The great clock fell, splitting apart in a confusing and spectacular way as an array of gears and levers shot away from it. They sat among the wreckage, surviving the destruction of the entity known as the “widower” and the dark plans of the “beloved”. The Pilgrims of Hayte had been dispersed, either by the efforts of the acolytes and bystanders, the widower or by the explosion of the great clock itself.
Moans drifted upwards from the wreckage as those with enough life in them got up and staggered away looking for help. Calista immediately went to work healing those that he could save. As the other acolytes surveyed the damage they noticed something, a face mumbling in the wreckage. Upon closer inspection they noticed something odder, the face was not attached to anything. The lips of the widower still moved and sound still issued forth, mostly muttering things that were incomprehensible to the acolytes but one phrase would find its way out of the gibberish every so often; “The traveler returns..”. Whether it was something about the way it was spoken or the fact that a face was still speaking while it had no vocal chords to form the sound one thing was for sure, this left the acolytes with a very unsettling feeling.
He opened his eyes and grasped the bridge of his nose, trying to stifle the headache that was beginning to form behind his eyes. Muttering to himself, Vownus Kaede surveyed the reports of one of his senior agents and tried to piece together to try to anticipate what was coming. The appearance of the Tyrant Star alone was enough to be troubling, but increased cult activity and the being known as the widower all made the report a proper mess. Knowing it was useless to try to puzzle out a pattern from so few details he gave up, instead looking at the reports of a strange signal in the lathe system.
Earmarking it for priority status he quickly typed out a quick message to his contact Pullar in the Lathe’s that he would look into it and dispatch a team to assist him in the matter. This new band of acolytes had shown promise in extraordinary circumstances, it was time to see if they could do with another unusual situation, for in the trials ahead weakness was something he could not tolerate.
Kaede’s eyes drifted to the words he had read so long ago, quietly reading them as if the parchment was right in front of him, dreaming of days when less of a burden rested on his shoulders.
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
He closed his eyes, opened them, and began his work.
Outwardly he seemed as motionless and impassive as the others around him, Inwardly he seethed. The destruction of the comet and any fragment bigger than a tonne where disintegrated as he watched from the bridge of one of the numerous Mechanicum ships that had heeded the call. Brutix Lor, one of the many heads of the Iron Brotherhood cursed himself for his burst of emotion, feeling dirty and human. He turned away from the destruction, walking towards the communicator arrays. Lor was patient, they had toiled for years to bring their plans to fruition only to have them dashed when they were discovered, calculating the odds in his head, trying to quickly determine the odds and deciding that they were astronomical he cleared the thought. The fact of the matter was whoever had discovered the signal and subsequently ruined the Brotherhood’s plans had done so in a spectacular fashion.
In doing so they would no doubt leave a trail of rewards and accolades from those who lacked the will to see and understand. A balance must be struck, and only through the deaths of those responsible would the balance be fulfilled. The day would come and soon where those responsible would be eliminated for their interference.
The Mechanicum fleet scourged the area for any trace of contamination from the warp tirelessly. Something very big had happened and it had done so close enough to the Lathe system that if had it succeeded it may have brought danger even to the might of the Lathes.
Kaede considered the new report in front of him. It seemed that this group of Acolytes found trouble as quickly as a rapid grox in a playpen would. Maybe it was time for something simple, something to keep them out of the way and forgotten so that the numerous enemies they’ve been acquiring lose sight of them for a while.
Kaede paced trying to reason through a dozen different options and even who might be behind some of these newer rumors of trouble. His office was not large, a half a dozen strides in either direction brought him to wall where he would turn and advance in the other direction, hands waving in the air in a thoughtful manner.
There had been no shortage of trouble in the time Kaede had ascended to the role of an Inquisitor, not shortage of mystery for that matter. Out of so many people in the Calaxis sector came all sorts of webs to untangle, something for which he was thankfully good at. But even then, He was only human. With his agents and the resources of the inquisition spread throughout the sector he didn’t know everything, and couldn’t possibly know everything.
Seeing an incoming communication from a fellow Inquisitor Kaede ceased his introspection and answered it taking note it was coming from the astropathic choir on Solomon….