As Mentress-Auditor of the Bastion's Auditoria, I was insulated from the damnable politics of the wider Inquisition. Before that, as a field Inquisitor, I did the Emperor's work, for the Emperor's glory, and I did it many times without aid or approval of my superiors, but always with the results justifying my moral convictions. Perhaps I am too old for this work, perhaps I am just too inflexibly set in my convictions, or perhaps they "do things" differently in the Scarus Sector. Perhaps I am being naive. This shadow-play of politics is (I'm loathe to admit) beyond my ken.
Destatte will navigate this morass in my stead; I will trust to his judgment. If he says we must sacrifice the wall rodent now for the sink rat later, so be it. However, know this: I will never sell you to the pillory.
Senior Interrogator Vatka has a name for you: Malden Vitrioli, the Largess Dynasty Seneschal. If you seek passage upon the Duke Largess, he is the man with whom you must speak. No passenger, no cargo are taken aboard without his approval.
The remainder I will leave for Destatte to relate. May the Emperor watch over you, my dears.
Yes. Well, then…
The Duke Largess is due to slip its moors in 19 hours.
You can have no idea what it must entail to arrange the clandestine delivery of an Eldar grav-craft for transport to an Imperial vessel, Rogue Trader or no. The Administratum tariff Assessors must smudge everything with their ink-stained digits, musn't they? Well, not this time. The grav-craft awaits your (Gaius's) loading permission in warehouse IX, bay IX. This is the precipice, the brink; if anything goes wrong here you shall not be alone. Four of my finest Investigators, disguised as Administratum warehouse jockeys (with blue coats, rather than green), will be on hand to aid in the transfer to the Duke, so if you are scuppered here you will, at the very least, have some back-up.
If you're waving an Eldar grav-craft in someone's face, you'd better have accommodations to match, eh?
Unfortunately, I have been able to procure only one private cabin (2-person accommodation), located amid-ship, upper tiers; it seems the Master of the Duke is planning a "tour" and doesn't wish to unnecessarilly crowd his first-tier passengers. Arrangements for the purchase of this passage was financed through the proceeds netted (thus far) from the auction of certain parcels of (the late) Pietro Ur's ware collection. The grav-craft "belongs" to Gaius, so he's cabin passenger 1…I shall leave passenger 2 for you to decide amongst yourselves.
This cabin includes two meals per day (above-average fare), including refreshments. There is also a weekly laundry and linen service provided, a communal suite facility (showers and latrines shared with 18 other cabin passengers) and a complimentary dinner with the Master of the Duke (scheduled for day 6). There are five cabin decks, each with 10 dual-occupancy cabins per deck (100 first-tier passengers at 4200 Throne per head).
An additional unfortunate turn had left all "commons" accommodations accounted for; we had to press for skalps (stolen "commons" boarding passes). The "commons" are located in the low decks of the Duke, forward of the main drive coils where they will be uncomfortably hot and dry, and they will be unmercifully crowded (400-600 passengers assigned to 1x2x3-meter cubicles…repurposed cargo pods, no doubt… that are stacked 30-40 meters high and achor-bolted to the bulkheads of a disused maintenance storage bay). There are at least twelve of these repurposed passenger "commons". The third-tier passenger count is 7200+. At least they're located at the interior, away from the freeze permeation of the void…
There are two skalps, plus the "commons" pass Gaius filched from the unfortunate S-Tooper at The Savoy. These accommodations include two meals per day (gresh…a spackle-like "meat"-potato-cheese stew, served with hardbread and recyk water). There is no laundry service, and linens are not provided to the "commons" passengers…those of you unfortunate enough to berth here may wish to purchase a woolen blanket (more for privacy) and perhaps a pillow. Latrine facilities here (such as they are) are vulnerably public, and there are no showers.
Yes. Well. On to the intinerary…
The Duke Largess is listed as making a run Rimward to Cyrus Vulpa, with intent to board 4000 head of live mature grox (Emperor forbid they mean to cohabit these with "commons" passengers…if you see fencing errected in the "commons" when you board, well, my apologies), then onward to Orbell Quill (no excursions registered, possibly a layover to purge and refill their cisterns). Do not volunteer for or accept an excursion to the surface of Orbell Quill. The final leg (of the registered transit) is to swing around the feral world of Dusk (from a circulated "travel brochure": "…the accursed feral world of Dusk, lair of the Hag-Witch…"; probably intended as an "Ooh! Aah!" spectacle for the "tourists"), with a reverse course return to Scintilla.
It seems Gaius may have been correct in suggesting the major players meet their workhorses at the midway for gewgaw showcasing and/or tranfers. Or Master Leopold Umbolt Largess is the "Imperial" face of the Quip Syndicate. Does this mean Master Ozrus Quip (whose vessel is the Antigones) and the Provenance Coil Overture step in the dirt for their treasures, or are they meeting mid-way from other worlds within the Sector? Keep this in mind during your investigations…
Now, a cautionary note:
Of you Auditors, Borba is the only one familiar with the rituals and hazards of the void; look to him for protocol guidance. Getting voided for a simple misunderstanding would be most unfortunate. Lifting from my personal experiences: prudently locate the nearest portable fire extinguishers, void suit lockers, and savior pod launches; it is unwise to open locked hatchways (security, fire or void being of primary concern); try to learn the ETT (Estimated Time of Translation) before eating.
I believe that is all I have…
Pardon? Oh. Yes. Of course.
The Emperor (hand flap) and all that…
Shame on you, Mattaeas!
Ozrus Quip is rumored to be a ruthless dynastic, not at all hesitant to get his hands bloody for his Warrant. I leave it to you how best to see him brought to Imperial justice.
I am concerned for your well being, and…
Well, you have had some of the best training available in the Callixis Sector, so I shouldn't worry myself. After all, you are professionals, quite competent. Your tenacity is tempered by your ability to focus on the broader consequences or your actions…or inaction.
Do me a favor?
Cardinal Ignato is to deliver another live reading of Drusus: The Sermons. Please, watch it.
As they used to say on Ancient Terra: Bon Voyage!