, but would also earn you the gratitude of the Inquisition.
"What do you require?"
"I will require accesses to your astropathic choir and I shall also need several units of your Planetary Defense Force. If possible they should have experience, or at least training, in urban warfare." The heretics thought they had won, he would prove them wrong. The time for subtlety had passed.
Author's Notes: Well, what did you think? Let me know in the comments. Have a good one and stay safe.