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Cynical Cat

In Memoria

180 posts in this topic

Jolan Gix did not linger long on Terex's World.  The cultists had one more task they wished for him, a murder of a high official.  They unknowingly gave themselves to him with that request for it was not hard then to find out what interests would benefit from that official's death.  They had their own murderers, some of whom might have been able to execute the job cleanly, but they wanted surety of the trail not leading back to them.

 

So Jolan gave the order to Danell and the official died in what appeared to be random street violence.  The identity of those who had ordered the murder was carefully remembered, to be forwarded to those few who knew Jolan Gix still lived.  For a time they were be permitted to live, to grow and spread the word that Sevren Dask could be relied upon to get things done.

 

So it was they left, along with certain valuables, aboard the trader Silver Heart and traversed the warp until they reached the world of Veridius.  There, surprisingly, Mikal Camron made contact with a chaos blood cult.   The young lieutenant was not quite as young as he once was and was able to find them by tracking the patterns of murders and suspicious accidents.

 

They were wary at first, but they were awed by Jolan's power and the brutal deaths he executed upon their membership when they sought his life.  Jolan instructed them in new arts and pushed them into a more ambitious, and reckless, path.  Soon enough the cult would come to the attention of the Arbites and the Inquisition and be inevitably destroyed, but for now they provided a new cult tattoo and further proof of Sevren Dask's skill and devotion.

 

On Tamil IV he met with the decadent sons of prosperous shippers and minor aristocrats.  Gard Vikal provided entry into their ranks with knowledge on how to produce pleasurable new drugs for them.  Supplied with counter agents by Gard and protected by his own growing skill at biomancy Jolan imbibed potent liquor and narcotics at parties.  His list of names to be forwarded grew and he acquired a new cult mark just above the elbow on his left arm.

 

He joined an expedition with one of the prosperous merchants sons he met on Tamil IV.  They embarked upon a world not marked on any Imperial chart and descended to its surface.  They fought their way through a horde of savage, red skinned humanoid xenos, matching slugger and lasgun against bow and spear.  After a titanic slaughter they breached the xenos grand temple and took from them great riches, including psychoactive crystals.

 

The crystals were far too dangerous to leave in the hands of cultists, but Jolan could not act directly against them.  Instead he arranged for a rival faction in the cult to hear about the discovery of the crystals in time to disrupt the grand working.  Blood flowed in the streets in sufficient quantity that the Arbites could not help but notice and then the Inquisition came.  The surviving cultists scattered like bugs, some to other stars.  Most of them carried the name of Sevren Dask with them.

 

They were not the only ones.  Those who screamed their last in black Inquisition cells named names.  One of those names was Sevren Dask.  And so it was, a little more than two years after Jolan Gix's presumed death, the name of the dangerous heretic and agent of chaos Sevren Dask was entered in the Inquisition's record.

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Melina bent over the table, pointing to line on the contract.  She smiled and made eye contact with the middle aged man across the table from her.  "If you would just sign here, honoured," she shifted her finger over, "and place you seal here."

 

In his younger days Rojon Hersk might have been called heavy set but now could only truthfully be called fat.  The layers of brocade velvets, heavy with threads of precious metals, could only disguise the extent of his bulk, not hide it.  He picked up the stylus, smiled back at the most attractive woman he had ever met, and signed.  He touched an inset on his signet ring, activating the heating elements and plunging it into the the piece of wax on the contract.

 

He slid it across the jet black Vitrian glass table.  She smiled.  The pale woman behind her chair did not, but then again she never did.  "It is done," he said.  "We are in business honoured.  May both our houses prosper from it."

 

Melina raised her hand and made gesture.  A demur young woman brought a tray with amnesic and glasses.  The girl filled the glasses and put one before Melina and three in front of the head of the Hersk Consortium, his most favored son, and his right hand man.  Melina raised her glass in salute.  "To the prosperity of both our houses."  Lightning flashed in the window behind her.  "It appears the storm is worsening honoured.  May I offer the suggestion that you depart swiftly before it gets even worse or abandon travel all together and take advantage of my hospitality."

 

"Your words are courteous as always," replied Rojon and he rose from the couch, "but I have appointments later in the city."

 

Melina rose and embraced Rojon, kissing him lightly on the trip.  "Then be swift and be safe."  He blushed slightly and bowed, before retreating from the room.  

 

Shala waited until he was gone.  "That was cruel."

 

"It was effective," said Melina, cold as ice.  "He'll rut with a half dozen whores who look like me and we have our gold plated contract.  You're in  a bad mood.  Is it playing bodyguard that doesn't agree with you or being cooped up when the weather like this.  Or something else?"

 

The commissar shrugged and turned toward the full length windows.  Melina signaled the assassin playing servant girl to leave them.  The killer bowed and retreated from the room.  Melina put her fingers on the commissar's shoulder.  Nofield almost jumped.

 

"It's me, isn't it?"  Nofield pulled away.  "Is it the role we must play or something else?"

 

Shala opened her mouth to say something and then the door slid open, spoiling the moment.  Hethor D'eckor walked in.  Melina recovered quickly.  "I thought you would be busy training the men."

 

"I am," said the Guard veteran.  "Sort of.  Decided to check on you."

 

"Help yourself the amnesic," Melina said as Nofield took the opportunity to drift away.  

 

"I will," he said.  He walked into an adjoining room and returned with a glass mug, filling it full of amnesic.  He sat down on the couch with a grunt and then sipped.  "Nice."

 

"It should be," Melina replied.

 

"Don't worry, its not goin' to waste," said Hethor as he took another drink.  "How'd it go?"

 

"They signed.  On my terms.  They'll still make money."

 

"Just not as much as we will," Hethor finished.  "Doin' your job well."

 

"And what about yours?"

 

"Testin'."

 

"Testing?"

 

"Seeing what my under officers will do with me gone and without a schedule but having been told earlier my general expectations."

 

"You're monitoring them?"

 

"And have a few spies."

 

"Clever.  And here I thought you were just a dumb brute," Melina said with a smile.

 

"Yeah, full of surprises, that's me.  You should have a drink commissar."

 

"No thank you," said Nofield.  "If I'm not needed?"

 

Melina inclined her head.  Shala strode across the room and out the door.

 

Hethor let out a long whistle.  "She's in a mood.  She needs to get laid bad.  Hell, I need to get laid bad and I ain't even close to that."  He took another drink.  "You?"

 

"Me?"

 

"Yeah, you.  Need to get laid?"

 

"That a proposition?" she asked raising an eyebrow.

 

"If you want it to be one," he said.  

 

She laughed.  "I'll consider it.  Do you really think that's her problem?"

 

He shrugged.  "Could be.  That or doin' all the things that a commissar isn't supposed to be.  Or both.  Or maybe somethin' else."  He shrugged.  "So the cash will really start flowin'?"

 

"Yes," she said with a smile.  "Inside of a year we'll be big players, locally."

 

"Then we should celebrate," he said, laying his mug down and standing up.  He grabbed her and pulled her to her with the deceptive speed he had employed to kill countless men.  He kissed her firmly on the lips as she squirmed in his arms and then she returned it.  He broke the embrace.  "Now did you like that or should I be goin' somewhere else to celebrate?"

 

"Somewhere else," she said frostily and then smiled.  "My bedroom is just over there."  She took his hand and led the way.

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The two Arbites stood by the door of the luxury suite in the upper tiers of Hive Aronax.  The black armoured enforcers held suppression shields and shock mauls in hand.  Behind them was another pair, with suppression shields a autopistols sporting long magazines.  Sindar Extos raised her fist to signal readiness.  The vox was pulsed twice.

 

The shock mauls swung, smashing the hardened plas door to scrap.  The enforcers entered, followed by the pair with autopistols.  Bullets were flying in both direction.  The giant Kauth and Sindar went through next.  Both of the Aribiters were armed with combat shotguns.  Sindar's alternated heat seeking Executioner rounds with anti-personnel shot.  Every member of the raiding team was equipped with a techward on their fighting harness that would command the Executioner rounds not to target them, making heat seekers much safer to use in a close quarter brawl.  

 

Three dead men were sprawled in the antechamber of the apartments.  They were dressed in the synth leather coat over synth silk clothes of high priced muscle.  One had had his chest staved in by a shock maul, the other two had been gunned down.  The four leading enforcers were already pushing into through the door and into the next room, bullets and las beams smacking against their suppression shields or glancing off their armour as they advanced.

 

Sindar pushed forward into the sprawling living room and fired at the big man by the minibar, who was blazing away with a heavy slug thrower.  The Executioner round took him in the shoulder and almost severed his arm.  She splattered red all over his chest with the shot cartridge and he fell.  She fired at the gun men hiding behind the disintegrating sofa as she  advanced into the room.

 

Where were the cultists?  Not the flunkies and bodyguards, but the men Inquisitor Yardilon had wanted to take.  The men who were meeting with Sevran Dask.

 

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The walls were nowhere near thick enough to obscure the boom of the Arbites combat shotguns.  Jolan's foretelling had struck moments before the raid and the inquisitor had bolted suddenly to the side room.  Not ten seconds latter the Arbites assault had begun and the hope of brokering a deal with the regional leaders of the Golden Dream had gone up in smoke. 

 

"Move!" Jolan ordered.  Let the heretics slow down the Arbites while they attempted to buy their leaders an opportunity to escape.  Jolan knew better.  Escape was going to be **** near impossible.

 

Steban, a big, violent man Jolan had recruited on Steaderstrad lead the way.  The thug wore armour underneath dark billowing silks and kept his hair shaved and his beard trimmed short. He knew nothing of the true mission, being merely the kind of expendable asset any good chaos magus always had nearby.  Danell Keys took up the rear.

 

"**** boss!" Steban snarled.  "No way here."  And indeed there wasn't as the room Steban had found was merely a bathroom the size of a small apartment, with a ceiling almost four meters above the floor and a water fall running along the far wall.  It seemed to be mostly marble and gold leaf.  Jolan extended his psychic senses.  Extensive practice in the art of farseeing had made certain formerly impossible efforts merely strenuous.  There were no hostile souls above.  

 

He gathered the power of the warp into two terrible rending claws and ripped through the ceiling.  Metal and plas parted under the telekinetic impulse, pipes burst and floor above was torn open.  The talons closed on Keys with great care and carried him to the floor above.

 

"Us next?" said Steban nervously.  

 

"No," said Jolan.  His efforts here must have registered on a psi tracker or on the mind of a sensitive.  One, or both, would be along on this operation.  Keys carried with him what he needed to evade and survive.  Jolan Gix would betray the assassin if he attempted to follow.  Jolan rushed from the room and towards the window on the outer wall.

 

"Boss?" asked Steban.  The fight had died down now as the Arbites had not needed long to overcome the cultists.  Jolan took another exit from this room, which lead to a bedroom with a glorious view of the smog laden lower levels of Hive Aronax and the ravaged earth beyond.  

 

The leaders of the Golden Dream had commanded considerable wealth, enough to own luxuries spire edge apartments.  The windows were massively thick slabs of transpex armour, but they were still windows.  "Hold the door," Jolan ordered.  Shouting and the sound of heavy boots came closer.

 

Steban hesitated, a long barreled laspistol in his hands.  Jolan didn't wait for a response.  He drew upon his power and bored through the window with a blindingly bright lance of blue-white fire.  Steban was firing out of the room, his laspistol making a cracking sound as each bolt seared air.  Booms answered and Steban's skull exploded, splattering blood, bone, and grey matter over the carpets and walls.  

 

Jolan's hole was now about two meters in diameter.  Good enough.  The inquisitor stepped through the window and into space, gliding down and around the spire on wings of telekinetic force.  There was no way that they would fail to detect this display of power, but he would soon be well out of their range and it was unlikely that they possessed the means to follow him.

 

His flight path took him out of line of sight of the window as he circled part of the hive city.  Not far below him were the out thrust landing pads and docking ports for the starships that regularly anchored in high orbit, shipping good to and from the hive.  He altered course towards one the nearer pads.  Once he landed it would be an easy matter to exit his arrival point and vanish into the hive's teeming millions.

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Sindar Extos stepped over Steban's headless corpse.  She immediately saw the gaping hole in the window.  "Throne of Earth!"  She turned her head.  "Jexan!  Get in here!  Now!"

 

The stooped shouldered man hustled into the room.  He was pale and slim, with a completely shaved head.  He wore carapace armour under his heavy brown robe.  "There is only one psyker left and he is rapidly leaving," the Sanctioned Psyker said.  

 

"I know that!" she snarled.  "He jumped out of the thrice damned window!  Can we follow?"

 

"What?"

 

"Can you fly me down after him before the heretic gets away?" she shouted.

 

"Y-yes."

 

"Then do it!"  She activated her vox.  "Inquisitor, target Dask appears to be escaping.  Engaging in pursuit down the side of the hive."

 

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Jolan Gix glided down towards the landing pad.  The space port projected from the side of the termite mound shaped hive in order to accommodate the traffic.  Huge pads sprouted from the hive's side allowing transports and orbital shuttles to land and then off load down the broad walkways.  Customs inspectors and others would be there as well, but that couldn't be helped.  It was vastly easier than trying to fight through an Arbites assault squad and whatever back up they had.

 

Jolan neared a shuttle as cargo was being off loaded from its belly.  Several workers or ship's crew noticed him and pointed.  Heads turned his way.  The inquisitor landed on the edge of the pad on bent knees.  Workers scattered away from the witch in their midst.  Jolan ran down the  causeway towards the hive.  And that's when he felt the power.

 

He turned his head and looked up as he ran.  Two figures were descending towards him, one robed and the other wearing the armour of the Adeptus Arbites.   Apparently a two kilometer fall had been insufficient.  He wrapped himself in a telekinetic cocoon and launched himself down the causeway with a burst of telekinetic force.

 

A shell burst against his shields as he neared the two guards near the entrance to the hive's interior.  They were raising their lasguns as he swooped past, but were not fast enough to track him.  He hit the ground and continued running, pushing into the lines of cargo handlers.

 

The entry corridor was big, to accommodate large amounts of men and cargo.  Midway along the length was a security station that observed the flow of men and goods.  One labourer tried to stop him.  Jolan pistol whipped him in the face and then knocked his legs out from under him.  Men broke out of the way of his advance.

 

He heard shouts from behind him.  "Inquisition!  Stop that man!"  Throne!  Not merely Arbites but the Inquisition.  Men in front of bolted or hesitated.    Jolan didn't.

 

He raised the Hevucar and put two rounds in the chest of the closest man.    He fell, blood gushing from his wounds.  He sent forth an impulse of crippling pain in wave in front of him, dropping men screaming to their knees.  Behind him came the boom of the combat shotgun.  Pellets and a slug were deflected by his force shield.  Behind him men screamed as they were struck by Executioner rounds aimed in his direction.  

 

He half looked back as he ran and fired several shots back.  They didn't dissuade his pursuers.  He felt a lance of psychic force slam into his shields and then crack them apart, leaving him naked against the enforcer's weapons.

 

He struck back with a blast of telekinetic force, knocking the Arbiter over and sending her gun spinning back down the corridor.  A manifestation of pure malice erupted from his forehead, a many fanged warp eel formed of dark light.  It flew through he air and struck the psyker.  He screamed and fell, convulsing.  Jolan turned back and continued running.

 

The guards from the guard posts had their laspistols drawn and were trying to get a bead on him as direct line of sight was blocked by a cargo raft in front of Jolan.  The inquisitor moved to the left and shot at the man he could see.  He fired six times, hitting him twice in the chest.  The man fell.  A las beam missed Jolan's face by centimeters.  No time to mess around.  Jolan boiled the guard's brain inside his skull. 

 

The inquisitor kept on running.  The hive was a very big place, easy to hide in for a man with his skills and resources.  He just needed to not use his powers to give himself away to auspexes and psykers and get enough distance.  He just needed to get a little further and then this would be over.

 

Sindar Extos activated her vox as she rose off the floor.  "This is Extos.  Target is loose at the spaceport level.  Jexan is down.  I have lost contact."

 

"Understood," a strong female voice replied.  "A lock down of the entire hive section is underway.  Reinforcements will be en route.  Hunt him.  Yardilon out."

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