Eurasmus raised his hand as the servitor's gaze drifted over his table. The machination wandered over and poured him his order then took his coin. The tavern was empty now save for Eurasmus and his companion who in truth was not all there. The man beside Eurasmus was many things only one of which mattered to Eurasmus. A self styled Grand Trade Admiral, owner of a dozen star-ships, lord over perhaps as many as half a million souls and a heretic. Soon he would be ash but not before he spilled his guts.
"You will die soon. Do you know that?"
The mans puffy eyes let out more tears but he did not wail as he had earlier when Eurasmus had first acquired the man. Good. He has learned.
Eurasmus liked it when his targets had finally come to realize what was in store for them he had always enjoyed the feeling of power. Ever since Eurasmus had been small and only had his true name. Eurasmus' first taste of power had been over his younger brother, when his parents were gone Eurasmus had played little games with him. Nothing to serious. That would have gotten Eurasmus in trouble. But his brother bled and kept quite about it when their parents asked what had happened. Eurasmus was to smart to get in trouble so he had satisfied his urges on the hive-rats preferably the mutated ones. Even then he had known to punish the mutant. Eurasmus had always been devout.
Purge the mutant and the heretic. Only in death can they be clean.
Back then Eurasmus had thought the little swelling in his chest that he got from inflicting pain and humiliation had been what drove him. He had always known he was different from others. Eurasmus didn't like to play with other children unless he was winning at something. But Eurasmus always won even if it made others hate him. By the time he was in his teens Eurasmus had learned to play his peers like he played his parents and his younger sibling. Eurasmus became good at lying and knowing just what to say to people. The right words made other boys respect him and girls want to sleep with him. He realized that most people were predictable, and boring. So Eurasmus punished them for their failings This was when he had learned what the little fire inside him was. Through others suffering Eurasmus held power over them. Pain wasn't what compelled Eurasmus it was power. But it was not for some time that Eurasmus had learned that there were other kinds of power. And even though the sobbing man beside him didn't realise this but although Eurasmus had broken and beaten him the heretic still had something that Eurasmus needed.
Knowledge is power. Guard it well.
Tears dripped past the man's mouth and landed on the floor. It was pathetic. Any sliver of remorse Eurasmus might have felt left him at that point. In his mind the heretic was the focus of a hatred so intense and burning few can truly understand it. Only a true zealot would could possibly feel such single minded righteousness. It was this feeling that Eurasmus told himself he craved above all others it made him feel at one with Him on Terra. In truth it made Eurasmus feel as though he was the Emperor.
Eurasmus wanted to twist the mans eyes out of his socket and cut him and hurt him. Humiliate him in front of thousand of jeering people. Burn him at the stake and bathe in the warmth of the glow.
Soon, but not yet. This thing still has power over me and that I cannot allow.
"It will not be a quick death, to become clean you must first be cleansed in flame. You know this yes?"
The man beside Eurasmus nodded. Eurasmus saw a glimmer in the heretic's eyes he didn't like.
He wants to die. He wants an escape from the things he saw in the black and the things I've done to break him.
Eurasmus reached into his pocket and pulled out a chrono. He twisted the dial backwards and the screen flashed indicating that its machine-spirit was listening and would remember the sounds it heard in order to recount them to Eurasmus later. Eurasmus gently placed it on the table between himself and the heretic. Eurasmus had already pieced together most of the heretics story but he had to hear it from the captain himself. Eurasmus was diligent. One of the reasons why his master had raised him from the masses those many years ago. Before capturing Kendrick he had learned everything about the man.
"You still wont talk will you?" The look in the man eyes still held some amount of defiance. "Your not afraid of death, truly. You've faced worse a thousand times. I know Kendrick, I understand. But you are a man, a man with a son who I think you would very much like to see live."
The man opened his mouth, "How did you know…"
The defiance vanished. "My dear Captain I know everything about you. The Inquisition has had its eyes on you for sometime. Even in the expanse the emperors left-hand is strong."
That was a lie, the inquisition held very little power in the expanse. Nothing like it did in a true sector of imperial space. The expanse still crawled with far to much freedom and the inquisition had to pick and choose where to spend its time quite carefully. That was part of why Eurasmus enjoyed this placement. The work was much more challenging than one would find on another imperial world with an Arbites spire to monitor every word and face on the planet. Here you had to rely on your wits and your own eyes. Footfall might be a less that desirable place to live but it did not lack excitement or work.
It had taken months of toil and a lot of greased hands but Eurasmus had dug up just about every detail about Kendrick Mercant and his interests. There was one particularly useful fact that a ciphered astropathic communique Eurasmus' astropath had managed to intercept. Captain Kendrick had spawned a little pup from some whoring ***** on Malfi. Thinking that his heir would be safer from rivals if Kendrick left him alone the youth had grown up spoiled. He knew nothing of his father save that he was a rich man who wanted him to very much go into a naval career. It was a smart move both for the sake of the dynasty and the safety of Kendrick's loved ones. The House Mercant had many rivals after all.
Kendrick had though himself clever, he covered his tracks well and his son would grow and learn to be a competent commander when he came of age he would finally learn his true destiny and manage the warrant as his father had done. Well had his father not tainted the warrant and shown the treachery that ran in his blood. Eurasmus had no intention of allowing the son to live nor the woman who had birthed him. In fact Eurasmus did not intend for much of House Mercant to survive the coming years. There were a few candidates who Eurasmus had determined were sufficiently righteous enough that they could be allowed to inherit the warrant and redeem the dynasty he would settle that later.
The heretic panicked, Eurasmus knew he had him.
"He had no part in my actions or my heresy! He was light years away he doesn't even know my name! He's innocent!"
That last word exploded in Eurasmus's head like a gunshot. In an unintentional instant of weakness Eurasmus' subconcious flashed a memory he thought he had put to rest along time ago. He was enraged. The flash of anger on Eurasmus' face cut Kendrick off.
Through bared teeth Eurasmus replied, "Innocence proves nothing."
For a second Eurasmus sympathized with Kendrick. The boy Eurasmus was going to kill was innocent and his death would be unjust. Eurasmus did not revel in the deaths of the innocent it had always left a bad taste in his mouth during sleepless nights. Foolishly Eurasmus allowed himself to reflect on his own family and for a moment. His mind was drawn back to the hive-hab with it's small shrine to the older sister in the guard Eurasmus had never known. The room had been covered in cots and was rank of the seven unwashed bodies which inhabited it when Eurasmus was in his adolescence. Eurasmus had excelled as an adept he had a keen mind. He hadn't even know he was working for the inquisition when he had first begun his career but one thing led to another and before he knew it Eurasmus was orchestrating the poisoning of thousands in order to dispose of a dangerous hive gang with heretical ties. Having proved his worth Eurasmuses master had come to him in person and offered Eurasmus an escape from what he had thought would be his fate.
Instead of endless toil for the administratum confined to his birth world Eurasmus was going to give up his name, face and identity. He would travel from place to place across the stars and serve the throne to the best of his abilities. If he served well Eurasmus could live centuries in luxury. It would be dangerous but he would be getting what Eurasmus coveted more than anything, power. He would bring heretics and traitors to their knees and watch them die screaming and learn secrets perhaps one in a billion knew. Power would be his, at a cost.
The price was steep. Steeper than Eurasmus could have ever guessed. He had argued, screamed, reasoned and finally begged with his master.
"But they haven't done anything! Your not even accusing them of anything, you fabricated the accusations in front of me and then expect me to put a bullet in their heads!"
"Why should they be spared? Your master demand their deaths and names them heretics what more do you need?" His masters voice had been calm and slow.
"But their innocent!"
"Innocence proves nothing."
Kendricks thought is was his wits that made him strong. Eurasmus knew this was not the case, Kendrick was a bright man. Considerably smarter than Eurasmus but he lacked zeal and devotion. Eurasmus knew that true strength came from ruthlessness. It was a trait few had. And it was this that his master had taught to him. For that Eurasmus both loved and hated her. He never realized just how much he had loved his family until he had to put a bullet through their heads. He loaded the guns himself with them watching and listened to him name them traitors. The hardest part was choosing who to kill first or whether to put a bullet in his own head. In the end Eurasmus had answered the higher call. They had all whimpered the same objection, that they were innocent. Eurasmus was left with only one thing to tell them.
Innocence proves nothing.
Eurasmus closed his eyes for a second and murmured a calming hypnotically implanted suggestion that cut the memory off. In an instant it was gone but the adrenaline from the shock of remembering still pumped though his veins and it needed some where to go. Eurasmus slapped the heretic with a back hand. And nearly smashed his drinking glass into the mans face.
That was stupid. Control yourself Agent Requiem, don't let him get under your skin. This thing infront of you is not Captain Kendrick Mercant the third stop thinking of him as a man who speaks words. He is a heretic who speaks only evil. He is a traitor, treat him as such.
Kendrick began to talk "To this day I still don't know if half of what I saw was even real. There are things in the void no man was never meant to see."
"Start from the beginning." Eruasmus asked as he leaned back in his chair.
"The path that brought me to the Temple and it's Spirit is long, we will be here for sometime."
"I know, it is fortunate for you that it is such a long tale. I will kill you once your done."
Kendrick nodded and then shivered. Behind him in the taverns window the glow of starship engines could bee seen as they lazily drifted in and out of port. A ship was making its journey ouf port its engines glow suddenly burned brighter than Furibundus and the ship became a streak of fire as it launched itself towards the distant stars. The glow lit Kendrick's face for a moment. Finally captain Kendrick broke and relinquished the last little bit of power he had. Eurasmus could feel the same fire in his gut that compelled him to do what he does, and he listened. It was moments like these where he became god. It will hurt him more to tell this tale than anything I could have done to him in my workshop. I think I'm going to enjoy this.
Eurasmus sipped his drink and Kendrick began.
"I don't remember his face but I will never forget the light that lit it. The ember resting on the table hurt to look at not because it was bright more so because it was unnatural. The light it gave off was the color of a rainbow, and the smoke it emitted smelled of a thousand fragrances. The dim glow never rested still it seemed unable to choose a single color to burn so every second it would change…"
Edited by ieatdeadpeople2, 24 January 2014 - 08:49 AM.