One Week Ago.
Elijoh Mirotta would in the years to come be considered the second worst mass murderer in the history of Mjlvohnir IV by the Inquisition, outside of the Primus Alpha Work Protocol set down by the Manufactorum Guardian Enginseer Council due to tithe requirements by Regional Command beyond the sector, though the loyalist Imperial Citizens have long come to accept that death came with duty and to many to die for the God-Emperor was a blessing and gift.
Only one person was worst.
Gregorian Taft Ovburn.
That wasn't his real name, though in a way he had no name. Like Elijoh, Gregorian was an anomaly. Like Gregorian, Elijoh was death made manifest.
A week ago, I, Inquisitor Lorento Kain had never heard of them. Almost no one had. A week ago they were unknown even to the bureaucratic all swallowing bloat of the Emperium, their names were not muttered in hateful whispers or cursed by anyone upon Mjlvohnir IV.
Yet together they had done more harm than anyone upon the face of the planet. Together they had quietly engineered the slaughter of tens of millions.
In the last decade.
At night, when they sat down to a paupers dinner they would never dwell upon the past and its accomplishments. The one percent of the one percent doesn't dwell upon the preliminaries. To them it was always what was coming up next, what was coming soon.
One week ago, seven whole days before I had even heard of them, Elijoh Mirotta had placed a large ornate Adamantium and Ceramite clock with a psycho-reactive crystal digital interface, he had placed it upon a well worn work station, an heirloom passed down from one generation to the next. The clock was set to tick off the minutes and seconds, a precision built piece created by ape-like artisans wholly dedicated to the creation of masterpieces.
Elijoh adjusted this particular time piece to ten thousand and eighty minutes.
One hundred and sixty-eight hours.
The two of them would systematically synchronize miniature time pieces that were almost exact replicas of the original, except for minute details meant to reinforce the subtle differences between the two men who had one common goal. Once synchronized they watched the time piece count down one hour while they quietly ate their modest meal and sipped wine that cost more than the yearly net income of the lowest four tiers of the oldest and most prosperous of hive cities upon the most industrious continent upon Mjlvohnir IV.
They watched the next hour tick away.
The Last Court of Consciousness had begun.
I crouched in the dark, bleeding and something was broken, quite possibly in my head as well.
The door was spot welded by the faulty Servo Skull that had followed me in, it's dull red orb eye pulsating like a beating heart as it awaited another command. I had three rounds left in my bolt pistol. Three rounds and monomolecular blade.
They were pounding upon the door, howling in rage as claws and fists dug and dented the door, I knew it wouldn't hold.
They would get in.
Somewhere out there the Last Court of Consciousness was ticking down, if I was still here when that thing reached zero, this planet and all the others in this system would die, their numbers nearing the incalculable and yet the fallout to the rest of the Imperium would be a grievous wound, a wound in which it may never recover from.
I thought I could stop them.
I had to stop them. It was down to me, the rest were. . . gone.
It wasn't our fault we came into this mess so late. We were pursued, our intel had been wrong and ran us around chasing ghosts of our own devising. By the time we knew what was what, the Last Court had nearly ran its course.
We tried. The last week alone had seen a trail of bodies from one side of the planet to the other, most of them were human, though some where something beyond the scope of all my time in the Inquisition.
The pounding was louder, the door was buckling, the spot weldings cracking and the security cross bar I had placed seemed like a toothpick ready to break. It would only be seconds before the mechanical lock or welds gave out, and then whatever they were would come in howling for blood. Then it would be them against me.
I was hurt.
I was bleeding.
I had three rounds and a knife.
I got to my feet and faced the door, the bolt pistol in my left and the knife in my right.
I smiled, something was broken.
Let them come.
+ + + Eyes Only + + +
++ Auto Verbal Quill documentation by Inquisitor Lorento Kain ( redacted ) ++
Inquisitor Lorento Kain - Inquisition : Ordo Xenos ( redacted )
+ + + Thought for the Day: Spare the Rod; Spoil the Loyal Acolyte and Set a Blaze of Righteous to Lead all In His Wake. + + +
+ + + Access rescinded + + +
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I really should be working on my tale of 20.
But, I had to build my pewter dude man and continue the story.